Saturday, October 30, 2010

birthday sonnet

I'm still
a prime
said he,
lessly, &
I'm the

of two
ers, 3
& 23.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The numbers

of crows in the neighborhood have increased significantly of late. Some sort of territorial takeover. A blitzkreig. Or ethnic cleansing perhaps, for there no longer seem to be any other large black, or black & white, birds around. No currawongs or magpies or butcher birds. Just the crows. Corvus orru, the Torresian Crow. Arrogant. Ugly. Presumptuous rulers. But unsteady on their feet.

Photo from Wildlife Qld

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More than a Quarter-Pounder

I tend to drive over things like palmfronds & fast-food rubbish on the road. L. is more careful & avoids such things. From today, I'm going to follow her example.

A news report out of Melbourne:
Two drivers had a lucky escape this morning when their vehicles collided with large rocks hidden in McDonald's take-away bags on a freeway in Melbourne's south-east.

Police have condemned the dangerous prank, which resulted in one of the vehicles becoming airborne and caused extensive damage to both cars.

Sergeant Sam Raso said the five large rocks were about 35 centimetres in diameter and weighed four to five kilograms, making them the size of cinder blocks used to build houses.

They were concealed in individual McDonald's bags and placed on the south-bound lanes of the Eastlink Freeway, between Rutherford Road and Thompson Road, at Frankston.

About 1.20am a vehicle travelling at about 100km/h struck one of the rocks, causing damage to the passenger-side.

About two minutes later another car hit the second rock, causing the vehicle to become airborne before crashing to the ground.

"Each rock was in its own individual McDonald’s wrap, and were purposely positioned on Eastlink," Sergeant Raso said.
The Age 10/27/10

Monday, October 25, 2010

If I recall

my reading right, the last "Western" power to subdue Afghanistan was the Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great, something like two & a half millenia ago.....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Talk about

having the whole world in his hands, this man, when playing, looked as if he had the whole world in just one of his cheeks.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, b. 10/21/17 – d. 1/6/93.
"Among the candidates who have failed to become President of the United States was John Birks Gillespie. In 1964, Gillespie ran on a platform of abolishing income tax and appointing Miles Davis director of the CIA. Instead, Lyndon Johnson was elected."Martin Gayford
Salt Peanuts!

& on the subject.....

I have no idea when I wrote the lyrics below, only that they're old, old, old, & I was young, young, young, & obviously had been listening to King Pleasure, who wrote words to jazz standards &, quite often, expanded that to write words to the musicians' solos on those standards.

& I don't know why I have a copy of it on my PC. Christ, computers weren't invented then. Well, yes they were, but not for personal use, & not small enough to fit into a room let alone sit on top of a desk. Maybe I copied it from a typewritten sheet when I was transcribing stuff for the book of my poems from that time, The right foot of the giant. Or maybe it was buzzing around in my head, triggered by hearing NiT again, & I decided to commit it to silicon.

I don't know if I ever expanded to do the solos vocalese for this Dizzy Gillespie & Chano Pozo number. I doubt it, because whilst King Pleasure was interpreting the 78 rpms records of his time that ran for no longer than three minutes, by the time I came along, long playing records had arrived.
Night in Tunisia
I will remember always,
always to my delight,
I will remember always
you in Tunis that night.

Walking in the casbah
you were a glorious sight.
I saw you coming from afar
there in Tunis that night.

O how I really want
to have you close to me.
O how I wish it wasn’t
just a memory.

I will remember always,
darling, just we two.
I will remember always
a night in Tunisia with you.

I hope you won’t think me rude if I say
I never wanted to see the day
For I knew you would go away
By your side is where I wanted to stay
For your return I will always pray
Until that time the skies will be gray
I’m blue.......

But the version of Night in Tunisia I would have had in mind is the one from the YouTube clip embedded below. It's a poor clip—crappy audio under a still photo—but this was a SuperGroup. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach. Brought together for one night only, a concert at Massey Hall in Toronto, in 1953.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Out from Otoliths—Jake Berry & Jeffrey Side's Distant Voices: an email correspondence

Distant Voices: an email correspondence
Jake Berry & Jeffrey Side
96 pages
Otoliths, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9807651-4-4
$13.45 + p&h
This 18-month transAtlantic email correspondence between Jake Berry and Jeffrey Side ranges across and intertwines a variety of topics that include: poetry and music; film and TV; the changes in culture over the past few decades; the differences in regional U.S. and U.K. accents; the difficulty of reaching the famous in order to interview them; the songwriter as poet and vice versa.

"All we can do is create work to the best of our ability and make it as available as possible."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"That's a rap,"

as the actress said to the Bishop.

Right. But wrong. It's why I turn off spellchecker.

"That's write," said he, taking a tern for the bettor.

All of which......Sometimes funny. As in. A murder & conspiracy to murder charge reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. In which.....
".....the price for McGurk's life was alleged to be $300,000.....the price for one of their number to take the wrap for the others had hit the $1 million mark."
Gangsta wrap? Or Chicken & Salad rap? Or.....

Friday, October 15, 2010

In the not too distant future

the collected poetic ficciones.

At Trotsky's Funeral, Mark Young, hardback, dustjacket, edition of 50 copies, Kilmog Press, Dunedin, New Zealand. Forthcoming late October, available from Parsons Bookshop in Auckland.

From a much more distant past

A 1974(?) reading at the Barry Lett Galleries in Auckland, N.Z. Pat Hanly paintings on the walls. Reading with, I seem to remember, Dave Mitchell & Nigel Roberts. The photographer is unknown, but the pix were shown to me by Nigel during my recent visit to Sydney.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Better Homes Through Poems

Reb Livingston has organized a new shopfront at Lulu. She writes about it slightly more fully at We Who Are About To Die, but I've excerpted below part of her post.
"There are a number of other independent poetry presses who use Lulu for printing and distribution. One hurdle for us is that it’s not really easy to find our books on Lulu if you don’t specifically know what you’re looking for. There are A LOT of poetry titles. If one quickly browsed the poetry category, one might get the impression that there aren’t any books she’d be interested in. I’ve been thinking of ways to address this hurdle and came up with Better Homes Through Poems. It’s an indie-cooperative bookstore featuring over 100 titles from Bloof Books, Blue and Yellow Dog Press, Coconut Books, Dusie Press Books, Horse Less Press, Meritage Press, No Tell Books, Otoliths Books, Scrambler Books and more to come.

"These are books by such poets as Tom Beckett, Kristy Bowen, Shanna Compton, Bruce Covey, Mark Cunningham, Peter Davis, Denise Duhamel, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Raymond Farr, Elisa Gabbert, Kimiko Hahn, Shafer Hall, Shane Jones, Jennifer L. Knox, Sueyuen Juliette Lee, Amy Lemmon, Reb Livingston, Karen Llagas, Rebecca Loudon, Valerie Loveland, Natalie Lyalin, Kendra Grant Malone, Gina Myers, Danielle Pafunda, Karl Parker, Kathleen Rooney, Larry Sawyer, Ravi Shankar, Paul Siegell, Eileen R. Tabios, Elizabeth Treadwell, Nico Vassilakis, Mark Young and many others.

"It’s certainly worth your time to visit. Go on now . . . support independent poetry publishing and live a better life."
Better Homes Through Poems can be found here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

what turns some people on......

"Rose covers and fills her sports uniform with lashings of custard."

The Man who would be King

is a story by Rudyard Kipling, later made into a movie with Sean Connery & Michael Caine, about two British soldiers who venture into a province of Afghanistan, armed with 20 Martini-Henry rifles, to set themselves up as kings.

Tony Abbott, leader of the conservative Coalition, wanted to be King of Australia. He failed. Not miserably; but in a binary election, near enough is not good enough. So he has sought out a province in Afghanistan, armed with an F88 Steyr assault rifle, to try his luck there......

Gary Ramage photo
Source: AdelaideNow

Sunday, October 10, 2010

No / other reason / for this post

except the fact that I wanted to post at:



of the background to my Google post of a couple of days ago is the fact that, for the past week, googlebots have been trawling through the archives of gamma ways, visiting, literally, hundreds of pages/posts. I'm used to the one-or-two page occasional visit, but these are up to 70 pages a visit, some are way over an hour in duration, & there were nine visits on one of the days.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Today the
postman brought
me a hay(na)ku
postcard from
Ernesto Priego
whose message
began "Today
the postman
brought me....."

one of
life's little loops.

Friday, October 08, 2010


may be the evil empire gathering up data from its users' activities on line, amalgamating it & then, without creating an avatar—or maybe it does, & there's a whole virtual populated planet hidden in the deepest dungeons of Mountain View—it uses the modelled individual to become a Cylon pilot—yes, the first series of Caprica has finally arrived on our TV screens, not on cable SciFi but on one of the new free to air HD channels that are springing up, mushroom-like, as each channel basically clones itself & distributes what was previously barely enough to keep one channel going across three or four, this one 7mate, a silly blokey name, along the lines of "how ya goin', mate?", a phrase which I'd never use, & a name which I'd be too embarrassed to admit watching—but I have to admit that I like today's Google audio-visual logo gif commemorating the 70th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A fruit bat

that looks like Yoda.....

"A tube-nosed fruit bat with an appearance reminiscent of the Star Wars Jedi Master Yoda has been discovered in a remote rainforest.

The bat, along with an orange spider and a yellow-spotted frog are among a host of new species found in a region of Papua New Guinea.

More than 200 animals and plants were revealed for the first time after two months of surveying in the rugged and little-explored Nakanai and Muller mountain ranges last year."

& a bunch of fruitcakes.....

"Crowds have gathered outside the US Supreme Court as the justices considered whether the right to free speech protects an anti-gay religious group that pickets military funerals displaying signs that read: Thank God for dead soldiers.

The case before the court, unfortunately, will probably be fairly easy to decide. Freedom of speech always trumps tastelessness.

The Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, which demonstrates at slain service people's funerals to protest the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, will probably prevail for just that reason. Church members, claiming the wars are divine punishment because the United States tolerates gays, including in the military, feel they have the right to wave signs like "God Hates You" and "You're Going To Hell" because, in their view, homosexuality is an abomination.

The group has about 75 members and is led by patriarch Fred Phelps, who has 13 children and 54 grandchildren, many of whom are church members."

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


working on Otoliths, & a discussion I've been having with one of the contributors has brought this to mind.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The birds

own the day, hereabouts.

In the length of time it takes me to smoke a cigarette on the front porch, I have seen small honeyeaters chasing insects, rainbow lorrikeets draining nectar from the bottlebrush next door, an ibis using its long narrow curved beak to seek out grubs in the lawn across the road, a crow chased by three or four noisy miners, a pair of cooing doves protected by the long spines of the palmtree where they have their nest, a wagtail careering from tree to tree, a hawk or kite or some other raptor circling over head, a black-faced cuckoo shrike, a pair of blue-eyed honeyeaters hanging upside down from branches as they plunder the dangling flowers that hang from another branch, a kingfisher poised on a powerline. & out the back, the sound coming easily because of its volume, some kookaburras arguing.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The 2010 Ig Nobel awards

have been announced by The Annals of Improbable Research. They are:
ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PRIZE: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks. [NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARE CO-WINNERS BOTH THIS YEAR AND IN 2008 when they were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for demonstrating that slime molds can solve puzzles: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Ryo Kobayashi, Atsushi Tero]

PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.

MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.