Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pssst. / Wanna buy / an aircraft carrier?

Just the one owner, a little old lady who only took it out on Sundays.

If you're interested, here's where to go.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today the
postman brought
me a concrete
poem. Just two

quatrains: but
still needed
both of us to
carry it inside.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I have

been known to call the city where I live the redneck capital of Australia, have described it, at various times, as being racist, patriarchal, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic, chauvinistic, out of step with the contemporary world. & that's just what I've said publicly.

I didn't ever think I'd be provided with proof to back up my assertions. But, all things come—or, at least, some of them do—to those who wait.

There's a fair amount of discussion currently going on in politics about same-sex marriage. The Federal Labor Government has, along with the conservative Coalition, opposed it; &, so, in the past, because this has been, primarily, a two-party national electorate, it was never going to get an airing. But the dynamics of the new parliament, with its independents & a Green, have meant that a lot of possible legislation is now coming forward. Labor still opposes same-sex marriage officially, but it's a plank of the Greens' policy, & there's a lot of, now open, support coming from members of the Federal Labor Party, so it's something that is likely to be voted on in Parliament in the current term.

There have been a number of opinion polls carried out, one of which measured support for the statement "I believe homosexuality is immoral." The pro-respondents to that survey statement have now been plotted against the federal electoral divisions, &, surprise, no surprise, " . . . the highest proportion (44.7 per cent) was recorded in the Queensland coastal seat of Capricornia."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Have watched

a couple of quite good British short season crime series recently. Both from the BBC, but very different. One was Sherlock, a contemporary rendering of the Conan Doyle character, in a style reminiscent of Dr Who—which is not surprising given that most of the writers & directors are Time Lord alumni—& with Dr Watson portrayed as being a much more serious & substantial character than the bumbling representations we have previously seen, & injured in a much more contemporary Afghan war.

The other series was Luther, with the lead character, a DCI in a Serious Crime Unit, played by Idris Elba whom I hadn't realized was an English actor, having only seen him previously as Stringer Bell in The Wire. It's a bit cliché- & angst-ridden, & more than a bit over the top at times, but Elba is a strong enough actor to hold it all together.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanks, Bill



Minddrift: a list
of edible

sorghum, rye, barley, wheat, oats, rape, maize, millet, rice, triticale

goes outside
for a cigarette.

A dragonfly is dying on the path. Segmented tail, longer than the glossy green-backed body. Faint hum of fluttering wings. Frantic upward spin. Then imitates a falling helicopter. Classic Hollywood. Upward again. Down. Spin. Silent. Hum. Up. Down. Rotor wings. Silence.

Fighter jet above.
Orange grevillea


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dulce et decorum est

to be the daughters of Sarah Palin, & uphold their mother's beliefs.
During the premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" Sunday night — a boy named Tre who went to school with the Palin kids wrote a status update that read, "Sarah Palin's Alaska, is failing so hard right now."

The comment sparked an intense response from Willow — who replied on the boy's wall, "Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I've seen pictures of, your disgusting ... My sister had a kid and is still hot."

Willow followed up that comment with another that read, "Tre stfu. Your such a faggot." Bristol Palin also got in on the smacktalk — writing a message to Tre saying, "You're running your mouth just to talk shit."
Wasn't their mother the one who wrestled a grizzly, bare? & likely to be the next Republican Presidential candidate?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Out from Otoliths — Sard, by Philip Byron Oakes

Philip Byron Oakes
68 pages
Cover image by Sheila E. Murphy
Otoliths, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9807651-6-8
$12.50 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/sard/9579586
Reading poems, such as “Whoever Answers the Door”, in Philip Byron Oakes’ second book Sard, reminds one of a grandiloquent room—very modern and posh with amenities, and at the ready to receive the exhilarated mob attempting to enter all at once, in a crush of three or four abreast, through a door constructed for one and one only to enter in style. Luckily we have Philip Byron Oakes to defuse the chaos, magically narrow the door, creating tension, putting things in order, resetting the ratio of things to their meaning once again. The thrill of exhilarated facts, “the whirlwind scuttling/a moment of stillness”, of cultural information streaming off of each page at the speed of sound, places the reader at the crux of a savant’s poetic genesis, displacing the literal with the dancing heads of the figurative and in a big way. Often joking while performing his circus of fire eating acts, he gets around to lavish spectacles “Sooner or loiter.” Details mount and accrue, as what is real—objective—is less satisfying to observe than the ritualized, impeccably imbedded electrical buzz and charge of these manic fragmented tableaux holding place as they surge. Oakes writes as he guns the motor. There is a sense of vertigo that appeals to one’s right brain and left brain simultaneously. The language swirls—a whirlpool of stochastic images encountered without fault. The poems are, I feel, impressively unimpeachable—shards of focus as imagined works of art. What we are witness to is the random miracle seemingly made plain—a vase of flowers torn from a table by a cyclone in Kansas (the house ripped to kindling) and placed down serenely in Sarasota or Reno without so much as a petal harmed. Such is the force of the poems in Sard. Sard is a chaotically ruled, brilliantly conceived, devastating regime of organic and supra-organic devices that are as delightful to think about and ponder, once having read them, as they are to read. —Raymond Farr, editor of Blue & Yellow Dog

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dickback Mountain?

A man accused of tattooing a 40cm penis on another man's back has appeared in Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Matthew Francis Brady of Bundamba had one of his assault charges upgraded to grievous bodily harm as a result of an incident on October 18 at Ebbw Vale in Queensland.

The alleged victim, Chester Ives, 25, had agreed to have some Yin and Yang symbols and dragons tattooed on his back but was shocked to discover a 40cm penis and testicles with an obscene slogan.

The pair had argued beforehand, and Brady, unqualified as a tattooist, suggested the tattoo as a peace offering using an at-home tattoo kit.

Ives is now facing nine months of treatment to have it removed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If you kick

the "l" out of Australia, you more or less get Austria. Skip the funnies, skip the mention of shibboleths. Ignore kangaroos &/or Arnold Schwarzenegger at your peril.

Different geographical derivations & directions—Austria = Österreich = eastern realm; Australia = terra australis = southern land.

But. Have a G20 summit in Seoul, have large dolls of each country's leader commissioned for display as part of the hype. &. Have Australia, which is a member, confused with Austria, which isn't. Dress them in something like supposed national costume. Have Prime Minister Gillard of Australia in a dirndl dress. Baroness von Trapp. Of Canberra.

(Not the only fuckup. Elsewhere a globe of the world, with the flags of the G20 countries stuck into it to show where the countries are. All correct, except for India, which, apparently, is a nation in Central Africa.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's a blog for, if not for self-promotion?

At Trotsky’s Funeral
Mark Young

Kilmog Press
Dunedin, N.Z.
Edition of 50, hardback, 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9864616-8-2
RRP: $45.00

At Trotsky's Funeral is a companion volume to the author's speculative novella, the allegrezza ficcione, which has already been described as "a 21st century classic."

It gathers together nearly all of the poems & short prose pieces that Mark Young calls, collectively, ficciones, a term coined by Jorge Luis Borges. They're not about alternative universes, rather histories of the current one tweaked a little—Genghis Khan as a member of the Barnum & Bailey circus, the movies that accompanied Mao's Long March, the origins of the bullfighting move known as the veronica & the popular song Bye Bye Blackbird.

Martin Edmond, in his Landfall review of Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008, wrote: "These ficciones both parody and explode causality as it is usually understood and thereby make available to us, not just an alternate past to our provisional present but a future literally beyond our understanding: as a real future must be."

About the author;

Mark Young's poetry first appeared in the N. Z. Listener in 1959. Since then, his text & visual poems, prose, essays & reviews have been published & anthologized in many countries, in both print & online journals, & have been translated into a number of languages. He is the author of more than twenty books, published primarily in the U.S.A., but also in Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden & the U.K.

Available at Parsons Bookshop in Auckland & Dunedin Public Art Gallery Shop.

Yes, I know it's expensive, but, hey, it's both a hardback & a limited edition. If anyone outside Middle Earth, aka New Zealand, wants to obtain a copy, just email me—my address can be found in the profile in the sidebar—& I'll tell you how to go about getting one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In 1920, W.C.W. to the Editor of Poetry

   Dear Miss Monroe:  Provided you will allow me to use small letters at the beginnings of my lines, I submit the following excellent American poem to you for publication in your paying magazine:

          SPIRIT OF '76

            Her father
            built a bridge
            the Chicago River
            but she
            built a bridge
            over the moon.

   This, as you will at once recognize, is an excellent poem and very American. I sincerely hope that no prehistoric prosodic rules will bar it from publication. Yours,

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nose to the grindstone: an update

I have finally got the interiors for the print editions of Otoliths #s 17 & 18 together. & it's no wonder that I'm somewhat exhausted, now I no longer have, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, the energy of youth. Issue #17 comes in at just under 400 pages, issue #18 at 340. But there's some amazing stuff there that acts as a positive counterbalance to the task.

Now I'm debating with myself whether to get stuck into the print edition of issue #19. Will probably go ahead with it now I'm in the groove. Catch up on at least one stream of the publishing life. Then on to the others.

(Photo from the Collection of the Illinois State Museum.)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Was red.

Now orange. The color changed through chemical impurities. & is pure.
Move in then, reset the paradoxes. They seem to have stopped working.
Su Shi, a famous Song Dynasty poet, said, "It is a return to the time before time, & historical timelines with inaccurate calendars can have significant impact by adding unreasonably to your costs."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Taking Tea with Rupert hay(na)ku

The fact that
Sarah Palin

talk to
reporters from Fox

News probably tells
you all

to know
about both parties.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Okay, so once again,

which one did you say was the frakking Cylon?

Now that

issue #19 of Otoliths is live, it means that I'm three print editions behind.

So, noses to the grindstone, children. No supper until you've done your homework.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Issue 19 of Otoliths is now live

The internal & external links are now in place for issue 19, the southern spring 2010 issue of Otoliths. It's a lengthy task, & I'm a bit worn out, so I won't write any witty lines to introduce it as I usually do, just say that looking through it as I put it "physically" together reinforced my opinion that it's another great issue.

There's work by sean burn, dan raphael, Jim Meirose, Joel Chace, Adam Fieled, Paul Siegell, Iain Britton, Jesse Eckerlin, Howie Good, John M. Bennett & Serge Segay, John M. Bennett, Philip Byron Oakes, Scott MacLeod, Ed Baker, Robert Lee Brewer, Caleb Puckett, SJ Fowler, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Changming Yuan, Travis Macdonald, Joe Balaz, Raymond Farr, Andrew Durbin, Carlos Henrickson, RC Miller, Allen Edwin Butt, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Jeff Harrison, Debrah Morkun, Satu Kaikkonen, Satu Kaikkonen & Márton Koppány, Márton Koppány, Felino Soriano, Steven Fraccaro, Toby Fitch, Sean Ulman, Corey Wakeling, Sheila E. Murphy & Jeff Crouch, Sheila E. Murphy, david tomaloff, Charles Freeland, Travis Cebula, David-Baptiste Chirot, Craig Rebele, J. D. Nelson, Louie Crew, Caitlyn Paley, Catherine Vidler, Matthew Ritger, Scott Metz, Michael Gottlieb, Mark Young reviews Michael Gottlieb's Memoir And Essay, Bernie Earley reviews Burt Kimmelman's As If Free,Michael Leong, Nicole Mauro, Anny Ballardini, Jill Jones, Katrinka Moore, Marcia Arrieta, Paul Pfleuger, Jr., Jared Schickling, Kit Kennedy, Steve Gilmartin, Michael Brandonisio, Bob Heman, Louise Landes Levi, and Nico Vassilakis.

There should be something there for everyone, hopefully more than a few somethings. As for me, it's just after midnight on the Tropic of Capricorn, so I'm off to bed.