Friday, August 31, 2007

Meet the Ws

Poetry Pudding, an anthology of poetry for kids, is on sale in bookshops or can be ordered from Reed. Jack Ross has blogged his poem from the book as a teaser. So, here's mine:

Meet the Ws

Auntie V with her nose in the mirror
Uncle M hand standing again
Geeky Will’s put worms on the World Wide Web
And they’re driving the servers insane!

Daddy E on his back as he’s sleeping
Wanda’s in from a night on the town
Her bum’s in such a tight pair of Wranglers
That she just can’t pull them down!

Image from Reed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

lunar eclipse

Last night I stood outside with Rohan and Taran and watched the lunar eclipse. The sky was clear for the first quarter of the eclipse and then began to cloud over. Still, it was clear enough for me to have a good look at the red full eclipsed moon. (I thought of the colour of blood and water.) I didn't stay out to watch the moon come back as it was too cloudy and time for bed.

I'd seen one full eclipse of the moon before in 1981 (or very early 1982) in Ghughli, near Lucknow, in India. I was staying with Latika's family and the put a camp bed up for me on the roof of the house. The village thought I was bit mad to watch an eclipse as the lights of such moons are considered unlucky and many in the village performed a puja for the moon's return. So I'm up on the roof watching the eclipse, which took place around midnight, next to enormous bush of marijuana. Marijuana grew wild all around the village and we'd visited this guy's house in the village (we were there for around a month, maybe more, and I remember visiting, eating, drinking tea, reading was all we did) and I'd noticed this enormous ganga plant outside. The guy thought that, like all westerners, I was a hippy and gave us the bush. We took it back--it would be rude to refuse--to Babaji's (Latika's granddad) and he kept it, as a gift, on the roof of the house.

Before viewing the eclipse yesterday, I attended a very entertaining and informative lecture by Mike Houlahan, arranged by the Wellington Regional Association of the Teachers of English, on 'Dying is an Art: Dying in Shakespeare.'

And, I'm glad to note that Adrian Mole hasn't aged that badly (though it seems dated to me.) I finished reading Rohan 'The secret diary of Adrian Mole' and he had a good laugh at many parts of the book, especially the numerous calamities that befall the dog. It's really quite a brilliant book because Adrian's such a believable character. I guess nowadays he'd have a blog.

Jack Ross has an interesting blog

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cilla McQueen September 10

Image and information from Poetry cafe.

Wednesday's reading

Good reading on Wednesday with a solid turnout. All the poets were interesting: Nelson Wattie told a story about pissing against the Sphinx; Glenn Colquhoun performed from memory four new poems fusing Maori and Celtic mythology in Aeotearoa (and Glenn is a talented performer), Michael O'Leary, who had come to reading straight from his labouring job, recited from memory a Roger McGough poem about a Liverpudlian's Mum botching an Oxford graduation ceremony (I am particularly fond of daft poems) and, top of the bill, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, suffering from a broken wrist in cast caused by an over energetic dog, read a variety of poems including some of his early work.

Today's poem, not that it's related in any way to the above, is Emily Dickinson's Because I Could not Stop for Death.

And I've added a link to Kim Hill's Saturday morning show which you can hear selections from via the web site (for all you expats).

Thinking of changing the template...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I'm off to this tonight...I'm especially looking forward to hearing Alistair Te Ariki Campbell as I've never heard him read. City Art Gallery, Wellington, 7PM.

Wednesday 22, August 2007

Reading One: CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA (plus launch of Alistair Campbell's Just Poetry)
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell
Nelson Wattie
Michael O'Leary
Glenn Colquhoun
MC: Niel Wright

Quark star
s. Could they be?

I've been trying to find the email address of an old friend, Neil Drake, principal, in Gainesville Florida. Hopefully one day he'll google himself and find himself here. I had a lot of fun as a grad student in Florida...

And I'm glad that hurricane has passed over Mexico.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Old homes

Once upon a time Latika and I lived in Florida in Maguire Village. This was all BC (before children.) Everyday, weather permitting, I would swim in this pool.

English online sent me a very detailed list of poetry resources.
And for the first time in ages I popped over to the NZ Herald site. Great design.

Photo from University of Florida, Gainesville.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


leaving the moon

  1. goodbye caroline. aimee mann
  2. intro/stronger than me. amy winehouse
  3. blue moon. big star
  4. out of time. blur
  5. on the way to the club. blur
  6. living proof. cat power
  7. the moon. cat power.
  8. after it all. cat power
  9. the perfect crime #2. the decemberists
  10. fat children. jarvis
  11. inflammatory writ. joanna newsom
  12. you masculine you. lambchop
  13. aftermath. nintin sawhney
  14. 1959. patti smith
  15. spell. patti smith
  16. good fortune. pj harvey
  17. the whores hustle & the hustlers whore. pj harvey
  18. falling up. ricki lee jones

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We had around 30 people for the Poetry Café last night. It was an unexpected treat to hear The Spines again after so many years. I read two recent poems 'Corporate identity' and 'Leaving the moon.'

I told a good friend about the Factory catalogue I'd been reading and he said "Well, Tony Wilson died on Friday.' And indeed he had. So it goes. The Guardian has many obituaries.

I've just finished Allen Curnow's The Bells of St. Bells. I have the sensation reading Curnow that I'm listening to a person think in a very controlled, though associative, way. There's a movement of thought that isn't sensation or 'stream of consciousness' but rather intellectual and also highly personal. Often something in the poems escapes or eludes me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Walk two moons

Last night I finished Sharon Creech's excellent Walk Two Moons which won the Newberry Medal and the Children's Book award in 1995.

The characters in the novel are vivid and original. Phoebe and Salamander, like the reader, aren't quite sure what's happening around them in the adult world. Salamander and her grandparents are brilliant characters: they are both 'American Indian' (Salamander doesn't like 'Native American') and as Southern as Kentucky bourbon. I love the complexity of the novel, the way Creech doesn't settle for simple identities because her characters will not fit into such small boxes. The story and its telling reminded me a little of To Kill A Mockingbird. Oh, and the typography and cover design of the Macmillan edition is a treat.

I've also really enjoyed looking through Matthew Robertson's Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album. Every item of the Factory catalogue is here from the Factory Club poster (FAC1) to Fac 421. And Tony Wilson's brief introduction has all his fair, wit and brevity.

The Guardian tells me Charles Simic has been chosen as the next US poet laureate.

And tomorrow Sam Sampson's at the poetry café.

Images from Amazon books and Chronicle books respectively.

Friday, August 10, 2007

bravado poetry competition

This in from Bravado. Competitions support publications. Go on, have a crack and support Bravado.

4th Bravado International Poetry Competition 2007

Judge: Elizabeth Smither

The closing date is looming – August 31st.

Entry form with rules immediately available from .

Bravado – bold, intelligent and contemporary.

Bravado is funded by Creative New Zealand & Bay Trust.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Latika in Landfall/Sam Sampson next week

The good news is that Latika's short story Sleep has been accepted for the next issue of Landfall.

Sam Sampson is at the Poetry Cafe next week. Great, as I along with the rest of the family now have a bad cough and I hope to be better by then.

Where is Trembleclef?

Go Phoenix!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Go Rover

Have you seen McSwinney's Internet Tendency?
How about The Believer?

PostPunk Pete (who I used to work with back in my information design days) is taking part in the 24 Hour Full Code Press competition.

The blurb: "On Saturday 18 August 2007, teams from Australia and New Zealand will compete to build a fully-operational website for a non-profit organisation in 24 hours. No excuses, no extensions, no budget overruns." Go Pete!

And I'm hoping that Opportunity, the brave little rover that could, will survive the Martian dust storm.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Fall of Hyperion/Sam Sampson

A few days ago I finished Dan Simmons excellent The Fall of Hyperion. This with the first novel Hyperion clocks in at over a 1000 pages (no wonder I have little time for TV). These are wonderful novels but I now learn that there is Endymion and even The Rise of Endymion. Serials are a perennial danger of SF. So I've shifted to poetry and I'm reading Allen Curnow's The Bells of Saint Babel's. I find Curnow a difficult, intriguing poet.

Next Monday I'm back at the Poetry Cafe for Sam Sampson and a crack at the open mike.

And today I have been married for twenty years!

The Poetry Pudding book has arrived and I like Debbie Tipuna's drawing for 'Meet the Ws'. Cheers, Debbie.