Friday, July 30, 2010

Poetry Day Poem: Karori morning by H. Molloy

Karori morning


Last night coiled intestinal clouds
obscured Ophiuchus

now the fallen kowhai flowers are scarab beetles
frozen on the lawn's green plain

burnt leaves taint the morning wind

and the hills are alive


with the sound of chainsaws




This poem is from my book Moonshot. Ah, we're not so squeaky clean and green.


I'm just getting ready to go and read poetry in the Hutt Valley. I've had a busy day: I ran a poetry competition at Newlands College for which we gratefully received funding from NZ Booksellers for National Poetry Day. Our judge, Tim Jones, announced the winners and gave prizes for the best senior and junior poems and prizes for the runners up. We had a good crowd at the reading and around sixty entries. Many thanks to all who helped.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tuesday poem: 'It will not gleam' by Tim Upperton


It will not gleam


The fitful flap of sheets pegged on the line

is a kind of sadness, like desultory applause

that starts only to fail, all decrescendo,


for the stand-up comic whose routine

trades in all the ways a man walks into a bar,

all the reasons, the sad old reasons.


In the crazed porcelain of the handbasin,

with its thin green smear of algae that grows

stubborn and small, there’s a dullness.


It will not gleam. A smell of almonds

and camphor, of bitter dust, the dust

that collects on top of books you are reluctant


to open for all the sadness that waits there.

This is what becomes of our human traces,

the sloughed skin, the nameless hair.


Sadness in the static of the radio, wandering

from its station, the voices tiny, overwhelmed;

in the potted geranium, its hopeless


red flare, its unanswered call. The sadness

of punctuation, its hesitations; of correct

grammar, its syntax winding to inevitable


conclusions. The sadness of loss, and most

of all, of the unthinking, ordinary moment

when sadness is forgotten, the good joke


that’s on us, in the end, when the moment slides

unnoticed into elegy, the sheets hanging

now, caught as they are in grey stands of rain.




Tim says:


"I sometimes think all poems are elegy, in one way or another - even the happiest poems celebrate that which will not last, snatch at moments. This poem recognizes this, without, I hope, being maudlin."


Tim's poems and fiction have been published in Agni (US), Bravado, DreamcatcherLandfall, NZ Books, NZ Listener, North & South, Reconfigurations (US), Sport, and Takahe. His poems also featured in Best NZ Poems 2008 and 2009. His first poetry collection, A House on Fire, was published by Steele Roberts in 2009.


Links:


A House on Fire. Published by Steel Roberts.

Tim's poem 'The Starlings' in Best New Zealand Poems 2009.

Tim's poem 'Four Bananas' in Best New Zealand Poems 2008.

'Like smoke' in Reconfigurations.

Five poems by Tim in Agni.

'Proposal' in Sport 23.

'The Colour of Birds' in Turbine 09.


Thanks to Tim for this poem.

More Tuesday poems at Tuesday Poem.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuesday poem: U.P.: up by Jack Ross

U. P.: up

I thought of a story about an Academic
one who hadn’t noticed he was dead
because they never opened up
the windows in his room

He sat there at his desk
book-ended by his filing cabinets
fading patterns on the wall
where his photographs had been

From time to time he’d look up from the pages
of last century’s quarterlies
see that day had shifted into dusk
& the streetlights had come on

The air was stale in there
he didn’t care
no need to tweak and update
the same old lectures now



“ U.P.: Up” – *Ulysses*
I asked you to define it for me once
you couldn’t
not to *my* satisfaction anyway

I wonder if you’ll find it easier
alone there in the dark
pebbles in your pockets
chattering

to anyone who’ll listen?
*Ave atque Vale* then
to your Van Dyke beard
defiant little puku

amused bravado
whatever you deserved it wasn’t this
embarrassed silence these
absurd periphrases this

hermetically-sealed chamber
whose contents must
at the stroke of dawn
turn into dust


Jack Ross



The poem
is included in a novella Jack's publishing later this year (*Kingdom of Alt*, Titus Books).

Jack blogs at The imaginary museum.

There's more information about Jack at the NZ Book Council.

Thanks to Jack for this poem. More Tuesday poems at Tuesday Poem.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Poetry Day postcards



I received some postcards with some great poems by Brian Turner, Bernadette Hall and Michael Harlow: three deserving finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards (even if they are only a measly three of them!). The cards had been sent to me by the organiser of the reading in Hutt Valley where I'll be reading in the evening. These postcards are beautifully designed and blow the socks off any of the previous postcards I've seen. The image above of the point of sale packs for booksellers give you a taste of what they are like. I'd scan them but I don't want to breach copyright. Oh, yea, the kids have gobbled up the broadband again--just when I need it now for work!

An excerpt from Samuel Delany's new work 'Through the valley of the nest of spiders' is published online in the Boston Review.

Poetry reading details. I'll be reading at:

Time: From 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Date: Friday 30th July 2010

Where: At St Marks Wholeness and Wellness Centre, St Marks Church, 28 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt (Over the Road from the Hutt Library)



Image source: NZ Booksellers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Johanna Aitchison


Johanna Aitchison

It's always great to see poets in the news. Here's a good story on the 2010 New Zealand International Poetry Competition winner Johanna Aitchison
. Good one, Johanna!

Image source: Stuff NZ.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reading tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll one of four or five poets reading at Wellington's Museum of City and Sea. Entry is free and the readings will run from 6.00PM-7.30PM. I know I'm reading with Tim Jones. All poems will 'post Moonshot'! There will be light refreshments.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Seasonal by Tim Upperton


Tim Upperton

Seasonal


One morning it’s all over.
Tomato vines nod vaguely
above their sticks. They never

thrive here: if it’s not early
blight it’s late blight, or shield-bug,
the fruit garish and nearly

good – a curate’s clutch of eggs.
Those knotted, speckled beans, brown
like an old man’s fingers. Dig

them all in. Dig in the corn,
that all summer shook and kept
its thin hands in its sleeves. Down

with them, the burst, purple-topped
carrots, the peas’ drunken row,
the blackened, small courgettes sapped

by a single, vast marrow:
the hopelessness of neglect.
What does a vegetable know

of decay’s indifferent fact,
the groundward pull that pulls you?
Oh, everything’s spoiled, wrecked,

the cabbage drilled through and through.
This is the slug’s rank kingdom.
This is the one thing that’s true.

Tim Upperton


Tim says:

"Seasonal" is a poem I wrote after reading Sylvia Plath's "Medallion". It adopts her use of terza rima, a rhyme scheme of interlocking tercets used by Dante in his Inferno. English isn't as rich in rhymes as Italian, and in any case I didn't want the rhyme to obtrude too much, so like Plath I opted for half-rhymes. I also followed her seven-syllable line. I mention these things because, as I concentrated on technique, the poem almost wrote itself. The ending surprised me - I didn't know it until I wrote it that this is where the poem would finish. I like it among my poems for this reason - it's smarter than I am."

Tim's poems and fiction have been published in Agni (US), Bravado, Dreamcatcher (UK), Landfall, NZ Books, NZ Listener, North & South, Reconfigurations (US), Sport, and Takahe. His poems also featured in Best NZ Poems 2008 and 2009. His first poetry collection, A House on Fire, was published by Steele Roberts in 2009.

Links:

A House on Fire. Published by Steel Roberts.

Tim's poem 'The Starlings' in Best New Zealand Poems 2009.

Tim's poem 'Four Bananas' in Best New Zealand Poems 2008.

'Like smoke' in Reconfigurations.

Five poems by Tim in Agni.

'Proposal' in Sport 23.

'The Colour of Birds' in Turbine 09.

Thanks to Tim for this poem.

More Tuesday poems at Tuesday Poem.

Corporate identity

My poem 'Corporate identity' has been chosen by Helen Heath for her Tuesday Poem this week. Thanks Helen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

National Poetry day events online

The full list of National Poetry Day events is up online at NZ Booksellers. It's an impressive list. The poetry competition I've organised at Newlands College judged by Tim Jones is there along with this event where I'll be one of the poets fronting up in the Hutt:

Poetry Day Event

Poetry of the River and the Hills

Would you like to be part of a line up of writers reading their poetry at a special event for Poetry Day? If so I would love to hear from you. The theme of the event will be Poetry of the River and the Hills -Poetry that reflects our natural environment.

My plan for the evening is to begin with local writers reading their poetry, then move on to an open mic time for poets in the audience. There will also be a poetry wall for poetry written on the theme.

Many unique and vibrant voices make up New Zealand Poetry. And much of our poetry is influenced by our environment. One of the aims of Poetry Day is to encourage new and emerging writers and to widen interest in New Zealand writing. The event will be publicised as part of al NZ Poetry day.

If you have already written poetry inspired by the landscape or if you would like to write some and be part of our line up let me know. This could also be an opportunity to have your books on sale. Alternatively come and enjoy the evening and bring some poetry for the open mic or the poetry wall. Write about whatever inspires you – the river, the bush, the harbour.

Time: From 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Date: Friday 30th July 2010

Where: At St Marks Wholeness and Wellness Centre, St Marks Church, 28 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt (Over the Road from the Hutt Library)

Cost: Entry by gold coin. We will have a creative and fun evening. Drinks and cake provided. Poetry books will be on sale and there will be samplers of New Zealand Poetry available.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Offline a little this week

I'll be offline for a week-so no Tuesday poem on Monday. It's good to be offline a little. I'll be writing in a notebook. Love those notebooks.

Back in the 90s ('95, I think) when I just didn't spend half enough time writing because I hadn't figured yet just how much time I had already wasted, I wrote Ziggy '72: A catalogue of lost objects for my friend Mike Harvey and aside from the Asperger book it sure gets quoted a lot. At one time I was getting a lot of mail about it and Mike told me it was getting big hits. Funny, I sent it to an editor of a NZ print journal, who asked me to send him something I'd been writing, and it sat on his desk for over a year whilst other people quoted it in rock books, etc. And it never got published in print. But it still gets quoted-here it appears a couple of months ago in Mark Dery's piece in Religious Dispatches.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New poems in Enamel 2

Enamel 2 arrived in the post this morning. I was delighted to find the edition opening with 'Bus stop' and 'At the Four-headed dog.' I love being at the front! Seeing 'Bus stop' in print has encouraged me not to totally move away from more performance based, monologue poems as I do feel that the poem stands up fine on the page. (God knows, I polished it enough). It's just that these sort of poems are a bit of challenge. You have to ride that pony. Just ride the pony and try not to fall off. You have to see it through and not over think it. Now I have some good holiday reading.

Here are the contributors with links:

me, Jennifer Compton, Craig Cliff, Mariana Isara, Angeline King, Sally Houtman, Reihana MacDonald Robinson, Helen Heath, Tim Jones, Helen Rickerby, Susanna Gendall, Heather Elder, Debbie McCauley, Jenni Dowsett, Iain Britton, Vaughan Rapatahana and Sarah Jane Barnett.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Enamel 2 available

Press release from Emma Barnes

The latest edition of Enamel has now been released. The second edition of the magazine coming out of Wellington has writing from Harvey Molloy, Jennifer Compton, Craig Cliff, Mariana Isara, Angeline King, Sally Houtman, Reihana MacDonald Robinson, Helen Heath, Tim Jones, Helen Rickerby, Susanna Gendall, Heather Elder, Debbie McCauley, Jenni Dowsett, Iain Britton, Vaughan Rapatahana and Sarah Jane Barnett.

It features poetry, short fiction and even some speculative fiction works. If you're interested in purchasing it you can contact the editor Emma Barnes directly, or you can purchase one from Trade Me. Join the Facebook group for updates and the call for submissions for Enamel 3.

Contact Emma at: enamel dot editor at gmail dot com