Monday, October 31, 2011

Delph Whit Friday

This poem was first published in Lancashire Life.
More poems at Tuesday Poem.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eagleton on the new social order

In this social order, then, you can no longer have bohemian rebels or revolutionary avant-gardes because they no longer have anything to blow up. Their top-hatted, frock-coated, easily outraged enemy has evaporated. Instead, the non-normative has become the norm. Nowadays, it is not just anarchists for whom anything goes, but starlets, newspaper editors, stockbrokers and corporation executives. The norm now is money; but since money has absolutely no principles or identity of its own; it is no kind of norm at all. It is utterly promiscuous, and will happily tag along with the highest bidder. It is infinitely adaptive to the most bizarre or extreme of situations, and like the Queen has no opinions of its own about anything.

Terry Eagleton. After Theory.
John Mullan review the book at The Guardian

I'm going to be posting the odd paragraph or two from books I've finished reading. I haven't kept up with my online reviews and this will be a way of keeping a record of what I've at least managed to finish.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Epiphenomenon by Tim Jones


His favoured (rather chilly) position
is to call the city
an epiphenomenon, a temporary thing,
a smudge on the map
soon wiped away.

In Courtenay Place, where smokers
use nicotine against the night,
he rules the pavement tables.
People edge closer to listen.
People edge away.

"All built on cheap oil.
When that runs dry,
you mark my words -"
He falls silent. It's cold. The wind
scatters his embers on the ground.

Later, pigeons
lead the clean-up crew.
A sparrow muscles in.
find space for life between the bricks.

The city trembles, writhes,
grows another clump of cells:
apartments, each a box
like his
to store the future in.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones is a poet and author of both science fiction and literary fiction who was awarded the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2010. Among his recent books are short story collection Transported (Vintage, 2008) and poetry anthology Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand (Interactive Press, 2009), co-edited with Mark Pirie. Voyagers won the “Best Collected Work” category in the 2010 Sir Julius Vogel Awards.

Tim's third poetry collection, Men Briefly Explained, has just been published by Interactive Press, and he is embarking on a book launch tour. For book tour details and more on Men Briefly Explained, see

Tour itinerary

  • Dunedin: Tuesday, 25 October, Circadian Rhythm Café, 72 St Andrew Street, 8pm
  • Christchurch: Wednesday, 26 October, CPIT, Madras Street, 5:30pm
  • Wellington: Thursday, 27 October, Wellington Central Library, 5:30 for 6pm
  • Lower Hutt: Friday, 28 October, Rona Gallery/Bookshop, Eastbourne, 6pm
  • Auckland: Tuesday 1 November, Poetry Live, Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Road, 8pm

I'm looking forward to catching up with Tim at the launch this Thursday at the central library. Come along and hear some great poetry.

More poems at Tuesday Poem.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Google Earth

This poem was published in Landfall 220.

More poems at Tuesday Poem.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jennifer Maiden: Fieldnotes

If you are interested, here are three excellent poem by Jennifer Maiden.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning the t

Learning the t

braided light
from the garden’s abandoned bath
outside the room’s single window
danced like spinning skipping ropes
across the ceiling

I saw those waves of braided light
catch your mirror-work skirt
lying on a carpet covered with pins
left by the room’s previous tenant

in the quiet afternoon
I found the soft Hindi t of your name
while your hands spoke an accent
I have yet to learn and will never master

I’d left Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde on the back porch
the wind took the book over the far mountains

Harvey Molloy

This poem appears in Moonshot and was first published in Blackmail Press 17

More poems at Tuesday Poem.

Thursday, October 06, 2011


This is our garden last week. Last week was spring; today we're winter.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Quand j'entends Minuit . . . fingers crossed

Quand j'entends
Minuit je pense: de plus, encore une fois, juste une fois de plus.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Accidentals

The Accidentals

Here come the accidentals
To change the pitch of the day you’re in
A car crash or a Lotto win
You don’t know chum when they will come
To change the song you planned to strum
The sudden death of friend or kin

Here come the accidentals
Your mother’s relapse on Bombay gin
Dame Fortune and her evil twin
It’s their signature tune you start to hum
A lament for your lost humdrum
Tricks in the wishes from all freed djinn

Harvey Molloy

This is a new poem. You're not really allowed to write rhymes anymore: free verse rules supreme. I wasn't trying to be avant-garde or retro; it just came out that way. You're meant to feel that there's a line missing at the end: 'here come the accidentals.' It's a sort of invisible spoken line. A friend of mine is at her father's funeral this morning and this poem is for her.

More poems at Tuesday Poem.