Good news

I’m pleased to say I’ve had work accepted for publication! After years of procrastination and then a sudden flurry of “Oh sod it, let’s just fire five or six off hither and yon and see what eventuates”, I scored a hit, a palpable hit!

I have that delightful taste of “Well, there’s one success, where’s the next one then?”

Listening: “Diamond Dogs” – David Bowie
Reading: “Selected Works of Shelley”

Tim Hamilton @ The Dan O’Connell

I can’t believe this is approximately 5 weeks away.

What: The Dan O’Connell Poetry featuring Tim Hamilton
Where: The Dan O’Connell Hotel. Cnr. Canning and Princes St., Carlton.
When: 2pm-5pm Saturday 8th September.
Why: I’ll have new stuff, there’s an open stage with some marvellous readers, they have Guinness, it’s easy to get to, it’s really rather a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

It all happens in the front bar, it’s a marvellous atmosphere, oh do say you’ll come dear reader.

Listening: “Fitter Happier” – Radiohead (off the “OK Computer” album)
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Melbourne Poets Union

A pleasant Friday night was spent at the Melbourne Poet’s Union. As well as appearances from Jennifer Compton and Paul Mitchell, the evening saw the launch of Carla de Goede’s “Those Hairy Letters”. This is the ninth chapbook to be released through the MPU’s Chapbook Series.

Kris Hemmensley’s speech about the importance of the chapbook in the world of poetry was stirring enough that I wound up writing another poem, I’ll post that here once it’s been polished a bit.

Technorati tags: events, poetry, melbourne poets union
Reading: “Those Hairy Letters” – Carla de Goede
Listening: “American Without Tears” – Elvis Costello (off the King Of America album)

Overload Festival

This Friday (3rd August) sees the beginning of the 6th Overload Festival, it looks magnificent from here, there will be guests from Belfast (no less than the Belfast Poets) and a slew of local and interstate talent. The Overload Festival website has all the details, dates and destinations available. Go see something while it’s on!

In a rather nice touch, the opening event for the festival is the Overload pub crawl, which I believe will be threading its way around Fitzroy.

Listening: “The Scarlet Tide” – Elvis Costello (off the “The Delivery Man” album)
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Changes on the blog

A touch of bedlam in Law Like Blog-land as I attempt to get the theme working in concert with all the gadgets I’ve been adding. The look isn’t entirely how I want it, but I’ll tinker with that as time allows.

In other news, I think I’ll be attending the Melbourne Poet’s Union gathering this evening. As well as Jennifer Compton and Paul Mitchell putting in an appearance, Carla de Goede will be launching her book.

Also the Overload Festival kicks off next Friday with a Poet’s Pub Crawl. As John Garrett said last Tuesday night at Spinning Room, the Poet’s Season has begun and will continue through to December.

Listening: “Warnings Moving Clockwise” – Do Re Mi
Reading: “Break Blow Burn” – Camille Paglia
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Another Man Done Gone

Quoting from The Age article here : “Sekou Sundiata, the Harlem-born poet, performer, artist, activist and educator who inspired audiences at last year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival, passed away in New York yesterday from heart failure. He was 58.”.

I discovered a site several years ago where you could download mp3s of amazing poets reading their own work. The site is no longer there, but the first person I discovered on it was Sekou Sundiata. Brilliant poet, teller of stories. Lyrical, passionate, his work was spiritual, regardless of actual content. His use of rhythm and cadence was gorgeous.

Then I discovered he’d released an album “Longstoryshort”. The album is one of my favorite albums, musical or otherwise. I was very lucky to catch “51st Dream State”, one of the few performances of any media that I’ve wept from. I wish I’d seen “blessing the boats” (read the article for the story behind that performance).

If you are interested, listen to “The Sound Of Memory” to hear what I’m talking about.

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Mokita reworked…

Thanks to the fine folk who helped me out with Mokita. I’ll withhold posting it at this juncture as I’m submitting this one to a certain ‘zine.

In the meanwhile, I’ll be reading at the memorial gig for Ted Lord which will be held at Spinning Room (@ 8pm, ET’s Hotel, High St, Prahran) tonight.

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Listening to: “Dreadbelly” – Billy Bragg (off the “England, Half English” album)

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Tim Hamilton @ The Dan O’Connell

Hello all,

It seems I have another gig coming up.

What : Tim Hamilton feat. @ The Dan Poets
Where : The Dan O’Connell Hotel, Princes St/Alexandra Pde, Carlton
When : September 8th, 2:00pm

The Dan Poets is an open stage gig that’s been running for approximately 14 years and is hosted by the inimitable Cam Black.

For those of you interested, the open stage gives you five minutes in front of the mic (the feature gets something like twenty, sometimes in two sets sometimes one, feature’s pick)

Mokita…

Wrote this recently though I’d been working on the idea for a while. I have been interested in the idea of concepts that the English language has no matching word for ever since I first read the Neal Stephenson book “Snow Crash”. For those who haven’t read it (or can’t remember), the protagonist muses on the Japanese word, zanshin. The nearest meeting point in English is “emotional intensity” but it’s not quite right.

Mokita has a translation that has a closer meeting point, but English still has no matching word. Mokita describes a situation wherein everyone is aware of a topic but no one will discuss it. It’s not taboo, though a taboo is often the reason for mokita. I think the closest explanation I’ve encountered is a friend telling me of the “White Elephant” in a room that everyone is desperate to ignore.
Anyway, this being one of the reasons I have this blog up and about, feel free to read and critique.

Mokita

There is a word I cannot say.
It is stuck to my tongue
Trapped amongst the silent k’s
and unvoiced vowels that languish
in the hollow spaces of my language

A word is trapped between my teeth.
Like a mouthful of paint,
it stains everything else that I say.
Leaving me desperate
to give it a voice and an exit.

This word is replacing my silences.
It is the worst kind of secret,
one that everyone is keeping from each other.
Barring itself from discussion.
Festering in the dead air it creates.

Tags: poetry, critique, mywork
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Reading: The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
Listening: “Domestic Harmony” by Do Re Mi

What is poetry?

What is poetry?

I have, at different times, wondered about this, thought about it, rolled my eyes on hearing the question and wanted to smack someone for asking same (admittedly, the person in question was drunk and aggressive)

Admittedly, thanks to the inimitable Stephen Fry, star of stage, screen and the talking type wireless, I have an answer that I think I’m happy with.

To quote:

“Poetry is metrical writing”.

It is writing where consideration is given primarily to the weight of each word. It’s relationship with the rest of the piece.

I know that prose writers, be they fiction or non-fiction, take this into consideration. The difference I think is a matter of precendence. If a prose author were to take the care and crafting word by word that a poet does. I expect that many books would never be completed.

An author expects to clear a few thousand words a day, a poet expects to find a few thousand words in their latest book.

Like all attempts at putting a definition to an artform, they are by nature a little liquid. Partially because someone will invariably bring up something that tries to push boundries between one thing and another, or tries to mess up the definitions. Personally, I think they confirm the boundaries. To transgress a boundary, you have to kind of define and accept it’s existence. Otherwise, it’s posturing.

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