Another year, another winter train with a box of black pencils.
Tired, hypnotised by perfect circles stirred into my morning coffee.
Beside a silent stereo the speakers stand,
humming to themselves.
Friday afternoon carhorn shouts “What a magnificent traffic jam!”
Mad at itself, brooding Winter walks about in circles, muttering.
In the shopping mall microclimate, noticing a lack of kigo.
Like everyone else on the Hell Municipal Council road paving crew, my good intentions to work on my current homework project has been subverted by a bunch of other stuff. The most useful of the bunch though was joining ReadWritePoem, an online gathering place for poets.
Amongst the many discussion groups, I rediscovered one whose topic is the American Sentence. The term was coined by Allen Ginsburg and it takes it’s queue from the haiku and the Buddhist Heart Sutra. If I’m not mistaken, the Melbourne poet Myron Lysenko coined the term Rooku with similar intent. (Myron, if you are reading, please correct me if I’m wrong!)
Either way, I’ve joined the American Sentences been inspired by the group founder who tries to write at least one a day (I’ll be attempting the same here and maybe on my Twitter account as well).
On Joining American Sentences group:
The Antipodean wonders if his presence here subverts the form.
Yes, I know. Still, it’s a start.
Reading: “The Last Night Of The Earth Poems” – Charles Bukowski
Listening: “Podgrams (Series 1)” – Stephen Fry
Well, that was a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who came along to the gig.
Ozlem, as expected, was amazing, particularly poised for someone who was performing at her debut headline gig.
I was happy with how my new work came out. I had decided to do one of the new ones in response to something I had heard in the open stage, and it felt a lot better than I thought. Needs a bit of work, perhaps, but certainly held it’s own.
This is mostly for my own recording, but my set list was:
Thirteen Hours Into Summer; Sad Bleak Sky; That’s Chiroptera To You Mr. Lawrence; Supermarket Queue; In Memory Of Boris Pasternak (by Denise Levertov); Observing Denise Levertov Remember Boris Pasternak; Inauguration; In The Absence
Dr. Frankenstein; Dust Revisited; Ballard Days; Eulogy For The Polaroid; Extracts From The Kama Sutra Of Sleep; Go; 21 – The World
Reading: “District & Circle” – Seamus Heaney
Listening: “Save What You Can” – The Triffids
Went to Passionate Tongues last night and had a marvellous old time catching up with people and enjoying the work of the features Ian McBryde and Amelia Walker. The open stage was also a good opportunity to hear the work of poets I know from around the scene, but had yet to hear properly. Ben “I.Q.” Saunders and Jo Mundy spring to mind here.
This was written last week and is currently in the mid-polish state.
Thirteen Hours Into Summer
Melbourne. We are
thirteen hours into summer
and I have not seen the sun.
Have you lost it? Did you look?
The clouds rolling overhead are
too busy, too majestic to help find
what you are looking for.
Did you ask them? Did they respond?
We are running out of time.
We have only ninety days, eleven hours
but you seem unconcerned.
Aren’t you worried? Do you care?
Unemployed shadows are
jammed into cracks and corners.
Wait nervously for their cue
how long their wait? when can they breathe out?
Put your name on the sun, Melbourne,
when you find it. This time put it down
in the first place you would look,
not the last.
Reading: “Penguin Modern Poets 17: Gascoyne, Graham, Raine”
Listening: “Don’t Send Me Onions” – Miles Hunt
Winter rush hour train:
A box of black pencils
reading this poem.
Reading: “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James
Listening: “Change” – Tears For Fears