Friday, 23 September 2011

What's Happening in My Poetry World...

There’s plenty happening in my poetry world at present, but first I wish to share my latest poem, written at the Writers In Townsville Society writing meeting on Wednesday evening, September 21...


Intense desire is handwritten into my eyes.
You know me—a hardboiled blancmange, innocent,
yet a darkling.  Many strange things
squandered through my lips.  Fame?  A
remnant burning.  The needle never pierces.

A refugee from difference, and its echoes, I know
a monk who surfs at Teahupo’o each winter
before the birds from the cold carry him back.
My torso, arms and legs play tennis,
my head jousts with Faust.  Bill Clinton

and my ex-wife sit in history, turbulent air.
I peel a Spanish onion, spatchcock a grouse, in
harmony with both space and time.  Austere
quarrels spasm within small things.  Utopia
is the poem that never ends, immunity from

the vacuum.  Conceal your cards, do not
trespass on my completeness.  The warehouse
is a place for wreaths, but first subvert
the ground, the air.  Feed a Tahitian sailor,
then South America, the moon—anywhere

more or less awkward is possible.  Travel is
an anaesthetic, if you are peripheral.  On
the first day of the eleventh year, I felt
so peripheral I crossed the road.  Saw Neil
Young, caught his pneumonia, we sang in the rain.


Oil your sensitivity.  Imbibe nepenthes.  And
as your veins renew, your soul, your heart.

My Five Faves, Five Least Faves book project-in-progress

If you are visiting this blog for the first time, or if you are a friend returning, and you haven’t sent me your five favourite, and five least favourite, words, I’d love to receive them.

Why?  Well, I’m writing a book, Five Faves, Five Least Faves, which will, when finished, have one hundred dedicated poems, for one hundred people, each who will have sent me those ten words, their five faves and five least faves. 

As at today, I’ve only written twenty-seven poems, with another on the drawing board, so I need another seventy-two people to step up to the plate.  Please take part!  Tell your friends!

I’m now Poet In Residence for Townsville City Libraries

On Thursday, September 1, 2011, I began at Aitkenvale library, a branch of Townsville City Libraries, as Poet In Residence.  Initially, it is for three months, then it will be reviewed, and if deemed a success, I intend to continue.

So what does a Poet In Residence do.

Well, with September nearing its end, so far I’ve helped an inexperienced poet on his self-publishing his verse, including editing several of his poems; and advising him on copyright, and how to market his books.

I’ve also helped a woman who is part of a program where adults read to pre-school age children.  She wished to read more poetry to the kids, and given that she said they like fun rhymes, I was able to suggest a poet she could check out.

Most recently I was approached by a young boy who wanted to show me his poems.  I asked him to come back with his mum, and then I’d be happy to talk again with him.

I will be holding an Enjoying Poetry for Beginners evening on Thursday, November 3, and a Poetry Writing for Beginners evening on Thursday, November 17.  Both sessions will be held at the Aitkenvale library from 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm.  For more information, and bookings, please contact me.

My manuscript A Quadraphonic Whisper will be published in 2012

In early September, I received news that the American small press Virgogray Press ( has accepted my manuscript A Quadraphonic Whisper for publication at some time in 2012.

As you’d expect, I’m chuffed about this.  Most of the poems hadn’t been published before – which is the best way to verify the quality of the work – but I’d felt when I submitted the manuscript in early March that it contained the cream of my poetry from the last several years, and was publishable.

The collection is dedicated to all my friends at Writers In Townsville Society.

The Townsville Bulletin has an article on me

Townsville’s daily newspaper, the Townsville Bulletin, has an article, with a pic, on me, which appears in the Saturday, September 24, 2011 issue, and can be read on the web, I believe.  The website of The Bully, as all we locals call it, is

Monday, September 19 was moving house day for me, and by the time reporter Ian Frazer and photographer Megan Taylor arrived at 3:00 pm, I’d been up for about twelve hours, was comprehensively exhausted, and I’m unsure I uttered anything sensible in the hour they spent with me, which included two guys delivering my new fridge.

I'm in conversation with poet Aimee Norton on October 13

As part of Queensland Writers Week, the Townsville Writers and Publishers Centre is hosting five evenings of writing events from Monday, October 10 through to Friday, October 14.  On the Thursday evening, I will be in conversation with Aimee Norton.  Among the topics covered in a wide-ranging conversation about poetry will be why many people get turned off poetry for life at school; does poetry matter in 2011; will poetry continue to survive; what is so special about poetry as a form of writing, compared to other fiction and non-fiction; how has poetry changed over the years; what prompted Aimee and I to become poets; who and what are we influenced and inspired by; and what does the future hold for us as poets.  Both Aimee and I will read selections from our favourite poets, and our own work.

I'm guest editor for a week for Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure

From Monday, October 17 to Saturday, October 22, the e-journal Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure ( has invited me to be their guest editor.  I will be featuring a week of Townsville writing from my Writers In Townsville Society colleagues Shaun Allen, Kerry Ashwin, Lori Hurst, Martha Landman, and Stephen Ryan, as well as slipping in something of mine.

A thankyou!

A warm, heartfelt thankyou to American novelist and all round sweet soul Dawn DeAnna Wilson for giving me the opportunity to expound on many and varied things Australian in her Aussie August feature on her blog, The Year of Writing Dangerously.  Do check it out:

I will be returning the favour, and giving Dawn a guest spot on my blog, soon...

Other cool blogs

Christine Adler’s Feed All the Animals.

Kerry Ashwin’s Pen to Paper.

Gail Baugniet’s Gail M Baugniet – Author.

Lori Hurst's Writing in the Tropics.

Nikesh Murali's Nikesh Murali the official website.

Darby O’Shea’s Darby O’Shea.