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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year, folks!



Song—Auld Lang Syne
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Traditional song written down by Robert Burns in 1788
clr gif

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And auld lang syne!

  Chorus.—
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
      For auld lang syne.
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
      For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
  And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
  For auld lang syne.
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
      For auld lang syne.
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
      For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
  And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
  Sin’ auld lang syne.
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
      For auld lang syne.
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
      For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
  Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
  Sin’ auld lang syne.
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
      For auld lang syne.
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
      For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
  And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
  For auld lang syne.
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
      For auld lang syne.
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
      For auld lang syne.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mountain Pines - poem by Robinson Jeffers

In scornful upright loneliness they stand, 
Counting themselves no kin of anything 
Whether of earth or sky. Their gnarled roots cling 
Like wasted fingers of a clutching hand 
In the grim rock. A silent spectral band 
They watch the old sky, but hold no communing 
With aught. Only, when some lone eagle's wing 
Flaps past above their grey and desolate land, 
Or when the wind pants up a rough-hewn glen, 
Bending them down as with an age of thought, 
Or when, 'mid flying clouds that can not dull 
Her constant light, the moon shines silver, then 
They find a soul, and their dim moan is wrought 
Into a singing sad and beautiful.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

haiku

don't get indigestion
from the tofu dregs!
cuckoo

Issa - 1816

.うの花に食傷するな時鳥
u no hana ni shokushô suru na hototogisu


David Gerard: The expression u no hana can mean, literally, "deutzia blossoms." A second meaning is "bean curd refuse." Also called okara, this is the lees by-product of tofu-making. It is called u no hana because the whiteness of the tofu by-product is similar to that of the deutzia flower of early summer. Here, Issa warns the cuckoo to not get sick eating too much of the tofu dregs that he has thrown out. In a related haiku, written earlier in the same month and year (Fifth Month 1816), Issa scatters tofu refuse for the cuckoo to eat.

get a Issa haiku everyday - join at david1gerard@hotmail.com
__._,_.___

Friday, December 27, 2013

Opportunity for Poets

Submission to 46: NO THEME III and
46.1: MELBOURNE now open!


 

NO THEME III guest-edited by Felicity Plunkett
MELBOURNE guest-edited by Michael Farrell
NO THEME III
I am interested in the idea of architecture as a way of capturing the place of a ‘no theme’ issue … amidst Cordite‘s many themed ones. In the architecture of a journal, a themed issue opens a particular window to bring poems in through that filter, and invites particular kinds of art.
A ‘no theme’ issue is an open house, a special and celebratory event where all windows and doors are flung open to allow the flow of creative energies to circulate freely.
I am reminded of Roethke’s line ‘My doors are widely swung’, a darker sort of take, but valid as any in this context. Please submit up to three poems-FP


MELBOURNE
I will be looking for poems that write of Melbourne’s plurality: recollected in a mixture of moods – poems that bring the world of poetry into the city, resulting in poems of the city. Poems that are microcosms – viewing Melbourne as a dot on a map – or elemental in a collection are what I seek, not poems that attempt to sum up the city.
Unpredictable or conceptual inner suburban poems. Visual poems. Concrete poems. Multilingual poems. Poems that intersect with aspects of other Melbourne arts. Poems that reflect the diversity of Melbourne habitats and lives (including non-human beings). Poems of study, work and recreation … of Melbourne dreams.
The city’s not just cafes and laneways, but if you can refresh these #ed-to-death themes, then do it. Think meta-tourist rather than tourist. Meta-critic rather than critic. Mixed forms rather than established. Fake histories, fictional anecdotes.
Talk poems (written down), dialogues (real or imagined), comparative poetics. Poems of varying narration. Conscious poems and just-woke-up-from-an-internet-coma poems.
Melbourne poems. Please submit up to two poems-MF

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Get ready for 2014! Submit for Queensland Poetry Festival

Expressions of Interest for QPF 2014 NOW OPEN



 
Next year Queensland Poetry Festival celebrates 18 years with the three-day festival spoken in one strange word. Lighting up the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts from Friday 29 – Sunday 31 August 2014, QPF promises to be a weekend of poetic spectacular.

And we want to hear from you! The QPF Program Committee seeks proposals from poets and artists from across Australia and around the world interested in being part of the 2014 festival. We are delighted to announce that we are currently inviting from poets, spoken word artists, and performers to submit an 'expression of interest'.
We are looking for submissions that embrace the wide possibilities of poetic expression – page poetry, readings, slam, spoken word, performance, music, ekphrastic poetry, collaborations, installations, cross-platform creations, and more. While all projects must have a relationship to poetic language, we encourage submissions from poets and artists wishing to explore the bounds of poetic performance and expression.

Submissions close Thursday 27 February 2014.

For submission guidelines and forms, visit the QPF website.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ho Ho Ho ... Merry Christmas!


from Andrew, Jeanette and Millie

PEACH COBBLER - poem by Kenneth Wolman

You met me in a diner on Route 9
somewhere up the Taconic,
and I bought you coffee and peach cobbler.
I lusted after you at once
and you knew it. Was I that obvious?

You wiped whipped cream from your mouth
and of course I saw it differently,
dismissive gesture, eradication,
nullity, not cruel rejection
but unmistakable, despising my seed.

Nothing would grow, ever--
only my thoughts of you, in a sad diner
near a traffic circle where a cop
came in on break, drank his coffee, ate
his peach cobbler, and then left.

When I drove off it was early morning
and the sunglare was appalling, bouncing
off the hood and wrapping me in darkness
at 8 AM on the Taconic State Parkway,
listening to talk radio and talking to myself.


Kenneth Wolman

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Christmas Story

My dog Millie was sniffing the rubbish bin beside the IGA carpark and I was impatiently holding the lead after our slow walk around the rain wet block. A Willie Nelson looking bloke in his fifties, a loner with long blonde hair and dusty boots, was tidying up his shopping in a duffle bag.
He looked up and said, ‘G’day.’
I smiled and said, ‘How’s life, mate?’
He stopped packing. ‘Real good,’ he said, ‘ yes, much better now.’ He sounded like he wanted to tell me more but held himself in check.
Silence for a moment while my dog moved to an old carton to sniff on.
‘Yes, I think I know what you mean,’ I said. ‘I knew a bloke in Perth who had some things wrong with him. Each Christmas he and his mates, all loners, would get together and have an orphans’ Christmas.’

He stood straight up from his bag and replied, ‘You know, you’re the first person to mention that. Some years back I came over from Tasmania to the mainland. Never been here before, so I was on my Pat Ma for Chrissie. I rang a mate I hadn’t seen for ‘bout ten years and he said, “What’s ya doin’?” “Nothing,” I said, and he said, “Come and spend Christmas with some of us”. Just like that, that easy: 2000 kilometres away! Well I made it, and we had an orphans’ Christmas – everyone there alone for one reason or another. The food and drink all free, on the house.’ He paused and looked over my shoulder and up the highway. ‘All my troubles went away then, it was the best orphan’s Christmas … ' He focused back on us, ‘Merry Christmas, mate.’ Picked up his bag and headed off.

- Andrew Burke

Saturday, December 21, 2013

BLUES IN PARALLEL - poem by Murray Jennings

Is this how it is for you
when you’re blue?
Skating smoothly on the superficial
Smiling in all the right moments
Saying all the right things as responses
to what is said
Is there enough bread in the pantry?
Have you remembered to put the bin on the verge?
Would you prefer lamb chops or snaggers?
A loved one who has no idea
that you’ve got the inner staggers
and you’re not sure why
so you can’t explain
and you don’t want
to try

Is this how it is for you?


-- Murray Jennings 

Snap: Out of Time

pressing the wrong button
singer and song
disappear

that's life before the dustbin
wrinkle-wrapped body
blood drained

all bets off
the books closed
somehow the birds sing on


- Andrew Burke

3 NEW TITLES RECENTLY RELEASED FROM LITTERARIA PRAGENSIA BOOKS

www.litterariapragensia.com

THE ORGAN-GRINDER'S MONKEY: CULTURE AFTER THE AVANT-GARDE
by LOUIS ARMAND
ISBN 978-80-7308-466-0 (paperback). 266pp.
Publication date: October 2013.
http://litterariapragensia.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/the-organ-grinders-monkey/

“Armand is unafraid to ask the most basic questions, to go beyond the zone in which most cultural discussions operate in order to ask what underlies our capacity for thought, for imaging, for communication. Time and again he takes his reader to the edge of what is thinkable, subjecting familiar concepts to stringent analysis and casting an original light on old debates.”–Derek Attridge

Theorising the “poetic turn” in cultural discourse from the 1950s to the present, The Organ Grinder’s Monkey examines the post-avant-garde condition mapped out in the work of an international roster of artists, writers, philosophers and film-makers, from Neo-Dada to the New Media, including Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Godard, Cy Twombly, Jacques Derrida, Rosalind Krauss, Samuel Beckett, Harold Rosenberg, Clement Greenberg, Alain Badiou, Dusan Makavejev, Marjorie Perloff, Michael Dransfield, Charles Olson, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Veronique Vassiliou, Guy Debord, Joshua Cohen, Pierre Joris, Philippe Sollers, Karen Mac Cormack, Marshall McLuhan, Lukas Tomin, John Kinsella, and Vincent Farnsworth.

ALEPHBET: ESSAYS ON GHOST WRITING, NUTSHELLS & INFINITE SPACE
by DARREN TOFTS
ISBN 978-80-7308-479-0 (paperback) 142pp
Publication date: November 2013
http://litterariapragensia.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/alephbet/

Alephbet is a selection of essays on the uncanny prescience of the writer Jorge Luis Borges for the age of cyberspace and beyond. Darren Tofts explains how in the 1990s he turned his practice as a literary theorist towards media studies of the emergent internet and its remote time-spaces of interaction and presence at a distance. De rigueur at the time, the perception of similarities between the worlds of literature and cyberspace are here inflected with Borges’s profound and inscrutable influence. Looking back to this convergence of one form of textual alchemy with another, Tofts is startled by those moments when Borges’s fiction anticipated ways of understanding the ambience of the computer network, often creeping unknowingly into his writing to announce the other zones of social media that we now take for granted.

TEXT & WORK: THE MENARD CASE
eds. TOMAS KOBLIZEK, PETR KOTATKO & MARTIN POKORNY
ISBN 978-80-7308-483-7 (paperback) 200pp
Publication date: November 2013
http://litterariapragensia.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/work-text/

The influence and reputation of 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,' is easily comparable to the impact of groundbreaking theoretical texts. Numerous philosophers, aestheticians and theorists of literature, music, or visual arts have been induced by this short story by J.L. Borges to reconsider the status of the literary work of art, to rethink the relationship between work and text. The essays collected here move from analyses of the identity of the literary work of art, as it is explicitly established by Borges’s narrator, to arguments that simply employ the Menard case as an opportunity for discussing broader issues of literary studies and the philosophy of literature.

Ashes 2013-14: Australia's golden dawn may be more of a sunset


There is justifiable pride in the Ashes victory but many of Australia's key players are unlikely to be around in a few years' time
Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle
Ryan Harris (left), Mitchell Johnson (centre) and Peter Siddle (right) celebrate Australia's Ashes victory. Only Siddle is under 30. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
In the post-match euphoria of regaining the Ashes in Perth, Ian Healy echoed commentators and enthusiasts around the country. This was the start of a new generation, he said, invoking the 1989 side that won back the Ashes after Australian cricket’s lowest ebb.
There has been not just the inevitable talk of redemption, but of regeneration, even a return to the glory days of world dominance, no matter if this seems a little greedy given how recently those were left behind. Even before this series, captain Michael Clarke has spoken unswervingly of the desire to be the best in the world.
"They're pretty driven, this lot,” said the Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, back in Adelaide, “a really good, driven bunch of players and support staff who want the right goal for Australian cricket and that's not just short term, that's long term.”
This would seem pretty standard from a resurgent team – it’s just that in this case, long term isn’t necessarily a prospect for most of the constituents. Much of this triumphant Ashes side will struggle to be playing in two years’ time, much less five.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'A tiny encounter' by Rachael Wenona Guy

A tiny encounter.

Today while shopping in Savers for a second-hand sports bag – I opened one up to find a perfect brown skink quivering in the corner. I could see its heart beating rapidly, its bright black eyes shining in the darkness of the bag. 
I caught it and with cupped hands made my way out into the bright day and the chaos of Sydney road – the skink clamoured and arched against my closed fingers, its rubbery agility shocking in its vitality and strength. 
I found a garden and opened my hands into the foliage. The skink paused, tipped its tiny head to one side, then launched itself off my hand with the most breathtaking grace and disappeared into the green shadows.

Made my day.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

THE BEST BOOKS OF 2013, PART 1 POSTED BY THE NEW YORKER

Available at http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/12/best-books-of-2013-part-one.html

Heaney's work set for TV - BBC Northern Ireland

Seamus Heaney

/>
S
NOEL MCADAM – 16 DECEMBER 2013 

A NEW translation by Seamus Heaney -- one of his final works -- is to become a major television event in the new year.

The late Nobel laureate had finished translating the work of the medieval Scots poet Robert Henryson before his sudden death in August.
The work makes up the programme which is to be called 'Five Fables'.
They are to be narrated by another, more modern, Scottish legend, Billy Connolly and the music has been composed by Barry Douglas.
State-of-the-art animation has been produced by Flickerpix, based in Holywood, Co Down -- part of the Waddell media group -- which also produced the 'Gerry Anderson On the Air' series for BBC NI.
The project is set to form part of the celebrations planned to mark the 90th anniversary of the BBC in Northern Ireland.
A spokesperson for the BBC in Belfast said no broadcasting date has been finalised yet.
But Mr Johnston told Stormont's culture and arts committee: "...as we approach our 90th anniversary in 2014... we have some really interesting things to come up in that regard.
"One that I will highlight is 'Five Fables', which is a really interesting project. It is from the work of an ancient Scots poet called Henryson.
"It was translated by Seamus Heaney before he tragically died.
"It is voiced by Billy Connolly and animated by Flickerpix.
"It is an amazing example of a very rich cultural programme that I hope will have a very wide appeal."

haiku jazz


Monday, December 16, 2013

Submission to Cordite 46: NO THEME III Now Open!

Submission to Cordite 46: NO THEME III now open!

Poetry for Cordite 46: NO THEME III is guest-edited by
Felicity Plunkett
I am interested in the idea of architecture as a way of capturing the place of a ‘no theme’ issue … amidst Cordite‘s many themed ones. In the architecture of a journal, a themed issue opens a particular window to bring poems in through that filter, and invites particular kinds of art.
A ‘no theme’ issue is an open house, a special and celebratory event where all windows and doors are flung open to allow the flow of creative energies to circulate freely.
I am reminded of Roethke’s line ‘My doors are widely swung’, a darker sort of take, but valid as any in this context.
Felicity Plunkett

Once again, it’s summer in Australia. Bask, disassociate, imbibe, unfetter, defenestrate. Submit once, up to three poems, and all in one document please … but first, please read the submission guidelines.

Expressions of Interest for QPF 2014 NOW OPEN



 
Next year Queensland Poetry Festival celebrates 18 years with the three-day festival spoken in one strange word. Lighting up the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts from Friday 29 – Sunday 31 August 2014, QPF promises to be a weekend of poetic spectacular.

And we want to hear from you! The QPF Program Committee seeks proposals from poets and artists from across Australia and around the world interested in being part of the 2014 festival. We are delighted to announce that we are currently inviting from poets, spoken word artists, and performers to submit an 'expression of interest'.
We are looking for submissions that embrace the wide possibilities of poetic expression – page poetry, readings, slam, spoken word, performance, music, ekphrastic poetry, collaborations, installations, cross-platform creations, and more. While all projects must have a relationship to poetic language, we encourage submissions from poets and artists wishing to explore the bounds of poetic performance and expression.

Submissions close Thursday 27 February 2014.

For submission guidelines and forms, visit the QPF website.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Issa haiku

tomorrow and tomorrow
will they still be?
cherry blossoms

.翌あらばあらばと思ふ桜哉

asu araba araba to omou sakura kana


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lipogram Poems

Today's Word for the Day is LIPOGRAM:\LIP-uh-gram, LAHY-puh-\, noun:
a written work composed of words chosen so as to avoid the use of one or more specific alphabetic characters.

I went off to Wikipedia to find some examples, and was immediately reminded of this contemporary poetry best seller -

  • In Christian Bök's novel (?) Eunoia (2001), each chapter is restricted to a single vowel, missing four of the five vowels. For example the fourth chapter does not contain the letters "A", "E", "I" or "U". A typical sentence from this chapter is "Profs from Oxford show frosh who do post-docs how to gloss works of Wordsworth." Lipogrammatic writing which uses only one vowel has been called univocalic.[1]

There is also a wonderful old poem I hadn't read before:

  • Fate of Nassan, an anonymous poem dating from pre-1870, where each stanza is a lipogrammatic pangram (using every letter of the alphabet except "E").[10]
Bold Nassan quits his caravan,
A hazy mountain grot to scan;
Climbs jaggy rocks to find his way,
Doth tax his sight, but far doth stray.

Not work of man, nor sport of child
Finds Nassan on this mazy wild;
Lax grow his joints, limbs toil in vain—
Poor wight! why didst thou quit that plain?

Vainly for succour Nassan calls;
Know, Zillah, that thy Nassan falls;
But prowling wolf and fox may joy
To quarry on thy Arab boy.

larf

Apparently it's no longer politically correct to direct a joke at any racial or ethnic minority so try this one:

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, an Aussie, a German, a Yank, an Egyptian, a Jap, a Mexican, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Swede, a Finn, an Israeli, a Romanian, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a
 Kiwi, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and a South African went to a night
club. The bouncer said:

"Sorry, I can't let you in without a Thai"

Why write?

I would like to quote not the beginning but the last paragraph of a fine post for Southerly by Kathryn Heyman:

Aristotle wrote of the need to cultivate moral virtues in order to achieve a life well-lived. In Greek philosophy virtue, arete does not so much suggest goodness as excellence.
AristAristotle developed his ‘doctrine of the mean’ to explain how a particular virtue sits half-way between two undesirable extremes. The virtue of courage, for instance, sits somewhere between cowardice (being overwhelmed by fear) and rashness (remaining insensible to fear). And courage, it seems to me, is one of the primary writerly virtues. But finding this mean is far from a mechanical calculation. It requires the practical wisdom, phronesis, we touched on in the previous post. So for the writing life, the virtue of courage is crucial. I’ll reflect in my next post on the other crucial writerly virtues, those that give life. But you might have your own, secret or not-so-secret, list of writing virtues.
...
It's a fine meditation on writing (verb) - read it all at http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2013/12/13/why-write/#comment-7427

Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 WA Premier's Book Awards OPEN NOW

Hello.

The State Library of Western Australia is pleased to inform you that entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Western Australian Premier's Book Awards.

These awards recognise excellence in Australian and Western Australian writing.

The categories are as follows: Children's Books, Digital Narrative, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Scripts, Writing for Young Adults, West Australian History & Western Australian Emerging Writers. All works entered must have been published or produced between 1 January and 31 December 2013.

The closing date for entries in all categories is 5pm (WST) Friday 31 January 2014. The online entry form must be submitted by this time and date.

Copies of the works entered must be received at the address on the entry form no later than 5pm (WST) Friday 7 February 2014. Copies received after this date will not be accepted.

For more information and a link to the online entry form please visit: http://pba.slwa.wa.gov.au/

How to enter

Enter via the online entry form. Please email premiersbookawards@slwa.wa.gov.au for a manual entry form if  required.

All entries must meet the Conditions of Entry. The Conditions for Entry can be found on the awards website: http://pba.slwa.wa.gov.au/

Please direct any queries to:

Telephone: (08)  9427 3151

We look forward to receiving your entry.

Yours sincerely,

Karen de San Miguel
A/Community Awareness Coordinator
Communications & Marketing
State Library of Western Australia

Thursday, December 12, 2013

University of Canberra's Vice-Chancellor's International Poetry Prize

The University of Canberra has established an international poetry prize which celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world, and its ongoing and often seminal importance to world literatures. 

Offered for the first time in 2014, the Prize is now open for entries, with submissions closing 30 May. The winner receives $15,000, with the runner-up taking home $5,000. Four additional poems will be shortlisted. 

Entries must be single poems to a maximum of 50 lines. Entries cost $15 per poem if submitted by 31 January; $20 if submitted between 1 February and 30 May. Student discounts apply. 

For more details, click here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

American Life in Poetry: Column 454 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I once wrote a not-so-very-good poem called “Picking Up After the Dead,” about the putting-in-order we feel compelled to do when a family member has passed on. In this poem Sherod Santos, who lives in Chicago, writes what I wished I could have written.

Out of the World There Passed a Soul

The day of my mother’s funeral I spend clearing out 
her overgrown flower beds, down on my knees 
in the leaf rot, nut shells, tiny grains of sandlot sand 
spilling from the runoff gullies. The hot work was to see 
not feel what had to be done, not to go on asking,
not to wonder anymore. Full from scraps I’d found 
at the back of the refrigerator, her mongrel dog 
lay curled on a stone and watched me work. 
It was Sunday. The telephone rang, then stopped, 
then rang again. By the end of the day, I’d done 
what I could. I swept the walk, put away the tools, 
switched on the indoor safety lamps, and then
(it hardly matters what I think I felt) I closed 
the gate on a house where no one lived anymore.
 Sherod Santos

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Sherod Santos, whose most recent book of poems is The Intricated Soul: New and Selected Poems, W. W. Norton & Co., 2010. Poem reprinted from The Kenyon Review, Vol. XXXIV, no. 4, by permission of Sherod Santos and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.