Friday, June 30, 2006

Eunoia - notice something about that word?

I like games in language - when they lead to something. Here's a brilliant book of gamed writerature by Christian Bok entitled Eunioa: the smallest word in English with all the vowels present. He made a project from it. Take a look at

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Next stop - Linfen

From August, my wife and I will be travelling to Linfen in China to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter. This is a satellite photo of the 'village' (600 000 people!.

'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.'

I've loved that sentence for some time. It's a hard relationship to be in love with language - she keeps changing and wearing different masks to the ball.
The following schematic is easily followed and is courtesy of Wikepedia, as is the following text:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Approximate X-Bar representation of "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." See Phrase structure rules."Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in 1957 as an example of a sentence whose grammar is correct but whose meaning is nonsensical. It was used to show inadequacy of the then-popular probabilistic models of grammar, and the need for more structured models.

The full passage says:

(1) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
(2) Furiously sleep ideas green colorless.
It is fair to assume that neither sentence (1) nor (2) (nor indeed any part of these sentences) had ever occurred in an English discourse. Hence, in any statistical model for grammaticalness, these sentences will be ruled out on identical grounds as equally `remote' from English. Yet (1), though nonsensical, is grammatical, while (2) is not.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Poet's Interview to View

Mairead Byrne has a keen sense of humour :-) Check it out at

Walking On Water - July Session

Poetry Performance Prose

This month we have a bush poet, a specialist in desire and a guitar

Our new first-floor city venue was a great success last month. The next WOW
is on this coming Monday.

Guest performers:

Kel Watkins
Kel reports in from the wheatbelt town of Elsewhere, where the weather is
always fine. His blend of tall stories, stretched truths, outlandish
imagery (dogs rounding up crops of wheat???) have been enjoyed by folk for
over 25 years. His yarns are tailor-made for mature audiences who just love
a good laugh.

Christina Houen
Christina¹s fascination with desire has been the inspiration for her Masters
degree in Creative Arts, her PhD studies and all her other writing. In 2003,
she won the Hal Porter prize for autobiography. Christina will be sharing
some of her prose work with us.

Roy Abbott
Roy is a skilled solo guitarist and played with the Mucky Duck Bush Band for
25 years. He is currently pursuing a solo career and will be singing songs
from his upcoming CD, "Pushing the Pedals."

Open Stage
You know the drill - stick your name on the list and take the stage for a
maximum of five minutes. Poetry, prose and music all welcome.

104B The laneway, Off Murray Street in Perth City.
We're an 8-minute walk from the city rail station, or you can get parking
down on Wellington Street.

Other stuff
Please bring your own drinks. Nibbles are also welcome for sharing. We
supply tea and coffee. Entrance is $5 wages, $3 unwaged.

Any more details, email jane cornes

PoetrySz - demystifying mental illness

Issue 20 of PoetrySz: demystifying mental illness is
now online at . It
features work by Japanese cyberpunk writer Kenji
Siratori, Australian poet Christopher Kelen, English
poet Christopher Barnes, and New Zealand expat
singer-songwriter/poet Ben Kemp.
Submissions for subsequent issues are welcome. Send
4-6 poems, along with a short bio, in the body of your
email to .

The Emigrant Irish, by Eavan Boland

Like oil lamps, we put them out the back —
of our houses, of our minds. We had lights
better than, newer than and then
a time came, this time and now
we need them. Their dread, makeshift example:
they would have thrived on our necessities.
What they survived we could not even live.
By their lights now it is time to
imagine how they stood there, what they stood with,
that their possessions may become our power:
Cardboard. Iron. Their hardships parceled in them.
Patience. Fortitude. Long-suffering
in the bruise-coloured dusk of the New World.
And all the old songs. And nothing to lose.

Eavan Boland is Irish, and the Bella Mabury and Eloise Mabury Knapp Professor in Humanities at Stanford University where she directs the creative writing program. She has published nine volumes of poetry.

Just a thought

"Leisure is necessary to any form of civilization
higher than that of ants, apes, Kipling and his
cousin Stan Baldwin."
--Ezra Pound

Friday, June 23, 2006

How To Read Poetry To An Audience

This site has some practical tips on how to read poetry to an audience. It is mainly aimed at poets reading their own material, but I am certain performers, actors and teachers could also benefit from this text:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


My sister, Frankie Macmillan, has lived out of Australia most of her adult life, and now lives in Berkshire, with four dogs and this wonderful bird, Horatio.
This splendid character lives in a large silver cage in her spacious kitchen. He talks, dances and hangs upside down from his roof at the slightest provocation.

A Great Romantic Shot

My son Charlie and his bride Becky
shot at Auckland Castle
in May 2006
by Alan Mason

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lee Marvin Readings in Adelaide

3rd Reading June 19

Nicholas Jose
Teri Hoskin
Andrea Jorss


at Gallery de la Catessen

9 Anster St., Adelaide

(off Waymouth at the King William end, near FAD nightclub)

7.30 for 8 PM start

Price $5

All aboard 'The Drunken Boat'!

The Spring/Summer issue of The Drunken Boat is now
online at including:

An interview with Australian poet, Jill Jones,
including her sonnet series "Traverse" and a
collaborative project with the photographer Annette
Willis "Breath, the hours."

A feature of modern Chinese poetry, edited by Inara
Cedrins with an introduction by Michael Day, a
chapbook of newly translated poems by Xi Chuan and an
essay on Xi Chuan's poetry by Maghiel van Crevel, and
a chapbook of poems in the manner of Men Jaio by
Christopher Kelen, as well as work from :

Zhai Yongming
Chen Dongdong
Yu Jian
Sun Wenbo
Ouyang Jianghe
Wang Xiaoni
Yin Lichuan
Yang Qian
Li Sen
Li Nan
Han Dong
Wang Jiaxin

In Tibet


Minorities in China

Yidam Tsering
Luruo Diji
Jimu Langge

Chinese poets abroad

Bei Dao
Ha Jin
Xue Di
Stephen Shu-Ning Liu
Arthur Sze
Timothy Liu

in Taiwan

Chen Kehua
Chen Li
Hsia YĆ¼
Hung Hung

in Macao

Christopher Kelen
Papa Osmubal
Yao Feng
Jenny Oliveros Lao
Agnes Lam Iok Fong
Agnes Vong Lai Ieng

in Hong Kong

P.K. Leung
Louise Shew Wan Ho
Alan Jefferies
Timothy Kaiser

in Singapore

Felix Cheong Seng Fei
Gilbert Koh
Yong Shu Hoong
Alvin Pang
Robert Yeo
Eddie Tay
Toh Hsien Min
Cyril Wong
Arthur Yap

Translated by Michael Day, Maghiel van Crevel, d
dayton, Huichun (Amy) Liang, Steven Schroeder, Yangdon
Dhondup, Simon Patton, Alison Mara Friedman, Wang Hao,
Andrea Lingenfelter, Tsui-hua Huang, Mike O'Conner,
Inara Cedrins, and Christine Tsui-hua Huang.

Poems from Greece by Adrianne Kalfopoulou, a chapbook
"Anachronistic Night's Dream" by Gail Wronsky with her
"One Woman's Jonesing for Wonder," Poems by Dzvinia
with an introduction, Poems from _The Artist as Alice:
From a Photographer's Life_ with an introduction "On
Writing The Artist as Alice: From a Photographer's


Rebecca Seiferle

Friday, June 16, 2006

John Olsen's painting

John Olsen's 'Self-Portrait on an Afternoon Walk - from

Sharon Brogan and I trading Snaps

Sharon Brogan wrote the following poem as a 'snap' for poetryetc last Wednesday:

I am stubborn, sulky
and sullen, caught
in a thorned net
of dreams --

too many children
in need of rescue,
too many villians
smug, and famously

unpunished. I am
a glass jar, filled
with judgement
and despair --

even as a rainbow
circles the sun;
even as the aspen
sings and shimmers

in the wind. I refuse
to take pleasure.
I will not listen.
I will not see.

~ Sharon Bragon =^..^=

To which I replied:

I am open to
suggestion, free
in a life of
comfort and choices,

my children so
secure and active,
villains locked away
in the jug, silenced

forever. I am
a strong breeze, filling
sails of laughter
and life --

a rainbow around
the sun, a white gum
by the river
as it shimmers

in response. I delight
in taking pleasure.
I hear the city
whispering and see
the ocean lapping.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cy Twombly 'Wilder Shores of Love'

I found this great painting by Cy Twombly as the result of some research I was doing into Ken Bolton's new book, 'At The Flash & At The Baci' (Wakefield Press, 2006). Ken is attached in some way with the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, and is very knowledgeable about art - for he is an art historian, I believe.

This painting accessed from

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fuel Prices

Words on the Move

Peter Howard is an English poet I've known via email and the Net for sometime. Over at Frank's Place (an internet site full of contemporary poetry by various bods) I came across this 'active' poem by Peter - see what you think:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Parody

From the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, John F. Bramfeld's prayer parody (January 12, 1995):

Oh great, but not necessarily superior, being who dwells beyond this plane of existence and who is accessible only through prayer, meditation or crystals, we salute you without thereby acknowledging that you are entitled to greater respect than that accorded any other endangered species.

We hope to pass through your place of existence at some point on our psychic journey to the same exalted status as marine mammals or even snail darters.

Moreover, to the extent your design for the universe coincides with the U.S. Constitution and includes low-cost access to cable, we ask you to provide us our minimum daily requirement of essential vitamins and nutrients consistent with FDA guidelines, and when judging us be duly mindful of our status as victim, which provides full justification for what might appear on superficial examination to be felonious. In the same vein, we will endeavor to excuse and forgive those who have transgressed against us, with the possible exception of our parents, teachers, policemen and clergy about whom we have just resurrected disturbing memories. We ask all of this in the name of your prophet ___________. (Here on alternating weeks substitute names drawn from the consensus of the class. Some suggestions for early in the year: L. Ron Hubbard, Ayatollah Khomeini, Patricia Ireland, Mike Wallace.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ruby Street

Ruby Street

Poetry For Sale

The following pamphlets are now available from the Phantom Rooster Press:

Patrick McManus: CEMENT AND WATER (illustrated by Judy Prince)

Judy Prince: POEMS (illustrated by the author)

£3 (including UK p&P)

Overseas orders, please contact the publisher to arrange terms.

Cheques to:

Robin Hamilton,
69 Rydal Ave.,
LE11 3RU

PS: For those in the know, there are a number of Vile Boris poems included, plus one by Judy to the famous feline. Drawings are delightful, too.

Friday, June 02, 2006

More photos of Live Poets

Robin Hamilton, Andrew Burke, Patrick McManus

Roger Day, who organised us all to be a part of May's CB1 reading in Cambridge. (With Helen in the background.)

Robin Hamilton, poet and publisher (& bon vivant)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

P'etcers in Cambridge

Myself (standing) Patrick McManus, Janet, and Robin Hamilton at CB1 23 May 2006

Robin Hamilton (in the denim jacket), (maybe) Roger Day (in the darkness), myself, Patrick and Janet at CB1 same night