Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chinese silence?

I am in shock. On Wednesday I leave to spend a year in the Peoples Republic of China - I look forwared to it in nearly all respects, except that I hear you can't broadcast a blog from there! I hope this is not so - after all, they now have Google access there, so why block blogs?

I hope it is not so when I get there, but if it is, then I shall be silent here for a year - with a possible month of communications in January for my holidays from teaching when I shall travel.

Standby for more information in coming days.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Quotable Quote

"The best way to find out about poetry, is to read the poem."
Louis Zukovsky

Thursday, July 20, 2006

'The Paris Review' newsletter

THE PARIS REVIEW is pleased to announce that their summer issue, no. 177, is available now—and it's creating quite a stir. You'll see why when you check out what's inside:

* An encounter with a Serbian hit man
* A dispatch from Uganda's front lines
* Peter Carey on the dangers and pleasure of writing novels
* James Tate on finding the ultimate in poetry
* Woody Guthrie’s Coney Island sketchbooks
* Photographic flotsam from New Orleans
* New fiction by Rose Tremain and Daniel Kehlmann
* New poems by Chris Forhan, Debora Greger, and James Tate

Read James Tate on the art of poetry: “The thing that was magic about it was that once you put down one word, you could cross it out. . . . I put down mountain, then I'd go, no—valley. That's better.”


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Word of the Day 'Word of the Day' is a great little (free) service. If you don't already get a Word each day, sign up now.

Send a blank message to:

Poetry Podcasting

Hear ye! Hear ye! Well, I haven't myself, but thought you may like to:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Black Stockings

They say memory is triggered by smell
but just now Rod Stewart sang
The Way You Look Tonight

and I remember how Kay looked
after school in her college uniform
pleated skirt and white blouse

jiving to a new Elvis 45rpm
after practicing The Way You Look
on her mother’s fine piano

black-stockinged legs still
high-kicking in my pulse,
sexagenarian on heat

Sunday, July 16, 2006

'Tinfish' & blue swayed shoes

Tinfish always has interesting content (I haven't seen them all, but the ones I've seen) but the philosophy behind the covers is a constant delight to me. They are done by a group of artists in Hawaii and are made from recycled items - cereal boxes, tarpaper, maps, etc. Each one is a work of art in itself.

They always remind me of an occasion when I was being a pretentious producer of a 'young poets' reading' for the Festival of Perth many decades ago. I suggested they (the y'poets) bring something that influenced them to our next rehearsal - meaning a text by another poet. Greg Osborn, very young at the time but wittier than old-man Andrew, brought along the Coco-Pops packet he had eaten breakfast from that morning :-)

Greg died in a carcrash down south aged forty. A great waste. In memoriam I post a poem by Greg, first published in Sandgropers, published 1973, edited by Dorothy Hewett.

blue swayed shoes

stoned to de bones
got no blues
stoned to de bones
got no blues
got no blues
got no shoes

got a smilin head
that can amuse
me n you
if we move
me n you in a trippin groove
buzzin here
buzzin dere
buzzin into de crazy air
tryn to fuse
tryn to fuse
wid a pair
o blue swayed shoes

stoned to de bones
got no blues
stoned to de bones
got some shoes

cos i
found some dere
up in de air
in de blue hue dere
a pair
a pair
a freakin pair
o dem blue swayed shoes

an i
thenk y sky
for bein dere
up in de air
when i was dere
an when i wasn't

Greg Osborn

Saturday, July 15, 2006


swollen with child
she holds hard the sapling
held hard by its roots

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Great Egret

I must get a camera with a proper zoom on it! We have a beautiful neighbour, the Great Egret, who poses quietly but a long way off. Again, as with the Sacred Ibis, I have to go to another site to show you a photo.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

'The Times They Are A-Changin' Musical

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' - a new Broadway musical
conceived, directed and choreographed by Tharp and
set to the music and lyrics of Dylan.


Call 212-307-4100 or visit

Previews begin September 25th on Broadway.

'The bird with the burned arse'

Threskiornis aethiopica, commonly known as 'the Sacred Ibis' are seen in our neighbourhood wetlands as we walk morning or evening near our home in Bassendean, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia. They are also known as inh adn alhungand in Olkola, which means "the bird with the burned ass" because of the black feathers in its tail. I couldn't get close enough to get a decent shot, so I shall borrow one from

Homage to McManus

(for Patrick, suggested by Roger)

gmail's made
his poems
thin again
that were
once so
ramblin' fat
now he
the cat
at her snore-
as he
holds hands
over his
mornin' cuppa
she has three
bowls to
his one
oh the
power of love

and now
the post
toast -
how strange
the modern

Writers Rates

It's always a difficult thing when some organisation - often strapped for cash - asks a writer how much for a visit or a workshop or editing or somesuch task. Poets especially are too often taken for granted and asked to appear for very low fees or to publish a poem in an anthology or in a small circulation magazine for nothing or very little.

The Australian Society of Authors is a very professional organisation which helps published authors and those working to be published. They have posted their suggested list of chrages and fees for such functions at

Thank you, ASA.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Juniper Exhibition @ Gomboc Gallery

Mixed media
on Belgian linen
122 x 122 cm

Birdsong -
a new exhibition by
at Gomboc Gallery
50 James Road, MIDDLE SWAN
Telephone: + 61 8 9274 3996
Facsimile: +61 8 9274 2665

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Sunday
10.00am to 5.00pm

See great examples from the exhibition at

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Marcel Proust!

'Love is space and time measured by the heart'. Marcel Proust - born July 10th 1871.

More information at

Just back from the dentist ...

Calling for Essays on 'Poets and Philosophers'

This is a last-minute call for essays for a feature tentatively titled
"Poets and Philosophers" which will appear in Fulcrum 5.

The issue is almost ready to go to press, which means we would need to
see the work near-immediately.

Please query by email first if you have something you think may fit.


Philip Nikolayev & Katia Kapovich, eds.

334 Harvard Street, Suite D-2
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
phone 617-864-7874

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Anna Akhmatova - on stage!

Prickly Pear Ensemble



by John Aitken

A powerful play about a great poet struggling against censorship and oppression,

The Ships Pass Quietly presents the life of Anna Akhmatova as well as her work against a backdrop of music by Dmitri Shostakovich
and the atmosphere of old Leningrad.

Image by Crispin Chan

Condemned as “half nun, half harlot” by Russian revolutionaries, the turbulent life of the celebrated poet Anna Akhmatova comes under scrutiny in Western Australian playwright, John Aitken’s new play, The Ships Pass Quietly presented at The Blue Room from July 19.

Akhmatova was one of the greatest Russian lyric poets of the Twentieth Century, but after the revolution she fell out of favour. Her husband was shot and later her son was imprisoned to secure her silence. Her poetry was seen as so subversive that friends would have to memorise her words in the dead of night. Then Akhmatova would burn the evidence.

The Ships Pass Quietly presents the life of Anna Akhmatova as well as her work, against the backdrop of old Leningrad, two world wars and the music of her friend, Dimitri Shostakovich, whose 100th anniversary is celebrated this year. An interesting historical footnote suggests that the world of music owes a great debt to Akhmatova who during the Second World War smuggled the manuscript of Shostakovich’s great 7th Symphony (the Leningrad) in her suitcase.

Performed by Vivienne Glance as Anna Akhmatova,
with Irene Jarzabek, Craig Fong and Ethan Tomas.

Directed by John Aitken.

Preview – Wed 19th July – tickets: $10
Opening Night – Thurs 20th July – then Tues to Sat until August 5th
All performances at 8.00 pm

Tickets - $20 / $15 concessions
Cheap Tuesdays – all tickets $10

Bookings: 9227 7005 or
The Blue Room Theatre
53 James Street, Northbridge.