Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tinfish submissions - by March 2010

from Susan M Schultz, editor, Tinfish magazine:

I am especially interested in works of innovative translation from Hawai`i and elsewhere in the Pacific, as well as poems about ageing. As Tinfish never has "theme issues," other materials are also welcome.

Remember, we publish experimental work from the Pacific region only. Please feel free to send word around, but encourage prospective authors to read some Tinfishes first.

Our website is at
The blog is at

aloha, Susan

Please send to 47-728 Hui Kelu Street #9, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas in a Zen kind of way ...

"Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes." — Alan Watts

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Birth of 'Kind of Blue'

One night in 1958, [George] Russell sat down with [Miles] Davis at a piano and laid out his theory's possibilities—how to link chords, scales, and melodies in almost unlimited combinations. Miles realized this was a way out of bebop's cul-de-sac. "Man," he told Russell, "if Bird was alive, this would kill him."

Read all about it at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Human Beauty' by Albert Goldbarth + article link

If you write a poem about love ...
the love is a bird,

the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death ...

the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames

you feed to the fire.


Albert Goldbarth
from "The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems 1972-2007," Graywolf Press, 2007.

No poem is tame if it's a good one, Albert Goldbarth would say.

Read the entire poem and an article about the poet at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AVANT-POST - Now archived online

ISBN 80-7308-123-7 (paperback). 300pp.
Published: September 2006. Prague. Litteraria Pragensia Books.
Out of print.

"The question at the heart of these sixteen essays--alternately theoretically demanding, impishly elusive, stylistically impacted, and wholly absorbing--is this: what, in the context of contemporary politico-aesthetic practices, is the avant-garde, and how, if at all, can some version of it continue to exist in an historical moment when ... everything is permitted, hence nothing is any longer possible?" --American Book Review

Avant-Post engages the question of whether or not avant-garde practice remains viable under the prevailing conditions of a whole series of "post-" ideologies, from Post-Modernism and Post-Structuralism, to Post-Historicism, Post-Humanism and Post-Ideology itself.

Edited by Louis Armand. Contributors include: Johanna Drucker, Michael S. Begnal, Lisa Jarnot, Ann Vickery, Christian Bök, Robert Archambeau, Mairead Byrne, R.M. Berry, Trey Strecker, Keston Sutherland, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Robert Sheppard, Bonita Rhoads, Vadim Erent, Laurent Milesi, Esther Milne ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BRIGHT STAR - Opens on Boxing Day

Written and directed by Jane Campion with research from Andrew Motion's biography Keats
Rated PG, 119 minutes
Cinemas everywhere
Opens on Boxing Day

IN the early days of their relationship, the poet John Keats calls his sweetheart, Fanny Brawne, ''minxtress'' - a nickname stemming from the zest she displays in trading insults with Charles Brown, one of Keats's most chauvinistic friends.

And she's pretty forthright with Keats himself. Aware that she is being patronised over her obsession with fashion, she reminds him that her dressmaking skills earn money, which is more than he can say for his poems.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ancient Music by Ezra Pound

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing Goddamm, DAMM.

[Pound's] Note.- This is not folk music, but Dr. Ker writes that the tune is to be found under the Latin words of a very ancient canon.

Text as published in Selected Poems, Faber, mcmlix (paper covered edition), except indents which I can't do on blogger.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sumer is icumen in

Sing cuccu nu! Sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu! Sing cuccu nu!

Sumer is icumen in;
Lhude sing cuccu;
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wde nu.
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth;
Murie sing cuccu.
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu,
Ne swik thu naver nu.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Celebrating Miles Davis's 'Kind of Blue' at Ellington's Jazz Club

Last night I went to the Ellington Jazz Club to hear a tribute night to the classic Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue - 50 years old this year.
Here's a word from their pre-concert advertising: Explosive saxophonist Carl Mackey assembled an all-star line-up to pay tribute to arguably the most definitive album in Jazz. It has been fifty tears since legendary trumpeter Miles Davis recorded Kind Of Blue in 1959 abandoning his earlier forays in hard-bop to explore pure modalism. It is cited by many music critics not only as Davis's best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time, being certified quadruple platinum last year. Miles Davis – trumpet (Ricki Malet), Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone (Carl Mackey), John Coltrane – tenor saxophone (Jamie Oehlers), Wynton Kelly/Bill Evans - piano (Graham Wood), Paul Chambers – bass (Nick Abbey), Jimmy Cobb/Philly Jones – drums (Ben Vanderwal).

(End quote)

They played through the entire tracks for the first set - a generous helping. But I don't want you to think they were mimicking the original solos: they played as them selves, just in the order of the album. For example, the percussion was much more upfront many times, as is the want these days compared to half a century ago. And, by the end of the night (in the second half, they played all the Milestones tracks, their individual originality shone through. The club was absolutely crowded, wall to wall, for the first half, but, mysteriously, a third of the audience left at half time. Well, they missed a cooking last set where the guys seem to leave the reverence behind and play to their own heart's content. I respected the first half, and loved to hear such mellow tracks live, but for me the excitement lay in the second half, the Milestones tracks, where each muso seemed to push themselves more.

It is incredibly good value at Ellington's as well: just $15 at a table, with full table service - and fine coffee. I'll leave the bar assessment to others, but we received all the efficient and smiling service we needed. A great night of live jazz, paying due homage to my alltime favourite jazzman.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quote Ponting Unquote

'Going to Perth, we know it's a wicket that does offer some assistance to the quicks, but the breeze over there generally helps the finger spinners more than the legspinners.'

Ricky Ponting expects Nathan Hauritz to play in the third Test at the WACA against the Windies.

Robert Herrick, Ben Jonson, et al, kvetching with style

The Yiddish verb for complaining, kvetch—literally to squeeze or to crush—has an onomatopoetic quality to my ear. All of those consonant sounds, squashed into a single syllable, surrounding the explosive grunt of the short E sound, to me, like the prolonged insistence of a grievance. And who has not occasionally been a kvetch, the noun—a relentless complainer?
Robert Pinsky writes about the complaining masters at

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Can poetry change the world? John Kinsella says 'Yes!'

"For me, poetry has no point in existing if it’s not to be a prompt or aid to political and ethical change. This is not to say that a poem should be political or ethical instruction, but rather that it might engender a dialogue between the poem itself and the reader / listener, between itself and other poems and texts, and between all of these and a broader public (whatever that might be). I see myself as a poet activist—every time I write a poem, it is an act of resistance to the state, the myriad hierarchies of control, and the human urge to conquer our natural surroundings."

This is just part of an article by Australian poet and eco-activist John Kinsella at

Advice to all writers ...

Thanks for this one, Frank Parker.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Bad sex award goes to Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones

Bad sex judges pay tribute to 'part-genius' of winning novel and hope winner 'takes it in good humour'

The American winner of the Prix Goncourt, Jonathan Littell, has added another feather to his cap. His novel, The Kindly Ones, was tonight announced as the winner of the Literary Review's 2009 bad sex in fiction award.

The Kindly Ones, which tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of one of the executioners, beat off stiff competition from a stellar shortlist that included entries from Philip Roth, John Banville, Paul Theroux and the literary rock star Nick Cave.

The judges paid tribute to the novel's breadth and ambition, calling it "in part, a work of genius".

"However," the citation continued, "a mythologically inspired passage and lines such as 'I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg' clinched the award for The Kindly Ones. We hope he takes it in good humour."

According to Jonathan Beckman at the Literary Review, The Kindly Ones is the first work in translation to win the award, set up by Auberon Waugh in 1993 to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it".

The Kindly Ones was originally written in French, where it was published as Les bienveillantes in 2006, and went on to sell more than 1m copies across the continent and win the Prix Goncourt, France's highest literary honour.

The Goncourt judges were clearly unconcerned by the section which caught the Bad Sex judges' eye, in which Littell draws a comparison between a woman's genitalia and "a Gorgon's head ... a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks".

"If only I could still get hard, I thought," the winning passage continues, "I could use my prick like a stake hardened in the fire, and blind this Polyphemus who made me Nobody. But my cock remained inert, I seemed turned to stone."

According to Beckman, Littell has no plans to attend the award ceremony. Last year's winner was Rachel Johnson for her novel Shire Hell. Previous winners of the famous plaster foot include Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and Sebastian Faulks.

* © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

ROUGH TRADES by Charles Bernstein

I have a few fav poets at present, but for wit and sheer panache, I go to Charles Bernstein. I have his latest books, yes, but I still enjoy dipping into an old favourite, now available to you complete on the net for FREE. Best price -

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Little Creatures (instant poem)

Last night a brown frog
under thin moonlight
in the circle of
a green hose wound up.

Today my wife's sandal
near takes the back half
of a brown gecko off

by the delicatessen
where the workmen buy
pies and flavoured milk.

Now same bee
as yesterday seemingly
walks up to my barefoot
on the hot driveway
saying, Not you again.

Little creatures so
honest in their lives,
so vulnerable in ours

PS: On another site, a friend has suggested knocking off the last verse. Whaddya think?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Call for Submissions

Landscapes, the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language at Edith Cowan University, is accepting submissions for its upcoming issue 'HYDROBOTANICS' on the twin subjects of water and plant life. We are seeking inter-disciplinary academic essays, poetry, and other creative writing, and visual and sound art based on the theme. Although special emphasis is given to issues and perspectives on Western Australian water and plant life, national and international content is encouraged. All academic articles will be peer-reviewed and published online.

The deadline for submission is 18 December 2009 at 4pm. Please email submissions to Glen Phillips, ICLL Director at

For submission guidelines, please visit the ICLL website:

Another Issue of Landscapes will be published later in 2010 and it is not too early to send material that may be suitable for the second issue which will be open to all aspects of landscape including photographic images, visual and sound art and creative writing. There will also be a tribute to the life work of the late Rica Erickson, Western Australian author and naturalist.