Saturday, November 30, 2013

Issa Haiku

on the high priest's
flies making love

Issa - 1825

sôjô no atama no ue ya hae tsurumu

A wonderful juxtaposition of sacred and profane, big and small, serious and silly.

- David Gerard

Friday, November 29, 2013

16 Sylvia Plath Drawings

the pleasure of odds and ends

For more drawings by Sylvia Plath, go to 

from Poetry ::

Plath’s work in the visual arts has recently been much in the public eye. In 2007, Oxford University Press came out with Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual, in which editors Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley show us many of her drawings and paintings and set them in the context of her writings (). Then in 2011, a selection of 44 pen-and-ink drawings, never before shown, were exhibited at the Mayor Gallery in London, and both The Telegraph and Flavorwireposted galleries of images from that exhibition that are still available online. The newest splash of Plath’s art into public view is the portfolio of drawings from the early years of her marriage to Ted Hughes, just released by her daughter Frieda Hughes and accompanied by selections from her letters and diary entries of the time (). The drawings are lovely, precise and hard-edged, very like the crystalline poems in Ariel.

Issa haiku

after the fire--
the fleas throw a wild

Issa - 1827

yake ato ya hokari-hokari to nomi sawagu

This haiku is a slight revision of a haiku that begins with the phrase, "on burnt ground" (yake tsuchi ni). The original poem has the prescript: "Living in the grain barn." On the first day of the Sixth Intercalary Month of 1827, a big fire swept through Issa's village, destroying his house. He and his third wife were forced to move into the grain barn, where he died later that year. The fleas hop with wild abandon through the charred remnants. Ogawa suggests that hokari-hokari is a lengthened form of hoka-hoka, which, in this context, means "warmly and joyfully." Hoka-hoka can also signify "completing a sudden action boldly or reassuringly" or "to act without discretion"; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1481.

- David Gerard

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Proceeds go to the Philippine Red Cross

Songs for the Philippines

Featuring songs by Adele, Lady Gaga, The Beatles, Beyoncé, Eminem, Kings of Leon and many more, this benefit compilation album offers songs of compassion and hope from some of the biggest names in music. Proceeds go to the Philippine Red Cross to aid relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan.
Check It OutGo

iTunes for Mac and Windows
The iTunes Store, iBooks Store and App Store are available only to persons age 13 or older and in Australia or New Zealand. iTunes 11 or later, compatible hardware and software, and Internet access (fees may apply) are required. Multi-Touch and iBooks Author books are only viewable on an iPad or desktop computer with compatible software. Some content has specific hardware or software requirements; please review product information before purchasing. Full terms apply, available at For more information Content prices and availability subject to change.
Copyright © 2013 Apple Pty Ltd. P.O. Box A2629, Sydney South NSW 1235, Australia
All rights reserved  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms and Conditions
iTunes Store Customer Service  •  Download iTunes
Subscribe  •  Unsubscribe

Monday, November 25, 2013

Influences ...

[Ron Padgett, Kenneth Koch, Allen Ginsberg - cover design by Larry Rivers for Paul Cummings' Catchword Papers volume, Making It Up (1994)] 

Poem-A-Day: Ernest Hemingway

by Ernest Hemingway
There are never any suicides in the quarter among people 
one knows 
No successful suicides. 
A Chinese boy kills himself and is dead. 
(they continue to place his mail in the letter rack at the Dome)
A Norwegian boy kills himself and is dead. 
(no one knows where the other Norwegian boy has gone) 
They find a model dead 
alone in bed and very dead. 
(it made almost unbearable trouble for the concierge) 
Sweet oil, the white of eggs, mustard and water, soap suds
and stomach pumps rescue the people one knows. 
Every afternoon the people one knows can be found at the café.

Today's poem is in the public domain. 
About This Poem 
"Montparnasse" was originally published in Hemingway's first published work, Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923). The collection was privately published in a run of 300 copies by Robert McAlmon's "Contact Publishing" in Paris. Many of Hemingway's poems, although not widely known, explore subjects often found in his fiction: sex and desire, war and its aftermath, and suicide.
Poetry by Hemingway

(Bison Books, 1983)

The Mistake that Gave Turkey (the Bird) the Same Name as Turkey (the Nation)

What a great bird! But why is it called a Turkey? 

Gertrude Stein and a companion play

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Robert Adamson Lecture

Komunyakaa poem at Kenyon Review

A Prayer

Yusef Komunyakaa

Great Ooga-Booga, in your golden pavilion
beside the dung heap, please
don’t let me die in a public place.
I still see the man on the café floor
at the airport beneath a canopy
of florescence, somewhere
in the Midwest or back East,
travelers walking around him
& texting on cell phones
while someone shocked him back,
fiddling with dials & buttons
on a miraculous instrument.
Was the memory of a dress in his head?
Great Ooga-Booga, forgive me
for wearing out my tongue before
I said your praises. No, I haven’t
mastered the didgeradoo.
I don’t have an epic as a bribe.
My words are simple. Please
don’t let me die gazing up at a streetlight
or the Grand Central facades.
Let me go to my fishing hole
an hour before the sun sinks
into the deep woods, or let me swing
on the front porch, higher & higher
till I’m walking on the ceiling.
To read more poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, purchase the issue.

Friday, November 22, 2013

After 500 Years, Leonardo da Vinci’s Piano Machine Comes Alive

The reconstructed Leonardo da Vinci viola organista (via
The reconstructed Leonardo da Vinci viola organista (via
Leonardo da Vinci had a lot of wild schemes for inventions, like a robot knight and elaborate flying machines that gave humans wings, but one he never got to experience himself has finally been realized by a crafty Polish pianist.
Da Vincis design for the viola organista (via Wikimedia)
Leonardo’s design for the viola organista (viaWikimedia)
Slawomir Zubrzycki spent from 2009 to 2012 reconstructing Leonardo’s viola organista based on an illustration in theCodex Atlanticus, a 12-volume collection of the artist and inventor’s ideas on topics that range from botany to weapons to music. As the Sydney Morning Herald reported, the instrument appears much like a piano, but its mechanics are quite different, which is why you might look twice if you see someone playing what seems like a standard piano while the sounds are that of a stringed instrument.
Leonardo himself was a musician, apparently able to play anything he picked up as well as compose music — as if being a genius artist, inventor, and mathematician weren’t enough to likely give all of his Italian Renaissance compatriots an inferiority complex. As Zubrzycki interpreted from Leonardo’s 15th-century design, the sound of the viola organista comes from the musician powering a pedal located under the keys that causes four wheels inside to turn. These wheels are coated in hair from a horse’s tail, just like many string instrument bows, so that when you press the keys, one of 61 steel rings hits the cushioned wheels, rather than the hard contact of a hammer against a steel string like in an ordinary piano.
The sound, which you can hear below in a video of Zubrzycki’s October 21 concert in Krakow, is vaguely like a cello dreaming of being a harpsichord, with the sustained tones of a string instrument combined with the quick change notes of a piano. People seem to regularly take joy in bringing to life some of Leonardo’s most fantastic creations, such as a mechanical lion and the massive Colossus horse, and although the artist himself never got to hear his viola organista, he surely would have loved the challenges to the perception of what a piano can be and sound like. Now maybe we can have that Ideal City?
There are some other images over at Colossal.
From Hyperallergic HERE

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tom Collins Poetry Competition 2013, entries due 15th of December!

Due 15th of December, Tom Collins Poetry Competition 2013 entries! Get your in ASAP!
Find the entry form here, or find all FAWWA competitions at
Further details below:

To all you bards, of whatever stamp or persuasion:



$1000 (one poet)
$400 (one poet)
or $150 (four different poets)

four poets are also commended with a certificate

Send typed entries to:
Tom Collins Poetry Prize
PO Box 6180
Swanbourne WA 6910

haiku -Myron Lysenko

teaching haiku –
I listen with interest
to what I’m saying

not trying to be funny they laugh anyway

dementia –
will my sister tell me when
my mother dies?

river ripples
tonight I must apologise
for being a sook

traffic noises
I still regret my anger 
From last week’s argument

"In last night's Creative Writing class we wrote haiku which were a combination of the objective and the subjective. It made the haiku and senryu we wrote more personal, more emotional."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


thanks, Nalda Searles

Wordplay: The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational

 The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

 Here are the winners:

 1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

 2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

 3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

 4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

 5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

 6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

 7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

 8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

 9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

 10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

 11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

 12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

 13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

 14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

 15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

 16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

 17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

 The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

 And the winners are:

 1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

 2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

 3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

 4. esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

 5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

 6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

 7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

 8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

 9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

 10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

 11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

 12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

 13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

 14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

 15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

 16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fred Williams and Weary Dunlop at Benalla

Fred Williams The Pilbara

Walking ramp to Benalla Art Gallery

Yesterday we took a comfortable country drive to Benalla, about an hour's drive away from Corowa. The town itself was graciously set out with a large lake in the middle and an enormous botanical gardens. But this was all extra to the main reason for our journey - an exhibition of paintings by FRED WILLIAMS from the National Art Gallery of Victoria. I've seen Williams paintings before in the National Gallery and the WA Art Gallery so I have been a long time fan. It all started when there were some Fred Williams gouache paintings in an Overland journal I was published in many decades ago. These paintings were even more special because they centred about the Pilbara, a vibrant part of the mining landscape in Western Australia, a state where I have spent the majority of my life. As expected, it was a rich, vibrant collection of paintings celebrating the amazing colour of the ancient earth, and a few showing where man has cut into the surface for his own greedy purposes.

In a second gallery at Benalla there was a mixture of drawing techniques contributed by the Polish Art Exhibition. I didn't catch the full story, but apparently it is an annual competition where artists from around the world roll up their drawings and send them unframed to this competition. This exhibition had artists from Hungary, Slovenia and Japan, plus a few others. From abstracts to super realist work, the collection shows how drawing is used as a contemporary technique in 2013.

'Weary' Dunlop memorial, Benalla

In the front entrance to the Benalla Botanical Gardens there stands a dramatic statue of war hero Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop helping fellow prisoners in a POW camp. It is a truly touching memorial, from the detail of his boots to the prisoner attending to the fallen soldier's leg wound.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Free Poetry Events TOMORROW

Free poetry reading at Federation Square with Rose Lucas
Saturday 16 November, 2.00 – 4.00pm

The Atrium (near the Flinders Street entrance), Fed Square, Melbourne

Free event, for more information email:
Peter Rose & Kristin Henry at Tales Out Loud: Poetry Edition
Saturday 16 November, 2.00 – 4.00pm

Malvern Library, 1255 High Street, Malvern VIC

Free event, bookings essential:
Meet the author: Sally-Ann Jones at The Grove Library
Wednesday 20 November, 6.30 – 7.30pm
The Grove Library, 1 Leake St, Peppermint Grove WA
Free event

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Black Inc. Warehouse Sale

They’re having a Warehouse Sale – come along and pick up some bargains.
Black Inc. books, all priced at $5
Friday 15th November, 4.00pm-6.00pm
Saturday 16th November, 9.00am-2.00pm
Black Inc. Office
37-39 Langridge St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Cash and credit cards/Eftpos accepted

A Heaney event and 2014 Buckley Poetry Prize

Commemorating Seamus Heaney
The Institute of Advanced Studies at The University of Western Australia invites you to attend a special evening to commemorate the life of Seamus Heaney, once described as "the greatest poet of our age". UWA literary scholars Winthrop Professor Philip Mead, Professor Andrew Lynch and Dr Duc Dau will give short talks about the place of Heaney’s poetry in their academic and personal lives. Audience members will then be invited to recite a short poem or excerpt and, if they so wish, describe its significance to them. The celebration will conclude with light refreshments. Monday 25 November, 6pm-7.30pm, at the IAS, Irwin Street Building, UWA (Parking: P18 &20 off Fairway). Free event but places are limited and RSVP is essential via email.

2014 Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize
The 2014 Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize is now open to Australian poets. The approximately AUD$10,000 prize will facilitate a trip to Ireland. Applications must be received by close of business Friday 29 November. For guidelines, and to apply, click here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Australian Poets on Display

Some poems by myself and many poems by other contemporary Australian poets up now for your enjoyment at

Thank you, Robbie Coburn, for such great archival work.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

George Szirtes SINGULAR

All our singular
voices were joined in the choir
of the vanishing.

We were not ourselves.
We were a single body
and so we vanished.

It was a single
terror, indivisible.
We could not know it.

Out there the planets
were counting themselves. Their eyes
were looking away.

The terror out there
was happening inside us

We had dreamt it all
before. It was quite common.
It was what joined us.

We were united
in our singularity,
our dreams and dying.

We dream all the time
of this commonality,
the wild singular.

So when the water
rose and the wind gathered
we knew it as dream.

The wind was wailing
with us. I too was wailing
with others as choir.

So things vanish: we,
our invaluable dreams,
our terrors, our lot.

We can't grieve ourselves.
The water and wind will have
to do it for us.

We are the dreaming
congregation. Our voices
are yours now. You grieve.

- George Szirtes

C'mon Aussie, C'mon, c'mon ... Summer is a cumen in

George Bailey at the Gabba

The Aussie cricket squad for the Tests against England:
Squad Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin (wk, vice-capt), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Australian Haiku News: paper wasp anniversary

Jacqui Murray & Katherine Samuelowicz

Friday, November 08, 2013

the elegant gentleman's guide to knife fighting - animations

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Buy fresh! Buy local!

10 international corporations own and control too much. 
Buy fresh! Buy local!

New BIG Poetry Prize from University of Canberra


VC poetry prize banner


The University of Canberra has established an international poetry prize. On behalf of the university, this is administered by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI), part of the Donald Horne Institute's Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design.
The prize celebrates the enduring significance of poetry to cultures everywhere in the world, and its ongoing and often seminal importance to world literatures. It marks the University of Canberra’s commitment to creativity and imagination in all that it does, and builds on the work of the International Poetry Studies Institute in identifying poetry as a highly resilient and sophisticated human activity. It also builds on the activities of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, which conducts wide-ranging research into human creativity and culture.
The University of Canberra’s Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize will be offered for the first time in 2014 and entries may be submitted from 1 October 2013 until 30 May 2014 for this prize. The prize will be announced on 30 September 2014 and prize winners will be notified prior to that.


  • The winner will receive AUD$15,000
  • The runner-up (second-placed poem) will receive AUD$5,000
  • Four additional poems will be short-listed
  • All poems entered for the prize will be single poems that have a maximum length of 50 lines (see the Conditions of Entry for further details)
  • Each entry of a poem will cost AUD$15 if submitted by 31 January 2014 and AUD$20 if submitted between 1 February and 30 May 2014. There are discounts for students.
  • Full Conditions of Entry
  • How to Enter page

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Zohab Zee Khan's photo.

Tomorrow/Tuesday at 19:30

It's OutSpoken time again and team DnZ bring you four of Australia’s best poets. There will be full sets from our seasoned world travelled features.


Doors open 7:30pm
Project 107 Redfern Street, Sydney