…or I need to spend more time waiting for her to arrive from her travels. On Sunday Nicole, my wife, returned from Sydney after visiting the Sydney Vintage Fair. Being the nervous sort, I usually turn up to collect her from the airport far earlier than is necessary, preferring to be too early than too late.
In this instance, I was two and a half hours too early which then became three when her flight was delayed.
It’s National Poetry Month in the US and Robert Brewer has been attempting a Poem-A-Day challenge, publishing the results on his blog, Poetic Asides. Taking a look at the prompts he’s been posting, and armed with a large amount of time to kill, an internet accessible phone and a notebook, I had a shot at writing some poetry while I waited.
Total poems written to date in 2010:2.
Total poems written in two hours:5.
I can’t vouch for their quality. Yet. It’s five rough drafts, but I don’t recall ever being quite so productive in such a small amount of time. I’ll be posting them as they get a suitable amount of polish to them.
Reading: “Infinite City” – Alex Skovron
Listening: “Ramona Was A Waitress” – Paul Dempsey
It would appear I have been most slack in letting people know I’ll be appearing at the most marvellous Spinning Room!
What: The Spinning Room feat. Tim Hamilton When: 8:00pm, 30th March Where:ET Hotel, High St., Prahran Why: Because the poetry is good! Because I’ll be featuring! Because poetry in Melbourne needs and loves your support!
Dear readers, apologies for taking so long to update, I’ve been flat out between work (1 x 16-hour day < fun) and other engagements.
Speakers Corner, part of the Emerging Writer’s Festival was an amazing amount of fun. I described it to one person as “Big Day Out for poetry”. Five stages, screaming poetry over the noise of passing trams on one stage, doing the next set sounding like Tom Waits, getting to see a bunch of my favorite local poets perform one after the other, it was a big big pile of fun. Hats off to the curators (amongst whom, Sean M. Whelan and Zöe Barron’s names are listed) and thanks to them for inviting me and making it such an awesome gig.
I really wish I had made it to the other gigs but I seem to be surrounded and buried in busy right now. Partially work and family doing it’s thing, other projects and my own writing get squished in there wherever I can fit it too.
In the mean time, here’s something I’ve actually been working on. It’s a response to an Ian McBryde poem called “Reports From The Palace“. McBryde fans out there will be aware he has several poems by that name, this is in response to the one in his book “Equatorial“.
Reports From The Plaza (after Ian McBryde’s Reports From The Palace)
We are what remains after
attrition has come and gone.
Standing at the palace gates
fuelled by inertia, leaderless.
Behind us a trail of ash and cinders,
our last known command, ‘only forward’
It is not known how long this will last.
Faces in the palace windows
bearing the same look in their eyes
as we see in each other’s.
I will be appearing in Speaker’s Corner, an event that is part of the Emerging Writer’s Festival.
It will be held in the Atrium of Federation Square on 24th of May, from 11am to 4pm.
The EWF’s Speakers Corner will be the major free public event for the 2009 Emerging Writers’ festival providing an opportunity for visitors to, and residents of, the City of Melbourne a chance to hear a variety of performance writers, experience and emerging present their works in a free forum. Inspired by the political soap boxing made famous in Hyde Park – London, Speakers Corner will combine spoken word, poetry, monologues, story telling, readings and opinion pieces in an innovative presentation of this work, breaking down the normal performer/ audience divide to a more dynamic blend of street theater and audience browsing.
Five soapboxes (podiums) will be set up within the atrium at Federation Square on the first Sunday of the Emerging Writers’ festival between 11 and 4 within which time the finest of Melbourne’s wordsmiths will take turns presenting their work to the passing public, trying to capture their attention and their imagination with their presentation of ideas, creativity and thoughts through their words. The public will drift between soap boxes either being captured by the performances or moving on to check out the next of the wordsmiths plying their trade.
Over the day up to 40 different writers will get a chance to present their work over five separate soap boxes providing a rare opportunity for these writers to present to new audiences as well as largely increase numbers of audience members they have performed to both outcomes which are core to the mission of the EWF.
So come along and see me and Maxine Clark, Cha-Ya Clancy, Santo Cazzatti, Michelle Dabrowski, Dragonfly, Meg Dunn, Crazy Elf, Julez, Anthony O’Sullivan, Marc Testart perform in public!
Reading: “All Of Us: The Collected Poems of Raymond Carver“ Listening: “Lua” – Amanda Palmer (Bright Eyes cover) Eating: Pumpkin Lasagne
What: The Spinning Room! Hosted by Jon Garrett and Anthony O’Sullivan. Who: Me! Where: ET’s Hotel, 211 High St., Prahran When: 8pm, Tuesday, 14th April How: (…much?) Entry is free, but we do encourage the purchase of raffle tickets as the proceeds, as ever, go to the feature. Besides, the raffle prizes are good! There will be books and wine! Why: Because I have new stuff! Because I have old stuff! Because the open stage is really good! Because the Spinning Room is a fantastic gig!
Reading: “The Yale Anthology of Twentieth Century French Poetry” – edited by Mary Ann Caws Listening: “The Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoes” – Elvis Costello
I had the good fortune to attend the kick off for 2009 of Wordplay, the monthly gig hosted by Geoff Lemon which has now moved to the more spacious surrounds of the Dan O’Connell in Carlton. Given recent sad events it was also turned into a fundraiser for a poet who had suffered and lost in the recent bushfires.
We were entertained by the spiritual and thoughtful Simon Cox, Joelistics (musician and rap artist with TZU) got us moving, we were blown away by the picturesque story telling of Eleanor Jackson and beguiled at the end by the work of Kevin Brophy.
Go check out their website, listen to the mp3s of previous gigs, download a copy of the Wordplay mag that they’ve just launched. It’s all worth your time.
My first poetry feature of the year will be at Passionate Tongues!
What: Passionate Tongues! Hosted by Michael Reynolds.
Who: Me! I will be headlining with Ozlem Baro. This is her first feature (I believe). I have heard her read at Spinning Room, I suspect this won’t be her last. Where: The Brunswick Hotel, 140 Sydney Rd, Brunswick (cnr. Weston Rd.) When: 8pm, Monday, 2nd February How: (…much?) Entry is free, but we do encourage the sale of raffle tickets as the proceeds get split between the features for the evening. Besides, the raffle prizes are good! Why: Because I have new stuff! Because I have old stuff! Because Ozlem is really good! Because The Brunswick Hotel has bad album sleeves adorning their walls and good beer adorning their bar!
Reading: “Just Your Everyday Apocalypse” – Amelia Walker (which I got the last time I was at PT!!) Listening: “Apparitions” – Matthew Good Band
Now I knew of David McLauchlan’s tireless work behind the camera, and his marvellous record of the Melbourne poetry scene that airs on Channel 31 on Thursday nights. For one thing, it’s hard to miss a chap with a proper TV camera asking you to sign release forms after you’ve read.
However, it took a conversation with a colleague at work who saw me on the show (I can’t get Ch. 31 where I live), followed with more talking to fellow poets to discover that not only does the show have a website, but the website has video! He recently put up the Candy Stripes gig that I was part of and you can see it there, along with a bunch of others, some of which include me and a plethora of other magnificent poets.
Well, I had an excellent evening being part of a great performance at the Candy Bar on last Thursday night. Anthony O’Sullivan (of Spinning Room fame) was an excellent host as per usual, presiding over an enthusiastic turnout.
I was grateful to find that I was opening as it meant I would be less stressed and could enjoy the show in its entirety. This was handy as, apart from Josephine, I had seen little to no of my co-stars previously, knowing them only by reputation, and was able to enjoy their work with fresh ears.
If the night made anything clear to me, it was that I really need to learn how to perform without my notes! Apart from seeing some marvellous performances being done by people who were free of having to look at paper every couple of seconds, it felt a lot better being able to concentrate purely on what I was saying without having to read at the same time.
Overload this year produced something of a record for me. Five gigs in one week I think is something of a record in the decade-and-a-bit that I’ve been attending and reading in open stage gigs. By the time Sunday’s closing event rolled around, I was too tired to attend. Hats off the Overload organising committee for bringing in festival number seven!