Thirteen Hours Into Summer

Went to Passionate Tongues last night and had a marvellous old time catching up with people and enjoying the work of the features Ian McBryde and Amelia Walker. The open stage was also a good opportunity to hear the work of poets I know from around the scene, but had yet to hear properly. Ben “I.Q.” Saunders and Jo Mundy spring to mind here.

This was written last week and is currently in the mid-polish state.

Thirteen Hours Into Summer
Melbourne. We are
thirteen hours into summer
and I have not seen the sun.
Have you lost it? Did you look?
The clouds rolling overhead are
too busy, too majestic to help find
what you are looking for.
Did you ask them? Did they respond?
We are running out of time.
We have only ninety days, eleven hours
but you seem unconcerned.
Aren’t you worried? Do you care?
Unemployed shadows are
jammed into cracks and corners.
Wait nervously for their cue
how long their wait? when can they breathe out?
Put your name on the sun, Melbourne,
when you find it. This time put it down
in the first place you would look,
not the last.

Reading:Penguin Modern Poets 17: Gascoyne, Graham, Raine
Listening:Don’t Send Me Onions” – Miles Hunt

Bats, by D. H. Lawrence

I was recently on holiday in Katoomba where I found an anthology of poems called “The Poet’s Voice”. Printed in the 30s and edited by John Garrett and W. H. Auden, it contained, amongst others, the following poem by D. H. Lawrence.

While I rather liked the poem, especially the description of bats as “Swallows with spools of dark thread”, I felt I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to speak up in defence of an animal that I’m rather fond of, having become accustomed to their presence in the parks around Melbourne.

So, here is D. H. Lawrence’s poem, which will be followed in short order by my response.

At evening, sitting on this terrace,
When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise …
When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding …
When under the arches of the Ponte Vecchio
A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
Against the current of obscure Arno …
Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.
A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.
And you think:
“The swallows are flying so late!”
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop …
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.
Never swallows!
The swallows are gone.
At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio …
Changing guard.
Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one’s scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Flying madly.
Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;
Wings like bits of umbrella.
Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Not for me!

Reading:Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James
Listening:Ocean Of You” – The Blackeyed Susans

Short piece

Last night, I dreamt
the sea shaped by hurricanes;
each wave a shark’s tooth.

Actually, dear readers, while I’m enjoying putting this up in the name of new content I’d appreciate not only feedback but grammatical correction if it’s required. I’m not 100% certain that I have it right.

Reading:Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James
Listening:The Point Of It All” – Amanda Palmer

Ballard Days

This sprung out of reading an article about JG Ballard and watching people on Brunswick St.,

Ballard Days

We live in the Ballard days.
We bare our bullet torn flesh,
our steering wheel cracked ribs
but deny the pierced heart of
our internal bleeding.
We bare the radiation burns
as marks of piety
but think nothing of the cancer
and how it quietly spreads within us.
We inure ourselves to the constant
degradation of our bodies
and wake up every morning
a little further behind the 8-ball.
We wake every morning
change the bandages
and recycles the letters
from the doctor saying
“Your results are back. Call me.”

Reading:We Will Disappear” – David Prater
Listening:Money Changes Everything” – The Smiths

Tim @ Spinning Room!

Hello folks, happy easter/purim/oestre. It’s been a quiet month or so here on the poetry front. Much noise and commotion elsewhere though, so I can’t say I haven’t been busy. Far from it. I remember the days where the hilarity of sleep deprivation used to inspire me to write strange and mystical half-ranting poems. Now the hilarity of sleep deprivation brings overtime, bags under my eyes and a zombie like state for a day or two afterwards. So it goes.

I have news however!! I will be featuring at the Spinning Room on April 1st. Oh yeah, I’m well aware of the importance of the date. My set list will be tailored accordingly. Come see the funny.

What: The Spinning Room featuring Tim Hamilton
Where: ET’s Hotel. 211 High St., Prahran
When: 8pm, Tuesday, April 1st 2008.
Why: I’ll have new stuff, old stuff, and just about every silly poem I have in the set list.

Reading: David Prater – We Will Disappear
Listening: Ani Difranco – Wish I May

Another World

A friend of mine has started a really rather interesting blog that I think needs to be seen by many. Go visit Loki at The Centre Cannot Hold.

I mention this, not only because I’m more than happy to laud the work of my friends, but also because I made reference to one of my poems on his site and thought I should log it here for sake of reference.

Another World was written as a meditation on the point that person A can only really transmit a concept of what they are saying to person B. The simple act of saying “blue” generates two different shades of the same colour in the minds of the two people discussing the colour because at a basic level, our experiences are different.

Continue reading Another World

Questions Left Unvoiced

This year seems to have started well. Oh, and happy new thing to all of you!

I went to the Dan O’Connell gig on Saturday, my reading went OK (Culture & Politics, Dr. Frankenstein, Eulogy For The Cassette), Anne & Norman’s set was amazing as per usual and I seem to be having more luck writing than I had last year. One poem, two close to poems and another that I’ve been working on for nearly a year is getting closer to the finish line.

For the last few years I’ve been making a new year’s resolution to write at least one poem a month. Admittedly, not the most grandiose of resolutions, but I figure it’s something I can build upon. So this month I’ve already got two poems, and hopefully a third on the way!

Anyhow, my second work this year is something of a dramatic monologue, all the questions you want to ask in different circumstances but are never quite sure if you should or not. I found it interesting how, while separate thoughts, they tell a story as a whole. Have a look under the cut.
Continue reading Questions Left Unvoiced