Married To Poetry

Ivy Alvarez, fellow poet and blogger, recently made a post titled “I’m engaged!”. Excited, I read on, discovering I’d misconstrued the title of the post, but it left me with the idea of being married to poetry.

(for Ivy Alvarez)

I’m married to Poetry.
We are enjoying the reception
But are too stunned, tired
to remember the nuptials,
Critique and Review, bridesmaids,
are getting drunk, gossiping
loudly about how long
our marriage will last.
On opposite ends of
the bridal table,
Drafts and Editing
swap sly glances.
I don’t approve, but Poetry
has already decided where
the bouquet will be thrown.
A gruff older man,
Open Mike, is giving the
‘father of the bride’ speech.
his early memories of Poetry
make Mike a little teary
In fact, everyone gets a
little emotional
as Poetry and I start
the bridal waltz
We move well, though
Poetry has the better form.
Joining us in pairs,
The crowd dabs their eyes
watching as we whisper
to each other.
We decide what to pack
for the honeymoon.
We complain about
the caterers and the venue.

Reading: “District And Circle” – Seamus Heaney
Listening: “This Year’s Girl” – Elvis Costello

Defragmented Memory

  1. Obsolesence.
  2. The future.
  3. Explosions underwater.
  4. The law of root mean squared.
  5. The number means nothing now.
  6. Live and direct on Network 23.
  7. I don’t buy them these days, I have nothing to play them on.
  8. The smell of burning plastic.
  9. Her room lit by the red LEDs of the AV system.
  10. The television, a window on the winter sky.
  11. So much of him replaced, he’s not certain who he is any more.
  12. It happened so fast, journalists in hotel rooms watched it unfold on Twitter.
  13. Unable to maintain efficiency, the machine was replaced by a human.
  14. The nanomachine consumes itself at the end of its process.
  15. Designed in New York, made in Beijing, worn in Paris, burned in effigy.
  16. Never buying version x.0.
  17. The definition of necessity broadens and births another invention.
  18. Mankind was not built to survive at such speeds.
  19. It turns out that the jetpack is no longer necessary.
  20. Don’t worry, the car knows where you’re going.
  21. Cat videos of the late 20th century.
  22. Regardless of how it looks, remember that there’s no there there.
  23. The earthquake passes beneath the building, rumbling like an underground train.
  24. 5,000 years of someone inventing new questions for old answers.
  25. We have attempted intercourse with everything we have invented.
  26. Can you believe we used to die from that?
  27. Can you believe we killed animals if that happened?
  28. Can you believe we let that go to waste?
  29. The walls don’t have ears but when it rains, they breathe.
  30. Red soil between her toes, she looks up and sees the earth eclipse the sun.
  31. If we could rebuild him, why haven’t we rebuilt ourselves?.
  32. In every city, the concierge addressed him by his birthname.
  33. They knew him by the teethmarks he’d left in an apple they found near the spent shells.
  34. Electrolytic converter was little more than water and salt.
  35. The journals are full of papers saying you shouldn’t be able to do this.
  36. Bounced off a satellite, retweeted, shared, liked and reposted before the answer was known.
  37. Honeycomb structures 4 angstroms wide.
  38. It took four days to reach the the tribe. The first child he saw was wearing a Chelsea shirt.
  39. So small that the eye cannot see it.
  40. The house says “Hello, Dave”. His name is Tom but he likes retro sci-fi.
  41. It took so long to execute his will that he was declared dead three years after his body stopped.
  42. 640K RAM should be enough for an off-the-cuff comment.
  43. The new machine is capable of growing what it needs in situ.
  44. 569 people have read this question and 412 believe this is the correct answer.
  45. We still can’t quite explain how it works and yet we still don’t fall.
  46. Nothing is lost, merely archived.
  47. Like a dead pixel in the sky, the drone focusses its lenses and awaits orders.


“You can’t write poems about trees
when the woods are full of policemen.”
– Bertoldt Brecht.

You can feel their presence, even now.
They lean over us, inspecting, silent
asking questions but answering none.
Some loiter in the distance, indifferent
to their impact on you. They expect to
be ignored, so pretend they aren’t here.
Some exude the authority of age and a
lack of concern for your opinion.
When you leave, the clear daylight and
open space will make you exposed, anxious.
Lone stands can comfort, or warn.
Though you have left the forest
you can feel their presence, even now.

Just a rough draft for now.

Eulogy For The Heart

This is a new poem I read for the first time at my recent feature at La Mama Poetica.

The fifth poem (though not necessarily part 5) of my Eulogies for Dead Technology series.

The plan was simple. Give a spark of life by
an electric muscle twitch. To the body
and from the body, a fistful of blood for
so long as the rhythm can be kept.
Sometimes the beat does not go on and we
try to replicate what is broken. Yet while
we imagine this simple device to be made
of gold or glass or stone;
While we wear them on our sleeves and steal
others, we make new ones from plastic and
titanium and place them like a cuckoo’s egg
in the nest of our ribcage.
Sometimes it’s only the egg that breaks, and
this strange heart is accepted into
the fold but too often, it is treated like
an uninvited guest.
The new beat is one that
the body can’t dance to,
it longs for the simple plan
that failed and was abandoned.

Soundcloud recordings

I recently uploaded recordings of some of my poetry as it was recorded on 3PBS a little while ago. Check out tshamilton @ soundcloud. As a little tech experiment I might make individual posts just to see if I can post them online here too. I also plan to record some poetry as part of the Poetry Foundations stream on Soundcloud too.


Hello once again. The writing is actually going better right now than it was same time last year. Work is flat out and things are afoot personally that keep me busy (the joy of wearing more than one hat).

I’ve found a collection of poetic prompts that I’m slowly working my way through, in the absence of original ideas, I’m into week 2 at the moment (writing when time allows doesn’t allow me to write one poem a day). But my usual annual challenger of getting out 12 poems a year looks like it will be knocked over rather soon. Anyhow, this was from Day 4 of the prompts. Write a ‘containment’ poem. I started with being in a bookstore and went from there.

Here is the place I lost myself
and the reference section
that atlased me back home
Here is the poetry section with
its small and empty shelf telling me
the books aren’t going to write themselves.
Here is the where I fell to pieces
and the architecture guide
that blueprinted me again
Here is the sci-fi shelves who say
this is the future if you please
If not, who are you to the future anyway?
Here are the books written about music
and all the songs about writing.

Reading: “The Michael Palin Diaries: The Python Years”
Listening: “Ramona Was A Waitress” – Paul Dempsey

Clearly my wife needs to travel more…

Because I'm always so well prepared, I bought a pen and notebook at the airport newsagent
New mini-moleskine notebook

…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:

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
“Ramona Was A Waitress” – Paul Dempsey

A Martian Observes A Photographer

Hello and welcome to the first post of the new decade, I hope you had a lovely end-of-year festival and that you Melbournian readers didn’t suffer too horribly in the recent heat.

Thanks to Peter Bakowski and the marvellous poetry course her ran last year, my new year resolution last year to write at least one poem a month ended up somewhere close to 20! Thanks Peter!

So here is the first for this year, a Martian poem.

This species unique for
their Bowie coloured eyes
one for dark, one for light.
Shiny black carapace,
fragility increasing
as they mature and grow.
The human holds her charge
with reverence, stroking
and grooming its arcane
circular plumages.
It’s back pressed to her face
They observe, in ritual,
some distant mock-prey.
It clicks in excitement
with an explosion from
it’s bright eye, it’s dark eye
fluttering in response.
Satisfied, the human
shows the marsupial
nature of this creature;
returning it to a
black spongy pouch
around her neck before
they continue to stalk
more eye-catching quarry.

Reading:The collected poetry of Czeslaw Milosz
Listening:Legions (War)” – Zoë Keating


I’m pleased to announce that Concise Delight have selected three of my poems for publication in their inaugural issue!

Specifically two haiku and a recent rework of one of the first poems I wrote.

Check out the Concise Delight website. Looking forward to ordering a copy or three!

I’m in the same journal as Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. Happy? Pleased? Thrilled? Am I what?