Possets on Poetica

Just re-posting this information, as I now have a definite date for the broadcast:

Another poem of mine will be read out on ABC Radio National’s Poetica program on the Saturday after next (November 9, 2013).  More information about the broadcast is available here. I am feeling very lucky as this is the second time this year I have been Poetica-ed (read about the first time here).

Posset

Posset

This time my poem, called ‘Possets’ is actually two linked haiku, so it should take up all of 15 seconds of airtime.  It appeared earlier this year in an anthology called Women’s Work, and Poetica will be featuring the book on their program. (You may remember my post about the Women’s Work anthology launch in March 2013. I must give a shout out to Moya Pacey (the poet who Freudian-slipped the word ‘shagging’ into her poem ‘Smalls’ when reading it out at the launch)  as her poem will also be featuring on the Poetica program. Unfortunately without the Freudian slip this time…)

As for my own tiny little poem, it explores two sides of being a modern mother – working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the home – and shows that neither is an unmitigated festival of fabulousness. This is (I think) why it was originally selected for the ‘Women’s Work’ book.

Anyway, if you are free on Saturday 9th Nov at 3pm (or the following Thursday 14th Nov at 9pm) why not tune in ? Alternatively, for about a month after the broadcast, you can pop over to the Poetica home page and listen online or download the podcast. Enjoy.

Possets on Poetica

Another poem of mine will be read out on ABC Radio National’s Poetica program on the Saturday after next (November 9 2013).  More information about the broadcast is available here. I am feeling very lucky as this is the second time this year I have been Poetica-ed (read about the first time here).

Posset

Posset

This time my poem, called ‘Possets’ is actually two linked haiku, so it should take up all of 15 seconds of airtime.  It appeared earlier this year in an anthology called Women’s Work, and Poetica will be featuring the book on their program. (You may remember my post about the Women’s Work anthology launch in March 2013. I must give a shout out to Moya Pacey (the poet who Freudian-slipped the word ‘shagging’ into her poem ‘Smalls’ when reading it out at the launch)  as her poem will also be featuring on the Poetica program. Unfortunately without the Freudian slip this time…)

As for my own tiny little poem, it explores two sides of being a modern mother – working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the home – and shows that neither is an unmitigated festival of fabulousness. This is (I think) why it was originally selected for the ‘Women’s Work’ book.

Anyway, if you are free on Saturday 9th Nov at 3pm (or the following Thursday 14th Nov at 9pm) why not tune in ? Alternatively, for about a month after the broadcast, you can pop over to the Poetica home page and listen online or download the podcast. Enjoy.

A small new poem plus a mention on Whispering Gums

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Here is a new poemlet, written during a recent visit to Sydney. It is not strictly a haiku, but it does follow a 5-7-5 syllable pattern:

Halfway to Bronte Beach

here come the sea brides:
surf-drenched rocks off the headland
dripping with thick lace

In other news, I somehow managed to miss this post on Whispering Gums, about women poets from Canberra, back in January.

(Whispering Gums is a high quality blog on books and reading with an Australian focus)

http://whisperinggums.com/2013/01/14/monday-musings-on-australian-literature-capital-women-poets/

Imagine my amazement – when I finally read the post – at my name being mentioned as one of Whispering Gums’ five favourite ‘capital women poets’, alongside such luminaries as Rosemary Dobson, Judith Wright and Susan Hampton.

Chuffed doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’m thinking that deserves at least a pingback and a recommendation to subscribe to an excellent blog 🙂

Wishing you and yours a happy Easter (if that’s something you celebrate).

Cheers M x

Bricolage, Shmicolage – Haikubes will change your life

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Dear reader, I am very excited! Thanks to a generous friend, I am now in possession of the secret at the heart of modern (and postmodern) poetry composition : Haikubes !

Take an oddly proscribed set of words, print them on the faces of 61 dice-like cubes (giving each cube one blank face into the bargain), use two extra cubes to produce a writing prompt (e.g. ‘a tirade about’….’my family’), shake, stir, compose in the time-honoured 5-7-5 format, et voila !

For years I have puzzled at my inability to produce work with the opaque, gnomic quality I see everywhere in journals and award-winning collections. Now I know I am not a failure, I simply lacked the correct tools. Happy days! My future is suddenly assured.

First Forays

Here are my favourites from my adventures in Haikubes so far. I have removed the writing prompt information for each poem as I think this satisfyingly increases the obscurity level.

Your fantasy screwed.
Thunder calls over a dead
body : stay inside

This journey home looks
smooth. I travel as a wise
biting finger point.

My god eats his charm.
His smooth lurid cheeks must love
the precious surface.

Pluck what the flock left,
that mouthful of sweet, spat leaves
we shape sleep behind.

Dead moonlight dripping
right into your livid room,
we switch promises.

Before your sour nerve
slips behind you  I switch it
for full, wise watching.

One brother happy ;
next dancing. My empty hand
a return of peace.

She sang her doctor :
Waste, et cetera…
Window too, please. There.

A following grace
Light under the swimming pool
We, last of many

All the way and then some

I even did a sequence where I attempted to use every Haikube. They get sillier as the sequence goes on and the pool of available words shrinks. At the end I had four words left, which I made into a three word poem with a one word title at the end.

Haikube exhaust sequence

It looks logical,
his science of ritual.
Desperate spiral.

Clever stick torture
leaves me flying home ugly,
lips under water

Screwed, I consume peace,
mouthing a villain moonlight;
revolting the heart

He hoped to shiver
through our wild candy surface.
Fortune slips. Sleep, baby.

Cover smooth fortune
with slimy et cetera.
Who sang next ?

Alternate
not
many
around

Next generation

And then, my five year old went beyond us all: ‘I’m going to compose a nothing poem, mummy’. And he made a robot shape out of the blank faces of nine Haikubes. Is that the ultimate embodiment of ‘the failure to mean’, or what ? Clearly time to pass the baton and stand well back. Oh, and he called it ‘Robot 1’.

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But have you considered …?

Don’t think I haven’t noticed that some of the above works are actually quite interesting. This post is not entirely satirical in intent. But am I really the author of these poems, and are they really literature ?? We need a few footnotes to deal with that one (and at least one mention each of Ern Malley and Bricolage).

Language Warning

I should also give a heads-up to any readers considering purchasing their own secret poetry career supercharge weapon….I mean…box of Haikubes, that some of the words are quite filthy. The game is clearly designed to be played between wine time and bedtime. For a further discussion of this aspect of Haikubes, see here.

Your Turn

Whatever their literary and theoretical status, I think we can all agree that Haikubes are fun. Why not try composing your own, and leave them in the comments below ?

To Tweet, To Who…..or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hive Mind

artsACT

Poetry appearing on this page was produced with the generous support of artsACT

So. On 23 May 2011, I discovered Twitter. Well…not ‘discovered’ so much as ‘actually began using and enjoying’. 

Right now you are either thinking ‘I can barely handle Facebook, get thee behind me’ or ‘sad Gen X dinosaur, you only beat Jerry Seinfeld by a few weeks, and by Christmas it will be just you and him tweeting at each other because everyone else will have shifted over to Google+’

 Bear with me please, both groups. I promise there will be funny jokes further down.

 So why am I bothering to write this down and share it on the interwebs, more than five years after the Twitter site first launched? Because I am blown away by the fact that the Twitterverse is much much better than I thought it would be, and I want to take a moment to record that fact before it goes the way of Usenet and Commodore 64s. Like many non-Tweeps, I had thought it was just for pre-teens who wanted to know what Justin Bieber picked out of his nose yesterday. Instead, I have found:

  •  In two months I have made dozens of new contacts in my fields of interest (poetry, autism, books, literature, social comment and people who write funny stuff). Many of these people live overseas and I have never met any of them (or their friends), so this is networking and sharing I could not do very efficiently on Facebook, and could do even less efficiently on the wider internet via laborious time consuming searches. Twitter is searchable by conversation topic so it is easy to find and ‘follow’ people talking about things you are interested in.
  • Suddenly I feel like I am ahead of the news, rather than hopelessly behind it like most parents of young children. I was all over John Birmingham v Bob Ellis, Geoff Lemon v the Carbon Tax Whingers, Noni Hazelhurst and GTF to Sleep v YouTube, and The Bloggess’ Giant Metal Chicken well before the ‘mainstream’ media. ‘Slipstream’ media, more like it.
  • Limiting posts to 140 characters is *great* discipline for a writer.

 It has even started to influence my poetry. There are already a gazillion Twitter poets (see this New York Times article from March of this year) so I do not pretend to any great originality there. But it is new for me, and it is fun squeezing things down into such a tight space. I find it makes for very very spare and (occasionally) hard hitting micropoetry. Also I like how the #hashtag (a way of manually tagging the topic of the tweet so other Twitter users can find and join the conversation) adds another dimension, working like a commentary or postscript (or preamble or title) to the actual poem.

To illustrate, I’m going to finish with the complete Tworks of @MelindaLSmith, micropoet. Enjoy, comment below, and if you are also a Tweep then come follow me. I promise to follow you back 🙂

Twitter Poems by @MelindaLSmith

Autism poems

my boy perches on the pool’s edge/flapping his wet hands/people are staring/he sees only me, and grins:/’I caught an imaginary trout’ #ASD

#micropoetry #ASDparenting #firsteverjointsleepover Both sons away tonight/after 7 years/I don’t recognise this quiet/or this calm

Boy-Girl poems

@Twaiku_Poetry: If she says she doesn’t like poetry, run #micropoetry #advice #lifelessons
.@Twaiku_Poetry: if she says she *is* a poet, run faster #micropoetry #lifelessons #youaintnoboyfriendsuckayoumaterialnow

#divorcepoem they say this too shall pass/ – passing is no good to me / I just want him back like he was / before he betrayed us

your electricity / prickles and hums / I ache to close the circuit / but I dare not / flip the switch #micropoetry

#aubadeyourselfbastard you don’t tell me this is goodbye/but I hear it in the stutter, the buzz/of your zip closing #micropoetry

Moving house poems

#realestatepoem He said, ‘We’ll uplift your home/onto the internet’/- but then/ this hole in the ground/will look nothing like the pictures

#realestatepoem2 seven years / of divots and small fingerprints / this fresh paint / claims they never happened

Random poems

What can 140 characters hold? News of near misses, small wars, large arguments; the singing of bullets, the murmur of hearts? Such birdsong!

bottle of red / half empty / – or hangover / half full ? #micropoetry #koanp1sstake #toooldtodrinklikethisanymore

#inthenightkitchen #micropoetry the fridge makes small sighs/testing the silence/the central heating rumbles and sings/you are not alone