the deletions

poems * poetry news * palaver * art * life * culture

Blue glow

crows crark
over darlinghurst,
we order
black beer


sitting on wet sand
watching steepling surf,
a huge dirtywater tide
threatens bondi


your sudden
and beautiful exit
frightened me


I was going to say
how we took cocaine
and danced, in ultimo,
when we were older
than we should have been

but it was your funeral,
it was too sorrowful,
now I’m stuck
with platitudes
you’d find funny,
I can say anything
in a poem
you’ll never read


artificially overlit
groves of myrtle
staged for you,
and never televised
(not as if we didn’t try)

the secrets
you mentioned
on your second last day
are secret still


three storms in three hours,
hailstones ripping holes
in the nasturtium leaves.
blackout -
using a torch to find a candle


I’d never tell anyone,
but just look at this,
what I’m doing now

daily crumplings

will this
take my mind off things
I could simply spend
more and more time
watching tv ?


to be here
knowing you’re not
gets me down

the latest person
I had to tell
‘she was someone
I always thought
I would see again’


you’re not around,
you’re only a dream,
so anti-sentimental
you drank whisky
after everyone else
gave it up


you loved
the halloween parade song
and the wooster group

our own theatre
was courageous,
not ‘showy’,
and failed
its experiment

new york
can wait -
I’m sorry, new york,
you’ll have to wait


I placed two perfect
nasturtium leaves
in the card from morocco
and brought them
to your delirium


you read my prose
from over twenty years ago
at your mother’s funeral

the piece that says
‘we don’t die alone’
and that
‘maybe love
comes to us from the dead’

I decided
not to read it
for you

two decades later
I’m not at all
certain of it


I’d like to sleep
all night long
in the blue glow

(in memoriam Jan McKemmish, 1950-2007)

A reading in memory of Jan McKemmish

On Saturday November 29th at 3pm

Jean Bedford
Pam Brown
Michael Hurley

Gallery Courtyard
University of Technology Sydney

Part of Creativity and Uncertainty Conference
For a map of UTS click here

listening to

Soul singer, a family member of the great Staple Singers (known as ‘God’s greatest hitmakers’) Mavis Staples visited Australia for Womadelaide in March this year and showed that she is still singing strongly at 68 years of age. I bought Mavis Staples’ 2006 version of Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack from the 1977 film A Piece of The Action from a wonderful music store in Richmond, Virginia a few weeks ago.

Barky’s Spirituals at 18 East Broad Street, Richmond stocks every spiritual and soul album under the sun - from Clara Ward's gospel singers, Paul Robeson, Mahalia Jackson, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson etc etc etc - you know - everybody on Stax, Tamla Motown, Philadelphia International and subsequent soul-gospel recording companies. Barky Haggins, the proprietor, said that he'd been in business for over fifty years. Barky’s has a plain, undecorated interior but the CD racks and stacks along the walls are a treasury of wonderful music.

                       Barky Haggins, the proprietor

(dear deleted, remember, click on the images to enlarge them)

            Adam Aitken launching True Thoughts

Thanks to everyone who came along to the booklaunch at Gleebooks and, afterwards, to the pub yesterday afternoon. It was a really nice way to see the new book of poems on its way into the reading world. To read Adam Aitken's launch speechette, click here

A reminder that you are invited to celebrate
the publication of my latest book of poems, True Thoughts,
at Upstairs at 49, gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd., Glebe
on Saturday 15th November at 3.30pm.
To be launched by Adam Aitken.
For further information click here.
Everyone welcome

Ceci n'est pas une oeuvre d'art,
c'est une alarme au Los Angeles County Museum of Art.