no velvet on the word

I’ve been reading ‘Dementia Blog’ by the Hawai’i based poet, academic and editor of Tinfish Press, Susan M. Schultz. We published an extract from the blog in issue 35 of Jacket magazine. The complete ‘Dementia Blog’ was recently published by Singing Horse Press.


Susan writes -

Dementia Blog was written over the course of six months during the worst of my mother’s dementia. In August 2006 she was still in her home; by January 2007 she was settled into an Alzheimer’s home. The blog, like all blogs, moves backwards from the present into the past. Because it moves back, the reader has no sense of cause and effect and often does not recognize what has happened until reading further back. This form struck me as appropriate to a meditation on memory and self-loss.


Coincidentally, and perhaps with some unintentional sense of precognition, six years ago in 2002-03, Susan and I collaborated by email on a poem called Amnesiac Recoveries, written for the Department Of Dislocated Memory for the web project International Corporation of Lost Structures. The poem engaged with daily life in Sydney and in Kane`ohe in the face of the then imminent invasion of Iraq by the USA, UK and Australia. It was also concerned, more loosely, with the role of social memory in those countries.

As Susan says, her blog entries about her mother’s dementia were made over six months in 2006-07. It is profoundly moving to read this book but she also sustains a unique thoughtfulness, a complex poetic perspective and a connection with the world-at-large via her children and her own vigilant awareness of the parallel gradual disintegration of the United States government and its involvement at war in Iraq.

Susan relates how her children, Sangha and Radhika, experience the displacement and uncertain memory of the adopted child -

I show Sangha photos of his aunts in Cambodia. He says he remembers the smaller woman on the left in the pink shirt. The significance of photographs in adoption narratives.Their sister was your birth mother, I tell him. She died. Those who remain to be photographed do not smile. Their faces are tired, foreheads creased. Speedboat on a river in Takeo province. Field beside the water. The sisters appear again. “You could not remember her,” I say; “you were a tiny baby.” Then let go. If he says he remembers, he does.


Susan’s poetry has always connected the culture of personal life and its context, the political world. Her concern with memory is a significant thread through earlier books. In 1999 she published a series of single cards in various colours that were extracts from a work called ‘Memoir’ which developed, the year after that, into the chapbook ‘memory cards (the happiness project)’, and then the following year, that chapbook combined with another sequence to become the book ‘Memory Cards & Adoption Papers’ (published by Potes & Poets Press in 2001). The first section of ‘Memory Cards & Adoption Papers’ is called ‘Mother’ and the book is dedicated to Susan’s father. ‘Adoption Papers’ is dedicated to Susan’s adopted Cambodian son, Sangha. There are often intensely personal paragraphs throughout 'Dementia Blog' that are reminiscent of her writing in general and there is a consistent self-conscious analysis of writing’s context-

Poetry or poetic prose. Sequence or unraveling of. Prose or text message. Forward, then back. The writing dances, a child beside the canal, its green water not yet inviting. Failure to thrive. Two of them died right after they came. She did not. Failure to fail to thrive is life. Life is a happy place.


To write about others without making of them stick, stock figures. The one who learns language, the other whose teeth sprout, the third who shepherds them to school. She who writes about them loves them, but in the writing loses feeling. Words are not to be touched, not here on the screen. There is no velvet on the word. It is dark and hard and composes itself letter by letter, the kind chiseled into lead or pixellated for your reading comfort. He laughed that I did not know “Pilates” as exercise, rather than Roman King.


The layered writing in 'Dementia Blog' slips between dualities like the sometimes childlike behaviour of a demented person and the experiences of an actual childhood. There are also diegetic moments that mimic the states of confusion that can accompany both memory loss and the writing process -

I don’t know how this section relates to the one that precedes and follows it


When she is clearly not going to be able to live there any more there is the problem of putting Susan's mother’s house up for sale . These entries are tacit and, for me, utterly poignant. Here are some extracts from that section -

The house. Read it as her autobiography: dark wood, crumbling wallpaper (dark again, checked squares of brown and white), the paintings (representational, a mill in the woods, some storm-tossed ships), the 1970s style modified shag carpet, parquet floors (dark), fireplaces (three of them), front and back yards needing to be mown. How did she come to this?


The “home”. Read it as biography. A porch outside the Country Lane, picnic bench, umbrella, a brightness next to the window. Outside inside. Remember your corridor by the décor. The artifice must present nature, or a loving intervention in it. What you remember shall comfort you and what you do not is simply not here. This sanctuary is not only for the birds.


…This is about the problem of what is private and what is public, what ought to be shared and what must be. The process is not fiction, but enactment. Easement. When the property is sold, it can no longer be taken as the story of her life, or of mine. Interpolated, perhaps. But the quotes have gone missing.

Concluding with -

There is an offer on her house, for it “as is.” The closed house is yours. The open one will not be.


At times there is a kind of intense exhaustion that leads to an informed, acerbic cynicism-

Better the sins of empathy than its lack. Key words in this text include: “privilege”, “gender”, “race”, “institutions”, “narcissism”. “Empathy” must not elide any of these terms, for fear of their erasure. I must feel empathy for my own kind, lest I bend categories, ignore my privilege. If emotion is itself a privilege (what hungry person has time for it?), then interrogate it. Critique, intellect, idiolect, locution, execution. The seven Chinese brothers were a perfect Adam Smith machine. One did the seeing, another the hearing, a third the crying, and the others were strong. When in doubt, drown your enemies in tears.


Towards the end of the book (which, because the posts read backwards in time, is actually towards the beginning of the blog, and is also why I placed the back cover image at the top of this blog) Susan writes a kind of ‘definitive’ entry -

None of this is new. Dementia is bricolage, is collage, is mixed-up syntax. It is nothing new. To describe it is to say nothing new. it cannot be analyzed, because its origins, and its ends, cannot be located. The maps are hanging from the laundry lines in a humid country; the ink that is their roads has dripped off the dark paper that had enclosed them.


One of the reasons I find this book so powerful is that over the past year I’ve spent every Thursday (except on the occasions I've been out of town) working with a group of elderly demented men and women at Mondeval Day Centre in Leura in the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney. At first, I was apprehensive about participating, thinking that my inexperience would be a disadvantage and, also, that I could possibly become depressed or saddened by working with people with dementia. Gradually though I became familiar with everyone and I adjusted to their personalities and abilities and to the situation as a whole and I am continuing with the task. Of course, I have experienced reflective moments when I’ve wondered about the usefulness of communicating with people who, for a variety of reasons and to varying degrees, have lost their memories. When phrases, stories and responses are so often repeated from week to week and, sometimes, from hour to hour; when someone has ‘the wanders’ and continually gets up and walks off somewhere and needs to be followed, walked with and brought back to the group, the things we do can seem so habitual (although, interestingly, never perfunctory) and perhaps futile. The outcome is, after all, predictable.

What has struck me is that loss of memory, and its associated deteriorations, is a far more sorrowful experience for a relative or a friend than it is for people who work with the ‘lost one’ and quite often or, mostly, not such a crisis for the ‘lost one’ herself.

Aspects of the emotional upset or devastation that can happen to relatives coping with the onset of dementia in family members were portrayed in the recent films Away from Her and The Savages. The day centre I work in provides respite for the carers of elderly people with dementia. No one lives on the premises - the centre’s vehicle picks up the clients each morning and returns them to their homes each afternoon, so the situation is different from Susan Schultz’s mother’s and from the agendas in the films I’ve mentioned.

Early in 2008 someone I had known as a friend for over 25 years committed suicide after having been diagnosed with dementia at the relatively young age of 60. He had lived with the disease for a brief period of his once engaged and very active life as an academic, writer and political activist. He courageously decided that it was preferable to opt out before the condition worsened.

For further information, the Singing Horse Press link is here
You can read US poet and editor Eileen Tabios’ response to ‘Dementia Blog’ here


                           soft sunset sunday night


the ghosts of xmasses past

This time of year usually carries some nostalgia and too much sentimentality, so let's indulge in both. 1977 was a truly great year for anti-xmas festivity. The Tin Sheds on City Road was a-hopping and a-bopping. The Lean Sisters, from the precipice of simpleton theatre, performed a Workers-Control themed santamime, the Crunk Boonk Xmashow, where Santa was portrayed as a rapacious profiteer who had already sold the rights to easter to god's agent, Gabriel, before the previous year had ended, and his 'helpers' suffered mightily under his cruelly exploitative conditions of employment. After the fabulously didactic performance the audience danced on into the sweaty summer night to the music of the rockin' all-girl band, Sheila. And on Xmas Eve, a horde of happy counter-culturalists danced into another hot and steamy night to the music of Alias, Wasted Daze and Mental as Anything at the 'Christmas-is-False-Consciousness-Eve-Party'.
I don't mind saying it - those were the daze.

                Silkscreen Poster by Jenny Coopes, Netta Perrett and Pam Brown

              If you can't read it, Che the shepherd is saying "And you think capitalism has
               problems". Silkscreen Poster by Chips Mackinolty, Earthworks Poster Collective

Enjoy yourselves this year, pals of 'the deletions', and here's to a happy 2009


k a m a t e k a o r a # 6 : h o n e t u w h a r e

September/December 2008

The New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) is pleased to announce the sixth Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics, a special issue on the work and influence of Hone Tuwhare (1922 – 2008), guest-edited by Robert Sullivan.

*Selwyn Muru,
*Hana O’Regan, He tītī me te waihoka pōhutukawa
*Robert Sullivan, Hone Tuwhare’s Aroha
*Janet Hunt, His own true voice
*Michelle Keown,: Hone Tuwhare’s socialist poetics
*Jon Battista, When grief inhabits the desolate house . . .
*Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Solar Metaphors: ‘No Ordinary Sun’
*Cassie Ringland-Stewart, Talking with Hone Tuwhare
*Hinemoana Baker, 'People leave I know’
*Peter H. Marsden, Er war ein Berliner!: Hone Tuwhare in Germany
*David Eggleton,Pūrorohū: Hone Tuwhare’s Rain Spells
*Photographs by William Farrimond, Jan Kemp and John Miller

Tributes by Barry Brickell, Tania Hinehou Butcher, Glenn Colquhoun, Murray Edmond, William Farrimond, Bernadette Hall, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Steve Lang, Michele Leggott, Jean McCormack, Cilla McQueen, Bill Manhire, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Brian Potiki, John Pule, Gavin Reedy, Miriam Richardson, Dieter Riemenschneider, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Robert Sullivan, Apirana Taylor, Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri, Simon Williamson, Briar Wood

                   Hone Tuwhare

kmko is edited by Murray Edmond with assistance from Michele Leggott and Hilary Chung at the University of Auckland, and with the support of a team of consulting and contributing editors. It publishes research essays and readings of New Zealand-related material and welcomes contributions from poets, academics, essayists, teachers and students from within New Zealand and overseas.
Click here to read issue 6.
Click here for submission guidelines and further information.


Lean Sister Becomes High Court Judge

Virginia Bell (a.k.a. Ginger de Winter), a former member, along with myself, of the anarchic Lean Sisters Theatre Group has been appointed to the bench of Australia's High Court. Virginia was the highly entertaining mistress of ceremonies for the Leans Sisters' performance The Leans Lurch Left at the Tin Sheds, Sydney way back in 1977 and she participated in other of the troupe's energetic performances.

                                         The Leans Lurch Left

From the ABC online news service :
Justice Michael Kirby will be replaced on the High Court bench by the New South Wales Court of Appeal judge, Justice Virginia Bell.

She is the fourth woman to be appointed to the High Court and her appointment will take effect from February 3 next year.

Justice Kirby will retire after reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Justice Bell began her career with the Redfern Legal centre in 1978 and served as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Services.

She has also sat on the bench of the New South Wales Supreme Court and as a Commissioner with that state's Law Reform Commission.

                                              Virginia Bell in 2006

Onya Virginia ! (as we say in Oz)

(Virginia launched my book New & Selected Poems at the State Library of NSW in 1990)



      People think we’re
      German tourists

      or Norwegian
      outside the fiscal

      envelope hui
      grimacing faces

      Go Home Whitey

      I don’t mind
      I am going


      The Buried Village

      e hora noa mai ra
      i te po uriuri
      i te po tangotango
      waiho nei te aroha
      waiho nei te mamae
      ka ki kino i taku kiri
      i maringa awai to roimata
      i aku kamo ki te iwi
      ka wehe …

      Northern Southland

      Where the trucks
      double declutch

      & roar by
      a black & yellow

      AA sign
      points a way down

      Old Lake Road
      I’ll never go

Poems from a road trip made in New Zealand in the 1990’s
by the writer and poet Martin Edmond
from his chapbook The Big O Revisited
recently published by and available from
Soapbox Press
36 Old Mill Rd
Grey Lynn, Auckland
New Zealand

One of Martin Edmond’s three blogs is Luca Antara


Vale Dorothy Porter  1954 - 2008

                              Dorothy in 1975

                Dorothy's first book published in 1975 by Bob Adamson's imprint Prism.

(Photographs by Kay Whitehead)


                             Sydneysider Tim Wright and a local moggie

Today I was happily surprised to read a reflective piece on aspects of Sydney written in response to the poem 'Saxe Blue Sky' from my new book True Thoughts. It's by Tim Wright, poet and co-editor (with Nick Keys) of When Pressed. You can read it on swim/swam.

Here is the poem :

Saxe blue sky
(thursday morning)

the millennium train
whips past
the tollway to the Harbour Bridge
in bright orange
against a saxe blue sky.
the gigantic matchsticks sculpture,
one burnt, one phosphorus red and ready,
jutting up
from a closely trimmed mound of couch.
a bronze frieze in capital letters, on the corner
of the NSW Art Gallery –
CHRISTOPHER WREN, (old cosmopolitan),
flashes by,
seventeenth and eighteenth century ghosts,
glimpsed like brief suggestions, or notes,
as I enter the drab tunnel
towards Martin Place
on my way
to advance automation,
to sort a set of bookbinding cards
(discard, edit, or keep,
according, of course,
to a method)
cards detailed with
pencilled handwriting,
traces of colleagues
now moved on.
I remember most of them,
more, I remember their memos,
circulated notes -
our names listed,
stapled to a corner,
memo read, name ticked, then passed along
to the next name -
and computers then exclusive to data,
the binding card
mimicking book spines,
a card index
the instrument of record.

the train squeals into Redfern,
I emerge from the dim light
deep under the city
to see the saxe blue sky
look smoggier,
pale grey-brown on the horizon,
from here, in the inner west,
the way I walk to work,
the block – the aboriginal housing co-operative –
demolished, gone.
another set of glimpses, whisps,
traces of people
now moved on.
on this frosty thursday morning
only a small group of revenants
warming up around
a smoking 44-gallon drum.

The southbound eastern suburbs train speeds by the old Brett Whiteley matchstick sculpture faster than ignited saltpetre.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales' incomplete frieze of artists' names zips by at the same speed, and none of the artists on the railway side that I mention in 'Saxe Blue Sky' are in this photo.


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.


On his blog, Graveney Marsh, Laurie Duggan recently wrote a post titled author author - comments about Australian poets writing collaboratively.
I'd like to respond with a few notes on my own experience of collaboration and in that way correct Laurie's information on the chapbook Correspondences (published 30 years ago).

I first began collaborating with other writers in the theatre, writing group-developed scripts for the Lean Sisters performances throughout 1977.
       Water Show poster & photos from The Leans Lurch Left        and The Crunkboonk XmasShow, Lean Sisters, 1977 A year later, Correspondences, published by Tom Thompson's imprint, Red Press, (in 1978) wasn't a collaboration at all - it was a shared book. At the time Joanne Burns and I were both writing poems as letters to friends, lovers and, in my case, to punks and rock stars like Patti Smith. Tom published each set of poems back to back. A photographic centerfold by Micky Allan separated the sections. Micky and I screenprinted the book's title in various colours on the cover at the Tin Sheds Art Workshop.        Centerfold : Joanne Burns and Pam Brown with boys' toys - 31 years ago in 1977 My next actual collaboration was with the musician and composer Elizabeth Drake. These were short pieces of text accompanied by sound composition on audio tape, piano and saucepan lids. Under the title And That Is Very Interesting, (taken from Gertrude Stein), we performed them at Bondi Pavilion Theatre as part of Futur*Fall, a conference centering on, and visited by, French theorist Jean Baudrillard in 1984. We later performed the pieces again in the Writers' Tent at the Adelaide Festival for the Arts as part of a small series of performances called Miss The Opera House Lights in 1984. After that, I collaborated with Amanda Stewart, (the sound poet who had performed with us at Futur*Fall), and Carol Christie and Jan McKemmish on compiling montaged texts for voices. We performed Professional Mourning By Generic Ghosts at the University of Technology Sydney, The Return Of The Dead I. Modes of Goo in 1986, at Writers In the Park, at the Harold Park Hotel in Glebe. (The title 'Modes of Goo' was appropriated from Meaghan Morris) After Amanda and Carol moved back to their individual projects, Jan and I continued with the montage process and wrote As Much Trouble As Talking performed by the actors Eva Sitta and Katrina Foster, with sound by Elizabeth Drake, lighting by Lee-Ann Donnelly, directed by Helen Grace and with a collaboratively-designed set, in a season at Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney in 1988 and later edited for national radio broadcast on the ABC's The Listening Room in 1989. Jan and I then spent three months as playwrights-in-residence at The Performance Space and developed two scripts Short Term Ideas and The Entire World Is Where It Is in 1989 (each performed as one-offs at The Performance Space).                                                 Poster by Jan Mackay I think I have sought "community", or, at least, a kind of like-minded "scene", throughout my writing life. In Adelaide in 1982 Sasha Soldatow and I formed the Bon Mot Gang in anticipation of a potential issue at the forthcoming Adelaide Festival Of The Arts. And, of course, there was an incident of censorship that gave the Bon Mot Gang a platform of protest in the Writers' Tent. Our protest and a report on the act of censorship made the front page of the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper the following morning. In 2002, the Oahu, Hawai'i-based poet, publisher and academic, Susan Schultz and I compiled a long poem called Amnesiac Recoveries for our Department of Dislocated Memory for the web site International Corporation of Lost Structures. We sent each other poetic sequences via email and would build the poem as we continued. Our different writing styles are quite evident in that poem, but our similarities are in the political concern. I think the book Let's Get Lost that Laurie mentions in his piece, is less a collaboration and more a correspondence. (emailed letters and poems sent from separate and distanced locations by myself, Ken Bolton (a long-time wonderful collaborator himself - with John Jenkins - see author author) and Laurie Duggan to each other over a period of six months in 2003). But my recent collaboration farout_library_software was a definite collaboration. The poems came together in series of lines, bit by bit, accumulating and continuing as a process via email over 18 months. A year after the poems were published by Susan Schultz's 'Tinfish Press' I finally met up with my Seattle-based, cyber-collaborator, Maged Zaher, in Washington DC in late October 2008.                                  Maged Zaher, Washington,DC October 25th '08 In poetic collaboration, just as in theatre or film making, you sometimes have to suspend your attachment to what you might have thought was one of your best ideas for the sake of the smooth concurrence of the task at hand. And a note - thanks Laurie for representing my sonnet at the Reality Street book launch That was very generous.
please note, dear visitors to the deletions that you can visit links by clicking on the darker grey text within the post and that you can enlarge the images by clicking on them


Invitation to a Booklaunch

Salt Publishing
warmly invites you to celebrate
a new poetry collection

to be launched by

Saturday 15th November
3.30 for 4pm
upstairs at 49
49 Glebe Point Road
Sydney    rsvp 9660 2333

Everyone Welcome

To read a sample from the book visit Salt Publishing

Available from Gleebooks
Also available online from Salt Publishing
and, yikes, Amazon UK & US

Distributed in Australia by Inbooks

Only thirteen days until the vote in the USA. I attended a rally where Barack Obama spoke to around 12,000 people at the Richmond Coliseum here in Richmond Virginia this morning. If the reception of the crowd is any measure - he'll win the Presidency.


Arriving at Robin's Bookstore in Philadelphia,Sunday,October 19th
(Photo by Jozef Zurawski)

CA Conrad mastering the ceremonies of the poetry reading.
(Photo by Pam Brown)

Attempting to adjust a very fuzzy microphone before reading from 'True Thoughts'
(Photo by Jozef Zurawski)

Magdalena Zurawski reading from her precise, breathlessly paced poetic first novel 'The Bruise'.

(Photo by Pam Brown)

Ron Silliman reading sections from the 1,062 pages of his recently published collected poetry, 'The Alphabet' (including a wonderful poem for Larry Eigner).

(Photo by Pam Brown)

Brief reports on the reading by two gracious poetry bloggers Geoff and Jacob.


Before & After - Place Riopelle, Montréal getting all steamed up

I am currently reading poetry two or three times a day (and night) in Trois-Rivières, Québec. I will be reading in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next weekend on Sunday, October 19th. Anyone who`ll be in Philadelphia please click here for further info.

         Hotel window - en l`automne, le simulacrum est fermé pour la saison
         to ``riff`` on Susan Howe, as the US poets might say.


I’m travelling to Canada with a big bundle of poems translated into French by Jane Zemiro. Jane was occasionally assisted on details by French friends Daniel de Rudder of Nîmes and Loire Valleyites Danielle Fauth and Luc Martin who came to dinner at our place a few nights ago and happily ended up fine-tuning some of the translation during the nightcap hour.

I'll be participating in the ten-day-long Trois Rivières International Poetry Festival in Québec, then to Montréal for a few days. The last time I was in Québec it was summer. I wrote a poem that was a kind of inaccurate report on Montréal for a younger Australian poet, Cassie Lewis. This time I’m hoping the city will be toned golden with autumn. I’m also aiming to write a few lines for poems in these northern cities.

And it looks like I’ll just have to be there to experience more, more, more of capitalism’s implosion and a carnival of election bumper-stickering, so thence to Philadelphia, Pennysylvania where I’ll be reading at Robin’s Bookstore with Magdalena Zurawski
and Ron Silliman, courtesy of CA Conrad.

Then I'll travel down to Richmond, Virginia to read poetry at the University of Richmond, hosted by Brian Henry.

And then to Washington, DC to visit some museums and meet up with Maged Zaher, with whom I co-wrote farout_library_software.

I’ll spend a day in Los Angeles checking out the star-studded boulevards on the way home.

À bientôt mes amis.

I’ll be back here at the cyberface in early November.
Hope to see you at the Sydney launch of True Thoughts at Gleebooks
on Saturday arvo, November 15th


                                                               detail from a photo by Trish Davies

It was an enjoyable book launch last Saturday, attended by a bright group of Blackheathens, a sizeable sprinkling of mountains residents from a little further south and a straggle of Sydneysiders. Here is a picture of Carl Harrison-Ford saying the things he liked about reading True Thoughts. Click here and scroll down to read Carl's speechette.

A reminder - come along to the book party at Hat Hill Gallery in Blackheath for my just-released collection 'True Thoughts' (Salt Modern Poets) on this coming Saturday afternoon. For directions, times, information click here

The famous Lee Marvin reading series in Adelaide continues to captivate the cultural minds of South Australian poetry fanatics.
The readings are on every Tuesday night.
Click here for the upcoming October program of luminaries and legends, entry fee, times and location.

                Lee Marvin - "I always enjoy these poetry readings - they're so captivating"