ka mate ka ora

k a   m a t e   k a   o r a    # 7

May 2009       www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/kmko

The New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) is pleased to announce the seventh issue of Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics, with a special colloquium feature

*   1,000 Words or a Picture: Could Poetry be a Contemporary Art? A ka mate ka ora colloquium with contributions by Pam Brown; Martin Edmond; Sue Fitchett; Brian Flaherty; Tony Green; Paul Hartigan; David Howard; Lesley Kaiser and John Barnett; Jan Kemp; Richard Killeen; Cilla McQueen; Selina Tusitala Marsh and Tim Page; Ann Poulsen; Jack Ross; Lisa Samuels; Helen Sword; Fredrika van Elburg; Ruth Watson and Albert Wendt

*   Paul Millar, Interviewing Hone Tuwhare at Kaka Point, 3 December 2007. With photographs and audio

*   Ian Wedde, Mahmoud Darwish 1941-2008

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.

for information click here


Censorship doesn't go away - to read Elizabeth Farrelly on the Sydney Writers Festival's censorship of the UTS student journalist newspaper click here (from the Sydney Morning Herald)


Astrid Lorange tells what's up in Alexandria, Sydney now the neighbourhood's real gone :

"As part of There Goes The Neighbourhood, an exhibition/residency project curated by Ked de Souza and Zanny Begg, we are re-enacting Allan Kaprow's artwork, Push & Pull: A Furniture Comedy For Hans Hoffmann (1963) at the Locksmith Gallery in Alexandria, from Thurs 28 May - 11 June.

Since '63, Push & Pull has been re-enacted variously. The basic premise is that a room-space is filled with furniture and then, for a period of time, is inhabited and altered by participants. See the project blog (with info from Kaprow's original instructions, details on the development of this iteration and time/dates etc./).

We invite you to come to Locksmith over the next few weeks for some pushing and pulling. The room will be filled with objects, people, sounds, smells and ideas. Things will be moved, tangled, painted, tinkered, consumed, destroyed and regenerated. The artwork will occur in the activities and dynamics of playful collaboration. Flotsam will be gleaned from the Redfern area (or from your house!) and composted in the gallery. A gift ecology will emerge.

My idea is to use the space as a temporary workshop. Bring a half-made project, hammer and nails, laptop, soldering iron, collaborative partner, sketchpad, spreadsheet or wood lathe. Setting a up a working bee or planning session. Push and pull the furniture into a productive nook. I'll be bringing a teaset and kettle and some chests of earl grey. Please come have a cuppa and a play.

The room will start to be filled this Thursday (28th) at 6pm. Come along with a longneck and some domestic rejectamenta! After this first night, the space will be open and playable Fri - Sat, 1pm - 6pm and then Thurs - Sat 1pm - 6 pm for the next two weeks."

deletionists, remember to click on images to enlarge them - click on greyer text for links


       Antipodean Default Mode

       they were living in Australia
       two heads were better than one
       they were living in Australia
       across the Tasman Sea from New Zealand
       they were living in Australia
       where the universe turns on at sunset
       they were living in Australia
       every minute of every day
       they were living in Australia
       learning the lesser lesson
       they were living in Australia
       they were living in Australia
       hoping for the best
       they were living in Australia
       along a slinky desert edge
       they were living in Australia
       unpacking the national library
       they were living in Australia
       with biodegradable mousepads
       they were living in Australia
       everything had seen better days
       they were living in Australia
       just for the heck of it
       they were living in Australia
       once in a lifetime
       a long lifetime not a short one
       they were living in Australia
       to forget about you
       they were living in Australia
       like true blue Americans
       they were living in Australia
       waking in fright
       they were living in Australia
       never looking back

A poem I wrote after hearing John Ashbery read 'Default Mode'
at City University New York's Graduate Centre on October 30th, 2008


Happy Birthdays New York Greats

John Ashbery turned 80 recently and so did Kenward Elmslie. To view photos of Kenward and friends celebrating his birthday at The Poetry Project in NYNY click here.

Kenward Elmslie & me & Pete Minter in Sydney October 2005

My 2003 poem for Kenward :

Rainy Day in May
‘if only you’d settle down somewhere streamlined’

ah chlorophyll afternoon
green-deepening my day
now I function do my physio

I know I’m at
the bottom of the world
but when we say
‘local word goes here’
we know what we mean

thousands of kilometres
from the adirondacks,
where almost-billionaires
are taking the waters,
warming the poptarts,
getting a little haptic
with the foil-wrapped
cell-shaped chocolates

am I missing anything,
down here
in murwillumbah
thousands of kilometres
from granite-ville ?


sorry you were
a bit late
for the fennel snags,
the sweet purple cabbage,
too late
for the salty feta
( we’d already eaten
the feta,
all the feta)

& the rain fell down,
too wet, too sombre & grey,
all afternoon
but mellifluous tenor,
you sang and read,
a Babe Rainbow
brightening the place up,
just like (we imagine) at
Touché’s Salon -
all those synaesthetic pleasures
as it turned out to be,
your saddest anniversary

good news was the G-G quit
during your show
(god save the queen
because nothing will save
the governor-general)
thus ending weeks & weeks
of everything interesting
down here in the wilds
far from

note - ‘your saddest anniversary’ - Kenward Elmslie first performed in Sydney in 2003 on May 25th , the anniversary of his partner Joe Brainard’s death.
In the line, ‘good news was the G-G quit’, the ‘G-G’ is the Governor General of Australia,(appointed on approval of the English monarch) who was at the time an Anglican Bishop embroiled in a scandal about the treatment of sexual abuse victims in his church. He resigned on the weekend of Kenward’s visit.


Gehry in Prague

Californian architect Frank Gehry and his Czech co-architect Vladimir Milunic designed and built the Dancing House (Tančící dům) between 1992 and 1996.
Soon after its conception it was dubbed 'Ginger and Fred', as it dances around the corner like the famous Hollywood movie stars Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

It begins a row of buildings facing the Vltava River, on the Rasinovo Corner, opposite the bridge in Nove Mesto. To see images of the building works click here. My photos, taken in April, follow -


Steve Evans' annual map of what some poets are reading is gradually appearing on Third Factory. My own 'Attention Span' entries for 2008 are up on the web HERE

Helen Grace in Hong Kong

Australian artist and critic, Helen Grace, who is currently living and working in Hong Kong, has an exhibition opening there on Friday 15th May :


I've put some photos that I took at the Micro Festival Poetry Series
in Prague & Brno in mid-April, on the web HERE


my may events

I'll be participating in the post-show forum
8pm Saturday 9th May
245 Wilson St
02 8571 9099
Click here for a map
and here for further information.

Thursday May 21st at 2.30pm - Bangarra Mezzanine, The Wharf

Book launch : Harbour City Poems published by Puncher & Wattmann, edited by Martin Langford, is an anthology of poems either about Sydney, or which have had their sources in the life of the city. It is an historical anthology, incorporating poems from the earliest convict days through to the present. This reading explores the way we have thought about Sydney, from the anxieties and puzzlement of Botany Bay through to the tensions and delights of the contemporary city. The historical poems - some famous, some not so well-known - will be read by actors, followed by a reading of contemporary poems by their authors John Tranter, Adam Aitken, Paul Dawson, Kate Lilley and Pam Brown

Thursday May 21st at 4pm - Bangarra Theatre, The Wharf

Book launch : Motherlode published by Puncher & Wattmann, edited by Jennifer Harrison and Kate Waterhouse, is the first major collection of Australian women’s poetry in over a decade. It reads as a modern narrative rather than 160 individual poems, from poets including Judith Wright, Dorothy Hewett, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Judith Beveridge, Bronwyn Lea and others. Twelve Sydney poets will read about contemporary identity - in relation to mothers, grandmothers, children and the world. 'Motherlode' traverses nature, iconography, pregnancy, birth, childlessness, loss, daily grind, politics and ageing, with edge and intelligence. Launched by retired academic Elizabeth Webby.

Sunday May 24th at 2.30pm - Bangarra Mezzanine, The Wharf

Metaphors of Space : An architectural display and poetry reading that blends the narratives of sustainable, urban and indigenous interpretations of home and public space. Convened by Chris L. Smith from the University of Sydney, who will speak about ‘Autopoiesis: Poetries and Architectures’, it features the work of several young emerging architects. There are cameo readings by David Musgrave, Elizabeth Hodgson, Peter Boyle, Pam Brown and Andy Quan.

This spatial reading event is presented by Mascara Poetry, City of Sydney and MCHP Architects

To see a list of poets participating in this year's Sydney Writers’ Circus click here