Friday, September 24, 2010

Place and Experience

Last Wednesday went off to the Lark Distillery to hear some writers addressing the theme of place & experience. (Experience being the name we call our past mistakes.)

Whipping windy rain and whipping wind I potted down the hill from North Hobart to the coitus centre shore line. Having a few intrudes to slaughter I wandered around the docks and parking lots and slipping away alley ways. Thinking of Dr Swift and the rain shower over the city of Stella and their pet sweet sick letters, I wondered about the city centre and more and more killed time, feeding my door mouse air plane head.

Went up to old Jam Factory where once upon a time over one thousand people worked. All that is over now. The needs of rationality destroying the local and the particular. The docks once busy with whores and sealers and whalers and sailors and drunken colonial triad sons thriving and molesting the colony.

The walking tide slapped and swirled around pulsing the estate of marine cold timey milky making critters. The wind whipped nano-shards of slushy ice all around and I was only to happy to get to the wagram unwobbling pivot warmth of the dark wooded lark.

The University of Tasmania had run a poetry contest themed place and experience and the winners were to be announced. Four poems were read; three from out of state - so proxy's spoke instead. Jillian Pattinson won the prize with her poem The Still Point. The title of this poem inspired by Eliot.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

Stillness and a search for answers for something that shall remain, I could see why the judges awarded this poem the first prize.

A found poem based on diving instructions which was amusing at first and then to my tastes rolled down into not so amusing territory. I did not take notes so I can not remember perfectly, but one poem, as introduced by the reader, used white space to denote pauses and so add musicality. The poem was well written, but in the end no more than a catalogue of the images the poet saw while walking in the bush.

So after a bit of minor disappointment, I was thrilled to hear Robyn Mundy and Danielle Wood read.

Robyn Mundy read of her experinces in the Southern Polar Regions. The excerpts from her novel 'The Nature of Ice' were beautiful and terrible at the same time. The blue ice of the Antarctic, the raw bleeding feet of Douglas Mawson. I was inspired to investigate more the ability of beauty to exist in the most terrible of places and times.

Danielle Wood then read from 'The Shack' a charming bit of work investigating themes around development and change in a small Tasmanian sea side town. By coincidence I had just visited Opossum Bay recently and my partner had remarked how it looked like there used to be a bunch of holiday shacks and now it was cheek by jowl with Mc Mansions. How could I not enjoy this reading which spoke of the very thing!!

And then I won raffle! A bottle of gin, which was nice as it was my birthday! All in all a enjoyable night.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Into the Heraclitian fyre. Reading a book on microbiology, specifically about the structures within cells. It seems the endoplasmic reticulum has taken on more roles than when I was in high school; well it is good to see talent rewarded. Reticulum is defined as from a latin word for network, more poking about gave other meanings and uses of the word reticulum, including the stomach of a cow, a constellation, even a snood. So I jammed all these fragments into a notebook poem. Entered it into a contest and did not even rate a mention. So here it is...

Upon false bridge, above the bloody sand
Trident fisherman taunts and turns vaunting twists
While sea monster fish men fight clumsy.
Thrown, the weighted net expands and flies
Across the distance, bringing victory
And defeat. The one event contrasting.

I take the dog for a run in the dawn
Twilight early morning and the red sky
Burns and glows the bodies of sinners
Stoking the deadly judgement fires
Beyond the obsidian smooth lagoon.

Shallow filled of the retreating ice,
More ten thousand isolating years ago.
On the shallow ridge line to the south,
Red lights blink automatic guiding planes.
Surrounded always a thin spiders web
Network of roads and highways of commerce.

The brush again and over again rolls
Thin net long hair covered for service.
The tides roll daily back and forth gentle.
Hungry and exhausted flights of sea birds
Rest rare salt marsh fringed glasswort and pig face
Winged far Siberia. Calling in the night
Feeble and tired and the tiny sea star
Ejecting live surprising birth only three
The entire world and across the waters
Low and flat toxic algal bloom lagoon
Ignoble west flank black line barrack causeway
Blinking away dreamy sleep lights Sorrel.

Low in the south west sky the rhombus
Thin hair cross hairs of an eyepiece.
Cattle low and wander the green pasture
Eating and fourfold digesting unknown
Cattle thoughts as myriad folds catalyse
Blind countless transactions and combinations.
Endless the surface. Wide transformations
Are performed and the suns energy released.

Waking the first light frost of morning
I arrange the kindling and split logs,
And touching a match bring warming fire.
On the pitted surface the suns energy
Forges frothy warmth and cosy home house life.

Driving visit historic Richmond gaol
And the rooms of punishment that brought
Civilization the land without the fall
And the wrist binding tripod cat o' nine tails
Extended the love of Christ and the shorn
Hair of the women fleeing rape and the coffin
Sized black rooms of silent aloneness.
The children are too fearful to enter,
After almost two hundred years of silence.