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.

Vomitoria