Valentine’s Day presence

So, the pay off for some hard work over the past week or so is here — I’ve been exploring/researching the world of epublishing.

love: a test run is my first foray into ebooks. I still seek publication via the literary journals & poetry publication websites & competitions, etc … but the reality is, I have already written more poems than I’m ever likely to see published via traditional methods. & I’m certainly not writing poetry for the $$$$. Not to mention, much of what I write probably doesn’t fit the criteria for online journals …

So be it…

I want people to read my stuff. Or at least have the opportunity to. To connect with it. To be moved by it. Even to disagree with it. Which is why epublishing is so amazing. & why I’ve taken this first Test Run step … & why there are more planned.

& so to love: a test run

Love - a test run

This collection of poems came out of an experiment for a project a fellow poet & I are working on (giving rise to one of the multiple meanings of “test run” which makes up the book’s subtitle).

The task was simple, to write a poem a day, every day for a month.

24 hours to conceive, plan, write & edit a new poem every day & email it to each other before midnight. Well, the midnight deadline didn’t always quite get met, but the poem a day did. This was not for the famously challenging event NaPoWrMo (National Poetry Writing Month) but shared similar draining/exhilarating characteristics. Oddly enough, once you got over the hump, it became easier the further on it went. Some days several poems came out of the exercise – but we only shared one per day.

The catch: every poem was to explore love in some form.

I haven’t edited them overly much, just a tweak or two here & there for clarity. I wanted to keep it close to what I churned out, I mean, produced in that furiouso month. I have altered the order of several poems to make the whole have a better flow; & a couple of the poems I sent through, I have replaced with others written in that month because they felt like they fitted the collection better. I would have liked to have shuffled the order more, but I really went with the “snap shot” notion of the test run here.

What pleases me is their diversity: there’s a wide range of styles evident; there are several different voices; the tone varies; some are more experimental than others; some are profoundly personal, others wholly imagined; even just simple things like the variety in their length (both of lines & overall poem); & of course, some succeed better than others. Naturally there are certain topics, images, phrases that echo themselves – but overall, I hope they make for an eclectic, interesting read.

What remains constant is the theme: there’s poems about true love, soul mate love, infidelity, whale love, first love, lost love, unrequited love, undeclared love, dark love, abandoned love, arrogant love, ghost love, broken love, eternal love, love-at-first-sight love, literary love, 10-second love, pure perfect impossible love, painful love, imagined love, fantasy love, universe-ending love … & more besides I’m sure.

I hope you seek out & enjoy love: a test run …

it’s available at these addresses:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/519315 (sample & full download available)

http://www.wattpad.com/myworks/32748708-love-a-test-run (sample only)

& via your ereading devices shortly (i hope, once it gets approval) ((if i understand how it all works :) ))

if you read & like, leave a comment.


but as a taste test of the test run …

here are two poems i particularly enjoy

Day 10. explaining the universe, using the physics of love

here’s what happened

put into the simplest

language i can muster

as best as i understand

20 years on

~

i gave you more of my heart

than i could reasonably

be expected to lose

then you died

gone — none know where

~

that part of my heart so gifted

went with you

~

& that … is how

black holes are made


Day 16. love poem to my plump lover

how do i love thee

let me not count the weighs


Later skaters. May you survive Valentine’s Day — whether it is a day of joy or pain for you …

thinking of a friend on their birthday

This is a bit unusual.  Two updates in 2 days (& it’s not even NaPoWrMo!).  But thinking of a friend on their birthday led to this.  It’s not the sort of thing I usually write, but I guess always writing the same thing can get boring.

Two verses came easily standing at the sink. Two were tougher (if I’d known how tough, I might not have persevered.)  Thanks to Aristotle for letting me pinch his phrase for my title.

NB despite my best tweaking I can’t get the display image (below) to stop appearing slightly pixelated. If you click on it though, it will be crystal clear.

*****

slow ripening fruit

fruits of a lazy sunday

Despite the catchy title of this post, I actually got quite a bit done yesterday.

I wrote drafts of, edited or tweaked at least half a dozen poems. Not to mention read, took the dog for a wild weather beach walk, & lost several hours in the perennial pleasure of tidying & rearranging books on their shelves.

I even spent a few minutes thinking about doing the dishes. (Sure a pedant will point out they didn’t actually get done, but you have to start somewhere.)

So here’s the first draft of one of the new poems. (It actually had a verse revised late in the evening, so technically I guess it’s draft #1.5.)

*****

essence of sunday afternoon
all week

i’ve been looking forward
to the thought of writing
a poem which captures the
essence of sunday afternoon

after a decadent sleep-in
i read in bed for a little
get up, toast crumpets
drown them in butter

make a fresh black coffee
stretch, sit at my desk
stare out my window
scribble over neat notes

realise i need to think
more deeply on the subject
lie on sunwarmed couch
— wake three hours later

job done

*****

rainbow hammock

 

NB this is not a photo of me in my hammock hee hee

~ interlude ~ “Eureka!” Another poem published…

Just a quick heads up to let folks know that one of my poems was published in yesterday’s Eureka Street.  Link here.

I’d like to say it’s a cleverly timed poem which combines two very hot topics in the news ATM — terrorism (internal) & climate change — so therefore well done, Mr Finger On The Pulse Of Contemporary Issues Poet Of The People …

… but the fact it’s appeared when it has, is probably just a coinkydink.

Hope you enjoy it…

(No doubt I’ll enjoy the cheque when it arrives. It may even been in double figures :) )

Staph-420x01

Image taken from here

what comes when you have other deadlines

A friend & I are currently doing a trial run for a project we’d like to deliver early next year. This means we are each writing a poem a day (supposedly for all of September, but we’ll see how dry the well gets).  It’s similar to a NaPoWrMo — but a theme has been selected & each poem is an exploration of that theme. We intend to invite other poets, set tasks, & look to publish the best of, etc etc. But I digress.

Six days in, it’s exciting but definitely a very challenging task.

Naturally, given that I have a daily deadline & a set topic — I’m finding all sorts of reasons to write those other poems — NOT AT ALL RELATED TO THE POSSIBLE FUTURE PROJECT TEST RUN!!!! — which have been inside for a few months … or are discovered as I research topics only tangentially related to the topic (if at all).

This is good for those BONUS poems (I must be producing 3  for every 1 project poem each day, & fragments / sketches of others). So it’s nice to have a lot of new first drafts under my belt. [Seriously the application of a curfew makes the fun you have after it has expired soooo much more wonderful!]  But I hope the designated topic starts turning up some gems soon.

This is one of those offcuts. I don’t actually need to say much more about it, as the poem is a little too self-explanatory (hey it’s only a draft) & will tell its story walkin’. The title, sadly, I think is my favourite part :)  But it is, at the very least, a quirky piece of information – definitely worth the share.  Thoughts/comments always appreciated.

 

Johannes Goropius Becanus’s Brabantic Obsession

was it:

hubris, naiveté or desperation to be near
a god that patiently does not exist, or at the last
doesn’t actually care enough to intervene

which led 16th century Dutch amateur linguist
Johannes Goropius Becanus to prove
Brabantic was the language spoken in Paradise?

his key theory:

the world’s original language must be its simplest
& given innocent Brabantic has more short words than
Latin, Greek, & Hebrew — viz. it’s older than all three!

corollary theories:

all languages have bitten from the Brabantic tree
Egyptian hieroglyphics represent Brabantic
Eden was located (you guessed it) in the Brabant

oh — did I mention Brabantic was the language
spoken between the Scheldt & Meuse Rivers
in Holland, the region right where Goropius lived?

IKR, coincidence or what!

*****

Tree_of_Knowledge_by_The_Fairywitch

Tree of Knowledge by The-Fairywitch

with legs over the edge

back on the write path again …

Ok, so let’s start by ignoring the long break between posts. Many (many) poems have be crafted since April, some of them even quite good, they just haven’t made their way here. NaPoWrMo, while fun, sure was exhausting. Almost as exhausting as what inspired today’s poem.

A friend has just recently begun addressing her unhealthy eating habits & lack of exercise in a very awesome way: by eating healthier & going hiking in the beautiful Aussie bush – during this glorious time of year as winter wears off, & the southern world stretches out & starts to warms up.

She’s also been highly proactive in posting about this on her Facebook page, making winterslobs like me realise we won’t be able to hide under our baggy jumpers for much longer.  She also reminded me how much I love bush walking & how since getting Chester, walks have been “confined” to the beach & along the river …

So today I researched hiking trails which allow dogs, packed the old backpack full of notebooks, a couple of books to read sitting in the sun, the binoculars, a bird identification book, some poop bags, a cap, water, trail mix (well a pumpkin seed roll, a carrot & a capsicum) … & set off.

This poem is the result. It’s in picture form because wordpress doesn’t cope with quirky layouts too well.  It’s in two parts. If they’re not quite big enough to read, click on each verse to make it full size :)

Enjoy. & I will make sure the time elapsed before the next update is less pronounced.

bush walk - i. leah fire track   bush walk - ii. timbercutters trail

 

a couple of snaps taken while on the trail

chester smells

the creek

red breast (look for it)

look closely

red-breast cu

 

 

more photos?

another photo? but he’s very polite about it …

you lookin at me?

He’s quite photogenic (I thinks)

panorama reduced

the view

Day 30 – April Thirty: two, for the price of one

NaPoWriMo is over for me for 2014.  There’s no need for an introduction cos I say it all in the poem.

NaPoWriMo 2014 meta-poem

i.
this last, a self-referential postmodern effort
where i talk about writing the poem itself
& how even finding the title proved elusive
vacillations between the technoesque
“rebuild”, “reboot”, even “re-de-construct”
to the cliched “fresh start” & “new day”
& the punning “imperfect storm”
it’s been a challenging month on a life front
wherein i survived easter (always a dark time)
dealt with banal bureaucracies who
(simply because they weren’t paid for several months)
disconnected power & phone
was unable to use an expired credit card
risked not being able to drive as my car
was 3 hours away from being unregistered
being cancelled from my artist payment grant
because i hadn’t attended a meeting
searched for long lost medicare & healthcare cards
(finding one out of two) almost missed out
on participating in my new course of study
owing to a clerical error…

… but all that changed today
when my long awaited tax refund
magically appeared in my bank account
& the clouds parted & the sun shone down
& life almost did, literally, start again

ii.
yet despite enduring
all that Real World guff
i’ve scribed & posted
30 poems in 30 days
played a few word games
some less successful than others
received some moving feedback
gone from 0 to 50 followers
(thank you all) & been viewed
over 470 times in 11 countries
all of which helps make my first
NaPoWriMo a true blast

i feel exhausted
sad
drained
strangely addicted
wishing for a few more days
wishing Day 16
had a bigger response
& i could reveal the punchline

i’m gonna miss it like mad
because while i published 30 poems
there’s at least another 30
in various solid draft stages
& 30 more abandoned ideas
that might warrant revisiting
when i have more time & energy
so all in all, a profitable month

it’s good
to be
a poet

 

BONUS POEM:  I began this month with a poem about stars. I want to end it the same way, except this is just about one star. My favourite one.

 

latecomers to the sunset

people continue to stop    suddenly
iPhonestruck    fumbling in awe
to snapcapture    the wild gold
firestorm    our universe is  flaring

it’s glorious  admittedly   but i keep
thinking    half-smugly  half-sadly
you should have been here 
15 minutes ago

*****

 2014-04-30 23.49.30