people who are nice enough to publish me, poetry, the reason why I am doing this, the writing process

Published: One Weird Reason to Quit Your Novel Today

I have an “ideas piece” over on Writers Bloc today. It’s about a thing that happened in my brain about a month or two ago where I decided to finally stop writing the novel I’ve been working on for ten years. Here’s an extract:

…it was exciting being a novelist. A real, actual novelist. Good word, that. The kind of word you can say with pride at a dinner party without anticipating the need for clarification or worrying about killing the conversation.

“Novelist” is what people assume you mean when you say “I’m a writer”. Not “poet”. “I’m a writer,” you say. “That’s great,” people reply, putting you on a mental bookshelf next to Tim Winton and Joan London. “A poet, actually,” you might clarify, then clear your throat.

So there I was, a published poet and a published novelist in a world that by and large valued fiction much more highly than poetry. “I love reading,” someone might say to you, and pretty soon odds are you’ll be comparing favourite novelists. Never poets. Unless the person you’re speaking to is a poet, which is lovely, but that doesn’t happen much.

As a result of all this, I stopped thinking of myself as a poet and started thinking of myself as a writer instead.

You can read the rest of “One Weird Reason to Quit Your Novel Today” over at Writers Bloc.

crappin' on about the inconsequential, man bites dog, Not Quite the Man for the Job, the reason why I am doing this

Happy Birthday to YOU (again)!

Another year ticks over and it’s once again time for a birthday ebook sale. Last year I offered a 50% discount on my ebook poetry collection and novel for 41 hours, but this year I’m going one better (and by “one better” I mean to say “967 hours better”) by offering both of them for NINETY-NINE CENTS EACH FOR THE NEXT 42 DAYS.

Because I’m 42 now. Get it?

Anyway, here’s the link: Go and get yerself some cheap ebooks.

From My Head, From the vaults, Not Quite the Man for the Job, poems, Published work, the reason why I am doing this

From the vaults: Kevin the Fucked-Up Goldfish

He hung there,
floating in the murky water
thinking fishy thoughts.
He was
Kevin the Fucked-Up Goldfish.

His tank sat on top of the fridge
filled with cigarette butts,
beer bottle tops,
a little red Lego man,
gravel from the backyard
and some water.

His scales had lost their colour,
taking him from sunset
to moonrise
(A particularly grubby moonrise).
His fins had gone, too.
So he just hung there
in the bong-water of his home
being Kevin the Fucked-Up Goldfish.

We decided it was time to clean up Kevin’s act
so we filled an old icecream container with water
and put him in.
We scrubbed the tank,
took out all the rubbish
and put in clean gravel and water.
His home clean, we put him back inside
and sat him on the fridge.

He died the next day.

Bonus extra unasked-for authorial statement:

Kevin made his debut in From My Head in late 1995, and was reprised in Not Quite the Man for the Job in 1998. I got a really sweet note from a young girl once, all bright green texta and chirpy round handwriting, about how much she liked this poem and how she made her friends read it when they needed cheering up. I can’t tell you how tickled I get whenever I read the combination of primary school visuals and swear jar language. Brings a tear to my eye, it does.

gigs, my talented friends, the reason why I am doing this, The Third Fruit is a Bird

Proof of Launch #2

This Sunday gone was the family-friendly midafternoon Castlemaine launch for The Third Fruit is A Bird. Midafternoon so that it would a) dovetail nicely with the monthly Farmers and Artists’ markets in town and b) not be too incompatible with afternoon naptime.

There was a good turnout of all ages, from 18 months to ages that it’s probably not polite to ennumerate, and I did my very best all-ages reading accordingly. No f-bombs were dropped, if you get me. Not that my readings are ever very f-bombtastic, although in my previous life as a poet touring high schools, I would bring out poems like “Kevin the F—ed Up Goldfish” to capture the more reticent students’ attentions. Sunday’s crowd, happily, did not require such rude awakenings to command their attention.


The Melbourne launch had been under the ground, in a space only accessible by descending a set of stairs, and in an accidental bid forĀ  symmetry, the launch at the CASPA contemporary art space was an upstairs affair, located neatly above Stoneman’s Bookroom.
Continue reading “Proof of Launch #2”