i'm on the radio!, new poems, poems, Published work

Donna Noble Has Been Saved (On The Radio)

Earlier this week I had a poem on RRR’s Breakfast show as part of their “Genius Squad” feature. My old buddy alicia sometimes is doing a regular feature in that slot, and for this particular instalment she decided to talk about Doctor Who and poetry. As you do.

This, naturally, led her to contact me to ask if I had any poems about the Doctor. To which I said, sure, pointing her in the direction of Whose Doctor? Reflections on a Time Lord, which features my poem “Donna Noble Has Been Saved”.

alicia asked if there might’ve been a recording of the spoken word event that the collection was based on, and I said hang on a mo, sneaking that lunchtime into an empty teleconferencing room at work and recording the sucker on me phone like I was in the future or something.

I wasn’t expecting the breakfasters to work the TARDIS’s trademark wheezing, groaning sound effect in at the start of the poem, nor was I expecting that funky, moog-y, swingin’ version of the theme song to accompany my words, but hey – I think it works.

Have a listen – hope you like it, and if you’re inclined to read along with your post hoc breakfast poetry about Doctor Who, don’t forget that you can score yourself a copy of Whose Doctor? in a range of ebook formats from Tomely (.epub and .mobi only) and Smashwords (pretty much any format you can think of).

i would like to recommend these people's writing, people who are nice enough to publish me, poetry, why do you write poetry?

Why Do You Write Poetry? – alicia sometimes

20130502-083604.jpg
alicia sometimes is the latest bunny to jump into the headlights of the tricky question that I habitually put to poets and yet never deign to answer myself.

Her answer went up on The Blue Corner a while back. Here ’tis.

Meantime if’n you want to have a crack at answering the same Q, please leave a comment or get in touch via email like the older folks do.

i would like to recommend these people's writing, my talented friends, poetry, the writing process

Next Big Thing: The Face of Devastation

devastator

  • TL;DR: Giant robots and poetry together at last for the first time the way you demanded it.
  • Keywords: Giant robots, Transformers, poetry, John Warwicker
  • Word count: 1,293 words

Just before Christmas I got contacted by David Prater about participating in a little blog meme thing called Next Big Thing, whereby you do a short self-interview about the next big project that you plan on unleashing on the world. I was supposed to get it done by Boxing Day, but that didn’t happen.

Anyway, here’s the interview, in which I reveal more than I ever have before about a sekrit projekt I’ve been noodling away on for the last couple years.

What is the title of your book?

Working title is The Devastator Poems, or possibly The Face of Devastation.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A multi-author suite of poems about giant transforming robots, the poems in which also literally transform and merge together to form a giant robot.

Continue reading “Next Big Thing: The Face of Devastation”

i would like to recommend these people's writing, lines I wish I'd written, new poems, new ways to procrastinate

Bessie Smith and the Pretty Kitties

(Michael Ondaatje vs. alicia sometimes)

At first she refused to sing. But here she was. A long brown dress, with fringes. Fred Longshaw at the piano.

I slip by the mike, throw trashed words into laps.
my bass is chalk. the dearth of the carpet shows,
especially on the sad ones with grenade smiles.

She wore wings. They raised themselves with her arms each time she coaxed a phrase. The feathers black as the Steinway. You should have been there.

my words are mint. the cigarettes heckle for space.
I’m lost for stage wit. more porn dancing
in the corners and record men with old pens.
when the chorus comes I’m found out like a junkie.

When she returned she brought out the band. They were glad to have arrived on Earth, but they too had hoped for Havana. By midnight her voice was even better. She talked more between songs.

counting the heads. how many have the potential to love me?
too many shoes have been used as belts. this ending is pastry.
the feedback is messing with my encore.

We stood like sudden wheat.

I wait for the rider so I can give it to someone else

But she could not hear us.

this isn’t poetry

She could not see us

but it’s too wet for rock ‘n’ roll

Then she died again.

comic reviews, comics, i would like to recommend these people's writing, i'm on the radio!

Review: Feynman

Yesterday arvo I was once again upon the airwaves having a nice old chinwag about comics with the delovely Lorin Ford (no relation) and alicia sometimes (also no relation). The topic on our lips this time around was Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick’s comic biography of US physicist and pop cultural icon Richard Feynman, fittingly titled Feynman.

And here’s what we said:

Once again, on listening back I realised that I had begged one of Lorin’s insightful questions, namely whether the biography tended to lionise Feynman or display him in a more critical warts-and-all light. To which I should have responded by pointing out that since the book is told in Feynman’s own words, excerpted from his own memoirs and lectures, and since Feynman could fairly be said to have had a reasonable ego on him, the book isn’t what you’d call harsh in its criticism of things like his involvement in developing the atomic bomb, or his reputation as a womaniser, or his arrogance in general, but neither does it completely sweep such things under the table. Feynman was certainly a man who could admit his own mistakes,which he did in his own writing, and that aspect of his personality is reflected in Feynman. It’s certainly not a hagiography, then, but it’s definitely a celebration of his life and achievements.

As I said in the review, with Feynman Ottoviani and Myrick have put together a very good and beautiful-to-look-at Richard Feynman primer that, while not necessarily bringing anything new to the table, still offers a great introduction to the man.

Feynman is another amazing addition to the ever-growing stable of amazing comics coming out of the First Second imprint, which is fast becoming my favourite graphic novel imprint for its willingness to publish such a wide range of stories that that demonstrate the infinite potential of the comic form.

comic reviews, comics, i would like to recommend these people's writing, i'm on the radio!

Review: Hidden

This arvo I had a chat with alicia sometimes and Clementine Ford (no relation) on RRR’s Aural Text. I gushed and mused (mushed? gused?) at them about Mirranda Burton’s Hidden, a beguilingly gentle and deft collection of stories about her job teaching art to adults with intellectual disabilities.

It sounded a bit like this:

I didn’t come right out and say it, but I really love this collection. I’m intrigued by the venture into graphic novel territory that this represents for poetry publisher Black Pepper, but I can see the logic in the fit: like a lot of good poetry, Hidden uses a combination of personal stories, metaphor and flights of fancy to reveal the unique and the universal in everyday life. Here’s to seeing more comics turn up in unexpected places.

More info about Hidden can be found over at Mirranda’s blog and her website, Pawpedaller, and you can buy it online from Black Pepper.

comic reviews, comics, i would like to recommend these people's writing, i'm on the radio!

Review: Literature – Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953

Couple weeks back I was on Aural Text with hosts alicia sometimes and Lorin Clarke, gabbing about Dave Kellet’s Sheldon webcomic, specifically the Literature – Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953 collection, which collects all of the words-and-books-themed strips into one volume.

As Kurt Vonnegut has so eloquently said in the past, Listen:

I was a little unsure about blogging this one. On listening back I have to admit I think I flubbed my answer to alicia’s question about where Sheldon sits within the world of comics. If I had my druthers I’d go back and have another go at answering that by simply pointing out the prevalance of webcomics and maybe delineating between webcomics that fit more into the comic book mold, and those that fit more into the comic strip mold, of which Sheldon is an excellent example.

Continue reading “Review: Literature – Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953”

comic reviews, comics, i would like to recommend these people's writing, i'm on the radio!

Review: Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth

Axe Cop Bad Guy Earth issues 1-3

Yesterday I was on RRR’s Aural Text in my role as their occasional comic reviewer, saying nice things to the delightful alicia sometimes about Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth, Dark Horse Comics’ three-issue series starring the eponymous cop-with-an-axe who became internet famous little more than a year ago as the star of a webcomic writen by 5-year-old Malachai Nicolle and drawn by his 29-year-old brother Ethan.

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth is an uncensored tour of a young boy’s frenetic imagination, ably complemented by his big brother’s intricate, deft and goofy illustration style, which effortlessly draws readers in and brings them along on the perpetually-stake-escalating journey.

Hard to pick a favourite moment in this comic, but if forced I’d capitulate and kind of cheat and say it was a toss-up between the battle between the vikings from the Planet of the Vikings and the baseball players from Planet Baseball (spoiler: the Vikings win, thanks to Axe Cop smuggling them a box of exploding baseballs), and the climactic battle where Axe Cop and his buddies, all smooshed together into one giant monster with all of their faces, fight the evil versions of themselves also all smooshed together into a giant monster with all of their faces.

When Composite Axe Cop Sockarang Yo-Yo Man Uni-Man Bear Cop Wexter Ralph Wrinkles Sockarang's Mom Monster fights Composite Robot Snow Dinosaur Bootarang Chainsaw Cop Beardroid Shield Wolf Bad Angel Robot Satan Monster only one can survive!

As I say in the review, this comic is fun. Big, dumb fun. Have a listen, and check out the previews at Dark Horse Comics, or head over to http://axecop.com to experience Mr. Cop’s webcomic for yourself, the place where it all began.

gigs, short stories

Newstead Short Story Tattoo 2011

Newstead’s premier biennial literary event returns this May with a cavalcade, a cornucopia, a veritable concupiscence of practitioners of the short form descending upon the unprepossessing hamlet between 13 and 15 May 2011.

It’ll be a pretty chockers weekend, with events happening all over town, from the signature Fire Stories evening event at the Newstead Racecourse to the Newstead Murders local crime stories gig at the Newstead Courthouse. It’s a pretty stellar list of performers, including Gareth Liddiard, Don Walker, Gary Foley, alicia sometimes, Josephine Rowe, Emilie Zoey Baker and Eric Dando.

Most of the gigs are entry by donation, so there’s hardly any real excuses not to be there as a gorgeous country town that is the delightful Newstead gets completely swamped by literature for an entire weekend.

Anna and I are part of the show, but that ain’t the only reason to go, of course. We’re fronting up at the Local Literati event that closes the 2011 Tattoo at 6.30pm on 15 May at the Newstead Mechanics Hall.

Full details of the tattoo are over at http://newsteadtattoo.org. See you there.

gigs, i would like to recommend these people's writing

Gig: Poetry & science

Couple of weeks ago I had dinner with a bunch of poets and rocket scientists, which was a brainstorming session for the upcoming Poetry and Science reading that the Australian Poetry Centre are running as part of their National Science Week program.

Highlights of the evening included a delicious chocolate custard tart, an animated discussion about a series of experiments that are happening at Melbourne Zoo to find out how bees respond to microgravity and artificial horizons, and the presence of an ACTUAL FREAKIN’ ROCKET IN THE LOUNGEROOM.

Continue reading “Gig: Poetry & science”