Brisbane New Voices II: John Koenig

During the latter half of 2010, I quietly worked away on Volume II of Brisbane New Voices and I am happy to report that it is now at the printer. I am out-of-my-skin excited about launching this collection in February, as Volume I featuring Jonathan Hadwen and Fiona Privitera was one of my 2010 highlights.

Volume II will again feature micro-collections from two local poets, but let’s do things slowly… let me introduce you to the work of Brisbane’s ‘romantic rebel’, John Koenig. John’s micro-collection, Green Tea & Nicorette features eight poems that he has honed over the years in front of audiences at SpeedPoets and a number of other local events. His words are born of hardship and our unique Australian landscape, but they are brimming with hope and a deep love of people. I think John’s poem, Out Here, is a great introduction to his work. Keep your ears to the waters of Another Lost Shark for news of the launch (and of course, news of the second, feature poet).

Out Here

It’s two tone brigalow belah country, out here.

Out here mirror topped dams reflect a painted sky
out here wedge-tailed eagles spy a bushranger landscape
out here the rainbow serpent rises from its slumber
out here always fills me with longing.

It seems the sun moves so slowly, out here.
Stout bottle trees cast shadows over the land.
My father always said this was good grass country
as long as you get the rain, out here.

Out here old meat sheds cry of past slaughters
out here old graveyards weep of past stories
out here old churches whisper past prayers
out here the past always haunts me.

The night rustles to black, out here.
Behind a moth-eaten theatre curtain
the stagehands of time change the props.
A polaroid dawn will develop, out here.

Out here a man dreams in the night of his father
out here a child screams in the night for her mother
out here forty years will disappear in an instant
out here under a hundred million stars

I hold the world asleep in my arms.

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4 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

4 responses to “Brisbane New Voices II: John Koenig

  1. I love that poem! It really captures that feeling of the vast and timeless outback under the thousands of stars. And the title ‘green tea and nicorette’ is hilarious and modern – makes you want to read on.

  2. Pingback: Riverbend Poetry Series

  3. Pingback: Brisbane New Voices II – Chris Lynch | Another Lost Shark

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