One of the (many) things I am looking forward to about the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series is the launch of Brisbane New Voices II. And as many of you would know, local adventurer, Chris Lynch, is one of the featured poets in this exciting new collection.
Chris was born with twelve fingers in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. To this day, he has also lived in Australia, the USA, China, and Japan. Prone to crazy ideas, he has run off and joined the army, survived Clarion South, walked the length of Japan, eloped, started Tangled Bank Press, and climbed volcanoes. His poetry has appeared in Blackmail Press and page seventeen and is forthcoming in Islet. He recently edited The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder, and Evolution, an anthology of speculative fiction, poetry, and artwork about evolution.
Bashed Flat by Heaven is the title of his debut micro-collection and I recently posted his poem Homo Domesticus as a taster of the work to come. This time around I have been lucky enough to snare a new poem, Bloodbuzz Brisbane, inspired The National, floods and those Sunset Sounds.
Sunset Sounds, 5th January 2011
Did you hear the dams are full? It’s flooding out west
but this is Brisbane and in the Botanic Gardens among
fig trees and shaggy palms the crowd has mostly forgotten
raincoats. Everyone’s drinking—I’m sticking to water.
You’d think this was deep north, but above slick branches
silver towers light the storm clouds lining up to drench us.
A flying fox ghosts overhead as The National take the garden stage.
One of the brothers says we’re excited to be here and the crowd agrees—
people are in the trees.
And then: guitars, keyboard, drums, brass, vocals. One, two,
three songs, and with every cold raindrop life gets better.
You must be loving your life in the rain. People laugh and hoot, raise
plastic cups. This is Brisbane—the dams are never full.
Last song now, and the band sings Terrible Love. The sky opens:
It takes an ocean not to—it takes an ocean not to—
down, down, down it comes, bringing the singer with it,
our shoes sloshing in inches of water among the golden
fig trees and the silhouettes of people drowning in sound
and light and voices cracking with pleasure as the stage
crew mop and the whole crowd knows the words,
new suit soaked but so what and so wet and tipsy we spill
out onto Alice Street and all the streets
are rivers no really all the streets are rivers and the sky is open.
This is Brisbane, and the dams—the dams are full.
You can read more of Chris’ work at www.chrislynch.com.au.
Hope to see many of you at the gig. Full details are:
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The February event features the sonic experimentation of avant-garde poet/musician Pascalle Burton (A Vast Laugh, Small Change Press), the multi-award winning words of Alan Wearne (The Popular Australian Songbook, Giramondo Press) and the launch of Brisbane New Voices II, featuring the debut micro-collections of local poets John Koenig (Green Tea & Nicorette) and Chris Lynch (Bashed Flat by Heaven). And to help raise much needed funds for those who suffered great loss in the recent floods, the Hold Back the Water raffle will be held on the night with all proceeds donated to the QLD Govt’s Disaster Relief Appeal. There will also be a select reading of poems written in response to the floods by Graham Nunn & Sheish Money + other special guests.
Date: Tuesday 22 February
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine.
To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2481
These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!