Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Poetry of Instructions

Today my wife and I picked up and assembled our cot and change table. While the end result is ‘stand back and smile’ wonderful, the process of navigating instructions to get there was like being sunblind in a mirror maze. Seriously, the people that write these things must be illiterate or wildly gifted… or maybe it’s just me.

I mean, why is there always at least one bolt too few or too many; always one piece that no matter how you try to fit it, seems upside down and why does it feel like even an octopus would have difficulty juggling all of the necessary steps with its eight sticky legs?

I have had people say to me on occasion that poetry is willfully and perversely obscure, but for me, nothing is more frustratingly oblique than the diagrams that attempt to show me how to put something together… so just maybe I am yet to find the poetry in instructions?

I am sure I will have many more opportunites to keep looking…


Filed under discussions

The latest release from Another Lost Shark Publications is…

That’s right, in between trips to Vancouver & San Francisco, becoming expecting parents and various other pursuits, my lovely wife and I have been hard at work on the next release for Another Lost Shark Publications – Stolen Moments, by acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter, Andy White. And we are excited to announce that it arrived early this week and looks spectacular! So stay tuned for more details over the next couple of weeks, as Andy will be launching the book at QLD Poetry Festival on Saturday August 27. For now, here’s a sneak preview of the cover:

Ah yes, books are a thing of beauty… a big thank you to Marcel Schwartz for his work on the cover.


Filed under poetry & publishing

Call for submissions: Third Australian Haiku Anthology

It’s now five years since the publication of the Second Australian Haiku Anthology (2006), so another edition of work by Australian haiku poets, now so well represented in contests and publications around the world, is timely.

Submissions for the third edition are invited from poets living in Australia or from Australian poets, resident overseas.

The deadline for submissions is: 30 September 2011

The editors are looking for submissions of up to 5 previously published haiku, typed in 12pt font, clearly marked with your name, postal and email address. Details of where the haiku were published must be included along with details of any awards the haiku may have won. A brief biography is also required.

Submissions can be emailed to Katherine Samuelowicz at or posted to:

paper wasp
14 Fig Tree Pocket Road
Chapel Hill
Qld 4069


In the spirit of haiku, here’s another handful of San Francisco poems to leave you with…

black coffee
with each sip
the stars brighten


rubbing your belly
the beat
of two hearts


first drink
on the horizon
three fingers of sun


Filed under events & opportunities, poetry

Meet the 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Jacob Polley

Jacob Polley is well and truly set up at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and his residence is already building momentum. His workshop series starts tomorrow night at QLD Writers Centre and he is heading up to Rockhampton for workshops and readings later this week. Here’s a link to an interview he did with ABC Radio’s Kelly Higgins-Devine just after he arrived on our shores.

And remember, if you want to experience Jacob’s transcendental style live, make sure you book yourself a ticket to QLD Poetry Festival’s, opening night event, Of Rhythm and Rapture on Friday August 26. It’s a stellar line up featuring, Jacob Polley (UK), Sawako Nakayasu (Japan), Australian Poetry’s Poet-in-Residence, Sandra Thibodeaux and acclaimed singer-songwriter, Kate Fagan. Tickets are available here, so book early and don’t miss out.


Filed under discussions, events & opportunities

Long Live The Independent Music Store

Vancouver and San Francisco sure have some amazing independent music stores and I made the most of them, as while I was away, I heard the news that Brisbane’s last bastion of independent music, Rocking Horse Records was in trouble.

These three stores blew my mind and my budget:

Red Cat Records:

Located out on the very cool Main St. drag, Red Cat is locally owned and run by artists and has a mighty fine catalogue of independent CD’s & vinyl, both new and second hand. While I was there I picked up a copy of Dark Developments by Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power with Amorphous Strums, Gone, a collection of Mono’s early EP’s & David Bazan’s self-titled album, none of which are easy to come by on these shores!

Here’s Vic with Elf Power blowing off some live steam:

Zulu Records:

Zulu have been flying the independent music flag in Vancouver since 1981. After discovering the wonders of their vast second hand catalogue in 2008 on my last visit to Vancouver, I couldn’t wait to get back and make my slow trawl through every CD. Nothing over $6 and boy did I pull out some gems… Vic ChesnuttNorth Star Deserter, TindersticksCurtains and Simple Pleasure and Jack Kerouac’s Readings on The Beat Generation (deluxe little fold out postcard packaging). For mine, the best independent music store in Vancouver.

Amoeba Records:

This place is like nothing I have ever seen… picture walking into a warehouse filled with every CD imaginable and you are pretty close to the mark. And the staff… incredibly knowledgeable and delightfully friendly. They even remove overly feisty customers (aka as aggressive & disorderly) in the most gentle manner. It is touted to be the World’s Largest Independent Music Store and I am a firm believer! If you have not yet found this place (they have a great mail order service as well), then prepare your wallet. I can’t even begin to list all of the discs we bought, but a couple of the real gems were Efrim Manuel Menuck Plays High Gospel, Tarentel’s (San Franciscan Instrumental Legends) Paper White and We Move Through Weather and the most amazing 4xCD box set, Howls, Raps & Roars, featuring Ginsberg, McClure, Meltzer, Ferlinghetti, Rexroth, Whalen, Welch & Lenny Bruce.

And speaking of David Meltzer, here he is reading at the launch of his latest book, When I Was A Poet at City Lights. It’s a pretty amazing 23minutes… we only just missed being able to be there, but more on City Lights in another post.

Needless to say, our stereo has a fine supply of music and poetry to get us through the winter (and then some!).


Filed under discussions, who listens to the radio?

Mid-Winter at The Back Room

After a couple of days at home, I am starting to feel back on the Brisbane clock, but I am sure I will feel even more at home when I get behind the mic with the mighty Sheish Money at The Back Room’s Mid-Winter Session this coming Wednesday. Let me just say… the line up crackles!

Lighting up The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Dogget St, Fortitude Valley) this Wednesday night (July 27) alongside Sheish and I will be the twisted tunes and bent words of Ghostboy & Skye Staniford, co-editor of the legendary Going Down Swinging and all round literary over-achiever, Geoff Lemon, performance ensemble Zen Zen Zo and an exhibition of new work by fashion illustrator, Oliver Searle.

To give you a taste of what to expect on the night, here’s a quick hit from Geoff Lemon, live from the 2009 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup:

and this from the belly of Ghostboy with Golden Virtues:

And with San Francisco still firing all my synapses I will be hollering the words of some of their favourite sons and daughters and I know that Sheish has a few new songs ready to burst, so …

the walls of the place just might implode. Make sure you are there to find out!

If you can make it along, drop a comment on the post and let me know numbers or shoot me an email at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au and I will look after the rest.

Entry is free and the doors open at 6pm with the live sounds beginning to rumble from 6:30pm.

Hope to see many of you there,


Filed under events & opportunities

San Francisco Haiku #7

zen garden
no urge to slap
the mosquito


still in the lap
of buddha
white butterfly


through the redwoods
in such a hurry
summer wind


Filed under poetry

San Francisco Haiku #6

redwood forest
a blue jay disappears
into sky


my forty years
in the stream’s image


wind from the north
handing you a heart
shaped sorrel leaf

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Filed under poetry

San Francisco Haiku #5

one eye on the meat
alley cat
licks itself


busking out of tune
the crow
hits its note


licking the stamp
for your postcard
distant sun


Filed under poetry

San Francisco Haiku #4

passing the station
the jogger puffs
fresh air


park bench
a robin sings
me to sleep


wind up
the school girl’s skirt
how wide the sky


Filed under poetry