Tag Archives: Andy Jackson

Another Lost Shark 2012 Tour: La Mama Poetica

This week the family are packing up the warm clothes and wet weather gear and heading to Melbourne for a few days, culminating in a reading at the legendary, La Mama Poetica on Monday July 16. La Mama Theatre is located at 205 Faraday Rd, Carlton and the box office opens at 7:30pm with the live poetry starting at 8pm.

MC’d by the delightful Andy Jackson and Anna Fern, the night features readings by Melbourne stalwart, Myron Lysenko, the enigmatic Laura Jean McKay, the Melbourne launch of home{sic} by Julie Beveridge and of course, this Lost Shark. And to keep everyone warm and moving, DJ Lapkat will be bringing the poetic noise!

Should be an incredible night, so if you are anywhere nearby, get along!

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities

Poetry Picks of 2010 – Andy Jackson

Cravings for a spectacular sun by Peter Davis.

When Peter Davis was a featured poet at the iconic La Mama Theatre earlier this year, he left a pile of “Cravings for a spectacular sun” on a table near the door with a note saying “free to a loving home”.  On the inside sleeve, Davis suggests donating to 3CR.  To so openly eschew the traditional consumerist approach to the distribution of poetry, while supporting a Melbourne grassroots public radio station, with his debut collection is an unambiguous statement – Davis’ poetic is wholistic, political and spiritual in the best sense.  The poems in this book, published late in 2009, amply reflect that approach.

The first stanza of the book is breathtaking in its simplicity of observation and compassion for life in all its forms.

 The first bird to sing before dawn is bravest,
 barely able to see, slowly rotating her neck.  You
 should subtract by one, the number of persons
 suggested for a tent.  An ancient saying,
 ‘Where once was fire, there may still be hot coals’.
 My ex-lover lays asleep in warm ash.
                                                                             “cravings for a spectacular sun”

Davis has lived with HIV for the last twenty-four years, has spent time as a hermit in the bush and a lot of time at inner-city pubs and clubs, has a young son, and busks often at the Footscray train station.  All these elements of his life filter into a poetry that is deeply personal but never self-indulgent – the sensitivity, restraint and composure always opens the poems out onto the broader world.  Sometimes surreal, almost always surprising, “Cravings for a spectacular sun” affects the reader like an enlightened Frank O’Hara or a gentler Robert Adamson, yet it is utterly unique.

 I believe in life after death, of course I believe that life will continue without me
 we can learn to support the sky with dust, singing of faith like crickets in chorus
 death is a serenade by a dog licking a busker’s watch and leaving three whiskers.
                                                                           “when I die let my dog serenade me”

 

Since the mid 90s, Andy Jackson has read at dozens of events and festivals (including The Age Melbourne Writers Festival, Australian Poetry Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Newcastle Young Writers Festival and Overload Poetry Festival), had poems published in a variety of print and on-line journals, been awarded grants from the Australia Council and Arts Victoria, been the recipient of an Australian Society of Authors mentorship, and self-published two collections of poetry.  He is also an infrequent collaborator with musicians, sound artists and other writers.  His most recent collection of poems, Among the Regulars, was released by papertiger media in 2010.  He is currently working on a series of ghazals.

1 Comment

Filed under discussions, poetry & publishing

A few days with Salt on the Tongue pt. 1

Well I am finally back in home waters and my head is leaking poetry, thanks to an incredible weekend in Goolwa + Tuesday night’s Riverbend Books reading & last night’s Back Room event at Confit Bistro.

So my thoughts on the Salt on the Tongue festival…

Let me start by saying that Goolwa is beautiful country and it was a true privilege to be welcomed to the land by Aunty Eileen of the

Ngarrindjeri people, in traditional language as part of the festival’s opening night celebration. Other highlights of opening night were the debut screening of a film produced by Joe Dolce, featuring one of the last ever interviews with the late Dorothy Porter, detailing her love of C.P. Cavafy and the festival launch speech by Stefano De Pieri, best known for his television series A Gondola on the Murray and his work with the Mildura Writers Festival. Stefano spoke passionately about the land and the devastation of the Murray River as a result of the years of irrigation; his speech brimming with the same wild fire that makes poetry so vital, concluded with a poem about the Murray written by Paul Kane.

And then came readings by the international guests: Glenn Colquhoun (New Zealand) who charmed the audience, reading a series of love poems for an ex-girlfriend who was born in South Australia; welshman Robert Minhinnick; Slam Queen, Arianna Pozzuoli (Singapore) who lit up the stage every time she got near a microphone; and Elizabeth Smither (New Zealand). A big first night… and after rising at 4:30am it was time for this Lost Shark to close his eyes and prepare for Saturday.

Saturday kicked off with readings from Bronwyn Lea (her poem Insufficiaent Knowledge gets better every time I hear it), who then introduced Yvette Holt who read a selection of her work from Anonymous Premonition and Sandra Thibodeaux who’s new collection ‘extinctions’ is an absolute gem. Favourites from her set included Extinction (An obsession with the sea steers his poems/ but he’s no lovelorn sailor/ no spilt seaman) and Rabies (Your dog bit me/ right on the throbbing part of my thigh./ And I know why:/ he sniffed that I was another mongrel/ grovelling fro your scraps). A bristling first session!

This was followed by a reading from three Tasmanian Poets – Esther Ottaway, Anne Kellas and Adrienne Eberhard. I was particularly taken by Adrienne’s work. Her poems Phosphorescence (When I pull the rope, a bucket/ of drowned stars appears, as if the night-/ sky’s fallen into the sea) and Earth, Air, Water, Fire: A Love Poem in Four Elements ( from earth: We carry caves inside us/ – the heart’s dark chambers,/ water-washed cavern of the womb) are still resonating with me.

Then we were off to Cafelicious for the launch of Andy Jackson’s debut collection, Among the Regulars. While it was sad that Andy’s book was not there for the launch (it is however now available online), it is always a pleasure to hear Andy’s wonderfully physical work. And he is one of Australian poetry’s true gentlemen!

Following this we took off to catch the end of the Motherlode launch. And what a launch. This was a true poetry sampler, with 21 of the included poets (incl. Jordie Albiston, Jill Jones, Jan Owen, Rebecca Edwards, Jude Aquilina, Lisa Gorton) getting up to deliver a poem from the anthology. Motherlode is an incredibly vital anthology and it was a real treat to hear so many of the voices in one live setting.

It was then time to prepare for my own session alongside Alex Skovron, Sarah Day & Louise Oxley. I have long enjoyed the work of each of these poets so it was a real thrill to be able to introduce them and hear them weave their spell. Many of their lines are still circling in my head:

‘one night a thousand calendars from now’ – Alex Skovron

‘ with a brushstroke I can take myself into and out of the dark’ – Louise Oxley

and Sarah Day’s description of a cat poised, ‘a laser beam of concentration’

Saturday night’s main session was a symposium on the state of poetry in the country. While it was wonderful to have a gathering of minds, sharing their thoughts on various aspects of Australian poetry – establishing touring circuits, models to overcome the difficulties with distribution, the merge between Australian Poetry Centre and the Poet’s Union – for me the event missed the mark. Too many of the speakers approached the forum with a narrow focus, speaking emotively about specific strategies being implemented in their state, when what we really need to be looking at is the bigger picture of audience development on a national (and even global) level. Julie Beveridge presented some really interesting data, gathered from a survey of more than 50 poets in Australia, which confirmed that audience development is where our national body needs to be focussing its energy. I do, however, think there are some interesting discussions beginning, as on the positive side, the forum provided an opportunity for many of us to network and make stronger connections.

These discussions continued at the festival club, housed in a little boutique brewery right on the river… and to soundtrack the discussions Max_Mo were carving out a mean groove, featuring some cool jazz and the words of Amelia Walker, Mike Ladd & Rob Walker. A great way to close a massive first day…

I will post my highlights from Sunday and Monday + a few photos tomorrow night.

6 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Another Lost Shark hits the street

I was recently handed the editorial reigns for issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal. This morning, I put the finishing touches on it and handed it over to founding editor, Rosanna Licari. The issue will be titled Street/Life and it is brimming with images of equal parts beauty and decay. It features 21 poems from 12 streetwise poets: Emily XYZ, Matt Rader, Hinemoana Baker, Steve Kilbey, Jacqueline Turner, Ashley Capes, Suzanne Jones, Jeremy Balius, Amanda Joy, Andy Jackson, Jessika Tong & Max Ryan.

It will be live online as of April 1 and I ain’t fooling when I say this issue is going to whack your senses and make you want to rush out into the babble of your own streets.

Here’s a poem from one of the Street/Life poets, Amanda Joy to transport you from your computer screen into the caffeine starved streets of morning.

 

               Cappucino Strip

                    In all seasons,
                    6am
                    coffee crowd,
                    know each other
                    by face, to nod, 
                    to complain
                    about the stink
                    of sheep piss
                    from the trucks,
                    to point 
                    at the sky & predict
                    the weather

                    7am
                    each disappears
                    from the street
                    like an actress
                    into a role

3 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

Guided by Poets – Victoria

This Guided by Poets thread showcases the voices of five mighty fine Victorian writers.

I gave the enigmatic Maurice McNamara a call to start the thread and the rest…

So here it is, Guided by Poets (Victoria), featuring poems by Maurice McNamara, Joe De Iacovo, Angela Costi, Jen Jewel Brown & Andy Jackson.

 

Maurice McNamara

Maurice McNamara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pork

I’ve got fat since I found true lady love
and she’s got a bit fat too
Maurice, I’ll do anything for you
and usually it involves pork

I sit on the couch reading true crime novels
whilst she gets on with making a living
editing
it sounds like good money
but it makes her cranky
fixing up crap someone else wrote

I get on the computer after she’s gone to bed
and write things to other poets
sometimes in other countries
with headphones on
that I don’t want to read next morning
because drink declares
you’re stupid

we argue on Fridays
when we get back together again
are you listening to me darling?
she’s worrying about the cat
we eat at occasional tables found in a garage sale
sometimes she cooks and sometimes I do

by Saturday morning we’ve got the weekend
I bring her breakfast
who goes to the toilet first?
and then shower
she takes an hour to primp her hair

when I’ve evacuated my bowels
and drunk coffee, I’m almost human
sometimes we just sit around and do word play
we go to Footscray and eat Vietnamese soup
some days we go to the country

in a good relationship
you just run across perfect moments
because the universe loves a lover

but she complains
if I take her down factory roads
where, too often, I like to go
but usually we find a cat, a goat
a rare weed, a flower
a smell
something built in iron we take home

our love doesn’t depend on agreeing
we leave our strangeness strictly alone
we’re at that time of life when we can point out houses we lived in
but we don’t want to live in those houses anymore
I laugh at her in that strange hat
she laughs at me trying to climb the hill
but she’s close to my hand
when I slip down

 

About Maurice:

Maurice McNamara’s debut collection Half-Hour Country is due to be released in 2009 through Small Change Press. He has been involved with Melbourne spoken word scene for a number of years, and now that his children are almost grown up, can devote himself to the sunny uplands of ART.

 

 

 

 
Dismantling a flockhouse

(for Mars)
My brother said
                                that machine
is older than you and me
put together.
                    Textile plants offer the cleanest
ending
                    with off-cuts,
spools still half-wound with cloth,
clusters of lint hovering in corners
as if they’re moths
caught in an eddy.
                  First, cut along the weld,
just here,
                  then the rest of the flockhouse
comes apart in stages.
                 All of these machines
are going off-shore:
to China, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka,
                 my brother said,
leaning over
doubling at the belly
measuring how a mixer’s
shaft is to be unbolted.
                 On the bonding oven’s guards
and long flat panels:
                                defunct roster sheets,
                  faded stickers:
                                -Wipe your hands first-,
a Carn the ‘Roys poster

of a lion holding a bomb-like ball
between its teeth
wearing tight shorts
and a Guernsey of maroon
royal blue and gold.
                    Tattslotto syndicate charts
plotted with crosses of loss
and a few prized ticks
shared-out on Wednesdays.
The names on safety gloves
and dustcoats:
                     Donzo,
                                   Clem, and Toni with an i-
did women work here too?
There are only men helping us
dismember this place they’ve
                     worked in for
longer than you and me put together
my brother said
                     the women were laid off first
                     he said
some blokes decided to stay
on and help us
                     because most of  ‘em won’t
find work again.
In the mornings
                     they nodded their heads at us
                     just enough
to register a ‘Hey’,
                                     ‘Hello’,
                     and on the day
we closed the plant for good
one man said:
                                     ‘Here we are again.’

 

(first appeared in Verandah, vol. 17, 2002)

 

About Joe:

Joe De Iacovo’s writing/poems have appeared in Meanjin, Southerly, Verandah, and others. He currently works as a counsellor.

 

 

Angela Costi

Angela Costi

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Sheep One

They found her swivelled in her lover’s arms,
instantly branded, seared with the hottest tongues
still she swirled deeper, became the second flavour
in the soft serve cone and Andreas became the first.

Her husband was informed while tying up his dinghy,
his hands flew up as if to catch those bad words,
the rope uncoiled and snaked into the sea, he fell in
with his shoes, coat, memories, grappled with the water
he couldn’t drown her green kitten eyes, her splash
of freckles in the indigo light made her look younger
no where near as young as Andreas,
his barber, her lover, his sons’ barber, her lover
his neighbour, her lover, his friend.

She wore her guilt like underwear,
only with Andreas it slipped off, tossed at the doorway,
was sunk in her pheromone’s spell.
Guilt became her second coat worn on the hottest days
when her husband drenched in sea and sorrow
couldn’t speak without a fist fixing into a wall,
her oldest boy tried to split himself in two,
her youngest went missing, found blue-kneed at the dock,
she knotted her apron twice, fought only with grease,
stains, dust and longing, found her sons another barber.

Andreas couldn’t sleep without her nose butting his neck,
if only it was just the bed where he ached for her,
he couldn’t open cupboards, read books, watch clouds,
he couldn’t cut her style into the shape of others,
her wayward curls were unrepeatable,
he saw his future as a cracked vase with a dried rose.

He tiptoed back to her with a wave across a busy street,
a smile, the freshest longest red rose, a card, a letter,
love written, love touched, love held.
She turned back to ice-cream melt,
clenched her fist against her heart and said,
Tomorrow is only possible with Andreas.

 

About Angela:

Angela Costi is the author of three collections of poetry: Dinted Halos (chapbook, Hit&Miss Publications, 2003), Prayers for the Wicked (CD, Floodtide Audio, 2005) and Honey and Salt (Five Islands Press, 2007). Honey and Salt was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize 2008. Her poems, performance text, essays and stories have been widely published, broadcast and produced, including in the US, UK, Greece and across Australia (for example: Sojourner Boston, wanderingdog UK, LiNQ and Radio National-ABC).

 

 

Jen Jewel Brown

Jen Jewel Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Medusa lead rascalation

I turn on the tv
and there you are
with your guitar slunched into the solo
lathering and turbulating
growling, humming and hubbubing
moa-ning and rascalating
o that thrumming low drung rumble
of your Medusa lead

come closer you
leaning out of the set
to blow your lava crack chick
stack between my feet, bang!
bright spark tangent innocent
reaching down, this thuddering live
rubble crack below
like this massive channel
of vibrating
sex soul synchrome twister wrench
energy opens me up

you right through from the magma
reaching from the hot rock at the centre
of the world right through
to the stratosphere
connecting eerily and endlessly
to you through you to you

now I’m a through-way
a thoroughfare
my fingers radiating
snakes of fire
a lit-up pinball douce machina
paying out in spades, in tangos
bang bang bang ding ding ding
in pepper-tongued blades of words

 

About Jen:

Jen Jewel Brown is a widely published writer across many genres. Her story on familicide and Family Law, Suffer the little children, was featured in The Age on May 3 2009. She is an activist and single mother who likes to see what poetry can stretch to. She prefers to dance with her demons rather than wrestle them, or better still, matchmake them with her angels and get away free. On the brag front, Jen was the winner of the Greater Dandenong Writing Awards Open Poetry Prize 2006, Spinning Room (Melbourne) female ‘call-back’ poet of 2005 and Victorian Writers’ Centre Poetry Cup Best Performer in 2004. She’s also the author of Skyhooks’ Million Dollar Riff  and poetry books Marsupial Wrestling (Outback Press), Alleycat (Feral Books) and gutter vs stars (Flat Chat Press). Her work has been widely anthologised. She is currently working on two new poetry books and other projects. She blogs at: http://flaminghoop.blogspot.com/

 

Andy Jackson

Andy Jackson

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Strange friendship
                   for Norman

The trick has become this – how to pull the thumb out
of the dam and not drown.  Here on the couch, our legs
face in the same direction, our thighs almost touch.

The clinking of pool-balls is an ambient sound,
the crack and sigh of another crude attempt. 
I want to tell you how strange this friendship seems,

to ask you where your grief is, as if in your composure
you are being dishonest, but I fear this might be
the stone thrown into the clear face we’ve made. 

Perhaps this poem will ensure it’s sufficiently obscure. 
Or, in a public place, where a certain absence
of intimacy’s the done thing, here’s an album you might like

and half an answer to a cryptic clue.  Is it funny
when they speak of themselves in the third person
or safe, a way to pull back as they begin to shrink

into the other?  Mateship can be a collusion
or a way out.  You arrived and the line where I end
became slightly more blurred.  Who’s to say

it’s not all a miraculous accident of cause and effect?
Miles away, wave after wave breaks against the beach.
And I speak as if the pulse of blood in us

will not be stopped by any blade or disease,
that these bodies which breathe the same air are enough,
that consciousness is no more problematic than its lack. 

I reckon I’ll get another.  You want one?

 

About Andy:

Andy Jackson has been published in a wide variety of print and on-line journals; received grants from the Australia Council and Arts Victoria, and a mentorship from the Australian Society of Authors; and featured at events and festivals such as Australian Poetry Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Newcastle Young Writers Festival and Overload Poetry Festival.  Most recently, he was awarded the Rosemary Dobson Prize for Poetry, and will be a Café Poet in Residence for the Australian Poetry Centre.  His most recent collection of poems, Among the Regulars, is scheduled for release by papertiger media later in 2009.

2 Comments

Filed under Guided By Poets