Tag Archives: Issa’s Untidy Hut

Brunswick St ginko, Issa’s Untidy Hut & other haiku happenings

There’s been a flurry of haiku activity of late, so here’s a bit of a roundup:

This week, I was one of the Wednesday haiku poets over at Issa’s Untidy Hut along with Bruce Hodder and the mighty Issa himself. You can read the poems here

I have also recently had a handful of haiku published in vol 18: no. 3 of the beautifully produced South X Southeast Haiku & Haiku Arts Journal. If you have never had a look you can do so here.

And just in time for Christmas, the Third Australian Haiku Anthology has just been released by paper wasp. I also have a selection of haiku published in this anthology, which celebrates the vibrant Australian haiku voice. You can read more about the anthology and order copies here.

And finally, here is a selection of poems written as part of last Sunday’s Ginko through Fortitude Valley. I was not able to be there, but these poems bring the ‘Valley’ to life for anyone who has never taken a walk through one of Brisbane’s iconic inner city suburbs.

And tomorrow, we are off to Southbank for another perfect haiku morning…

valley markets
in the mirror
a girl writes her thoughts

Lee-Anne Davie


under a tree
a man contemplates
a parking meter

Lyndon Norton


longevity bench
an old man
smokes a packet

Andrew Phillips

stone sunflowers
in perpetual bloom
cheap lease

Rebekah Woodward


discount massages
the masseuse uses
only one hand

Cindy Keong


morning market
the colours
of a hangover

Tiggy Johnson

2 for $3
or $2 each
plastic buddhas

Chris Lynch


last coins
the old woman feeds
her hunger

Trish Reid


ibis stalk
the city street
wary shoppers

Corrie MacDonald


photography by Cindy Keong


Filed under poetry & publishing

small words

Today I came home to the pleasure of the two latest copies of The Lilliput Review, one of the coolest little magazines you could ever set your hands on and if you need proof, check out this gem from an earlier issue, currently posted on Issa’s Untidy Hut (the blog of The Lilliput Review)



that heavy breath
against smeared glass

the poet rubbing

for the world to
peep through

          Melissa Cannon


The magazine features haiku, artwork and other short poems from around the world and has already helped ease me into the weekend groove, with its many wisdoms.

So here’s a selection of my own haiku… I hope they help lead you into your own weekend space.


                                                                        in the bamboo grove
                                                                        August wind


                                             turning my back
                                             you can make love now


                                                                        sun in the west
                                                                        between us
                                                                        not a word


Filed under poetry, poetry & publishing

LitRock Songs

Issa’s Untidy Hut has long been one of my favourite blogs, serving up some of the finest ‘little’ poems from the Lilliput Review, poetic explorations into the lives and art of poets and of course Issa’s Sunday Service. The Sunday Service features a song which bridges the gap between rock and literature in some fashion… it may be a reference, it may be the artist themselves or it may be that the words demand closer attention. However it happens, we all know music and literature are not as far removed as some would like to think.  And now, Issa’s Sunday Service has put the call out for submissions of your favourite LitRock Songs and to make it even sweeter, if yours is selected, you receive the two current issues of The Lilliput Review.

Now as you know, I am a huge believer in Ezra Pound’s famous words:

poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music

so here’s a few of my LitRock recommendations for you to dip into…

And please, drop your suggestions to me as a comment, I am always up for some listening and don’t forget to email them to the Lilliput Review for consideration (be sure to check out the first 27 tracks before emailing).


lloyd cole#3

Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? – Lloyd Cole & the Commotions

When it comes to Lloyd Cole, there are a number of tracks I could have selected – Rattlesnakes for it’s Simone de Beuvior reference; Perfect Skin for its lyric, Louise is the girl with the perfect skin/ she says turn on the light, otherwise it can’t be seen/ she’s got cheekbones like geometry and eyes like sin/ and she’s sexually enlightened by cosmopolitan; Weird On Me for using a line from Raymond Carver – but I have gone for the lesser known Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? Originally recorded as part of the Rattlesnakes sessions, I chose this song for it’s wonderful Norman Mailer reference and all round lyricism. And with Lloyd playing Brisbane’s Powerhouse tonight, his words have been circling my brain. Be sure to watch the clip above…

Here’s a snapshot of the lyrics:

Pumped up full of vitamins
On account of all the seriousness
You say you’re so happy now
you can hardly stand
Lean over on the bookcase
If you really want to get straight
Read Norman Mailer
Or get a new tailor

Are you ready to be heartbroken?

(read the complete lyrics here)




It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City – Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band

Let’s face it, any song from Springsteen’s first few albums could be included and then there are the tracks from Nebraska & his much overlooked album The Ghost of Tom Joad. The man has penned some of the greatest lyrics of his era. And before I go further into the lyrics of Saint in the City, if you don’t get goosebumps watching this live clip of a young, hungry E-Street Band, tearing up The Hammersmith Odeon on their first tour of Britain, then you need to check your pulse. The way Bruce conducts the whole band here is intense and the guitar duel between he and Little Stevie is white hot. But back to why I chose It’s Hard to be  Saint in the City. Well, it’s purely on the lyric. Springsteen’s early work had that wild, sprawling, carnival feel… all shifting perspectives, haunted visions, streetwise toughness & heady romanticism. Saint is a classic and for mine makes the list every time.

Check out these lyrics:

And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
As the tracks clack out the rhythm their eyes fixed straight ahead
They ride the line of balance and hold on by just a thread
But it’s too hot in these tunnels you can get hit up by the heat
You get up to get out at your next stop but they push you back down in your seat
Your heart starts beatin’ faster as you struggle to your feet
Then you’re outa that hole and back up on the street

And them South Side sisters sure look pretty
The cripple on the corner cries out “Nickels for your pity”
And them downtown boys sure talk gritty
It’s so hard to be a saint in the city

(read the complete lyrics here)



Steve Kilbey

Swan Lake – The Church

Steve Kilbey, like Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan et al. is a poet in his own right. Having released three books – Earthed, Nineveh/The Ephemeron & Fruit Machine – plus the broadsheet, Eden alongside more than 20 albums with The Church (not to mention the myriad other side and solo projects), Kilbey has more than proved his literary credentials. 1992’s Priest=Aura album was a turning point in my own personal history. The albums dense textures and sublime lyricism turned me inside out and set me off in search of poetry. I could have chosen any one of the songs from this album but for now, I will settle with the fragile beauty of Swan Lake.

One night your shoulders will ache
But next day when you wake
You’ll sprout wild wings, and fly high
Just like in Swan Lake

(complete lyrics here)

And for everyone in Australia, don’t forget the band is touring nationally throughout November. Full tour dates are listed on the band’s website.



Filed under who listens to the radio?

To Kerouac, in Heaven

I was following a Kerouac thread yesterday (March 12 being the anniversary of his birthday an all) and wound my way over to Issa’s Untidy Hut where I discovered this absolute gem of a piece from Jack Micheline, titled ‘Letter to Kerouac in Heaven’.




It is taken from Micheline’s most recent volume, One of  a Kind, published by Ugly Duckling Presse.

Micheline is a truly Beat voice. His work is open, free and alive.

Read his Letter to Kerouac here: http://lilliputreview.blogspot.com/2009/02/letter-to-kerouac-in-heaven-jack.html

And for all of you up for a bit of Kerouac news, it seems there will be another new work published later this year titled The Sea is My Brother, written during his time as a Merchant Seaman. Apparantly it pre-dates Town and the City. Will be interesting to read such an early Kerouac voice.


Filed under poetry & publishing