Tag Archives: Kent McCarter

SpeedPoets fires up this Sunday

First Sunday of the month means SpeedPoets. Over the past 10 years its become one of this life’s special rituals; a well-lit beacon to light the way through the particularly long weeks (you know the ones) and keep the creative spark smouldering.

This Sunday marks the second gig at Brew. The first one was a standout and with features from Phillip Ellis and Mardi Lumsden on offer this month, I am certain Sunday will be a gig to remember. Of course it is you who gives the gig it’s real kick… you, the one who gets up in the open mic and delivers a moment of stillness or madness or revelation. So if you are in town or anywhere in the vicinity, pack a poem in your pocket and come along… we’ll be listening.

SpeedPoets runs from 2pm – 5pm at Brew, Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City. Here’s the link to a map of where to find it. Entry is a gold coin donation.

And as always, the monthly zine will be available, free-of-charge to the first 40 people through the door. Here’s a couple of poems from the issue:

the pigeons are so fat
 
here in the city and spring is colder,
swooping in and out
of giant, glass corridors
and terrorising vendors
who steam on the footpath,
scarves nearly covering their words.
 
I shuffle into a bookstore
and out again,
clutching a brown paper bag
and crossing to the station,
glancing back at the crowd
to watch as they swell
and shatter on the steps
 
I stop long enough to watch them mutate
into a montage of faces
made lonely by the flat light
and the murmur of distant wheels,
doggedly moving on and into
the steel cocoons that
drive them home.
 
© Ashley Capes

********************

2 x 3 = 7
after Graham Nunn
A rain gauge
reads aloud foreclosure
notice again
and backwards

filling boredom

Recycling trucks
into garden bed
the sleepers’ creosote
a speed limit

onions sleep at

In weeds
resuscitated lawnmowers
massage a bus stop
tense children

cut introductions from

Slavic accents
pass my geometry
exams I broke
down in, once

like a car

Cocktail glass
organises bubbles
in court houses
unions order law

and fizz out
Tasting its ego
maths hold
the Eiffel Tower
less than vertigo
in genealogy

© Kent MacCarter

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Just Kissed Goodbye… Some memories of QPF 2009

QPF 2009 may have just been kissed goodbye, but the words of the 40+ artists who took to the stage continue to resonate in the heads and hearts of the thousands who attended. I am certain that these words will form the seed of many new poems, new friendships, new dialogues and to quote Ferlinghetti, ‘give voice to the tongueless streets’. This quote, alongside ‘wake up, the world is on fire’ (Ferlinghetti), and ‘spoken in one strange word’ (Judith Wright) were written in bold lettering across the windows of The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. These words breathed life into the shopfront space, which was a new (and may I add, very successful) venue for QPF 2009 and set the tone for an amazing weekend of words.

From the Official Opening where I had the privilege of reading the winning poem from this years Arts QLD Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem – The Severant by Andrew Slattery, the festival simply hummed. I would love to share with you a couple of lines from the winning poem… words that will undoubtedly stay with me:

We have ammended the world.
As I walk home I unpick the seams from the footpaths.

Each muscle locomotes my frame.
I wear my suit and walk into the vista city;

through the old mine with its pile of coal like a dead whale;
past the doctor who repaired my chest;

past the tailor who sews spines
into standing men as they wait.

Throughout the festival, there are many other lines that etched themselves into the very fabric of my being… here are a few:

Cancer’s what gets us. Got Grandpa. Got Baba.
It turns you yellow in the end. So, I’ve been smoking
again.

(from Celebration by Elizabeth Bachinsky)

 

You suicided all my poetry was written on your skin first
line
second line
third line a tight rope tight knife

(from Chapter 5 by Paul Magee)

 

A scorched afternoon in the Alice
or the meltdown that lavas out of kiddies
when they cannot have a treat.

(from Station Street As A Dark Nickelodeon by Kent McCarter)

 

take with you plenty of water and one mustard seed of faith

(from Mount Wellington by Jane Williams)

 

Be still. I am the Bear from your dreams.

(from Nature Poem by AF Harrold)

 

And as the festival drew to a close on Sunday night, we celebrated another incredible session featuring the voices of the QPF Committee (Nerissa Rowan, Zenobia Frost, Debra Ralph, Alicia Bennett, John Koenig, Francis Boyle, Jodi DeVantier & this Lost Shark) alongside Jane Williams, Janet Jackson, Angela Costi, Paul Magee, Geoff Goodfellow, Neil Murray, Elizabeth Bachinsky, AF Harrold and Hinemoana Baker.

And importantly, we celebrated the many achievements of Festival Director, Julie Beverdige as she announced she would be standing down from the position. Julie has taken the festival to a new level during her two year tenure, building on the success of the first eleven years and putting in place the necessary structure to make QPF sustainable for many years to come.

QPF  has yet again provided some life changing moments for me (and many others). Moments that will fuel me, until we do it all again in 2010.

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