Well, it is almost that time of the month again… time for the gathering that is SpeedPoets. So, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Brisbane this Sunday (October 4), pack up your poems and head on down to The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St. New Farm), from 2pm. This month features poetry sets from Alan Jefferies and Bruce Dorlova as well as Sheish Money and I stepping out again to play some poems from The Stillest Hour (and some new stuff). As always there will be free zines, plenty of Open Mic and other give aways. To make your poetic tastebuds sparkle, here’s a poem from Alan and Bruce.
See you Sunday…
Don’t feed the birds
by Alan Jefferies
Don’t feed the birds
that’s what the letter said
We, the Body Corporate
prohibit you from
feeding the birds.
He didn’t care
he sat all day on the roof
in his dressing gown
a bucket full of bread by his side
the birds seemed to like it
the skinny ones, that is
the fat ones could no longer make it
to his fourth floor balcony window.
While the hallway filled with letters
threatening court action
a firing squad at dawn.
He didn’t worry
as long as they kept coming
swooping over his head like the spokes
of a giant wheel
showering the suburb with the shit
his neighbours now held him responsible for.
by Bruce Dorlova
it has become the custom
among our kind to always carry
this is the age of Aquarians
each polycarbonate amphora
for want of lack.
i embrace parching
wrap it in thickfurred tongue
close it in creaking voicebox
surrounded by small seas i
salt sharpens thirst.
This is the conundrum of oceans
That whole dry winter, I listened to Skip James.
Imagined him arriving at Newport after
Elvis, wearing a simple black suit: those
high top shoes and felt
hat tipped over his eyes.
Thought of him shy on stage with Bukka
and Son, hidden for thirty-three years
chasing Jesus, until his worn fingers picked
out an old song. Then Skip’s voice
rose ethereal, sweet notes and phrases
invented in church halls and lumber
camps, using all the sinews
of his face and muscle of tongue.
And what thrills me now
is when he grinned to thank
the crowd that sat in awe, and saw
slyly from the corner of his eye
those two blues giants
sitting motionless, their tribute
simply, an astonished sigh.
About Skip James:
Trail of the Hellhound: Skip James
Can’t Find No Heaven: The Mysteries of Skip James
The Music of Skip James:
Cherry Ball Blues
Devil Got My Woman
The new music cup is spilling over at the moment, with some very cool releases. Here’s a taste of what’s creating waves in the world of this Lost Shark.
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Sorya Market
This track is taken from the film The Girls of Phnom Penh and can be found on their new release White Lunar, which collects much of this duos soundtrack work from the last few years. Since the departure of Blixa Bargeld and more recently Mick Harvey from the Bad Seeds, Ellis has become Cave’s main collaborator. This track is stunning in its simplicity.
Do Make Say Think – A Tender History in Rust
Toronto’s Do Make Say Think are set to release their sixth long player Other Truths, and while it may only have four tracks, this is definitely not an EP. Do Make Say Think, create sonic narratives, songs that cast off the compositional anchor and set sail for non-liner waters. Here’s a track from their last album, You, You’re a History in Rust to help you on your way… Other Truths will be released in late October. You can currently listen to a sample here.
Lou Barlow – The Right
Barlow is an indie institution. Whether he be with Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion or in solo mode, his songs have always had a clear-eyed pop sensibility. His new album Goodnight Unknown will be released in early October. For those of you who just can’t get enough Lou, you can watch a documentary of the making of Goodnight Unknown here.
Ghostboy with Golden Virtues – Wolfish
This is the first taste from what is sure to be a wildly dynamic debut album. Shot in New Farm Park in the depths of morning, this showcases Ghostboy with Golden Virtues at their dizzying best. It’s Howling meets Breakfast Club, it’s burlesque meets snyth pop, it’s damn good fun!
My wife has fallen asleep on the dune, her pose
a snail baring its shoulders to the moon.
I sneak a hand under her hair to fish for dreams.
a child again
pulls me under
We sit at the edge of the lake
your shadow sewn into mine.
You say Ursa Major resembles a polar bear
the sight chills you all over.
At this moment, two swallows ballet across the water
ruffling the stars’ reflections.
They have bought us a night from the south.
If only I could own this beach front cottage
I’d enjoy golden sand from the deck by day and by night
listen to the dialogue between ocean and sky.
If only I could have keen eyes
like Issa’s, able to discern the tip of a wing, a snail
deserting its shell, the iris sharpened by sun.
If only I could see life like this
admire the evening sky, yet know the spectacle
is but a trick Apollo plays.
But only for a moment do crickets hum like the sea
once the sound is gone, only mist remains, or perhaps
a bright moon rising in the east.
Looking out my dusk-coloured window
I measure the depth of the distant ocean.
After puffing air on the windowpane
I trace a slender boat with my finger
and at the end of a narrow path
my wife’s face, returning from the beach.
A dinghy, long sunk, resurfaces at low tide
gushing rust and seagrass, pulled back into
rotted use by a family of gulls.
Under an arcade of clouds
and a sky growing pale
the park gives up its green.
Two wagtails voice their secret:
Every pebble in this garden
is round. We know – we have beaten them
with our tails.