Guided by Poets is a new way of showcasing poets on Another Lost Shark. It takes the McSweeney’s concept of Poets Picking Poets. A poetry thread will begin in each state of Australia, so for this thread, I headed west and asked Kevin Gillam to send me a poem. Kevin then had the job of inviting the next poet and so on, until a thread of five poems was created. The result… an eclectic offering of words.
and sea breathes louder,
out in creeds of spume, gulls in
squabble for full stops.
you wish you were up there, all
warm updrafted and
weightless. oceans – who draws the
dotted lines? found a
bottle once, flung off Cape Town,
read the message but
scrawl of weed said more. does sand
tire of this rush then
suck? ‘flottle’ – best word for it,
while tonight, moon brushed orange,
In no mood for rhyme
Kevin Gillam: is a West Australian writer with work published in numerous Australian and overseas journals. He has had two books of poems published, both by SunLine Press, “Other Gravities” in 2003 and “Permitted to Fall” in 2007. He works as a secondary school music teacher and freelance ‘cellist and conductor.
In 2000 he was Emerging-Writer-in-Residence at Tom Collins’ House,and was granted the same position at the Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in 2002.
She told her news
scans tests appointment times
sub-text unsaid almost inaudible.
A mundane act
a phone call ended
the self thrown suddenly sideways.
I knew bile-fear
black stench of frostbite
heard a white howling of wind
peered through goaded snow
saw the wolf
casual in the chaos.
Flora Smith is a former language teacher who wrote short stories before she turned to writing poetry five years ago. She is widely published in magazines and journals throughout Australia, such as Westerly, Stylus Poetry Journal, indigo and Famous Reporter. She is an active member of writers’ groups in WA and takes part in regular Perth readings.
After gaining entry to a FAW(WA) Masterclass mentorship program in 2007, she has just published an anthology with 4 other group members. The book, titled ‘Amber Contains the Sun’, will be launched at the Perth Writers’ Festival early in 2009 and other celebratory readings are scheduled to take place in the Perth metro area and country centres throughout the year.
I will find a place to wait.
A niche in the shore-held sea-crags.
I will watch the lighthouse and the coming
and going ships, the world-cruisers,
the private and public yachts,
the racers, fishers, fighters,
pirates and smugglers,
the ships of dull metal and
boats with bright paint,
with sail-quilts, mast-needles, nets,
radar, radio, GPS,
pitching and reeling and rocking and
blustering with a Babel of balloons and
sparkling miniature winebirds and
tinny electronic bells and
genetic gladiators and none
of them will detect me
in my grey waitplace. I will watch them all
until that ship comes, the ship
with the black and red sails that are made of pure skin
with the decks of ebony and carbon steel
with the tall sailors whose robes bear
witness, who reserve
their grey-and-silver wings, worship
their titanium anchor on its hawser spun
from their once-long hair. They will cast
their continental-shelf-gripper gently, with careful
hallelujahs, place their sleek ship
in the tossing flapping sea and in the sea of vessels
and sing and sing, rumgutted, steelsilked,
calling, responding, calling the land,
And I in my hermit-hole will have built
my coracle, small
and sturdy, its
making a ritual. Built
my boat and carved my oars
and practised to strengthen my arms
and heart. I will hear
the singing and launch,
row my raw face through the buoys
and dinghies and liners, row and row, back burning,
arms screaming, row and row, and throw my line,
climb cold railings, fall,
among coiled ropes and mysterious much-used tools
and salt rain will needle me,
giant wings will beat on me,
torn tongues will lash and lacerate and feed on me,
as I lie on that wet deck bleeding in ecstasy.
Since 1986 Janet Jackson has sculpted in English, seeking poems that work whether declaimed loudly or whispered in the mind.
Janet featured at the inaugural Missing Link Festival, the 2006, 2007 and 2008 WA Spring Poetry Festivals and 2007 and 2008 Melbourne Overload Poetry Festivals.
Her poems have been published in many print and online magazines and anthologies, and she has self-published three chapbooks and her own website, Proximity (www.proximitypoetry.com).
Her first collection, ‘Coracle’, will be published in March 2009.
Maggot, an Ode
born of blowfly
her gift to carrion
and infected wounds
you work blindly
clearing the decks—
barbecue and dead rat
roadside and battlefield
a teeming carnevale
such denial of flesh,
catholicity of taste
we could aspire to.
Come the morning
you’ll have flown:
Dick Alderson was born in Perth and has been writing poetry since 1994. Several of his poems have been published in journals and periodicals including Westerly, Indigo and Blue Dog, and he reads his work at venues in Fremantle and Perth.
lift their petticoats
to reveal green ovoid
pregnancies that swell
and are born
like the testicles
of some bright orange god
in late spring
summer flirting with us
we pluck the god of his gifts
and they roll into baskets
padding memories of thunder
then with the thin sharp knife
we slice and slice and slice
and see stars
citrus scent feathers our nose
juice stickies our blade
the stars float
in a galaxy
add a flame
a comet of sugar
and I am the goddess now
stirring stars and sugar
to heavenly translucence
and watch sunset settle
over the pot
until it darkens
to a rusty dusk
promising zest! in the morning
Josephine Clarke came to writing through the short story. An active member of Out of the Asylum (OOTA) Writers’ Group, she has recently ventured into poetry. She has been published in indigo,Thirst and Blue Giraffe.