Mar '12 26
This little rescue-ee is from Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (p217) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (p207).

Curious room

Beneath the hoping measured
narrow echoey train
was roar roar
was stutter stutter.

Machines in rows,
silently fluorescent.

Spindle factory,
quota weighed.

Damn bitches
in windowless cubicles
served the silent treatment.

Lipstick, ribbons, makeup, hair creams, boots, skirts
never paper-wrapped gestures.

Unappetising lunchroom leftovers:
beans and custard creams.

Walls that wear eyes.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

Mar '12 19
I rescued this poem from This is not a novel by Jennifer Johnston (p33) and If on a winter's night a traveller by Italo Calvino (p148).

Remember code

perfect pushed-pulled champions of the sea
scorching first;
rinsed towel
squeezed uneasiness

gentle ghost
wiped down dismay
dry half-felt wet
under well eyes
somehow the naturalness of tears drown
rippling recognised
faceless but familiar
watching silent shadow lingered
indifferent to the moment

Posted by Jennifer Liston

Mar '12 12
It's that time of the week again!

I rescued this poem from Disgrace by J M Coetzee (p27) and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (p193). What do you think? Or maybe I should ask how you feel.


Beer fingers pressed
his face towers
leaning like a lover
whispering wary affairs

        murmurs         no
        whispers         no

raise sweater
rip singlet
kick shoes
slip stockings

        says         no
        repeats         no

wracked forehead, mouth, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, fists, buttocks, legs, ankles

        snarls         no
        crying         no

clinking movement
honey drinking
warm unfurled crushed will


heavy hands stroke folds
looped to bottles of misery
snake uncurled, hard against belly
intoxicating rock of female
clasped to a basket of heat
perforated prisoner

twitched, transfixed, then flicker
suddenly the idea of ice, blackening, double-towered, in waves
reared storm tilting soundlessly, quickly.

        Repeat         no.
        Meant         no.

Dead-man's-fingers cover absence.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

Mar '12 8
These recent days have been poetry-filled and frilled with meeting many new and fascinating people. Although poetry is not a major feature of Adelaide Writers' Week, I was delighted to meet and chat to Dennis O'Driscoll a couple of times at the event. Dennis is from Tipperary (not too far from my home town) and I can tell you now: his poem 'Someone' is guaranteed to give you goosebumps. And his poetry books sold out at the event! (I remember this happened a few years back when Simon Armitage's poetry collections raced out the tent door and there wasn't a copy left anywhere in Adelaide.) However, I was lucky enough to bag one of the last remaining few copies of Stepping Stones, a collection of Dennis's interviews with his friend and fellow poet, Seamus Heaney.

I also attended the session with Mike Ladd and Les Murray in conversation. Les Murray's most recent collection, Taller when Prone, won the 2012 John Bray Poetry Award. Mike compared Les's poetry about place and surroundings with that of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, who believed that 'All great civilizations are based on the parish'. Kavanagh wrote about everyday farming life (for example 'Spraying the Potatoes') and said '...the things that really matter are casual, insignificant little things'.

In another session, Dionne Brand (Canada), Aidan Coleman (Adelaide), Michael Hulse (UK), Mike Ladd (Adelaide), Dennis O'Driscoll (Ireland) and Jan Owen (Adelaide) read a selection of their poems. It was a delight to hear each poet voice his/her own work. I bought a copy of Aidan Coleman's new book, Asymmetry, which I'm looking forward to experiencing. The poems navigate the challenging path of the author's recovery from a stroke; the collection has had rave reviews.

I was disappointed that I couldn't make it to the launch of Friendly Street Poets 'New Poets 17' (which features gareth roi jones, John Pfitzner and Rachael Mead), as well as the launch of Friendly Street Poets 'Flying Kites' edited by Judy Dally and Louise McKenna. I bought a copy of each, however, and I'm looking forward to dipping in.

All in all, mad March has offered Adelaide a nice polite pot of poetry.

In the next post I'll update you on some slam and spoken word events.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

Mar '12 5
I rescued this short and sharp poem from End of the Night Girl by Amy Matthews (p61) and Mastery by George Leonard (p122).

Mastery of the night

Sometimes we breathe miracles.
Sometimes we thank black larcenous fuck
chewing curiosity on the couch,
lacking dark remorse
strangling charms
peeing persuasiveness;
every phony Einstein
catches nervous villains and depressed psychopaths:
from drunk to superhuman
let's toast the holy hero.

Posted by Jennifer Liston