30 August 2010

Tuesday poem: 'Soon, The Nobody' by Emma Barnes

This poem is about the citizenship-less children of Zainichi Koreans
who have been living in Japan, tenuously and permanently, since the
Japanese occupation of Korea.

I find this poem really haunting. I think it's good to read it without knowing what it's about, and then good to read it again after reading the note. Well, that's what I did when I first read it in Landfall.

Emma Barnes lives and writes in Aro Valley, Wellington. She launched the first issue of her new literary magazine Enamel in early 2009, another issue was released in June. She's had poetry published in JAAM, Landfall, Catalyst and Best New Zealand Poems 2008, among other places.

Also, if you happen to be near Palmerston North this Wednesday, you can go see (and hear) her read at Stand Up Poetry at the library. All the details are here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=129034570476304&index=1.

And more Tuesday Poems can be found, for your delectation, at the Tuesday Poem blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/.

23 August 2010

Tuesday poem: 'Battle Rattle Sally' by Scott Kendrick

Battle Rattle Sally
by Scott Kendrick

(If you can't view it here, you'll also find this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnOnMa8ZbwI)

To celebrate getting broadband, one of the first things I did was to upload this video I made of Scott Kendrick performing this poem, impromptu, at his mumblemumble birthday last year. Where other people chant 'Speech, speech!' we chanted 'Poem, poem!' and we got what we wanted. Anyway, I quickly realised the version I'd uploaded was the wrong one, and this evening uploaded the proper version.

Battle Rattle Sally is from Scott's book Cold Comfort, Cold Concrete: Poems and Satires, published by Seraph Press (ie me) back in 2007. It's short, sweet, has a great rhythm, and was short enough for Scott to be able to remember this far into his party, which is quite an achievement.

Now that I'm on broadband, I have great plans of making and uploading more poetry videos, and of expanding the directory I was trying to create at NZ poets on video. We'll see if that actually happens, but I have good intentions.

Hope you enjoy this. More poems at the Tuesday Poem blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/

16 August 2010

Tuesday Poem: 'Cape Reinga, New Year's Day', from Heading North

Cape Reinga, New Year’s Day

The yellow glow
through the roof of our tent
wakes us early

the sun is just peering over the hills
is still yawning and stretching
as we pack up and go

It’s only around the corner
where the tar-seal stops
and the gravel begins

from here, you must
slow down
you must prepare

When we get there
we don’t even speak

We walk down the seagrass slope to the lighthouse
I in my bare feet, feeling the prick and give

The sky vaults above us
the blue ocean glass
as the sun shines through

where the oceans meet
where souls depart

The light is brighter, whiter
thicker than anywhere else

We come together
photograph each other
holding my journal in front
with the date and time, as proof

7.15 AM

Back at the car park
We send a postcard to our southern selves
‘Remember this’

This is another from Heading North, because my copies of the book arrived today!! I had suspicions that they would be in most post box today, and so I went to check before going to work, and there they were! They are more gorgeous in the 'flesh' (or rather paper, card, cloth and ink) than in the pictures. The cover of each is also slightly different, slight individualised - the hill shape slightly different, the 'road' shapes wider or narrower.

This poem is probably the heart of the collection, for me at least. It's one of my favs. I read it tonight at the Poetry Society open reading to celebrate the books' arrival, and was very proud to be able to show some people my book. As a physical object it's a work of art, and I hope people will like the poems too!

Should you wish to purchase a copy, you can have a chat to me, or you can contact Parsons Bookshop in Auckland, who stock the books and do mail orders, or you can wait a short time and buy it from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, who have an online shop. You might want the ISBN, which is: 978-0-9864616-6-8. It retails for $45, which is a lot for a book of poetry, I know, but if you have a look at a copy, you'll see all the hand work that has gone into it, and you'll understand why.

Ok, so that's my Tuesday poem - for more Tuesday Poems visit the hub blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/. This week is a really interesting poem by US poet Heather Davis, posted by US poet Eileen Moeller.

10 August 2010

Tuesday Poem: 'Setting off', from Heading North

Setting off

When you travel so
far, you’re searching
for new breath
driving faster - - leaving
old air behind

feeling the pressure
of the window - - between
work and work
it was now
or never

it was now

That's the opening poem in my sequence Heading North, which is being published as a book by Kilmog Press. I'm very excited! It's all happened quite fast, so I hadn't blogged about it yet. But already it's becoming an actual book! A beautiful, hand-made, hardback, limited-edition book! You can see it in the below, but you can view it in more detail on the Kilmog Press blog: http://kilmogpress.blogspot.com/2010/08/helen-rickerby-heading-north.html.

You can read more about the book here on Beattie's Book Blog, which already has the blurb: http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/another-poetry-collection-for-tuesday.html (completed only late last night). Or you can just read the blurb below:

In Heading North Helen Rickerby takes us on the road. This playful and reflective sequence explores the tensions and connections between the narrator and her lover on a road trip towards the tip of the North Island. The place where two oceans meet, Cape Reinga, is the calm in their subtle storm. Heading North is an inner and outer journey through the geography of Northland.

Helen Rickerby is the author of two previous collections of poetry: Abstract Internal Furniture (2001) and My Iron Spine (2008). She is co-managing editor of JAAM literary magazine and runs Seraph Press, a boutique poetry publisher. She lives in Wellington, in a cliff-top tower, and works as a web editor.

I've been meaning to blog about Kilmog Press again for a while now, ever since I bought copies of Michael Steven's first two books (there's already another now, so that shows how slack I am!). And I will do a proper blog soon, but for now I'll just say that I've always admired their gorgeous, work-of-art books, and I'm so excited that mine is going to be among them.

And of course, check out the official Tuesday poem on the Tuesday Poem Blog, and you'll find more Tuesday poems in the sidebar of that blog.

03 August 2010

(Late) Tuesday poem: 'Looking for her' by Jenny Powell

Looking for her

I looked for her
in tides of crisp

trees turning
toward the bitter

months I looked
across the desert

of a skinned sky
I looked inside

canals of open
ground I looked

in the eyes of every

and all this time
she was there,

inside my footsteps
of betrayal,

in each gasp
of cold air.

by Jenny Powell

Jenny Powell (previously Jenny Powell-Chalmers) lives and writes in St Clair, Dunedin. She's the author of five books of poetry, including two collaborative collections. Her sixth, Viet Nam: A Poem Journey is going to be published by HeadworX very soon.

It might be late, but it's still Tuesday. This poem by Jenny Powell is also from Locating the Madonna, as was 'The Madonna of the Ureweras' by Anna Jackson, which I posted for Poetry Day. 'Looking for her is another of my favourites from that collaborative collection, so I thought it would be a good follow up. Looking back over the book, there is a lot of variety in the types and tones of the poems. Earlier ones have a lighter tone, and towards the end, it is a little more reflective and serious. And quieter. The part of this poem that has always haunted me especially is the end - the last four lines: 'inside my footsteps / of betrayal, / in each gasp / of cold air.'

Also, the lovely Helen Heath has published my poem 'Enchantress of numbers' about Ada Byron (Ada Lovelace) as her Tuesday Poem on her blog: http://www.helenheath.com/2-aug-2010/tuesday-poem-enchantress-numbers-ada-byron-king-countess-lovelace-helen-rickerby (her site is up again, if you tried yesterday and failed to get through).

And you can find more Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog, including Claire Beynon's collaborative poem, which you can add a line to here: http://icelines.blogspot.com/2010/08/tuesday-poem-false-alarm.html