Search Results for: night of lilac

Marilyne Bertoncini’s ‘The Night of Lilac’

Marilyne and I got to know each other when Marilyne very stylishly translated some poems of mine in 2009.When I read Marilyne’s poem ‘Nuit de Lilas’, I was intrigued and moved by the poem’s sensuousness and musicality, its shimmering painterly effect and sheer lift – an earthy immediacy heightened by the exotic. How could I carry across this airy and erotic blend of music, perfume and colour? It was clear that I would need to strive for the patterns of sound,format and image, and also that I might need some background and some botanical advice.

Posted in TRANSLATIONS | Tagged ,

night flying to Vienna

cognac, coffee, water left out for restive insomniacs, reading lights on, in front blondes tucked under branded blankets sleeping pills heads tilted eye masks arms slack; a man dreams and dreams of lilac sheets and women while children wait, long-night-ahead …

Posted in 71: TOIL | Tagged

Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn Reviews Slow Walk Home by Young Dawkins

There is a humour to Slow Walk Home that interrupts solemn atmospheres with a wry warmth, comedy and tragedy unfurling like contrasting petals of the same bloom. The second collection of verse by Young Dawkins, an American-born poet who has lived in Scotland and now resides in Tasmania, Slow Walk Home also pays homage to Beat poets of his generation, evident in poems such as ‘The Real Lion—Ginsberg’ and ‘Kerouac, Raton Canyon’.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,

Sholto Buck’s Very Useful Labours

It’s a warm morning at the beginning of the most recent Financial year I write and write like it’s my job I’ll never be this happy I suppose it’s bad research to admit I started a PhD to get out …

Posted in 102: GAME | Tagged

3 Vyachesav Huk Translations

He dared to write her a letter in the last quarter of an anguished winter, while he was in hospital, with a handkerchief pressed to his nose to stop the bleeding …

Posted in TRANSLATIONS | Tagged ,

Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations

Numbers 8 and 10 in the IPSI (International Poetry Studies Institute) limited-edition chapbook series, Vahni Capildeo’s Sea and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations comprise crystalline, eidetic poems that attest to language’s capacity to renew and reinvigorate.

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Bouquet de fleurs au napperon brodé

The come-hither hibiscus aims its pistil straight at your face, petals outspread in invitation. You can almost catch the roses’ heady scent, their variations from palest pink to scarlet and carnelian, the blush that blooms along the lover’s throat. Gladiolus …

Posted in 79: EKPHRASTIC | Tagged

David Gilbey Reviews Ann Vickery and Brendan Ryan

These two recent volumes from the distinguished Hunter Contemporary Australian Poets series are about as different from each other as umeboshi and camembert, and – as I’ve found when wanting to impress Japanese visitors with a striking new taste combination that has the energy and disorder of a good poem (to cite Tom Shapcott’s useful terms) – such obverses delight with both surprise and recognition.

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Twenty First Century Wail

For Mark Sanders I saw the minds born during the summer of love destroyed by phantasy, almighty frenzied absurd, succored on battery-charged eggs six-twenty corn syrup slabs of butter washed down with Tang flourided water and the Streets of San …

Posted in 70: UMAMI | Tagged


i. Let’s go then Because if we don’t nobody will – I had that this thought for the morning, We could concentrate our energies on the movement through Weigh down on the action Work out where the word becomes feeling …

Posted in 67: A BRITISH / IRISH | Tagged

Review Short: Collected Poems: Lesbia Harford, edited by Oliver Dennis

In the foreword of this long overdue volume, Les Murray writes that he considers Lesbia Harford to be ‘one of the two finest female poets so far seen in Australia; the other has to be Judith Wright’ (xviii). This is an extravagant contention, but it is not without foundation.

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In Newcastle, In Tokyo …

Skye is a 2 bit whore: “The Nomads Motorcycling Club are inviting local residents” jumping castles on Chinchen Street filled with April fools. Walking down the drain as a form of object oriented ontology (ooo) eventually finding every piece of …

Posted in 63: COLLABORATION | Tagged ,

A Writing Surface of One’s Own

A waitress here has The Owl and The Pussycat tattooed on her goose-pimpled biceps. They sweetly peek from the hem of an unseasonable short sleeve. Indigo-inked, theirs is a nursery frieze’s block print detail. She is all at sea in her ravaged pea-green tights. Her roughly made skirt abounds with floating, shifting dice. It retains its looped yellow fringing, a faded tangelo backing, from its vintage past life as a painted velvet souvenir cushion cover. She has a ring at the end of her nose, her nose, a ring at the end of her nose. Her girlfriend’s lips, hair and boots are cerise. With honey, she sweetens – and makes a meal of – her sweetly gratis hot tea, blushes like a peach, purrs. The illustrated waitress hovers, calls ‘Who?’ and, like a zephyr, swoops with a cloth, a notepad and a fluffy rainbow-haired Troll Doll-ended pencil.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , ,


All through the flight you’ve had Cavafy playing in your mind. Is it true that arriving here is what you’re destined for? Call it homing rather than homecoming, for once the airport doors seal the vacuum of miles and time, …

Posted in 59: GONDWANALAND | Tagged

A. Frances Johnson Reviews Jill Jones

‘Why wish for the moon when we have the stars’, Bette Davis famously aspirates to Paul Henreid at the end of the film Now Voyager (1942, dir. Irving Rapper). That, of course, was an iconic, melodramatic story of unrequited love given an optimistic gloss by two lovers sharing last cigarettes. Jill Jones’ ambiguously rendered celestial bodies serve up different ideas of love and loss in this new collection. Jones’ stars, moons, candles, clouds and smoky skies are part of an identifiable romantic lexicon.

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John Jenkins Reviews Peter Boyle

“No one can count the number of people we have been in a single / life. One death is never enough.” These lines from Apocrypha sum up a theme that resurfaces through the poetic fragments which make up this fabulous cache of texts: fragments which survive from certain lost books by real and re-discovered authors of the ancient world, including Herodotus, Longinus, Theophrastus, Catullus, Plato and others.

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"Haikunaut Island Renga"

flub-a-dub in the purple west helicopter (David G. Lanoue) a bald eagle atop the sharp left turn sign (Naia) a woman knits flowers on a soldier's grave (Lawrence) her second husband wears red-framed glasses (SAT??Æ Ayaka) apple sack and a …

Posted in 34: HAIKUNAUT, Haikunaut / Renga | Tagged , ,

Haikunaut Island Renga 2

children laugh unafraid of the past in the summer grass (Keiji Minato) a ladybug of leisure wanders upside-down (Fleur) on a city tram opening to Han Shan's distances (Lorin Ford) cold mountain range plays hidden music (Joseph Mueller) hunting truffles …

Posted in 34: HAIKUNAUT, Haikunaut / Renga | Tagged , ,

Variations on six innocent lines

The way to Blake is to open the door for Chaucer Spring the bawdy house. That'll bring 'em on-scent. I am a woman. Refer to them as slip-ons, Dear, not brothel-creepers. Mirror balls. Multi-focal lenses. Stalked by an apogee. Round …

Posted in 28: INNOCENCE | Tagged

Walking Through the Blue Gate

Walking through, in/out: my son a shadow? His mind marks the boundaries, he sees only mercy. Out of my quiet yard and body – a threat to nothings. Confusion fails and a clear truth emerges from my thigh… In my …

Posted in 09: MUSIC | Tagged