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Ken Bolton

Ken Bolton

About Ken Bolton

A gay, light-hearted bastard, Ken Bolton cuts a moodily romantic figure within the dun Australian literary landscape, his name inevitably conjuring perhaps that best known image of him, bow-tie askew, lipstick-smudged, grinning cheerfully, at the wheel of his 1958 Jaguar D-type, El Cid. Bolton, a poet & art critic-a 'Sydney' poet living in Adelaide, & working there at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation-is editor of Little Esther books and at one time edited the magazines Magic Sam & Otis Rush. Major publications include Untimely Meditations and At The Flash & At The Baci - and, more recently, The Circus, A Whistled Bit of Bop and Sly Mongoose. Ken also edited Homage to John Forbes, and wrote the monograph on artist Michelle Nikou. A selection of his art criticism appeared in 2009 as Art Writing.

Reach & Ambition

for John Jenkins I Reach & Ambition Late at night, up, looking at the things on my mantelpiece a profusion of crap, clutter & gewgaws a range of detail I love (John’s photos of it came today, reminding me). I …

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Dark Heart

I look in here—this notebook—& see the notes for the last review I did, & note—that I am about to write another. Tho I would rather write something else. I whistle bop a bit try not to think of the …

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Heaven, Bruny Island

,… like the Mets I’m coming up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, or maybe the 8th, if I’m lucky but far behind in the game— and the music seems to have stopped to listen. —Tony Towle listening …

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End of Year

for Crab & Martin … there is much to do. A little man tells us how to invest our money, my teeth gain a few fillings, probably, at the dentist’s—who knows, maybe no drilling—but, as Xmas closes in, some shopping, …

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(Late at Night Bruny Island)

here in the bookshelves of the holiday house is a book of John’s poems—also Les—a fat spine appropriately. Why is that here? Masochism? I am unlikely to read it. Anyway, I wonder what John’s got to say— this time. * …

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“Hindley Street”: How to Be Perfect There

Pete Bakowski’s challenge: attempt Padgett’s ‘How To Be Perfect’. “Hindley Street”— I write those words, the title of this poem, on this pad, to start a list—of things I must do. Is this going to be a poem? Isn’t it? …

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London Postcard: A Quiet Morning at The Wapping Project Art Space

‘Avenue Victor Hugo, cognac— Lianne Fowler as Isabel,’ the caption says. And continues: ‘A French Picture Show’. So a movie still I expect. Why such an image will anchor one. Benediction. One is blessed. It is the softness of the …

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Manic at Night

The refrigerator’s humming outside and I like that. Outside of any use I could make of it. But I can’t see it now, cause I’m in a different suburb, but this reminds me of how I used to like the …

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The Lee Marvin Readings: An Evening with Edmund Gwenn

The Lee Marvin Readings has run, off and on, since the 1990s. Its venue has changed a number of times – from Adelaide nightclubs like Supermild, to the Iris Cinema, to the charmingly Zurich-1917, bo-ho De La Catessan and the more robustly hard-drinking and confrontational Dark Horsey bookshop at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, where it now takes place. The sessions have been organised, run, staffed and emceed by poet and art critic Ken Bolton.

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Shock To The Screen Door

You can hear it banging in the wind, or when someone delivers something and lets it ‘have its will’. It causes you to jump, inevitably. “Trouble in your bubble, mate?” is what Dave says when I look morose. Which might …

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Ern Malley: Pedestrian Verse

A gay, light-hearted bastard, ERN MALLEY cuts a moodily romantic figure within the dun Australian literary scene, his name inevitably conjuring perhaps that best known image of him, bow-tie askew, grinning cheerfully, at the wheel of his 1958 Jaguar sports car, El Cid. It is this image that also carries in its train the stories of later suffering-the affairs, the women, the bad teeth-and, speaking of teeth, the beautiful poems wrenched from the teeth of despair & written on the wrist of happiness “where happiness happens to like its poems written best” (in his inordinate phrase).

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Ern Malley: I have gone missing from this world

A gay, light-hearted bastard, ERN MALLEY cuts a moodily romantic figure within the dun Australian literary scene, his name inevitably conjuring perhaps that best known image of him, bow-tie askew, grinning cheerfully, at the wheel of his 1958 Jaguar sports car, El Cid. It is this image that also carries in its train the stories of later suffering-the affairs, the women, the bad teeth-and, speaking of teeth, the beautiful poems wrenched from the teeth of despair & written on the wrist of happiness “where happiness happens to like its poems written best” (in his inordinate phrase).

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