The Voyage, revisited

In 2009, SweetWater Press published my first chapbook, The Voyage. Bettina Marson (who designed the cover of Salt and Bone, too) illustrated the booklet, and we launched it at Metro Arts on my 20th birthday. The Voyage is out of print now, so I thought it might be fun to have a digital copy — or, at least, highlights — online. I’ll roll 10 poems out on tumblr, with a table of contents here.

Sky Fishing by Bettina Marson

Poems reprinted with gratitude to SweetWater Press. By way of a writing exercise to get me into the new year, I’ve given these ones a gentle edit. (I’ve excluded poems that found their way into Salt and Bone or were too, er, of-their-time.) I hope you enjoy The Voyage as a digital chapbook.

The Voyage

From the Ferry, Looking Out
Stalking the Moon/Skyfishing
Fiji Five
Glass to Sea Junk: A Sacrifice
How Do You Do, Tuatara?
Cicada Duet
18 Warrengate Road
Without You

Countdown to QPF

Suddenly it is August. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but here we are.

Queensland Poetry Festival is this weekend (August 26–28). I’ve just spent two weeks on the couch entertaining the EKKA flu with six seasons of Red Dwarf and a little bit of The X Files. I’ll be emceeing opening night, Of Rhythm and Rapture, so I’m coaxing my voice back with pot after pot of lemon and ginger tea.

You mustn’t miss:

  • Of Rhythm and Rapture: Friday, 7.30 pm — Sandra Thibodeaux, Sawako Nakayasu, Jacob Polley
  • A Babble of Skywalkers: Saturday, 10.30 am — Jeremy Thompson, Red Room
  • Filled with Ink: Saturday, 1.30 pm — Ron Pretty, Jaya Savige, Jacob Polley
  • A Tattoo of Light: Saturday, 4 pm — Joanne Featherstone, Matt Hetherington, Zenobia Frost
  • All is Roar and Crash: Saturday, 4 pm — Kevin Gillam, Andy White, Marisa Allen
  • A Million Bright Things: Saturday, 8 pm — A short set from every poet on the program
  • That Profound Machine: Sunday, 5pm — QPF Filmmakers showcase
  • Onwards to Infinity: Sunday, 7pm — Closing night, with encore performances

In other QPF-related news, I will have a new chapbook available at the QPF: a handmade, limited-edition collaboration with poet Jeremy Thompson. Look out for it at the bookstore — it’s called Petrichor: Two Poets, and it sports gorgeous cover art by Bettina Walsh (The Voyage). Petrichor contains new work, including some co-written bits and pieces, and revisits a few old friends. Reward us for a whole weekend spent folding and stapling by grabbing one — there are only 20 in existence! And they have magic semicolons on the back!

In less-QPF-related news, Head over to the Australian Women’s Book Review to read my review of Pam Schlinder’s debut collection, A Sky You Could Fall Into. Then go and do yourself a favour by reading Pam’s book (Post Pressed, 2010).

Personally, I’m looking forward to a festival weekend. And losing the cough means getting back to the theatre: Animal Farm (QPAC) this week and The Hamlet Apocalypse (La Boite) next week. Fortunately Cabaret kept me happy — and thoroughly earwormed — in between episodes of Red Dwarf, curries, and lager milkshakes.

Zen and the Very Blustery Day

It’s a bit windy outside. I should go about my collection and fix hat elastics.

There’s an Italian word I learnt yesterday that I was going to share with you, but I’ve decided it’s so delicious that I’m going to keep the whole thing to myself. Maybe I’ll show you the plate with the crumbs on it. If you can guess what it is, I’ll give you a raspberry. Clues? It’s a musical term; if it were a fruit, I think it’d be a cherry; and it has to do with gentlemen in balaclavas.

Anyhoo, newses:

Many of you know what a sensitive bug I can be; I had research vegetarianism for work, and haven’t eaten meat since–not even yesterday, when Caitie’s cheeseburger smelt like some kind of tasty god–but I have been enjoying making things with lentils.

I’m very definitely travelling to Wisconsin in May to meet the Fonz (and co.), so I’m madly excited about that. I’ve been using my departure date as a deadline to clear up some unfinished business, and I’m feeling so much better for it. I’m enjoying a week of great levity, even if I feel swept off my feet with busy-ness. Days need to be longer.

Finalising venue stuff for launch of The Voyage shortly, so watch this space. Ms Walsh has been doing a very fine job of the art for the book; do take a squiz at it here. I’ve not yet seen the final image, but I’m leaning towards this glorious drawing for the cover:

Sky Fishing

Sky Fishing

Finally, for today, here’s a poem that’ll be included in the chapbook. It was printed in The Definite Article in 2007, and hasn’t seen the light of day since then. And yes, the house in the poem did have massive cracks in the walls. They let the sunshine in very nicely.

Woodgate Sonnet
for Andrew, the ghost

And suddenly it gets colder. The sun
lingers on the horizon, waiting to drop
like a stone to the water. Buried under

the sand, our feet feel the tide. We pull
our coats around ourselves, pockets heavy
with shells, and hunt for our shoes in the dark.

My hands rebel against the chill; keys tremble
in the door. We shuffle in, pad around
in sleeping bags, leave the dishes till morning.

We drink dark Earl Grey, pour an extra cup
for Andrew, listen to Bowie or maybe
Waits, and notice yet another fissure

opening the walls between us and the sky,
us and the water, us and our Woodgate.

Oh, and I’m setting myself a new challenge. I’m going to write a poem for every single one of my hats (well, for their mysterious previous owners). They shall appear here in coming weeks (months… who knows).

Take a look at this!!

I’m extraordinarily pleased to say that local artist Bettina Walsh has (as expected) come up with the goods when it comes to glorious cover art. Here’s one of the cover options for The Voyage, my chapbook due out in April (SweetWater Press):


(Click the image to head to her DeviantART account.)

Watch this space!