27 September 2011

(Late) Tuesday poem: 'The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' by me

6 The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (from 'Nine Movies')

I’m pretty sure I know now
what love tastes like
and it takes something so
to balance the sweet sharp salt
the corners of your tongue
to wash away the sticky syrup
that gets on my hands
and makes it hard to think

Running through the passages, tunnels of us
all made of books, stacked floor-
to-ceiling, and if they should topple
we’d be trapped beneath Brontës and Eliots
Dostoyevoskys, Tolstoys
Atwoods and Couplands and Greenes
Living in constant danger of being crushed
by the weight of Western literature
is just one of the risks we take

I know there are rooms inside of me
that you’ve never been to
You’ve whole basements
you’ve locked yourself out

The highlight of my week last week was finding out that a couple of my poems have been selected for a new anthology of love poetry, which is being compiled by Paula Green (a poet I very much admire). One of the two was this poem, which is part of a longer sequence called 'Nine Movies'. The whole thing is a love poem really, but not the soppy kind of love - at least I don't think so. I was aiming to capture the real kind of love, that might not start off all love-at-first-sightish, but grows, gets strong, faces difficulties, has a lot of fun, lives in the everyday. Love that isn't afraid of getting its hands dirty.

As you might suspect, each poem takes its name from the title of movie. This is probably favourite poem in the sequence. I think it's the last one I finished, and then I went back and added some of my favourite stuff and cut out some stuff that didn't seem quite necessary.

More Tuesday Poems via the Tuesday Poem blog – http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com/ – which has just reached 100 followers. Cool!

18 September 2011

New issue of JAAM almost out

It's off to print this week, and we've got our CNZ grant to help pay for it all (yay!). Anne Kennedy, our guest editor, has done an amazing job and assembled such a fabulous bunch of writers that I must confess I was a bit intimidated. Anyway, I've posted a pic of the cover over on the JAAM site, go see: http://jaam.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/jaam-29-sneak-peek/

12 September 2011

Tuesday Poem: The Cheese and Onion Sandwich, by Vivienne Plumb

I've been working a lot in the last week or so on the next book I/Seraph Press am/is going to publish. It's by Vivienne Plumb, and now has a title The Cheese and Onion Sandwich and other New Zealand Icons: Prose Poems. As you might expect, it includes the above poem, but that version of it is actually from Crumple, where it is also included.

I'm really looking forward to getting The Cheese and Onion Sandwich out into the world, and hope to do it while the world cup is still on. There's a lot of representing ourselves to the world going on, and what I love about the prose poems Vivienne has written is that they represent New Zealand to me in a way I understand. As you might expect from her, if you know her work, they're pretty tongue in cheek, they gently and fondly skewer, and they're hilarious.

There's lots more Tuesday Poems via the Tuesday Poem blog. Go check them out!