Thursday, September 4, 2008


Much recommended is David Caddy's voluminous "So Here We Are" commentaries on contemporary English poets & poetry. Recent portraits include John Riley, Jeremy Prynne, Andrew Crozier.
David Lumsden's "Sparks from stones" is a credit to his close & ever sprightly reading of poetry. Recent posts concern the 'burnt bird' image in Neruda & Z. Herbert, review of the younger critic & poet Adam Kirsch, and reviews of new English poets including Simon Turner, Jane Holland. Resembles David Caddy in his wide range of reference & connection.
Alan Baker's "Litterbug" is his editor's blog at the exemplary English small press, Leafe. His recent postings discuss Lee Harwood (via Kevin Corcoran's interviews), J H Prynne, recent Shearsman Books titles including Mal Goodwin & John Welch. Also on site is "Litter Magazine" which has been accumulating regularly since January,'05; current contributors include John Welch, Todd Swift, Andrea Brady, Peter Riley, Rupert Loydell & John Bloomberg-Rissman.
Out of the blue is David Wheatley's weird & wonderful blog,
--just received from our recent visitor, this year's recipient of the Vincent Buckley Prize, awarded in alternate years to Australian & Irish poets in honour of the late Melbourne poet & critic.
I havent been keeping the Links up to date because of (1) distractions & (2) I forgot how to do it! Hopefully I'll remember from now on! Readers are invited to kindly prompt me on glaring omissions. Thank you.

-Kris Hemensley; September 4th, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

THE MERRI CREEK : POEMS & PIECES, #5, August/September, 2008


Three Poems from HIGH KEY
After White Light, paintings by Owen Piggott


If I walked this land
I would walk
With all the ones
Who accompany my journey :
Thin pillars of light
Crossing in front of distant
Purple swamps
Walking sideways
In search of a river
In the desert
Or due north
To face the region
Of emptiness and water
The sifting place of being
Where endless stories are told
Of the hardest places to encounter.


Land offers the illusion
Of water
As light recedes
From the darkened plains.
The night-land speaks
Only to itself of darkness
Which light can not assuage.


Light encounters the land.
It breathes
It knows no other way.
In another time
Light destroyed the land
But today
It calls to the land
Whispers and speaks
Of its longing
And joy :
Land, dark one
let me be
And land responds
Across the borders
Of its horizon
And touches the sky.




The trees are bottom heavy.
Each leaf, a clay gourd, streaked
in silver, steeped in wet light.

A colony of quiet ears
listens to damp air and spill of sky.

Stilled moths, their wings
are tilted to earth, and memory
of cool, dark waiting.



It was that time before dawn, and the words
were flapping again. They hung on black wings.
They gazed at him, waiting. He shut his eyes.
He glimpsed a swarm of shadows like a silence
before a hammering of bees. They massed now
a tumult of black, a writhing meniscus of wings.
They stormed at him. He flung his arms out.
His body slowed to sculpture on his bed.










munificent mark, miracle manna,
medusa mary, maenad maelstrom,
mariner's mainstay, madmen's madonna,
muse misremembered, myth metronome,

mend me magnetically, mine my marrow,
make my macula manifest mirror;
map mind's masquerade, mete me my morrow;
maim me mortally, meeken me, mentor.

maladies maggot me,mammon mauls me,
my mephitic metamorphosis mass;
murdered millions, mourning, mill memory.

master my minotaur, midnight matador;
marry me mild, my magdelene mistress;
mantle merciful, matrix, my metre.



She dies. Her poor but secretly loved body
Cracking open like a pod ready with seeds.
But there are none: her afterlife has been
Spent fully in this life -- she is empty.

Her light has been shed fully, deed by deed.
Nothing happens because there is nothing
Left to happen. Our prayers remain unanswered,
So we believe. And we still, of course, believe.



Smell is the sharpest of the senses and Memory's servant.

The flesh of the child that is now never-to-be-born
decomposes in your corporeal future.

This wind upon your face is necessary.




Before we made love we forgot our way. Before us
the way was dark and twisted. Before we could fall
we had to rise, but our wings were folded in the night. Damp
and filled with promise.

Down was a long way, and fall was the new rise. You held me.
That night in the forest, before sailing, before the fires.
You sent long, scorched letters, scented of vinyl
and ammonium nitrate. I struggled to reply.

Before this, there was nothing.



The exterior

is insignificant, barely perceptible
among the creeping vines.
You would think perhaps
a burial mound, if you thought about it
at all, speculating on symmetry
as you wait for your exhaustion
to lift, or the spongy leaf litter to swallow you
traceless, as you've feared it would
since you entered this jungle.

The interior

is vast, and cannot be crossed
in a single day's horse ride. So it is said.
Nobody has attempted it. A day's ride
would be hard to judge, in any case.
There is no surprise or sunset in the city,
simply a uniform, sourceless glow.
Slightly orange tinted, as though the sun
were forever incipient. The inhabitants move
at a constant pace.

In public

there are Sun cults. Prophets of dawn
in ecstatic masks, whose talk of the morning sun
is contagious. Once taken in
they have their eyes put out for seeing
what is not there; their tongues removed
for the spreading of lies. And then
their hearts crushed between stones
for giving false hope.

In private

there is a story that survives,
giving secret comfort as it is handed along.
It is not of Sun this story speaks, but of Darkness.
Night and sleep and untouched dreams,
the welling up of cellars and the cloaking of the sky.
The dark. The endless, depthless dark.



LOUISE CRISP's latest collection is Uplands (Five Island Press, 2007).
SUSAN FEALY grasped the concept that a poem is not completed after a first draft about twelve months ago and has been writing poetry often since then. Accepted for publication in Verandah, Page Seventeen, Mollusca and the anthology Melbourne Reflections. She lives in Melbourne where she works as a clinical psychologist. Contact,
MAL McKIMMIE born in Perth, WA & currently lives in Melbourne. Published in numerous Australian journals including Salt, Westerly, Blue Dog & in Best Australian Poems 2006 (Black Inc). His first volume of poems, Poetileptic, published by Five Islands Press (2005). Included in Take Five (Shoestring Press, UK), anthology of five Australian poets f'coming in 2009. Contact,
TIM SINCLAIR mainly writes poetry. It's a strange curse to have been afflicted with. His verse novel Nine Hours North published by Penguin in 2006. Here be more :