Category Archives: Poetry

Poetry

Five Poems by Cal Freeman

cal-freemanFight Song of the Fiddleback

The rain tonight
dribbled through the silver
maple leaves long
after it had rained.
I sang a few bars
of Guy Clark’s “Dublin
Blues,” thinking of the spider
I hit with a boot
this afternoon for nothing
but fear and all
the pests I am always
killing to assuage
its grip. Spiders of this sort
(brown recluse?) hunt
roaches and other
insects we do not want
around. I worry over
what potting soil
and damp cardboard
will bring to the garage.
I am the type
to stay up all night
with vague foretellings
of reckonings
as I imagine
the collapsed carcass
distending its legs
once again
and scurrying away
in a gesture of weary
forgiveness though
there is nothing
a spider or a person
has the agency
to forgive.

. . .

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Poetry

Liam Ferney ~ Two Poems

Liam FerneyBy the river at Borva

The river’s chorus
of dusk birds
& what happens
to water
after boats carve
through it at speed.

Eloquence is not
everything,
naming things just
reduces them.

Defences disband,
buses shuttle
across the bridge,
buoys blink.

& like that
I find a poem
in the frayed ends
of a soft day’s
comings and goings.

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Anthology Bareknuckle Blog Literary Fiction Literary Nonfiction On Writing Poetry Prose Poetry Scholarly Short Stories Translation Visual Poetry Writing

ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY NOW AVAILABLE

BAREKNUCKLE POET ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY VOLUME 001 2015

6x9_Front_Coverupdate20-09

BKP ANNUAL 001 2015
Edited by Brentley Frazer & A. G. Pettet
Publisher: BAREKNUCKLE BOOKS
IMPRINT: Bareknuckle Poets
ISSN: 2205 – 7218
PUBLISHED: 03/10/2015
Copyright: Bareknuckle Books & Contributors
Language: English
Extent: 345 pages
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink: Black & white
Dimensions: (inches) 6x 9
$25.00 + $8.00 P&H (global) AUD

Click the button below to visit Bareknuckle Bookshop

PURCHASE

The first annual Bareknuckle Poet print anthology. This issue contains a selection of writers published here at Bareknuckle Poet during the past twelve months. It is NOT a ‘best of’ . . . it is a selection, and it was tough making that selection. If we included every author that we publish in the online journal every year (as much as we would love to), the print anthology would weight about forty kilos. Included in this first issue is a section dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the first reading of Howl by Allen Ginsberg. A. G. Pettet & Bareknuckle Books have organised a global celebration (check the details here) and we are publishing a selection of the poets who are reading at this event, alongside the full text of HOWL (under license) and a poem given to us by Gary Snyder himself. For those unfamiliar with the history of Howl and the Six Gallery read

AUTHORS: L. Ward Abel, Robert Adamson, Venero Armanno, Melissa Ashley, Lisa Marie Basile, Mandy Beaumont, Sally Breen, MTC Cronin, B. R. Dionysius, Maria C. Dominguez, Martin Edmond, Michael Farrell, Toby Fitch, Brentley Frazer, Claire Gaskin, Allen Ginsberg, Matt Hetherington, Eleanore Jackson, Anthony Lawrence, Alexandra McCallum, Tim McGabhann, Laura Jean Mckay, Corey Mesler, Reg Mombassa, A. G. Pettet, Mark Pirie, Rufo Quintavalle, Kris Saknussemm, Gary Snyder, David Stavanger, Todd Swift, John Tranter, Joanna C. Valente, Samuel Wagan Watson, Fakie Wilde, Mark Young, Ali Znadi + More

 

Poetry Visual Poetry

JÓZSEF BÍRÓ ~ A Libretto

jozsef-biroan irregular mini–opera in three acts/movements

Download (PDF, 215KB)

Poetry

Tim MacGabhann ~ Three Poems

Tim-MacGabhannNausicaa

1.
His sightline snaggled with marl
Ulíses woke from his out-cold

somersault through salt buffets,
head pillowed on wavemelt,

his old nets matted about him
in a nylon kilt. An hour of raw,

hollered vowels over having to
unpick that oakum before

he set his nails to the task,
wore their edges dull and blunt,

worked the ropes in two loose plaits.

2.
Ocean’s labials, plosives.
The iamb roar beat him into peace.

Ulíses saw spars he’d known
gather in the drifts. Laptop.

Tripod. His telephoto lens.
Ulíses laid aluminium ribs,

a spine, snapped his material
into shape. The hillside wind

turbines were bleached oars
sunk to mark all journeys’ end.

In his fist was a bolus of twine.

3.
Ulíses combed the frayed nets
out around the new skeleton.

Sank an unbroken fishing rod
in gravel to act as a mast.

Unspooled black and white
rigging down the graphite stem.

Knotted prow to stern. A lighter
craft rose from the nets, aimed

at another shore. He turned
inland. Called her Nausicaa.

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Poetry

B. R. Dionysius ~ Five Poems

br-dionysius

Jesus & Gordon

(i)

The lady behind the counter at Lifeline who
chased his own children off the second-hand
lounge suite, said that her grandson believed
in Jesus & Gordon; & that the little boy accepted
human beings were created by the Son of God,
when Jesus & his best mate piled up animal bones
into marrow middens; bulldozed the ossuary into
cartilage & tendon pyramids, tough & stringy as
beef jerky. From those pale ribcages, he & Gordon
got busy, frankensteining human beings in a Meccano
frenzy of building & fastening bits & bobs. Entranced
as beach children constructing a shell castle, these
two worked cooperatively; one selecting a bleached
bone, the other screwing each strut into human form.

(ii)

Jesus is well known to us. It begs the question:
Who was Gordon? They sound like an early law
firm, Jesus & Gordon, Nazareth’s best workplace
& anti-discrimination lawyers, whose days would
have been spent tying the Romans up in red tape.
Jesus is respected for his good works, sound
industrial advice, small miracles made on behalf
of powerless plaintiffs against the Latin state.
Gordon seems more of a silent partner, a go to
man, well-connected in Jewish circles of influence.
Perhaps with a foot in the Temple of Solomon’s
door. Jesus was their band’s front man, with
the intrapersonal skills & the charisma to rattle
the world; Gordon is the name of a fifth Beatle.

(iii)

After each miracle that Jesus performed, Gordon
lagged behind & took the names & addresses
of each new convert. Some ladies he visited again.
In the lost book of their youth, Jesus & Gordon
raised hell between Bethlehem & Nazareth, but
this was a new kind of militancy. Gordon thinking
it a bit of a lark, overturned the trestle tables in
the temple’s entrance, but Jesus, always reading
more into a situation than Gordon did, spied
the political angle & off he went. When Jesus
disappeared for forty days into the Sinai desert
& was tempted by Satan, Gordon couldn’t resist
the temptation to go through his friend’s stuff.
Jesus knew; that it wouldn’t be his worst betrayal.

(iv)

There is no Book of Gordon in the Bible. He was
not listed as one of Jesus’s disciples. He did not
lend Judas thirty pieces of silver. He was broke.
When they came for Jesus in Gethsemane’s garden
Gordon was off picking olives & missed the ruckus.
He was not there when the Romans squeezed Jesus
until the pip of his conviction slid out of his mind.
He may have been in the crowd as Jesus struggled
like an ultra-marathon runner up the steep incline
of Golgotha, but he didn’t offer his assistance.
He melted into the crowd on the place of skulls.
He flinched as every nail found its home. No one
can blame Gordon for his shoddiness; after all
he was only a journeyman to Jesus’s carpenter.


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Interviews Literature Poetry

Interview with Kate Durbin

Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles, California based writer, curator and performance artist. She is the author of several books of fiction and poetry including E! Entertainment, ABRA, The Ravenous Audience, and five chapbooks. Durbin’s work primarily centers around popular culture, gender, and digital media.

Kate is visiting Australia as the 2015 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence.

Of Durbin’s writing, Christopher Higgs wrote for HTML Giant: “I call Kate Durbin one of the most compelling contemporary American writers because I feel like she’s in her own lane. No one does what she does in the way that she does it.”

Kate has two appearances at The Brisbane Writers Festival Today and Tomorrow 05-06 September.

Amongst The Regulars Sat 5 Sep 18.45pm & Culture Goes Pop! Sun 6 Sep 16.00pm

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Poetry

Five Poems ~ David Stavanger

that dream you keep havingDavid-Stavanger

shower drips but there’s no water.
in the bath’s deep end, faces floating on your face.
eyes hung like light bulbs, front door cleaved open.
blinking neon sign on the roof:
THIS IS THE KILLING FLOOR
the boneless ones suck at your toes
harvesting hair from armpits and sinks.
the wolf within the wall devours its own mouth.
and that girl from down the road
who took too many lovers
finally dies in your bed.
her funeral the same as the last except for the flowers.
waking facedown to the colour red.

but it is when the teeth start
eating other teeth by your side
then the voice starts, raspy and underneath
We don’t care if you’re vegetarian. The House will have its meat.

First published in The Special (UQP)

straws

nobody knows who invented straws
they keep our mouths at bay
stop the lip of glass meeting lips
maintain everything at a distance
fearing the intimacy of liquid
the throb of ice on tongue
feeling better if something is between:
clothes, surnames, bodies of water

one day we will undo ourselves
drink straight from the wrong cup

First published in The Special (UQP)

nobody whistles in the dark

lights out and try to remember where you came from. visiting hours are between five and ten. park out front, near the row of palms designed to stop the mobile tower across the road from stealing thoughts. you enter. the nurses at the front desk are nice except for the tight blonde one – she’s a Nazi, lips grip her face but she never smiles, doesn’t let anyone out for a quick smoke or to chase the blue cars. the smell tells you that people have shit themselves here as if they have something to fear. underneath that smell another – rusted metal, maybe aluminum, the steel plate screwed into somebody’s skull. in the muffle of the courtyard there is a flat soccer ball, a strip of grass and a painted tree. sometimes sky. the first to approach is a Chinese man with a back pack. he crouches next to you, reaches in producing religious pamphlets and yellow finger paintings. I like people you don’t have to fight to get close to he whispers in your ear. he has been mistaken for a death ceiling, he’s way too gone to stay here long. the guy across the way is counting his cigarettes then his fingers and then his cigarettes. the mathematics of hope. Katie is in the corner. she crawls under the table when everyone’s looking. her hair is matted and somewhere in there is what has been taken. the nurses regard all family with suspicion, everyone is paranoid including you. a storm is predicted for tomorrow and the bed wetters will all get up first. the loss of agency, the seroquel mandala, the thoughts that walk. her brother is here to guide you. you’ve met a lot of people but never for the first time in the shower. This is where I get naked he says pointing at the shower head. in his room he strips, shows you the map of his strong back and the anchor tattooed on his neck. he tells you that you get it and you do, it could be you dancing on the jetty with your eyes out. there are many rooms here but few exits, bulbs dim in the bedrooms before dark. The gentle ones are harder to hide, they will be moved on, they never last long. he is wiser than your tarot cards and every expert on television. moving down the hall, the names change and texta marks run, on every door a new child. there are no corners here nor edges. breakfast is served at seven, constipation is more than a condition, everything is stuck. the faster you move round here the faster they come. in the ward no new words are welcomed, you can talk like a salad but you can’t ask for water. even if you sing Patsy Cline, no-one will listen. doctors pass themselves off as cleaners, pills in the lining of pants, sex in a cupboard. another uniform, another vision. the other day the intern psych with the rimmed glasses said Tell them what they want to hear but they all have textbooks for ears. as you get up to go her brother says Only dogs get this frequency, they have the right range. he is getting ready to go too but they don’t green light you unless you can’t walk in your sleep. heading back out to the car park he follows, six foot two, asks passersby if they have seen the low flying bats in formation or heard the silent satellite. you’re not sure which is closer to heaven, no God has authority in this dominion. you get into the car and turn on the ignition – as he disappears in the rear-view mirror, he is not smaller than he appears.

First published in The Special (UQP)

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