Literature Short Stories

Joan Didion’s Recipe Book by Ashleigh Watson

ashleigh-watsonJoan smiles at the camera. Her hands hugging a full bowl, short hair low in two pigtails with blue ribbons falling waist length long, white peasant blouse, blue jeans. The kitchen with clear jars and olive lids full of salt and brown sugar and Japanese green beans, mismatched oven gloves, a range of orange Tupperware and a red cast iron pot on the bench.

        The candid colour photo is page two of Joan’s recipe book. Joan’s favourite recipes and menus. It pinged into my inbox earlier in the afternoon while I sat drinking black coffee at the kitchen bench. The slick PDF was a kickback for donating to a documentary. I slid through the pages on my phone screen, finishing my coffee, ignoring two text messages, waving away a fly.

        Fall is the first season of food. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, then a final section for Sweets. A roast garlic recipe photocopied from a 1992 Williams-Sonoma Grande Cuisine magazine is first. Page five is a journal note: dinner January 30 2003, J & J, Q & Jerry Micheal. John and Joan and their daughter, Quintana and son-in-law, Jerry, ate smoked salmon with capers, lemon and chives. Chiles and scallions and olives. They finished with clementines and chocolates. Page six is a Borscht recipe, handwritten on a LIFE magazine notepad. Page seven is dinner: October 17 2003. Roast chicken with rosemary, goat cheese and brie. Chocolates and almonds. J & J with Sharon Delano. And so the book goes.

      My J, James, came home at four from having his hair cut and I asked him what he felt like for dinner. We already had fish in the fridge but I scrolled past the artichokes and stopped at a winter recipe, Lamb Navarin. A full, meaty French ragout method only four sentences long, typed on a typewriter. I drank in the page and the smell of it, the taste, the heady warmth came alive like the blue does in her books. It was hot and late in the afternoon but the shops were open for another hour so I picked my wallet and keys up from the bench, pulled some shoes on and headed out for the ingredients. The fish would keep till tomorrow.

Navarin (for six outside)
Brown three pounds leg of lamb cut for stew, deglaze pan with brandy, roll lamb in flour, place in casserole.
Simmer an hour with white wine & beef broth to cover, three tomatoes pureed or tomato paste, garlic & parsley chopped, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf.

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Anthology

BAREKNUCKLE POET ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY VOLUME 001 2015

BAREKNUCKLE POET ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY VOLUME 001 2015

VOLUME001 6x9_Front_Cover

 

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

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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, Lindsay Simpson, Gary Snyder, David Stavanger, Todd Swift, John Tranter, Joanna C. Valente, Samuel Wagan Watson, Fakie Wilde, Mark Young, Ali Znaidi + More

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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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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Poetics Research Paper Scholarly

Reading Between the Lines: Liminal Spaces in the works of T.S. Eliot By Jonathon Dey

eliotPoetry captures something that other mediums struggle with. Novels, prose and films are all effective at capturing spaces, thoughts, and moments but poetry captures the flickering space between the static frames of the ostensibly moving film or the void between paragraphs; the nebulous space of feeling and transition between one thought and the next. This space might be loosely described as the ‘liminal’, the concept of individuals or entities which are “neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions” (Turner 1967 p.25), encapsulating the disorientation and ambiguity that occurs at a threshold that has yet to be crossed. In literature and poetry, the spaces between are important because the boundaries surrounding them are a membrane, the crossing of which necessitates a kind of cost (Viljoen, H & Van Der Merwe 2007 p.11). Interacting with the liminal provides insight and meaning that would otherwise be lost to the filter and consequently by doing so, poetry is able to substantiate feelings and create emotional responses that defy concrete explication (Viljoen, H & Van Der Merwe 2007 p. 10). Exploring this idea, T.S Eliot’s The Hollow Men (1925) and Ash Wednesday (1930) illustrates how liminality creates meaning in the space between meanings, a literary ether in which cognition is ultimately both fluid and diffuse.

T.S. Eliot is a modernist poet, a movement characterised by the desire for something new, owing to the disillusionment with humanity arising from the first world war among other things (Walz 2013 p. 6) The first poem, The Hollow Men expresses this disillusionment directly with a distinct sense of nihilism and hopelessness (Urquhart 2001 p. 199-201). By comparison, Ash Wednesday tracks Eliot’s movement from hopelessness and agnosticism towards religious belief in the notion of a higher power and meaning (Kirk 2008 p. 111-120). In a way, they are themselves a picture of a man caught in a liminal space, ascending from one system of belief to another without truly belonging to either. More importantly however, is the fact that they both also engage with liminality on a textual, structural and philosophical level.

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