Thursday, April 21, 2016

Glover Park reading

Here’s me reading with Ish Doney down at Glover Park. Mary McCallum took the photos. Thanks to those who gave appreciative comments. Cheers. I read ‘Dear ET’, ‘Closer’, ‘Summer People’, ‘Midnight’, ‘Punch’, ‘The Goodbyes’, ‘House of Design’ and ‘Abandoned Car.’ Great weather. Interesting venue. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fringe Reading

Me with my Punch face on

The reading over at Fringe Bar with Ish Doney and music by Ruth Mundy went well with a great turn-out including many family and friends.  I read the poems ‘Dear ET’, ‘Delph, Whit Friday (for my dad), ‘Glam’, ‘Punch’ and ‘Bus Stop’ from Udon by The Remarkables.  These last two are especially fun to read as they have their own distinct voices.  Mary took this photo. Rohan shot some video which we’ll put up sometime on YouTube when I’m less busy.

Fringe Bar

Glover Park reading this Thursday

I’m reading on with Ish Doney at Glover Park on Thursday 19 th April at 12.30PM. Open air poetry to the public . . . time to get the brave face on!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hoopla Launch 2016

Ish Doney, me, Helen Jacobs at Scorpio Books. Photo: Mary McCallum

On Saturday Udon by The Remarkables was launched along with Ish Doney's Where the Fish Are and Helen Jacobs' Withstanding at Scorpio Books new shop over on Heresford Street.

Luckily, I managed to get there on time.

I'd flown in well in advanced.  On the airport bus to the YMCA on Hereford Street (my favourite place to stay in Christchurch) I saw Scorpio Book on Riccarton Road (which is pumping since the quake) and thought "hey, there's the shop."  I knew that the container mall shop had gone and so thought . . . Riccarton's the place.

It was a hot day as I took a nice long walk from Heresford Street, by the hospital, down past Hagley Park and on to Riccarton — stopping off for a bagel on the way.

So I get into the shop at 3PM —  the launch is due to kick off at 3.30PM.  The shop's busy and there's a flier on the counter with a photo of us three amigos poets.

I got to the counter and announced that was here to read for the launch.  That's all very well, I'm told politely. But you're at the wrong shop!

The right shop is on Hereford Street where I'd just come from about 45-50 mins ago. (I like to walk.)

Time to call a cab!

But I got there in time  for a wonderful launch with Ish and Helen. I met Ish's family — who had catered a wonderful spread —  and poets James Norcliffe, Bernadette Hall, and Jeffrey Paparoa Hollman.

I read the poems 'Dear ET', 'Glam', 'Carnival', 'Tekapo Dark Sky' and got to thank Mary McCallum for Makaro, for having faith in the book and for questioning every word and comma because she cared; William Carden-Horton for his striking illustration and design; Scorpio for hosting the event and Ish and her family for arranging the food and drink.

Memo to self: remember the address.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

HOOPLA 2016 from Mākaro Press

The audacious new poetry series HOOPLA, which launches three poets every April, is three years old this year. And with two Christchurch poets in the 2016 line-up it is launching in the freshly opened Scorpio bookstore in Hereford Street.

The series with its bright Faber-like covers has been a hit on the local poetry scene where most poets make their way individually. HOOPLA launches  a late-career, mid-career and debut poet at the same time, and is an imprint of Wellington’s Mākaro Press.

‘The idea,’ says publisher Mary McCallum of Mākaro Press, ‘ is that the poets and their books support each other out in the world: generating a combined energy at events, standing with each other at readings, providing a focus at bookstores. It’s a tough world out there for poetry, and so far we’ve loved the way the HOOPLA poets have worked together in their groups of three, and together as a wider whānau.’

The HOOPLA poets of 2014 and 2015 appeared together at Litcrawl in Wellington last year, in an event which saw them reading as a tag team on the theme of ‘love’. And the 2015 trio undertook a Melbourne road trip. There have been award nods too with Jennifer Compton’s Mr Clean and The Junkie long-listed for the Ockham prize this year, and Hoopla work selected for Best NZ Poems.

Much-loved Canterbury poet Elaine Jakobsson ( 87) is the late career poet for Hoopla 2016 with her book Withstanding. The theme of the collection is ‘age’. Wellingtonian teacher Harvey Molloy is the mid-career poet with Udon by The Remarkables, theme: ‘worlds’, and the debut poet is Christchurch poet Ish Doney with Where the Fish Grow, theme: ‘leaving’. Ish returns from Scotland for the launch.

Previous HOOPLA poets are:  (2014) Michael Harlow, Helen Rickerby and Stefanie Lash; (2015) Jennifer Compton, Bryan Walpert and Carolyn McCurdie. The 2016 launch is on Saturday, 16 April, 3.30 pm at Scorpio’s Hereford Street store in the BNZ centre, launcher James Norcliffe, with a Wellington launch the next day 17 April at the Fringe bar, Allen St,  4-6pm. The Hoopla series is designed by William Carden-Horton and available through all good bookstores for $25 each.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New poems

Three new poems out soon: 'Overburden', 'Return', 'Aitutaki installation.'

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Monday, March 07, 2016

Book launch: Udon by the Remarkables

I'm looking forward to sending 'Udon' out into the world with Ish and Helen in Christchurch on the 16th April. Got my ticket. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On Bowie's Death

Upset and saddened to hear of Bowie's death. At least he got Blackstar out in time! He changed my life with his songs. He opened doors to art and made life more exciting. God I am going to miss him.

You live in a tiny village by the Pennines and one day WHAM BAM Art Man comes and shakes you and your friends awake. I cannot even imagine how I would think about poetry without Hunky Dory and Space Oddity. All you need to know about the transformative power of art is in those first three albums. I'm not even sure how to explain how Bowie wired my understanding of sexuality because I was just this kid--but he did; he really did---but over everything else there was this great imaginative power wonder and dread in his music--think of the end of Belway Brothers. That is just so incredible. Such strangeness and awe: that changes you because you feel odd, a little strange yourself, 'out of the ordinary', I guess the word is 'queer' in a very broad encompassing sense. At the same time--totally paradoxically--he was also very English.
In ’95 I wrote ‘Ziggy ’72: A catalogue of LostObjects’ for Mike Harvey’s Ziggy website.  It was a popular piece with many thousands of readers and is quoted in Jim Miller’s book Almost Grown: The Rise of Rock.

I started work on a companion piece to ‘Ziggy ’72’ which I then shelved as I moved on to new projects.

Ziggy '72 ends with this sequence which I'll end with here . . .

width of a circle
When we get back, I lie on the bed staring at the ceiling. All I can hear in my head is the song 'Width of a Circle.' What is the width of a circle anyway? That can’t be the same as the diameter, or the radius, right?  Maybe he’s talking about the width of a circular line -- but I already know that lines are connections between points. You mark a circle with a line and suddenly you have a radius, a circumference, and a diameter, but the line has no properties of its own. For to mark a space is to generate properties.
It’s late. In the bed across the room, Paul grunts in his sleep. What had he been fighting with dad about today? Had he wet the bed or had I misunderstood the encounter with mum this morning? There was a sadness about my brother that was difficult to fathom. Dad was clearly disappointed with him.
I get up, poke my head through the bedroom curtains and look at the yellow streetlights. Once, perhaps, the world had been magical. There had been gods, elves, myths and places you could hide where the world couldn’t find you. You felt that magic when you followed the river from Delph to Uppermill. It was there but hidden, forgotten, like the power of the stone circle in Penrith. Now there were cars, streetlights, schools and factories. Someone had drawn a timetable in the air and had created routines. 
xenos: strange
You played the stranger
The one who stands on the threshold
Awaiting our reply

In the hard rock amphitheatre
I crammed in everything to store
yellow skin, beetroot hair, a few
idle remarks to the audience

You pushed the microphone stand
into waves of adulating hands
played the crowd for all we were worth
as all dictators do.

No grave Apollo, you asked:
would you follow the way from outside;
would you become an outsider too?
you were in this song
I had known loneliness -- the quiet walks by the river, the silence of the paper round when all I could hear was the soft crunch of my steps over fresh snow -- but I had yet to feel the loneliness that comes from a feeling of incompleteness. I was a virgin to the notion of romantic love. As ‘Five Years’ drew to a close, Bowie sang:
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour, drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, don't think you knew you were in this song.

And then I was touched by a new feeling. I was alone but now there was the hope that this loneliness might be removed forever by a girlfriend. I was alone but somewhere out there was a girl who would love me and I would love her. Our New Love would be magnificent, monumental, the stuff of legend! Fated to be together for all time, we would live our lives laughing at the world. And all the songs you ever heard were about this one simple truth: you would always be lonely until you found the one you would love at first sight. The one you would love and who would love you. All I had to do was to keep my eyes open for her. 
If you can slash your face by wearing the mark of a god, you are still a ghost who ignores the history of the sigil you wear and the debt you owe to the ones you haunt.
If you can put away the masks and puppets to uncover the face of the one you followed, this is still a ghost claiming another’s memories as his own.
Star and fan, adult and child: each one haunts the other, neither stands alone. Where is the face of the corpse to be found?
In the telephone box he stands waiting for the call; although the grave is only a cigarette away, still he savours the moment.

The opening line of Bowie’s last single “Lazarus’: “Look up here, I’m in heaven.’ 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Fey Exchange in JAAM 33

A big thanks to Kiri and Rosetta for such an interesting issue and for including my poem.

Summertime: I'm reading, writing, gardening--my long poem Night Music has been my main focus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Walk on the Moor

Jennifer Compton has chosen ‘A Walk on the Moor’ for her Tuesday Poem this week.

I’m delighted that Jen’s chosen this as it keeps the poem alive—there are already some new readers.

This year we basically wound up the ain Tuesday Poem. It was a controversial decision given that the site had been running for more than five years. 

I’m going to keep posting the occasional Tuesday Poems on Notebook – it still uncertain what will Tuesday Poem’s place.

I’m going to write the blog in Baskerville for a while. My brother is in love with this typeface.

So my Tuesday Poems this week are three poems by Thérèse Lloyd.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday Poem: the last post

The Tuesday Poem has finally come to a curtain call. I’ve had a great time being active in this poetry circle and I’ve made some great friends on the way.  All projects come to end and the decision to wind-up Tuesday Poem just means that another project will spring up in its place.  A big thanks to Mary McCallum for starting TP and to all who have edited the site over the many years. Our final composite poem And I know now what I didn't know then by the Tuesday Poets is our last post.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

brief 53

My poems ‘At the Armageddon Expo’ and ‘Grand Theft Aotearoa’ have been published in brief 53 –the twentieth anniversary issue – by poetry editor Brett Cross along with poems by Erin Doyle, Ted Jenner, Mark Young, CarinSmeaton, Murray Edmond, Nick Ascroft, Stephanie Christie, Keith Nunes, Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle, Richard Taylor, Jack Ross, Olivia Macassey, Geum Hye Kim, Vaughan Rapatahana, Joel Chace, Sugu Pillay, Sarah Bogle, Manon Revuelta, Sid Khanzode,  and Richard von Sturmer. A big thanks to Brett for publishing the poems.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

People's Climate March

The march was a great success today.  The brass band created a village fare atmosphere.  As we entered Civic Square they were playing ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’.  All good fun and the sun just shone.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

from Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

            Later, he’d walked by the open bathroom and heard her talking to herself as she removed her makeup.  “I repent nothing,” he heard her say to her reflection in the mirror.  He’d turned and walked away, but the words stayed with him.  Years later in Toronto, on the plywood second storey of the King Lear set, the words clarified the problem. He found he was a man who repented almost everything, regrets crowding in around him like moths to a light.  This was actually the main difference between twenty-one and fifty-one, he decided, the sheer volume of regret.  He had done some things he wasn’t proud of.  If Miranda was so unhappy in Hollywood, why hadn’t he just taken her away from there?  It wouldn’t have been difficult.  The way he’d dropped Miranda for Elizabeth and Elizabeth for Lydia and let Lydia slip away to someone else.  The way he’d let Tyler be taken to the other side of the world.  The way he’d spent his entire life chasing after something, money or fame or immortality or all of the above.  He didn’t really even know his own brother.  How many friendships had he neglected until they’d faded out?  On the first night of previews, he’d barely made it off the stage. On the second night, he’d arrived on the platform with a strategy. He stared at his crown and ran through a secret list of everything that was good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

New book

Out in 2016
Udon by The Remarkables.
Mākaro Press. 2016

Sunday, November 15, 2015

NZ Poetry Conference 2016

Sweet Mammalian launch

What an incredible, poetry-filled, literature-rich week I have had.  The poetry reading in Christchurch went well and I’ve added a comment to the post about the reading (as much as for my own memory as anything else—as are all posts on Notebook).  I got back to Wellington on Thursday; back to work on Friday and then on Friday night the poetry conference in Wellington started for me around 6PM.

This event was buzzing from the very beginning.  Lonnard, Laurice and the convention group kicked off by a challenging, raw, heart-felt performance by Apirana Taylor followed by slam poets Te Kahu Rolleston—who I will endeavour to bring to our school—and slam champion Mohamed Hassan.  These are young, vital, exciting oral poets—Slam Poetry is the newest form of oral poetry since hip-hop.  I loved it—slam is high energy, theatrical, choreographed in its own way.  Courtney Sina Meredith then hopped out of a taxi, came into the National Library, and just blew us away. Such energy.

And then we had Fleur Adcock.  What an incredible mix.

I can’t recount all of Saturday: the blog would become too boring.  I met so many familiar faces; so many new faces.  At the end of the day I reckon I must have heard about 90 poems.
As I am leaving the Library, some tells a group the horrible news from Paris.  The stupidity of it all. The misery. 

In the morning: Karl Stead, Elizabeth Smither, Cilla McQueen: all totally brilliant. All poets I respect and admire.

To be present at the crowded launch of the NZ Poetry Anthology of poem submitted to a competition which I had been given the honour to judge . . . that was wonderful, hearing all those poems aloud, hearing these young poets from the junior section read their entries. What’s so great about the NZ Poetry Competition Anthology is the way adults and junior poets are all included within the same work.

In the evening, we hit Litcrawl.  I was especially keen to be at the Sweet Mammalian launch because I don’t know these guys but I like the previous issues—this is one of the most interesting developments in NZ poetry. Then the packed reading from the Hoopla series:  Helen Rickerby, Michael Harlow, Stefanie Lash, Bryan Walpert, Jennifer Compton, Carolyn McCurdie.  I got a real buzz when Mary McCallum announced that I would be published in Hoopla next year. In the after party I had a number of good chats and got to meet Doc Drumheller.

Today we had our final readings, and I was on a well-attended panel about judging poetry competition with Tim Jones and Siobhan Harvey and then a cool launch of new books by Heidi North-Bailey and Keith Westwater and then the final reading by Maris O’Rourke, Diana Bridge, Anna Jackson and Marty Smith.  It was quite an incredible saturation of poetry and this feeling of being part of this mad group of poetry fiends (and friends).   The next conference is in two years and I'm going to go . . . thanks Laurice, thanks Lonnard, thanks Jen, thanks Saradha, thanks Tim, thanks Bill Sutton, thanks all the poets and poet laureates . . . I know  this is all a bit rushed but I’m knackered.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

This Changes Everything Screening

This Changes Everything

Promoted by Peoples Climate March

Tuesday, November 17 6:30PM - 8:10PM

at Paramount Cinema 
25 Courtenay Pl, Wellington, N, NZ, 6011 (map) 
$16.00 NZD General

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Night Music

New poem starting tonight on Facebook: Night Music. Finally, all 88 pieces

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poetry Reading in Christchurch 11 November

Harvey Molloy | Hagley Writers

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
November 11 . 6.30 PM

The readings are at CPIT in Madras Street, begin at 6.30 and start with an open mike. After that we have a break, then readings from the students of the Hagley Writers Institute. Then I’ll be on reading some new poems from my upcoming Udon at the Remarkables and a couple from Moonshot.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

two new poems out soon

Two new poems out soon: Grand Theft Aotearoa | At the Armageddon Expo

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Fonterra: No New Coal

Coal cooks the climate. It is the most carbon-intensive fuel. If we are to keep climate change to less than 2 degrees of warming, a goal most nations have agreed to, most of the coal that exists must stay in the ground. All coal users need to start phasing out their coal use and replacing with renewable energy.
In New Zealand, Fonterra uses more than half a million tonnes a year of coal. Worse, Fonterra is aggressively growing its coal use. Since 2008 its coal use has grown by about 38% and is planning another big plant with 4 new boilers.
I just signed a petition calling for Fonterra to use wood waste instead of coal in all its new boilers at its milk factories.

Will you sign too?

You can get in touch with Coal Action Network Aotearoa directly by following these links here:

·  Join their mailing list so you can find out how to get involved in our current campaigns. Use this link: or email
·  Donate to CANA:
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