Oh, She’s a Witch in Static Poetry

My poem “Oh, She’s a Witch” is in the first poetry anthology from Static Movement. It was my first publication for this year, I’d just been waiting for it to appear on the Amazon page.

Nice little book, with a great range of poetry in it, lots of familiar names (well, from the Static Movement stable), and lots of new.

I’ll have another poem – “Devil with Angel Wings” – in the next anthology, Static Poetry II, as well.

Fibonacci poems to end the year

The Fibonacci Review publishes regular issues of Fibonacci poetry. The site explains it better than I can, but the poems – Fibs – are based on the Fibonacci sequence – lines with increasing numbers of syllables: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and variations of that.

Three of my poems appear in the December issue – French Nocture and, together, Bar, and Musicpoemusic. Fibs are fun, if challenging to write – check out some of the other poems in the issue to, some of these poets are way cleverer with the form than I am.

Marking poetry nears the end

Another week of marking left, then on to the fiction part of the course. Poetry is always a challenge for me, yet with so many good poems coming my way, it’s been a pleasure. I’m into the final third of the portfolios now, so will still have a busy week ahead.

Meanwhile, I did post a new quick Haiku of my own – Catch the act – at the Undead Poets Society.

Flat out, but posted a new poem

This is just a progress update, I guess. Marking is in full swing with the courier dropping off early papers to grade. I’m busy writing parts two and three (and four?) of a serial for a publisher who’s interested in seeing where the part one led (and now I’m surprised by how big it’s growing). I’m also drafting a few flash stories, and have some longer drafts I’m coming back to for revision.

Meanwhile I’ve just put a new flash (ie written fast with minimal revision) poem up on the Undead Poets Society – read it here: Silver Bullet Blues.

New Shoes, Old Eyes – in Poetry on Palmy

My poem New Shoes, Old Eyes was third equal in a local competition here, and has now been published twice – once in The Tribune, a community newspaper, and again in the Urban Care Poetry on Palmy booklet. It’s neat to have a placing and be published.

Occasionally an author loses control over formatting – usually not a big deal, and editors often have better ideas. Unfortunately in both printings of my poem the formatting has been changed and some of the impact of the poem is lost. Sometimes with poems the first line is also the title – as with Medusa Medusa, so there is a repetition. Other times the title is quite distinct – as with Carnival Cage. The latter is the case with New Shoes, Old Eyes – even if in the booklet the title is not bolded and seems to be the first line, it’s not meant that way – the rhythm is different and it would work better if, as with most of the other poems in the book, if it was in bold and separate.

In both printings the poem appears as a single stanza – without the stanza breaks. As Tim Keeton pointed out with Medusa Medusa, the breaks “make the lines more impactful”. With New Shoes, Old Eyes, those stanza breaks are part of the cadence/rhythm of the poem.

Anyway, enough griping. Here is the poem as I’d intended it to appear:

New Shoes, Old Eyes

Returning to your frigid grid
of fragile kerbs
and surly kids
where turbined hills
spill spun white glass
above the river’s
placid parks,

I stride straight streets
in crisp new shoes,
cross blocks of grass
and tarmac spurs
to find the clipped green

box now sculpted

like the slick
stockcar track
by boys and girls
born since
I left.

Certainly it’s a poem about Palmerston North – aimed at the competition, and loaded with stuff familiar to locals.

New Shoes, Old Eyes – poem gets 3rd place in local contest

My poem submitted for the Urban Care – Poetry on Palmy contest has come third equal and, yay, there’s a prize-giving this afternoon. It’s great to get a place, but also neat to have something in the real world – so much of my writing now is here on your screen: I’ll be mixing with real people today. The competition was to write a poem about our hometown Palmerston North (New Zealand). The poem will probably be published at some point, but here are the first few lines:

New Shoes, Old Eyes

Returning to your frigid grid
Of fragile kerbs
And surly kids
Where turbined hills
spill spun white glass

If you’re in Palmy and happen to read this beforehand, the prize-giving is at 4pm at Square Edge.

Deep in the heart of reading for tutoring

I’m tutoring in creative writing again this year, and the first portfolios are due in a little over two weeks which means the early first ones will probably arrive in week. I’ve gotta be prepared and that means reading the book of readings and the study guide so I both refresh myself (this is my fifth year with this course) and settle in, plus keep up with anything new. The first portfolio is poetry, so I’ve been reading Frost and cummings and Wendy Cope and Basho. It’s refreshing and directed. I know that tutoring in this course has helped my own writing hugely. I recommend creative writing courses to all: they’re not the be-all and end-all, but they have a lot of value, both if you’re a student or a tutor (or, I imagine, a lecturer).