The contents of this page will change about once a month to feature some of my poetry from the past – formal/free/experimental/whatever. In addition here are some permanent links:
Eru opt köld kvenna ráð – This is where I try to post a short burst of poetry once a day. Sometimes I miss the target and have to post two poems on the following day, but it averages out. The reason I do this is to keep my writing sharp, to discipline myself in the practice of precise expression, to keep on an upward learning-curve, all in the hope of writing better and better poetry and prose.
Lithopoesis – an archive of the ‘block poetry’ I was writing in early 2010.
the zen space is a site I maintain, as editor, as a quarterly showcase (an e-zine in effect) for haiku and related writing.
The poem that follows is again from 2008. It is a tribute to one of the most wonderful and under-appreciated poets I know – Lane A Smith. Lane has hardly ever had her poetry published, yet it is unique, sexy, and evocative. There are echoes, but not obsessive echoes, of Charles Bukowski. It often seems decadent, hooch and cigarettes are reached for, the floorboards are grey with age… at the same time there are memories of hot, dusty childhood days, and of a group of strong, magical women. Lane herself is from Savannah GA, USA, is profoundly deaf, and occasionally teaches poetry to groups of deaf teenagers.
In 2008 I was (if I recall correctly) one of a group of poets invited to write a poem to her. What came out of me was, in effect, much more than a single poem.
the carnation and the whiskey glass
(Thinking about a perfect poet. Sometimes I write entirely for myself, not for anyone else. At those times I am unreadable but truer than a tried sword. Sometimes I write for one other person; if others hang on for the ride, then they are welcome to.)
a madness steals over the rest of us
as we await the latest ex cathedra
then we vie for your bemused attention
we woo you
our embarrassed queen
pay attention to MY loving adulation
that is how we miss
the poised carnation in the whiskey glass
the wonder of the perfect placement
of a single word
**** died today at the hands of a single, silent yakusa, hired by a cartel of vengeful haijin, swiftly, suddenly, and with a smile on her lips from the satisfaction of the sexy broad-brush of poetry accomplished. The yakusa took his own life at the thought of having stilled perfection. A spokesman for the haijin said she was too complete to live, taking, as she did, an instant in an up-turned whiskey glass to say what a lifetime of gazing at a carnation-field could not convey. She leaves a city-load of deaf children, a suitcase, and our hearts.
what I really wanted to say all along
was something about the jazzy pizzazz
the razzamatazz and razzle-dazzle day
of the stale swirls and jaded morning-scent
at the bottom of that rumbled tumbler
the teeter-totter of a single lipstick-tipped
bloom caught on the rim by the tension
of her petals a few fallen – a few eaten
some wasted all-coloured chasers laced
blue-bladed ladies played in the breeze
the warm city-breath or the lonely ozone
either stirs the curtains and curtails a lurch
of the louche lout in the slouch hat who
steals your whiskey and winks and says
a thousand thank-yous with his mouth
all of which belies the gimme in his eyes
the brocken-spectre sounds of radio rock
half-heard from the room next door and
an imagined man in a dirty t-shirt hurts
the heart of a closet-gay girl in a gray skirt
you fetch me a clean glass and pass
that’s what I really wanted to say
please smile at me
ghost me a kiss
drop me that