I have five poems published in Issue 10 of Innovate Magazine. It's available for only 2 Pounds right here, with 50% going to a cancer charity. You couldn't ask for a better deal. Innovate contains many poems as well as stories.
My Poetry samples
(intros only) Fall
The music of rain
plays sweet at night
mocking irritant by day
does not belong to us.
He ran around the outside
She struck from within
He wondered where her mind was
She believed all was justified
Only the unhinged
Believe they’re on target
I save my best work for submissions so these are of higher quality than usually posted on this site. (in my opinion anyway). Print copies also available.
I'm pleased to announce that a art project that I've been collaborating on is now available.
The incredibly talented Italian artist Paola Rassu has produced a book of original images regarding the subject of eroticism and the pursuit of pleasure. I wrote a small poem to accompany each image.
This is part of her introductory blurb: 'The idea came to me from the lyric of a song,
For Your Pleasure by Roxy Music. It’s the reason why I named this project in
the same way. The purpose was to represent the various “states” of pleasure,
creating a journey where images and words (thanks to the collaboration with
Anthony J. Langford) combine together to explore various themes. These themes
relate to the pursuit of pleasure, instinct, the senses and boundaries between
eroticism, pornography, lust and sin.'
The book is not cheap but it is highly original and creative with both art work and poetry. It also comes in a hard cover. You can find it right here at Blurb Books.
Perhaps it might make a good gift for someone, especially with Christmas not that far away.
The latter is out of print but I still have copies of Caged Without Walls available if you're interested. Yesterday I discovered that Better Read than Dead in Newtown were still stocking it. Well, they had a copy which was sold. Very nice to hear. Made my day.
As a matter of interest, this is the original cover which I put together. Back in 2012 I was considering self publishing it along with other stories until I found a publisher. A couple of those stories have since been published, most not. What do you think of the cover?
Speaking of anniversary's, its just over ten years since this Aussie classic album, Crossed Lines by 78 Saab. It received great reviews but not sales. Typical. They have been overlooked in a big way. Hopefully one day sense will prevail. They split up a few years back. No Illusions is the opening track. Do yourself a favour, track it down.
I recently came as close as I ever have in ten years
to having one of my novels accepted by a legitimate publisher. I sent it off, (the
entire novel rather than the usual first few chapters) and heard back within a
couple of months. They said they liked it and would be interested in looking at
it again if I were to make a few changes. It wasn’t anything to do with the
story but about the narrative voice. Essentially they wanted it more immediate.
I told them it would take a while as I
have a pretty busy life with two jobs, parenthood etc. They said they were okay with that.
I spent two months working hard on it. I updated
the voice and made lots of small changes and deletions and even injected a small sub-plot. I
thought it much better than it was and hoped they would agree. (I never
mentioned it to anyone as I’m kind of superstitious about these things).
sent it back.
A month went by. Nothing. Another couple of weeks passed.
Today I received a reply. It took me ten hours to bring myself to open the email. They liked the changes yet decided that it wasn’t for
them after all.
Now I know how John Kennedy Toole felt. His journey
was very similar. So close yet rejected after giving them what they wanted. (Though I was dealing with a smaller press,
which I won’t name.) When you invest your heart and creative soul into a
project and have a little hook dangle in front of you like that, it can give
It’s a very frustrating experience. I’m pretty
pissed off I guess. I finished writing the damn thing six years ago and can’t
get a look in. Well, I got a look in this time. Be careful what you wish for!
To be honest, I didn’t get my hopes up too much
because there’s mostly rejection in this game so you can’t afford to get excited.
I stopped doing that years ago. After all, tell me another occupation where you
spend a decade working with no result. Yes the novels are written so that is something unto itself. And no I won’t
self-publish because for me personally, I would feel like I failed.
Yes I should get back on the horse, but I’ve been
doing that for so long the poor thing’s about to croak from old age.
Franz was born in Prague
in 1883. He was Jewish and caught between two cultures flexing their
identity, German and Czech, neither of which favoured the Jews. (He considered
himself more German). He did come from a middle class family so he had a good education. He was soon a lawyer, yet he struggled with it, feeling that writing was his
calling and that too much time was spent on the ‘day job.’
Be careful what you
He had a
difficult relationship with his father, yet it influenced his writing. Art out of chaos. He was
also conflicted over being Jewish. He was in a relationship and was engaged. Yet he preferred to spend a great
deal of time alone. He favoured communicating with loved ones by letter
(hundreds of these survive).
As with many
great artists and writers, few of his writings were published in his lifetime, only a small handful of stories. Some call him the greatest writer of the century but he was never to
Much has been
said of his work. It's simple enough to research so I’ll keep it brief. He had written novels, or began them yet never finished one. They were The Trial, The Castle and The Stoker (Amerika). He had also collated story collections,
one of which Kafka was preparing to publish. Tragically he died before he could do so, at
the young age of forty in 1924.
Franz suffered from
tuberculosis, which would ultimately kill him. He spent much of his life in sanatoriums.
He lived with his sister for a time which he thoroughly enjoyed. He had to be
put on a pension. He was shy about his body and had low self-confidence, yet
was interested in women and sex and visited brothels as well as being engaged
several times. Ironically the women spoke of his quiet confidence, despite his shyness. His intelligence is evident. This is a man conflicted, a state which often produces great
work. His writing is full of paranoia and confusion, almost surrealistic in nature, yet
highly original and philosophical.
Much has been
written about him and there is a lot to explore. Films have been made of his work, notable The Trial by Orson Welles and Kafka by Steven Soderburgh. Franz died from starvation, brought on by his illness swelling his throat.We would not know of Franz at all if it wasn't for his friend Max Brod. Brod did not
follow Franz’s instructions to destroy the work after his death. Over a twelve year period Brod
published a great deal of it, yet much remained incomplete and was difficult to
arrange, perhaps adding to the mystique of Franz Kafka.
It came to mind some place, probably in the crapper and I realised that it had been thirty years since it came out. That realisation got me thinking about youth and promises and time slipping away, coupled with the life of a band, many bands actually, and it kind of got me to this...
The future is what was
Where will we be
in thirty years?
A minor hit
Some band members
‘Who gives a
They put out the
there was more to lose
So they dug
their heels in
A year went by
And their sound
Nor their unity
So they split
Eager to begin anew
Which they did
With new members
And work was
More mature this
Yet could not
raise an iota
occasion was similar
Their career languished
decade and a half
Music had become
Until the kids
were old enough
Coupled with the
As life is never
Even if their career
So the talk of
Exploding a can
Which took legal
Two years to
By the time they
hit the road again
own initial question
Back where they
Much worse off
There was no
need to ponder their future
Like they once
already see the end
The rest of the
On a side note, I once worked with Brian Mannix, lead singer of Uncanny X-Men. It was on a film clip shoot for another band he fronted called The Atomic Dining Club. it was in Melbourne during a freezing winter's night under the West Gate Bridge. The encounter probably found its way into the poem too. The follow up band wasn't bad, but pretty much disappeared without ever really surfacing. Brian also helped produce the Countdown Musical that was out roughly a decade ago. The Uncanny X-Men are still around but haven't released any new albums since the eighties. At any rate, this poem could be about any band, or any youthful endeavour. Happy to hear your thoughts that it may have brought up.
NB: None of the photographs are of the Uncanny X-Men.
No mystery as to the origins of this poem, however as my daughter is now four and a half and it's winter, I can only assume it was written in early 2014. Nothing remarkable about it. I simply thought it was time for a change from the usual doom and gloom.