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Commiserate Three Way 2015

December 29, 2014

Matt Hetherington & David Stavanger — Commiserate, January 2015

It is a pleasure to be back this month with our first ever three-way collaboration between myself and two Australian poet friends – Matt Hetherington & David Stavanger. So below you will find four poems all based on source material we wrote together in the sweaty Brisbane summer. Taps off, y’all. 

Matt Hetherington by Nicholas Walton-Healey

Matt Hetherington by Nicholas Walton-Healey

The process: we sat around a table and in round-robin style created a very large poem. Each of us took the source material and re-worked it. Below are the results from the three of us.

Matt says: the best bit was the start…sitting around drinking beer, throwing lines out like sighs…the editing was more like real sighs…or sights of sides…i like mine best! You can quote me on that!

—-

Fill Your Stump
by Matt Hetherington
w/ Ryan Van Winkle & David Stavanger

 

baby says something
she says the word ‘bovine’
she says you’re like a duck, you’ve got no tread
but winter is when you need the fur
skin is where we find get off
stumbling into the wild man

 

those men who file tax returns sleep with animals
and keep their umbrellas by the door
size determines technique
or the future
well, everybody has one
if they keep their teeth straight
it’s elegant

 

when you need to say sorry, feel lucky
you can scratch a way through your head
when your toe is sore you need to remember
keep an axe in the sound
when the song goes wrong
or short or ironed out or shirty
it’s a shit, innit?

 

grandma’s throat gave birth to a tree
so growl about it, make tea and read
don’t flatter yourself
don’t take their cake
don’t ask white to turn off-white
earth keeps you talking about the girls
and girls love girth more than neil loves you

 

my father is a festival
he knows how to hurt her
take him out to the dire lands where the popcorn is cheap
close all the windows, you can’t squeeze through
my sister asks if I am a truck
(no, I am not a truck)

 

why is this happening?
not really

 

David Stavanger

David Stavanger

slip inside, jackets by the door
by David Stavanger
w/ Matt Hetherington & Ryan Van Winkle

 

when the weather is yellow, tops
off when the weather is white, fill your
stump
with sure white stains, turn

 

the power off. when the pants fit, e
lephants talk birds talk, watch the p
lanes
float innocent and flam e

 

like dreams your teeeeeeeeeeth fell
the school bracelet donated twice

 

and you yelled like broken night
breakthewrist, breakthethumb
touching how you never ran till you raced

 

three of us horses, one for every type
of home. we sent grandma
when
she said she’d kidnap itches
her cats had no claws, pussies
bloom
in spring but winter is when you need the fur

 

slip inside, jackets by the door

 

fluff the sound, play the take
needle fills the song
clouds heard the honey sky out
when heavy goes wrong the song
baby, axe the needle
keep me in you

the word bovine 
 slow and wet
to ease
 she says you’re like a duck
you’ve got no tread the season gone brown
the colour of dad’s wallet
 which only opens for sharks
those men who file tax returns sleep with animals

 

Size determines
technique

 

Animals who sleep with women
can never go home

 

Bark for forgiveness. Grandma’s throat gave birth to a tree

 

growl about it and keep your umbrella
by the door and put rain in the can every time she says
sugar. dung. mother trucker.

 

piss taker who knows when to pull out the fruit.
the groceries in Paris always seem brighter she says
the trains always like me, fruit lasts longer on the tree

 

close all the windows, you can’t squeeze through
when your toe is sore you need to remember

 

there’s only so much rice you can put in a bowl

 

Grandma Goes Three Ways
by Ryan Van Winkle
w/ Matt Hetherington & David Stavanger

 

when the weather is yellow, tops off
when the weather is white, fill your stump
with sure white stains, turn the power off

 

when the pants fit, make elephants talk
when the birds talk, watch the planes
float innocent and flame

 

like a bracelet of teeth donated
to the school of dreams
you chased till they fell

 

and yelled like a broken night – break
the wrist, break the thumb touching
how you never ran till you raced,

 

three of us horses, one for every type
of home. we sent grandma
when she said she’d kidnap itches

 

her cats had no claws, pussies
bloom in spring but winter is when you need
the fur. slip inside, jackets by the door

 

close all the windows, you can’t squeeze through.
when your toe is sore you need to remember
there’s only so much rice you can put in a bowl

 

fluff fills the clouds, the honey, the needle
till the needle gets heavy
keep an axe in the sound

 

play the song you heard in the song
when the song goes wrong
take me to the sky, take me out baby says

 

the word bovine
slow and wet to ease
she says you’re like a duck

 

you’ve got no tread because
the season has gone brown,
the colour of dad’s wallet

 

which only opened for the sharks,
those men who file tax returns,
sleep with animals. Size determines

 

technique. Animals who sleep with women
can never go home. Bark for forgiveness.
Grandma’s throat gave birth to a tree –

 

growl about it and keep your umbrella
by the door and put rain in the can every time
she says fuck. oh, sugar. dung. mother trucker.

 

piss taker who knows when to pull out the stops.
the groceries in paris always seem brighter, she says,
the trains always like me, fruit lasts longer on the tree

 

Three of Us Horses
by Matt Hetherington
w/ Ryan Van Winkle & David Stavanger

 

take me to the sky
because the season has gone
brown like a wallet

 

when the weather is yellow
turn the power off
when the birds talk, watch the planes

 

slip inside, jackets by the door
so soon so late so go
one for every type of home

 

too many farmers not enough grass
and the way to the well is worn thin
then play the song you heard in the song

 

couldn’t break it even like a bracelet of death
like thumbs touching
like how you never ran ’till you raced

 

you know you’ll leave it
hanging in the currents
there’s only so much rice you can put in a bowl

—-

Matt Hetherington has performed and published his poems for over 20 years throughout Australia, Europe, and America, including in the anthologies The Best Australian Poetry [2007, UQP], and The Best Australian Poems [2004, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, Black Inc.] His fourth collection of poetry [and first collection of haiku] For Instance, will be published in January 2015 by Mulla Mulla Press, and he is also on the board of the Australian Haiku Society. Some current inspirations are: Miles Davis’ ‘electric period, his 7 year-old daughter Jess, and plain old sunshine.

David Stavanger won the 2013 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Award. He is also Green Room nominated spoken weird cabaret artist Ghostboy, known for his live shows with Richard Grantham (Deep Blue) and the band Golden Virtues, as well as having established the thriving QLD poetry slam scene. The Special (UQP) – his first full-length collection of poetry – has recently been released and is now in reprint.

—-

Commiserate is a monthly experiment in poetic collaboration.

Inspired by  SJ Fowler‘s  ‘Camarade’ project which pairs poets to create new work, I’ve stolen the notion and begun to collaborate with friends and writers of interest. You can read about the project and see 2013’s poems here and 2014’s poems here

Ryan has Tongues of Flame in Brisbane

September 5, 2013

Soon I will be in Australia! Shortly afterwards, I’ll be in a basement in Brisbane:

Brisbane Festival and QLD Poetry Festival present “Basement Late Nights”

The Basement at Metro Arts will be transformed into a subterranean bar with late-night gigs featuring immersive music experiences, chats with artists, poetry and happenings hosted by locals.

Venture down and you may just come across some festival artists relaxing or find yourself dancing in the dark with a bunch of strangers.

Wed 11 Sep, from 9.30pm – TONGUES OF FLAME hosted by Ghostboy

Join host David Stavanger aka Ghostboy hosting an evening of sensual sound and spoken word presented in association with Queensland Poetry Festival. Along with special guests: spoken word artist Eleanor Jackson, installation poet Ryan Van Winkle (Edinburgh), boho storyteller Adam Hadley (Mr Fibby), angular pop sharks The Stress of Leisure (duo mode) and the mysterious DJ Zaziz. Ghostboy will take the night on an interactive journey that will be part performance poetry theatre, part surrealist vaudeville, part dark comedy, all spoken weird. Once you enter, there is no turning back. Expect the unexpected. Let the words take flight.

What: Tongues of Flame; Brisbane Festival and QLD Poetry Festival

Where: Metro Arts, Basement, 109 Edwards St, Brisbane

When: Wednesday 11 September, 9.30pm-late

How Much: FREE

Print

Ryan’s Adventures in the Brisbane

August 26, 2013

I’ll be appearing in a few events in Brisbane (a few as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival) in September. If you’re in Queensland and fancy some poems, do come join us.

Reader-in-Residence presents COUPLET

The Lord Mayor’s Reader-in-Residence David Stavanger (Ghostboy) hosts two dynamic poetic voices in a new monthly performance event, as well as a “surprise guest” reading a poem from the library collection.

Friday 6 September 5:30–6:30pm, Brisbane Square Library

Award-winning Edinburgh-based poet & performer Ryan Van Winkle (Scotland) + musician & poet Luke Beesley (lead singer of New Archer). Presented in partnership with the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Special events/Author Talks 

Reader-in-Residence presents Ryan Van Winkle

Thursday 12th September, Brisbane Square Library

Ryan Van Winkle (USA) is an award winning poet, performer, critic and Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries. His poetry/theatre experiments have also been rated in the top ten shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in recent years.

The Lord Mayor’s Reader-in-Residence David Stavanger (Ghostboy) presents a fully day with Ryan Van Winkle including readings, a workshop and performances of his acclaimed poetry installation ViewMaster.

Tomorrow, We Will Live Here reading 12pm

Join Ryan for lunch as he reads from his award winning debut collection.

ViewMaster 10-11am, 1-2pm

A personal slide-show for your eyes and ears only. Ryan Van Winkle will bring you on a sometimes surprising, sometime surreal, tour accompanied by the ambient sounds of Dan Gorman. One audience member per 10 min session.

Read like a Writer workshop 3-5pm

Join Ryan with David as they read a selection of contemporary poets with an eye to learn how to take risks with style and form. As Picasso said: ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal’. And so, come practice poetic theft! 

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