“Wait, Listen, If” published in The Missing Slate Anthology

June 2, 2015

My poem, “Wait, Listen, If”, has been published in The Missing Slate‘s inaugural print issue, 2014: In Retrospect. It appears alongside work from Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria, Barbados, the United Kingdom, the United States, Slovakia, Hungary, Iran, Canada, Ghana, Singapore, Germany, Lebanon, Poland, and Bangladesh, and I’m totally chuffed to be in such fine company.

The Missing Slate’s inaugural print issue features the best work we’ve published in 2014 — in both web and digital — PLUS content exclusive to the anthology. This issue marks the first time the magazine takes a definitive socio-political stance against the political crises of the moment, with commentaries on the Gaza conflict, nodding at the nature of “freedom”, the increasingly misogynous portrayals of women on TV, dissecting the political undercurrents in superhero mythology, highlighting the forms of sexual power showcased in Pakistani Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai’s work, and humanity’s constant quest for “more”, in thoughtful editorials of current events as part of a larger conversation.”

Ryan is in fourfold

January 15, 2015

A collaborative piece between SJ Fowler, nick-e melville, Colin Herd, Ross Sutherland and myself has been published as part of the FourFold project. The poem is called ‘The Auld Fold’, and there is a photograph of the finished article big enough to read right here.

Ryan writes the Future of Fashion

September 21, 2014

Was invited to write a poem about the ‘future of fashion’ by the good people at Litro magazine. I imagined people wouldn’t need clothes in the future. The editor says: Ryan Van Winkle imagines a future in which nudity is the new haute couture, in his poem that was joy she said, a modern take on the Emperor’s new clothes.

Ryan in Slovenian in LUD Literatura

August 22, 2014

Really pleased to have ‘Everybody Always Talking About Jesus’ translated into Slovenian by Andrej Hocevar in the most recent edition of LUD LiteraturaNajlepša hvala!

Ryan in Italian in Formavera

June 13, 2014

For the first time my family can read my work in Italian! Here’s ‘Thirteen’, ‘My Hundred-Year-Old Ghost’, ‘The Grave-tender’, ‘Cassella: the Pastor’s son’, ‘The Water is Cold’, and ‘Tomorrow, the Red Birds’, both the translated versions and the originals, published in formavera, an excellent Italian-language poetry magazine.

Ryan is Published in Valve III

November 6, 2013

I’m in Valve. Issue 3.

experimental prose and fiction from well-kent faces including Michael Pedersen, Katy McAulay and Ryan Van Winkle, Valve III also features work from emerging writers like Scott Morris, Chelsea Cargill and Fiona Inglis.

The Point is You Give: Camaradefest on the Culture Laser

November 5, 2013

The Camaradefest was a unique one day explosion of dynamic collaboration in contemporary avant garde and literary poetics. 100 poets aligned in 50 pairs, each writing an original collaborative work, written specifically for the festival and premiered on the day. We feature 4 of the pairs – Marcus Slease & Claire Potter, Stephen Watts & Will Rowe, Julia Bird & Sarah Hesketh, Ghazal Mosadeq & Ricardo Marques – and discuss the thinking behind the process with SJ Fowler.

‘The ‘Burbs’ Published in SJ Fowler’s Enemies

November 4, 2013

The ‘Burbs is a collaboration with myself and SJ Fowler. He’s just released Enemies with Penned in the Margins — an entire collection of his collaborations and it is something special and unique to be a part of. You can buy a copy or check out our work on Commiserate, an ongoing collaboration project.

‘Caprice’ Published in sequences and pathogens

November 2, 2013

I was involved with the Poetry meets Biomedical Science project, hung out with the esteemed Veronica van Heyningen, and wrote a poem, ‘Caprice’, which will appear in sequences and pathogens from Litmus Press.

Commiserate September – Emily Ballou

September 30, 2013

Commiserate is a monthly experiment in poetic collaboration.

Sept, 2013: Emily Ballou – Ask a Lizard

Says Emily: “For a long time, I have been, first visited, and then stalked, by a creature and poetic subject known to me as LIZARD. Lizard was born on a typewriter overlooking Loch Long and subsequently accompanied me to Beirut with Ryan Van Winkle where he had his first public outing as a suite of poems for a longer book I still have not finished. Ryan is therefore, an old friend of his. When Ryan and I discussed co-writing a poem or a series of poems, I suggested the title “ASK A LIZARD”. I had been watching a lot of “Ask a Monk” on You Tube, where a bald man in orange robes tries to answer your most existential questions. I felt at times that Lizard would have more interesting answers. And so began our project “ASK A LIZARD” which Ryan and I sent back and forth over the course of several months. If you have any other questions for LIZARD, please send them.”

Ask a Lizard

What is Sleep?

First, there is no cure.
Second, sleep is opposite of everything else
you think you are.
It is the black pulsing shadow on the rock
on the bark, on the sand.
It is the name for the stretched out shaded space that grows
to infinite proportions
blown by breeze, shape-shifted by sun
where Goannas eat man.
And it is the place you would step if you were able
to be nowhere else but there
in the black sketch of exile
(can you even remember it?)
that is the preparation for the long sleep
with no stories inside it.
Lizards don’t tell their tales at night.
Every day they press another claw into the sand
which tomorrow will not be there.

Is it possible to be alone in a crowd?

If you can lie down
in a city rush say, at nine
in the morning
on a Monday, mid-September,
eighteen days from Washington
and curl up into a small ball
on the warming stone
of the footpath
imitating a lizard
or a penguin egg
take your pick
keeping your eyes shut tight
or just one eye in Asynchronous
Eye Closure
and a small handwritten sign
that reads
I am not dead, keep walking,
soon, the sound of work shoes
gingerly tap over and around you
(a meaningless stone in a river
of babbling soles)
and the slow slide
of passing traffic passing by
will massage you into a sort
of alone and wakeful rest
known to all lizards
of every tree and continent
as Qw – Quiet Wakefulness.

How Much Does the Earth Weigh?

Go easy and lift
from the knees
when you multiply
what you know
with what you don’t
or count the seconds
of a day, every one

until it is done
and see if you don’t float
in black nets of stars

What pulls harder than the moon?

Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other.
If a lizard draws a thread bobbin tied from its foot to a shrub, the lizard will equally be drawn back
towards the shrub, for the distended thread, by the same endeavor to relax or unbend itself, will
draw the lizard as much towards the shrub as it does the shrub towards the lizard and will obstruct
the progress of one as much as it advances the other.
(from Lizard’s Third Law of Inertia)

Do you Ever Think of Your Mother?

Look sideways at the sun or lick a rock
when the canopy ruffles like fur

What is the Doctrine of Chances?
(The Doctrine of Chances: or, a method for calculating the probabilities for events in play)

Taste the air
with your wet
claw, let it tell you
which way it is blowing.
Does it hold rain?
Does it hold coming sun
or slacking moon? Or a total eclipse
of want, a total westward of
want? Does it hold
your supper or just stone dust
or the pale pollen of children
gusted up as far off as Adelaide?
Does it cradle night? Or does nigh
cradle you; rock you awake? You have to ask
yourself why you are asking. Can you
taste that light that comes out
when the cold shutter of sky closes,
when the yellow goes?

You know what happens now.
The whole world starts singing.

See that tree over there
with the cicadas in it? Their long wings
are lattices, both crispy and translucently sweet.
Your path from rock to bark
is an Isosceles or a Scalene
but if that hawk’s overhead
you gotta gauge the chances
that he’ll take a short line

and take his chance on you. Is it an accident
if his black beak catches? How many collisions
and near-misses, how much beaten wind
have you heard in your short warm life?
Mind this doctrine
when you dare that dash to scale that trunk
or it will shorter still.

What did your face look like before you were born?

You come to understand
wherever you go
you’ll see your own face
in the mirror
not like stone
more like steel
each day, a little more rust