Showing posts from August, 2004


A few months ago I was asked to be part of a renga with Keiji Minato (a Kyoto-based poet whom I had the great pleasure to meet last year) and another Japanese poet named Hiroshi. We wrote ku in turns, with Keiji translating between Hiroshi and myself. Here's what we wrote. The letters in brackets at the end of the first three ku indicate who wrote it - the order is preserved throughout. hello haikunauts! i write to you in autumn golden leaves flying (D) a sun's stroke has just arrived over the seas in three lines (K) look! that shooting star lets someone in love wonder where all's going to (H) make an unseasonal wish blowing out birthday candles on penguins turning their back to the north the snow in spring starts to fall unfeathered painters line up their mouths unable to keep closed birds sprout on the bough their throats swallow the new sun spring sings in the trees all peek out and see the lig

Beta Band split - and i only just got into them

This is bad news. The awesome and wonderful Beta Band have decided to split , only days after I got into their music. This act of musical selfishness (mine or theirs - you figure it out) will not go unavenged. My friend Richard gave me a copy of Heroes to Zeroes (their final LP, I guess) last week, which I have played about forty times since. I'm not a fan of Paul McCartney but boy do these guys sound similar vocal-wise. Hot damn. Next they'll be telling me Davey Dreamnation's retired, after hitting number 3 on the lo-fi charts !

I say Ping, You say Pong.

Thank you Collette, via Martin, for this answer to the burning question - who invented Table Tennis ? Good day to youse.

For all the nerds

As a kid who grew up on encyclopedias, atlases, National Geographics and the Seven Seas Stamp company, I must say that Wikipedia is the greatest thing on the Internet. Thank you. That's all for today.

Post-Holocaust Tram

& if on reaching Hiroshima Station You step off a bullet & wander out Into the aftermath: a diorama for Which you have no name yet here At the beginning of your tranquil 21st century journey by tram these Tracks that hold you upright squeak & scream with sixty years of shame Like destiny still wooden carrying That horsey scent rattles somehow They survived beneath the epicentre A direct hit on their infrastructure (Where it hurts) for which you are Now paying your share ironically At the exit in this civilised space & there are no inspectors merely Crayon drawings speaking of those Inconceivable first days lingering Gamma rays & the resumption of Normal services forty eight hours Post Enola Gay on track (where it Hurts) all the fragmented sitting Neatly on their familiar wooden Racks barely bandaged the tram Just trundles onwards oblivious To the empty pockets too reliable To demand a fare circling round & round

nthposition update!

Things move quickly in the world of publishing, let me tell you. Not one week since my poems "kyoto crow(s)" and "tonkatsu zen" appeared in nthposition but blow me down, they've decided to include "kyoto crow(s)" in an anthology, called 'In the criminal's cabinet'. It'll be a book, and it'll be out in October. Jeepers! nthposition in the brainchild of Val Stevenson and Todd Swift. Todd co-edited Short Fuse , and has written for Cordite. I met him in NYC a couple of years ago. He sure is one active guy. He also edited the "100 poets against the war" e-book, which you can download from the nthposition site.

Poems in nthposition!

Today two of my poems, kyoto crow(s) & tonkatsu zen , have been published in the very kewl online magazine, nthposition . The site is not just about poetry: there's articles, rants and a downloadable Axis of Evil Cookbook , containing recipes from Iran, Iraq and North Korea (though as the editors point out, there are fewer North Korean recipes, due to the serious and widespread famine in that country).