Showing posts from 2006

Happy New Year (aka the latest sign that speaks for itself)


Going Down Swinging

Last Thursday night I MCed at the launch of issue #24 of Going Down Swinging , Australia's coolest literary anthology. This issue has been the first I have been involved in editorially; I've pasted my editorial for the issue below. To order copies or to find out more about submitting to GDS, visit the website . EDITORIAL This is my first issue as co-editor of Going Down Swinging . It's been a wild ride. First, the submissions. I have to admit I was amazed and then slightly frightened by the sheer number (and quality) of submissions we received this year. This just confirms for me how many people are out there writing crazy poems, drawing kooky comics and coming up with surreal and interesting storylines. I hope you'll agree that this 24th issue of Going Down Swinging is as strong, if not stronger than any issue of any magazine that's ever been published. Anywhere. Second, the editorial process. This is the first time I've ever worked closely with a

Day One Rabbit

"Every time a rabbit comes out of its burrow, it is facing Vietnam the whole of its life ..." Allen Carr (R.I.P.) they call me pirate dave just to piss me off i am the vietnam rabbit coming out of a hole out of a burrow blown to bits i am a rabbit coming out of my hole every day for the rest of my life it's vietnam i'm on pirate radio for twenty one days bury me face down so you can all kiss my arse i am a white rabbit on pirate radio this is my story don't call me dave i'm fragging myself i'm fire in a hole i'm a rabbit on fire in a hole it's vietnam on the radio pirates coaxing rabbits out of holes a memory of a bitumen street at home i was just dave no one bothered to check if that was okay by me well fuck you all i am a rabbit you can call me pirate dave i was watching tv when vietnam happened we were eating tv dinners in front of vietnam on a tv my father made himself from a kit it was his birthday when they rolled the dice & he w

Cordite #25 is now online

Cordite 25 - Generation of Zeroes is now online, featuring new works by a whole bunch of digitally cool poets including Carol Jenkins, Derek Motion, Elena Knox, Jill Jones, Joel Deane, Klare Lanson and more! Our special guest poetry editor and chanteuse extraordinaire alicia sometimes has done a terrific job balancing the ones and the zeroes, with the result that what you get for your eyeballs is an excellent assortment of long, short and plain kooky poems. And it's all free! Continue reading my editorial for the issue here, on the Cordite blog .

Heel Hete

hotter than that princes highway hotter than the towering inferno hotter than hell on christmas day hotter than every cricketer's mo heel heet! by crikey, that's hot heel hete! ouch! don't touch it! heel hete! (i'm talking very hot heel hete! ... ehm ... oh, shit. hotter than any council barbecue hotter than ham & cheese on toast hotter than a festival portaloo hotter than your mum's hot roast heel hete! very hot! take care! heel hete! very hot! aiy, beware!




the dreamy scent of sleep escapes from a glass jar full of rollmops slipping here between day & night the stars fall like drops of (dew eclipses bait the atmosphere with hints of anarchy & FSU (bleachers groan beneath our stellar weights subway snarls make the beast with two attacks tip a jar upside down watch (a sleepy tear dripping out soft cuddly animals in a tableaux meant for myer window dressers or snoring elves who gives a puck if satan's alive or merely (a stiff -

Swing It Low!



I was almost a bee by the time I was born under propylene beams I was two days old by the bee by the bay I was under moon wood that was why I would lie in the grasses at sunset was new & cicadas were still under nights by the light it was listening mountains yodelled their blades sharp as I was travelling backwards was time a part of a star's dim arrival it was there in the way you were walking & it was almost time to go I was sliding down the honey hill the future was a tree we had become a leaf at last at last

Put Em On, Put Em On Me!



silhouettes of moons rising boxcars are stencils the shape of projections made by performance poets who've never fallen in love wincing through their routines screaming call a doctor (a doctor's haunted holiday home the leafless trees the free shots administered at dawn the freezing branches stacked with animals cries like a gurgling brook an owl falls from a telegraph pole it disappears before sunrise jack frosts (interred like jackals highways streaked with radioactive delay yellow buzzards playing banjos the courthouse gang that put their own spittle on trial beef jerky (tales of harvest balloons let loose in the ballroom as deadwood slurs drool from the corpse's mouth




Little grains of crazy sand fall in slow motion through the world's gigantic hour glass, making snows seem electric & water all-powerful. Your silver wingtips slice the future skies & make my atmosphere go crazy, each little moment, each tiny hit. Last night I awoke to the sound of crazy winds strafing my lonely house, circles under my eyes, bad dreams knocking. Come soon, gekkie! Time winds down like false alarms, a siren signalling the all-clear. This constant fight against desperation. Pitched battles in the early morning. It hadn't rained. Fall, crazy sands, fall!

Great Moments In the Modern History of the Handclap

One cloudy day last August, at the Rock En Seine music festival in Paris, me and Kat were lucky enough to see one of my favourite bands, Broken Social Scene , perform to a rapturous crowd in the rain (see the pics here ). While we missed the band's opening numbers, a surge of excitement pulsed through my body when the opening bass lines of "Stars & Sons" crackled over the loudspeakers. It's my favourite song of theirs, partly because of said bassline but also because of the joyous handclaps that kick in halfway through. Those of you who are familiar with BSS will know already that it's a kind of collective, with a constantly changing cast of band members. That day, as the section where the handclaps were supposed to kick in approached, I wondered how they were going to replicate that special moment, given that every member of the band had his or her hands full playing instruments of one kind or another. Then, just when I thought it wasn't going to happen,

Would you believe, three more signs that ... etc


Possible snow on the nearby hills

rivers roads borders & towns overturn regimes impose your own! take me before you take him (say light up that disease & crush those feeble ants! he's crazy they whispered true to the end he keeps on smiling & i just want to eat! myself or throw them off the scent that might do it! fool black birds swooping down to check my pulse! wise white birds (chase these daylights home! across borders rivers roads & towns dim people come out & cry! it's time! & don't tell me youse weren't aware we're moving into serious stages of riot! roads rivers borders towns towns (rivers roads borders & rivers (roads borders & towns - burn & blow up sounds! bring the regime down!

Stars In His Heart

he was the star that floated in water, lacking space (& she was an astronomer in hawaii, or in lower case (she's the satellite's document of a dreamy eclipse (he's like a word once lost, now formed by her lips (when she says goodbye & oh! that word all the stars go out (& it gets dark: he drives through the night with just a radio & his doubt (the elegant simplicity of life & her, of their separation (caused snows from november to fall across the nation (never does, we never knew that the stars could dream (the reflection we'll never see; the white flakes' mist a pane's beam (their lonely message across a face we call the skies (cry or close your eyes                                                                    (i am a child


He was a jealous husband without a wife. I needed security and he gave me bullets to rain down upon those discreet affairs (which came, and passed. We settled in to our familiar routine: me with my cat and he out stalking prey. At night he'd return with greenbacks in his ochre eye, demanding fidelity, abstract truth and an Amerikan way of life. I don't understand how it came to this. I trusted him with my life savings. He didn't believe in me. I see it now (with the clarity of sight denied the blind. I sign divorce papers. His mistrust did not (a coalition make.



Ik Ben Verpleegster



I've gone through most of my life thinking my name is fairly weird - not my first name, my surname, der - and that the chances of anyone else having it are slim. That was until I found out that Dave from legendary soul duo Sam and Dave was also a Prater (he died in 1998) and that there's another one, a guitarist and producer with the band (Dream Theater). Now we can add a couple more to the list - the extremely photogenic real estate agent David Prater of and the newly-elected DA of Oklahoma County, from whose campaign web site I ripped the pics above. Seems a lot of fans (or enemies) of said DA have been visiting this site in recent weeks, presumably thinking I'm him. Well, I'm not. I'm the David Prater. Best of luck to all of us, anyway. I'm sure there's millions more ...

Drie Honderd Vijfenzestig Kussen

Nul kussen. What a nightmare, and what a way to wake up. The anti-kussen machines bleat like soft alarms, tiringly monotonous, just sitting there, doing nothing. In denial, or simply incapable of action. What use does the world have for such machines? I'd rather run a marathon. And so I kissed you secretly, on your shoulder, while the lasers and cheap dry ice provided cover. So subtle and discreet you never knew. But zero doesn't count, anyway. I remain alone. Een kus is a start, but not enough. There we were standing in the doorway and suddenly - kus! A brief encounter with the moon, the night like cold fire. How did we get there? The staircase dared me to jump and I did, headlong, into the words coming out of your mouth. The tip of my tongue an iceberg, my arms around you trying to be the sun. That didn't work either. But even goodbye was a lovely word. I kept running. Twee kussen - one each, or a combo kus, followed by coffee. It doesn't get any better than that - tw

My Hero



One day I'll delete all of my passwords, all those hard to remember combinations of numbers and letters, and replace them with various names I've made up for you. That way, I'll never forget my passwords again, and every time I type one of them in I'll think of you, or at least one of those names for you I already mentioned. I've got all the security I'll ever need right here in this series of secret code words no one else could ever crack. This plan will however require me to think up a few more. You see, I have too many pass- words, and not enough names for you yet.

De Kraai en het Paard

I am the crow! Sitting on the horse's head! Listen to me, bloated fields! Hark, ye old windmills and lanes! I'm a children's story book! Hé, black wings! Scary rainbow oils! I am the snow! Waiting for the sun to die! Stomping through their lonely hoofprints! Running off like steam at the mouth! Let's eradicate gold and plagiarise the sunset! I am the know! Together with the horse and crow I bang out hits to feed the sparrows! Incendiary! Bonfire whig! I am the element that science hasn't discovered yet! Wham! I am the crow! Sitting on the horse's head! I am the horse! Sit somewhere else instead!

Heel Mooi!


ik ben geschrokken

I'm scared. Is that right? Even if it's not, I am. I'm scared the world will soon be underwater, along with us. Not that I would mind being underwater with you, as our scuba tanks nudge lazily and our hope bubbles fly upwards towards the surface but I'm scared of that. What will be left? What's floating up there, in the new space climate, that we've made? Not us, you and me, but in a way yes, we've done it. That's what I'm scared of. What I've done. What that will do. To you, to them. To the sky, full of weird blue bubbles. Yes, I'm scared. I'm scared of men. Their world. Their bright lies dressed as ideas. They truly scare me. Down here, in the black rain, it's hard to hear them but they're here. Oh, yes. I'm scared. I have the fear. A year ago I'd have laughed at myself but now - well, what do you think? Are you scared too? The ice. Here it comes, the ice. I'm scared. The rain that makes night. The train that won


I'm eating your voice like it's sugar and it is: raw brown sugar on a spoon. The phone is a spoon. Your voice is inside the phone. I'm inside your rainbows, ice. I hear beeps (the time runs out and we're disconnecting again. Outside the weather reporter runs around on cloud nine because here's another sunny day! I told you so. Translation engine, re-kindle these lonely spoons! I'm a hurried shower or a missed train. Some things remain constant: freckles, sunshine and coffee. Others start to blur: time differences, texts and dreams, expressing new beginnings, small bird calls.

Jippie De Pippie!

Nobody knows. Nobody knows what it means. Jippie! We can speak freely here. Speak. I'll send you desires in the mail. We'll end up somewhere between the stars. It's making me crazy. It's beyond real. Smile. The world's a mirror. You look good in it. My dreams explode. No wonder. In the dark, no one can see us. Nobody can hear these voices. Purr. Whisper. Dial tone. Quiet. There's a spiral. There's the staircase. Running down snow-bound streets. Walking. Swimming. Listening to special playlists. Together, the same. Bam. I'm the bouncer outside the door. And you? You're my VIP.

Een Beetje Gek

Her toenail polish is chipped and I love it. She's doing that crazy dance and it's cool. I'm feeling dizzy, not sure if she's real. But she is and she's crazy and yes so am I. I mean, a little bit crazy. Not real crazy. Just a look in her eyes, wind in my throat. I didn't learn how to hang the tea towels. I'm happy for her to teach me these things. I'll teach her just how to be really crazy. We'll get crazy, even if it's just a little. She calls me monkey-tail and other things. These words will become my new dictionary. That's also a little bit crazy but so are we. I can't speak anymore, but I can still hum.

Recognition of Prior Learning

recognition of prior learning hindsight benefit who's got medicine? easy bodyguard take it to the yard dont you run away look who's turning grey I'm taking my own direction on starpower the intersection of what you believe and what i've got recognition of prior learning pass the physical just look busy or study harder still sacrifice your will cruise to second place the resources race I'm taking my own direction on starpower the intersection of what you believe and what i've got


I follow the story-lines of your hair in photographs. Tracing the sources of stream tendrils. Making my way back to the original kiss. Asking the universe to contract. Let's reserve a table in a future restaurant. An advertisement in a foreign place. Paperweight heart. Your lessons in film-making, driving. Navigation being the hardest part. We could animate our own dreams. Powers swirling in our star charts. I follow the newspapers each Friday afternoon. They lead me to a place where love is a large explosion. I'm feeling lucky.

Groene Boot, Leiden


Broken Social Scene, Rock En Seine


Waarom Daarom

Why? Because. That's it. No reason. Just because. Why? Because why. It's as simple as that. Because. Because why? Trust me, because. Why? Because that's the way it is. That's no because, no why either. I shrug. Because, that's why. The reasons are the answers. There's why and there's why not. I'll take because. Because why. That's why. Simplicity itself. Because we're all seeking simple answers. Why? How would I know? Just because I know why because is because, does that make me an expert? Why? Because. O sure, I heard you the first time. Because why.

Between Empires


Renga with Ginka Biliarska

In July last year I attended the World Haiku Association conference East Meets West in Sofia, Bulgaria. One of the organisers of the conference, Ginka Biliarska, who was kind enough to meet us at the airport and pay for our taxi into the city, had previously asked if I would like to do a little renga with her, and so we composed a few poems via email, entitled "A House On the Bank". Now, the poems have been published in Lynx: a journal for linking poets . Ginka has also written renga with other poets using the same title - you can read all of them at Lynx but for convenience I've also pasted our poem below: A HOUSE ON THE BANK Ginka Biliarska, Bulgaria David Prater, Australia house on the bank the river flows but time has stopped just like the white moon in the child�s dark room sun beam � the sleepy dog is driving it away from his nose dust from old cushions fills the summer day opal window glass flickering sunspots outside friendly fires � smoke that crosses

Te Huur

I'm looking for a house to live in but I don't know if I can live with myself. It's tricky. Damn my moods, the forgetfulness. Hanging a sign outside my skull: for rent. Mexican dances for the dead. Forget them. Shelves lined with mix-tapes, coffee pot forever mouldy. If it's all the same, I'd rather squat on grass. Those shirts from the late 1980s we hoarded, that paisley. A cask from last week's costume parties. On a whim I visited my grandmother, then I applied for a flat I'd never seen and was successful. I'm moving in next week. Utilities connect themselves, off-peak.

Radiohead, Rock En Seine


Nieuw Holland

Fields of megafauna, legends in our eyes. Beneath a confected dune, I spilled some water from a glass jar and watched as it disappeared into yesterday. We pitched a tent on the beach, listened to the dingo howls, and prayed for rescue. The locals don't seem to mind us being here, though we are invisible to them, of their past. The animals' eyes glow softly in amber, rare mosquitoes frozen in space. As time washes our shorelines away, we struggle with this eternal fear of obsolescence. We'll never know what it was like before we arrived; and they, after we have gone.


Two of the poems I wrote in Seoul, namely "Hoju Bihang-gi" and "imaginary cities: saga" have just been published in the second issue of Peril , the Asian-Australia literary magazine. It's a pretty nifty site, actually, and you can even rate the poems out of ten! Other writers featured in this issue include Michael Farrell, Christopher Kelen and Adam Aitken, plus a tribute to Lisa Bellear. It's also exciting for me that another imaginary city has found a home - this makes five so far this year!

Beck & His Puppets, Rock En Seine



Hi, it's me. Really, it was great to see you again. Our time together is always brief, I know, but at least this time I made time to sit back and think. Enjoy myself. Indulge in beers and long walks on the beach. I liked those moments we had alone together. Sunsets yes, legions now, catalogued by my no-longer functioning camera. Duty-free Jenever and no tears at Schipol, our final conversation one gigantic "O". The way histories can collide, intersecting with sunshine, cloud and brine. Vast as magnetic fields, thin turbine-blades. Thanks once again for everything you did that day. Let's catch up again soon. Doei doei!