Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Enemy

"No anger inside means no enemy outside."

- Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dark Flame

Many of you from beyond these gilded shores may be wondering what the hell is going on in Sydney at the moment. Well, you're not alone. Yesterday areas of the inner west were no-go areas for "Skips" (people of Anglo-Celtic appearance) as attested to by my friend who says she was kindly escorted back out of Granville by two squad cars while her boss sat next to her re-writing his schedule for the day. This morning I received two pages of hate-fueled bilge in my inbox addressed to the "Sons and Daughters of the ANZACS." Apparently 90 years ago young boys died on the cliffs of Gallipoli so their descendants could prey on the innocent and defenceless. There's only one thing I despise more than a mindless thug, and that's a mindless thug who has to drape his sociopathic tendencies in the flag of this or any other country. Flags are symbols of unity, morons, not some gold pass to a fucking boys club where you have to check your racial credentials at the door. STOP BURNING MY CITY!

I am a very heart-sick poet downunder.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Margie Cronin in Skopje

Yes, you read right. One of Australia's most brilliant and daring poets, MTC Cronin, has just released a collection of new and selected work in both English and Macedonian. I have already eaten up my advance copy and suggest you do likewise. Just click on the "Buy Now" button in the Bluepepper bookshop to the right of your screen for your copy.

American Beauty

I have pasted in a review of an intriguing new work by American poet John Hospodka below. Just click on the Post heading and follow the links to purchase straight from the publisher.

By John Hospodka
Bohemian Pupil Press, 63 Pages

Greetings From Hardscrabble, Chicago embodies not only a time and place but a state of mind. Just the title evokes images of the Chicago’s South Side much the same as Hell’s Kitchen can never be mistaken for anything other than the Manhattan neighborhood that bears that particular name. John Hospodka’s words are much more than brush strokes of personality. He adeptly reaches his hand into the heart and soul of Hardscrabble and delivers us a canvas of prose and poetry that breathes the way art should breathe-- with blood pressure and depth. The “Mr. Man Monologues”, might easily be viewed as a trio of short-short stories but, in reality, they’re a “conversation” between the reader and the book itself. Mr. Hospodka’s subtle crafting subdues the reader just before exciting him. A very nice touch that one discovers well into reading the monologues. Hardscrabble’s centerpiece, “Soliloquy At Hi-Fi” begs to be read, especially with an opening sentence that casually states “A better man couldn’t have killed her.” Hospodka’s blend of tragedy and hope serves as the concrete mix with which he mends the shatter marks of a broken heart.

Hospodka’s scalpel-edge poetry is well worth reading. “The Night They Tore Old Comiskey Down” is a superb visual opening for this book. “Song From Hardscrabble” is heartbreaking while “Hotel Chicago” brings us the Windy City much the way a vintage photograph forever captures a single moment in the life of a neighborhood. The finale, “The Reckoning of a Post-9/11 Bohemian Hardscrabbler” is the perfect ending doubling as the perfect beginning.

Greetings From Hardscrabble, Chicago weighs in at 63 pages but it is the first volume of Hospodka’s South Side Trilogy. John Hospodka’s writing jabs like a Golden Gloves boxer, always keeping you on your feet so you can feel the next punch as it hits.

Reading John Hospodka’s work is reading Chicago

- John A. Mangarella 2004

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Bluepepper is setting up a bookshop with an emphasis on self-published works of poetry and titles from small presses. A pay pal link has been posted on the page and I am once again inviting poets and editors to contact me regarding titles they are keen to get out there. I know how difficult it can be and would simply act as a first point of contact. However, anyone who fails to meet their commitments either end will get the full BLUEPEPPER treatment. Just click on the EMAIL ME link to the right of this post.