Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Poetry by Les Wicks


is the loudmouth in the waves singing Summertime.
It's actors, politicians
pensioners & the kids - minus all trappings -
no status beyond "animal with soul".

It is the dominance of birds
politely ignored by undercover dogs.

Someone known - just out of hospital -
totters back to the sea
like a great old turtle.
Cedars of lebanese legs copse around BBQs, 5 o'clock shadow.
A bum's washing dries on the memorial quartz beside
buffed girls laughing like lawn sprinklers.

Over the years it's become a community of friends,
the accretion of small tragedy that attends every understood life.
It's my wife, on a salt encrusted
wafer of towel, spiced
by utter quiet. The sun disinfects.

I write the words,
then a photographer captures me:
grey, round and affixed as the fence posts.
We don't own ourselves
but each one,
we all have separate Brontes.

The sand takes the shape of our need.

- Les Wicks 2006


Once I sang
I cool blueline
drenched in wonder.

But gave it away to the fingers, they
touched the bleak edge
of an unmoneyed future
& I saw it
like some untethered boat
react with a fingertip nudge
just float away
to the open sea of a stranger's way.
That was so simple.
What else?
Fingers wash
they fight, fuck up & fix.
We wait
as their batons rule the beat.

It's them who work the guns,
take us down from trees
to their shitty little thatch
on a beige savannah plain.

under the thumbcommute between fingerfoods
& a hand signed repossession order.
Our minds sit locked
in boxes made of muscle.

- Les Wicks 2006

LES WICKS' 7th book is "Stories of the Feet" (Five Islands, 2004).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Late and the Great

I received this brief message this morning via the ever-reliable Coral Hull.

There is to be a program about my brother, John Anderson, broadcast on the Poetica Program (Radio National) Saturday 22 April at 3.05 pm. Mike Ladd has sent me a draft copy of the CD and I think it is a very good, although a slightly shorter version will go to air.

Roly Phillips

John Anderson is a tragically under-read poet in this country. In fact, if it weren't for the efforts of poets such as Emma Lew and Coral Hull, his mss would probably still be gathering dust somewhere. I will see if I can arrange with Roly Phillips or John's publisher to post some of his work, as I believe his untimely death a few years back robbed us of a truly great talent.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Calling all Poets (sad refrain)

Perhaps I've only got myself to blame, but I'm still waiting for the flood gates to open. Am I really that scary? Ashlee, sorry, I mean Pixi, you were asking how to submit. Well, just click on the "email me" tag in the top right hand corner and submit anything up to five poems, a 1000 word comment or review in the body of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS PLEASE. I have a very good turnover time, and that applies to most things I do. Probably why I haven't got a girlfriend...Anyway, be that as it may I see no reason for not submitting something. The worse you will get is silence, as I won't comment on subs unless I can see some way of working with the author to make them more suitable for posting under the Bluepepper. There are no payments and thus no guidelines. I would like to see more snipes at me, too, as that's really what a blog like this should be all about. After all, if it gets too much I can just shut it down and join a monastery. I felt Pixi was holding back a little in her comments a few weeks back. Thoughts, though, not invective.


Woke up bright and early this morning to frost on the ground and an email from Justin Lowe. That's right, there's a poet out there somewhere with my name, and it's not me! To cap it all off, he sent me a poem all about Quantum physics. I will spend the day trying to decide whether this fellow traveler is a help or a hindrance because I am like that. A little obsessive. Then I will probably decide there is absolutely nothing I can do about it other than warn the two or three out there who care that not all the words you read are mine.

Monday, April 03, 2006

TV Eyes

Johanna Featherstone has been quite the toast of Sydney literati this week, with at least three mentions in the mainstream press for her audacious and imaginative poetry projects. First was The Toilet Doors Project, about which Johanna informs me there was much tittering behind hands from a certain once proud daily, and secondly her venture into TV land with the launch of The Wordshed Wednesday nights on UHF-31 TV Sydney. It's not often you see a community tv show reviewed in the august pages of the Sydney Morning Herald Guide, but that's what I came across this morning. And guess what? NO TITTERING. Maybe because the first episode doesn't include any poets. Anyway, Johanna, congratulations and appreciations from all of us here in poetry land. Would the world were full of Johanna Featherstones. I know I'd be a much happier poet for one.

For those not in the catchment area of Johanna Featherstone, her Toilet Doors Project is displaying poetry and art on the backs of toilet doors in cinemas and airport lounges all over our vast island just west of New Zealand. I am informed by Johanna it took all her formidable reserves of self-belief to sit through hours with a bunch of CEO's picking over the merits of each piece of verse, but then who amongst us can boast of having sat in the boardroom talking poetry with the captains of industry? The woman relates such bizarre experiences with all the wide-eyed self-deprecation of a true poet, a quality I'm sure will translate perfectly to television. Remember, TV Sydney UHF-31. And no, as far as I know I don't appear in any of the episodes.