Tuesday Poem: Chrome Yellow Hypothesis, by Iain Britton

the house isn’t what it was
the voice of a radio predicts a storm /
it mimics a politician
commentates on cricket
the radio possesses the eye
of an orchestra
anthems on walls / flags and
coronation stuff / a platoon
route marches to Hill 44 /      
the family has taken furniture
its god particles and disguised itself in bundles
the house isn’t what it seems …
a square brick object at the mercy of orthodoxies
dousing gentiles in holy water / they
chant / play / sing / love thine enemies
Te Hahi o te Whakapono
the church (sermon-bloated)
hunches its white skull
beside the lake
passers-by are pulled in to drool
on historical grounds
where prisoners in wood
hug others in wood
where the lake laps music against stained-
glass windows / a flute’s voice
breathes on naked skin
a woman smiles
undoes her soul
for the cost of a camera’s sharp bite
life i observe is a sulphuric cloud
raw and exposed
a matter of confessions
this woman this mother


the miracle makers
who each year split atoms
by walking on air
she’s fascinated by silica
its crystals / this geothermal fragility
which  domes the town
she opens herself to parkland
any stuntman would exploit
beside the lake
birds scrap
over chrome-plated godsends
plucked from moonstones
this mother this woman
goes into the house of
 one room
 one kitchen
 one radio
a solitary figure clothing
legends in bright garments
 what if
i place my lips on her lips / would forests
buckle up / would ghosts
return to their shelves to rest
she speaks to each gnome in her garden / paints
their hats gold
handles them carefully
each night they rough and tumble
squabble like her children
where invisibility is an asset
where in her house
love battles
love charges up a hill / e hoa
she calls
and the radio responds
with the news / the weather
a boy scoops up a ball
and runs with it
through a yellow cloud

Credit note: “Chrome Yellow Hypothesis” is from Iain Britton’s collection photosynthesis, now available from Kilmog Press. This version is published, and reformatted to work better on a blog, with the permission of the author.

Tim says: After my hiatus, I’m back in the world of the Tuesday Poem, where I will try to get back in the routine of posting a Tuesday Poem every fortnight. It’s a pleasure to (re)start with this fine poem by Iain Britton.

The Stars Like Sand – Canberra Launch: Orbital Separation Achieved

Well, I’m back – back in Wellington from my trip to Melbourne and Canberra, where my co-editor P.S. Cottier and myself launched the anthology we’ve been working on for almost two years, The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry.

Each of us (Penelope | Tim) has already blogged about the Melbourne launch. The Canberra launch last Thursday, held at historic Manning Clark House, was also a success, with 40-50 people in attendance. The photos below show poets Lizz Murphy and John Jenkins reading their poems from the book, although most of the crowd is out of shot in these photos.

UPDATE: Penelope has now posted another eloquent post about the launches and how she feels at the end of them.

I enjoyed my trip to Australia a lot, thanks in very large part to the hospitality of my co-editor and her lovely family. Now I have a couple of solid weeks ahead of me as the judge of the Open Section of the 2014 New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, and then I have some writing to do!

Finally, watch out for some more publicity for Lost in the Museum this coming week – that’s the new fantasy anthology with a touch of horror, set in Te Papa, that includes my story “The Big Baby”.

The Stars Like Sand: Awaiting Second Stage Ignition

The first launch of The Stars Like Sand has happened – and very good it was too! As my co-editor reports on her blog, we had a good group of poets from the anthology reading at the Melbourne launch – a double launch with poet Gemma White’ first collection Furniture is Disappearing.

About 70 people attended the launch at Melbourne’s Collected Works bookshop – you can see part of the crowd below, including one of the poets from the anthology, Sean Wright (with hat); publisher’s representative Breanne Rodda (seated on floor) and Collected Works owner Kris Hemensley (at right) (image courtesy Satya Helen Patrice).

Now we’re gearing up for the Canberra launch tomorrow night, and expecting another good crowd and another set of anthology poets to read!

If you’d like a copy of the book, it’s making its way into bookshops such as Melbourne’s Collected Works, and you can also buy it from the publisher and from Amazon.com.

“Lost In the Museum” Now Available As Ebook and In Bookshops

I mentioned in my previous post that I have a story, “The Big Baby”, in the recently published anthology Lost in the Museum, which has just received an excellent review by Lee Murray in the widely-read Beattie’s Book Blog.

Lost in the Museum is now starting to become available in bookshops, including The Children’s Bookstore in Kilbirnie, Unity Books, and Marsden Books in Karori (Wellington) and Retrospace (Auckland). The ISBN is 978-0-473-28320-9, which will help you to order it from other bookshops.

Lost in the Museum is also available from Amazon as a Kindle ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KTV5K0U