Tuesday Poem: An Adventure

He put his Steely Dan CDs
in a box under the bed
bought three pairs of baggy shorts
wore his cap backwards
learned to swear like Fred Durst
(or was it Kirsten Dunst? He could
never be entirely sure.)

Took to clubbing. He sought out
young women with black hair
(or auburn — almost anything but that particular
shade of bottle blonde)
and more money than good sense.

For a while it all went well.
With the little blue pills
bought cheap online
he gave them a good time
every time.

Then, in a private moment
one of his conquests
caught him listening to the Moody Blues.
When she spread the word
the good times were over. He hung up his cap
gave the shorts to charity
and subscribed to Sky instead.

Credit note: “An Adventure” was first published in JAAM 22 (November 2004) and included in my second poetry collection, All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens (HeadworX, 2007) – signed copies still available from me for $10 (plus p&p) – email me at senjmito@gmail.com if you’d like one.

Tim says: There are a few “midlife crisis” poems in my latest collection, Men Briefly Explained, but this is my first attempt at the genre, from my previous collection. This is Fred Durst. And this is Kirsten Dunst.

I first posted this poem on my blog in 2008, but as the Tuesday Poem wasn’t going then, I have given myself free rein – free rein, I say! – to repost it here.

You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the hub poem in the middle of the page, and all the other poems in the sidebar on the right.

Tuesday Poem: Immigrant Song, by Sugu Pillay

Immigrant Song

no, I will not hijack your life
though I climb every mountain
ford every river
cherish every taonga
this land holds sacred

no, I will not plant a bomb
on the banks of the Avon
though willows weep over waters
too shallow to drown

no, I will not bring Avian flu
to this fair far-flung land
though I flavour my food
with spices from Asia

no, I will not steal your thunder
though you rain on my parade
play political games
impale my tongue

no, I will not say
Canterbury, take my bones
no, not till I’ve seen
the fabled nor’west arch
streak across the sky
a new covenant
for this other Eden

Tim says: Sugu Pillay is a poet, playwright and short story writer. She’s currently focusing on writing plays, and I enjoyed her play “Serendipity”, which I saw at BATS last year.

“Immigrant Song” is one of three poems by Sugu that I included in JAAM 26, which I guest-edited. I too was an immigrant to Christchurch, although, as an immigrant with white skin (and, to be fair, a 2-year-old), my experience was somewhat different.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems at the Tuesday Poem blog.

An Open Mike, An Open Heart

An Open Mike

Just a couple of days now till the Voyagers Book Tour of New Zealand begins, and we have decided to include an Open Mike for science fiction/speculative poetry at the tour events for which we don’t have a full slate of Voyagers poets reading. Note the highlighted events on the tour:

14 Oct: Dunedin Library, 5:30 pm
15 Oct: Circadian Rhythm Café (72 St Andrew St, Dunedin), 7 pm
16 Oct: Madras Café Books (165 Madras St, Christchurch), 5 pm

19 Oct: Wellington Central Library, 5:30 pm
20 Oct: Paraparaumu Library, 179 Rimu Rd, 5:30 pm
22 Oct: Auckland Central Library, 5:30 pm
24 Oct: Depot Artspace (28 Clarence St, Devonport), 6:30 pm

At these bold events, not only will Voyagers poets will read their own and (in some cases) others’ work from the anthology, but there will also be an opportunity for other poets to bring along their own science fiction/speculative poetry (we won’t be too strict about definitions) and read it at these Voyagers events. I already know at least one poet who, inspired, is setting out to write a poem or poems specially for the event they plan to attend. You can choose to do likewise, or simply to come along, sit back, and listen!

An Open Heart

I have been known to criticise Creative New Zealand on occasions, notably when they slashed the funding of the New Zealand Poetry Society in 2008. But it’s only fair that I should also acknowledge the good things they do: a number of books in which I have had stories published would not have been possible, or would have had a smaller print run, without Creative New Zealand funding.

Last year, I was the guest editor of Issue 26 of JAAM Magazine. I was happy to take on the task because JAAM published some of my earliest fiction and poetry and has continued to be a hospitable home for my work over the years: so it was a good chance to do something for JAAM and for writing in general in return. I didn’t expect to be paid, and I wasn’t.

But, a couple of weeks ago, I received a very nice surprise with my subscribers’ copy of JAAM 27: an ex gratia payment for editing Issue 26. A note from publishers Helen Rickerby and Clare Needham said that the payment to editors had been made possible by an increase in this year’s Creative New Zealand grant for the publication of JAAM, which also allowed an increase in this year’s payment to contributors.

So, thank you Creative New Zealand!

Updated: JAAM 26 is printed / Otago Daily Times review of Transported

Two bits of news: first, issue 26 of JAAM magazine, which I guest-edited, has now been printed. Sorry for the delay, folks! Contributors’ copies will be sent out during the next week or so. I may be biased, but I think it’s full of great stories and excellent poetry, some by writers already well-known, some by writers you will be hearing a lot more of in coming years.

It’s an excellent idea to subscribe to JAAM, but you can also pick up copies of the magazine at the following bookshops, which have standing orders (list kindly supplied by Helen Rickerby):

* Parsons Bookshop in Auckland (26 Wellesley Street East)
* Time Out Bookshop, Auckland (432 Mt Eden Road)
* Unity Books, Auckland (19 High Street)
* University Bookshop, Auckland
* Women’s Bookshop, Auckland (105 Ponsonby Road)
* Unity Books, Wellington (57 Willis Street)
* Victoria University Bookshop, Wellington
* University Book Shop Canterbury, Christchurch
* University Book Shop Otago (378 Great King Street)

Here’s the cover, based around a painting by Reihana Robinson:

I love that painting!

In JAAM 26:

  • Poems by Amy Brown, Anna Rugis, Anne Harre, Barbara Strang, Barry Southam, David Gregory, Davide Trame, Dean Ballinger, Elizabeth Smither, Emma Barnes, Eric Dodson, Fionnaigh McKenzie, Garry Forrester, Harvey Molloy, Helen Heath, Helen Lowe, Iain Britton, Janis Freegard, Jennifer Compton, Jenny Powell, Jessica Le Bas, Jo Thorpe, John O’Connor, Keith Lyons, Keith Westwater, Kerry Popplewell, L E Scott, Laurice Gilbert, Mark Pirie, Mary Cresswell, Miriam Barr, Rhian Gallagher, Robert James Berry, Robert McLean, Robin Fry, Sue Reidy, Sugu Pillay, Theresa Fa’aumu and Trevor Reeves.
  • Short stories by Beryl Fletcher, Ciaran Fox, Darian Smith, Eden Carter Wood, Esther Deans, Helen Lowe, Jeanne Bernhardt, Lyn McConchie, Michael Botur, Michele Powles, Renee Liang, Suzanne Hardy and Tracie McBride.
  • An essay by L E Scott.

The second bit of news is that Mike Crowl’s review of Transported has now appeared in the Otago Daily Times. Thanks, Mike!

JAAM 26: Editing Progress Report

I’m editing Issue 26 of JAAM Magazine. Submissions closed at the end of March, and I’m starting to get some enquiries about how far through the editing process I’ve got – so here’s a progress report.

I’m currently going through all the submissions, listing those I’d like to include in JAAM 26. When I’ve finished doing this, then it’s a matter of comparing what I’d like to include with the space available, and then matching the two – a process which is going to involve me making some difficult decisions, as there have been many high quality submissions to this issue, and I’m not going to be able to include them all.

I estimate that it will take me another two weeks to finish reading through all the submissions, and a further week to work out what I can fit within the number of pages available. Therefore, at the end of May, I expect that I will be able to start notifying everyone who has submitted whether or not their submission(s) have been included. There have been a lot of submitters, so that process will take a little while – though I’ll make it as quick as I can.

After that, it will be a matter of arranging the contents into a coherent and interesting order, and giving the publisher everything needed to finalise the issue.

I hope this update helps soothe any frazzled nerves. Some wonderful work has been submitted, and I think this is going to be a very good issue of JAAM.

A Reading and a Deadline

The news today consists of two items:

First item: I’ll be the guest reader at the next monthly reading session of the New Zealand Poetry Society. That’s taking place on Monday 17 March, from 7.00pm [not 7.30pm as listed earlier – sorry!], in the Paramount Theatre Lounge in Courtenay Place, Wellington. There’s a cafe and a bar to hand, and (judging by February’s session) a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Entry is by koha, which often entails a gold coin donation.

The format is that we start with an open reading session, where you can bring along your own work to read if you wish, then there’s a short break, then I read for a while, then there’s a Q&A session if anyone has any Qs they’d like me to to A. I’ll be reading a mixture of poems from All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens and newer work. We’ll finish round about 8.30pm. Hope to see you there!

Second item: there’s just under a month to go until the submission deadline for Issue 26 of JAAM Magazine, which I’m editing. You can find all the details at http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.com/2008/01/im-editing-jaam-26.html. Submissions have been coming in, but there’s room for plenty more.

I’m Editing JAAM 26

I’m editing Issue 26 of JAAM Magazine. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2008.

JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) is a literary journal run by an independent publishing collective in Wellington, New Zealand.

JAAM publishes emerging writers alongside the work of established writers. It focuses on New Zealand writers, but overseas writers are also welcome to submit.

JAAM prints fiction, poetry, essays and black and white artworks. Payment is NZ$20 per contributor (rather than per contribution) for accepted work, plus a free copy of the magazine. There is no official word limit, but fiction and essays longer than 4000 words will have to be exceptional to be published.

JAAM publishes literary fiction and poetry. For JAAM 26, writing in other genres, such as speculative fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy and horror) will be considered on an equal footing to literary fiction and poetry. There is no set theme for this issue.

Submissions for JAAM 26 can be emailed to jaammagazine@yahoo.co.nz or posted to:

PO Box 25239
Panama Street
Wellington 6146
New Zealand

Make sure you enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope for reply.

Subscriptions within New Zealand are $24 for three issues (includes postage). Cheques can be sent to the address above.

For more information, see JAAM’s MySpace page.