Thursday, 10 September 2009

Introducing The September 2009 Readers - 3. Ivy Alvarez

Ivy Alvarez was born in the Philippines, grew up in Tasmania, Australia, and now lives in Cardiff, after spending time in Scotland and Ireland. She is currently writing her second collection with the help of grants from the Academi and Australia Council for the Arts. She blogs at Ivy Is Here and at dumbfoundry. Her first collection is Mortal (on Red Morning Press, 2006).

of gods & insects

a drift of wall dust. carcass husks, strung, juice
sucked. small wings beat slow — slower than breath. one
thing picks through the webs. another twitches
nervelessly, invoking death, who comes, swift
electricity to one's nakedness,
gathers the threads, clicks on the loom, shears off
what is not needed

Monday, 7 September 2009

Introducing The September 2009 Readers - 2. Brian McCabe

Brian McCabe grew up near Edinburgh and studied Philosophy and English Literature at Edinburgh University. He has been a full-time writer since 1980 and is currently editor of the Edinburgh Review.

He has held various writing fellowships, including the Novelist in Residence post at St. Andrew's University. He was the Scottish/Canadian Exchange Fellow from 1988-89, and more recently, has held Writer in Residence posts at Perth and Kinross Council and Edinburgh University. He won the Canongate Prize in 2000.

He has published several poetry collections, including One Atom to Another (1987), Body Parts (1999), and Zero (2009), along with three short story collections: The Lipstick Circus (1985); In a Dark Room with a Stranger (1993); and A Date with my Wife (2001), as well as a Selected Stories (2003). His novel, The Other McCoy, was published in 1990.

The Romans

Listen up. This is how
we're about to count from now on.

We got a one: I. We got a five: V.
We got a ten: X. We got a fifty: L.
We got a hundred: C. We got a a five hundred: D.
Also plus and we got a thousand: M.

That's it. That's all we need.
The fuck with dealing out letters
to two three four six seven eight nine,
eleven twelve thirteen etcetera.

Those motherfuckers can go eat shit.
The rule is: you add the little fish
if it comes after the big fish
because the big fish eats it, right?

When the little fish comes before
the big fish, you take it away -
on account of the big fish ain’t
ate it yet, okay? Any questions?

Whaddya mean howdya write
one hundred and sixty-four?
Am I talking to myself here?
CLXIV. Dumbfuck.

This means Tony the Scribe
only needs to know seven letters
to run any number we tell him.
Okay let's go eat Chinese.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Introducing The September 2009 Readers - 1. Joseph Harrison

Joseph Harrison was born in Richmond, Virginia, grew up in Virginia and Alabama, and studied at Yale and Johns Hopkins. His first book, Someone Else’s Name (Waywiser, 2003), was named as one of five poetry books of the year by The Washington Post and was a finalist for the Poets’ Prize. His second book, Identity Theft, was published by Waywiser in 2008. His poems have appeared in such anthologies as The Best American Poetry 1998, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, The Library of America’s American Religious Poems, the Penguin Pocket Anthology of Poetry, and the Penguin Pocket Anthology of Literature, and in many journals. In 2005 he received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2009 he received a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he serves as the Senior American Editor of the Waywiser Press.

The Last Book

Such things were treasured objects, long ago,
Bound in calf's leather, framed by marbled boards,
Arranged by code in capitals, prized hoards
Of variorum, quire, and folio.

But now, downloaded, Xeroxed, put on tape
To quicken the commute's redundant trip,
Whole oeuvres shrink onto a microchip
And, volume after volume, lose their shape.

Who'll be the very last human to hold
One of these curious relics in his hands,
And think of vanished rivers, vanished birds,

And wonder why, in distant times and lands,
We made such settings for the tales we told
And placed such binding value on our words?