a gunman is a gunman is a gunman
like the chorus line tryout i felt nothing

it was worth noting the small matter
of gathering rare ingredients for a drink

a monday morning death toll
as specific as thursday’s Powerball

this time he can’t be arsed with the filter
it doesn’t come up at the crumbs

of somebody from the health team’s birthday
in a lunch room packed with a mail out

she forgets about it and hits refresh
details washed like an easy stain

the untroubled market hardly wobbles
while the algorithms digest the data

Liam Ferney

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  • Custom Article Title 'Active Shooter' by Liam Ferney | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

my name is abundance his name is love
charlie doesn’t advise does charlie
command? accrete necessary details
you can parse anything try

what’s a poor girl to do? parade us
as students we are your daughters
we lived as armies liberate villages
we all knew money wasn’t pure

my name is disturbance his name is love
you have an awful lot of guesses
Eisenhower’s front had faded
the judge couldn’t comprehend the

unfulfilled promises this world is
vaster first moments of morning
when everyone had folded into sleep
they were faded principalities fads

frayed as values we trusted in blossoms
in M16 barrels but the barrels
didn’t trust us myriad opportunities
for walk ins bri wigs out in

& out of the studio for some parents
it never mattered it was a thing
they never noted then it came time
to find meaning at the end of it

nothing is without consequence
the war is not stationary creeps
westward far too slowly they discover
the universe is too lonely things

that happen on cowboy sets deserts
desolate as fat predators with keys to
the best parts there is a time
for living the time keeps on flying

some pleaded stay with me until
the horror goes pleading begging
begging pleading the press wonder
how you’ll feel about him minus beard

the soul sure did pick a lulu but the
soul did a good job stabbed from
various angles on the lawn all
testimony is fabricated in blood

you tell us we needn’t be monsters
to do monstrous things sifting
for carpet bombers’ ruffled trails
political piggies die for prophecies

the trio a girl group costumed
variously in sky blue skirt &
darker cardigans shaved heads
flower power prints the time of the season

he looks the other way when it suits
his hard cock the song doesn't land
& the producer mooches off to the lido
a stolen car grunts venice

beach malibu topanga canyon death valley
in suburbs my cup runeth over
you look at my game phil asks
if the angels are beating on kids

we stay up all night calibrating everyone
we know calls ring out houselights
start new stories clues
misaligned still it doesn't quite tell

the freezing bonfire’s story
locusts be beatles his family
fumbles the trigger the plain dealer
front page kids lie in a my lai pile

sanction etiquette’s breach miss
manners’ guide to domestic tranquillity:
the authoritative manual for
every civilized household, however

harried is essential reading
every family falls apart face it
we love charm more than we love character
we bleed a butchery of book deals

the dead are so many so few
our century of paradise & horror
stay with me while it ends we've shared
too much it will be over too soon

mr & mrs america you are wrong
i am what you made me: mad dog
devil killer fiend leper my thoughts
light fires in your cities

Liam Ferney

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  • Custom Article Title 'Sympathy for the Devil: A tweet storm' by Liam Ferney | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Liam Ferney States of Poetry QLDLiam Ferney's most recent collection Content (2016, Hunter Publishing) was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. His previous collections are Boom (2013, Grand Parade Poets) and Popular Mechanics (2004, Interactive Press). He is a media manager, poet and aspiring left back living in Brisbane.

Poems

'Sympathy for the Devil: A tweet storm'

'Active Shooter'

'#qla2016'

'After the Rain'

'Main Street Social'

Recording

Liam Ferney reads his poems ‘Main Street Social' and 'Active Shooter'

Further Reading and Links

Red Room Poetry - Liam Ferney

Cordite Poetry Review - Liam Ferney

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  • Custom Article Title About Liam Ferney | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets

after the Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) Examination

at midpoint I take a call from work – don’t want to, though
all jobs are made up anyway and I’m not in today

the first year without Hansie:
look at the state we’re in

if two dots tie two lines together
is meaning made?

things are not important – I will tell you again
you ask me for things, sell me things, I buy the things
things piled on top of things

last December I bought $100 of groceries a week for four weeks
in a bid to collect 10,000 frequent flyer points
the house was full of cleaning products, sanitary pads and olive oil

it hurts to remember the empty cupboards
the echo of hunger and myopic options
the knock of socket wrench on broken starter motor
who can afford 3-for-the-price-of-2 when you can’t afford 1?

or was it five weeks?

now: waving from the leftover horizon

pinky houdini gamzl petrankrum pigsley brutus leah ninny mrs grey bernard zowie katze kuh

a pile of things on top of things

the spurious correlations

two lines = two dots :
             = total revenue generated by arcades : computer science doctorates awarded in the US
             = per capita cheese consumption : people who died tangled in bedsheets

what can it all mean?
what does a clock face?

I have a memory of Charlie Cheese’s Pizza Playhouse, bashing the whack-a-mole
but I’m not so sure that happened – maybe I just saw the ad
= cheese : arcade

last weekend I tried to recall a story about Kanye West at the zoo
I mixed it up with that time my cousin Leisha met Snoop Dogg
= rapper : zoo

a few weeks ago I forgot the word for ‘latitude’
even though I know that latitude is flatitude – I still had to check

oh! shebah and sneakers and the little patchy one ... what WAS their name?

Pascalle Burton

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  • Custom Article Title 'losing the slums' by Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
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composition in retrospect Pascalle Burton SoP QLD

Pascalle Burton

Source text: Sound Pages. John Cage’s publications (2014) edited by Giorgio Maffei and Fabio Carboni

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  • Custom Article Title 'composition in retrospect' by Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
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    we started in 1981 and compleTed in 1988.
    in 1983 the first portioN
    of it was included in john cagE's book x ...

(after The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire)

We had better empty the wine-cups.
To-morrow, at bright dawn, the world’s business will entangle us.
We brush away our tears,
We go – East and West.

                                                          – Tu Fu

gurgle /ˈɡəːɡ(ə)l
grandmothers carry prams to term / babysit baby’s baby / regurgitated capsule
commuters exhale daily day into night aircon carriage
doors closing please stand
waits for no ma

ri:fle slickstream
fillet knife separates the hairyskin
something seeps almost-clear

financial
review
predict the price drop of value
cue funny anecdote of destitution

                                                                                                    fi
                                                                                                    re

I rarely wake up feeling rested
☒ strongly agree

what future has not yet
yet what are we working for?
poisonwater?
virtualpunching?
(who could type ‘I will rape you with a metal pole’?)
no one can afford to breathe

committed is as committed does
google ‘how to section my mother’
do that and see how it feels

                                                                                                    fi
                                                                                                    re

a person is on fire / a building explodes
a leg blown off
a cheek shattered
a superbug eats a brain / a cancer eats a liver
these things really happened

a man can lose his life for dressing as a woman
(person)                                                                  (person)
I think an x clothed as x can be anyone x wants
we are all ex-something
ex-womb at least

hear that gradual shift
a slight fingernaildrag on a fender

well well well well well
it is hard to know how to help
but I hope they know it weighs heavy
I carry them like a shotput / which is to say I don’t do much

othr thn tht lol
srsly
so much funny stuff

they would have you believe
you can control the darkness
sign up now for 24-hour assistance
get ready for a month of shooting stars

                                                                                                     fi
                                                                                                     re

a melted slipper in a bonfire
pain feels right like slipping a socked foot through the radiator till it scorches
you pull out then do it all over / sex fuse

even though I have no grand illusions
I still like Miranda July to read me my horoscope
maybe my grand illusion is my lack of one

Schiaparelli and Comme des Garçons walk into a Leigh Bowery
yes, I would try and make it

the headstrong focus the overhead pan
David Byrne starts kinking his knee

did I tell you how crazy I feel when Born Under Punches plays?
I try not to let it show but
my throat could open my body flail
in Kinsella’s moth-green eyeshadow
and convulsing chest
I wonder what we are capable of on the panopticon patio

computer worms mediate morality
how many lips are being licked *right now*

synapse neuron snap
no fuselage just balance beam creaking
no influence, even in my own dreams

well well well well well
to good friends and good health
to the tough times behind us
what good will that do us?

cursor blinks|

|

|

|

cursor blinks|

can’t wait to see what’s next

Pascalle Burton

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    gurgle /ˈɡəːɡ(ə)l
    grandmothers carry prams to term / babysit baby’s baby / regurgitated capsule
    commuters exhale daily day into night aircon carriage ...

(after The New World of Transitioned Media by Gali Einav)

a less tanglible currency at play by Pascalle Burton

Pascalle Burton

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    Expressing
    to the world
    a raw idea
    how to be watched
    but also

(after Samuel Beckett’s Molloy)

still. but not quite.
I drew on the right
of time.

the other way (I have this solution):
escape that hazard
circulating always.

before I began
(before the hope of circulation)
I began better.

during the remaining of my of my
of my of my
(plus one in my),

I arrive at my mind
my immediate predecessors remain
my turn and turn. turn and turn.

I ran the same
bound to chance
planned to turn and turn.

my mind, a long conclusion.
an extraordinary
hazard.

a pinch of pins
(more than I could manage)
trouble wrangling an instant anger.

I penetrate the obscure.
I grasp my refusal. my insoluble sound:
found found-sound now.

one empty second apart from one other.
no right left.
just other other empty now.

begin again. but not with balance.
time (or end of time) without the end
now. now, away.

Pascalle Burton

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  • Custom Article Title 'stones sequence sucked' by Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two
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Pascalle Burton QLD States of PoetryPascalle Burton is a poet and performer with an interest in conceptual art and cultural theory. Her projects include UN/SPOOL (with Nathan Shepherdson), 24 Hour Gym (with Tessa Rose), and performing in the band The Stress of Leisure. Her début collection, About the author is dead, is forthcoming with Cordite Books.

Poems

'stones sequence sucked'

'a less tangible currency at play'

'bodies breathe in by themselves'

'composition in retrospect'

'losing the slums'

Recording

Pascalle Burton reads her poems 'losing the slums' and 'stones sequence sucked'

Further Reading and Links

Pascalle Burton's website

Cordite Poetry Review - Pascalle Burton

 

 

 

 

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  • Custom Article Title About Pascalle Burton | States of Poetry - Series Two
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets
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    Pascalle Burton is a poet and performer with an interest in conceptual art and cultural theory. Her projects include UN/SPOOL (with Nathan Shepherdson), 24 Hour Gym (with Tessa Rose), and performing in the band The Stress of Leisure. Her début collection, About the author is dead, is forthcoming with Cordite Books.

In his luminous paean to poetry, modestly titled How to Read a Poem, Edward Hirsch writes that ‘poetry is made of metaphor’. This lucid statement is beautiful enough, but as a poet, Hirsch continues, making music, elaborating, forever taking the idea onwards, upwards and outwards, with poetry’s relentless energy: ‘It is a collision,’ he writes, ‘a collusion, a compression of two unlike things: A is B.’

If A is B, everything is mobile, active, and energetic. As Paul Celan puts it, poetry is always ‘under way: heading towards something’. In poetry, ideas are capable of transformation, and of transforming other ideas, and lives. Poetry is about energy. That’s why we reach for the metaphor of poetry to describe beautiful human movement – the flex and reach of a dancer’s body, the loop of a backbend, the arc of a cricket ball sailing over the fence to be caught (usually less poetically) by the spectator who will endlessly relive the moment as the time they reached for poetry. Marianne Moore knew about this when she compared poetry to baseball:

Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either
how it will go
or what you will do;
generating excitement –

You can never tell with a poem how it will go. That’s the thrill. That’s why Emily Dickinson identifies poetry through the rush, the goosebumps, the body’s alert catching of energy:

If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know. Is there any other way.

Hirsh continues, collecting poets’ metaphors about poetry in a luminous assemblage that, again, keeps moving, shifting and unsettling:

the poem is a capsule where we wrap up our punishable secrets (William Carlos Williams). A poem is a well-wrought urn (Cleanth Brooks), a verbal icon (W. K. Wimsatt). A poem is a walk (A. R. Ammons); a poem is a meteor (Wallace Stevens). A poem might be called a pseudoperson. Like a person it is unique and addresses the reader personally (W. H. Auden). A poem is a hand, a hook, a prayer. It is a soul in action.

Poetry’s energies reach into other poems. The poems here are allusive, expansive, and mobile. These poems converse with, bounce off, and sail over other poems, to social media, music, and memory, from the therapist’s couch to the therapist on the couch, taking in Yiddish words, Polish words, tweets and amnesia, fish ‘n chips and VHS, Zen and Kerouac, Ted Bundy and Pliny the Younger. A is B. Everything is energy. These are just some of the ways poetry is thriving, in dialogue, mobile and thrilling.

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  • Custom Article Title State Editor's Introduction by Felicity Plunkett | States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Introduction