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Friday, December 3, 2010

BOOK REVIEW- scott-patrick mitchell 'songs for the ordinary mass'

BOOK REVIEW- Scott-Patrick Mitchell ‘songs for the ordinary mass’. PressPress, Berry NSW, 2009, 36 pages.

Mitchell’s slender volume of experimental poetry won the PressPress Chapbook Award in 2009. The book consists of sixteen cutting-edge, but tricky, enigmatic post-modern poems. ‘songs for the ordinary mass’ is the central focus of this short review. If you are more interested in Mitchell’s career as a poet in its many reincarnations, have a close read of his honest and entertaining comments in the extensive interview which follows.

Mitchell is one of the most diverse and original emerging poets working in Western Australia today. He is a ground-breaking poet from the street who uses highly inventive language tools and forms to express his evolving grand vision as an artist. ‘Poetry’, he says, ‘should make people gasp, their heart leap and the toes want to pirouette. It’s the scientific art of language as our fundamental technology. Good poetry should engulf but disappear leaving only the slightest echo of a vision glimpsed and momentarily comprehended in full. It should leave people wanting, hungry and slightly obsessed.’

‘songs for the ordinary mass’ is not about ordinary people. It is centered on Mitchell’s young adult haunt:  Northbridge, Perth’s entertainment area- the city’s ‘cesspool of sin’. The equivalent of Wollongong’s Kenny Street.  Apart from a few snatches of dialogue, the book also does not use the language of ordinary people but is embedded in the coded language of post-structural theorists like Derrida and Foucault.

The language is minimalistic. Hybrid with a pervading meta-tinge: Chucked in a blender then sprinkled on top with aberrant punctuation.

The chapbook begins with a prologue in two parts. Mitchell marks out the territory he is to explore- the rewriting of Northbridge from his own lense, using a mash of found or fragmentary phrases and words. The main section of the book consists of fourteen mostly short poems. These are typically snapshots from the street- about hookers, junkies, urban graffiti artists and drunken hoons written in a cut & paste style integrating pop references, direct speech from the gutter, social or philosophical observations and the like, with the writer and the reader hurtling in a chaotic rush towards  some unknown but inevitable confrontation.

Mitchell’s overall aim is ‘to capture the godlessness of the ghetto and fuse it with an almost liturgical quality’. As he explains in the interview, he adds a complex layer of structure to his work by developing the concept of neumes, or graphic pitches characteristic of traditional Gregorian chants, to evoke the dark resonances of Northbridge’s underworld. Each poem in the main section is a sampling of a different  Gregorian pitch and each title makes a specific allusion to the tone that the poem wishes to covey: caccia, climacus, stretto sone, porrectus & so on:

‘I had been reading, every Saturday, dictionaries in non-sequential ways. The Oxford I did backwards. A crossword dictionary I’d navigate using that Saturday’s crossword puzzle. Finally I hit a musical reference dictionary, which I read by reference notes (i.e. see also this or that). Here, an antiquity of musicality emerged. Words thick with accent and history and an architecture of precision.

And the archaic beauty emerged: antiphonary, a liturgical book containing chants for the office, comprising of The Mass Ordinary and The Mass Proper; fiato, breath; sone, a subjective unit of loudness; and neumes, graphic notational signs indicating a certain pitch to be obtained rather than a note to be carried, the obvious analogy Gregorian Chants. From here emerged the neumes themselves, with odd little names. Northbridge suddenly transformed too’.
These are clever, but obscure poems and I often had to refer back to Mitchell’s own explicit comments from our interview to make better sense of what he was attempting to achieve. Keep in mind that this chapbook represents only a small fraction of Mitchell’s work to date. As he outlines in considerable detail below, he has been involved in the spoken word, meta-narratives, break up letters, reality games, ‘spite of madness’ writing, slam, remix, parkour and other cutting-edge mediums. I urge you to follow up some of his links to his work and influences. The poet Michael Farrell, for example, is a leading exponent of 21st century experimental writing in Australia and certainly worth investigating.

All that said, ‘songs for the ordinary mass’ is the smallest sized chapbook I have ever purchased. It measures about 6 x 4 inches and cutely fits into its cover sleeve. Overall, the word count is small but the editing excellent and the quality high. The book costs $10 and makes a significant contribution to PressPress’s recent drive to publish innovative Australian poets. Find their latest chapbooks here:



 BIO:  Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a poet & writer who lives in Perth, Western Australia. He works as an arts and fashion journalist for OUTinPerth Newspaper and volunteers as a poetry editor for dotdotdash. His poems are typically intense experiments in sound & rhythm, of constraint and explosion, balanced with performative works which explore the resonance of an actual voice. He has been a guest of the National Young Writers’ Festival and the Emerging Writers’ Festival and in 2009 he won The PressPress Chapbook Award for songs for the ordinary mass, a collection which fuses urban sampling with Gregorian musical notations. He recently won the Perth Poetry Slam and was accepted as one of three emerging West Australian poets to appear in Fremantle Press’ latest release New Poets. Scott-Patrick has been accepted into WAAPA at Edith Cowan University where he will complete a Masters in Performance Poetry, upgrading to a PhD in 2011. He is the only person in the state currently studying this topic at this level. From this he will produce a full length collection of poetry plus a one-man show, which he hopes to tour New York and London with, showcasing it to the international performance poets he is currently interviewing as part of his thesis. In early 2011 he will release two e-books, one through Black Rider Press and the other as experiment in remixed experience written in collaboration with Matt Hall and Siobhan Hodge.  In his down time he blogs about street art and buys far too many clothes.

(1)When did you first discover that you had an interest in poetry?
I discovered the ease of poetry when I was in Year 8, so about 12 or 13. The keyword there is ‘ease’. I’ve always found poetry easy, even when it’s being difficult. I lack the discipline to write novels.
So anyway, we had to write an anthology, based on famous poems about dependency and red objects. I left it to the last minute, but knew I wanted my anthology to contain accompanying artwork. The poems knocked themselves out and my brother (4our years my senior) provided illustrations… a mouse here, a hand growing into a tree there. All my art direction. I got an A+. Miss Hull commended me quite openly in front of the class.
I had never particularly liked poetry before that (and sometimes still don’t) but loved the ease by which I could articulate myself through it. Then, when I was 14 I read American Psycho. Poems started to gush out of me from there, angular gangly things crammed with abstraction. It was as though Patrick Bateman himself had clipped an artery, a mess of words oozing out of me. One of the first poems I wrote – and ever got published – was called a simple psychopath, a homage to Patrick’s handiwork. From there the ease attracted me, and the sense of not being able to comprehend exactly what I was doing. I bummed out in high school completely – divorce, immigration, bogans and the supposed importance of a clique, even if they were the wrong crowd, took priority. That and my sexuality reluctantly aligned itself as bi, not queer, the disconnect difficult to manage, particularly as I crushed on male friend after male friend. Unrequited teen love. Maybe that’s to blame.
University was a liberation. I had wanted to study acting, but was told that actors never made any money, even though I had always been the heroic lead in primary school plays and the villain in every production throughout secondary. So psychology became the next logical choice. Coupled with religious studies. And then criminology. And finally writing. At the age of 19 all my hair fell out from stress – and boys – and Patrick’s old wound reopened. Poetry about the body began to bleed from me. I learnt the correlative of the objective versus the subjective. The polarity of thought manifested itself in my studies and I decided to take out a How To Write Poetry book from the library, secretly reading it in private. It helped immensely, although metric verse made my head wretch… and still does. I don’t know how to write in feet and metre at all. I quickly decided that if I couldn’t shake this thing, I’d set my own rules:
- I will only read poetry from the 20th Century, the emphasis on work being written in that moment. West Australian poetry in particular.
- Poetry should be taught backwards. The cannon is fantastic and all, but so is what’s happening right now. And yes it provides context, but the loss of context is far more exhilarating. I approached every work on instinct, not knowledge. The beauty was in the rhythm, not the technology.
- I will study singer songwriters like Bjork and Tori Amos with the same intensity as contemporary poets like Ginsberg and Hejinian. At current my obsession is hip hop and the new South African variant, Zef, which mashes together the cheesiness of consumer culture to accentuate irony.
- I make my own trends, even if I don’t know how to initially articulate them or envision what they will ultimately yield.
- Science is sexy and secretly wants to be art and poetry and vice versa. Everything is travelling between points of actuality and points of desire. Besides, science will make sense eventually. Art and poetry never will. But together they’ll map the world.
- Popular culture is not the enemy and never will be. Our own sense of self-importance and how it infects our art is the problem. The notion of high art was the biggest mistake of the Modernist era. That said, we’re paying the price of Warhol’s mass production of postmodern low art.
- We are at the beginning of a new paradigm of theoretical thought. We will articulate it in hindsight, but we are either travelling toward the Post Human or New Humanism. One sees us forgoing the fundamental sanctity of our body to imbue it with man made-isms, the other a renaissance of the tenacity of the human spirit and how it manifests in the world outside of ourselves. One model of dissection, one of reconnection. We won’t know until the next paradigm hits, in approximately 2050. By which point it’ll be too late.
- Poets don’t need to lack style or a sense of fashion.
- Poetry is for the mouth and ear but should align itself with the eye, and therefore incorporate visual elements where possible, even if that incorporation is the inclusion of codes and coding – anything to make language change itself in more interesting ways should be encouraged.
- Nothing would really matter until I was 30 anyway. That came from a friend, but was also a nod to how messed up divorce, immigration, bogans and the like had made me. Father issues rock. And true to form, it slotted into place post-30. Well… it had to really.
- If all else fails, read it out loud. Words grow wings when spoken. And the obvious analogy is always music.
- The line is a white hot thing, a line white hot, a hot white line. As such, the poem is a juxt of the economy the line brings to the luxury of the wide white space.
- Have faith. And never, ever lose it. This will do something, eventually. Hopefully you’ll surprise even yourself.
- Never just conduct the experiment – be it.
I had always wanted to draw. My brother could. I couldn’t. I adopted words, and how they were spoken. That said, having a mother who had grown up in colonial Indian from German parents meant that I was taught to pronounce words differently to the phonetics they had.
(2) Who were some of your early influences and who are you keenly interested today in the Arts world?
Ummmm. See below?
Early influences? Children book writers like Dahl. I had a book on animals that I treasured. It taught me the importance of symbols before I was 10. Dungeons & Dragons. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Final Fantasy works. // teens… Madonna. Bjork. Tori Amos. Robert Smith. Ride. Nirvana. The Breeders. P.J. Harvey. Prince. // Bret Easton Ellis. // Duchamp. Andy Warhol. Matisse. Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol. // Today? // John Kinsella. Lyn Hejinian. Allen Ginsberg. H.D.. Charles Olson. Dorothy Porter. Michael Farrell. Gertrude Stein. David Antin. Miles Merrill. Bob Hollman. Ellen Zweig. Tony Lopez. Peter Middleton. // Gabrielle Everall. Matt Hall (this guy is amazing – his work is so architectural and intelligent – he’s post-grad at UWA studying Prynne and speaks with such marked intelligence it often stumps me – yet, for some reason, he’s taken me under his wing and has the greatest patience when I send ranty emails about my life and studies – he’s honestly made my first year of postgrad so rewarding – if it hadn’t been for him I reckon my motivation would’ve waned months ago). Allan Boyd. Kevin Gillam. Rebecca Giggs. Deanne Leber. Amber Fresh. Jeremy Balius. K @ The Ponies. J.P. Quinton… all of them local poets. // Clive Barker. Jeff Noon. Jeanette Winterson. Christos Tsiolkas. // Alexander McQueen. Valentino. Gareth Pugh. Bernhard Willhelm. Jeremy Scott. Henrik Vibskov. KTZ. Margiela. Nick Knight… who work internationally in fashion. // Romance Was Born. Songs For The Mute. Zoe Trotman. Arj Selvam. S2. Lui Hon. Alistair Trung. Material Boy. A Label By. Of Cabbages & Kings. Alister Yiap. Dropstitch. For-Tomorrow. Milly Sleeping… who work nationally in fashion. // Vogue. Harpers. Let Them Eat Cake… which are all glossy. // Lady Gaga. Robyn. David Bowie. Laurie Andersen. Die Antwoord. Antony & The Johnsons. Yoko Ono… who make noise and command attention. // Stormie Mils. Creepy. The Yok. Trevor6025. Timothy Rollin. Ryan Boserio. DaekOne & Kid Zoom. Bach. Dave Misled. Mandy. Deathbot. Beastman. Twenty Eleven. Monster. The Glomes. Aimee Johns. Mr Brainwash… but only as a theoretical construct of consumption… all of whom are street artists whose work I’ve followed for the last six years. // Janet Carter. Eric Mitchell. Matthew Barney. Cindy Sherman. James Franco. Gus Van Sant. Rose Skinner. The Giselle. Arlene Texta Queen. Orlan. Tess McNamara. Tobey Black. Chrissie Parrott. Matthew Sforcina. Ash Baroque. Sarah Colllins. Petrosexual. Tomas Ford. Sexy Galexy (my drag mother). Emma Sulley. Will Faulkner. The Krazy Krushgroove Kids. mOther… who are local or international artists of some capacity or another.
BAFTA Make-up artist Strykermeyer, who not only inspires, but to whom I owe my new life.
Leigh Bowrey, for changing the landscape of going out.
It’s funny that my two biggest inspirations are drag queens who acted more like men than women.
I believe music, art and most certainly fashion are critical to understanding the intricacies of modern life and how not to live it like everyone else. I don’t want to be modern. Ever. I just want to be unique. That comes from having and developing a vision… which I believe all these people have.
I sometimes think I should honestly read more though. Fashion magazines do not count do they?
(3)  ‘songs for the ordinary mass’ is centered on Northbridge in Perth’s downtown entertainment area. Can you explain how you originally came up with the idea for the chapbook and how you developed your sense of place and the poetics employed within? What are your overall intentions in writing the book?
 I was living in Northbridge at the time. It’s an amazing place. Magnetic. Consuming. A ghetto crammed full of approximately 85 different cultural groups.
I had been reading, every Saturday, dictionaries in non-sequential ways. The Oxford I did backwards. A crossword dictionary I’d navigate using that Saturday’s crossword puzzle. Finally I hit a musical reference dictionary, which I read by reference notes (i.e. see also this or that). Here, an antiquity of musicality emerged. Words thick with accent and history and an architecture of precision.
And the archaic beauty emerged: antiphonary, a liturgical book containing chants for the office, comprising of The Mass Ordinary and The Mass Proper; fiato, breath; sone, a subjective unit of loudness; and neumes, graphic notational signs indicating a certain pitch to be obtained rather than a note to be carried, the obvious analogy Gregorian Chants.
From here emerged the neumes themselves, with odd little names. Northbridge suddenly transformed too. Love Tester, a street based exhibition of artists, threaded together by a collection of hot pink symbols and a map, suddenly made the streets sing with imagery. There was a hum. A vibrancy. Someone stenciled Empty Men on to the pavement and I vandalised works by giving them thought bubbles filled with poems.
The neumes demanded attention, so I gathered soundbytes and supplied them with the appropriate pitch. What emerged were tight, dark, enigmatic poems, abstractions of the modern language. They were new. Awkward. Unknown. So I did what any responsible parent does when their children behave differently: I ignored them.
This was 2002. By 2006 a distinct style was emerging in my work. In 2007 and 2008 I had the clarity to understand the intricate sound of my poetry. This lead to a more efficient editing procedure, songs for the ordinary mass polished in one weekend in 2009. I included a juxt of ‘self’ and ‘city’ in two sprawling landscape poems.
The overall aim was to capture the godlessness of the ghetto and fuse it with an almost liturgical quality. It’s a cesspit of sin from which the most beautiful moments can arise. The chapbook reflects the hymn books of the church, the title itself referencing the chants contained in one part of the antiphonary. That’s why it opens with the hollow sound of a mechanised Japanese sho – the ultimate bastardisation of beauty – clunking out a subverted Lord’s Prayer.
And finally, an esclandre is a quest. And aerosol always made me think of dogs pissing their territory. The final tricky word, malaguetta, refers to healing seeds used in African rituals, also known as seeds of Paradise.
 (4)  I am particularly interested in the construction of your poems. Can you take me through some of the techniques you specifically used in your creative process? For example, can you describe what is happening in ‘re:WRITING the city’(anonymously…’?

It’s doing a mash. The piece begins with a found text from the East Coast. It then bloats itself on the importance of achingly overwrought definition, juxting that with slogans – these 2wo segments attempt to define the nature of street art. What follows are musing’s on street artists. For example, The Yok is actually the successful Asian diffusion line of Hitchcock, implemented around 2003 or 2004. He’s now internationally recognised as The Yok. In part ii, a street artist called Victim would actually stencil a council worker painting the wall whenever the council painted over, or buffed, a piece of graffiti. They were the victims Victim was giving voice to. From there the piece examines the practice of ‘vandalising the vandal’, a reverse form of community service where you actually steal the graffiti from the street for your own collection. The community service is a double entrende: on one hand you cleaning up the streets, but on the other you are protecting the art with the intention of it having a future, either in a private collection or possible future public collection.
I have been ‘collecting’ street art for years. I’ve also been photographing it too since 2004 and have over 5000 photographs. I write a regular column about it plus blog the images at with the hope of publishing a book on it in the future.
 The list of names are names of actual Perth street artists. 

The Yok:

(5)  Your aberrant use of punctuation was cleverly handled in an earlier discussion with the publisher Freemantle Press  Similiarly, I was intrigued but mystified by the titles of your poems…’porrectus’, ‘torculus’, ‘scandicus’, ‘clivis’, ‘pes’, ‘punctum’ etc. Can you provide the reader with an insight as to what some of these titles mean, what you hoped to achieve and how they contribute to the overall unity of the poems?
Neumes were used by Gregorian Monks to denote a certain pitch to hit. Their music predated the formal notation of music we still currently use. As such their staves were littered with suggestions of resonance. The beauty of their sound came from an agreed inclination, not a form dotting out of instance to instance. The freedom of their form appealed to me, so I used the below neumes as reference points, going on long walks through Northbridge to capture appropriate samples from the streets, or snippets of overheard conversation. Each neume has a sample.
-       virga // twig; graft; rod; staff; wand. an aged local, who presumes he’s mystic, divines the weather.
-       punctum // point; dot; vote; moment. how an overdose can go unnoticed, even when someone is screaming for assistance.
-       pes // foot. hooker heels are hot... on hookers.
-       clivis // slope; hill. heroin addicts unable to score their next hit.
-       scandicus // climb. all prostitutes should wear stockings, the more lurid the better.
-       climacus // no definitions can be found for this word. I accentuate the climax of coming to a complete stop against your will. Traffic was the pedestrian’s enemy, red lights our friends.
-       torculus // press. used here ironically by a newspaper salesman. Our local rag is called The West Australian, or The West.
-       porrectus // long; protracted; dead. tweakers surviving on Salvation Army rations and by selling rock, or crystal meth.
The following aren’t actually neumes, but I utilised them in the same manner:
-       caccia // a 14th century part song, often portraying hunt scenes & including animal sounds or town cries. the hunt for money, the begging from the bruddah.
-       catch // a round at the unison for 3hree or more male voices, usually unaccompanied, or texts that were often racy. brothels and strip clubs make men holler.
-       stretto sone // used here to highlight the Northbridge phenomenon of the mobile hens night doing bog laps. Note the morphology of the phrase below.
o    stretto // a speeding up of the temp at a climatic section of a work, movement or section.
o    sone // a subjective unit of loudness.
 (6)  Your chapbook reveals only a limited aspect of your work. Can you briefly describe some of the other projects you have been working on over the last five years or so, especially to reach a wider audience?
I kicked off my poetry career proper in 1998 by collaborating with new music composer Sarah Collins. We formed a quirky minimal baroque ensemble called SpokenNewWordMusic. We wrote and toured our first full length show in 1999, reviewers calling the collaboration ‘an energetic integration of poetry and sound’ that ‘moved the audience’ and constrained ‘an Allen Ginsberg-like spontaneity and sophistication’. While on tour at Adelaide’s Feast Festival, we were approached by an artist collective to return the following year for a Fetish Micro-Festival. As a result we wrote a second show called [fucking] with your fetish, from which comes my slam piece the foot tango and the poem, which appears in New Poets (I performed this piece dressed as geisha who then strip into a barefoot boy who performed the foot tango). We rounded off our collaboration by writing a song cycle exploring the impact a HIV+ diagnosis has on a relationship, enlisting a male soprano to sing as back-up. The work, kissing red : kissing blue, also toured interstate. Unfortunately,  we only have cassette recordings of our work, although we plan to rectify this soon.
Setting off after that by myself I became fascinated with street art and in 2001 developed a poetic suite called plume which was a meta-narrative based on love and obsession – modeled around big brother reality TV, which debuted that year – and comprised of 3hree voices, each part of the story centered around a different flower. Joshua Fitzpatrick, a young local artist who is quite renowned for his painting now, drew the 9ine flowers which I watermarked and superimposed the poetry over. I then posted this in public spaces during the Pride Festival that year, doing 2wo store front window installations in Northbridge and Mt Lawley. The idea was people encountered poetry in the street, and could engage the story as they saw fit.
Being the ambitious soul that I am I then invited 8ight artists – Paul O’Connor, Eric Mitchell, Sam Willersdorf, Emma Sulley, Tess McNamara, Monique Powell, Josh Fitzpatrick, and myself – along with 4our composers – Petro Vouris, Rachel Dease, Nathan Fuller and Stuart Miles (aka DJ Scout) – to interpret a certain flower. The resulting exhibition, The Plumerian, appeared at The Breadbox Gallery and included art, sound, text and performance. The idea was to engage audiences further and ignite a connection between poetry and art and music.
Artrage then took the work and entered into an experimental electronic platform called reality games, a prototype to the Creative Commons of today, similar in theory to the meta-remix site that is ABC’s The Pool. It involved 3hree sets of artists who remixed each others work inside their own game and then were given a chunk of another game to remix. It was shortlived, but cutting edge.
plume is now known as The Plumerian. It’s still incomplete and has proven the hardest collection to write to date. Haikus from the first set of flowers appear at the beginning of my Fremantle Press publication, New Poets.
Then, in 2008, not satisfied with the model, I developed another street art collection called The Trickster’s Bible, based on The Tricking Bible of parkour, a manual that lists the most efficient ways to transverse the urban landscape using parkour. My collection became a narrative of want, unrequited love, loathing and break-up letters, The Trickster leaving readers a map to follow in an attempt to lure them back into the relationship they had supposedly left. It debuted at Newcastle’s National Young Writers Festival in 2008 as A0 posters and tiny A5 ones too. Interestingly, a sequence of break-up letters, where the opening had a blank after the word ‘Dear…’, were all filled in by readers, referring to a rogue gallery of men who had clearly broken somebody’s heart somewhere.
This collection then appeared again in WA at the Artrage Silver Festival. It was harder to install here. In fact, the model is still imperfect, and I am sometimes wonder at different ways of bringing poetry to the street.
This collection has now been edited to appear as . the tricking post . which has been submitted to Black Rider Press for possible consideration for an early 2011 e-book release. If not the whole collection, parts thereof.
At one point, I had an online blog as part of a year long live-in art experiment called The Chaochamber in which I adopted the persona of a sprite of madness. I used to write to street artists telling them how I had kidnapped their work from the streets, and that it said hi. As this sprite I was the living heart of a machine which was a touted as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest chaos attractor specialising in attracting lovely horror and horrific love. The house we conducted this in eventually began to collapse around us. I have material from this for a book and have used the poems to write a manuscript called . how to invoke daemonic possession . which explores how self destructive behaviour after the break up of a relationship can lead us to struggle with our inner daemons, sometimes apparently so. This collection is a prelude to my current post-grad collection, transparency, which examines how invisibility and emotional transparency – 2wo dichotomies of the same want for invisibility essentially – are enlisted in self-destructive and self-redemptive behaviours and how addiction can make us disappear.
(7)  Can you explicitly state your view of the role of the poet and of poetry in general?
The poet is a lightning thief. Their job is to steal from the gods to inspire the masses. Poetry runs a gamut of complexities, some of which are self-depreciating to the art form, but essentially it should make people gasp, their heart leap and the toes want to pirouette. It’s the scientific art of language as our fundamental technology. Good poetry should engulf but disappear leaving only the slightest echo of a vision glimpsed and momentarily comprehended in full. It should leave people wanting, hungry and slightly obsessed.
For myself, the ultimate intention is to inspire someone, somewhere in the world who will forever remain unknown. The moment I become aware of having inspired someone, the rule resets and I have to achieve it again.
For my poetry, I just hope it appeals and keeps me challenged.
(8)  Can you tell me briefly about your work in the new anthology New Poets published by Freemantle Press and how you attempt to break new ground?
Have you noticed I rarely use short titles for my collections?
 Point in case this one, {where n equals} a determinancy of poetry. This was my first attempt at a sustained narrative of voice, the idea being of presenting readers with a Rorschach of human experience. The collection moves from nature, or _ature, and the love of the natural world into nurture, or _urture, which examines passion, love, sex and the complexity of emotion. At it’s heart this collection celebrates the beauty of life through scientific precision, accentuating and enjambing punctuation to highlight the often overlooked musicality of punctuation in an attempt to make the obvious analogy with music.
(9)  You are undertaking a post graduate degree in performance poetry at WAAPA. What aspects of the course have you found most relevant in your development as a poet?
The incorporation of performance theory and how the stage generates a set of performance symbols. In literature we have literary symbols. There are certain objects throughout stories of the canon that perform specific magical functions, such as invoking invisibility. We instinctively know at least 2wo that do this, and at the heart of these objects is the symbol of power, the symbol that is coveted and invokes. How then do you invoke invisibility on stage? Scrims, disembodied voices, movement, lighting, projection, bandages… these become the performance symbols of the work. How then do these 2wo sets of symbols communicate, inform and transform each other, and at what point does the poetry reading become a performance and back again. Also, how does poetry written for the page and then performed differ from poetry spontaneously performed, recorded and then edited for the page? This intersection of insight and information is the crux of the course, and it’s teaching me the dynamics of what performance is capable off, and how performance writing has its own set of distinct rules, which I’m keen to rework and reinvent.
(10) Can you briefly map out your upcoming projects and the direction your poetry is taking?
My post-grad collection is my major baby at current.
I am working on a remixed poetic text with Matthew Hall and Siobhan Hodge, a project inspired by a John Kinsella project from 1998.
And then transparency should yield a collection and a one-man show, which I hope to take to New York and London. That’s the plan at least.
I see the enjambed punctuation distincting at least another 2wo books. From there though the musicality will be reinvented. I am learning how to write meter and rhyme and also hip hop. I am developing a stronger sense of humour in my slam and performance pieces, and will allow the voices there to speak as they choose. On the page though I am constantly seeking new rhythms and use of the luxurious white space. I’d love to record SpokenNewWordMusic and a selection of pieces.
More so though I am learning the poetic canon – finally – albeit backwards. I believe that in order to understand the experiment, you must be it, and I feel that learning poetry and the greats backwards is the best way to reinvigorate a love of it in our children. I’d love to rework the educational model of poetry to fit this. Beyond that though and I want to write theory, but mainly psychological theory based on quantum psychology, which again inverts the models by which we deconstruct our personalities, to in effect reconstruct a psyche that is more aware of its place in the universe. 
I honestly don’t see myself as being a poet in the classical sense. I think I took to many interesting turns along the way to be a poster pin-up poet. A friend says I’m a rock star poet. That may be more accurate.
If anything I still feel like a kid. I do what I know I can do, because it constantly surprises me. And that’s the best thing about it.
I don’t have a writing blog. I write full-time as a journalist. Plus I see web publishing as being akin to actual publishing, and I’m afraid I’m far too economic with where my work appears. 
my street art photo blog
the newspaper I write arts, fashion, music and horror-scopes for
my poor neglected zine
a monthly spoken word performance night I help organise
a literary journal I co-edit poetry for
my etsy store from which I sell zines & vintage fashion
my poor neglected private set myspace