WARM WINTER WORDS-Photo Review

David Hallett warms up the crowd

Warm Winter Words;

Photo-Review

Secretary John Treason & Treasurer Carol Balfor bask on the steps

Twas one of Brisbane’s perfect Winter Days, blue sky-ed, sunny and mild. The only dark thought was how hot next Summer is going to be if this is how warm it is in Winter.

Fortunately Poetry is generally carbon neutral and so we gathered with a free conscience to toast our toes in the fiery glow of Poesy.

Kurilpa’s favourite Mystery Musician, Jem Sparkle, filled the hall with her sweet tunes and rollicking rockers as the poets gathered from near and far to add their kindling to the flames.

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Master of Ceremonies for the Day, Cam Logan stepped forward to ignite the Open Mic and a succession of phrases and images tumbled out of our poets mouths/ snatching at the word-lines /scraps of poetry swirling in the currents like ashes..

First Time Kurilpa reader Brett Cravaliat impressed and left us with the curious mental image of a naked Samuel Pepys..The venerable Eido Boru set out to Offend the Offended and the Begating begun..stepping into the Void, MC Cam’s Voice was Lost & Found, one day playing with cardboard gun, the next a Gold Coast Kardashian..Gentleman poet, Michael Vaughan shared words of wisdom whilst The Reverend‘s warming winter words were Soup for the Soul while the Loaded Dog delivered a timely reminder to Do Unto Others..newcomer Carla Cravaliat rounded the first open mic off to well earned applause, and it was time to eat.

Jem Sparkles

And eat we did, with a generous abundance of Tasties donated by the water rats, and some rather nice wines were on hand as well to go with it as songbird Jem Sparkle trilled.

Happily also, with the kitchen successfully chained off from the mob this month, Crowd Control was no longer a problem for our hard-working kitchen crew.

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After an illuminating presentation on the days featured artist, Stuart Davis, by Visual Arts Director Shane K it was time for our Feature Poet from the rainbow region, David Hallett.

Quietly but clearly spoken, the casualness of his approach/appearance belies the polished professionalism of this powerful poets performance.

As with all good/great poets, David has the difficult task of being sooth sayer/ truth sayer in an Age where “ten million facebook likes can’t be wrong”, and where “Climate Change is a prank phone call” and the “roll call of extinction” expands exponentially every day. This Suburban Shaman reads the signs in the modern wilderness, there are revelations to be found everywhere, even in the simple act of trying to recycle batteries at Aldi. Can Poetry heal the Soul and Save the World? David Hallett for one is willing to give it a try.

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Too soon it was the Master Poets’ last poem, a moving tribute to Byron Bay and its’ healing nonconformist Vibes, celebrating the Power of Place. David gave us a professional performance and some Great Poetry; which kept the audience focused thru-out his set and won an extended round of applause for his efforts at the conclusion..

The Second Open Mic rolled around and was opened by songstress Linda Loop dashing from the Rotunda to sing a heart rending Schubert lieder that echoed agelessly thru the centuries.

Cahala gave us an amusing shaggy dog story concerning his adventures dealing with Coffee Culture & Veganism. later the author expressed doubts to me. Sure it was funny, he worried, but was it really poetry?

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New Kurilpa Poets member Brett returned to the stage

and explained that writing poetry allowed him to vent his Road Rage without feeling the need to reach for a sawn off shotgun. he then proceeded to blow away every highway irritant from Mercedes Benz Nazi’s to the bicycle before going on to explain that four wheel drives are the vehicle of choice for;

“overly hetero man/ where car and size of penis/ go hand in hand.”

Well, hand in glove I would hope, in this age of rampant viral infestations.

MC Cam gave us an absurdist haiku on a Magpie drinking from a styrofoam cup, whilst the Rev extolled the virtues of his Winter Bed.

The day rolled on to it’s conclusion. Before I let the photos do the rest of the talking, I’ll finish with these words of wisdom from Michael Vaughan;

“Withstanding raw, biting severity/

Prevailing through grit and tenacity.”

Linda Loop lilts lovely lieder 

***

-Words; Unckle Rat

-Photos Shane K

*****

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VOX DOMINA 28th May PHOTO REVIEW

VOX DOMINA PHOTO REVIEW*

The Ladies Step Out!

VOX DOMINA

Wow! What a fabulous day at the Olde Croquet Club. Amazing poetry, an eclectic soundtrack, delicious food and, as ever at Kurilpa Poets gatherings, a friendly and diverse mix of interesting People.

MC and organising genius of the day, Fiona Privitera,

Reaching out to the Audience;, Fiona Privitera

had assembled for us an impressive array of poetic talent of the Feminine persuasion.

One such was Mystery Musician Marissa Allen, who hummed and thrummed her eldritch Violin and crooned like an ancient Sybil as the hall quickly filled with Old Friends and New Faces.

Marissa thrums and ullulates!

First up of the Feature Poets, Laura Kenny‘s poetry delivered intimate observations with a Wise Woman’s eye, surveying a World of meaningful minuatae, her observations ranging from homely memories of the ritual of dressing, to the sad existence of the child miners of India.

Laura Kenny

The Open Mic unleashed a diverse motley of voices of every gender for us to consider;

Kurilpa newcomer Suin Ni gave us a vision of predatory Urban Landscapes where, “Leopards are stalked by Developers” (She later told me that the “Leopards” in question could also refer to “Leopard Trees”)

Bohemian poet Bernadette le Goullon making her first appearance at Kurilpa, then told us the tale of her own ongoing battle with Developers to save some trees.

 

 

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Last month’s Feature Poet Savanu warned us that “Life has become a terrible risk!” Cahala came on next to rumble and roar, followed by Sue Dreeves, a vibrant vision in purple. Alas, soft spoken Sue’s voice was drowned out somewhat by the sounds of Dischord drifting in from the “Real World” outside.

Trent then gave us an Epic nursery rhyme (I had trouble finishing it, he later confessed) with lashings of Sex.

The Rev shuffled on stage, broom in hand , to bemoan the fate of the modern “House Husband”. Cam Logan was quick and to the point. Loaded Dog growled a warning. CAVE CANEM, as the Ancients put it. Old Kurilpa-ite Rebekah Copas returned, jaunty Ibis feather in her hair, to speak of “Unseen Beings” and finish up the first open Mic.

Time for a break and whilst Marisa Allen wailed and vibrated, her nameless minion on drums rattled an ominous Thunder.

rattle and thrumm

(tho I personally felt that a simpler drumkit would have worked better with Marisa’s sparse sound.) The poets & friends meanwhile feasted on the fine Spread aesthetically laid out before them by our hard-working and hygienic kitchen crew. Linda and Gil deserve a big call out here for bringing Order out of the kitchen Chaos each month.(Lord knows why, but people just love to loiter and lurk in the kitchen. In future we may have to put up a piece of string to act as an Impenetrable Barrier.)

 

 

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After the break they emerged from the kitchen to demonstrate their own artistic talents. Gil brought a couple of her new paintings along to display and spoke of how her most recent work, a blood-red affair, was inspired by the recent tragic events in Manchester. Songstress Linda Loop later demonstrated her vocal prowess during the Open Mic

Gil brings out her Art vision

by delivering a cascading, note-perfect rendition of the Schubert Lied “To Art” (An die Musik) in faultless German.

Visual Art Supremo and Candid photographer Shane K gave an informative talk on Australian “Modernist”, Margaret Preston, whose paintings and prints had been playing over the Virtual Gallery. I was interested to learn that apparently her husband was one of those rare paragons who gave unwavering support to their partners Artistic aspirations. Should be more of it.

Vanessa Page

At this point I must confess I’ve lost my notes for

Vanessa Page‘s Feature Set. Sorry. (Better than last month though, when I lost ALL my notes. This month I only lost one page. Damn it, it was here this morning!)

But I do recall it was a bloody good set, professionally and passionately delivered, that had the audience’s attention riveted throughout, despite the sounds of Dischord once again drifting in from the Hostile Outside World. If you get the chance to see Vanessa Page live, you won’t be disappointed.

Vanessa delivers

Marisa Allen demonstrating her versatility, then did a set of her poems sans violin. (notes! notes!)

Finally the second Open Mic session arrives, somewhere in the middle of which my notes resume..

 

 

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The REV made a call for “More Beautiful Men and more Powerful Women“, whilst Bernadette returned to explain how her glasses were provided by the Government noting; “that’s how they Control what you see!” After 29 years off alcohol, Savanu gave us a poem about “Harold who hates cats”. Cahala assured us we are “all Masterpieces of Art”, though in my case possibly a “flawed masterpiece”, which is surely better than no masterpiece at all I suppose. Trent gave us an Australian Haiku,

“Bus stop Dreaming”, to which Cam Logan touche’ed with an absurdist “Parsley Haiku”.

Marisa declares and declaims

Finally Shane moved a vote of thanks to our stylish and talented MC, Fi Privetera, to which the audience responded with enthusiastic applause.

All in all a very successful day, here’s hoping we have many more.

As always I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story, but before I do, let me move my own Vote of Thanks to our ever ebullient Art Director, Shane K, who each month takes the time and effort to document our events and produce the fine photographs that appear on this site.

(Historical footnote; When Shane took on the job I told him, “Make us look interesting and attractive!”, and God Bless him, he’s done the best he can with the material he’s got to work with.!)

The Attractive and Interesting Shane K, Fiona Privitera & Friend

WORDS: UNCKLE RAT

PHOTOS: SHANE K

*Note; to enlarge, left click on photos for greater viewing enjoyment.

 To enlarge gallery photos, pause slideshow, then right click.

***

APRIL FOOLERY PHOTO REVIEW

KURILPA POETS

“April Foolery”

Photo review with; SAVANU,

LOC TRAN & QPAPAYANDI

Twas a fine gathering of Poets & Fools, Jesters and Japesters and Jollity in general,

as the Water rats held their APRIL FOOLERY event, their annual salute to the humorous, light-hearted and satirical in Poetry.

Naturally, Poets being what they are, some chose to read poems of Heart break, Desperation and Despair, but we laughed at those too, though the laughs on such occasions were often bitter or hollow.

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At this stage I must confess that while I took quite substantial notes during the Open Mic sessions and thru-out the day generally, alas, they have disappeared somewhere in the unholy depths of my In Tray, where no man goes..no, nor woman neither. Or possibly I lost them during happy Hour later that evening?..

So my review is sketchy at best this month. My apologies to the Open Mic folks. Fortunately we have the candid photography of Visual Arts Director Shane K to fill in the blank spots.

Singer/Songwriter QPapaYandi

Opening the day as we gathered to share our Words & Thoughts was street troubador and latest Water Rat recruit, Nigel QPapaYandi, with an upbeat set of his own thumpin & honkin’ tunes, playing his own material, both recent and new.

Brother Nige’ has played for the Kurilpa Poets a couple of times now, and it seems to me that there’s definitely a growing sophistication in his song-writing abilities. Certainly they were all well received by the steadily filling hall.

A shorter than usual Open Mic session nonetheless displayed much Heart, and anyway, this made some space for the days’ TWO Feature Poets.

First up, unless my memory fails, and it sometimes does, was one of Brisbanes most notoriously individualistic Poets, the ever sardonic SAVANU.

SAVANU practises his rabble rousing!

Despite his years as a fixture on the Brisburg Poetry Scene, this was SAV’s very first Feature Spot, if you can believe that, and he rose to the occasion confidently, delivering an upbeat and entertaining performance.

“I’m out of my HEAD-Head-head..!”, SAV assured us,

as he gave one of his distinctive cackles, the Laugh of the only Sane Man left in a World gone Mad, and by the end of his set his audience was laughing like that too. The Kurilpa Poets are proud to have had the honour of hosting this holy (if not wholly) madman.

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Refreshments were needed after that, and while QPapaYandi chanelled the spirit of early Bob Dylan, the strange images of Aus. Artist Jeffrey Smarts’, hyper-realist 20th century Landscapes of Urban Alienation played across the Virtual gallery.

QPapa sings the blues!

As always the generosity of the Kurilpa Crew provided a varied fabulous feast. While even the Vegans found enough to graze on, other tastes were well catered for and I for one particularly liked those tasty cocktail sausages Jezza bought..yum!

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BUTTERFLY REVOLUTION

A Spectre is stalking the Greenhouse!

After the break the ever eclectic Frank Jordan (a fount of all sorts of unsuspected knowledge)preached the Butterfly Revolution, as mug shots of the usual insect suspects fluttered on the Virtual gallery’s Big Screen. Frank gave a very entertaining and informative talk, peppered with obscure facts and showing us humans how even Kropotkin Ants and Imperialist Butterflies can co-operate! All Power to the Hive Soviets, comrade!

Preaching Insectism to the Masses, revolutionary etymologist, Comrade Frank.

Then it was time for the days main feature Poet, the Runner up in this years Kurilpa Poetry Cup, Mr Loc Tran.

Mr Loc Tran and awestruck audience

Reading selections from his 2011 slim volume of verse, OPEN HEART SURGERY, and other more recent work, he won over the audience from the start and held their attention through out. Loc has an ability to cut straight through with an open hearted commitment to emotional honesty in his Poetry. Here is a poet who understands that the only Great Poetry is the Poetry that speaks as True as you can possibly make it. I’ve sometimes chided Loc that he’s wasting his time with Architecture and should get serious and settle down to his poetry. I’m only half joking.

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The day ran a little late, as it always does when we’re having a good time, and the sun was setting by the time the last poems were read and the last stragglers were making their way to the LIZARD down at West End, for  Happy Hour, to continue the conviviality.

Where possibly I lost my notes..

See you all next month!

Damn! What WAS the next line???!!!

Photos; SHANE K

Words; UNCKLE RAT

**

*

Sam Watson and Tapeloops photo-review

Sam Wagan Watson

MARCH PHOTO REVIEW-

Sam Wagan Watson

& TAPELOOPS

The Tapeloops, March 2017

Yes, the air was redolent with Nostalgia that Sunday afternoon, and the Croquet Club crowded with Poets, old Anarchists and unreconstructed Thought Criminals come to witness the unexpected return of Brisbane’s legendary anarcho-jazz punks, The Tapeloops appearing as the Kurilpa Poets’ March Mystery Musicians, and to sample the cosmopolitan Word Work of debonair Feature Poet, Sam Wagan Watson.

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Not that the ‘Loops themselves were succumbing to nostalgia. Eschewing the guitar driven sound of their “rock” period, and playing only a single “hit” from their back catalogue, the ‘Loops appear to have gone back to their ‘experimental roots’.

Their current format is based around keyboards, trumpet, bass and viola layered over simple but hypnotic rhythm tracks. They deliver not so much songs as musical landscapes over which the poetry of the mad Reverend Hellfire wanders.

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After a well received set it was time for the open Mic. Alas, we then discovered that Cam Logan, our MC for the day, had gone AWOL (he was later discovered hiding in a Goodwill bin in Ipswich)

Without missing a beat Rev H stepped in (no rest for the wicked) and the scheduled programming resumed.

QPapa & onlookers

Amongst the usual suspects hitting the stage during Open Mic that day were;

the very venerable Eido Boru,

the ever erudite Michael Vaughan

Kurilpa Poetry Cup finalist Cahala

man-of-words, Thomas Nelson,

globe trotting Anarcho-Christian gadfly Ciaron O’Reilly,

Kurilpa Elder and Chorister Paul Dobbyn

the inspirationally iconoclastic John Tracey

an extremely bright Judith Light, the unassuming Bill Henderson

brother in arms Nigel QPapaYandi

and fellow Historian Marina rounded the first session off with some of the works of Henry Lawson.

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Time for Tea and the second Tapeloop set. Whilst poets nibbled cake and sipped tea, and the voodooesque Art of Marisol Escobar illuminated the Virtual gallery, the Reverend was let off the leash to do his “wild man of rock” bit, whilst John & Linda dueled with Viola & Trumpet.

Dueling trumpin violets

The Rev was subsequently tethered to a bass guitar for the rest of the set, which finished with the token Tapeloops’ “Hit” song, “The Landlord Said“.

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And so onto the Feature Poet of the day, Sam Watson, a man with LOVE tattooed across the knuckles of one hand, and POEM tattooed across the other, who once described himself as a “Frankenstein of the Dreamtime”.

SWW

Sam’s been writing and reading his dry, wry,poetry for some years now, and has in the process published numerous slim volumes of fine verse and won more awards than I could mention. His restrained yet polished performance gave ample evidence of why this is so and won him warm applause from the audience that day..

Monsters ink stains on the page

Keep an eye out for Sam Wagan Watson’s latest publication,

MONSTER’s INK,

available wherever good poetry is sold.

Sam Wagan Watson, giving ’em the old verbal “One-Two!”

More words, wit and wisdom were written and woven, stuttered and spoken, the muse was awoken, there was plenty of jokin,

now I’m finished with writtin’,

so just look at the pictures

C everybody next month..

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Photos; Shane K

Words; Unckle rat

2017 Kurilpa Poetry Cup Photo Review

Judge Cameron picks a winner..

2017 KURILPA POETRY CUP

PHOTO REVIEW

TWO-TIMING ANDREW SNATCHES TROPHY!

Cup Winner Andrew Ellery at the Mic

And so the fabulous 2017 Kurilpa Poetry Cup rolled round once again, and the olde Croquet Club

on the edge of sacred Musgrave Park

was abustle with activity as the Kurilpa Poets Steering Committee struggled to break in.

Yes, the combination on the gate-padlock had been changed and we hadn’t been informed. Panic reigned briefly as an ant-line of volunteers ferried equipment over the fence whilst others made desperate phone calls or tried to crack the combination lock.

Finally, the Reverend Hellfire issued an Emergency Presidential Decree and a tyre iron quickly resolved the issue.

“Not unlike Alexander the Great“, he quipped, as he cut thru Kurilpa Poets’ very own Gordian Knot.

Reverend Hellfire, afflicted by a fit of Alliteration

Access gained, our team of eager helpers quickly set up the hall, whilst Highgate Hill Songstress, Jem Sparkle,

provided her usual, ebullient soundtrack and Order emerged coyly out of Chaos.

Jem Sparkle and Golden Boy

Thus we were only slightly behind schedule as the first of

Fourteen of Brisbane’s finest poets bravely took to the stage that day

to give it their all and compete for the coveted Cup.

The 2017 KPC contestants were:

Savannu

Geoffrey Evans

Nigel QPY

Padraig

Michael Vaughan

Andrew Ellery

Trent Quinlan

Loc Tran

Kent

Greg Secombe aka The Loaded Dog

Theresa Creed

Fiona Privitera

Cahala

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First up was the ever eccentric Savannu, (our Feature Poet for April). Armed with a plastic bike-horn that reminded me of performing seals and people riding unicycles, Sav assured us that it was all very easy,

“you just go round and round in a circle.. and round and round.. and..” You get the drift..

Stalwart doorkeeper Geoffrey Evans was next up and bemoaned todays, “Trumpet blowing braggadocio”.

A cynical Nigel QPY took the dark view of Nursery Rhymes, assuring us that, “Old Mother Hubbard had her hand in the Till”.

Old Kurilpa associate, Paidraig, came “bearing gifts of Pestilence”,

while the always well-spoken Michael Vaughan shared his whimsical observations.

2016 KPC winner and noted Bad Boy, Andrew Ellery was up next with a harrowing slice of gritty, real-life melodrama, “if you’re a poofta I’ll cut your head off!”

Anita Reed followed, observing how we, “Don’t remember the way they died”.

An edgy Trent Quinlan gave us a tale of Jealousy and Obsession..”Dog Park Rules” he reckoned.

Madcap Architect & Poet Loc Tran brought a poem prepared for a friend’s wedding and warned of the perils of falling “for the first person” (Personally I always fall for the Third Person, Singular.)

Next up was poetic new comer Kent, bravely taking part in his first Kurilpa Cup, and himself no stranger to the Wedding Poem Genre. Greg The Loaded Dog Secombe took a bite at a sterile Society where “only our Fear germinates”.

Descendant of those iconic resistance fighters, the Kalkadoon, Theresa Creed gave us a typically dignified performance, entreating us all to “remember the Great Warriors”.

2016’s Joint/almost KPC winner Fiona Privitera gave us an unquiet poem whispering of “unquiet blood on the killing floor”, before newcomer Cahala delivered a rapid fire allegory of “a Land formerly Free” to wrap up the first round.

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After all that poetry we required refreshment. A famished audience fell on the food, soon demolishing the fabulous spread laid out by our fabulous kitchen crew, while on stage the Sparkly Jem and her lone Golden Boy kicked up a fine sound and the warped kaleidoscopic visions of Surrealist Joan Miro slid across the Virtual Gallery’s big screen like psychedelic play school Octopi.

Fortified we returned to our places to see what Feature Poet and Poetry Cup Judge, Cam Logan, had in store for us.

Bare chested bard Cameron Logan

Now for my money, Cam has one of the best reading voices in the Brisbane Poetry Scene, and he writes some truly blistering satirical poetry when he’s fired up as well. Now combine all this with his tastefully eclectic experiments with sound/song and you’ve got a pretty entertaining and interesting mix. I particularly liked his tale about “Those guys” and the dream adventures of Special Agent K.

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Having demonstrated why he’s a two time KPC winner, Cam then went off to put on his Judges Black Hat for the final round, while Visual Arts director Shane K briefed us on the career of Joan Miro.

Anita goes Cosmic for the final round

Anita Reed got the call first and responded with a poem full of “stellar cosmic musings”. Loc Tran then got up to deliver a poem both passionate and precise, making me wish he’d give up all this architecture nonsense and spend more time working for the Muse.

2017 KPC runner up Loc Tran

Calaha then gave us a diatribe on best revolutionary practise delivered with his usual trademark rapid fire delivery. Trent returned to read us a hospital poem about an “earthbound tripper” before Andrew returned to complete round two with another challenging and powerful poem, “Prick had it coming” was the cold call in the end.

Trent steps up for the Final Round

As the crowd buzzed with anticipation, Judge Cameron and the Reverend conferred. After a brief discussion, Cam stepped forth to deliver his final Verdict.

Andrew Ellery seems overwhelmed by his Victory

After praising all the poets participating and singling out several for special mention, and of course complaining, as judges traditionally do, of the difficulty of his task, Cam announced his decision..

And so the coveted Cup, for the second year in a row, went to a stunned and delighted Andrew Ellery!

The Runner Up (missing out by a cats whisker, or so the Sources say) was.. Loc Tran!

Loc

Amidst cheers Andrew was then bestowed with the Sacred Vessel (said to possess mystical powers!) by the Reverend, who also distributed the traditional loaf of bread, jug of wine and book of verses that form part of his esteemed prize.

Runner Up Loc Tran was also awarded a handsome Cup, tho somewhat smaller and without mystical powers (aside from the ability to command the loyalty of sea creatures!).

The other three finalists, Trent, Anita and Cahala all received handsome certificates commemorating their cultural achievement.

Finalist Calaha rocks out!

There was much more merriment, fun and gossip, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story. So I’ll finish up with a big thank you to all who participated in the Cup and of course, a VERY big thank you to Cameron, who took his judging duties very seriously and did an excellent job. I liked that he took the the time to explain his decisions and to find something to praise in each of the contestants.

the sacred Kurilpa Cup 2017

Next month we’ll be back with the renowned Sam Wagan Watson as feature Poet, and Mystery Musicians, the Tapeloops,

and of course our fabulous Open Mic sessions.

See you there!

See you all next time!

Words-Unckle Rat  Photos- Shane K

*****

1000 PROMISES PHOTO REVIEW

PHOTO REVIEW

mnm-upside-down

1,000 PROMISES

with

Madison Mae Parker & Francesca Willow

The Air was indeed rich with promise that day as the Water Rats gathered in their ancestral home, there to meet their International guests, and to share with them Words and Wine, Visions and Verse, Food and Fun!

qpy-4-and-lin

QPY and Linda Loop in action

We’d booked local troubadour QPapaYandi as Mystery Musician for the occasion and he did not disappoint, with his raucous, rockin’ tunes thumped out on a collection of suitably battered looking acoustic guitars. QPapa adds considerably to his sound with a Bob Dylanesque blues harp hanging ever at the ready around his neck. Joining him unannounced that day, to the delight of the crowd, was Trumpeter extrodinaire, the multi-talented Linda Loop. Passing control of the kitchen over to her loyal lieutenant Gil, she took her trusty Trumpet onstage to shake the rafters and give that extra bit of oomph to QPY’s tunes. It was a happy collaboration.

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Hitting the Open Mic that Day we saw Shane K warning us that the barbarians are coming..or possibly they’ve been delayed, enquiries are being made..Paul Dobbyn cheerily informed us that the Desert is a place he escapes to..first time reader Dave T bravely broke the bad news to his Other, “The Court says I can’t see you”…Marina T woke us all from a deep dream of peace with a rendition of the romantic classic Abou Ben Adhem (May his tribe increase)..

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The Venerable Eido updated us on the Arts Party’s recent successes whilst the Reverend Hellfire saw a worm in every apple..Sue Dreeves (happily uninterrupted by planes, helicopters or clumsy Reverend’s) shared her disbelief that, “the long road which took me here just ends!” The Reverend later helped medicate the ever-effervescent Geoffrey Evans after his empassioned rendition of the poem, “Mania”.

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Greg “Loaded Dog” Secombe was back from Spain and High on Cervantes. First time reader KENT told us of his project to write 100 Poems for his Partner, and shared with us Love Poem number 76, which, I believe, he plans to read at a friends’ upcoming wedding.

feeding-time

Three O’clock, the first open Mic wound up and we dispersed to eat and drink and gossip while QPapaYandi and Linda Loop provided the soundtrack to our conviviality. We dined upon yet another fabulous feast donated by our big-hearted community and assembled by our hard-working kitchen team.

A gentle haze rose above the Rotunda..

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Suitably refreshed we re-gathered to listen to the end of QPY’s set and idly contemplate the eclectic collection of exquisite Japanese prints gathered for our appreciation by the Kurilpa Poets’ enigmatic and erudite Director of Visual Arts.

These ranged from the purely aesthetic to the aesthetic and erotic to the very strangely erotic. I now know more about nineteenth century Japanese Octopus Erotica than I ever dreamt possible, and my dreams were already very strange indeed..

octo-erotica-virtual-gal

The first of our Feature Poets was Martin Porter who had journeyed all the way from the north island of New Zealand to be with us. Martin proved to be a pleasant, unassuming fellow poet whose poems betrayed a subtle humour and a keen eye.

ma-and-screen

I spoke to him later about the poetry scene in his part of the world. They sound quite enthusiastic if not particularly organised in a formal way. However Martin tells me that they’ve done some self-publishing projects that have been quite successful.

mp-the-amiable

the amiable Mr Martin Porter

Then it was time for our much anticipated Feature Act, the combined artistry of wordsmith Madison Mae Parker and dancer Francesca Willow.

mnm-mad-and-fran

Maddie & Fran acquire considerable stature thru performance

Texan Performance Poet Maddie and London-based dancer and choreographer Francesca have been touring the world with their “One Thousand Promises” show. Maddie (or “Mad” to her friends) declaims her passionate polemics, whilst Francesca interprets in writhing movement her every nuance, all accompanied by a recorded background soundtrack of their own original music. It’s a powerful mix.

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Both are very young, very professional

and very committed performers.

I was interested to note when talking to them afterwards,

just how short both girls were when I was standing next to them. No, neither would ever be called “tall”, yet on stage they both seem to acquire considerable stature. I put this effect down to the power of their personalities and performances.

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Mad’s words spill out/Churches of ambiguity/Van Gogh’s mutilated ear/unfinished apologies/wine in the vein and the broken body of a shared language/reasons not to kill yourself, primary one being the cat has to be fed (I know that one!). Meanwhile Francesca writhes and flexes, her body emotes while her face remains an impassive mask, the ancient Dichotomy of the Dance..

mnm-fran-in-light-border

Both gave large, brave performances in the intimate context of the Croquet Club Hall. Francesca in particular, I felt, had a difficult task; It must have been a challenging space for a dancer to work in; not safely up on a stage, illuminated on a pedestal and safely distanced from the audience. No, she had to work on the floor at our feet amongst the chairs. Like a true professional she rose to the challenge. Respect.

mnm-stepping-out

The second Open Mic session was opened by Gerard who reminded us it was Halloween and proceeded to entertain us with some timely Zombie haiku. Continuing in the festive spirit, the Rev shared some tips on how to Kill a Vampyre,

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and later wrapped up the session with a spirited reading of absent Water Rat Michael Vaughan’s thrilling “action-sonnet” on the dramatic forced landing of

US AIRWAYS FLIGHT 1549“.

In retrospect it was perhaps not the most appropriate topic to read before our jet-setting, international guests, but they took it with good grace. Marina took us back to our roots with Clancy of the Overflow.

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The afternoon wore into evening and the Sun dipped towards the horizon.We bade our International guests “Fair Travelling”, and then, tired but happy, the Water-Rats made their way back to their burrows for another thirty days.

See you all next month for

the Kurilpa Poets’ End-of-Year-Gig,

which is also, coincidentally,

our Tenth Anniversary!

Woo-hoo!

Words; Unckle Rat

Photos; Shane K

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The Water Rats Picnic; Photo review

Who's the leader of the Gang???

Who’s the leader of the Gang??? Kurilpa Rat!

The Water Rats Picnic

Versifying at the West End Festival,

Saturday 29th October, 2016

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And so we Few, we Band of Brothers, took to the mean and gritty streets of West End to bring Poetry back to the People.

There had been some unfortunate scratchings to our line-up, and it was now down to a mere handful of bedraggled Survivors to uphold the good name of the Kurilpa Poets.

The Big Four taking the microphone that day were none other than stalwart Kurilpian Geoffrey Evans, the Venerable Eido Boru, Greg “The Loaded Dog” Secombe (back after an absence) and of course myself, the Reverend Hellfire. (No show without Punch).

The Loaded Dog barking at Windmills

The Loaded Dog back to bark at West End Windmills

Accompanying us that day was Secretary John Treason, acting as both official photographer and Stage Manager. John had wisely arranged to have the poet’s stage moved from the somewhat isolated location of the people’s park and out onto the stage by the Big Lizard, in full public view, where we were able to annoy and provoke many more people.

An Inspirational looking Geoffrey Evans

An Inspirational looking Geoffrey Evans

Actually it was rather like Theatre-in-the-round – you had to keep rotating to address segments of the audience, meanwhile the microphone lead wrapped around you like a mummy’s bindings.

Enter the Venerable Eido

Enter the Venerable Eido

Naturally also, there were hold-ups with the usual technical problems you get performing at festivals; microphones failing and power sources suddenly cutting off and grumpy stage hands acting like it’s all your fault somehow..ah I love show biz!! I’m an artist so I sneak off to get a gin and tonic while others sort out the mundane tech issues. Eventually we had sound and we got to rant and strut our fretful hour upon the stage. It was indeed a lovely day to be declaiming our Wild and Wacky Words to the unsuspecting populace. A surprising number of passers-by and casual sitters-on-bums actually paid attention to us like they were really listening!. Some even smiled at us and laughed at our jokes!.

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A little bit of Theatre and clowning keeps the Vibe up-beat; Kurilpa Rat makes a furtive appearance..a Manic Geoffrey is injected with Medicinal Holy Water..Eido is deadpan droll as a Troll as always..

We wind up just in time to miss being drowned-out by what appears to be a Mexican Mariachi band celebrating the Day of the Dead. Ah West End!

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The Water Rats scurried home, tired but happy. The Carnival, for this year, was definitely over.

Thanks to Robin Taubenfield for inviting us to appear at the West End Festival.

Viva Kurilpa!

Viva Kurilpa!

Viva Kurilpa!

Words; Rev Hellfire

Pictures; John Treason

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Photo Review; SUBVERSIFY with Jono SRI

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Green Performance Poet Jonothan Sri rouses the rabble!

SUBVERSIFY/DIVERSIFY/REVERSIFY/DEFY

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World”

-PB Shelley

And so the refuseniks and no-good-niks of the Kurilpa Sector gathered in subVERSivE conclave at the Old Croquet Club beneath the sinister trees of Musgrave Park. There in the shadows beneath the spreading Tower Blocks (whose concrete goose-stepping across the suburb surely embodies the March of Capitalism Triumphant!)the Poetic Underground prepared for their campaign of Cultural Terrorism. Poets, lesbians, drug fiends and vegetarians, many wearing sandals, or sporting the Black Beard of Anarchism, muttered mad maledictions against the monopolistic Molochs, the Mighty Money Men who Make and Shake. Yes, these miserable malcontents clearly cared nothing for the delights of Progress or Growth!

Incendiary odes were armed, Subversive sonnets were suggestively wired to alarm clocks. Secret codes were maliciously embedded in innocent Bush Ballads. All was ready for the Revolution..

Reverend Rat

Reverend Rat

Unfortunately, fearing capture by enemy agents, I swallowed my notes from that afternoon and so I’m going to have to reconstruct mainly from memory here..

Our favourite Mystery Musician, JEM SPARKLES, graciously stepping in to replace this months missing act, opened the show with a thump and a growl.. Yes Jem was all sparkles and glitter as she played a mix of her own original songs (all hit material) and a selection of Seventies Jukebox Greats. Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

Jem Sparkles & Glitters!

Jem Sparkles & Glitters!

After a brief reflection on the ethics of politicians (they haven’t any) by the Reverend Hellfire, the Open Mic got rolling. Hitting the stage that day were;

Michael Vaughan (back after an absence),

old stager Geoffrey “the Gatekeeper” Evans,

Nigel De Free,

John Tracey with a few thoughts on the Greens,

Newcomer, the stylishly dressed Hugo Russell,

not actually present, TC ‘s poem was read by Geoffrey,

Lou, a mate of Bob Mud (Hey Bob! Come and visit us!)

Kurilapa Poets elder Paul Dobbyn,

Long time listener, First time reader REB got up and impressed us with a powerful Rap piece.,

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Another first time reader, Marina, took us back to school

with a stirring rendition of the classic Banjo Patterson

Man from Snowy River. The Rev promised to respond next month by reading something by Henry Lawson! Lovely Linda Loop emerged from the kitchen to chant the Lyrics from the Tapeloops  1984 hit song, “The Landlord Said” with it’s concluding line “All Houses should be Free!” Bloody Anarchists!

The enigmatic genius behind the lens, Shane K, in a rare photo portrait!

The enigmatic genius behind the lens, Shane K, in a rare photo portrait!

I think there were one or two more readers, and a couple of prospective poets were allowed to slip through the net, but only after they were made to promise to read something next time.

Jem laughs

Jem laughs

After a suitably refreshing break and another great set from Jem Sparkle that earned her loud cheers of appreciation,

we moved on to the afternoons main act, the much anticipated appearance by our duly elected local Councillor,

Green activist and Performance Poet, Jonothan SRI.

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We invited Jono not only because we appreciate his grass-roots style of, community based political activism but because he has eschewed the usual process of packaging himself as a normal, suit wearing politician and is proud to both call himself a performance poet, and for his attempts to mix his poetry with his activism.

Jono read for about 20 minutes, delivering a consistently powerful set that kept the audience attention throughout. As a poetic performance it was a truly impressive, professional set. His poems were all internalised so he could concentrate on delivery. He spoke well and clearly, bringing just the right emotion to his pitch without going overboard into the ranting which so many younger poets mistake for passion.

As an exercise in political polemics, to me it works, but then Jono and I are coming from pretty much the same place it seems, so I have no idea what a raving right wing bastard would make of it all.

The images and ideas were expressed with clarity, and rather than being dogmatic, to much of the verse was a “questioning” quality. This is Poetry that asks Why? and asks you to help the poet work out the answer.

To paraphrase good old ratbag, Walt Whitman,

“The Age of Politicians & Priests is Over! The Poets shall be the prophets of the Future”

The usual crew of loiterers and malingerers

The usual crew of loiterers and malingerers

All in all, we took a few bricks from the wall,

the Revolution isn’t over but we had a great afternoon,

with a really positive Community Vibe. We shared words and bread and wine, visions and ideas.

Enjoy the photos.

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-Words by; Unckle Rat

-Images by Shane K

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IS THIS LOVE? -July PHOTO REVIEW

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The Doctor is in! Matt Hetherington 

KURILPA POETS JULY PHOTO REVIEW;

“IS THIS LOVE??”

Sure it F**kin’ is!

The Rev, Jem and Linda build a Ring of Fire!

The Rev, Jem and Linda build a Ring of Fire!

“Any Man who can safely drive whilst kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”- Albert Einstein

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“Love“, the wise old, bearded-philosopher & pervert, Plato, once declared,” makes Poets of us All!” and it certainly seemed there was no lack of Inspiration at the Kurilpa Poets July Event, where for once, the day’s designated Theme was not completely ignored by all and sundry!

Looks like the Love Poem still has Legs!

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So after a suitably sultry opening set from smouldering songstress Jem Sparkle (Solo on this occasion)

a scarlet clad Rev Hellfire kicked off the first Open Mic by reading absent Water-Rat, Michael Vaughans

charming sonnet on memories of partners past. (As always Michael likes to bracket his poems with quotes, in this case from Albert Einstein. See above.) Wal, veteran of the old Bohemian Cafe Poetry Scene, on the other hand, candidly confessed he was not a morning person, and apt to crush the skulls of innocent pigeons before his first coffee.

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Geoffrey Evans turned in a bravura performance, assuring us that while Men may fall in Love thru the Eyes, Women fall in Love thru the Ears. (Surely every ugly Poet’s Hope!)

Tony Rice pondered whether we may one day live to see the edge of the Universe, whilst newly elected Committee member, the sternly sentient Eido Boru, referred us back to Einstein again.

Ooops! (Noises off)

Ooops! (Noises off)

Sadly Sue Dreeves Dawn-drenched verse was interrupted by the Reverend’s clumsy offstage antics, as he inexplicably made repeated attempts to destroy Jem Sparkles guitar. (Big MEA CULPA from the Rev here Ladies! Sheer clumsiness I’m afraid!) Fortunately attendants swiftly moved him out of the disaster area whilst they swept up the broken glass, and the show rolled on.. Thomas Nelson went on to assure the Object of his Poem’s Desire that “You are mine alone tonight” whilst the Kurilpa Poet’s Cultural Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Cam Logan, told us the tale of Benny’s sentimental clarinet.

My notes for Kurilpa Cup Winner Fiona Privitera say only,

Celery“. Not sure. It might be a Vegan thing.

"She's very forgiving," explains the Rev

“She’s very forgiving,” explains the Rev

Narelle Kinneally Tolstaff then made a reappearance at Kurilpa after a gap of..oh, lets say far too long. Good to see you back dear.

Newcomer Alice sashayed stylishly on stage to deliver a most confident reading, whilst Water Rat Elder, Paul Dobbyn, popped down from his Uni-Bomber style log cabin in the bush to deliver his latest poetic manifesto.

Nigel Q PapaYandi impressively improvised an impromptu Revolutionary Love poem on the spot , whilst as always SAVANNU‘s poems seem to have the last laugh, and it’s a very strange laugh indeed. Gerrard made some public spirited announcements and Shane discoursed learnedly on this months forgotten artistic genius, Grace Cossington Smith.

Linda Loop with Grace Cossington Smith's iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

Linda Loop with Grace Cossington Smith’s iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

Then it was time for the Refreshment Break whilst the sweetly seductive Jem sang her second set, at one stage joined by lovely Linda Loop on Trumpet and the Reverend on backing vocals (making up for his earlier misdeeds) for a rousing version of that old Johnny Cash classic, Ring of Fire.

Burn! Burn! Burn!

Burn! Burn! Burn!

Verandha Crew

Verandha Crew

Then it was time for our Feature Poet, the “Doctor of Love”, Matt Hetherington, newly shaven like a Buddhist monk (probably comes from writing all those Haiku) to deliver his set. After a serious of exquisitely crafted haiku, and similar minimalist poetic pieces, and learning that he likes his Lovers to lie on his left side, we were treated to some sensitive poems on his 9 year old daughter. (Matt shared his plan with us to chart her childhood by writing a series of such poems, producing one every twelve months or so. )Some of the glorious simplicity of the childs world was captured in the sample that we heard from this ongoing project.

Poet, Luv Doctor and part-time taxi driver, Matt Hetherington

Poet, Luv Doctor and part-time taxi driver, Matt Hetherington

Matt is a natural gentleman and his poems are like himself; intelligent, witty, wry, sometimes angry, mostly amused, sensitive yet displaying a quiet strength, self-contained and yet also caring. These are all qualities, it struck me, that are necessary for writing the perfect Love Poem.

Marketing Time!

Marketing Time!

A sombre Matt H contemplates his audience

A sombre Matt H contemplates his audience

The Second Open Mic Set saw New comer Janeen join the ranks of the Water Rats, to contribute her verse dissecting an “emotional relationship”. Or it might have been an “emotional relation-grip“..my notes aren’t clear at this point.

Cam returned to read a poem on one leg. Again, not sure why.

It’s like that Celery thing. My notes are largely disintegrated from this point, having unaccountably been soaked in wine.

Linda Loop emerged once more from the Kitchen to sing in pure tones  acapella, “Das Verlassene Madlein” an ancient Lied.

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Also adding Musical Content was a surprise appearance at the end of the day by local “living musical legend”, Ms Dawn Daylight.

Dawn Daylight

Dawn Daylight

It’s always an experience to hear Dawn sing and this was no exception. The audience was blown away by her powerful voice, as indeed was the Rev, who promptly booked her to feature as Mystery Musician in September.

Dawn Daylight sings

Dawn Daylight returns to Kurilpa in September

And so the Occasion ended amidst plentiful Vibes of Peace Love and Serenity. The Water Rats, Tired but Happy, scurried off to their various burrows for the night

to write more verse by candlelight no doubt, whilst the more nocturnally inclined adjourned as always to the Rumpus Room next to the Big Lizard in West End to continue the good fellowship.

As always I’ll let the pictures do the rest. Ciao till next time.

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-words by Unckle “Can’t decipher my notes” Rat.

-photos by Shane “Colourblind!!?” K.

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PS..

AUGUST & SEPTEMBER

The Water Rats will be having a break on Sunday August 28th, to show the QLD Poetry Festival our support.

Instead we’ll be helping to co-host their Indigenous Breakfast reading happening that morning at the Croquet Club.

We’ll be posting more on this before the event or you can check the QLD Poetry Festivals website for further details.

The Kurilpa Poets will be returning in September to our usual spot on the last Sunday of the month.

In fact we’ve got a really great Spring show coming up on

SEPTEMBER 25th, 2pm with a special, celebrity Politician/Poet Feature Poet who’s sure to cause a ruckus!!

Who?

Stay tuned for further details!

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“THE SERENITY” -JUNE PHOTO REVIEW

A calm crowd attends the serenity

A calm crowd attends the serenity

Kurilpa Poets June Photo review-The Serenity!

Ah! The Serenity!

Surely there was a blissful aura of good vibrations emanating from the old Musgrave Park Croquet Hall last June 26th, when the Kurilpa Poets and Friends gathered once more in convivial conclave to celebrate the Power of the Word.

Even the challenging and confronting subject matter of Feature Poet, Fiona Privitera‘s set of poems that day, did not dampen the overall Vibe. Rather they added a bittersweet tint to the Whole, a timely reminder perhaps, like the skeleton at a Roman Feast, that the pleasures of life are fleeting and hard won, to be treasured whenever they’re found.

But I’m “waxing poetic” here, as did indeed also the many and diverse array of Poets who stood up to take the stage during Open Mic.

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Warming us up was the Reverend Hellfire with a heart-felt paean to the comforts of his bed in winter. Lazy bastard!

Geoffrey Evans offered his reminiscences of 1974 and Cyclone Tracey’s devastation. Newcomer Michael presented us with an uplifting sonnet assuring us that we cannot fail.

Local sage Tom Nelson instructed us to “close your eyes and see” whilst last month’s fabulous Feature Poet, Cam Logan, unleashed his satirical reflections on a vegan meal and a leather jacket.

Talented poet Claire Fitzpatrick shared how it felt

placing her hand on the Earth in a field of Nails.

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Michael Vaughan‘s classy sonnet wondered whether the price of serenity is placidity, whilst “Not-only-a-bush-poet” Anita Reed reminded us that “the stars will remain and we’ll leave no trace”.

New comer Robert Lort delivered a strangely surrealistic piece of poetry for our enjoyment, whilst Linda Loop serenely sang her Astrologically tinged song acapella, “Night of the Zenith”.

Nigel QPapa delivered an old rap piece of his on the joys of being arrested in QLD, whilst suspected communist sympathiser Gerard wistfully wondered

“Where is the Common Wealth?”

Arts Party number-cruncher and itinerant Buddhist Monk Eido Boru brought Open Mic to a close with an impassioned plea for our preferences in the Senate.

The Great Jeff Usher

The Great Jeff Usher

Whilst Jazz and Blues giant Jeff Usher then took his place at the keyboards for his second musical set, Kurilpa Poets Visual Arts Supremo Shane K took us thru the life and works of this month’s Virtual Gallery artist, J.B. Kitaj.

The rise of fascism by JB Kitai

The rise of fascism by JB Kitai

Then Jeff Ushers’ subtle fingers set the sonic dial to Supreme Serenity as the poets ate and chatted and ambled peaceably upon the lawn. Top marks to the kitchen crew for once again putting together a splendid repast! And thanks also to everyone who brought food to contribute to the community feast.

Gil & Lin, Kitchen maestros

Gil & Lin, Kitchen maestros

It was just as well we were all well fed and soothed and serene by the time it came to facing the emotional rigours of the Feature Set!

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For Fiona Privitera then quietly took the stage and bravely delivered a harrowing set of sometimes deeply disturbing poems, exploring

a cluster of topics centering around child abuse, family dysfunction, societal violence et al. Never, I think, have I seen a Kurilpa audience so riveted by a reading. At one point I thought I’d have to flee myself, lest I give way to an unseemly display of public weeping.

Poems on such topics can easily descend into self pity or agit-prop sloganeering. Fe avoided both traps, delivering her words with a simple, honest clarity that gave her poems a strange sort of unassailable strength.

At the end of her set the audience showed their sincere appreciation with heartfelt applause. It felt like the audience and poet had been through a lot together.

But Life goes on. “Nothing dries faster than a tear”, an ancient philosopher once declared. So we pulled ourselves together and launched into the second Open Mic set. More brave, honest and wise words were spoken then, before the day was done.

But..Alas, I’ve lost my notes!

You’ll just have to look at the pictures.

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Words; Unckle Rat

Pictures; Shane K