Skip to main content

Poem by John Tranter

Eyewear is pleased to feature one of the true pioneers of online poetry this Friday, and one of the English-speaking world's most active, engaged and compelling contemporary poetic talents.

John Tranter (pictured) is the founding editor and publisher of the online literary magazine Jacket, at http://www.jacket.zip.com.au/ and is the leading Australian poet of his generation. For more than thirty years he has been at the forefront of the new poetry, questioning and extending its procedures.

He was born in Cooma, New South Wales, in 1943. He attended country schools, and took his BA in 1970 after attending university sporadically. He has worked mainly in publishing, teaching and radio production. He has lived in London (1966-67) and Singapore (1971-72), and now lives in Sydney.

He has published many volumes of poetry, including Urban Myths: 210 poems: New and Selected. A selection of his poems appears in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (New York, second edition, 1988). His recent books include The Floor of Heaven (Harper Collins, 1992), a book-length sequence of four verse narratives, At The Florida (UQP, 1993), which won the Melbourne Age Poetry Book of the Year award for 1993; Late Night Radio (1998) and several from Salt. He compiled and edited (with Philip Mead) the new Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (1992), published in Britain and the US in 1995 as the Bloodaxe Book of Modern Australian Poetry.


Care and Feeding of a Small Poem

Allow enough sunlight. Ignore
that traffic, it’s going nowhere.
Wear something nice. When I smile,

smile. Write an entry in your diary
that will display, to future generations
of grieving fans, your fastidious manners.

Don’t let on how you grovelled
and sobbed when you were ten.
Stay away from violent or distressing movies.

A special recipe would go well here:
the baked eel you fondly imagine
everyone likes. And a watercolour,

or, failing the talent for that, a photograph
of a child on an empty, rain-soaked beach.
Write about how you live life to the full,

despite the migraine and the panic attacks.
Now secure all this in a locked box
and throw away the key.


poem by John Tranter
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!