Friday, September 25, 2009

The Dot Special

Someone in the Weekend Australian Review recently panned Dorothy Porter’s The Bee Hut, saying that many of the poems were simplistic (you don’t need a doctorate in the Towers of Mani to understand them), repetitive (quick, someone tell *Homer et al.), and lacking in luminosity (hello, it’s a book not a Dolphin torch)

As they say on TSFKA, one man’s Bukowski is another woman’s Blake. I think Porter’s poems are more shining and lyrical than Apollo’s lyre. This book is grouse, peoples

I can't give you a whole poem, due to copyright, so I’m going to read some of my favourite lines from The Bee Hut. (Please turn off your mobile phones or I will shoot you)

Because I love synchronicity, I will start with this:

How can I write
On water?

Do the fish
Do the giant squid


Every poet wants to write the poem
that penetrates
with the ice-cold shock
of the Devil’s prick.

The poem that will fuck you awake
or kill you.

(from THREE SONNETS, I. Is it not the thing?)

and all my living
and all my dead
run up my arms
like squirrels.


No poet
dead or alive
should rot
with their parents.


We were never married, Dido.
Believe me, I’m sad too that you can’t
sweeten me and I can’t comfort you.


Starched hospital gown.
Frozen present tense.
Why am I smelling


* as in legendary ancient Greek epic poet, not as in yellow dude with doughnut


Loose Shunter said...

Squib, fortunately, we can answer Dorothy's question vis-a-vis the giant squid with a 'no'. Because if squid could read, we'd either be in big trouble, or I'd have needed to add a squid to the MS Paint artwork.

squib said...

I've heard that squid are very intelligent. I think about that every time I eat spaghetti marinara

squib said...

I mean squib, dammit!

squib said...

I mean squid

oh man, I'm losing the plot

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

squid are very intelligent

Compared with what, molluscs?

Although I do like calamari.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Maybe you should lay off the early morning gin, Squib

squib said...

It's the 'd' and the 'b'. They look a lot alike, Ramon

I was looking for evidence of squid IQ on New Scientist but I cam across something more interesting:

The male giant squid has to use a puny 15-gram brain to coordinate 150 kilograms of weight, 10 metres of length and a 1.5-metre-long penis," he says. "He physically plunges this penis into the female's arms, which are rather unfortunately right next to her beak. Because he is coordinating so much with so little, I think occasionally bits get chewed off when they inadvertently get too close to the beak."

Perseus said...

At least the squid is gettin' some.

I like Porter, but not enough to purchase her books, but, after your recommendation, maybe I will this time.

Puss In Boots said...


I still can't get into this poetry thing. Particularly ones where it seems the writer wanted to just write a story, but lacked the creativity and/or dedication to do so. I hate poems where sentences run over multiple lines.

I like pretty much all other forms of culture. Opera, ballet, literature, art, theatre, etc. But no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into poetry.

Perseus said...

Puss - get some Dylan Thomas or Lord Byron into your hands and read it out loud. Poetry always seems to work best out loud. The words become more powerful or something.

But just like you don't get poetry, I don't get ballet or 'modern dance'. Just because they can do something 'amazing' with their bodies, doesn't mean it's entertaining or fun to watch. I just have no interest in watching people dance. That's why I can't tolerate all those 'so you think you can dance' shows as well. It doesn't matter how good a dance move is, it bores me.

(But, if drunk enough, I do enjoy doing the Nutbush)

squib said...

At least the squid is gettin' some.

So, you're getting to the stage where you'd be happy with a cannibal?

Puss, I still don't get football

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how good a dance move is, it bores me.

Even that acrobatics based stuff that looks like it belongs in the circus?

Puss In Boots said...

Are you suggesting I do, squib?

squib said...

No Puss, I was just speaking for myself

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I read that as

"Are you suggesting I do squib?"

squib said...

Now, who needs to lay off the gin

Puss In Boots said...

Oh, right. I thought you might have been insinuating that since I couldn't appreciate poetry, that I was some bogan, Haviana-wearing, football appreciator. And I was pretty sure my hatred of all sports was well known here.

Joseph Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
squib said...

Footy was just the first cultural thing that popped into my head

Let me try again

Puss, I still don't get puppet shows

I mean they are clever and creative but I still find them as boring as batshit

catlick said...

As a lesbian it is a mortal sin to dis Dorothy Porter. Though I admired The Monkey's Mask, I find this stuff a bit Ern Malley. I prefer Dorothy Parker. Puppet shows are super creepy, and ballet sends me to sleep.

eat my shorts said...

But no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into poetry.

Just like me and peas. Those little green gobs find their way onto my plate every single time.

I don't get peas at all. And I've tried, believe me.

(No I will not give peas a chance.)

Melba said...

Pretty words, to be sure, to be sure.

I really can't get into poetry either. I like to be immersed in the goodness for a little longer.

patchouligirl said...

Try the peas frozen EMS. My husband and 2 yr old love them that way, just like a little green ice block. The minted ones are nice too. Its brussel sprouts I can't handle, the taste like a fart and are a real dooner lifter.

I like short poems but the longer ones are too much of an exercise in concentration for me and I give up by the third stanza.

Do you think Perseus begins drafting his weekend reports while he is still in the moment? We should have bets on how this date went.

eat my shorts said...

Try the peas frozen EMS. My husband and 2 yr old love them that way, just like a little green ice block.

Yeah. Tried that. Eurgh. They are NOT just like a little green ice block. Lies. All lies.

I'm nearly thirty years old and heaps stubborn, I've tried everything to beat the peas, because I like to win, but I've come to the conclusion that they're just evil. Evil.

Brussels sprouts are ace. If they make you fart, you're not cooking them right.

Or just be done with it and fart. I draw the line at lighting them though.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I draw the line at lighting them though.

You're all class, EMS.

eat my shorts said...

You're not the first to tell me so, Ramon.