Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calling all poets

On the fifteenth day after the start of the Chinese New Year, streets throughout China are festooned in traditional lanterns. Crowds wander the streets to read poetry written on the glowing paper. Some of the poems are riddles to tease, others wishes for prosperity or tributes to love. In some parts of China, young men who write their poems on a lantern may find themselves admired by appreciative young ladies, thus the alternative name for this day, Chinese Valentine’s Day.

In the spirit of poetry and love, The Basement will become host to hundreds of tiny lanterns during the run of Lantern, my new play. From June 8-13 the public will be able to admire poems on paper lanterns, written by poets in Wellington (where the play premiered in April) and Auckland. They will then be able to immortalise their own thoughts in poetry and scribe the results on a paper lantern, to be displayed throughout the run of Lantern.

I am wanting poems from all and sundry!! The paper lanterns are tiny so couplets are ideal. Or you could just send me extracts of longer poems. Please be aware that due to the challenges of writing poetry on a small 3-D object, formatting is likely to be lost! Poems emailed to will be written on a lantern and posted for all to see; alternatively if you are in Auckland you can come to the play and write your own!! I'll bring some lanterns with me to the next couple of Poetry Lives (Tuesdays from 8 at The Thirsty Dog). But communications via electronic media are welcome; I'll take photos and post them somewhere at a later date. Make sure your name is attached somewhere so it can be written on the lantern too.

Send poems from now until June 12 - the earlier, the better.

The Lantern Project installation is free to view whenever The Basement foyer is open, box office open 1 hour prior to show.
Lantern is part of STAMP at THE EDGE and is being staged with the assistance of Auckland City Arts Alive. For more information, go to

Lantern , The Basement June 8 -13, 8:00 pm as part of STAMP at THE EDGE
Book at
(09) 357 3355
Lower Greys Ave, Auckland CBD

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Three poems from Metonymy

Day 10


push and pull of bodies
breathheld suspense
of clouds
of fragments.

walls do listen here
ears tightened
to suck in our
disembodied confidences

a moment of tenuous
connection: a held glance
a line drawn tight
then let go

a kite quivers in mid air
watches its suspended flight

Day 11


you remind me of
a fly caught between walls
a joyful violence
to the way you lurch

from verb to verb
landing on nouns to
taste them with feet.
inside this kitchen

is a place renamed paradise.
breathe in. breathe out.
the bag fills
and deflates.

keep going
and you might get out.

Day 27


When I’m with you
the hours ribbon
like roads
to the horizon

clouds powder
the wrinkled green
cleavage of hills
golden leaves fall.

When I’m with you
I see a mountain
grazed with light

eyes closed
against frost.