I’ve been lucky enough to have a poem, titled ‘self’, published in issue 1 of Marrickville Pause. There’s many talented poets featured here and I can personally vouch for the talent of the editor, so you should definitely check it out. Hit the link or find a direct path to my work here.
It’s a sanctuary,
it’s an oasis,
it’s a retreat from the dark.
Like a pause-inducing déjà vu
or striking premonition,
Somewhere in the brain,
or the heart,
or the soul,
there’s a reason.
it’s what you look like
when you smile,
it’s the way your eyes shine
at small pleasures.
What do you all love?
Why do you care for it?
What is attraction, desire?
What does it mean to be mature?
How do I get everything right?
What are the consequences of my decisions?
There are so many secrets
I don’t know.
Recently I was lucky enough to be interviewed on Jade Raykovski’s blog. Jade is a talented writer and budding author, currently working on her first children’s novel.
I talked about why I write and what I like to write and what I hope to achieve in the future. Find the original publication here and check out Jade’s blog. She writes and shares many interesting things aside from focusing on her own work so signing up for her newsletter would be a valuable exercise.
Here is the transcript of the interview:
Tell me about your blog, Poignant Things. Why did you decide to start it and for how long has it been running?
I created it about three years ago while I was still in University. There were a few major reasons: it would persuade me to write more regularly, it would test the waters to see if a diverse range of readers liked my writing, and it would provide me with a good outlet to vent my sadness, frustration, happiness, or whatever else it may be. It was a way of telling people close to me how I was feeling without really ‘telling’ them.
‘For those who read with music in their ears’ – where did the blog’s tagline come from?
This stems from what I draw a lot of inspiration from. Music is a big influencer on me. I seem to be very sensitive to the tones and moods that music can convey. Often, I’ll listen to an instrumental track and from that, a whole idea for a poem or story will come to me. Usually I’ll begin writing in that very moment, responding to the flow of the song. It’s the same when I’m reading. Commonly I’ll have music on while I’m reading and the passages, be they dramatic or melancholy, will be heightened by certain songs, similar to what happens in films. The right music in a film can turn a good scene into an iconic scene. So, the tagline is saying this blog is for people like me, and I hope people can find the right song to listen to while they read each poem.
What motivates you to write, particularly poetry?
Mostly I write for my own self-interest. I doubt there’d ever be a huge audience for the poetry I write. A lot of the time it’s to process my thoughts and dump my stress onto the page and out of my body, but also it’s to help anyone who’s reading it who may be struggling with similar emotions. It’s quite normal in teenage and young adult years to experience a lack of direction, frustration, and depressive emotions because trying to sort your life out is very hard! Sometimes, people think they’re alone in what they’re feeling but it simply isn’t true and I hope people realise this when they read some of my pieces.
On the other hand I write to get better so I can one day become a published novelist. At the moment, I write poetry because it’s such a good medium for the emotional venting I spoke about and I find it quicker to craft a poem than a story because poetry is so fluid, there’s no real rules or restrictions. Any style of poetry can work if executed well. I also love the ‘snapshot’ element of poetry. It captures single moments, specific images that can hold a lot of weight and there’s something comforting about staying contained within smaller scenes.
Are there any other projects you’re working on, apart from the blog?
Yes, I would dearly love to publish an illustrated collection of poetry one day. I’m in the process of trying to get enough good poems together and I’ll submit some of them to journals or competitions to hopefully get some feedback and guidance on their quality. As for the illustrations, if you know any fantastic pencil illustrators send them my way! Beyond this, I have two or three novel ideas which I’m quietly confident will work if I’m good enough to write them well (a big if!) They’ll all have a strong foundation in family, relationships, the environment, and morality. Oh, and they’ll probably all be fairly dark/moody.
What was the first piece you had published? What did that feel like?
I might go back further than that and talk about when I first received recognition for writing. In high school, I won the senior poetry competition for NAIDOC week. The principal read my work at the school assembly and even on a local radio station I think. Obviously I was very pleased with that and it was the moment when I thought to myself that perhaps I could pursue writing further, both creatively and professionally. It also taught me more about myself. I was obviously relieved to find out I was someone who could show compassion for others, balance cultural sensitivities, and see things from a perspective completely different from my own. It may sound strange, but up until then I wasn’t sure if I understood these things. Now, I have a few little pieces published and am motivated to achieve bigger goals. I’m also writing for a living as a copywriter so I’m extremely happy that I’ve been able to do what I love and get something out of it.
Do you have any advice for other emerging writers, particularly those who are just starting out and may not have anything published yet?
Hopefully they’re already avid readers but if they aren’t they should start working on a reading list. Read as much as possible and try to encompass a diverse range of writers. Reading widely is great for learning, vocabulary, and inspiration. As for writing, regularity is key. Write as often as possible in conjunction with your reading and you will get better. Also, it’s important to find your niche. Find what inspires you and find what excites you the most when writing. For me, music and film inspire me and I really enjoy writing pieces strong in imagery and emotion. For someone else they may find they’re inspired by the study of history and adore writing fantasy. But that’s the important thing, write what you enjoy and never be afraid to submit your work to the numerous competitions and publications that are still very much alive in the industry. Know one thing for sure; rejection will happen and more than once. This does not mean you’re a bad writer.
A white girl
with some White Girl.
Her face was so sweet.
her eyes still twinkled.
there was nowhere in the world
she felt she belonged.
On a lounge
He takes off his pants
and hikes up her skirt.
They were just Kids.
He used her spare key to go into her apartment while she was at work. In the fridge he left a fresh punnet of blueberries. Two weeks later he came back and they were mouldy. It was obvious she’d been there, new washing on the airer. She just didn’t want anything that came from him anymore. Suddenly he realised it might truly be over. He knew they were her favourite and he knew she hated wasting things. The mistakes he’d made were too bad to excuse. At greatest need he’d gotten scared, left her flailing and doomed. It was momentary, but it was enough. It cut swathes through everything they’d built, everything he’d pretended to be. Now, it hurt so much. He might never see her again and it felt like he was dying, even though it was the other way around.
He’d heard from a friend she was over the hump, everything was in retreat. So he bought fruit. Later, he thought about maiming himself because he deserved it. Sitting above the ocean, amongst trees and ferns to calm himself, he’d tried calling her. Even though he was sure she wouldn’t answer he didn’t even let it ring out, choked again. It didn’t matter how much he wanted something back. Time, decisions, her. You couldn’t make someone who doesn’t want you, want you again.
That wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that she would always be hurt by it. There was nothing he could do to make her feel better. Feeling the reverberations of causing something so permanent, he froze in place. On a rock, hidden from the view of the path, they found him.
I recently discovered a band that have been around for a while but were completely new to me. I’m so glad I did because I think they’re fantastic. If you haven’t heard of Wild Beasts, I suggest you check them out. I went through their whole discography in a weekend and cherry-picked 20-odd amazing songs to download.
The wonderful thing about this band is that the more you listen the better they get, there’s a great dynamic between their two vocalists and the music can be quirky, dark, and moving but always interesting.
The song that hits me the most is one called ‘Daughters’. I love how this track is so deep and dark and the way it builds is euphoric. Listen below.
When you show someone you’re vulnerable, it scares you. That’s normal. But it scares them too. They’re afraid they’ll have the responsibility of holding you up when they can barely stand themselves, because life is hard. There’s no free pass. Not everyone can rise to the challenge so they look for easy options where there is none, sacrificing chances for meaningful happiness in the process. You can’t blame them. They feel what they feel, think what they think, and act accordingly. It doesn’t mean they made the right choice but they believe they did and no argument can be pitted against that.
Believing something doesn’t make it true but it does mean you won’t change your mind, at least in the short-term. This is why I believe nothing; I need to be agile, adaptable. To be safe I need escape routes. For if I get stuck believing something unhealthy I will surely perish.
Some things are undoubtedly true though. I try to differentiate myself by being completely honest. People don’t seem to like that. They don’t want to hear it. They want to be lied to, they want a fabrication, they don’t want to know real life.
It’s an interesting place to be in when you’re happy and sad at the same time. I feel it every day, moment by moment. It keeps me in limbo, constantly wondering what things mean. I have decided I don’t ever want answers. I want my reasoning, my thoughts, but I don’t want proof. I want conversation and discussion. I don’t want facts, or lecture.
There are too many normal people on Earth, where the mainstream continue to weed out alternatives; turning them, shunning them, or destroying them. So when a philosophy arises from a quiet mouth it’s crazy because there is no one left to fight for it. No one to say it’s right, or what the rest say is right is wrong. And no matter how innocent it is, it will not be accepted as most do not possess an open mind to even explore original thought. They ignore the autopilot that is driving their life until they die and wonder why they wasted do much time.
I am the same. It’s not so easy to get away but at least I want to.
I went to the lighthouse this afternoon. It was a nice day, a little windy but the sun was out. I bought myself a milkshake. In the time I spent there it was depressing to see the amount of people who were there not to enjoy the view or the simple fact of being outdoors, but to capture the perfectly framed selfie.
A twist this way and that, a snap, and they were on their way. They pretend they’ve had this great experience in a beautiful place and they haven’t at all. They’ve spent two minutes looking at a screen looking to impress people who are all probably doing the same thing.
The fact is there was so much to see that they missed while they were busy manufacturing fiction. Two pelicans gliding on the wind together, three surfers off the rocks trying their luck, a couple huddled together on an outcrop, a kayaker fighting the chop, a windsurfer battling solo, fishermen methodically casting out, the changing hues of the sea as it rocked and rolled, 2d ships anchored on the horizon, the first signs of spring as the seagulls got busy with each other.
These things.. are life. It is happening, it is moving forward and stopping to watch is as much meaning as one is going to get. I stood amongst bodies moving back and forth and it struck me that I was the only one seeing these things. These things are life, the photo on your screen is nothing. It’s not an indication of your time spent. If it was it would show your eyes closed.
This time I want to talk about a band I had the pleasure of interviewing recently, Big Scary. I was lucky enough to catch up with frontman Tom and it was fantastic to hear his insight about their music.
I have always had a strong emotional connection to their songs, so much heart and soul is within in them and if you want to embrace your emotions, I suggest you give them a listen. Whether you are feeling up or down, in love or out of it, if you long for something or take pleasure in already having it, Big Scary have a song for you.
Tom and Jo combine everything in their music that I like. They’re creative, ambitious, tender, and energetic. Each album has been an evolution without betraying their roots.
This song is one of their more early offerings but one of their most beautiful. It’s dreamy and melancholic but it makes you feel good at the same time. As the title suggests, it is a song that makes you think about a particular person in your life. Someone you may be missing, or desiring.
Deep down all I want to know is what you think about when you’re alone.