Archive for the ‘writing’ category

– the latest

June 5, 2016

The wonderful Rat’s Ass Revue included me in their April Love and Ensuing Madness with Fifty but not yet fifty

giving up chocolate
was as easy
as a doctor’s warning

but I never
thought I could

you gave me up as
easily though
we were iron
cobalt nickel

but riveted . . .

Read the rest on site.
The lovely folk over at the Font published two short stories of mine. Four Days first appeared on this blog, and was a Seattle encounter.

I spent four days in jail. A little drunk. A little too much to drink. That was down in Missouri. You know, it was a Friday and the judge didn’t work Mondays. That was the first time I read a book.

Rubber Gloves was from way back when I didn’t even know that I was young, set in Japan

I ate a banana like I do every morning. They come from the Philippines here, or Ecuador and it doesn’t take them long to go mouldy in the humidity, so I don’t buy too many at any time. Then I wrote out my list. That wasn’t easy to do because I was wearing my green rubber gloves, the ones I wash the dishes with. It’s not so easy to eat a banana either when you’re wearing them.

I’ve got some more work coming out soon – hopefully – whoever knows with publications run on donations and good will. I’ll keep you updated.

– shadows

January 21, 2016

in the shadow of this mountain my life has been spent the red torii frames me in its pi i rest against the doors of the newest shrine a neighbourhood box backing the empty seiyu department store its bins once provided me with all the food i needed the trains can be heard rattling past the mowing of the cars on the highway now i flip the cat door of the change box of the green phone jigsawed to the corner of the road hoping to find a few coins unsettling the air the panoply of a magician whose doves have flown.

© 2015, theheartbeatsoftly/lizardrinking. please do not use without permission

What an end of/beginning of the year it’s been! Out of the blue, experimental poet Jane Joritz-Nakagawa asked myself and others to contribute to Halvard Johnson’s poetry blog, TRUCK.

One of the exciting things about returning to writing and reconnecting, is the wide interlinking (interlocution) of writers, artists, musicians, thinkers, and all-round good and interesting people.

Often for the first time, I’m encountering names, markets, styles of writing, and forms of publishing which popped up during my hiatus and prose years. Prose is still being writ (large) of course, but poetry is easier to send off. The net does bring us all closer, and not living at home also means I encounter folks from everywhere all the time. New opportunities arise.

I help Jane with the Central Japan Literature Society, so I thought she was asking for work that was somehow not completely complete (that’s a paraphrase of her request) for something she intended to present at our December meeting. Nay. It was for the December instalment of TRUCK. She’d been asked to guest edit and submitted collated work as one long post entitled The World is Not Enough. The artwork is by Shizuoka artist, Marcus Grandon.

Three of my pieces are in there, including the poem which opens this post, mt. fuji – shimizu.
two tickets won to see someone don a monster mask at the folk museum landed in the mailbox this afternoon has appeared on this blog in an earlier form. I think that a piece of tarpaulin has basically kept its shape, though I’d like to change the line spacing.
For the pieces on TRUCK, (as opposed to following the links above), scroll towards the end of the post. Read those versions, cos’ they’re the most up to date.

I’d also submitted some work for consideration to Rat’s Ass Review’s northern hemisphere’s winter edition. I hadn’t heard back from them, so had just thought, meh, you win some, you lose some. However, late December the editor contacted me to say he was running a new section called Love & Ensuing Madness. Has a nice ring to it. It has rolling submissions by the way.

Seattle/Japan poem, the visitor, the guest, has clean sheets to lie on was selected. It has also appeared on the heart beats oftly in a much rougher state.

Suma, Kobe

Suma, Kobe

In other news, last October I presented jointly and individually at the Japan Writers Conference, held at lovely Suma in Kobe. Following from that, a piece I wrote on the irreverent Alice Campion for the Literature in Language Teaching journal was published in print form a couple of weeks ago. Once it has been uploaded to the website, I’ll link to it, just as I am doing now!. Hopefully there will be a few more developments to share with you in February as well. Viva (positive) 2016!

– before the advent of facebook

July 16, 2015

. . .  I’d write my travel adventures, as especially seen on lizardrinking, if you can wade through all the political posts.

More time now is spent writing snippets of bits of political conversation and comments, photos, posts – looking at how things are going, sharing aspects of myself, needing to follow this story, and that, and this one, and that one, and that. On Facebook, that is.


To get anything done, don’t look too closely at the world from a political perspective – or do – but the morass and myriad of unbelievable, and often unthinking (though as often enough deliberate) atrocities committed, of lives not protected, is enough to do your head in.

It also takes up swathes of time. Committing atrocities and being concerned about it. I am being glib. And I am concerned. Being vigilant, and I’m nowhere near as vigilant as some, is time consuming.

So, my explained absence. It’s all Facebook’s fault. Lately I’ve been using this as a post for publications, not perambulations, and that’s not a bad thing either.

That’s what I’m doing right now, though I promise pictures to make it easier to scan. My posts have been graphic in their imagelessness of late. There are so many articles I find I think I should read, that scanning is basically all I do anyway, thereby taking in only the surface of the content. However, it’d be cool if the contents of this heart beats oftly post appealed to you all.


Most recently, Rat’s Ass Review, an online poetry magazine, published twice yearly, included my poem
Hot Peanut Paste Night  in their summer edition. There are some really great poems featured, so do yourself a favour, and check ’em out.

I don’t think I’ve featured that poem on any of my blogs before, and it’s definitely a favourite. It was either commended or highly commended for the Bobbie Cullen Award when it was a poetry prize in 1996 or 97. So this one has been around for some time, so much so that I thought I’d lost it at a point. The picture below has a loose affiliation with one of the images.


Loose because the poem is set on the outskirts of urban Matsuyama, Shikoku, though not too much the outskirts, as  Tsubaki Jinja is the specific locale. The picture above was taken at Akiha Park in Niigata prefecture.

The above was also winter, as I recall, though it looks like autumn (photo data tells me it was March. That’s winter for Niigata!). The poem, as the title suggests, is set smack bang in the middle of the heat and humidity of summer. My first year in any country that wasn’t Australia, and that country was Japan.

Denman Island, NOT Japan

Three of my poems, comfort, poem to a lover, and untitled i (my man said), were all published in Hillel Wright’s Denman Island old school Literary Zine, MiNUS TiDES. It doesn’t have an online presence, but can be purchased at Abraxas Books, Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada.

You can’t search for it on that site, but there are contact details if you wanted to shoot off an email. comfort, in a slightly different form, was Highly Commended for the University of Southern Queensland Library Competition Awards in 2007. USQ runs the Bruce Dawe poetry prize, though I don’t know if the library has a connection with it.

MiNUS_TiDES_June_2015_Cover copy

Those poems all belong together too. People who read this blog regularly (quarterly at present!), would have seen those poems either on this blog or at the lizardrinking blog.

comfort came to me as I was winding around the turns of the pink-hued mountains leading into Muscat, almost 300km from Sur, Oman. Maybe the curves reminded me of the clack of rosary and worry beads between the fingers of the faithful. 2004, I think. Possibly 2005.

The picture below is leading away from Muscat, I think, and not in the direction of Sur? I can’t recall, but it gives you some idea of the topography. Coming into the capital, it wasn’t a dual-carriageway in those days, and considering the mountains, it still might not be. I think the Sur to Muscat coastal road is probably nowhere near as hair-raising a drive.

This picture was downloaded from here.

poem to a lover and untitled i (my man said) were both written in Japan, and not until 2008, or at least that’s when I uploaded them to lizardrinking. I might have written them earlier. They also have an Oman connection.

The links above are to this blog, as some of the links to lizardrinking are a bit glitchy. That explains date discrepancies, okay?

Finally, on the academic side of things, the great people at the Literature in Language Teaching SIG (special interest group) worked with me to publish my article, Student Autonomy Through Creativity. I enjoyed writing it, though it was hard work.

It expands upon (and condenses) some of the information featured in a prior paper of mine, the one with the unwieldily title, Surrealists in the Classroom: Developing CALP in the classroom through Plurilingualism and English as a Lingua Franca. That means I get an excuse to post a Dadaist picture, though maybe I’ll opt for a Gutai one.

Shozo Shimamoto. I don’t know where I downloaded this picture from. I’ll credit the creator with a link or caption (and can hopefully still use it) if they leave a comment.

You’ll have to read the articles to find the connection, though Shimamoto and his mail art are not the main, but are an important, focus.

The paper with the very long title is also available here if you don’t have an account with academia edu, or you don’t want to sign up.

I can’t help you out with Student Autonomy Through Creativity, however, because the LiLT journal hasn’t uploaded it yet. Once it’s available, I’ll let you know, and in the meantime, can service all your needs. (August 8, this is the online article). The cover, which is pretty groovy, is below.

LiLT_Journal4-1 June 2015_Best_Cover

However, I can also see it says 2014, which is wrong. Elsewhere the journal states 2015. When the graphic is corrected I will upload the right one.

Also newly uploaded to the Aichi University is my paper Speculative Views on Non-Lived Memory in Creative Writing. This paper is a bit shaky, hence the “speculative” part, but it does mention Flannery O’Connor, so it’s got something going for it! And again, if you don’t want to sign up for academia edu (did I mention it was free?), you can download the people (where did that come from?) paper here.

Flannery O’Connor.

Okay, that’s the longest post I’ve made for a while, and it does have pictures! I hope life is treating you most excellently.

– a hustle

April 23, 2015

here and, a hustle there, except I don’t regard either post a sell out.

Here are some excerpts from Reasons for Song in the spring edition of The Font.

And a poem featured on here previously (but this is my blog, so someone else publishing it is a great thing!) is at Uneven Floor.

If you don’t have much time, read the poem. It’s very short!

– it’s here!

March 4, 2015
In Their Branches

In Their Branches

The DHL man a-rat-a-tat-tatted on my door (okay, he buzzed the buzzer. A weak little trill, like a cicada submerged), and there it was, as promised – my copy of In Their Branches. For more info, refer to my previous post, or just buy a copy for yourself. The hardback is available now, and the e-book from March 23.

ABC Radio National have made the CD tie-in their Classic FM, CD of the week.

– hey there

March 3, 2015

Well, it’s been some time. Do I even remember how to html, how to post? Updates – In October last year, in beautiful Morioka (the turning leaves, almost worn thin with  hints of winter) I participated in this event for the Font: a Literary Journal for Language Teachers at the Japan Writers’ Conference, reading my creative work with the other great authors featured in that photo.

Then in December, I read at Authors Live! in Kobe. That event also featured writers who had their work published in The Font. It coincided with the Peace as a Global Language conference for 2014, and was a well-rounded weekend. It was great to meet Suzanne Kamata , Jessica Goodfellow, Jared Angel, Paul Rossiter and Kelly Quinn at either event.

This artwork is from the Harper Collins page

A small piece of mine that originally appeared in Reasons for Song, and which still remains in that body of work, is featured in Harper Collins/ABC Radio National’s new publication, In their branches. It’s a book, despite it being published by the revered Aunty, and can be purchased now. There is a CD tie-in. A great gift for anyone.

We’ve all got special connections to trees. As part of the release, the ABC repeated this documentary which ushered the whole thing in. The original radio drop of my piece can be accessed and downloaded here. The text is also available on that page. The documentary is part of the Earshot programme, and will be repeated on Saturday, March 7, AEST 5pm and 8pm, and Sunday the 8th, 1pm and 9pm (AEST).

My work doesn’t feature, but it is a very interesting reflection on our connection and relation to trees. Anyone feeling homesick for eucalyptus will relate.

The original photo (or links to it) can be found here.

Academically, my paper on art movements and their literature components as windows for philosophical, cultural, historical and creative exploration in the Japanese EFL field has been published and uploaded here.

If you’re checking that out, you might like to look at older publications on authentic materials here (that one’s popular for some reason – I’m sure I haven’t downloaded it 35 times!), and one from way back when on Acculturation.

I had a paper detailing some technical tips for creative writers published last year, dwelling on the perhaps unfashionable maxim of “show, don’t tell”, and one is due later in March (this month, this year) on the un-lived memory and the creative process. The first is in Civilization 21(32), which is yet to be uploaded to the Aichi University Repository, and Civilization 21(34) should appear soon. Anyone interested, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Dada poet: Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven

Dada poet: Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven

Presentations last year were held at the NEAR conference, the Literature in Language Teaching conference (The Heart of the Matter), JALT Hamamatsu and the National JALT conference. My presentations mostly dealt with empowering our students through creativity and ownership of language, and through connection to history and culture. Enough for now?

Go buy the book and reflect quietly. I’d love to know what you think.

– write for Tohoku

April 26, 2011

The English link to buying the “Write for Tohoku book.

A writers’ group in Tokyo collated a number of travel stories and so on from around Japan, stories set in the time before the earthquake and tsunami hit, to reflect the relationship and interaction that many people have with Japan and the people of Japan.

The link to the pay-pal site is above. I hope it works. If it turns up in Japanese, click the Chinese characters on the top right hand corner, and it will give you an opportunity to change it to English.

Don't click the button! It leads nowhere 🙂

Here is a link to the actual site. I am in the book with a pared down version of one of my blog entries from when I travelled through Tohoku in 2008. There is also a preveiw. The PDF costs USD $9.99, and there will be a Kindle, Epub and phone app later.

It looks good. If you have the spare cash, all monies go to the Red Cross.

ocean currents

July 24, 2009

the fathomless bottomless floor

this trick pony heart.