Posted tagged ‘poems’

– 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.

– encounters 5

February 2, 2016

Yesterday’s encounter was an airfield, today’s are the plum blossoms that have been disobeying the calendar for the last few weeks. We’ve had a mild winter, despite the few days of very cold weather. They’re not in full bloom yet.



Oh, and a review I did of Jane Joritz-Nakagawa’s Distant Landscapes was published on Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics at the beginning of February. I think Jane took it favourably:

It’s just so good. I can’t believe how perceptively and closely the work is read/analyzed here. the heart beats oftly* is brilliant. the heart beats oftly* could be a psychotherapist and could also make lots of money like being a reviewer for a major newspaper.

*The blog name has been used to protect the somewhat shy – however, if you follow the review link, of course you’ll find my name. John Roberts, aka Hank Chinaski has no such issue with publicity, and many thanks to him for reading the final drafts and providing valuable suggestions. I need Jane as my PR person.

Until tomorrow’s encounter, or the day after.

– encounters 1, 2 & 3

January 31, 2016

Grow Stock Pub is worth visiting. That was Thursday’s unplanned adventure when I arrived too late to catch the flick I wanted to see. My Japanese has grown rusty, not usually extending too far beyond introductions, but the staff worked hard to maintain an いいふいんき (ii fuinki) – a good atmosphere – among the three patrons who were sitting at the bar, early evening. They would not let me bury myself in my book, which was both good and bad.

A Japanese hipster came in and started shuffling cards down one end of the bar. The staff and all other patrons were friends, though they knew the guy with cards as well. The guy on the door (the master?) had just came back from Taiwan, and I was the lucky recipient of a small gift of pineapple cake. I did nothing to attract this attention and service except to be a customer. Two great Japanese craft beers, too – though I can’t remember their names – one  an amber ale, the other an IPA, one salad and one delicious seafood garlic dish later, I was on my way. Yummy.

Friday was catching up with this lady

Finding Vivian Maier is playing at the arthouse cinemas in Japan, and fortunately there is one just around the corner from Shizuoka Station. For more information on Vivian Maier, visit this blog. It was the film I missed out on on Thursday. Friday was rain, rain and more rain. Though it eased up somewhat when I went for a blowy, windy walk along the beachfront leading to Miho no Matsubara (just behind work).

The view from Sarnath Hall

Today was also a film day. After a very long chat with a friend overseas this morning, I get myself out to the indie cinema again. It’s in Sarnath Hall and as I wandered through the foyer I encountered the art piece below.




The receptionist started up the fans for me, which were in the hull of the paper mâche canoe, and the green ping pong balls started flying about. I think I was probably meant to be interactive with the art. The particular point that papers had been used did have some particular point, but return to the section about the basic level of my Japanese. That is, I can’t tell you what that point is or was. The title is Until Death Do Us Part. That might give you a clue. It was again, a little reward for being out and about.

Sarnath Hall seems to be linked to the Buddhist temple just opposite, and as everybody mills politely about in the small upstairs foyer, just as they do at indie theatres in any city, the hall over looks both the




and the haka, or cemetery


I love that the temple, and the memorial stones of the departed, so squarely own this block of the city. I was scribbling away. I’m trying to do things that are beneficial to me, rather than the opposite. That are more beneficial, rather than draining, and I ran into one of the terribly busy Japanese high school teachers who attended our Toyohashi writing group a few times, and who presented her wonderful poem at the Central Japan Literature Society once. She’s just been accepted into a PhD programme dealing with the study of creative writing. Therefore, I’m not sure if she’s writing, or studying about writing.

Again, someone I would not have met if I’d remained stuck at home. She’d just been to see a flick and mine was just called, so we only had a brief moment to catch up, but she’s lovely.

As were Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria. A patchy movie, but wonderfully shot and acted. It was written by a man. You could tell (I did double check though!). Not that you can always tell, and not that women don’t write plodding dialogue either, but I think the Binoche character (Maria) is right when she talks about dialogue in the play she was rehearsing as being phoney, and a stereotypical view of how women dysfunctionally interact.

I know that was one of the major points, but considering the actors played out the parts they were rehearsing in real life, there wasn’t a lot of subtlety or contrast there, though there was some. It wasn’t totally ham-fisted. It wasn’t too much All About Eve, or Sunset Boulevard. There was a lot of light as well, and Binoche and Stewart’s characters were also very empathetic to one another, and Maria (Binoche) was not pathetic (well, sometimes), and it would have been very easy to make it that kind of movie. It’s good that it wasn’t.

The play within a play, turning in on itself, is a trope that fascinates movie makers, naturally. I guess to have the internal meta-script  be as good as the actual script would maybe be going against the grain? I don’t know. Anyway, the film had plenty of glamour and beautiful scenery. It’s marketed as Actress in Japan, or アクトレス。

I’m sure this film of the Majola Snake (below), a cloud formation that snakes through the Swiss Alps, was featured, albeit, without the soundtrack, and not the whole ten minutes.

Oh, and my work came out in Otoliths.

You saw it here first.

– 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.

– 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.

– April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

a piece of tarpaulin

wrapped around

a telegraph pole

on this grey day,

a blue

tattered shawl

© 2014 lizardrinking/theheartbeatsoftly

– two tickets won to see someone don a monster mask

November 21, 2013

a ladybird black from hoovering
mites on the unsprayed


the marble-scattered woman
sweet as honey to strangers,
cries okaeri nasai as
I trudge past, shopping on my back
heavier than a baby on the hip,
a sack of potatoes not able to curl
legs around, mould into
the softness of flesh.
My mother said
I was a similar
gunny sack of
protuberance and I


Mike near the refrigerators,
he’d gone swimming.
that strong-armed me through the park
five minutes prior
dawdled still and
I almost walked right past.

in need of
ears able to detect the alignment of pins
was one more, one more present,
to trip the warmth of the day,
to face its autumnal roundness only
brushed by winter’s lips,
one more present to recollect.

(c) 2013 theheartbeatsoftly / lizardrinking

– five past five

October 29, 2013

already I draw the curtains

against the night

clothes drying


(c) 2013 lizardrinking/theheartbeatsoftly

– today

October 12, 2013

I rode my bike slowly against the wind.

this middle aged takes some


(c) theheartbeatsoftly/lizardrinking, 2013

From Skart, Aichi Triennale, 2013.

(c) theheartbeatsoftly/lizardrinking, 2013

– more, more trove

September 12, 2013

this one ran for the weekend, from Friday September 6 – Sunday September 8. Thanks again to my fabulous friend Mary for taking the shot, though as she says, as the days get brighter (angle of the sun changing and so on), the surface is more reflective. Wonderful Western Australian wildflowers at the front, including my favourite, Kangaroo Paws.

This one ran with three other poems, and it is also featured on my blog with this picture.

The information didn’t run the poets’ names this time. Trove said it was a mistake of the Cultural Precinct of UWA who cohost poet’s corner. They also mislabelled the poems as student poems. I double-checked with Trove to make sure the general public could submit poems, and they said they could. Again it was a mistake of the Cultural Precinct. I did not want to misrepresent myself.

The market for smaller poems is so limited, so it’s great to get these shown, and in such a unique way!

Trove poem,  theheartbeatsoftly [copyright, 2010], photograph, Mary M [copyright, 2013]

Trove poem, theheartbeatsoftly [copyright, 2010], photograph, Mary M [copyright, 2013]

– more trove

June 9, 2013

I was featured as part of the Trove, Cultural Precinct, UWA billboard poetry series again on the weekend of June 1 & 2. Lucky me! My poem had been up the weekend before, but there had been a power outage. Below are the pictures my wonderful friend Mary took. Thanks very much the Divine Ms. M, and Trove-UWA:




(c) 2011, 2013, theheartbeatsoftly, lizardrinking

– mites floating

May 21, 2013

Trove, the cultural precinct of U.W.A. and U.W.A. are supporting an electronic poets’ corner at the moment.

A few of my poems have been picked up, and the first one ran across the weekend. A friend went out and snapped some pics! Thanks so much. The billboard only runs in caps. My poems tend to run in lowercase – but, upper or lower it’s still a thrill to see it.




I’ll post others as they get published if I can rope a friend into photographing them!

(c)2013 lizardrinking/theheartbeatsoftly

– year’s end

November 2, 2012

draws near.

my passion has grown
legs of its own
beyond any
heart given.
the heart
oblique, dark
the no-entry zone
from view
set free from
the hearth where
once it curled
a bowl awaits
food served and eaten.

lizardrinking/ theheartbeatsoftly (c) 2012

– quick

August 5, 2012

Trees rake branches across my hair.

(c)2012 theheartbeatsoftly/lizardrinking

Love the sway of the railway track,
Rain upon the carriage back.

(c)2012 theheartbeatsoftly/lizardrinking