31 March 2015

Tuesday Poem: Folds, by Jo Mills


infidels of the sun     we watch folds

in this restless land     bake our beliefs

do we enter the new dry     or last ice age

of our imaginings     bright technology

whispers down invisible lines     turns our gaze

to wormholes     sucks our dusty imagery

into temporal twists     spatial vortices

the thrill of discovery   minute gyroscopes

most perfectly sphered     measure dimples

our Earth’s plump rump     sitting in a pillow

time/space sags     beneath her weight

opens new dimensions     in our minds

Saturn grows a storm     or is it humanity

at play     at war with its shadows

breaking its fronts     in bombs and blood

we flee to these folds     in a restless land

while solar flares grow     bright alignments

underscore the shudders     of tectonic plates

we watch folds pucker     oceans drag and pound

ah, the memory of water     bittersoft chaos as if

Shiva’s hand falls     echoes our flight we dance

on moving carpets     while polar caps melt

on Mars     droplets dissolve into the mirror

of our desire for migrancy     beyond borders

of a world grown small     fragile to human touch

infidels of the sun     set longer sights

unlock fantasy’s rim     fear and hope

sand shifts beneath our feet     we watch folds



Credit note: "Folds" was published in The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, which I co-edited with P. S. Cottier (IP, 2014), and is reproduced by permission of the poet. The Stars Like Sand is available from the publisher and from amazon.com.au. If you're ordering through a bookshop that doesn't stock it, let them know the ISBN: 978-1-922120-78-6

Check out this excellent review of The Stars Like Sand in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Tim says: This is another of the fine poems we selected for The Stars Like Sand, and that would be quite enough reason to post it here, but there's another one: partly inspired by her inclusion in The Stars Like Sand and the quality of the anthology, Jo Mills decided to set up an international speculative poetry competition with very generous prizes. It's open for submissions now, and closes on 1 May. Check out the guidelines here:

https://interstellaraward.wordpress.com/interstellar-award-for-speculative-poetry/



About Jo Mills: Jo Mills is a speculative poet, short story writer and fantasy author (under the pen-name Joanna Fay). She recently founded Interstellar to host two annual awards for speculative poetry and fiction respectively, and to publish themed speculative fiction and poetry anthologies from 2016.

Jo lives in the Perth Hills, Western Australia, with her teenage son, two dwarf rabbits and a quail who thinks she's an eagle. She keeps an eye on the sky for starships and patiently awaits the arrival of her galactic family. Jo's author website can be found at http://joannafay.me/

The Hub Tuesday Poem: is Nest by Linda France, chosen by Helen McKinlay.

24 March 2015

Tuesday Poem: Jim


Between jobs, Jim
drifts through signings,
conventions. His agent calls.
There's a thing with werewolves,
a guest slot on "The Walking Dead",
but no sign of the fifty million
he needs to film Macbeth.

Playing the old Bill
has kept him in threads, in fags,
but Macbeth will take serious wedge.
It's enough to grey his hair,
drag his cheekbones down.
He smiles and signs. His agent calls
about a thing with ghouls.


Tim says: I'm writing a batch of new poems at the moment, but am not posting them here yet as I'm looking to submit them to magazines - and my published books have been mined for Tuesday Poems to the brink of severe resource depletion! So, when looking for something unpublished to post, I was glad to stumble over Jim, the actor always waiting for a callback, for a call. For the record, the reference to "The Walking Dead" was once a reference to "Smallville". Jim's been waiting for a while.

The Tuesday Poem: This week's Tuesday Poem is New Margins by Joan Fleming, selected by Helen Rickerby.

18 March 2015

My January "Book Watch" Column For The NZ Herald


Tracey Thorn, Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star. (2014): http://www.amazon.com/Bedsit-Disco-Queen-grew-tried-ebook/dp/B0091LLMXI/ - print and ebook 

In reviews and interviews, my favourite book of 2014, Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., was often compared to Tracey Thorn's Bedsit Disco Queen, so I was keen to read that as well.

And though it is a much less dramatic book than Albertine’s, I enjoyed it. Tracey Thorn is the best part of a decade younger, grew up in musical genres less vivid than punk, and comes across as a much more reserved and contained character. But she writes very well about her life, her stubborn determination to pursue her music, and the career somewhere just south of fame she has maintained.


Bernard Sumner, Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me (2014): http://www.amazon.com/Chapter-Verse-New-Order-Division-ebook/dp/B00LI5598Y/ - print and ebook

Though Bernard Sumner does not write as well as Viv Albertine or Tracey Thorn, I still found his memoir fascinating - both because I love the music of Joy Division and New Order, and because his origins in Salford in the 1950s have many parallels with my own in Grimsby a few years later.

New Order were famous for their hedonism, but I was pleased that in this memoir he dials that down to focus more on music and personalities. If you are interested in the music of the post-punk and acid house eras, or if you are keen to read an English perspective that is distinctly Northern, I think you'll enjoy this book.


Martin Edmond, Winged Sandals (2014): http://rosamirabooks.com/books/index.html#ws  - ebook

This essay, part of Rosa Mira Books' 10K series, likens taxi drivers to Hermes, the wing-footed messenger of the Gods - hence the title. Winged Sandals may be only 10,000 words long, but it's a fascinating meditation on taxi driving, writing, the ways they are alike, and the complex relationship between the work writers do to make a living and the effect doing such work has on their writing and on their self-image as a writer.

Artists will identify with Martin Edmond’s struggle to balance his passion with his finances. Whether you’re facing the same struggle, or would like to know what it feels like for people who are, this is recommended.


Julie Hill, ShameJoy (2014): http://www.giantsparrowpress.com/bookshop.html - print

I read ShameJoy on a recent trip from Wellington to Auckland. Reading on planes isn't usually my thing - I get bored and distracted easily - but that wasn't the case with ShameJoy - I very much enjoyed both the style and the substance of this book. These deftly constructed, sardonic stories often edge from the real into the surreal and back again, but Julie Hill’s humour is a constant to be relied upon. A fine debut for both the author and for Giant Sparrow Press, another impressive new New Zealand publisher.


Tim Jones is a Wellington author, poet and editor. His latest book is anthology The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry (2014), which he co-edited with P.S. Cottier. Find out more at http://timjonesbooks.blogspot.co.nz/

10 March 2015

My Poetry Re-Featured On Helen Lowe's Blog, Plus New International Spec Fic Poetry Competition

This year, Helen Lowe has refeatured four of my poems on her excellent blog - that is, she's re-posted four of my poems that she has previously featured on my blog as Tuesday Poems. Here they are:

The First Artist On Mars

Thinning

The stars, Natasha

Angela Carter

Thanks, Helen!

New International Spec Fic Poetry Competition

I've recently found out about a major new international competition for speculative poetry, now open for entries (deadline 1 May): https://interstellaraward.wordpress.com/interstellar-award-for-speculative-poetry/

What's particularly cool is that this competition was partly inspired by the anthology I co-edited with P.S. Cottier, The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry - which gets a nice mention on its "About" page: https://interstellaraward.wordpress.com/about/ - and that it is judged by Jo Mills, one of the contributors to The Stars Like Sand.

If you haven't already, check out the excellent review The Stars Like Sand received in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Tuesday Poem

While I'm not posting a Tuesday Poem myself this week, I'm this week's Tuesday Poem editor over at the hub Tuesday Poem blog, and I've selected "This Is Love" by Gemma White. Check it out!




03 March 2015

Tuesday Poem: Riverton Beach Poem, by Mark Pirie


(For Tim)

Riverton Beach? I was there once
for a family reunion,
stood on algae-skinned rock

facing the sea, and thought
I was a child playing
by the cool water, sun-tanned

glassy-eyed, out with the family,
though it wasn't me
that was playing there,

just my father - part of
my history, but, later,
I stood there too, and nowhere

did we skim stones...
My father was older now,
with son-in-tow. Me, learning

the far fragments of past,
feeling his years grow colder,
memory passing like a falling star.


Credit note: "Riverton Beach Poem" is published in Mark Pirie's chapbook Poems For My Father (The Night Press, 2014), and is available from the publisher for $15.00.

Tim says: I enjoyed Mark's chapbook very much, and it was an unexpected and very pleasant bonus to be reminded of this fine poem ... and its dedication to me! If I recall correctly, Mark wrote "Riverton Beach Poem" in response to my poem "Stones", which appeared in my first collection Boat People. Here it is:


Stones

Here, standing on the beach, is Dad.
Beach? It's Riverton, rocks and gravel
from the tarmac to the grey sea's edge.

Black and white. He holds an oblate stone
scoured out from the distant Alps
milled and rolled by frigid water.

He holds it poised for skimming. Out
it will arc, skip, skip, to fall
and sink for half a fathom.

I snapped him with my old Box Brownie. His eyes
look far beyond the frame I gave him.
Shadowed from the sun, impassive,
they are skipping over the years,
walking the waves to England.

The Tuesday Poem: This week, it's A lyrebird by Michael Farrell, from Best Australian Poems 2014.

28 February 2015

A Great Review For "The Stars Like Sand" in the Sydney Morning Herald

The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, the anthology I co-edited with P. S. Cottier, has just received a great review in the Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/book-review-the-stars-like-sand-edited-by-tim-jones-and-ps-cottier-20150223-13au1z.html

The reviewer, Peter Pierce, describes the anthology as "One of the most enterprising, unusual and rewarding anthologies of the past year" and goes on to say:

The Stars Like Sand shows us, in the work of the more than 80 poets included, much of that illimitable dark, as well as the flights of fancy and hope that can give brief and brilliant illumination. Seek out this book – admirable, and one of a kind.
As you may imagine, I am very pleased with such a glowing review in a major newspaper!

If you'd like to buy a copy of The Stars Like Sand, you have several options. You can buy it (the links work fine):

- from the publisher (paperback and ebook): https://ipoz.biz/ipstore/index.php…

- from Amazon.com: (paperback and ebook) http://www.amazon.com/Stars-Like-Sand-Australian-Specula…/…/

- from Amazon.com.au (ebook): http://www.amazon.com.au/Stars-Like-Sand-Australian-Spec…/…/

(New Zealanders, if you'd like a copy and are having trouble getting one, please contact me: senjmito at gmail dot com)

Try it - I think you'll like it!







26 February 2015

The February Issue Of Flash Frontier Is Up - And I'm Guest-Editing The April Issue


Flash Frontier is an excellent New Zealand-based online journal of flash fiction. The February issue is now online, full of good fiction such as lead story "The Ear of Dionysus" by Rachel J. Fenton.

Each issue of Flash Frontier has a theme. The theme of the February issue is "whispers".

I'm happy to say that I'm guest-editing the April issue. The theme for this issue is "iron", which you can interpret as you wish. I encourage you to submit. Please check out the submission guidelines, and follow them carefully - in particular, there is a strict word limit of 250 words!

This issue is open to international as well as New Zealand writers, and all genres of fiction are welcome. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015. I'm looking forward to reading your submissions.

While we're talking flash fiction, you might also like to check out National Flash Fiction Day 2015 and its associated competition. You get a whole 300 words for that one!