Thursday, 31 March 2011

Recent Requests

Among the requests I have received recently at my poetry stall:

  • a poem 'on concrete' with 'a reference to Richard Nixon';
  • a poem about the country town Wandiligong (near Bright, in Victoria);
  • numerous poems about boyfriends (one with a penchant for chemistry, another departing Melbourne due to a lapsed visa);
  • a poem about 'love in the time of Lent';
  • a poem 'on indecision' for a man's girlfriend.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

'The Spirit of the Black Dress' poem

For a post today on 'The Spirit of the Black Dress', a part of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Cheryl at BusinessChic commissioned a poem from me on the topic, inspired by two images of models wearing some of the featured dresses amongst the iconic Melbourne artwork, 'The Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch'. I don't find fashion the easiest topic to write about but I actually found it quite satisfying to redraft and play with the ideas and imagery in this poem. Cheryl was great to work with and should be commended for her comittment to seeking out varied responses to, and perspectives on, fashion - she enrichs the (overlapping!) fashion and art worlds greatly. For the purpose of the post she chose to use an excerpt for brevity, but here I can post the full version.

the spirit of the black dress

at the corner of
Bourke and Swanston Streets,
a parade of black dresses:
           ebony reams
unfurl and sculpt
against the pumiced
bronze forms of history.

the statue performers in Bourke Street Mall
mimic the petrified businessmen,
enviously inspect their bronzed
longevity. but Batman, Swanston and Hoddle
remain bemused,
reincarnated as a Melbourne
archetype, suited
for public

cut lunches still wrapped
in tarnished briefcases, usually
they whisper observations
on their opus' adulthood -
shortfalls of planning
and skirts, mass drunkenness,
the preoccupation
with black.

this visitation of dresses is
          black reimagined,
their only kinship
tonal — some
afford chiaroscuro geometrics
across clavicles and legs;
some draped as though one
stitch was the sole
anchor; others with
winsome shirred hems
that lead the businessmen
to thoughts of birds
and night,
          to reminisce about the dark
opaque of plans, the city
still forming,
and ideals stalked
in mental backwaters.                  

amidst modern flux
Melbourne's founders
live their afterlife
through black (dresses).

© Sophie Curzon-Siggers, 2011.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Australian Poetry featurette

Australian Poetry ('the peak industry body for poetry in this country'), which runs the Cafe` Poet Program I am a participant in, has just posted a featurette on me on their website - quite exciting!

Sunday's Market

As of last week, my Saturday session at 1000 £ Bend has been swapped to Sundays, so I can set up stall at the Hide and Seek market held there each week. I wanted to experience a different atmosphere to Tuesdays, when I'm positioned just as you walk into the cafe` and there is a mid-week lunchtime intensity. People are often ravenous and edification via a poem is an after-thought! Whereas a market encourages a more meandering pace, and those who turn up usually would like to take home a little treat. This is not to say I prefer Sundays, or that I lack commissions on Tuesdays - neither is true, as I look forward to every session as poet-in-residence! However I do enjoy the contrasts between the two days and scenarios.

At my first Hide and Seek Market - my new signage wasn't quite ready so we appropriated my childhood easel.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Poet residency featured on Business Chic!

Me at my poetry stall. Photo from Cheryl's website.

On the first day of running the poetry stall as part of my residency at 1000 £ Bend, the lovely Cheryl approached and commissioned a poem about her fashion blog Business Chic. She presented me with one of her person-shaped business cards and away I tapped on my Remington 'Holiday'. The resulting poem pleased Cheryl so much that she has featured it, and this poet-in-residence, in a post on her blog. She's even scanned in the poem original! It's a really wonderful post - you must go read it and then stay to explore all the interesting people and outfits she has found - especially if you want inspiration on how to enliven your work wardrobe! Thanks Cheryl.

                                                                                                       - Sophie