SpeedPoets lights up The Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) and the month of May with its third book launch for the year, Bowra by B.R. Dionysius and well as some red hot spoken word from Betsy Turcot.
And let’s not forget the red hot Open Mic Section. All readers are automatically in the running to be named Call-Back-Poet for the month. What does this mean?
Each of the Call-Back-Poets will earn themselves a feature spot at the November event where they will have the opportunity to take home cash prizes, be crowned SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion, and thanks to Phillip Ellis, have a chapbook length zine of their work published ready to launch at the February 2014 event. A great prize indeed!
Sound like the perfect way to finish the month of May? We’d love to see you there!
Date: Saturday May 25
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
Here’s a poem from B.R. Dionysius to help you through the week!
Winter; & he stole away from his Highgate Hill flat
Every Wednesday night with a vague return time &
A cheap bottle of tawny port cupped under his armpit
Like a bully’s captured head. His long green trench
Coat gave his mahogany boots a shine as he swished
Along the length of Dornoch Terrace; past the royal
Queenslander on his left, that three years from now
Would be rented by his friends, but for the present,
Was inhabited by band members from Powderfinger.
Where three years later, they’d all gather to celebrate
The marital fallout of his mission to Café Bohemia.
His ears burnt like a deposed General’s epaulettes
As he marched on like a man possessed, her call
To him more powerful than any ancient siren.
He wanted to arrive first. To secure a coveted table
Within the tight margins of the coffee shop, for her
& her two friends; to demonstrate his thoughtfulness.
Otherwise, it was standing room only as street poets
& hipsters channelling Kerouac & his wine dark prose
Filled up the dining space like blue cigarette smoke.
He greeted fellow writers with a wave & a nod, as he
Was lousy at small talk & good at reading big poems.
They were the Bohemian poets of Hardgrave Road.
90s poets like black bearded Francis & his perennial
Leather coat that he never ever took off, until twenty
Years of listening to poetry; to the millions of words
Crooned about death, love & loss, had polished his
Mind’s animal hide, until his face shone like a god.
She entered the café wearing her friend’s teal velvet
Coat; auburn hair gleamed like a burnished table top.
Candle stumps burnt down their short lives in front
Of them; they spread their wax wings down the wine
Bottle’s stem, then dried their delicate delta shapes in
The port breath of poets as the reading warmed up.
They read poems about West End & Daniel Yock.
About Murri protests in Charlotte Street, landlords &
Gentrification & how all the boarding houses were lost.
How the family house where that Go Betweens singer
Grew up, had been pulled down for the Greek Club.
How the police raided Musgrave Park & how Tracey
Wigginton lapped up blood like a mangrove sucks mud.
By the time it was his turn; his tawny was half drunk.
At the interval Henk, the bespeckled Dutch organiser
Whose most memorable line was about how he often
Awoke to find his cock still rigid inside his girlfriend;
Would disappear into the kitchen with an assortment of
Followers, where Mira’s goulash threatened to burn itself,
Tasty, but mad in its pot. Here, in the wooden floorboards
There lived a small trapdoor, which led from the galley to
A secret lower deck: the café’s oubliette. Here, poets fuelled
Up on gunja, the smoke siphoned away by an invisible vent.
Some though, still wafted through the café’s warped cracks;
Like a sailor’s last breath as they drown in an Eliot poem.
Others snuck round the back, where they lawn-sprawled
Like they’d been in a shipwreck. Here, they met in piratical
Bliss; until her friends drove her off, so he sculled his port.
She thought he was silent, a bit mysterious; a poet from
The country who tried to loom over her like Ted Hughes.
The regulars didn’t disappoint. Brentley, whose themes
Were a shade darker than the dirtiest black hole; his muse
Went to star on TV as a masterchef. Or Adam, the epitome
Of beat; who published for a decade, then like Rimbaud
Gave it all up to run guns metaphorically. Or Lidija & her
Serbian mystique, who trailed lovers around her neck like
Threads in a shawl. Or Rebecca, the poet of bones & mishap,
Who shaved her head so everyone could see her new world.
Or Fakie, who read from industrial-sized post-paks he stole
From the factory where he worked. Or the Great Jeffro,
Whose mad blue eyes blazed forth Shakespeare’s wild surmise;
If poetry is the soul of cafes: then coffee is its blood.
B. R. Dionysius was founding Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. His poetry has been widely published in literary journals, anthologies, newspapers and online. His seventh poetry collection, Bowra was released in April 2013. He lives in Ipswich, Queensland where he watches birds, teaches English and writes sonnets.