Tag Archives: SpeedPoets

SPEEDPOETS feature poets for the rest of the year WILL ALL STAR AT QPF this weekend

SpeedPoets will enjoy the QPF this weekend

and will continue the celebration of great poetry with features from:


lesley synge
on september 27


zenobia frost
on october 25


david stavanger
on november 29

david will also judge the Call Back Poet for 2014,
following features from all those who have been
call back poet of the month during 2014

zenobia’s and david’s new books will be available



Filed under Featured Artists


Sean M Whelan is a poet, playwright, DJ and wedding celebrant. He has published two books of poetry, Love is the New Hate and Tattooing the Surface of the Moon. He also collaborates extensively with musicians working with Isnod and The Interim Lovers. He is the co-producer of the popular literary cabaret show called Liner Notes, which most recently was performed to a sell out audience at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, Sean was also coproducer of Elemental, a show combining poetry and astronomy at the Melbourne Planetarium.



I am hot stinking decaying light.

I am the melting ice caps at the bottom of your whiskey glass.

I am the shhhhhhh on the tip of the librarians lips.

I am that small purple bruise on your thigh that you have no recollection of receiving.

I am the dust slowly gathering in the grooves of the record you left on the turntable overnight.

I am the big I am.

I am the 39th second of a New York Minute.

I am that letter you never sent.

I am the recession you had to have.

I am sorry about that.

I want to be your economic recovery.

I want to be MY economic recovery.

I am a grand design, in danger of not being finished and waaaay over budget.

I am the drawer full of Michael Jackson’s unused left handed gloves.

I am the ground control to your major tom.

I am 33 dogs that can’t even handle this right now.

I am grumpy cat’s secret smile, when nobody else is around.

I am very good at opening, terrible at closing.

I am the lipstick you used to write upon your mirror. Here Lies Buried Treasure.

I am this far away, from being this far away from you.

I am the grammar nazi taking apart your status update.

I am concerned at the diminishing effects of the word ‘nazi’ when describing anything harsh.

I am okay. Thanks for asking.

I am a free floating full torso vaporous apparition.

I can’t walk through walls but I can walk through trees. I have no

explanation for that.

I am the painting that the painting of Dorian Grey was painted over.

I am that noise you make in your sleep when you turn over in bed.

I am the jerk photobombing your family holiday snaps.

I am the dick you drew in the Herald Sun.

I am the books you never finish.

I am less than certain but I’m more than unsure.

I am the submarine caught in the seaweed of your subtext.

I am the snow covered pine trees that break your fall when the plane goes down.

I am the cherry stem deftly manipulated by Audrey Horne’s tongue.

I am everything: all the time.

And I am truly grateful.

But I’m not yours.

Not yet.

© Sean M Whelan. 2014.



Tell me where to stand in the garden.

And I’ll mark the spot.

You’ll find me there every evening at dusk.

Watching the day transmogrify, just like we did.


Tell me where the light falls the best upon my face.

I want to be just as handsome as you are supernatural.

Just because I don’t believe in permanence.

Doesn’t mean I want to forget this.

I want to build a theme park to us in the mountains of my mind,

travel there every lonely hour and take all the rides.

Tell me where to stand in the garden.

Where nobody will see us.

Not even Lou Reed’s satellites.

Tell me this shit is real.

Or unreal.

That works too.


Show me a species of bird that migrates from Melbourne to Manhattan every year and I’ll tie a love letter around its ankle.

Tell me, do birds even have ankles?

Tell me how somebody so old could still be learning about birds.

And by that I mean actual birds, but the other way works too.

Tell me how you know so much stuff.

I only want this love to have its own Wikipedia entry.

I only want the New York Times to tell me we’re getting married.

I only want to be more famous than your dresses.

I only want to live long enough to know how to die right.


Let’s synchronise our watches so we break up at the same time.

Then let’s drown our watches in the kitchen sink in sync, so that we never break up.

I know, we broke up, but for the purpose of this poem, let’s pretend that we didn’t.

Or let’s write up a post-breakup agreement with plenty of day passes.

Then let’s swap shadows, so I can watch your determined walk all the time.


Tell me where to stand in the garden.

Light has the highest concentration of magic at dusk.

We can dig in here forever.

We can learn how to grow.

Tell me where the soil is the softest, where the underworld will receive us the quickest.

I have the best of friends in low places.


I’m sorry.

I’m sorry the love letter I wrote you was eaten by the sky.

How could I know the future could eat so much?


Tarkovsky wrote poems with a camera.

He knew about us.

He knew we would break up.

He knew we didn’t need to worry about this.

And he was right.

When those doe eyed beared boy scouts come at you

With a pocket full of sadsong mixtapes.

Wait and remember

they don’t love blue like I do.

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Filed under Featured Artists, Gigs, Poetry, Uncategorized

Simon Kindt – the new face and voice of SpeedPoets – the new MC

June 2014 Call-back Poet graciously declines the honour!

Simon Kindt

Hi speedy poets,

With Andrew Phillips disappearing into the thready winter sunset and heading for the warmer shores of California, it’s an honour and a privilege to  be joining the Speedpoets crew as the guy who jumps on stage and says things (read MC). With that said and done, it would be a little odd to be both an MC and a call back for the year so I’m going to respectfully decline my spot at the November showdown and make way for finer poets than me to get up and make noise. Looking forward to seeing you all at the Lucky Duck (bring your friends- all of them!) and thanks for making Speedpoets one of the pillars of culture in Brisbane.

Bio. In collaboration with Chloë Callistemon, Simon co-published the collection air / tide in 2014.  He is currently working on various projects including a verse novel and – as a teacher at a major Brisbane High School- he is working on building a youth slam community in Brisbane to provide opportunities for teenage writers and performers to share their work. Some of his students are going to be onstage at QPF in 2014. And you, well… you should go and see them.
Simon’s writing explores the sublime and the ordinary in the colliding territories of landscape, the body, and the whole human mess. He has an open, gentle performance style, a generous grasp of human emotion, and a willingness to carefully peel back the seemingly ordinary to reveal what lies underneath.










We, such stuff as dreams are made

it’s true sometimes,
a day     will end like this:

the river swelling as the tide
comes in,
the sun slouching down
below the ridgeline,
light unstitching the horizon.

the shadow of a hunting hawk
spiralling a thread of air
above the headland,
waves singing quiet through the water,
golden light    washing your hands.

your daughter carrying
a bucket full of shells she plucked
from the lowtide line,
she’ll spill like jewels
across your palm,

and         you,     for once with no desire
to weight these things with any
meaning but their own,
for once with nothing
in your head but
thank you.


some lost and broken thing

the whale, thrown off course,

a compass no doubt spinning in its skull,
came ashore in the night.

its belly, fat and heavy with myth,
bottomed out against a sandbank,
then hauled itself, fat on grief,
into the shallows, and waited
as the tide fell away beneath it.

in stranger days than this we might
have taken to the sand in celebration,
lit a pyre and hauled the beast above high water,
sunk a blade into the flank and carved the fat
in slabs, rendered blubber into lamp oil,
cut and cured the meat, carved totems
into bone and offered up the heart
to old Poseidon.

now we, so thoroughly enlightened,
so insistent on solidity of borders,
hang fences round our necks,
take those who’ve lost their way
or fled from something brute and full of teeth
and say ‘no dear, this is not your place.’

we turn the the lost about,
point them back towards the waves
from which they came
and declare the brace and rope
and chain we used to haul them out
the proof
of our compassion.

when the ocean offers up a metaphor
we look anywhere but inward for meaning,
for the risen scrimshaw guilt,
the bloodied history written
in our bones and all our unpaid rent,
we tell ourselves everything can be forgotten,

that all history is palimpsest

unremembered as words written in sand,
scraped by tide and draining out to the pacific:

“Here some lost and broken thing 
tried to make its way to shore, 
here we hurled it back to sea.”

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Filed under Featured Artists, Gigs, Poetry, Uncategorized




Submissions for the July edition of SpeedPoets Magazine will close on Wednesday 23 July 2014. Please email submissions to speedpoetszine@gmail.com,
preferably as word documents attached to the e-mail, or in the body.

Life is easier if the poems are short – say up to 25 lines.

And here is a word document of the June SpeedPoets Zine = 201406 . Thank you all for your contributions.  It was very well received.

SpeedPoets will next gather at The Lucky Duck on Saturday 26 July, starting at 2pm.  Bring some poems.



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Photographs from SpeedPoets first event at The Lucky Duck

Clinton ToghillClinton Brett Toghill opens proceedings
Clinton Brett Toghill opens procedings

A ripple of applause
A ripple of applause

Trudie Trudie, Bryce nad Clayton
Trudie (and with Bryce and Clayton)


Tom Tom struggling with technology
Tom (with techno-trouble)


Stacey Stacey and Tom D
Stacey (with Tom D)


Shanti2 Shanti1



Savanu Sav is God
Sav is God (OK?)


Sav, TBN, Trish
Sav, TBN and Trish
Ron (two street up)
Ron ( two streets down)

Peter Bakowski
Peter Bakowski reading Peter Bakowski (with a snail who wants to know what it’s all Peter B Peter B 2about


Mother (Vanessa) and son absorbed
Mother (Vanessa) and son, absorbed


Matheus Matheus (2)
 and all the way from Germany, Matheus


Lesley Lesley
Lesley, opening her heart





Clayton and someone photogenic whose name I don't know


Andrew (Pied Hill Prawns).

I didn’t get a shot of his co-MC and the Call Back Poet of the Month (Simon Kindt)
o here is a library photo – congratulations, Simon.

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by | June 30, 2014 · 10:06 am

Peter Bakowski Returns to SpeedPoets 28 June 2014

The first feature poet for SpeedPoets at The Lucky Duck Cafe and Bar is Melbourne Poet Peter Bakowski.


13 March 2013 Author photoPeter Bakowski has been writing poems for 31 years, has received the Victorian Premiers Award for Poetry and writer’s residencies in Rome, Paris, Macau and Suzhou. His poems continue to appear in literary journals worldwide. He specializes in presenting poetry in private houses throughout Australia. pbakowski@yahoo.com

Here are some examples of his work:

The paper dolls

we had to dance
for a visitor’s amusement.

we are pinned
to a wall.

Our pencilled eyes
can’t blink away the dust.

Pale, thin,
we grip each other’s hands

and tremble
whenever the door

City workers during morning rush hour, Collins Street

Perhaps not fully awake, elbowed and bumped, you alight from trams,
Exit Parliament Station, to join the ballet of the brisk.
Rebel by sitting on a park bench. Such a luxury may incite a
Scowl on a passing face. Reading the
Obituaries in The Age, you’ll learn how often a certain
Nuclear scientist was married. This knowledge of a more troubled life may
Allow you to take a break from painting the town grey.
Look at the bird‐borrowed sky. It’s not raining rats and tarantulas.

What a gift is hunger. Because of it your ancestors left their caves,
Explored plains, valleys, rivers, seas. These
Adventures became paintings, songs, tall tales, family legends, headlines.
There’s the story of each person, on the trains, trams and street corners.
How vulnerable you are, how strong you are. I want to reveal your
Essence via the camera of this poem, as you swarm and
Rush in the business district, glancing at your wristwatches.

Self-portrait, Melbourne, 19 September, 2012

I’m many selves, some are intimidated by authority figures.
Disapproval makes them hide in the dark beneath my ribs.
Emergent selves must believe no predators are near, ready to break their spines.
Not too social some of my selves. They get their best thinking done being alone.
Tentative, they observe rather than participate, prefer libraries to dance floors.
Insistent invitations make them grumpy. You can tell by their body language
They’d rather be elsewhere, not politely asking, “And how do you earn a living?”
Yet they can be kind to the shy. “That was me once,” they say to each other.

Lucky Duck Cafe

open mic poetry – music – free poetry zines

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by | June 22, 2014 · 11:53 am

SpeedPoets has moved

That’s right. Brisbane open mic event, SpeedPoets, has swum across the river several times in it’s 14 year history.

And on Saturday 28th June we clamber up from the river dripping and cold to deliver our hot open mic words to the crowd and good folk at Lucky Duck cafe, Highgate Hill.

Here’s where it is: 15 Gladstone Rd, Highgate Hill  

I’ll post more about our feature, Melbourne poet Peter Bukowski very soon.

Also, in the spirit of changing winds and river mud and all, we’re slightly changing the format. Running two rounds of open mic. Twice. Yeah, you heard me. Bring along two poems if you’re SpeedPoet enough (whatever that means). Be there at 2pm to sign up and bring along two poems to warm, shiver or knock us all over with your words at

Lucky Duck Cafe

As always, we welcome and love having new voices step up to the open mic.  I hope to see you all there. Can’t wait actually. So get your keyboards sharpened, your pencils finger-tapping and your voice to a finely tuned whiskey-rasp quack. See ya at SpeedPoets at the LuckyDuck.

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Filed under Gigs, Poetry