Tag Archives: poetry zines

drunks never stay sober with a metaphysically broken ‘heart’

zine: Beers Never Get Drunk in a Sober & Blasphemous World by Patrick Moore (limited run by Analog Submission Press, Cape Town SA & Yorkshire, UK); no longer available. 

drinks: 1. Pillow Fight (6% ABV, 440mL, can) brewed by Tallboy & Moose (Preston, Vic, AUS) 2. How Now Brown Cacao? (6% ABV, 440mL nitro can) brewed by Moon Dog Brewing (Abbotsford, Vic, AUS) in collaboration with Metisto Artisan Chocolate

venue: The Catfish, Fitzroy, Melbourne (they’re playing some killer Britpop at the moment and it’s RAD)

*Patreon-only content*

After being shafted by some skeezy bartender over a period of a few months, for whatever-the-hell reason, I thought it’d be good idea last Monday (7/10/19) to turn up to their place on employment (on their day off, natch) for drinks with someone else (there was one beer I was dying to try) after my work shift. I guess if you’re brought up Catholic, the self-flagellation desire never truly leaves you, wink? Here’s the first of the quartet – Hop Nation‘s Fool raspberry sour. The beer I was chasing was Stay Puft Imperial Salted Caramel porter by Tiny Rebel Brewing Co).

Four tulip glasses later (fark, I forget how expensive Beer Deluxe is?! and how sloppy *some* bartenders are with pouring?!) with excellent company, and insisting on taking some of my night meds which were probably best left avoided after getting home (it’s okay – sometimes I can do that), given that one completely caused me to forget that our bathroom/loo switch is outside the door, not inside – absolute hell when you’re dying to empty your bladder.

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Last Monday, started a new Patreon post, which means the previous one is now free on my blog: https://eatdrinkstagger.com/shitck-life-stuff-happens/ But here’s the current Patreon one’s reviewed goodies (also how good is coworking?! especially now there’s wi-fi at ye olde Catfish!) visual descriptor: 1. a tall beverage can with a pink body lying on a pillow on label and ‘Tallboy and Moose make beer’ to can’s right, a glass of a mango juice coloured liquid. 2. tall beverage can that says ‘Moon Dog: How Now Brown Cacao – cold brew cacao cream ale, nitro charged’ with a clear, dark honey coloured liquid in a glass to its right. 3. an off-white mottled zine with the title ‘Beers Never Get Drunk in a Sober & Blasphemous World’, with author Patrick Moore’s name at bottom and an illustration of barflies at a bar on top of a colourful, larger zine

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Immediate beer consumption the following day wasn’t exactly on my mind for the following day, but I’d had a coworking sesh organisised at The Catfish with my poet mate Connor, who is doing a much better job of poeting at the moment, while I’m halfway through the poetry zine I purposefully chose, and hope to have two tinnies with rather than just the one.

*Patreon-only image & content here*

First of all, the first poem reminds me of aforementioned skeezy bartender (but seriously, who is the fool in this situation? Why the hell was I so naive? I do not like that I cannot put the two dot diacritical on the ‘i’ in ‘naive’) called ‘It’s Our Almost One Week Anniversary Together’ – I’d like to type the whole poem, but I’ll just do the beginning and the end:

you want a love poem?

go asphyxiate yourself


[…]


you’ll get yours

after I’m done

dry heaving

in the toilet

I feel personally targeted by this because I spend a lot of my time dry heaving (chemical nausea, and I don’t use the toilet for that shit, what do you think bathroom sinks are for?!) and I also don’t write love poetry*. Perhaps ones about my cats count, but they’re safe, aren’t they? And they do unconditional love way better than humans do. I don’t really think humans are truly capable of strictly unconditional love, just like physics error calculations have to be done because we don’t live in a vacuum. There’s too many extenuating forces that can affect, say, the skimming of a pebble on a pond’s surface. Anyway, I digest (sic)…It was quite the scuffle with bedclothes (and clothes generally, let’s be honest) to get to The Catfish on time after an unintentional tasting sesh last night. I really wanted a Bloody Mary! The beer. I’d been wanting to try this one for ages and for some reason thought it was a collab? After last night’s…antics and despite scoffing down a mushroom Philly cheesesteak with extra cheese at warp speed, I wasn’t looking forward to drinking more beer (gasp! flap your kerchiefs, ladies).

*Patreon-only beer tasting notes here*

Pillow Fight is weird – at first it seemed too bitter in keeping with its IPA kin, then at other times, it tasted more like a textbook NE IPA (freshly squeezed orange juice without too much sweetness or mouth-pucker sourness). It also looks like slightly diluted mango juice, and has very little carbonation. It’s a good-sized can so I took my sweet-not-sour time drinking it. Probably one you’d be best off drinking on tap and super-fresh? My can had some hardened orange oat/lactose that eventually melted but yeah wow, the bitterness just stunned me into sobriety (don’t worry, it won’t last). I’m very grateful for the second beer How Now Brown Cacao?, which is one of those beers that doesn’t taste like beer at all (confirmed by my mate Connor) and is just freaking delicious – think a liquid that looks like a pint of a pale with a foamy, creamy white head that tastes of subtle chocolate, caramel and fudge.

*Patreon-only beer tasting notes here*

It was needed for the second half of Moore’s chapbook. I hate giving negative reviews of things, but there’s a lot in what I’ve read so far that’s extremely problematic: ableism (in particular regarding mental health, though some with people who have unusual appearances, such as bearded ladies), implied misogyny in the killing and successful concealing of ex-lovers (like, seriously? this isn’t the 1990s?). One of the ableist mental illness poems I’ve quoted below, but chosen very carefully what part to quote:

nothing matters when 
you’re the rightful proprietor 
to a broken mind
— ‘Toothpaste on the Stairs. With Ghosts’

Some of us don’t actually have a choice over having ‘broken’ minds. Sometimes people ask me if I’d rather never lived with any mood disorders, but would I be the person I am now if I didn’t have them? Who’s to say I wouldn’t have grown up mean, a slave to capitalism, not caring or wanting to imagine how others might feel in given situations (empathy is a fucking curse with my type of depression; for some time I have to fake not giving a shit in certain situations before not giving a shit, and that’s usually for my mental health in regards to toxic, draining people).I absolutely fucking HATE writing negative reviews of ANYTHING, however, I think the weakest poem in this chapbook is ‘The Writer’. It feels riddled with phrases and concepts that are designed to shock, and also ignores that people have different experiences at different times in their lives. The poem instructs people not to bother experimenting with recreational drug use if you haven’t before…so at what stage is one supposed to contemplate that? At 10? At 50? At 25? It just seems like a passive-aggressive prescriptive ‘suggestion’ borne of accumulated lived experience or life wisdom that doesn’t really read as such.
The one poem I did connect with as a reader was called ‘The Wrong Bar’ (which I dare remind you, I most certainly am not at!).

if you’re the drunkest one at the bar, 
you’re at the wrong bar
— ‘The Wrong Bar’

We’ve all been there. No judgement if you haven’t, or don’t want to, or are still waiting for your wrong bar.

Also, cheers Connor, for confirming that I wasn’t being overly harsh when reading the reviewed chapbook. I’m the kind of reviewer that can always find something positive to say about someone’s creative work because it’s a bloody risk, putting aspects of your self out there that aren’t as, say, risky as they would be in a corporate/professional setting.

I think I’m going to have to start asking C to nag me to get the veg or vegan cheesesteaks though (my fave is the mushroom one, every freaking time, that sucker is so good with the melted cheese!), and though I don’t eat much meat, I should probably make more of an effort with preparing vegan meals?

And drink less booze. Ironically, been drinking a tad more since the skeezy bartender incident, bad bad bad.


*not entirely true; I have dedicated poems to lovers of great personal significance, especially as they were likely not to be listening or paying attention. Some have even been published. Shh! Don’t tell anyone I have feelings.

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late night tea and reflective reading

zine: Smut  ‘Day Dreamer’ issue 4

drink: Afternoon Australian Grey (Ceylon, bergamot, and Aus. lemon myrtle) by Madame Flavour

Wow, today was a very good day. I’m currently working on a commission, and today, I was adamant that I had to get the damn thing done so that I could print it out on paper (don’t judge me!), and finally call it finished. It’s been a work-in-progress for quite some time, and one I’ve agonised over in several drafts. It morphed a lot in those drafts.

Tonight, I deliberately picked up a super-short zine for the daily read, as a result of my brain being mush thanks to editing, Trying to read this zine after watching Thor: The Dark World (is it odd that I find superhero films boring? not counting Black Panther because that was fucking rad, you know it) to wind down still meant a shift back into poet-as-reader mode! And no music – just comforting late-night outdoor ambient noise. Is it weird to hear trains so near but find their sound reassuring?

Tea, time for tea.* It’s also been a while since I did a non-alcoholic post, and today has Melbourne in glorious cool change mode. This Australian take on Earl Grey I’m drinking is so damn fragrant. I’ve had it in my pantry for a while and the scent it leaves lingering is heavenly, and distinctive (the lemon myrtle).

Online hunting has revealed that Smut is a microfiction and poetry zine from Melbourne, and the ‘Day Dreamer’ issue is the latest one. Each contribution is numbered and has a reproduction of what look like vintage photos (of very white people…). My favourite ones were the very amusing one about a dog burning shared memories and recollections with a human onto CDs, and a poem about a sinister dream, blood, and reproduction (which, if you read yesterday’s entry, you’ll know has been on my mind very recently!)

The zine ends with a single word on its last page – ‘dream’ – another topic that’s been preoccupying me lately. I’ve been rewatching The Fall and one of the main characters, Stella Gibson, keeps a dream journal. I used to do something similar when I was on medication that on certain doses, gave me the most vivid, violent or downright ridiculous dreams (though sometimes it’s not the meds, it’s past trauma stuff). It’s funny because as a kid, I never had nightmares (probably because I found it so hard to sleep!). I’ve had a lot as a grown-up.

Venlafaxine in particular on high doses is notorious for night terrors, nightmares (that wake up everyone else in your abode but you), and sleep paralysis. Quetiapine just makes me you dopey as fuck, so the dreams tend to be good-weird and rambling. Zolpidem can give you even weirder dreams: it never gives me nice ones, they’re always regret-laden ones that make me feel sad and lonely upon waking. This is why it’s good to have a cat. My old cat Wolfie, was a fantastic grump and nightmare vanguard, and my cat now Fance is a huggy cat who’ll let me snuggle her like a soft toy (under quilt and all! if she’s not sleeping on my hair!) who’ll sneak out from under my arm when I’m just about to fall asleep again.

Sorry, not a fun note to finish on, despite feeling a really good kind of tired. The Bengal kitty I’m looking after likes me again (she’s been napping as I’ve been working my arse off today), and I’ve got another cup of tea to attend to that may have been left to brew for a wonderful-but-socially-unacceptable time…g’night.

*Nope, tea doesn’t keep me awake. I also find it comforting to have hot drinks before bed. Coffee is the drink that mess up my ability to sleep, upset my tummy, make me shake lots. It clashes a fair bit with my day med unless I’ve eaten shitloads. Boooo.

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what are the odds, girl?!

It’s been an…’interesting’ start to the week, and yes, by ‘interesting’, I mean ‘slightly challenging’. For the most part, productive in a healthy way – I got proofs for a poem that will soon be out in the wild, and fretted over whether the scanner I had access to was doing a good enough job of photocopying/scanning marked-up pages so that the folks responsible for rendering the text for the journal could read!

That’s the good stuff to have anxiety over – I don’t want to be difficult to work with, so was worried I was being too demanding by wanting my poem to appear on the page like it should…look, anxiety doesn’t listen to humans trying to be reasonable with their brains!).

I also found out late last week that an application I submitted for an emerging producer programme through Melbourne Fringe was unsuccessful…which is hard, but that stuff happens. I personally think that in the interview, I should have discussed my personal creative practice more than I actually did – which, in hindsight sucks, but it’s helped me come up with a few ideas of how I might be able to play with recitation and performance of my poems and as well as exploring mental health (and illness), I’ve started to look at one poem in particular that I can perform/recite/experiment-like-hell with in terms of chronic physiological pain.

So some folks might know that I’m a bitter, failed musicologist. In order to get to that stage, I was a music undergrad at Melbourne Uni, when they still had double degrees covered under HECS, and the Victorian College of the Arts (the joke goes) is where the folks with actual talent went. I incurred overuse injury to both arms as a result of several years of practice without taking proper breaks in high school. Activities like writing or typing for long periods of time can also bring on the pain, or even shit beds. It recently flared up at the start of the year after pulling a muscle in my neck, and the pain in my supposedly good shoulder…UGH. Let’s just say that it was agony trying to wipe one’s arse regardless of what hand you favour

This is a very, very long introduction to my coincidental choice of zine to review, though the drink not so much – I can’t sleep, so thought I’d read the following zine by Rachael Wenona Guy, a Castlemaine-based artist. In yet more coincidences, Guy is the partner of a poet with Marfen syndrome – me and Ben (of Melbourne Spoken Word fame) were gushing about Andy’s work, some of which I’d come across in an anthology called Shaping the Fractured Self, edited and selected by Heather Taylor Johnson, which is supposed to be a chronicle of work by people whose lives are affected by chronic pain or illness. I didn’t enjoy most of the anthology, and it pains me to admit that but hopefully it’s for valid reasons. The choices made as to what poems were featured needed introductory essays – many of which couldn’t be read independent of these explanations. Having said that, Andy Jackson’s poems in the book were freaking fantastic – you had a picture immediately in your head as you read his words, and it made you feel srs feels. There were a few other authors who stood out – and sadly few examples of repetitive strain injury (which I don’t have – overuse injury is a lesser beast) and mental illnesses.

zine: Girl: poems on childhood & Eulogy (photo-essay) by Rachael Wenona Guy (2016)

drink: Magic Rock Brewing (UK)  ‘Salty Kiss’ gooseberry gose (330mL can, 4.1% ABV)

Ooooh, I think I like the Red Duck gooseberry gose better, gasp! though this Magic Rock one is probably a better example of the style? It’s bang-on with the half-salt, half-sour, whereas the Red Duck one was juicier and just a tad sweeter, and much less salty. This one feels like it has more of the sea in it (it does have sea buckthorn listed as an ingredient).

I don’t remember how or why I bought Rachael’s zine, but it was still in the envelope I’d received it in when I found it last month, after very slowly starting to sort and unpack drafts of poems, and medical evidence of hospitalisations. It’s the sort of zine that you want to read when you’re alone, and it’s very late and dead quiet, while your beloved pet sleeps on next to you, on your bed.

A few images wouldn’t leave me alone, as happens with good poetry – I liked the poems ‘Portrait’, about how the person (in the poem), her father is drawing, and she mentions something about drawing a baby’s hand. I loved ‘Robe’ because it reminded me of growing up in England (weirdly enough…!), and the following line from ‘Girl in a Tree’ which again summons memories of my own childhood in London:

(…) The girl surveys her home — it

is ordinary, yet it is everything.

Isn’t it a magical time, when this feels so true, for us?

 

 

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