john koenig



The Ted Bundy Affair

Forensic psychologists talk
about how he selected
his victim, by the tilt
of her head.
Such an emotive word, victim,
he was never one
for emotion,
he would much prefer, prize,
as in trophy.
Not for him anvil-jawed
fierce-eyed girls
with smooth sure strides,
he was never one
for competition.
Better a girl caged by doubt
or best of all a bleeding heart.
How they bled.

Splintered mouths,
limp below clouded eyes,
curled like a flat spare tyre
in the black trunk of his car.
Rust red staining
the cold steel tools,
rattling along
gravel ridge roads,
where the warm night air
carried the smell of


                 SpeedPoets Logo edit





JK 2











It’s all in the Grain

And on that night
when I sit with my back
against the summer breeze
of a friend’s verandah
around a table hewn by the
rough hands of a bushranger’s son
laughing about the foolishness of life
please let that table
be silky oak.

And if while driving home
on one of those country roads
like the back of my hand
I nod off and drift
same as the last time
when I first started dreaming on roads
and splintered that ironbark railway fence
except this time there is no highly strung
eight-gauge safety net
to catch me
this time my luck runs out
and I run off the gun metal road
headlong into the crunching embrace
of a grand roadside tree
and there is smoke and shattered glass and spilt fuel
one deflated wheel spinning lazily
under a straw man dawn
please let that tree
be silky oak.

And when the undertaker
toting his heavy green bag
with the body length zip
comes to fetch me
and in his care I ride for free
back to the mortuary
where with a minimum of fuss
he does my hair
taking time to clean under my nails
(it’s the thought that counts)
and only then does he lay me out
in a blue silk lined box
where I can finally rest
and oh yes
please let that coffin
be silky oak

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lesley synge
on september 27







one of the great things about the move to the Lucky Duck is that some of our prodigals (and prodiguys) have returned to SpeedPoets more regularly
Lesley Synge is one of these, and we are so pleased to have her dropping in so often that we asked her to do a feature

I missed out on a copy of ‘Organic Sister’, but have long owned and cherished her book ‘Mountains Belong to the People who Love Them: Slow Journeys in South Korea and Eastern Australia’.  Grab a copy at SpeedPoets this Saturday.  You will not regret it.


LesleySynge Sep 14

  There is         © Lesley Synge

 There is evil in the world:
I’ve seen it glow.
I have looked into its furnace
and seen it blow.

 There is love in the world:
I’ve eased its flow.
I’ve dived beneath its surface
and felt its tow.

 There’s emptiness in this world:
emptiness to know.
I’ve slipped into its nothingness
haha hee hee
……………………ho ho


Lesley Synge documents life with eyes wide open. She turns her gaze with equal intensity to all before her, whether the wrongs of contemporary society or the serendipity of passing clouds.  She is widely published in prose as well as poetry and is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Lesley Synge’s first collection of poetry Organic Sister has gone out of print and her most recent book is Mountains Belong to the People who Love Them: Slow Journeys in South Korea and Eastern Australia. For sale at the special price of $20.

My Hairdresser

Don’t even think about
spending more than two seconds
bleating about your broken heart
in her salon
because she’ll tell ya straight –
men are only good for one thing.
After a hair appointment with Terry
you’d come out feeling like
you’d danced all night at a disco
steada having the dead cells on top of your head
tizzed up.
Know what I mean?

Bit on the loud side, our Terry
a bit … OTT.
Every time you booked in
she’d have redecorated
and be swirling around in a weird teenage outfit
running a hand through the latest
colour in her hair
or through the tinsel wig she wore
after illness struck.

She hated it when she couldn’t work any more
drove her husband nuts as she
ran up her bankcard
on rows of lights across the lounge-room ceiling
and huge mirrors.

I saw this jazz when I came to stay the night.
She was wearing slinky tight black pants
and a sexy pink T-shirt
and I was in my fake leopard fur
to help her feel as if we’d returned
from drinking cocktails
and not about to spend the evening
lounging on the double bed she could hardly leave
now her bones had started to shatter.
She told her husband
Darl, you gotta get me to the hospital
for a decent shot of morphine.
The poor bugger was so sleep-deprived
he could hardly summon the ambos.
When they came, she refused
to utter the word pain
but when they heard the name of her condition
they knew she wasn’t faking it.

She chirped away
as if some spunk was tempting her
into the back of his panel van
to zoom her to his favourite midnight beach
instead of the Emergency Department.
Hey haven’t I seen you guys somewhere before?
That naked ambos calendar?
These boys are spunky she winked at me.
And they laughed back
Lady, you belong in that TV show
Absolutely Fabulous.
And before they closed the ambo doors
her husband tucked a basket under the high-tech stretcher –
whenever she went to hospital she knitted psychedelic scarves
for the homeless –
and said Darl! you won’t believe the number plate!
it’s 124 LUV
and she said
I’d like to give these spunks 124 love.
The ambos eased away like they had celebrity cargo
while we stood in the empty driveway
and punched the air
and cried 124 LUV!
as if we’d discovered
the meaning of life.

Down Here, our Terry’s not cutting hair
anymore, making her clientele look good
for weddings, parties, divorces, new lovers.
But we all know what’s happenin Up There.
In her black miniskirt and stilettoes
brandishing her scissors
she’s chasing God around
from cloud to cloud shrieking:
You’d look spunky with a bleached crewcut!
Why the hell do ya wanna look like a hippie?
I’m gonna texturize the crap outa that beard of yours.
Have ya seen how cool the angels look with purple streaks?
God, we have ta brighten This Place up.

Lesley Synge 

For Terry Windred 1951-2012

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POETS’ CORNER – a new event on the Sunshine Coast



Open Mic
Featured Poets
Raffle Prizes


JAQK Horner

 At the
Hidden Bean

Corner of Beach and OCEAN Streets,

on the second Saturday of each month
2pm TO 5pm



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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


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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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But wait. There’s more. A second, late late feature at SpeedPoets this coming Saturday, 23 August

This gentleman will be coming
from interstate, coming
from a wedding reception, coming
from the recommendation of David Stavanger, coming
from behind a beautiful beard and mo, coming
late, coming
from ‘Tattooing the Surface of the Moon’, coming
from a major Planetarium, and coming
on strong!

Stay till the end, and make sure you see Sean M Whelan

at the Lucky Duck Cafe and Bar (or is it the Bar and Cafe?)

on Saturday 23 August from 2pm till 5pm.

Lucky Duck Cafe


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Jake Connor Moss is a Brisbane based writer, artist and filmmaker.
His first documentary, ‘jerk’ will be entering festivals in late 2014, joining his new documentary, ‘FAG’.
His first book, a memoir on his high school years, ‘LOSER’, will be published in late 2014.
This year Moss has starred in two plays, and will be returning to the Brisbane theatre scene as a playwright in 2015 with his plays ‘Just For You’ and ‘Joe’s Videos’.
Moss will be showing his paintings and photography at RAW in October, and performing his music at Ric’s in November.
Moss’ poetry ebook ‘A Headache Worth Having’ is available for free on iTunes, and his second poetry collection ‘Crooked Teeth’ will be available in print in November.”
“Feeling free,
But gloriously twisted,
Every night,
Like my little sister’s,
Nightmares I make fun of her for having.
These jeans’ seams,
Are causing me blisters,
Too busy to notice -
I sit and miss her,
And the days when memories were worth making.
Momentarily mad,
But forever insane,
I’ve lost my mind,
But that’s no change,
I left it on the cream carpet,
In the blue-walled room,
The night I couldn’t get it up.”
Excerpt From: Jake Connor Moss. “A Headache Worth Having.” iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

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Who is Jake Connor Moss?

He’s our feature poet for August.  Not a poet you will see at QPF.  Not a Poet you have seen before.  So you do need to come to SpeedPoets one week before QPF, or you will miss out on the stranger everyone is talking about at QPF.

Find out who is Jake Connor Moss.

have another beer, Jake we're only here for the beer

have another beer, Jake
we’re only here for the beer

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Goodbye Andrew


The man who took SpeedPoets from the broiling waves and brought it safe to shore is leaving us for a while.  Andrew Phillips stepped up to the microphone at the end of last year in a storm over plagiarism and saw the event safely through.  As he leaves Brisbane ‘for a few months’ for California, SpeedPoets has asked him to present a feature on The Stinson Series of poems.

In these poems, Andrew takes the voice of Bernard O’Reilly to tell of his journey across the Lamington Plateau to rescue the occupants of a Stinson aircraft that crashed on the mountain.

Andrew is the feature poet for July 2014.


Andrew Phillips



I plant my feet
 in steep leaf-mould

and it threatens
 to let go

lick the soil 
in the air;

a mix of oxygen, water 
and a slit of sunlight.

I zigzag like ground locals

this place asks for instincts

moss gives directions. the mug

sleep-sack, bread and onions

slice into my shoulder

heavier than thoughts.


8am on Mt Throakban

my anxiety swirls like clouds

this is the first of four ranges

I reckon the liner could be

I stare into a grey blank, waiting for clouds

to lift, to offer a view

then the grey splits to a vast green sea

of ranges and gorges

there are creamy white splashes

of flowers in bloom

then something makes me jump

one brown tree

it is eight miles away on the third range,

where it swells up to join the border

Is it naturally brown? No,

trees die a branch at a time.


There’s been no natural fire in this dripping rainforest

since time began. Lightning

perhaps? Or one hundred

gallons of petrol?

Clouds swoop in.

I put my head down. Tear into

the soaking green jungle.

I don’t see that burnt tree again

until I stand twenty yards from it

eight hours late

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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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Submissions for the July edition of SpeedPoets Magazine will close on Wednesday 23 July 2014. Please email submissions to,
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.

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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Vanessa Page – callback poet for (final Hideaway) May






Thank you to everyone who has come along to enjoy SpeedPoets at the Hideaway. To all the open mic’ers, all the new voices, the musicians, the crazies, the hecklers, the pop-in-and-lend-an-ear’ers, thank you. thank you thank you. Thank you Jimmy and The Hideaway for your support and having us perform each month. It’s been a treat.

Went out with a hoot last Saturday. A lively variety at the open mic including the return of a prodigal sausage roll – a bunch of new voices (great to see) –  many regulars throwing their final versed words into the comfy Hideaway atmosphere (including masked-Shanti)  –  Betsy Turcot performing her lyrical journey from ‘hugging the yellow line’ and Kevin Smith delivered a narrative with a spectacular Australian voice – and finally, long time SpeedPoet and award winning poet, Vanessa Page was chosen as Callback poet to feature in the November final.


Vanessa Page

QPF 2012

Vanessa Page is a Cashmere-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. She has published two collections of poetry: ‘Feeding Paper Tigers’ (ALS Press, 2011) and ‘Confessional Box’ (Walleah Press, 2013). Confessional Box was the winner of the Anne Elder Award in 2013. She has twice been named runner-up in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript, and in 2013 was runner-up in the John Knight Memorial Prize.


You’d brought home a string of coloured lights
and crafted a beautiful mess

a complex frippery
hanging like an imago garland
in the exhausted landscape we’d created

our CD collections had been making love for months
behind a smokescreen of conversation
and the endless scraping of deck chairs

now, only screeching rosellas create the static

our signals have been switched off
and we wait at ten paces, armed with
our own scorched earth policies

wondering, who will keep the strange ceramic bull
on the mantle when it all becomes final?

Congratulations Vanessa.

We hope you all make it along again to SpeedPoets at our new venue across the river at the Lucky Duck cafe, 15 Gladstone Rd, Highgate Hill. I’ll post more about it soon. But here’s a link for now:

Lucky Duck Cafe


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Last dig at the Hideaway – May 31st – 2pm

The Hideaway is shutting its doors. Forever. SpeedPoets will have a new home for June but for now, come and enjoy the last SpeedPoets in the comfort of the Hideaway.

Bring a poem or two for the Open mic, there’ll be feature poets Betsy Turcot and Kevin Smith, music from Clinton Toghill and Mr Ocean, free zines, giveaways. We’d love to see you there. And love new voices stepping up for the open mic.

Then after SpeedPoets from 7pm are more poets, artists, bands crammed into the final day/night of the Hideaway – it’s Goodbye Jimmy. Hosted by Ghostboy.

Here’s a taste of our May features Betsy Turcot and Kevin Smith:

Betsy Turcot

is a performance poet, workshop facilitator and mother of one. She has featured at Queensland Poetry, Melbourne Overload, Brisbane Emerging Arts, Anywhere Theatre and Woodford Folk festivals. She is author of the verse novella, Hugging the Yellow Line. Betsy is also one of the two parts of the Belles of Hell alongside Eleanor Jackson. The Belles of Hell have co-written three poetic plays which have been performed around Australia as well as in New York City.

One last time in the record’s silence,
you tell me you ache to be wanted,
I tell you I ache to be wanted,
and we don’t say a word.

You tell me you ache to be wanted
until I am spent,
and we don’t say a word?
But the sheets speak in atonement

until I am spent.
I tell you I ache to be wanted,
but the sheets speak in atonement,
one last time in the record’s silence.

Kevin SmithIMG_0311

has found a home at SpeedPoets, a place to come in from the cold and test a handful of poems that feature in his one-person show ‘One Man Through His Sundered Hulks[1]. A work-in-progress, ‘One Man’ will be a mix of expressionism and narrative poetry blended and heightened through multi-media.

Largely autobiographical, the play’s about a boy’s relationship with his father and family, viewed through the unreliable and emotionally creative lens of memory.

An application for professional development of the piece is in the hands of RADF Sunshine Coast.


[1] Dylan Thomas, ‘Poem On His Birthday’



As the evening came down
the bull settled his lumbering bulk

into the lap of the paddock,
his monumental ease

nestled between the atmosphere
and the slow curve of the earth.

The flat dam lay encased
in the moist pods of his eyes.

His half-ton head swung
in the gloaming;

horns thick as arms
stirred the darkening air;

mist streamed from his muzzle.
A thunderous bellow

loosed from the plumbed depths of his gut-
that harbourage of draughts and slaughter-

 called the night down.
And the full moon-a wild eye-

came flying over the unfenced fields
of his omnipotence.



Saturday 31st May  – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Betsy Turcot – Kevin Smith

Clinton Toghill – Mr Ocean – prizes – free SpeedPoet zines


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Ever wanted to step up to the open mic?

Jodi Cleghorn did with her poem beginning, We almost had sex.
She won callback poet for the afternoon and wins herself a spot in the November final.


Yet again, a bunch of new poets stepped up to the mic for the first time
as well as regular Brisbane wordsmiths, a visiting poet
who was there at the very first SpeedPoets way back in 2000 and always
Clinton Togghil and Mr Ocean lending their tunes to our ears.

skSaturday May 31st is the last SpeedPoets at The Hideaway. It’s the last of the Hideaway altogether. It’s going to biG. There’ll be SpeedPoets from 2pm – 5pm. Grab a bite to eat. Then Goodbye Jimmy: The last Hideaway from 7pm til late hosted by Ghostboy and featuring local artists galore. I’ll post more soon about May SpeedPoets.

Also stay tuned for a new venue announcement for SpeedPoets in June.

Here’s more about Jodi and her winning poem Almost:

sidewaysBWJODI CLEGHORN (@jodicleghorn) is an author, editor, small press owner and of late, poet, with a penchant for the dark vein of humanity. With short stories published at home and abroad and an Aurealis short-listed novella (Elyora/River of Bones) behind her, the publication of her first poem, Ambrosia, marks a new beginning in story telling.

We almost had sex.
Almost broke the lounge
as ‘Blue Velvet’ played to itself on the TV.
The gas radiator filled the room with heat
augmented by our lust.
When you slipped out into the cold night air
your calling card was my body,
almost covered in carpet burn.

I almost fell for you.
The man who parked his car a block away
so the cleaner from work,
who lived around the corner,
had no chance to put two and two together.
But still you huddled into my door,
knocking with an urgency
I mistook for me.

You, who moved your girlfriend in
so you could pretend to be
almost faithful.
You, who hissed, ‘Not here’
when I said ‘hello’ in the bread aisle
and later turned up to seduce me
while you were almost getting ice cream
for the girlfriend-now-fiance.

I almost cried that afternoon
as you drove off without saying goodbye.
When I was almost no longer there
and you had already moved on.
It was easy to regret everything,
rewrite it in the diesel fumes,
when I was almost at the town limits
but still so far away
from arriving.


Thank you for supporting the arts. Thank you poets for writing, sharing your words in venues such as these. Thanks to everyone who contributes, reads at the open mic, plays, performs and acts a galah to make SpeedPoets what it is. Thanks Jimmy for hosting us.


Andrew Phillips

(see you all on the 31st)



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(it’s OK to rhyme)

May Magazine until 27 May.


by | May 8, 2014 · 6:58 am

April ANZAC weekend SpeedPoets

This Saturday 2pm in Brisbane, The Hideaway will again host SpeedPoets for more Open mic poetry, local and interstate feature artists Matt Hetherington, Chloë Callistemon and Simon Kindt, music from Clinton Toghill and Mr Ocean, and Free SpeedPoet Zines.

Of course there’s CallBack poet for the month (so pack an extra poem in yer pocket in case you’re called up) to join Feb and March winners, Andrew McGowan and Savanu in the November final.

Here’s some more on our feature artists:

Matt Hetherington has just moved to Brisbane, and is loving it like icecream. He writes and reads, and also chases dj work and the odd dog.

The Sexiest Look is Up 

from a book’s hidden
title, from a stranger
in a bookshop you can’t
afford, and she’s in some section
like ‘cooking’ or ‘law’
that you never go in
and you’re both not wearing black
all over, and someone’s drinking coffee
somewhere else where you heard a laugh come from
and you figure you may as well ask
if they have any anais nin
just quietly enough
and one of you looks
just a little bit too long
ok, it’s you


Some need no introductions. We like her lots. She’ll be there somehow.

North West

Perched high on the road, I
rumble through the desert.

The world is dusted
the colour of apricots.

A cow lies, legs in the air —
gas-fat, skin dried, drum-tight.

Once-orange work vests
flash sunburnt white.

In the silence post-4WD,
lizards rattle pebbles.

Sun soaks my camp, stains
a pool of sky.

Stars brand the night, hiss
through sweated dreams.

Dingo howls circle, noose
sound and reason.

Today’s sun rises through rotors,
beams slicing ridge tops.

Mudflat dragon-tails snake
away from twisting rivers.

Climb sandstone to reach
blood-red paintings.

Scratched and tanned. These rocks
feel like home.

Simon Kindt

Simon’s work 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.

When I am a landscape I will say

what clear lakes you have kissed into me,
what sweet water your fingers have poured in,

what birds I see circling in your mouth,
what elegant feathers unfold across your arms,

what light this is that dances over bones,
that moves through skin grown thin through winter,

when these lakes reach up to break ice open
and all your swans come thudding home.

Saturday 26th April  – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

open mic

matt hetherington

chloë callistemon & simon kindt

prizes – free zines


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Savanu wins callback March

He approaches the mic with swagger
to rip his words up on stage
every SpeedPoets. Delivers

with a voice only Sav can
and last month Sav

won callback poet of the month

with a poem which had God wearing skin

and the SpeedPoets crowd went upside down
Sav swaggered back to the mic
to deliver another


and that’s why I can’t wait to hear what he brings to the final in November

gonna be epic


This Saturday April 26th is the next SpeedPoets
with more Open Mic, Feature poets, Music, Zines, and give aways.

Keep watching this space for more about that in the next day or two.

Please note: there is no photo of Savanu because he is a man of mystery and mayhem

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haiku tastes like chicken?

Open mic poetry – Trish Reid – Bill Moran – Music – Zines – Prizes

Bring a poem, bring your words, bring a loud clapping noise, bring a quiet haiku moment, bring your Saturday afternoon. It’s SpeedPoets at the Hideaway on Saturday the 29th – 2pm. It’s Open mic poetry at its scorching finest. It’s Good Ghost Bill (Southern Fried Haiku 2013 Champion) and local poetess Trish Reid, music from Clinton Toghill and Mr Ocean, Zines and giveaways all packaged in the comfortable ale or coffee atmosphere of the Hideaway.

The Speedpoets crew love meeting new performers and hearing new voices. Come and say g’day, sign your name on the open mic list and let your words ring out. Really hope to see you there. Here’s some more about Good Ghost Bill and Trish.


Bill Moran

Good Ghost Bill

(Good Ghost) Bill Moran was a proud member of the 2011-2013 Austin Poetry Slam national teams, as well as the 2012 & 2013 Austin Poetry Slam Champion and 2013 Southern Fried Haiku Champion. He has has co-directed the Texas Grand Slam two years running, featured at venues and taught workshops nationwide, conducted long-term poetry programs at a local juvenile justice center, as well as released four books and a CD. He is currently the president of Mic Check, a non-profit poetry and spoken word organization based in Brazos County, Texas. He loves it with all his heart. Also, he is convinced he has the Gulf inside him. He appreciates your concern and well-wishes, but swears he is OK. Really.

Trish Reid

Trish Reid

have been writing poetry much of my life   only started to take it seriously a couple of years ago ; reading more poetry reading poetics taking courses developing editing skills  sometimes wish i hadn’t left it so late (i turn 70 this year) then remind myself there is nowhere to get to but here

Saturday 29th March  – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane


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February Call back poet – Andrew McGowan and SpeedpoetZine submissions open

Speedpoets crackled at its best for the first event in 2014. Great open mic poetry; varied in voice and style, a bunch of folk letting their words out for the first time on stage (always great to experience), and regular open mic’er for the past four years, Andrew McGowan was called back to win a spot in the November final.

JdUb ignored all poet warnings to ‘leave the moon alone’ and helped us see and hear her mystery in new ways.

Also, if you missed Cathoel Jorss (or even if you didn’t and want to relive her delivery of some really stunning poetry) then here ’tis:

And here is Andrew McGowan’s poem which won him February Call Back Poet

The Floodplains

I climb through the ruin
of plant, tree and besotted weed.

Under slumped streetlamps perched upon
the languid mouth of the land,
I wandered in fugue.

Collapsed houses are crushed statues
of promise sunk across the floodplains

Clay paved with the callous
impressionism of the heel

I conquer the valley in silence
in the wet chapels of soil.

Raw flesh of clay traces my passage across
harsh ridges; the valley’s honeycombed lung.

Pink smashed into grey under sycamores,
Bramble reclaims the shattered fences.

Crows suffer in their darkness
Magpies vanish from the trees
And life looks like it will soon end
Then it begins.

Andrew McGowan is a Brisbane based poet. Born in Canada in 1988, he migrated with his family to Australia in 2002, he is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts with an extended major in Writing and a minor in Russian at the University of Queensland. His words are largely inspired by the elemental and romantic, tenebrous and abstract, scientific and metaphysical. His work has been published in Speedpoets.



Also, Speedpoets Zine is looking for submissions. Send up to two poems (in the body of an email) to speedpoetszine@gmail(dot)com

Hope to see you at the next Speedpoets on the 29th March at The Hideaway 2pm. There’ll be more about that event up on the blog soon.


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Speedpoets 2014 – Open mic – Cathoel Jorss – JdUb – Saturday 22nd Feb

Speedpoets is back again for 2014 on the last Saturday of the month.  There’ll be Open mic poetry, feature artists Cathoel Jorss and JdUb, music from Clinton Toghill and Mr Ocean, zines and giveaways all packaged in the comfortable ale or coffee atmosphere of the Hideaway.

Bring a poem, bring your voice, bring yourself perhaps, bring a friend, bring your left ear. The Speedpoets crew love meeting new performers and hearing new voices. Really hope to see you there.

And speaking of new voices (for me), I just heard Cathoel perform recently and can’t wait to hear more.

Cathoel Jorss is a born poet, her work is original and full of hope, her lines ring with urgency and music.
Robert Adamson

Cathoel’s first publication was poetry: Going for the Eggs in the Middle of the Night. This collection sold out its first edition of 1000 and is now in reprint. Kerry Leves reviewing for Overland wrote, “The total impression is of a first-rate artist at work.”

A second collection of poetry titled Comb the Sky With Satellites, It’s Still a Wildernesswill be released in early 2014.

find more here:



was one of the call back finalists in 2013 but couldn’t fit the moon through the front doors. Well now he’s back in a new phase (oh man that’s a bad joke) and apparently has some strategy to throw the moon at us without breaking any metaphors.

Moons of the Solar System by JdUb

Moons of the Solar System by JdUb

When challenged to write something new about the moon, JdUb created a rhapsody of poems of various styles. This rhapsody includes poems from his Apollo series (Apollo Elevensies) and visual poems  such as Moons of the Solar System.

Saturday 22nd February  – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Cathoel Jorss – JdUb – prizes – zines



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can a bird be left winged – SpeedPoets 2013 Champion Chloë Callistemon

What an afternoon of performance poetry. New comers hitting up the open mic section (along with long time regulars), Eleanor Jackson delivered a love set in which she discovered half way through that she won’t get married, and the callback finalists were red hot with a variety of stunning performances.

Chloë Callistemon took out the title as champion (earning her a published Chapbook and prize money) and Jonathan Hadwin runners up (prize money and much hooting and hollering).


Chloë Callistemon – 2013 SpeedPoets champion


Jonathan Hadwin

Sitting back with a Hideaway ale to enjoy longer sets of work from all these fantastic Brisbane poets was a treat. The other finalists were Shanti, Kevin Smith, Chris Lynch, Tony Mutton and Simon Kindt. Keep an ear out for each of them in the future.

Thanks to everyone who turned out, all the poets, musicians, Trudie’s marvellous work as mc, beer schooners, tea towels and lighting rig setters (Jimmy). You all made it a ripper of a final. Cheers.


Always great to have first timers to the open mic at SpeedPoets.


Chris Lynch


Feature and reluctant judge (yet with such style) Eleanor Jackson




Kevin Smith


Simon Kindt


Tony Mutton


Mr Ocean and Tams

SpeedPoets will be back in February 2014 to keep open mic poetry fast and loose in Brisbane. Don’t forget also to check out POW at the Little Prince Cafe, Ruckas Slam (also at the Hideaway), David Stavanger – Reader in Resident at the Brisbane Square Library to name just a few events to keep your poetic ears licked here in Brisbane.



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by | December 1, 2013 · 9:45 pm

Simon says go

 to The Hideaway on Saturday afternoon.

Ok that was lame.
But you should. Because… you know it

will be better than full contact kindergarden games!

It’s been a long week and the quality of these posts are turning green. Maybe they started green. Here are some more things that Simon says:
Simon Kindt
I know Andrew doesn’t believe me on this but … I started writing at the end of last year after spending a long time pursuing dumb stuff that don’t mean a thing… you know… like a career…and since then I’ve flung myself into the Brisbane spoken word scene, made myself a blog and started work on a few projects that will hopefully start to fruit next year. I’ve performed at a few open mics and slams as well as at the Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival with Betsy Turcot and at Poets Dressed as Men run by Scott Wings this year.
When did you first come to SpeedPoets?
No long teeth here… Turned up unannounced this year (April I think) after hearing about it through a few other open mics and slams and thought it was worth a go. What I found was a genuinely supportive community of writers and an event that I now understand is one of the pillars holding up the spoken word scene in Brisbane.

What keeps you coming back?

I think Speedpoets occupies a very important niche in Brisbane. It has an openness that is really important to encouraging first timers and balancing that is a subtle but certainly present sense that when you step up to the mic, you better have something worth saying. That sense is really important to encouraging me as a writer to keep lifting my game. Or at least that’s how I feel about it. It’s that balance that keeps me coming back.

What’s one of your favourite poems and why?

At the moment, it’s a piece that one of my students wrote and performed at a slam we ran at my school this year (I’m a teacher by the way). It was about the strength and beauty that she finds in the women of her family and has some goosebump beautiful moments that she delivers perfectly. No angst either. She went on to perform the piece at Scott Wings’ Metamorphosis as a support artist and she nailed it. When she drops it at Speedpoets next year she’ll break every heart in the room and then sew them all back together in 2 minutes flat.

Saturday 30th November Final – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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unsentimental affections

One of the great things about this SpeedPoets final on Saturday is being able to watch some local poets perform a longer set of their work. As you know, Speedpoets is an open mic event, allowing everyone 2 mins to wave their verse in our ears. So I look forward to watching Chris Lynch perform a longer set of his work on Saturday. Will he mix it up with haiku? I know he’s partial to tanka. You’re in for a treat if you make it to the Hideaway on Saturday afternoon. Details below. Here’s some more on Chris mentioning another SpeedPoets regular and Brisbane poet JK:

When did you first come to SpeedPoets?

October 2009. 

What keeps you coming back?

 An evolving community of poets. 

What’s one of your favourite poems and why?

John Koenig’s Out Here. I love so many things about this poem, from the honest, unsentimental affection for a recognisable Australian landscape, to the repeated shift of the refrain “out here” from the beginning to the end of the line, and the way it gains power as the poem moves through a series of distinct stanzas that each play with opposites and repetition. The poem darkens and grows more distant and impersonal (e.g. “my father” to “his father”, “mirror-topped dams” to “a hundred million stars”), but the refrain keeps us with the speaker until the final line, which is suddenly intimate and gentle, as if an enormous space is close. I like how the last line also breaks the expected pattern of ending on the refrain, adding to the feeling of space. It’s a great poem, and one I can’t come back to without hearing JK’s distinctive voice.

Chris Lynch is a Brisbane-based writer and teacher. His poetry has appeared in SpeedPoetsBlackmail Press, page seventeen, Islet, Brisbane New Voices II, the Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman Poetry Prize 2013 anthologyand Star*Line, among others. He blogs occasionally at

Saturday 30th November Final – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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like the hard of a calloused palm

I reckon I watched Tony Mutton give up on poetry five times last year. I watched him unable to give it up. He kept pushing. He had a few nudges from some supportive Brisbane poets too and now look at the guy! (Well… maybe not the image to the right, but check out what he’s been up to recently). Brisbane is stoked to have a bloke like Tony performing and organising poetry events. Oh… and he’s performing at The Hideaway on Saturday for the SpeedPoets Final (details below).


Blogging at Darkarsean, Tony’s work is muscular and clear, sometimes even a bit hard, but it’s more like the hard of a calloused palm than anything more sinister.

Writing for over four years now, Tony has been an active presence in Brisbane’s grassroots poetry community, reading at venues such as Speed Poets, Jam Jar Poetry Slam, the Woodford Poetry Breakfast and Kurilpa Poets. He was a “words of honour” feature at the Words or Whatever Women’s Showcase in 2012 and received an encouragement award at the Urban Country Music Festival Bush Poetry Comp. His work has been published in Plum Tree Books – Poetry Anthologies including: Song of Sahel, The Butterfly Effect and All the Lonely People.   Tony performed as part of the spoken work program at the Brisbane Emerging Art Festival and was the winner of the 2013 Queensland Poetry Festival Slam and the recipient of The Spirit of Slam Award for 2013.

As organiser of the Poetry Open Words – POW event, Tony has focused on supporting other new writers and showcasing “dead poets” with a connection to Queensland.

When did you first come to SpeedPoets?

I first came along to see Speed Poets when they were still at Inspire Gallery and Bar in West End over three years ago.   It took about another 6 – 8 months before I actually joined in and did a reading.

What keeps you coming back?

I too like the people – it is a very supporting environment and the event has enabled me to meet and engage with people that have helped me improve my writing.

What’s one of your favourite poems and why?

Favourite poem – very difficult – so many.   Sea Peach by Catherine Kidd comes to mind.


Saturday 30th November Final – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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snoopy warner’s white fleshed peaches and hunting booshank’s chooks

I’ve only met Kevin a handful of times at SpeedPoets but I remember very well the piece he performed in August to win a spot in this Saturday’s final. Here’s a link to a great read: ‘Watercourses’ by Kevin Smith.   Check out Kevin’s bio below and details for Saturday.

kevin smith:

… grew up in hardy’s mill in the southern highlands of nsw amongst a litter of mongrel kids and hard-working parents and hard men and families struggling flogged snoopy warner’s white fleshed peaches and hunted booshank’s chooks with home-made bows and arrows in high school played every sport going then studied shakespeare and the language tripped something off in my head and i wanted to be a writer then and tried studying journalism instead and that didn’t work but i discovered theatre and did plays and taught in high school and uni all the while trying to write poetry in the cracks of time life afforded and now trying to do it more seriously …

… my first play got professionally produced by goat track theatre in august and had a poem published in florida and one in york, a couple in manchester, some mentions elsewhere, western australia, county cork ireland, london, strathfield Sydney, nowra …

When did you first come to SpeedPoets?

I first came to SpeedPoets at the start of last year.

What keeps you coming back?

The thing that keeps me coming back? It’s such a well-run gig, the standard of poetry is high, and it’s a great chance to commune with other poets and hear their work and what they’re up to (poetry-wise). I’ve mostly written in isolation; this is a nice change.

What’s one of your favourite poems and why?

Favourite poem? You mean any poem? Ok. Umm. At the moment, that’d be ‘Wingecarribee Eclogues’ by Mark Tredinnick.

Why? Because, when you read this thing, it’s apparent that humans and landscape are not separate, no matter which human, which landscape. The physical world shapes us in ways we can’t imagine. Landscape imagines us as much as we imagine it, and in the end we define and refine one another’s psychology. And there’s stuff about the relationship that eludes me, probably always will, and I’m happy about that.

Saturday 30th November Final – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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Now let’s go back to the beginning shall we


when Graham Nunn and a few others took over the upstairs at Belushi’s in early 2000 to start an open mic poetry event here in Brisbane.
This is an excerpt from the story of SpeedPoets early days in A Bit Of History.
That night it was agreed that we would put on a live event that combined the best elements of the live music scene and poetry scene, an event that was inclusive, an event that created the sense of community we all craved, a community where all poets were welcome and encouraged to push the boundaries of their own work, to constantly question their voice, an event where no one person stood in the spotlight for more than two minutes, an event driven by spontaneity – hearing a piece of music and going with it, and we would call it SpeedPoets.
I love this and Shanti has been pushing the boundaries of her work at Speedpoets the whole way. She’ll be there this Saturday to spill her words like a nostalgic shiver down the back of your neck. I’m so looking forward to this gig.
 When did you first come to Speedpoets Shanti? 
I first came to SpeedPoets at one of the first or possibly the first gigs at the upstairs bar at Belushi’s (now the Bank).
 What keeps you coming back?
The Poetry, it takes me to another world or dimension.  There are so many different mediums and styles, the storytelling, the spoken word and the comedic.  It’s always entertaining and stimulating.
What’s one of your favourite poems and why?
‘The Burial of the Dead’ by T.S. Eliot.  Although I should make special mention of the last section of ‘The Waste Land’, titled ‘What the Thunder Said’.  Because it ends with the lines Shantih shantih shantih. But that is not the reason why it’s one of my favorite poems, (although it does mention Marie as well which is my second name.) Fortunately I was never forced to learn this poem at school.  So when I came to read it, it was with unbiased ears. I think it just resonates with me because it’s dramatic but soft, touches on nature and seasons and includes a foreign language.
Shanti or M.Shanti, which her close friends know is short for Michelle and which they also know never to call her, came to poetry late.  After being introduced to it through her brother Francis, in 2000.  Who at the time was on the QPF board and involved in the Brisbane poetry scene.  After attending SpeedPoets, as an audience member for several years, from it’s inception, Shanti became so saturated by poetry, it entered into her blood stream.  The natural progression then was to start writing and reading her own poems.  Shanti has been attending SpeedPoets ever since, except for the occasions when work has got in the way.  Shanti has read at a variety of other poetry gigs but SpeedPoets will always be her favorite.

Saturday 30th November Final – 2pm

The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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one brilliant Sunday morning

in August this year I had the pleasure of going on a ginkgo (haiku walk) with a bunch of Brisbane poets. We walked around the City Botanic Gardens sketching  moments from the late Winter surrounds (and if you don’t know Brisbane in Winter it is fresh and colourful with a grand total of three deciduous trees – everything else is still green or blooming!) – Jonathan writes a coldly dark haiku about a boy between his parents that made me want to go and find the kid and adopt him. I wish I could quote the poem right now but you’ll have to ask him for it.
& lucky for you, Jonathan Hadwen will be performing at the SpeedPoets Final on Saturday 30th at The Hideaway. Here are three questions you won’t have to ask him:
When did you first come to SpeedPoets?
I first came to Speeds about four years ago …
What keeps you coming back? 
 … and I keep coming back because of the people.  Everyone is so welcoming, and it doesn’t matter if you read the crappiest poem you’ve ever written, you’ll still get a clap.  Although we seem to be “competing” in the callback thing, it is just for fun really, and I never actually feel like SpeedPoets is competitive.
What’s one of your favourite poems and why?
Hmmm, tough question.  I have a few poems at the top of my list, but today I will say Don Paterson’s “Luing”  I love a good heart-break poem – who would have thought to describe love as “that cup / of emptiness that is our one completion”  – brilliant!

Saturday 30th November Final 2pm The Hideaway 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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there once was a bloke called JdUb

john-wainwrightIf John Wainright did set his mind to writing limericks his kids would possibly roll him out beside the wheelie bins and hope that some poetry-starved Brisbane resident might pick him up in a rickety timber trailer. So we’re all pleased he leaves the limerick form alone and keeps pushing poetry to weird, stretchy strange-y places. He’s an experimenter. Unafraid to throw something wild onto page or stage to see if it’ll bite off one of the faces in the audience.  He blogs poetry at MirrorMosaicOfSounds and does a fantastic sound poem of a fighter plane flying over). And…

he’s one of the Callback poets performing (and competing) in the SpeedPoets Final at the Hideaway on Saturday 30th November.

I asked him a few questions to see if he’s awake.

When did you first come to SpeedPoets?

 about lunchtime. I was looking for a beer

What keeps you coming back? 

I fancy one or two of the people who attended regularly, and the beer has improved since SpeedPoets moved to The Hideaway.

What’s one of your favourite poems and why?

l must go back to the sea again
The lonely sea and the sky
I left my shoes and socks there
I wonder if they’re dry.

Because Spike.

Saturday 30th November Final
The Hideaway
188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Open mic – Callback Finalists – Eleanor Jackson – Prizes – Zines


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final for 2013 – Saturday Nov 30th


jonathan-hadwenshantiChris_LynchCCkevin photoTrish Reid - CLK

take to the mic

Simon Kindt




Speedpoets champion


fame and ca$h, hootin’ and glory



Eleanor Jackson


Open mic


(so pack a poem)

it’s on

at 2pm



188 Brunswick St Brisbane

hope you’re


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by | November 14, 2013 · 11:45 pm

October callback poet is…

look, this guy’s been smashing out solid poetry every time he’s hit the Speedpoets mic for years. He’s consistent as Kelly Slater… erm, to be more literary, as WC Williams, and this time Jonathan Hadwen hobbles up on crutches for a bit of beer and sympathy to gives us this:

The dishwasher dances with itself
     brings on its floods, ebbs them away
          again.  My neighbour, the middle-aged man
is using the clothesline, even though
     it looks like it will rain.  I will hang mine inside.
         If I leave the window open perhaps they will dance too
but with their own scattered rhythm.
I want to shiver
    as the bats take flight
        from the palms beside my house,
             from the palms in the park
                   down the road.
They arch over my roof
    the clumsy weight of them
        jolting on strings as they
             became smaller, and smaller —
                their child selves
the dots of them lost
     where we last lost the sun.


 Jonathan Hadwen is a Brisbane poet who has been haunting the various halls of SpeedPoets since 2008.  He helps out with the Queensland Poetry Festival, and has been published in some journals too.


Jonathan joins Chloë Callistemon, Simon Kindt, Tony Mutton, Trish Reid, Chris Lynch, John Wainright, Shanti and Kevin Smith for what is setting up to be a cracking final Speedpoets for 2013 on 30th Nov. I can’t wait to see this gang of poets fly. Hope to see you there at the Hideaway.



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If you have ever been CAPSLOCKed, there is a simple cure.

Send in a poem for publication in the SpeedPoets Zine.  If you have something you would like the SpeedPoets cognoscenti to read this weekend, please send it to

and don’t forget to turn up at the Hideaway this Saturday afternoon to pick up your free copy.

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October SpeedPoets featured artist – Paul Summers

SpeedPoets is/are looking forward to great features on 26 October.  In addition to Teri and Jenny, Paul Summers will be at the Hideaway that afternoon.

Paul Summers is a Northumbrian poet who now lives in Central Queensland, Australia. His poems have appeared widely in print for over two decades and he has performed his work all over the world. A founding co-editor of the ‘leftfield’ British magazines Billy Liar and Liar Republic, he has also written for TV, film, radio, theatre and collaborated many times with artists, film-makers and musicians on mixed-media projects and public art.


strange days

three men are on the roof, replacing
sheets of rusted tin. the ghost of a radio

escaping the huddle of another muted
smoko. sad-songs & bad news, an advert

 for shoes made cheaply in china. an eagle
drops a snake-head at my feet, neatly

severed & appearing to smile. it must mean
something. it would to you, with your love

of crystals & penchant for tarot. ouroboros
slain. this cycle at an end. & on another day,

 within another draft, another version of this
vain psychology, it might to me too. a little

 less empirically left, or on the shelf, still
coldly enlightened but open to magic.

Selected bibliography

primitive cartography (Walleah Press 2013)
Union, New & Selected poems (Smokestack Books 2011)
The Dreams Days Break Portfolio (with photographer David Gray, 78 Degrees & Clear 2010)
Three Men on the Metro (with WN Herbert & Andy Croft, Five Leaves 2009)
Big Bella’s Dirty Cafe (Dogeater Books 2006)
Cunawabi (with photographer David Gray, Cunawabi Publishing, London 2003)
The Rat’s Mirror (Lapwing Press 1999)
The Last Bus (Iron Press 1998)
Beer & Skittles (Echo Room Press 1997)
Vermeer’s Dark Parlour (Echo Room Press 1996)
140195 (Blue Cowboys/Echo Room Press 1995).

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October SpeedPoets feature artists Teri Louise Kelly & Jenny Toune

Reading for the first time in Brisbane, Teri Louise Kelly & Jenny Toune bring the cold heart & warm touch of their first collaborative verse novel, Shedding Sin (March 2013, Lady Lazarus Press, Florida), to the stage at Speedpoets – a vibrant mix of spoken word/storytelling/betrayal & reconciliation . . .


Teri Louise Kelly
Is the author of three memoirs, one short story collection and two volumes of poetry, the latest the collaborative verse novel Shedding Sin, co-authored with her partner, her short stories and poetry have been published internationally and she has appeared at numerous festivals. She is the bass player in the grunge/punk band Alien Whore, has recorded a spoken word CD, was the subject of the ABC National radio documentary ‘ The Poet Stripped Bare’ (2012) and has had a DVD-Biopic made of her poetry appearances/philosophies – ‘TLK Punk’. She is currently working on her fourth memoir and a new collection of poetry.


Jenny Toune
Writer, performer, poet, tap dancer & drummer with the band Alien Whore, Jenny’s claim to fame was sharing the stage of the Duke Theatre, 42nd Street, with Ernest ‘Brownie’ Brown and Brenda Bufalino during the New York City Tap Festival. In her spare time she is an award winning Adelaide author who has been published in various literary journals and anthologies, including Award Winning Australian Writing 2011, 2012, 2013. As a performance poet Jenny has been featured at Melbourne’s Overload Poetry Festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, won the SA State Library Poetry Slam 2012 and was twice state finalist in the SA Poetry Slams. Her collaborative verse novel: Shedding Sin, was released in May 2013, she has just finished the final draft of a novel and a new poetry manuscript.

the moon
climbs across her body
like an adulterous lover
I wait for the day
for the sun, to take the pain away

I soften my body
into the moon’s adultery
clouds whisper & die
as she waits
for the healing to begin

drifting from the fight
back to the cause
my wounds healing
my heart sutured
thinking about
which side of the bed
I’ve been lying on

my bed relinquished
to a lost cause
but walking
softly softly
into the poem

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September Speedpoets feature artists

As you may know Speedpoets is a monthly open mic poetry event held at The Hideaway, Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. This Saturday we have three local feature poets to grace the stage.  The event starts at 2pm. Doors open at 1:30. There are three rounds of open mic so pack a poem or two. It should be a great afternoon. Here are Saturday’s feature poets:


John Koenig is a Brisbane based poet who reads regularly at Speed Poets. His work has been published in Brisbane New Voices II and more recently in The Stilts Handbook of Adventure. John admits to a romantic inclination towards life and likes, in no particular order: birds, words, people of all ages and love.


Chloë Callistemon is a photographer, filmmaker and writer. Her poetry has begun to be published in journals and anthologies in Australia and internationally, most recently in Cordite, Tincture, For Rhino in a Shrinking World and Australian Love Poems 2013. Her unpublished manuscript was shortlisted for the 2013 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize.

Simon Kindt

A relative newcomer to performance (and poetry) in 2013, Simon Kindt has flung himself into the Brisbane spoken word scene and is currently working on developing a performance poetry crew of ruffian teenagers at a major metropolitan high school. Watch out for them.

While Simon’s forays into performance poetry may be humble so far, 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.

Simon has performed at the Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival, at Poets Dressed As Men in 2013 and once won some strawberry jam at Jamjar Slam.


See you there.


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Speedpoets is on this Saturday 28th September


This Saturday includes feature sets from local poets Chloë Callistemon, John Koenig and Simon KindtI’ll post more from them soon.

There is Open Mic so bring a poem or two, a mini-feature from the Call Back Poet and a free zine. The gig runs from 1:30pm to 5:00pm and entry is a gold coin donation.

SpeedPoets is a community of writers, engaging people with poetry in a very public forum. At The Hideaway, Fortitude Valley, on the last Saturday of the month, it’s a space for artists to meet, perform and establish networks within their local community.

What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon? Then stroll on down to the river to watch the city light itself up for Riverfire. See you there.


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Brisbane New Voices V: 17 days left to submit

There’s just over 2 weeks to get your submission in for Brisbane New Voices V, so if you haven’t already, start to get those poems in order and send them off!

Here are the Submission Guidelines:


Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Entrants must reside in the city of Brisbane.
  2. Entrants must not have previously published (including self-published) a collection of poems sixteen (16) or more pages in length.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submissions marked ‘Brisbane New Voices V’ should be posted to Graham Nunn, 86 Hawkwood St. Mt. Gravatt East, Brisbane QLD 4122.
  2. Submissions should include between 15 A4 pages and 20 A4 pages of poetry. Each new poem must start a new page. If the poet is submitting haiku or other short poems (no more than 10 lines), please place no more than three haiku  / two short poems per page.
  3. All submissions should include a cover letter that includes the following information – Name, email, postal address, phone number, short biography (no more than 80 words) and a brief introduction to your poems. The cover page is not included in the total pages of poetry submitted.
  4. Poems should be typed in an easily readable 12 point font (e.g. Times New Roman) with 1.5 line spacing.
  5. All poems submitted must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions will not be returned.
  6. The author’s name, email address and postal address must appear on every page of the submission.
  7. Prior publication of individual poems in literary journals and newspapers is encouraged. An acknowledgements page should be included with the manuscript, listing all the poems previously published and where they have first appeared.  This includes on-line publication and any broadcast performance (radio or television). The acknowledgements page is not included in the total pages of poetry submitted.
  8. Poets may submit only one entry to ‘Brisbane New Voices V’.
  9. Three submissions will be accepted for publication in ‘Brisbane New Voices V’. If selected, the poet will be required to engage in an editorial process to prepare no more than ten pages of poetry for the final publication.
  10. Deadline for submissions is Friday September 27, 2013. Submissions received after this date, but postmarked on or before September 27, 2013 will be accepted.
  11. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The editor reserves the right not to select any of the submissions received. A decision will be made by October 31, 2013.
  12. All poets will be advised of the result via email 24 hours prior to the results being published on in November, 2013.
  13. ‘Brisbane New Voices V’ will be published in early 2014 and launched in the first half of the year.
  14. There is no submission fee to ‘Brisbane New Voices V’.

Any questions about the guidelines should be emailed to geenunn(at)

I am looking forward to the reading ahead and hope that many of you will get behind this and help to spread the word wide and far.

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SpeedPoets August Call-Back-Poet: Kevin Smith

The August gig was an absolute belter, with Pascalle Burton and Tylea turning in one of the sets of the year… and the Open Mic bar was set very high from the get go. But in the end, there was one poem that ripped the breath from my lungs. That poem was Watercourses by Kevin Smith. Here’s the poem and a little more about Kevin, who will now join the other Call-Back-Poets at the November gig when one will be named SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion for the year.

kevin photo


‘First wonder goes deepest.’
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi


The watercourses of my childhood
were thin clear creeks
with fluted chutes tongued smooth into bedrock
we’d slide down into shallow pools,
the rock pockmarked with sinkholes and shafts
honed by pebbles over volumes of time.
These aching arteries carved pathways into stone
we ran our hands over,
over and over again
in blind attempts at reading the braille of water prints.
A choir of creeks sang anthems to the arcane,
ancient song cycles
that rippled through the rivers of our veins.
The tunes rose like smoke
through limbs and leaves of mountain ash.
We lay flat on our backs in the long-thonged grass
counting out loud the dragon-clouds
that drifted out of the blue realms
and blazed above the hardwood mill
pounding like a foundry on the dark side of hell,

the millstream a minstrelsy of crotchets and quavers,
a cadence of dark age vatic revelation.


The watercourses of my childhood
were small incessant things,
necks chock-a-block with smooth flat stones.
They fed scant dams lying flat as old cowpats,
panoptic discs set in low-slung paddocks.
We sank knee deep into slick cold mud
scrawny arms flung back under a blistering sun.
The stones sat snug as guns in our hands.
We skimmed them across the top of the dam
counting each stone-skip
dwindling as it went.
Our faces lie in a pool of blue sky
mirrored in this dark glass eye to eternity.
Log trucks ploughed the dry dirt road
and haystacks of dust bloomed long after they’d gone.
We looked up from the middle of the creek
our bare feet slipping over cold wet rock.
We chased crayfish through these translucent wombs
their blue claws scrabbling over russet-coloured stone.
Far away the hooter in the mill sounded out,

a voodoo chant drifting through the trees,
an opus of voltage quickening our dreams.


The watercourses of my childhood
were alive with wildness
running untethered through farmland and scrub,
small stony creeks that undercut banks,
gouged out boltholes where trout used to hide.
Their speckled backs gleamed red and gold
in the cold throb of glassy streams.
They nipped and sluiced over slick round rocks;
their knowing pulsated in our guts
like a belly flop over
a crest in the mill road
when the school bus lumbered to carry us home.
The lilt and tempo of the creeks
swirled through the bush like an early morning mist,
eddied around log piles stacked at the mill,
riffled through our bone marrow
singing up our souls.
And under the thousands of acres of stars
we nested in the innocence of what we were.
The creeks played requiems to a waning moon

the tunes purling into the mill-blind night,
each note lit up like a firefly.


kevin smith:

… grew up in hardy’s mill in the southern highlands of nsw amongst a litter of mongrel kids and hard-working parents and hard men and families struggling flogged snoopy warner’s white fleshed peaches and hunted booshank’s chooks with home-made bows and arrows in high school played every sport going then studied shakespeare and the language tripped something off in my head and i wanted to be a writer then and tried studying journalism instead and that didn’t work but i discovered theatre and did plays and taught in high school and uni all the while trying to write poetry in the cracks of time life afforded and now trying to do it more seriously …

… my first play got professionally produced by goat track theatre in august and had a poem published in florida and one in york, a couple in manchester, some mentions elsewhere, western australia, county cork ireland, london, strathfield Sydney, nowra …

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SpeedPoets @ Brisbane Writers Festival


SpeedPoets will light up the Red Box (State Library of QLD) this Saturday, September 7 from 2pm – 3pm as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival. There won’t be the regular open mic, but there will be three rounds of live poetry and music featuring some fine local voices, including, Chloe Callistemon, Andrew Phillips, Cindy Keong, Chris Lynch, Trudie Murrell, John Koenig and Sheish Money. So come on out for an early SpeedPoets hit this month and don’t forget, if you have any spare poetry lying around the house, we are still collecting for Poetry for PNG.

Here’s the link with all the details:


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SpeedPoets July Call-Back-Poet: John Wainwright

John Wainwright has been stepping on to the SpeedPoets stage for quite a few years now, and last month, he took out the coveted title of Call-Back-Poet. This means he will join Trish Reid, Chloe Callistemon, Simon Kindt, Chris LynchShanti at the final gig of the year when each of the Call-Back-Poets perform a short feature and one of them walks away $200 richer with the title of SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion for 2013.

Here’s John’s untitled poem published in the July issue of SpeedPoets.


tell me your day
what birds were in it?

raven dawn
muscle shirts and spitting dogs

 Australia Day
kookaburras get the first laugh

 cockatoo dawn
egg yolk scraped off the plate

stormy petrel
dives in a shaft of light
bones and quills
are straightened
lungs are bursting
sound screams
tail is rudder
wings sweep back
I define     flight for the air
I define          arrow for the breast of the sea
I define               death for one fish
magnificent death        for one fish   

 wind cannot win
the sea-bird’s love

the tiny smiling bird
flies a Moebius Loop
another insect dies 

harvest moon
an owl comes down

 tell me your day
what birds were in it?

© John Wainwright


So if you want to be in the running to take out one of the final three Call-Back-Poet spots, pack a poem in your pocket and head on down to The Hideaway tomorrow (Saturday Aug. 31). Doors open at 1:30pm!

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Poetry for PNG

Australia sends refugees to Papua New Guinea. Why not  poetry instead?

Books, subscriptions, and internet connections are expensive in PNG, so access to contemporary poetry is limited. The Crocodile Prizes, PNG’s  literary awards, are  announced next month, and poets and writers from  across the country will be gathering in Port Moresby.

Chris Lynch is going, and would love to take as much poetry as he can carry. So he’s  appealing to the Brisbane poetry community for any books, journals, or  zines you’d like to share with New Guinean poets.

Got something? Great! There are three ways to get it to PNG.

1. Come to SpeedPoets at The Hideaway, 2-5pm on Sat 31st August. Andrew Phillips will be collecting all books.

2. Come to the SpeedPoets event at BWF, 2-3pm on Sat 7th September.  Find Chris Lynch or Andrew (we’ll be among the SpeedPoets crew performing).

3. Post it to Bardon to arrive by Fri 6th September. (Contact for the address.)

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Pascalle Burton & Tylea live at SpeedPoets this Saturday

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about the ‘SpeedPoets Only’ collaboration between Pascalle Burton & Tylea that will envelop one and all at the Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) this Saturday, August 31. Anyone who saw them together on the stage at QPF 2012, will, I am sure, share my excitement.

To get you buzzing, here’s the film that won Pascalle Burton the 2013 QPF Filmmaker’s Challenge and an absolute gem from Tylea’s former band, Gota Cola. Now imagine the combined adventurous spirit of these two ladies on stage… good times ahead!

And of course, there will be bountiful open mic opportunities, free zines, raffles and the guitar roar of Sheish Money. Be there to experience something special!

Date: Saturday August 31
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start until 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation


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August SpeedPoets featuring Pascalle Burton & Tylea

August is a massive month of poetry here in Brisbane – it’s QLD Poetry Festival time – so it seems right that SpeedPoets brings it to a close when it returns to The Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) on Saturday August 31. The lineup for August is another stunner, with solo feature sets from Pascalle Burton and Tylea, as well as a special collaborative performance.

Singer songwriter Tylea’s ethereal music has been resonating for the past two decades in either her solo work or in Gota Cola. She will be featuring at the next Speedpoets alongside performance poet Pascalle Burton. Tylea’s recent show, featuring the music of the Twin Peaks soundtrack at the Brisbane Powerhouse, was astonishing and her otherworldly yet unpretentious music has the ability to trigger emotion in virtually any audience. Pascalle and Tylea collaborated on a Yoko Ono based piece at QPF last year. For this year’s QPF, Pascalle has been working on the Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. installation as well as a new performance work based on the idea of conceptual poetry called Poems by Telephone. By request, Pascalle and Tylea will collaborate again on some new pieces especially for Speedpoets. Both artists continue to be inspired by the work of Yoko Ono and promise to bring ample amounts of light and dark.

And as always, there will be plenty of space in the Open Mic Section with all readers in the running to be named Call-Back-Poet for the month. 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. There will also be free zines, raffles and the guitar roar of Sheish Money! What more could one want?

Ink it in your diary people!

Date: Saturday August 31
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start until 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation


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July SpeedPoets featuring Shane Rhodes, Ghostboy & Cindy Keong

SpeedPoets returns to The Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) in July with an all-star lineup featuring the 2013 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Shane Rhodes, Ghostboy and his co-conspirator Sir Richard Grantham and the launch of Cindy Keong’s debut collection, Same Sky.

Shane RhodesShane Rhodes is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Wireless Room, Holding Pattern, The Bindery, and most recently, Err. His poetry has won an Alberta Book Award, two Lampman Awards, the P. K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry, and the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry in 2010. His latest collection, Err, was a finalist for the 2012 City of Ottawa Book Award. Shane’s poetry has also been featured in national and international anthologies such as Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012, 2011 and 2008, Breathing Fire II, How the Light Gets In and Seminal: Canada’s Gay Male Poets.

ghostboy-gloveGhostboy is one of Australia’s foremost spoken word & performance artists. A live hybrid of performance poetry, absurdist comedy and “spoken weird” theatre, Ghostboy has featured at numerous major writing and poetry festivals. In 2011 Ghostboy created a two-man neo-cabaret comedy – ‘We Love You!’ – with multi- instrumentalist Richard Grantham (Deep Blue Orchestra). The two team up again this July to perform some of the pieces from We Love You, but don’t get complacent, they also threaten to unleash some new work!

first-words-vol-2-print-smallCindy Keong is a Brisbane based photographer, poet and teacher.  Her poetry has been published in Page Seventeen, paper wasp, SpeedPoets, QLD Poetry Festival Anthology 2011 and the Third Australian Haiku Anthology. Her short films have been highly commended at the Overload Poetry Festival and shortlisted for the Queensland Poetry Festival Filmakers Award. Cindy was recently commissioned by if:Book Australia and Queensland Poetry Festival to take a series of photographs for the enhanced e-book, “The City We Build’. Her photography was also featured on the cover of Page Seventeen issue 10.  Cindy has performed her poetry at Queensland Poetry Festival, Blackall Heartland Festival and many local events.  Same Sky is her debut collection and this will be her first Brisbane reading from the book.

And as always, there will be plenty of space in the Open Mic Section with all readers in the running to be named Call-Back-Poet for the month. 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.

Ink it in your diary people! And don’t be shy… here’s the facebook invite, so spread the word!

Date: Saturday July 27
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start
Entry: Gold Coin Donation

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SpeedPoets June 2013 Call-Back-Poet: Shanti

When it comes to long time supporters of SpeedPoets, there is no one who has been hitting the stage longer than Shanti, so it was great to see her take out the title of Call-Back-Poet in June. Here’s the poem that grabbed Santo’s attention…


The Cat

The Bluesman is seated
on a dimly lit stage
The fat notes glide
off his guitar
I drink it in
It quenches me more
than this whiskey in my hand

He wears a sharp black suit
and there is magic in his eyes
The lamps glow low
and tea lights flicker
The room is full but it feels like
he is singing to me alone

His songs tell stories
of Southern bars with sawdust floors
Of Catfish and Bourbon
And running off
with another man’s wife

I can tell these are
his own stories
I have to leave before he captures me
with false promises
and empty wishes
And I’ll go home and cry me the Blues.


And here’s a couple more pics from the gig taken by Cindy Keong.

Kellie Lloyd rocking the SpeedPoets stage

Kellie Lloyd rocking the SpeedPoets stage

Santo Cazzati at his spellbinding best.

Santo Cazzati at his spellbinding best.


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SpeedPoets May 2013 Call-Back-Poet: Chris Lynch

Joining Trish Reid, Chloe Callistemon and Simon Kindt in 2013 Call-Back-Poet Hall of Fame is Chris Lynch. Chris has been delivering shots of wisdom to the SpeedPoets audience for many years now, so it is great to have him locked in as part of the November showcase.

Here’s a little bit about Chris and the poem he read at the May gig.

Chris_LynchChris Lynch is a Brisbane-based writer and teacher. His poetry has appeared in SpeedPoets, Blackmail Press, page seventeen, Islet, Brisbane New Voices II, Eye to the Telescope, and Star*Line, among others. A regular performer of his poetry, including two appearances at the Queensland Poetry Festival, Chris was Speedpoet Champion of 2010, and has been shortlisted for the Jack Stamm Haiku Award. He blogs occasionally at


Grandma Katherine

the grand old Victorian lady
from Adelaide who married

a Catholic and lived separately
from her publican husband

because she loved him
and had too many things

to do in the city to work
the cold rows of almond trees

who was so imposing
that even years after

she’d been cremated
lived on in the imperious

scent of her lounge—
my grumpy dachshund

(who could bite the finger off
anyone except me and Mum)

would suspiciously
scurry past, all but

making the sign of the cross—
the mother whose four

children would scatter
to the four corners

of the globe, marrying
foreigners or God

who on the way to Mass
on one of her visits

would instruct the five of us
to slide shut the windows

of our old Mitsubishi L300
because her white hair

was being made
slightly less perfect

and who once told me
through the shower curtain

that she wouldn’t look in at me
if I didn’t look out at her

seated on the throne
and did we have a deal

and thinking this is

and feeling pretty sure
it wasn’t just me

but saying yes because
when you’re a boy

no doesn’t mean no
and anyway I think

she was already doing it.


So if you want to be in the running to be named Call-Back-Poet in June, make sure you are at The Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) on Saturday June 29. Doors open at 1:30pm and sign on for the open section is open until 2pm. With features from Melbourne based spoken word innovator Santo Cazzati and Brisbane rock goddess Kellie Lloyd, where else would you want to be? Entry is a gold coin donation.

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JAQK Horner





11 October 2014

Featured Poets are Heather Shearer and Angela Pieta.

the food and coffee are fantastic.


the company is great.


Bring a poem or three and join in the open mic (you may not need a mic)

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