one more from the archive…

Syllable No. 3 (& the last) Winter 1985… farewell to Carmel Bird. Berni Janssen & FJS carry on and publish a couple of books under the Fillia Press imprint up to 1987, after which many involvements come to an end, not least my dedication to Collected Works Bookshop. I suspect the necessities of life got in the way i.e. paid work, and possibly there was some divergence in opinion and direction. Best not to dwell… There might be a roman-à-clef in there one day 😉

Not my finest artwork for this cover but I’m intrigued by my contribution to this issue, Guston Dream, a ‘sort of’ review of the exhibition of Philip Guston’s late works at the National Gallery of Victoria, 18.08.1984 to 16.09.1984. The piece is ‘sort of’ ficto-critical long before I’d ever heard the term; definitely ekphrastic; and determinately philosophical.

‘He is the Hollow Man – I made him          cardboard & clag body of cylinders, the puppet grows giant & strong          enough to crush. I would break him, but he holds the hammer          falls & the last nail driven in completes the scaffold…’ I believe this refers to Courtroom, 1970.


Read more here… FJS-Guston Dream-Syllable 03


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Marcus Breen. ‘Writing for Readers: The new, small magazines’.

The Age Monthly Review Volume 5, Number 1, May 1985.

In the few weeks preceding the Word Fest held in Canberra in March, a flurry of activity disturbed the under­belly of the Australian liter­ary co…

Source: Marcus Breen. ‘Writing for Readers: The new, small magazines’.

Thanks to Mark Roberts and Rochford Street Review for this article, in which Syllable and P76 make their appearance.

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… from the archives

Inspired by the Small Press Interview Project: interviews about small literary presses in Australia 1970-2000, instigated by Anna Couani, Sarah St Vincent Welch and Dylan Jones, I give you Syllable New-Writing-Magazine No. 1, Summer 1984. Ta-daaahh!

From the editors Berni Janssen, Carmel Bird and Jurate Sasnaitis:

Syllable intends to publish writing with a strong voice, strong images and strong rhythms. Because the editors are women, Syllable has a feminist emphasis, but welcomes contributions from male writers.’

We lasted three issues!

And my contribution to the first issue, a prose-poem called The Dying Colour, some of which ain’t too bad; bits of which are dreadful… ah, youth!

‘If god is good, and dead, and worming heavenly, angels are sun thorned and yellow bright and life… ‘ Read on here FJS-The Dying Colour-Syllable 01

PS cover art by me too… Foxing only adds to it!



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cast long, long ago…

a burden too heavy to carry into the future…

off to the scrap metal merchant…


a weight lifted…

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Four Fables in Otoliths #40


To quote from Otoliths Editor Mark Young this morning… ‘Issue forty of Otoliths, the southern summer, 2016 issue, is now live. It’s brought to you by the letter E — that gives you a wide range of superlatives to choose from. I’m going for Exceptional. & Early.’

And I’m happy to say I have Four Fables included amongst much fine company…

Fable 04 : The Wanderer

hills roll out          slowly, I look
quickly, eyes on the road
                                                    There’s a track winding back
the wanderer searches for the way home          I never know
when to stop

a friend on Facebook posts a study
in blue and grey  :  train  city  scape  sky

wherever light falls          space unfolds          above hills

the body sways in rhythm
with footfalls          with the landscape     
I watch one foot          fall in front          of another
                                                    Thursday’s child has far to go
escape with eyes on the road

the wanderer sees the landscape marked in ways
sensate  :  where words can’t go
the landscape written on the body

          walking the body sees
in ways inexplicable  :  land  scape  body  
where words don’t count
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thanks to the indomitable pete spence

OZ-BURP 02 arrived this week!


Due for massive surgery and still pete managed to edit, produce and send out copies of his latest project. Elegant cover art also by pete spence. Thanks dude! Wishing you a speedy recovery — need you back producing more “enjoyable” magazines edited by YOU!!

I’m in great company! On the same page here as Tom Weigel

so our boats of bluster
sail like witches over the saltgrass
in one design of invalid synapses


And a bit of silliness from me I kinda like…

Two brass monkeys extol the virtues of The Bell and Bow.
You know the one? The Scape of Reed, you mean, in Kensington?
Down the High Street, ’round the mews, and past The Big Salute.
Oh, I prefer The Bog and Bunkum, don’t you? Do you, indeed!
Give me The Ol’ Drum Roll any day, give me The Bag O’ Crisps even
The Cat O’ Nine Tails


Grand company indeed! This particularly apropos double-pager dedicated to the recently departed Beat-poet Herschel Silverman (April 17, 1926 – September 19, 2015)…

I’ve been obsessed with death all my life,
and now that I’m dead
I’ve been rummaging in my mind
about an old crosscountry traintrip
my mother in the baggage car
in a California coffin.
I’ll leave behind
a headstone marked POET,
and a pillar of salt.

Better than most of us can hope for!! Speaking of exclamation marks, here’s a super page of ’em (dedicated to pete with a dose of larfs!) by Cam Lowe


And a final-not-final word from pete… Or eine kleine Nachtmusik…


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frame 02 (Langker)


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