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Ray Liversidge

Updated: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 01:23 am

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I am an Australian poet living in Melbourne, Victoria. My first book of poetry, ‘Obeying the Call’, appeared in 2003. My verse novel, ‘The Barrier Range’, which draws on the expeditions of early Australian explorers Burke and Wills, and Charles Sturt, was published in 2006 and reprinted the following year. I am currently working on another manuscript on the work and lives of dead poets. I visited England, Ireland and Northern Island in 2007 and read at the following venues: Laurel Villa Townhouse, Magherafelt, County Derry; the White House Poets, Limerick; the Blue Room, Newcastle; Cafe Caprice, Clitheroe, Lancashire; the Spoken Word, York; Short Fuse, London. I'm intending to return in 2011 to do some more readings.


Portrait of Dylan Thomas I begin with you, 'boily boy', boyhood hero, Self-acclaimed 'Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive', Tomb-rooting, womb-raiding, welshing boyo Who knew bugger all Welsh, yet grew to give Your tongue the mother of all hidings with Bardic, bawdy hwyl and yawp, syntactical high jinks. Between words it was beers at Brown’s with the wife Until America inveigled the Poet Inc. You did the rest with a biblical best eighteen whisky drinks. Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud So brass ensorcells trumpet, wood a violin! And he, enfant terrible, sure is something else. Not for him the pubescent pursuit of torturing Insects behind his mother’s back, back fences. The punk loused up, got toxic, fucked his senses, Tore down the veil from every mystery. In Paris, Verlaine will shoot and ask no more questions, Send poetry drunkenly up the creek, make banal The world; the world so 'hideously beautiful', so scourged, anal. Goya’s Dog You think: is it swimming or sinking? You obey the dog blindly and mimic Its movement. And you? You dust For animal prints, suggest the “lonely pooch” Sleep outside its frame of reference. You kennel the dog on a gallery wall. You remember the dog from history. You see the dog as something else. Some do the things that doggies do; Some, let slip the leash, wreak havoc; Others remain impounded awaiting their release. And you – dog’s best friend – you paint the mongrel black, Sling it a bone, turn a deaf ear to its howling.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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