T

from Richard Tipping’s “Instant History”

Imagine Silence

Imagine silence and 
solitude firm as bread.
Imagine hunger cutting 
first slice, first breath.
Imagine silence answering
each syllable back.
Imagine, alone, around,
yourself the only sound.
Matt Turner

Matt Turner

Matt Turner (b.1974) is the author of Not Moving (Broken Sleep Books, 2019), and the translator  of Lu Xun’s Weeds (Seaweed Salad Editions, 2019). He is also the co-translator of works by  Hu Jiujiu, Yan Jun, Ou Ning and others. His  essays have appeared in numerous journals,  including Bookforum, Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel and Hong Kong Review of Books. He lives in New York City, where he works as a freelance translator and editor.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Wave 9 Collages

Wave 9: Collages

Mark Tredinnick OAM

Dr Mark Tredinnick BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), MBA, PhD—is a celebrated poet, essayist, and teacher. His many works of poetry and prose include A Gathered Distance, Almost Everything I Know, Egret in a Ploughed Field, Bluewren Cantos, Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, and The Little Red Writing Book. Since 2003, Tredinnick has published over two hundred works—poems, essays, reviews, papers, and books. For twenty-five years, he’s taught poetry and expressive writing at the University of Sydney, where he was poet in residence in 2018. His many honours include two of the world’s foremost poetry prizes, the Montreal and the Cardiff.

Since 2003, Tredinnick has published over two hundred works—poems, essays, reviews, papers, and books. For twenty-five years, he’s taught poetry and expressive writing at the University of Sydney, where he was poet in residence in 2018. He is a beloved teacher (of writing, literature and ecology), and he’s mentored many writers into print. His many honours include two of the world’s foremost poetry prizes, the Montreal and the Cardiff. ‘His is a bold, big-thinking poetry,’ Sir Andrew Motion has written, ‘in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are recast and rekindled.’ ‘One of our great poets of place,’ Judy Beveridge has called him.

In 2020, Tredinnick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to literature and education.

Tredinnick’s other honours include two State Premiers’ Literature Prizes, The Blake and Newcastle Poetry Prizes, the ACU and Ron Pretty Poetry Prizes, two Premiers’ Literature Awards, and the Calibre Essay Prize. The Blue Plateau, his landscape memoir, shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Prize.

Dr Tredinnick’s poetry and prose are translated into many languages (German, French, Italian, and Spanish). In recent years his work has become widely known in China. In April 2019, he spent a month in residence at the Lu Xun Academy in Beijing, a guest of the International Writers Program. A selection of one hundred of his poems appears in Chinese in 2021, along with a book of his essays.

Much of Tredinnick’s work—in poetry, prose, advocacy, and teaching—has explored the syntax of places and the ecologies of speech. ‘Our future and our place in it,’ he has written, ‘may depend on how well we care for the health of both—land and language.’ The moral and spiritual landscapes, the geography of what was once called the soul: this also is Tredinnick’s literary terrain.

Tredinnick is the father of five. He writes and lives with his partner Jodie Williams in the Wingecarribee, southwest of Sydney.

Links: www.marktredinnick.com

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Almost Everything I Know

A selection of Mark’s poems—including, ‘Maybe,’ ‘The Wombat Vedas,’ ‘News of the World, ‘Soft Bombs,’ ‘Catching Fire,’ ‘The Kingfisher,’ and ‘Walking Underwater’—along with immaculate translations into Chinese by Isabelle Li.

Candy Tang Ting 唐婷:赤腳奔跑

Candy was born in a small village in Hunan Province and lived there with her grandparents until she was eight, She then left the village and went to live with her parents in Guilin City. At the time of writing Barefoot Running she was completing a Masters degree in creative writing (2015) at the University of Macau

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Barefoot Running

Richard Tipping

Richard Kelly Tipping was born in Adelaide, South Australia and studied in humanities at Flinders University. He has lived in the USA (1974/75), and the UK and Europe (1984/86). While lecturing in media arts at the University of Newcastle he completed a doctorate at the University of Technology Sydney titled Word Art Works: visual poetry and textual objects (2007). Tipping has published eight books of poetry, and is known internationally as an artist working with sign language and typographic concrete. He is strongly represented in the print collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the British Museum, London; and is collected in depth by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Tipping lives between gigs in Newcastle and Maitland, NSW.

Links: www.richardtipping.com

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Instant History

Richard Tipping’s Instant History is a treasure trove of uncollected and new work, in two parts. The Postcard Life brings intense responses to travel in fifteen countries in the 1970s and 1980s. From a meeting with the Empress of Iran, to sailing along the coast of Mexico; from tongue-twists in Tipperary to Vipassana meditation in the Sierras; from ancient sex in Luxor to the visual collisions of Tokyo and quietitudes in Kyoto; from drug-shattered New York to being lost in the Louvre. In the second half of the book, ‘Rush Hour in the Poetry Library’, socially pointed but affectionate poems from Tipping’s adopted home in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales mix with a sardonic politics, humorous social observation, and pictures from a philosophical writing life. Best known as a visual poet and word artist these days, Tipping brings a fresh and energetic voice to the page.

Richard Tipping

Richard Tipping’s Instant History is a treasure trove of uncollected and new work, in two parts. The Postcard Life brings intense responses to travel in fifteen countries in the 1970s and 1980s. From a meeting with the Empress of Iran, to sailing along the coast of Mexico; from tongue-twists in Tipperary to Vipassana meditation in the Sierras; from ancient sex in Luxor to the visual collisions of Tokyo and quietitudes in Kyoto; from drug-shattered New York to being lost in the Louvre. In the second half of the book, Rush Hour in the Poetry Library, socially pointed but affectionate poems from Tipping’s adopted home in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales mix with a sardonic politics, humorous social observation, and pictures from a philosophical writing life. Best known as a visual poet and word artist these days, Tipping brings a fresh and energetic voice to the page.

Biographical note

Richard Kelly Tipping was born in Adelaide, South Australia and studied in humanities at Flinders University. He has lived in the USA (1974/75), and the UK and Europe (1984/86). While lecturing in media arts at the University of Newcastle he completed a doctorate at the University of Technology Sydney titled Word Art Works: visual poetry and textual objects (2007). Tipping has published eight books of poetry, and is known internationally as an artist working with sign language and typographic concrete. He is strongly represented in the print collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the British Museum, London; and is collected in depth by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Tipping lives
between gigs in Newcastle and Maitland, NSW.
www.richardtipping.com

Three poems from Instant History
 

Writing Class
 

The poet presents himself as a dichotomy.
Whatever is apparent becomes obscured,
and all the luscious facts wither into hard statistics.
Born here, did that, intended something else
but I forget what. The intruding ‘I’.
The breakneck speed on machines of make-believe
which finally slow motion curve into the cemetery.
Alibis salute the endless proud moments
passing in formal parade. I returns to me and
assumes him. The biography keeps breaking in
to the picture, looking for safety pins or paper clips or
a staple gun, anything to fence out
layers of advice peeling from public walls:
reality is for people who can’t cope with art.
Written words line up like bright pills in a glass case,
your fingers turning the key.
Time is for people who can’t stop.
Rigor mortis keeps looking at the clock.



Tipperary


These cont-pink faithful churches in stone-walled Tipperary
raising both armed pulpits up to rectify divided Heaven
coughing out red barns and slate-tight cottages
for slurring rain to barricade, tipping thatched tweed caps
in all the wheeling, run-down towns
to the budding eyes of mud-faced potatoes,
black and white cows chewing saturated greens
and tourist butter pats in squares of gold
ending the rainbow in a pint of real Guinness
coal-black as the castle-burning barons of Yawn.
The roads are running sore with unfinished yarns
where the truth is history trying to awake
on signs in languages both half unused
and Ireland stuck between the water and the wafer
there’s no way around the priests but a faithful daughter
with a smiling paddywhack clinging to the steeple
the North’s the gold harp stolen from the people.


Earth Heart


Blood, sap, rain and sea –
Earth’s heart is sweet water
Flowing in spirals of gravity.
Vast clouds sail past, reflecting
In a rippling blue lake of sky
Their endless ideas for change.
You can feel each slow tree
By the green shore breathing
Time’s dappled shadows in.
Fresh weather. Swallows’ wings
Near pebble edges lapped by tide
Quick dancing in the rising wind.
 

Note: This poem was written for Hear the Art (Earth Heart) 1996. a typographic visual poem made of bricks, 26 metres in diameter, permanently installed in the grounds of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW, Australia. Hear the Art was the winner of theinaugural acquisitive Sculpture Park Prize

 See a review of Instant History by Jean Kent at Rochford St Review.

Some publications by Richard Tipping
 

Soft Riots (poems)
Domestic Hardcore (poems)
Word Works – Airpoet (visual poems – folio)
Signs of Australia (photographs)
Diverse Voice (visual poems)
Nearer by Far (poems)
Headlines to the Heart (poems)
Five O’clock Shadows (poems)
The Sydney Morning (visual poems – four print folios)
Multiple Pleasures (postcard catalogue)
Public Works (visual poems – art catalogue)
Multiple Choice (art catalogue)
Lovepoem (visual poems– folio)
Subvert I Sing (visual poems)
Off the Page & back again (visual poems)
Love Cuts (photos & poems, with Chris Mansell)
Tommy Ruff: Adelaide Poems
Instant History (poems)

MATT TURNER

I’m the author of Wave 9: Collages (Flying Islands, 2020) and Not Moving (Broken Sleep Books, 2019). I am the translator of Weeds, by Lu Xun (Seaweed Salad Editions, 2019), and co-translator (with Weng Haiying) of books by Yan Jun, Hu Jiujiu, Ou Ning, Mi Jialu and others. In addition, essays and reviews can be found in Hyperallergic Weekend, LARB China Channel, Cha, Bookforum, Hong Kong Review of Books, Asian Review of Books and other journals.

At present I live in New York City, where I work as a freelance translator and copyeditor. Prior to that I spent nearly a decade in Beijing, where I taught literature at several universities, where I met my wife, and where I found my dog in front of a McDonald’s.

Here is the poem “Parable,” from Wave 9: Collages.

Parable

the mountains open

with a very wide mouth

back then, thinking

through clarity and

saw it was

made of dried

wax

a still face

––––––––––––

arms and

legs wet

*

fruit

wet on the pavement

and from a similar height

*

basket

treacle

false answers

*

you’ve misheard

how

is?

*

as for

being alive, it’s a

wet sleep of

questions asked to

my hand, grabbing at

a rescue

––––––––––––

out

the door, I

fly up,

like a snake

*

a baby doesn’t come out in

broad daylight

*

would out

day and night

–––––––––––––

fire

and beat me

I intend to kill you

but saying it

what else

*

the bride

said:

a mistake has

become to

go, and to come back

no one had 

an idea what that was

*

medicine hates passion

*

cry all night until,

having eaten enough fruit, the

illness is cured at last

a slave

builds up the

eye

we all laughed and

went our way

exactly as foretold

in the Book of Unhappy

Skills

And, from the same manuscript, this is the poem “How Can You Face Them.”

How Can You Face Them

each revolution of the

soul

*

imagine that

everyone you hate has

come, you’re related to

them

but nothing happens

how can you face them

as a

being

on your own

case

would you

turn around

–––––––––––––– 

the subject here

is a person

maybe not one person really, but

it’s common sense

you’re seeing this, thinking

about it, using the facilities

then 

break off

*

get a phone, no not

a phone, a phone call, say

here’s something new

your agent calls you, must be that

*

et cetera

*

over the phone you

say it’s already done

you’re not there in

your not-there

like

–––––––––––––– 

some debt has been

evaded, an open road

the leaves

roll across the still wind

what normal state

up there, to

find abandonment a mere life

*

oh consolidator!

*

I did baby things

out, deleted

the new life, old

debt on the loan

*

oh consolidator!

*

tenor goes up, up

into my first

life

rattling off some trivia about

my family. Place

and station, et cetera

no annihilation

no eternity

came in sleep and stayed

––––––––––––– 

therapy today

*

we’ve got to

connect with each other or

we’re just two topics

*

“I,” “mine”

should appear to my dreams

as predicates

but Being is not one

a predicate, I mean

at least it’s two of them

*

a perfect

account of what I

never accomplished

*

a new note

who hears it

sound

in the inner ear

interring itself

*

these appear to

be like pairs: no, yes

if, not always