Thursday, February 28, 2013

Melbourne poet ∏.O. reads one of his poems from Rabbit journal #7 the Sound issue at Embiggen Books last Tuesday. 

∏.O. and I had a brief discussion about pros/cons of internet publishing after I asked him permission to publish his performance of IZAZEZOZ. The agreement we made was I would host it for six months and then remove it. This means this video expires on the 26 August 2013.

Others who read at the launch included Ania Walwicz, Autumn Royal, Tim Grey, Anna Fern, Susan Hawthorne and myself, reading Poisoned Gift.

Photograph: Nicholas Walton-Healey

Thanks so much Jess and Nick from Rabbit.


Wandering through the Universal Archive

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A new chapbook of mostly Australian poetry, Wandering through the Universal Archive, has just appeared online curated by poet Fiona Hile. This anthology centres on collaboration and includes poets Michael Farrell, Oscar Schwartz, Amaranth Borsuk, Brad Bouse, Toby Fitch, Kate Middleton, Pam Brown, Maged Zaher, John Kinsella, Justin Clemens, Charles Bernstein, Richard Tuttle, Jessica Wilkinson, Simon Charles, Timothy Yu, Ken Bolton, John Jenkins, Marty Hiatt, Sam Langer, Astrid Lorange, Eddie Hopely, Nick Whittock, Tim Wright and myself.

What follows is an excerpt from Fiona's introduction concerning the work I contributed and my practice more broadly.

Somewhere in the middle of the Australian state of Victoria, the poet and artist, Patrick Jones, is painstakingly gathering and reorganising remnants and cast-offs. Artist as Family is just one permutation of an ethos of ‘permanent making’ that takes place under the rubric of what Jones has termed permapoesis and has included the design and installation of a public food forest for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Broadly speaking, Jones’ poetic mode is one of epistemological intervention. It rebels against what it thinks of as the ‘neat technocratised rows’ of printed poetry in English just as it seeks to disrupt the agricultural categorisations that insist on the eradication of weeds. For Jones, weeds repair land damaged by farming and industry and prepare the ground for reafforestation. His construction of a comprehensive Daylesford Community Commons Map that pinpoints the location of off-the-grid edible fruits and plants foregrounds issues of inclusion and exclusion. Who gets to decide what or who belongs where and to whom? If a plant or a letter or a word is in the wrong place it is viewed as a ‘mishap’, or a disruption. To overcome this ‘the eye has to get out of the machine and walk … the text becomes something the eye has to forage for or through.’ The map and the two poems gathered here constitute ‘a refiguring or reclaiming of the geopoetical – poems of the earth.’ 
One of the two poems Cordite published as part of Fiona's chapbook is called Winter's pharmacopeia, and it goes something like this:


Symbol-free feeding (on the coast again)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

We haven't been able to stay away from the Victorian coast this summer and so we've had to find out a little more about the edibles down there as we camped again and had at least one main meal a day of fish and greens that we foraged and hunted (with hand spear) for. We left home in Jaara country and moved around through Wathaurong and on into Bunurong country, crossing the bay at Queenscliff by ferry.

These are some of the things we found:

Tetragonia implexicoma, Bower Spinach similar to New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) by its 4 perianth segments (instead of 5), its yellow flowers and succulent fruit. Used as a leaf vegetable by Indigenous Australians and early Europeans as a source of vitamin C to ward off scurvy. The berries were used as a red dye; they are edible but not highly desirable. 
Tetragonia implexicoma (Bower Spinach)

Rhagodia candolleana, Seaberry salt-bush is a rigorous plant good for stabalising eroded sites. Birds seed this species as they like to feed on the red staining berries. Confined to the Southern coastline of Australia. The cooked leaves of young plants are delicious, the fruit is very bitter but edible, very dark red when ripe, would make a great dye.
Rhagodia candolleana (Seaberry salt-bush)

Carpobrotus glaucescens – all parts of Pigface are edible. The raw purple flowers are delicious, sweet and salty they taste like figs; fresh or dried fruit; triangular leaves cooked; high in protein. 
Carpobrotus glaucescens (Pigface)

Lycium ferocissimum the African boxthorn, according to Tim Low (1988) has orange or red berries, grows on coasts and on the plains in southern Australia, and the bitter berries are edible. We can also attest they are edible, although would be better cooked and added to honey or dried to extract the bitterness and bring out the natural sugars. They look similar to the native boxthorn (L. australe), which have smaller, fleshier leaves and are found inland in southern Australia.
Lycium ferocissimum (African boxthorn)

Meuschenia freycineti, Sixspine Leatherjacket colouration can change with growth. The species is endemic to Australia. The meat is delicious, cook with skin and peel off when ready or skin first.
Meuschenia freycineti (Sixspine Leatherjacket)

There were a number of things we tried but didn't know the names of, such as these two fish. 
Unidentified fish from Port Phillip Bay 

Alyxia buxifolia, Sea box is confined to coastal habitats along the southern coastline of Australia. Often grows in exposed situations where they are pruned by wind. The fruit is eaten by birds. We nibbled a tiny piece of berry and later found out they are supposedly toxic to humans. However, we can attest, they are not poisonous (fatal or otherwise) in a small dose. They are very astringent and not palatable at least eaten raw.
Alyxia buxifolia (Sea box)

Solanum carolinense, Tropical Soda Apple or Horse Nettle. This crazy looking thorny plant is a nightshade that hails from the USA. They start out with a mottle green fruit before turning yellow. Edibility is doubtful, we didn't try this plant and I couldn't find any information on this plant reported in Victoria, so looks like it has just landed and doing its thing. Other states have it on their radar as an introduced pest.

Solanum carolinense (Tropical Soda Apple)

Note: Although inlanders, Jaara people supposedly made routine trips down to the coast to feed on the abundance and variation of food found there. They made corroboree with other Kulin nation clans, traded goods and arranged marriages. It makes sense for us too to load up our backpacks and leave for the coast to look for some symbol-free food.


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