Interview on Metaroar!

In a nice piece of synchronicity, UK poetry website Metaroar has posted an article (no longer online: PDF retrieved from the Wayback Machine) by Angela Meyer in which Jill Jones (who testimonialised my book), Paul Hardacre (who is publishing my book) and myself (who, ehm, wrote my book) are interviewed on the subject of our poetic practices and other burning issues including nationalism, the usefulness of poetry and so on.

From the apt imagery of a moment in time, to dark undercurrents, to an overload of mystical beauty, these three Australian poets are enjoyable and intense to read. Australia’s physical distance from the rest of the Western world can make its artists informed reflectors. It is a mish-mash of cultures, of opinions, of denials. It is still young. Mostly, modern Australian poetry recognises its roots but rejects becoming entwined with them. It wanders, delves, is frightened and influenced by a global environment.

Coincidence, or …? It’s a strange kind of article, where our responses to common questions are interspersed with examples of our work (in my case, mostly poems from Abendland). I guess what interests me the most is the differences and commonalities in our responses, although Paul does put us to shame with the breadth and detail of his answers. As it turns out, he’s a big softie:

It’s taken me close to ten years to become comfortable with the fact that my poems are, for the most part, paeans to love.

I may post some more thoughts on this soon.

Abendland reviewed online

Abendland, a chapbook of poems by David PraterMy chapbook Abendland (pictured left, details) has been reviewed by Philly poet Adam Fieled on his excellent blog. Check out the review here. As far as I can tell, this is the first time my work has ever been reviewed, anywhere. I only have a couple of copies of the book left, but I hope to make an announcement soon as to a possible re-release, along the lines of Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted. For those who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, Pavement’s debut full length album circulated unofficially as a cassette tape in the early 1990s, with the consequence that it was well known “underground” before being released, erm, “overground”. So, if you’d like to possess a copy of the original chapbook, and would like to be able to tell your grandkids that you got in there first, before the Abendland project went mainstream, contact me via email. Like, today.

In other spellbinding news, sure to get Stung seething, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and re-registered the domain, which is now up and running, albeit sans content. Regular (oh come, all ye faithful) readers will recall the jitch-up that occurred about three years ago, when I first registered the domain, and then a year later forgot to renew the registration, with the result that the site was taken over by a cyber-porn-squatter. Luckily for me, the squatter lost interest and didn’t renew the registration him or herself. So, here we are again. I’ll be slowly migrating this blog, plus a few other ones, to the new domain over the next few weeks.

Abendland chapbook launched in Frankston!

Abendland, a chapbook of poems by David PraterI’m not usually one to go for publicity, prferring instead to slave anonymously over my poetry, honing my arcane craft in the desloate silence of my eyrie, but when I got a call from uber-poet and drop-dead spunk alicia sometimes asking if I’d like to come and talk to her writing students at Chisholm TAFE today, I spied a self-promotional opportunity. All of yesterday was spent formatting documents, photocopying images and wrestling with staplers and yes, it was a tricky thing but I did manage to put together ten copies of my chapbook Abendland, my first since The Happy Farang way back in 2000. The chabook contains poems I wrote during a two month holiday in Europe and the US last year. You can read all of the poems online here, but I should mention that these are early drafts of the poems, some of which have changed radically since being written. Plus, I mean, a chapbook is a pretty cool thing to have with you when you’re on the tram, or hanging with your poetry peeps. alicia’s students seemed to have the same idea, almost completely clearing me out of stock! If you’d like to purchase a copy for the princely sum of $5, email me and we can arrange something. Otherwise, I’m open to swaps, even if all you’ve got is a dubbed cassette version of Rattle and Hum. It takes all sorts.


there’s a boy leaving home on
the train – i can see him see his
mother on the platform trying
not to cry – the boy knows no
restraint too young to hold it
in he’s bawling – for a moment
he is me & i can feel that sad
old fear of separation grown
into stoicism followed by pure
obliviousness – you grow up not
to cry you leave so as not to
give up who you are – your
stories jokes hobbies – but it’s
a lie a cruel hoax – because
one day it won’t be you who’s
leaving – no it will be your own
mother getting onto that train to
leave forever to pull away in
that black carriage the pane
of glass making final chats
impossible & tears? well they’re
for boys or for grown women &
yet there they are – on your own
face small & soft but still there
for all of your bravado – it is
a form of sickness after all
whose remedy is the act – &
later after several stops you
look over at the boy who’s now
wearing headphones & he’s not
crying anymore – but you can
see the sickness of home there
still (in his pale stunned face

Alone In An Airport

all the concessions have finally closed
the luggage tags likewise now unravel –
i’ve spent the night in an airport alone
even the cleaners have all gone home …

out on the tarmacs the rain is a canvas
the planes are invisible up in the sky
at every counter the shutters have risen
only perfumes of the flight crews linger

the terminal’s redevelopment is complete
now there’s nothing left here to expand
& duty-free shops disappeared long ago
inside the food court a fake fern sleeps

departure boards flicker like r.e.m. dreams
but the gangways are empty of tired feet
the veins of the airport throb in safety
nevertheless i will practice my tai-chi

i use smashed windows to create my murals
ticket stubs provide my small fire with fuel
i walk naked through the abandoned latrines
in arrivals halls i will begin planting trees