Published 7 September 2009 · Main Posts But…is it poetry? Overland Overloaded Overland Overloaded reviewer Alec Patric visited Glitch Bar and Cinema in Fitzroy last night to check out the Voiceprints “But…is it poetry?” event, featuring poets Steve Smart, Santo Cazzati, Jo Truman, Carmen Main and Eddy Burger. Patric emerges from the experience not quite convinced that the question has been answered. I talked to a poet last night who told me she’d written three thousand poems over the last few years but she never reads anyone else’s poetry; ever. I nodded non-judgmentally. Blinked politely. It reminded me of a German woman I worked with many years ago who said, ‘I like to have the massage, but not to give the massage.’ I did some polite nodding and blinking then also. There are these astounding admissions of solipsism that take my breath away. And there were a few of those last night at Glitch Bar. But… is it Poetry? 1: Voiceprints. It wasn’t a rhetorical question. As a poet I sometimes wish I could answer why poetry has so little appeal to the general population. Those few that attend a poetry event or read poetry oblige themselves with a sense of refinement that the masses simply lack. Out of the thirty or so people at Glitch last night I suspect that if you weren’t a poet about to perform, a friend or loved one of a poet about to perform, you were a reviewer for Overland. The ideas going into the event are great. I was looking forward to ‘Atmospheric meditations’ and ‘Erratic, operatic exhalations.’ But interesting ideas can often translate into idiocy and madness. Function as an excuse for a childhood phantasmagoria of disintegrating daydreams and persistent unformed cognitive connection or development. If that sounds psychological it’s because I often wondered whether this is what insanity sounded like. Then there is the sounds of the natural world transformed into the threat of its pointless impact on a concrete existence. Brief moments of insight into the human experience, lovely revelations of inner bird song, blown away by existential shrieking. The art of laboratory experiments and the handicraft of animal testing. During intermission people offer each other the expression ‘something different,’ to describe the night. Others simulate the sound of small dogs barking at each other. When introducing themselves to each other they intone their names with ironic irony. And everyone seems to be wearing the Emperor’s new clothes. One man’s genius here is another man’s poodle. A snow machine is a valid expression of the weather. That’s an abstract answer to the vague question of the night. The highlights of But… is it Poetry? were Carmen Main, who has that natural theatrical gift of being able to do almost nothing, and still draw your attention. Yet she speaks clearly, and her words open up worlds you want to know about. And then there’s Santo Cazzati. Dressed like an insane funky pimp from the seventies who has the delivery of a prestigious five star Las Vegas stripper. I mean that in a nice way. The man is a heavy-weight delivering punches you want to feel hit right through you. Especially after a night like yesterday evening at Glitch Bar. Pictured above, poet Santo Cazzati, and Steve Smart with Carmen Main on the ‘Glitch’ reading stage. Overland Overloaded More by Overland Overloaded › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.