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poets holiday

7Here it is: the last post of our Overland Overloaded coverage. Tomorrow, the Overland blog will be back as it was…or maybe it never will be. Thankyou to Overland and Overload for your faith in the concept. May the relationship grow. Us Overloaders have loved it, and we hope to be back again next year. Thankyou also to the many people who’ve been interviewed, who have visited, commented and reviewed. You are too large an army to name. To finish, Poets Holiday, a poem by Sandon Macleod which I heard read by Melbourne poet, and founder of Overload Steve Smart at the Spinning Room some months back. I was struck, at the time, not only by the poem but by Smart’s heartfelt delivery of it: the weight behind every word. Steve writes:
 

Poets Holiday was written during amidst the chaos of organising the Overload Poetry Festival in its first couple of years (this was 2003 if I recall), running the Poets Club in Collingwood (and worrying about the mortgage on the space that housed it, where we also lived), editing and publishing Deadline poetry street-press, writing and performing our own poetry and trying to have a life outside poetry at the same time. I remember Sandy being very pleased with this poem, somewhat ironically, and particularly getting a chuckle out of the last line. She was a serious poet, but she had a wicked sense of humour.

 

Poets Holiday

 

It’s the great escape from poetry

just one day off

we’re not going out to any readings

and we’ll get: where were you?

but that’s probably better than late again

and we’re not visiting any poets

and we’re not going to talk about poetry,

or poets,

or places where poetry is read

or festivals we might organise,

or readings we might run.

 

We’re having a day off from poetry

and poets bitching about other poets

and poets getting pissed with other poets

and giving each other bad advice

and boasting and bullshitting

as poets do.

 

We’re having a day off from poetry.

We’re catching a train as far as one will go –

to Cairns or maybe Perth

or anywhere you don’t need so many clothes

and the rain, if there is any, is warm

and like a next morning shower

rather than that cold rain that sits in your shoes

and fucks your cigarette papers.

 

We’re having a day off from poetry

and we’re not going to sit by the sea

and write wave poems about sex

or skin poems about love.

We’re not going to write poems about poetry.

We’re not going to write poems at all –

not poems or prose or even words.

We’re not taking pens or books or any paper

and we’re going to rip our train tickets

so we can’t write on the back of those.

 

We’re having a day off from poetry

and we’re going to lie by a river

with crocodiles in it

and you’re going to lie on one bank

and I’ll lie on the other

‘cos you’re a fucking poet!

-Sandon Mcleod

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Comments

  1. Steve, I just realised that you actually read this poem in the open section at that ‘Believer’ slam, which was O/land’s first contact with ‘us’. Fitting. Thankyou for allowing me to post it here.

  2. Yeah, it’s a special poem, and Sandy was a very special person. It is a lovely note to finish on, thank you for thinking of it Maxine.
    But of course the festivalling doesn’t finish here, no ma’am! Melbourne Fringe, Brisbane Festival, TINA . . . the country is awash with its great unwashed artists. I’m in Brisbane next week for Under The Radar (the fringe of the Brisbane Arts Festival), so figured I’d get one last shameless plug in ; )
    http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/Events/0,204,4646,020400906.aspx

  3. sandon was a truly sweet, generous, unpretentious soul — to a degree quite rare in melb poetry! she was also a really good poet, and reader of her poetry. overload wouldn’t have become anything like what it has without her at the start. five years later, i still miss her.

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