i was flying over sydney
in a giant dog
Things looked bad
– Michael Dransfield
Welcome to Giant Dog, the new Overland poetry podcast!
In this podcast, Overland poetry editor Toby Fitch will speak with poets published in the journal, who are invited to delve into the archives and read a poem from any prior issue of Overland, whether that be a poem from the early days of the 1950s and 1960s or something more recent. In each edition, the guest poet will read and discuss the archival poem with Toby, and then read and discuss their new work.
This inaugural edition focuses on the special seventeen-poet collaboration edited by Corey Wakeling that Overland recently published, ‘On the Occasion of Gig Ryan’s Sixtieth Birthday’, and the work of Gig Ryan more generally.
The historical poem Corey Wakeling and the other special guest, Overland editor Jacinda Woodhead, discuss with Toby is ‘All the dates are set’, first published in Overland in 1978, when Stephen Murray-Smith was still editor.
The poem from the archives
‘The dates are all set’
Gig Ryan, 1978
The distinguished overseas guests are bashful, lonely as hell
being fingered by flabby compliments and invitations
Drinking, but not too much
he’s wrapped in his fluffy Christianity, that coddles now
like unprocessed wool, his sheep’s jaw screws up
into an insular smile, then it’s lax in an odd country
for a time desolate, unaware
There seemed no harm, less risk. The heart’s
in the right place, but something’s sagging crudely
He shifts his glass from hand to hand, an occupation
like baldness, a perimeter. The loudness measures him critically
deluded, in an egalitarian approach. He misses the point, wondering
if he should look that way, or if he needs to
The Pope’s word is inflammable
that is, not likely to catch on
fire (my brother said that), and the guests are coated
with throw away satisfaction that doesn’t quite cover
but the crowd’s thoughtless enough. The exit door rises up
like the Harbour Bridge
Read the newly published collaboration discussed here, ‘On the Occasion of Gig Ryan’s Sixtieth Birthday’.