Tag Archives: block-poem

‘Shark’ – a block poem in Otoliths 43

6 Nov

My block-poem ‘Shark’ has appeared in the on-line journal Otoliths Issue 43. Otoliths is one of of those journals which flies a little under the radar but which has a rich history and continues to play an important role both locally and internationally. Otoliths is edited by the New Zealand born Mark Young who curently lives in Queensland and who has been publishing poetry for over 50 years. He describes the journal as publishing  “e-things, that is, anything that can be translated (visually at this stage) to an electronic platform”. As a result  Otoliths contains an interesting mix of poetry and prose ranging from the almost traditional to the experimental including some very fine visual poems.

I have described ‘Shark’ as a ‘block-poem’. It is a form that I have been playing around with a little recently where what would normally be a conventional prose poem is ‘forced’ into a contained space – a square, rectangle, circle etc. ‘Shark’ is the first of these poems that I have sent out and is based on a childhood memory of an old creek at the end of the street that had been encased in concrete and was referred to as “the canal”. It basically became the local dumping ground and filled up with car bodies, discarded washing machines and the like. By being forced into a column ‘Shark’ takes on the appearance of a traditional newspaper story where the importance of the story could be measured in column inches – but the actual text of ‘Shark’ retains its poetic origins.

‘Shark’ can be found at http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/mark-roberts.html. While you are there make sure to lose yourself in the reach archive of work that can be found at the Otoliths site. If you haven’t been there before you are in for a treat.