Ghostboy: Image courtesy of the artist
When did you start writing poetry?
Short answer: When does a fish first dance? When does a child first make a fist? When does the wind learn our names?
Short answer: When you were five.
As a performance poet, how would you describe your reading style?
Explosively quiet. Menacing but sensual, like going to bed with a raincoat on. The stage is my room, you are my parlour maid, the words are my payment. I am broke. performance poet? reading style? No, I am a performance, the poetry is plain to see if you open your hearts and read the lines, and I have as much style as is needed to get away with what I don't do. I give everything, and sometimes I get everything back.
How do you go about writing? (Do you need five coffees, a new pencil and a quiet spot? Do you write in cafes or on a laptop? Do you carry around notebooks? etc.)
I don't write. I hum to myself and try to name the tune. I seduce flowers and see how many ways there are for a rose to agree to open up. I do write. I usually require: a vase; touch; music; despair or sudden joy; a great idea that grabs my throat and says "SHUT THE FUCK UP GHOSTBOY, THIS IS WHERE I AM TAKING YOU, SIT DOWN AND TAKE THE MEMO, STAT". I write a lot of shit but hey, I have learnt to sift through to where the sideways gold is, the voices that I haven't heard before, let them sing their strange strangled song.
But I don't write.
You have been described as a "career poet", what does that mean?
Who said that, hey? Who is your source? What is the opposite of a "career poet", a "carrion poet". Yes yes, maybe. Rather be trying to thrive than barely alive in a dead end job with a dead end head then using poetry as a cathartic escape to be inflicted on deaf people at open mics. No, kidding. No, serious. Wow, someone called me a poet. That is like calling a chicken a bird. Career? I career into the abyss, I career into the page, I career into this. I write without you in mind. Or the carrion poets. I perform with my mind at the bottom of the cliff.
What can we expect from you at the Queensland Poetry Festival?
I more have expectations of the festival. What will the audience give me? When are the free drinks? Who is going to tell me what to do and when? Who will do a nude run into the Valley (Matt Hetherington?... those skinny Melbourne poets should smile less), just to show that stripped to the bone is not just another metaphor.
But you can come and see me, I will love you as much as everyone else does. Plus I have friends on stage, old friends and new work plus Sir Lady Grantham on keys/sex/ukulele and I will shake your hand (if you don't shake your heads) before I get a chance to lay the blueprint in your palm of how we can get through all this with no teeth a smile within....... reach.
Scroll down for Ghostboy's bio-sketch and a poem.
Catch Ghostboy at the Queensland Poetry Festival in Smitten Cobra's / Judith Wright Shopfront / Sunday 28 August / with Betsy Turcot & Eleanor Jackson