A Beat Poet like none other today!
Simon Grady is one of the
most exciting talents we have come across in
years. We've published him
before and were thrilled to see his
latest book, Shabby Epiphanies is published
by Nikau Press. Nikau Press PO Box 602
Nelson, New Zealand.
Mr. Grady writes from an
honest to goodness Beat perspective.
This is the big leagues as we stay here in
the States. He evokes Ginsberg and
Lawrence Ferlinghetti but he also writes
like no one else. Shabby Epiphanies is
one of those books you cannot put
down. It is compelling.`It contains 52
poems and the reader will find himself
anxious to return to the book time after
Mr. Grady lives in Christchurch, New
Zealand and travels frequently to India.
Here are two examples
that illustrate why we feel Simon Grady is
one of the most skilled and capable
poets on the scene today:
I have lost my beginning
I've lost my end
I've lost my vertigo
on it's stage of stones
There's no-one left
just the witnesses
My sword can't cut itself
the samurai is lost
we have evaporated
[If we are all one, ego is the
gravity that keeps us apart]
We are heading to the origin
hang up your coat
retire your sense of self
there's an insignificant knot in
the fabric of the universe
[that's the bit you call me]
bumping into another swirling speck
[that's the bit I call you]
And we've been here forever
it's time that never came our way before
Is the word 'satori'?
but there's no words at all
my poem has no substance
the next fifteen lines are invisible &
they're the best ones of them all.
the cypress house
The cypress house is full of freshly-cut
they smell clean
but I am looking for something gamier
Out there ????
among the flaxes
where herons wade on stilts
with samurai beaks
creating haiku postcards
Out there ????
where the estuary
presses stony silence
into the nautilus ears of fishermen
Out there is a conversation
spoken by the shingle landslides
of river-bank footsteps
I reply with the memory of a woman
whose eyes are the infinite green depth
of geo-thermal pools
the beauty of her soul teeming with life
like the prehistoric sea once teemed with
and the river sighs.
fifteen lines and cypress house
Copyright © 2006
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
And then there’ll be an anchor!
So that’s the end of the poem –
Let’s get it out of the way.
Good, now we can talk.
I was at home yesterday
In the morning –
Didn’t grade any papers until afternoon.
This life seems strange to me,
I like it, yes, but there are grays and
I’m not used to –
The kitchen is so much more desperately alive.
Another dinner crowd, no time,
Suddenly the magic erupts.
You know it is up to you,
The others who can do it are in other
Doing just as you are doing now,
Something special, something that
Looks like everything else but isn’t.
But this is good,
Getting to watch the young grow,
Helping them when you can.
Such young lives, so unprepared for the
Restless rolling, the searching and finding,
And finding you need to search some more.
I remember this innocence
And how hopeful and frustrating it was.
The hope always leading into
Contradiction rather than answers
And the contradictions and frustrations
Being loaded with answers you can’t peel away
And enjoy them separately.
Life is such a mess of stormy waters
And calm too – time, yes but all rolled
Present, past/future –
Magic, still somewhat out of reach,
Got to find it so that things don’t stay the
So that life is not just another day
No matter how others think it is –
So that I can give something to these kids
They will always be able to use –
Words that find the chance of describing
What it is they will soon
See and feel, so that they can tell their
Own kids so that when the storms come
And everything seems so fragile,
Insubstantial, changeable -
So that there will be an anchor.
Odyssey between afternoon classes
Walking in waves of heat,
Tide pools washing over the difficult asphalt,
Walking from the Minotaur’s dacha
To the hat rack of Madusa,
Scraps of poems are scattered in places
Too difficult to hide in.
You were dizzy in my arms.
We drove the highway up to Eden.
It was my dream so when we
Should have been the happiest,
When we got there, it wasn’t real
We stumbled picking up our shadows,
They were cool in our hands.
We were naked children on a deserted beach.
You turned me into a pig
And I followed you everywhere, making noises,
Teaching you to smile
Discovering you were sunlight and motion.
I have seen you wearing
nothing but urgency
and it was beautiful.
In the calm of dark
I have held you, felt
your tenderness and fire
and glided quietly
to the distant shore.
The answer to the
questions I’ve forgotten to ask,
I have seen burning
in the sunset that
shines behind your eyes.
Please come in my room,
look out my windows to
see yourself standing outside and
find the quiet and excitement
I feel when I see you on my step.
Sometimes a pearl
The whitest flower grows in a sea of mud,
Never seen, never knowing the lips of the sun.
I grew up in a culture of lost relatives,
Finding the ones I didn’t want,
Searching for mystery and what I don’t know;
Looking for John Merrick in all this
Trying to make my own light,
Trying to glow in the dark,
Trying to get past the hate and anger,
Finding gentle humor, licking a wound -
Sometimes not hurting so much,
Sometimes breath taken in the deep beautiful,
Sometimes a pearl trying to invent
An oyster I like.
COPYRIGHT © 2006
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
David Barber's advice for the writer wishing
to be published:
The Tough Part.
Ok, you've spent hours working on that poem,
short story or review and that was the hard
part, right? I'd like to venture an
opinion. The tough part is after.
After I finished my
first book and agreed with the publisher on
its acceptance, then the real work
began. I was asked to put together
inside art, cover art and a review/inside
biography. Also, I was asked to
develop the marketing documents and a
plan. So, what did I do? I
wanted to share this in case it would help
First, I did extensive searches on
what a promotional package looks like.
Download several examples and started to
work. PowerPoint (r) worked best for
manipulating the graphics. I was blessed to
have a wonderful painting from my
sister. I have to tell you she is a
great artist! Anyway, I wanted to past this
on. If you know someone who is
an artist, you might approach them about
your cover art.
Second, I started
developing other promotional tools.
Bookmarks were easy. (The standard
size is 7inch long by 2 inches
wide.) MS Word ® has
templates. I distributed the book marks
everywhere that would take them.
Hastings was real understanding. My
local library (surprisingly) was not.
Just a hint, if you're working through a
local library, find the Manager for the
Libraries in your area.
Thirdly, I started reading other books
to see how they arranged their inside
biographies and information. I was
limited to just 50 words. While that sounds
like a plenty, it's not. I worked and
worked that biography until I had it sound
like I wanted and was only 50 words
long. I also developed an
electronic postcard to send out and
forwarded it to everyone I knew.
hardest, I developed a website. Wow,
this was tough. It was difficult deciding
what would be on there and not. I am
still working on it!
Trying to make it interesting, include a few
of your poems and provide a preview copy if
you have one. I also tried to provide
examples of my work in more than one format.
as you start to finish your work, start
thinking about advertising. I'm hoping you
can avoid the near panic I had when I got my
'baby' home and realized I didn't know how
to take care of it
Copyright © 2006
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED