‘The glass table’- Mark Liston

“‘The Glass Table’ is a response to that first winter; fresh and joyous, and totally foreign to our previous, Newcastle home.”- Mark Liston

The glass table

We left the table outside.
It had started life as a desk
but being glass, and heavy
and rather large,
it didn’t fit in the study anymore.

So, it sits on the paved back deck
home to three spider webs,
collections of plant pots
and two empty paint tins.

But last winter it found a new job.
Each morning ice collects
in pools and sheets of frost
and fingers of haw fronds.

And from underneath
nascent sunlight
refracts as tiny spectrum murals.

If you time lapsed a video
the spiders and ice and seven
colours of it, the fronds of plant and frost,
the melt of light and rusting circles of tin
and the disappearing of day

would win you a doco prize
for best inverted use of a glass table
with added poem and voice over.

-Mark Liston

A hard winter and ‘The glass table’

Living in rural Tasmania, we struck a ‘hard’ winter, as the locals called it. A week of minus 6 plus degrees froze the river and water fountain in the town leaving frost in spots of shade all day. ‘The Glass Table’ is a response to that first winter; fresh and joyous, and totally foreign to our previous, Newcastle home.

Experiences as Café Poet and beyond

I was Café Poet at Sprockets Newcastle for 2 years (renewing every 6 months or so) from October 2011. During that time, I was Poetry Co-ordinator at Hunter Writers Centre. [I conducted] a monthly group and bi-monthly open mic readings at Sprockets with special guest poets, including, Montreal Prize winner, Mark Tredinnick. Picaro Press gifted many poetry books for prizes and handouts. [I organised] local musicians to play at several events. [I was] also Secretary of Poetry @ Pub. The three positions coalesced [and helped me build] a strong community of poets which still continues.

In 2013, I was invited to organise the poetry component on the inaugural Newcastle Writers’ Festival started by Rosemarie Milson- journalist with Newcastle Herald. I invited and successfully gathered together, numerous highly credentialed poets including, Anthony Lawrence, Phillip Salmon, Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, Judy Johnson and Jean Kent as guests to three open mic sessions, one at Sprockets. [The open mic sessions were important.] They gave local poets a chance to read their own work and to feel part of the whole Festival. In subsequent years, poetry has become embedded into the Festival even more.

Many of my poems have appeared in Anthologies and my poem ‘Her Cameo Face’ was Australian Poetry Poem of the year in 2013.

I met Les Murray at Sprockets. We discussed the Café Poet program and all matters poetry (a true highlight). I subsequently wrote a piece about the meeting for ABC Open.

Several short poems and haiku [of mine] were translated into five languages on online sites and in a Poetry Café in Toronto, Canada as a result of meeting overseas visitors at the café and at open mics.

I published a chapbook with Picaro Press in 2013, again because of exposure as a Café Poet.

In 2014, [My partner and I] semi-retired to Tasmania and have since joined two poetry groups in Launceston (Poetry Pedlars) and attended the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, and the Europa Poets in Burnie, reading at their yearly Poetry and Music Concert.

We are in Burnie now as foster parents for 6 sibling children, but I still find to write and read as much poetry as possible. I have enjoyed the last few years of involvement in poetry at various organisations and hope to continue to ‘spread the word’.

-Mark Liston

mark-philip-liston-pic

Mark Liston reading from Fragile Diamonds (Picaro Press, 2013).

Mark Philip Liston’s poetry and short fiction has been widely published. He won the 2013 All Poetry Prize and 2014 Australian Poetry, Poem of the Year Award. Mark was Australian Poetry Newcastle Café Poet in Residence at Sprockets from 2011 to 2013. His first collection of poetry, Fragile Diamonds was published by Picaro Press in 2013. He now lives in Tasmania.

 

Read ‘Her Cameo Face’ by Mark Philip Liston, winner of the ‘Poem of the Year 2014’ Prize on Australian Poetry here

Featured Writers Part 2: Past Australian Café Poets- Curated by Zalehah Turner
Read about the Australian Poetry Café Poet Program (2009-2014)
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Zalehah Turner is a Sydney based critic, writer and poet currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in Communications majoring in writing and cultural studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. Zalehah is an Associate Editor of Rochford Street Review: https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/02/09/welcome-zalehah-turner-rochford-street-review-associate-editor

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This entry was posted in Australian Poetry Café Poet Program, Featured Writers, Issue 19 and tagged , , , by Zalehah Turner. Bookmark the permalink.

About Zalehah Turner

Zalehah Turner is a Sydney based poet, photographer, cultural journalist, and Associate Editor of Rochford Street Review (RSR). Zalehah regularly contributes articles and interviews on poetry, art, film, and new media for RSR and the UTS magazine, Vertigo. Zalehah’s poetry was projected onto the Federation Square Wall in Melbourne as part of the Overload Poetry Festivals, 2008 and 2009; exhibited at Mark and Remark ,107 Projects, Redfern in 2013; and displayed in Alice Springs and Moruya thanks to Australian Poetry Café poets, Laurie May and Janette Dadd respectively. Her poems have been published in Writing Laboratory (2013), Sotto (2013), Social Alternatives (2016), Vertigo (2016, 2017), UTS’s The Empathy Poems Project (2017) and Rochford Street Review (2017). She co-judged the New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016 alongside, Tamryn Bennett, Artistic Director of The Red Room Company, and published the winning and highly commended poems. Zalehah is currently working on an intermedia poetry collection entitled, 'Critical condition', focused on the interstitial threshold between life and death in medical crises based on personal experience. Zalehah holds a BA in Communication with a major in writing and cultural studies from the University of Technology, Sydney where she continues to pursue pushing the boundaries of multimedia poetry in Honours (Communication- Creative Writing).