Cathy Bray just can't help herself - back for her 5th show at the SYDNEY FRINGE: she's a glutton for poetry and still laughing at her own jokes.

Sydney Fringe poet, Ms Behavin, working through pre-show cabin fever at Coogee Beach.

Sydney Fringe poet, Ms Behavin, working through pre-show cabin fever at Coogee Beach.

Fantasy for first show of LATITUDE PLATITUDE

"For this show (my 5th year at the Sydney Fringe), I hope to be channeling Kiwi and South African genius, comediennne and my new hero, Urzila Carlson. Actually since she’s now living in the land of the Long White Cloud, I hope to be Tasman Sea-ing her (which may be of concern to her partner)”

Urzila Carlson, comediennne - new hero 2014

Urzila Carlson, comediennne - new hero 2014

Expect smirks, tangents, digressive preambles, gratuitous comedy and some serious poetry…

Cathy Bray’s back with LATITUDE PLATITUDE for her 5th Sydney Fringe Festival - 2014 September 14, 21 & 28 at The Record Crate, 34 Glebe Point Rd, GLEBE

Sign up for April 2013 POEM-A-DAY (Knopf Poetry)

The Borzoi Reader April 2013 POEM-A-DAY
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Dear Readers,

Since last April, we’ve gathered up some wonderful new poetry titles to share with you this spring, including Vladimir Nabokov’s Selected Poems, with an introduction by the Nabokov scholar Thomas Karshan and some works never before seen in English, translated from Russian by Dmitri Nabokov, the son of the writer.

We offer below Nabokov’s reflection on the arrival of poetic inspiration—a poem composed by him in English and first published in The New Yorker in 1944. In the spirit of Nabokov’s “leopards of words,” we’ll see you on April 1st.

The Knopf Poetry Team -

The Poem by Vladimir Nabokov 1944

Not the sunset poem you make when you think
with its linden tree in India ink
and the telegraph wires across its pink

not the mirror in you and her delicate bare
shoulder still glimmering there;
not the lyrical click of a pocket rhyme—
the tiny music that tells the time;

and not the pennies and weights on those
evening papers piled up in the rain;
not the cacodemons of carnal pain;
not the things you can say so much better in plain prose—

but the poem that hurtles from heights unknown
—when you wait for the splash of the stone
deep below, and grope for your pen,
and then comes the shiver, and then—

in the tangle of sounds, the leopards of words,
the leaflike insects, the eye-spotted birds
fuse and form a silent, intense,
mimetic pattern of perfect sense.


(not that) Liquid Amber* by Cathy Bray 2008

Not the brown cooling ale
That flushes out the dust
From your old man’s throat.

Not the viscous-pulling
Treacle-flowing drool
Of insect-folding gum.

Not the swishing pony-tail
Of your sister’s swaying mane
Unfurling bareback down her spine.

Not our marriage tree?
Accused of breaking up the concrete
Cornered by my parents’ sandstone flagging.

Not the greatest summer leaves that blocked the western sun
Reduced despite our next door neighbour’s plea
To an eight inch stump.
No please, not that Liquidambar.

* I got married under that tree, by the way, in one of those Khalil Gibran ‘two-cedars- together- but-separate’ kind of ceremonies of the 1970s, in my parents’ backyard at Collaroy. Eight years later, getting the house ready for sale, my dad decided that that Liquidambar was eventually going to uproot the concrete of Bob Markup’s driveway next door and nothing that man could say to reassure him, could dissuade my father from getting it sorted.
I get scared now when blokes tell me they’re going to lop a few branches and get things cleaned up next week-end – you never know where it’s going to end.

** first performed at The Sound Lounge of the Seymour Centre, Sydney University as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival

*** first published in ‘Poet Tree’ by Cathy Bray - Picaro Press 2011.


Valparaiso - Open Air Museum: walking back from Pablo Neruda’s house, La Sebastiana.

Matching outfits at Gleebooks - Judith Lucy and fan.

Matching outfits at Gleebooks - Judith Lucy and fan.