Tuesday Poem – Beside the Laughing Kitchen

Beside the Laughing Kitchen

I’ve been past the unbelievable planet:
Slabs of nostalgia, the soft skin of memory

Disruptive days, now swiftly approaching
For a stolen second I was myself again

I’ve been squeezing out the careful old songs
Eyes up looking, lights down dancing

Irregular obsession, beside the laughing kitchen
Tell me again, in empty eyelid sleep

Just how you got here: overgrown and delicate
Anxiously correct in curtained ballrooms


‘Beside the Laughing Kitchen’ is the poem I contributed to Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand, which was edited by Mark Pirie and Tim Jones and published by Australian Publisher ‘Interactive Press’.

I am posting a science fiction poem because this weekend, it’s ‘Au Contraire’ – the 2010 New Zealand Science Fiction Convention, and on Sunday at 3pm, I will be joining Tim Jones and Harvey Molloy there for a panel discussion on science fiction poetry.   The Convention takes place at the Quality Hotel in Wellington over 27-29 August 2010 and costs $60 for the full three days or $40 for a single day ($30 & $20 if you’re unwaged).  You can read the programme (which includes a number of writing workshops) here http://www.aucontraire.org.nz/events.php.


  1. I like this poem very much (of course!), and thanks for mentioning Au Contraire and the panel. I *think* I am right – but one should check with Au Contraire to confirm – that all the full memberships for the Convention have been sold, but day memberships are still available – so anyone keen to come to our SF poetry discussion can still do so!

  2. Thanks Tim.

    I see the Au Contraire website now says:
    “If you weren’t able to register in advance, you’re in luck – probably. We will be offering door sales, but may close them at any time during the convention if we decide the venue capacity is being pushed too much. Cash only.”

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