Oct 262012

Okay, so the CIA is probably about to flag me an enemy of the state or something. Bring it on then. I have to write what I feel, and say what I see as the truth. So in these weeks building up to yet another faux American election whose outcome I wish I as a non-American didn't have to give a damn about… I had something to say about that great country on the other side of the Atlantic.

The shit-splattered banner.

Oct 222012

How do you write a poem ? I've been doing it for about 20 years now, and all I can say about it is – I haven't got a fucking clue. There's a conscious process of inspiration, of thinking about how some other writer you enjoyed would have expressed something, and an unconscious process of just expressing yourself and they are in constant conflict and out of that contradiction comes poetry. 

I have no idea why there are times I can write 5 good poems in an hour, and times I can't write a line of poetry in six months. 

But my latest six months appear to be ending… I had a depressing few weeks, you know they kind, when you're nostalgic and romanticise the past even as you know you're doing it and remind yourself of what was wrong with those same pictures – and then you just feel sadder because your memories are as sad as the world now  ? And all you can do is cling to the few people who make you happy, because you know the world probably never will. 

Then I had a hectic weekend, an insane one, going from one emotional extreme to another – with a shitload of rock and roll thrown in. 

How do you write poetry ? Fuck me if I know… but I can tell you how I wrote this one. I took all those crazy emotions of this weekend – and quite a few of you reading will recognize yourselves as having produced one of these intense moments… and you try to find out what the emotion behind it was, and find words to make others feel the same feeling -and then you tell them what you are doing to them so they feel it even more (you hope)… and you build it all around a line that started as a horrible joke you then declared "I have to use in a poem one day" to the general horror of your current audience.

And you call the whole thing by a neologistic title that nobody will be entirely sure they figured out. 

And so I give you: Secretionitive


Then finally, to put an unpopped cherry on the old cake, you write a blogpost (which you haven't done in too long) about writing a poem (which you haven't done in even longer) and you try to make sense of your mind until everybody thinks you're being really insightful… or something.

Oct 122010

I have a very good friend called Juanita, who is an incredibly talent artist – both as a poet and a painter, though she is far too humble to realize how good she really is. Quite coincidentally she mentioned to me recently that tumblr was no longer doing what she wanted for putting her poetry out there, and more-over that she wanted to get some exposure for her visual art as well.

I thought a moment and then I told her I would be happy to host a proper site for her. Being her usual charming self she first tried to convince me that she couldn't ask that of me but after I insisted it wouldn't be too much trouble she agreed. So I set up a vhost and a subdomain for her, loaded up wordpress with a few basic plugins and gave her a crash course to get her started.

Now her site is still pretty basic theme-wise (which you can expect to change rapidly) but in the meantime it has already gotten some poems added and more content will follow over the next few days. I will be following her RSS feed eagerly. She really is a very talented artist and I feel quite privileged to be able to help her get some more exposure.

So enough plugging – go check out the bloodlusting girl's page.


Vital information:

Jun 082010

I received this mail from the lulu.com – the publishers of batteries not included today. If you’ve been wanting to order a copy but haven’t, this is a good time to do so as the book is currently on promotion and you get 10% off when ordering. Better yet – it’s money from their share of the profits, not mine.

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Disclaimer: Use coupon code SUMMERREAD305 at checkout and receive 10% off Batteries not included – The poetry of A.J. Venter. Maximum savings with this promotion is $10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. Sorry, self-purchases (buying books that you’ve published) aren’t eligible. This great offer ends on June 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.

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Apr 112009

Today marks the 4th anniversary of when I started putting together my poems in the collection that would ultimately be published as “Batteries Not Included”. The book was always C.C. Licensed but I didn’t make any digital copies available. Paper and e-book versions cost money, I made the e-book version available free of charge about 2 years ago. Now I decided it was time to share them more completely, and sat down today and published every single one of them on this blog. Just click the poetry link on the left, and then “Batteries Not Included”.

They do not follow the book’s ordering however, and are instead in alphabetic order here, this after all is the poems from the book, not the book itself. Unlike the book, I also didn’t reproduce the artwork and illustrations here, just the text.
Still I think it’s a valuable exercise I went through now that I’ve begun to write poetry again, it gave me a chance to revisit my old works and see how I felt about them, on many of them I wrote these thoughts above the poems (in italics). These notes are, obviously, not in the book – which makes this an interesting companion publication of the poems. Mostly they talk about the history of the specific poem, and what it means to me personally.

It also gave me some interesting reminders, like that I had written a five poem series (which I called the “it” poems) but ultimately, only two went into the collection – since the rest were just not good enough (for me personally) to be published. Still those two are among my personal favorites. With these now published here, I the time has come to write new material, lots of it.

Today is of course, also, the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Considering that his music inspired many of the poems in the book, I think of this as my personal tribute to the John Lennon of my generation