Category Archives: Perth

Black Rider says thanks for the 25,000 listens

After putting out the recently brilliant BRP podcast 05, a live recording of Marcus Roloff’s German spoken word with the swooningly bright-eyed sounds played by Christian Löffler, and while I was setting up to record Corey Wakeling all lofi over the phone for BRP podcast 06, a quick tally showed:

The Sound of the Black Rider has had over 25,000 downloads and streams. (It’s closer to 27,000 but I rounded down.)

Ok, so, it’s irrelevant that compared with internet standards and stories of trillions of views on YouTube, this is a miniscule amount. We’re talking about lofi recordings of authors and poets reading their work. It’s poetry and fiction, you guys!

Also, we’re a micropress from Fremantle, Western Australia – publishing like thieves in the night. 25,000? 25,000!

For that, I say thank you.

To all of you who are reading, streaming, downloading, buying, and telling your friends about the Black Rider, thank you.

You’re the sweethearts who keep this all going. Thank you for having Black Rider in your life. Your kindness abounds.

The Sound of the Black Rider is made up of the Black Rider podcast, the Lyrics audio book series, the Garage Sessions and poets and authors reading their work at and PoetrySpeaks.

Look homeward, angels!

The Black Rider

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Filed under Australia, Black Rider podcast, Black Rider presents Lyrics, Black Rider Press, Melbourne, Perth, Poetry, Spoken Word, The Garage Sessions, The Sound of the Black Rider

The Sound of the Black Rider: Chris Arnold

Photo by Danny Khoo

Chris Arnold recently mixed the Black Rider Podcast 02 under his Alice & Bob moniker.

It’s a mix of emotive exuberance, bookended by two of Chris’ poems. If you haven’t checked the mix, you’re missing out on a soundtrack to your nightly reading or morning train ride.

Here now are the poems on their own as part of the sound of the Black Rider for download or stream.

Download Chris Arnold – Unloading

Stream it:

Download Chris Arnold – 17

Stream it:

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Filed under Black Rider Press, Perth, Poetry, Spoken Word, The Sound of the Black Rider

Matthew Hall’s Royal Jelly – coming soon

After SPM’s . the tricking post . comes Matthew Hall’s Royal Jelly in the Black Rider present Lyrics series. More info to come.

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Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s . the tricking post . – coming soon

The Black Rider presents Lyrics series continues with Scott- Patrick Mitchell’s collection of poetry . the tricking post . featuring a foreword by Tomas Ford.

Coming soon

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Cottonmouth XXV, Thursday 7 April

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Kickin’ it with JJ Deceglie

It took me about a year to track down JJ Deceglie.

I’d originally found him through following (and later publishing) Nathan Hobby’s work. For ages I’d been wanting JJ to climb up onto Cottonmouth’s stage. I couldn’t get a hold of him. I couldn’t  find him – too elusive, too non-descript.

See, JJ is exactly the kind of hepcat I dig. This cat’s work is so heavy – forget whatever you’re told anything is supposed to be. This cat is so heavy.

He’s concocted the novella the sea is not yet full, the short story collection In the Same Streets You’ll Wander Endlessly, Australia’s first novel about poker Damned Good, and his most recent novella Ennui and Despair. Plus lots of stories published all over the place.

Out of the blue a year later I heard from him, had crept out of the depths of Freo, and over jars in the Sail & Anchor then the flurry of maddening schemes, plots, codifications, defiant contrivances, irreverent. And mad for the High Ones in the Berryman sense.

So with JJ soon taking over the oncoming edition of The Diamond & the Thief, here then some of our conversation while kickin’ it.

Last time we spoke, we talked about how it was your love for poker that led to your novel Damned Good. The high stakes poker storyline goes that deep into the character’s psyche, how much of it is researched and how much of it did you live?

I think of it sometimes as a completely psychological novel; one that uses poker as a metaphor to detail a method of living one’s existence in a particularly intense way, and the agony that can come with that.
In another way it is a completely philosophical novel; guidelines to attempting life as an existential superman, and again the intensity required for that. Then again it’s also just a book about poker; also a veiled personal mythology of myself and my life and things I’ve felt and known. It’s about  failure mostly. Gambling and failing and having nothing left, but gambling yet again to get something back. There is no other way for the character, none that he can see anyway.

There’s an answer in there somewhere.

Damned Good’s ascendant and subsequent descendent arc is split by a guide to authentic poker, my fave sub-chapter being ‘In the End as in the Beginning’. How did this li’l guide come about both in content and where it sits in the story?

The actual poker guide was the publisher’s idea. I wasn’t particularly keen at first (and told them so) but went out one day and wrote some stuff down and it just flowed and I liked how it sounded. I thought I can do this and it can add rather than take away.

The way I see it is that it is something ‘The Rookie’ wrote during that period in which we aren’t with him. I had to pare down the story and took some of those parts out (sections that ‘The Rookie’ had written, along with a more surreal ending).

We know he burns a manuscript of sorts and this is what would have come outta him. In terms of content it’s a hybrid of mostly individual mysticism, throw in arcs along similar lines to that of Heidegger, Gurdjieff and Camus and you could maybe leave it about there. Perhaps a mention to old Nietzsche too.

I’ve become convinced you’re spelunking into the inner caves of what it means to be or become man while thrashing through life. (“A man is, or he isn’t.”) Do you find these protagonists are done and/or undone at their own hand?

There are, and are not. As is anyone really. For men such as these there may be no other method. Not to their eyes or hearts, not in their sphere of existence. They have to know, and will push until the bloom or wreck shows itself as the result. It is about living, how best to do it, how to actually know it and feel it and yeah to be a man, but to become a man as a result of prolonged authentic experience, not one by what you have stored up or borrowed or read about. It must be lived. I think I use the writing as a method of figuring these things out for myself; and I can tell you wholeheartedly that I have no definitive answers.

Ennui and despair, is this our inheritance?

Both are by-products of intensity and misplaced authenticity. Both are the run-off of failure and collapse. Both are the end result of abject misunderstanding and a vein of hopelessness that can be felt so strongly at times wandering about on this earth. Though both are battled with hope and beauty, and both are rendered next to dead by courage and individual responsibility acknowledged in one’s existence. If you are really trying, you have to feel them both at some stage, don’t you – I can’t see any other way.

Wherein do we find answers?

Find what you wanna do, do it with everything damn thing you got; but expect nothing without work. So work and work and work. You’ll probably still lose, and you will definitely die, but it’s better than dying while you live.

What’s next for you?

I got a novel called ‘Princes Without a Kingdom’ coming out with Disruptive Press real soon. It’s a 400 plus page work, and I spent 18 months on it over 2009/10. It’s my Dostoyevskian effort, hopefully the first of many. Big characters colliding like planets, different attempts at existence personified, talking it out, living it out, fighting life in drastic efforts to see what works best and most.

I got some poetry I’m working at too.

Also a hardboiled noir novel. 

Why press on? Why continue? What is it with obsession? I’m thinking about this: “All you have, the lot, before, now and after, the real gambler, the real artist, it is risked every time, and it is accurate living; the will to live burns most intense only in the moments of unchecked creation, or in the winning at the highest possible stake.”

I think you either understand it the way it is written above, or you don’t.

Confusion or bewilderment?

Bewilderment. Complete and absolute. You can clear up confusion, you can elucidate it. Bewilderment is akin to disorientation, to perplexity, and I know and feel it like one would a sibling. It cannot be altered, it can only be lived, accustomed and adapted to. We habituate it.

What’s coming around the bend? And how fast are we running toward it?

More of the same, unless you change it, so buckle up, or expire now.


Filed under Australia, Black Rider Press, Fiction, Interview, Kickin' it with, Perth

Cottonmouth XXII, Thursday 6 January

We got to thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to start the year off hand-in-hand? Golly me, golly my, skipping into 2011 together.

With just enough recovery from New Years, Cottonmouth blazes onward this week with the first of what is looking to be a bright-eyed and fresh-faced year. There’ll be hooping, there’ll be hollering, there’ll be hand-clapping, there’ll be foot-stamping.

On Thursday 6 January at 7:30pm, the 459 Bar stage will once again bear the magnanimous Tomas Ford who will sweetheartedly give you spoken-worders, poets, sound artists, playwrights, new-media-welders and modern lovers.

With performances by:

Jay Pruyn
Eva Bujalka
Renata Sain
Claire Potter
Chris Arnold
Sam Knee
Matt Giles
Kaitlyn Plyley

With musical guests:

David Egan
Luxury Cat

For a spot in the open mike section presented by the Chancellor of Open Mike Byron Bard, sign up before 10pm. Read up on the Bard’s friendly proclamation.

When: 7:30pm Thursday 6 January 2011
Where: 459 Bar Rosemount Hotel 459 Fitzgerald St North Perth
How much: $5 entry; $20 entry + Cottonmouth anthology
‘Zine: by donation

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Filed under Australia, Cottonmouth, Fiction, Perth, Poetry, Show, Spoken Word

I am still in yesterday’s clothes – Issue 7

In space no one reads your zine

Tristan Fidler is one cool dude. His whole vibe is perfectly depicted in his zine I am still in yesterday’s clothes. He’s infused it with his awesomeness. Reaching the seventh issue yo(!), theming it SPACE(!) no less, is one heck of an achievement.

Tristan describes the zine as “somewhere between professionalism and unprofessionalism.” This is spot on.

This issue’s concept came together while a DJ dropped ‘You’re the Best (Around)’ by Joe “The Bean” Esposito at a party Tristan was at. That’s the tournament song from The Karate Kid by the way. This is how many good ideas have been known to conceptualise.

This zine is cool ’cause anything goes. There’s stuff about Astral Travel’s ‘The place with space’ (I really really really like Astral Travel). There’s stuff about the Karaoke Satan Museum, there are Jim China rants, my fave being Apollo conspiracy theories or… the flights to the moon, did they happen? (Yes! Realise that now, fool!), there’s a look into the darker aspects of Perth’s suburb Floreat, there’s Neel Lang’s funny Myspace or yours, and a highlight: the 5 things I remember about Sun Ra: Space is the place (1974) (#1 being that Thurston Moore wrote the liner notes, which is a fact I feel like only Tristan would know [and drop on you out of the blue at a party]). And it wouldn’t be a Tristan production without movie reviews, this time it’s Jason X, or The space curse of shitty horror franchises.

Golly, there’s so much more – 70 pages of goodness to be exact.

Oh, and Tristan’s story We are not the douchebags makes an appearance as well. When he performed this story at Cottonmouth XVIII, he brought the house down. It was awesome. You can experience it at the Cottonmouth website.

This issue comes with a soundtrack too, called Sounds from space. Holy crap, the first half of the CD features Leonie Brialey and her aural space opera of field recordings ‘Yesterday’s space’ with track titles that include ‘Watching cops and talking about Pump Up the Volume’ and ‘Sunday afternoon, making a snack, talking to my dad’. The second half of the CD are songs by lots of people and I’m super jazzed about the Gilbert Fawn and Amber Fresh ones.

I’m starry-eyed that Tristan published my steampunk space opera short story The Methusaleh Diaries. My li’l polemical coil of intertextual allusions and fleeting imagery is physically practically motionless while the movement is entirely in the psychological decay of the fragmenting mind.

That’s the nerd way of saying: thanks Tristan for taking a chance on this one.

Get dialled in with I am still in yesterday’s clothes on Facebook.

I think Ruck Rover in Perth might have a few copies, otherwise order it from Etsy. It’s only ten smackers.

The Methusaleh Diaries – an excerpt

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Filed under Fiction, Music, Perth, Photography, Published

The Moth storyteller Margot Leitman in Perth

Do you know Andrea Gibbs? No? Well you should get to know her.

Why? Because she is the bomb.

Andrea was out in New York researching the storytelling scene and studying with prize-winning Moth storyteller Margot Leitman. And now Andrea, together with the Blue Room Theatre, is bringing Margot out to Perth to hold Moth storytelling workshops.

Oh, the awesomeness!

Better sign up quick if you’re interested.

Here’s the official deets:

NYC storytelling comes to Perth

All the way from New York City award winning storyteller Margot Leitman (The Moth, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central, Upright Citizens Brigade) is holding a workshop series, exclusive to Perth, as part of The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights.

If you are familiar with The Moth podcast that shares “true stories, told live, without notes”, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity for a series of eight sessions with The Moth Grand Slam Winner Margot Leitman, teacher at New York’s top comedy school The Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre.

Everyone has a good story – whether it be humorous, painful, strange or mundane – but not all of us are good storytellers. With the help of an international leader in the field, learn how to polish and perfect your story to stand alone in a storytelling night or be part of a bigger solo work.

These workshops are open to everyone, not just performers, but will culminate in a performance during Summer Nights in February 2011 where you could be one of the first participants in BAREFACED, a fresh, new night of storytelling in Perth. Spots are limited and workshops are by application only – for more information or to apply call The Blue Room Theatre on 9227 7005 or email

Workshop Leader – Margot Leitman

After creating a storytelling program for Comix (, Margot quickly saw the demand for comedic storytelling and moved her program to The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre. She has taught master classes to Ithaca College, San Francisco ComedyCollege, and regularly tutors a number of private clients. Television credits include: Late Night With Conan O’ Brien, Style Network, E!, Comedy Central and NBC Broadband. Margot’s monthly storytelling show Stripped Stories (co-hosted by Giulia Rozzi) has a cult following, described by as “humor, pathos, and mind-boggling anecdotes that will have you alternating between disbelief and empathy”. Margot has featured in Glamour magazine, and the books Fifty Dates Worse Than Yours and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jokes. She has also written for NY Press and Playgirl Magazine.

Workshop Series Dates: JAN 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30 & FEB 2 (8 sessions of 3hrs)

Afternoon: 1-4pm Evening: 6-9pm

Please note: you must choose either all afternoon sessions or evening sessions.

Cost: $400 Blue Room Theatre Members; $440 non-members

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Friday 10 December 2010

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Filed under New York, Perth, Show, Theatre

Cottonmouth XXI meets Amnesty for ARTillery Spoken Word, Sunday 5 December 2010

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Filed under Cottonmouth, Fiction, Perth, Poetry, Show, Spoken Word