Category Archives: Published

Black Rider presents ⇔3 featuring Irene Proebsting

if and only if web cover

Welcome to the third edition of ⇔, a minizine of Australian language art.

Read aloud as ‘if and only if’, this edition features previously unpublished work by Irene Proebsting.

Look homeward, angels!

The Black Rider

You can view ⇔ 3 below, or download if and only if 3 – Irene Proebsting.

All works © Irene Proebsting, 2014






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‘enjambment sisters present’ by Michael Farrell – out now

Michael Farrell - enjambment sisters present cover

On the last day of 2012 Black Rider Press is proud to announce the release of enjambment sisters present, a new chapbook by Michael Farrell.

You can download the e-chapbook for free from the Black Rider Press website.

Farrell’s enjambment sisters present is a brilliant plaything, it is lithe and agile, it turns and twists and jumps across the room, finally falling in a writhing heap on the rug. It contains all the joys and “sounds [of] the nest”. Reading it will put the melody in you. – Matthew Hall

For M. Hall’s full essay, read the Black Rider Lines post

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Black Rider presents The Diamond and the Thief 23

Artwork my Matt Maust

Artwork my Matt Maust

…and now on to edition 23 of our minizine, with all the history of luminous motion.

In this edition Toby Fitch inspects the reach of living daylights, David Lynn Clucas reads back, and Levin A. Diatschenko descends down into the secret order of the gaol library.

Look homeward, angels!

The Black Rider

The Diamond & the Thief Edition 23

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Free chapbook: ‘the halation assembly kit’ by jeremy balius

the halation assembly kit is an English-language/German bilingual poetry chapbook.

I’ve published it here so you can download it for free.

The chapbook is after the light-sculptures of German artist Mischa Kuball and focuses on identity of the individual amid the fluidity of value and wealth, post-Global Financial Crisis and ongoing Eurozone Crisis.

It was Kuball who said “Every gesture in the city is political.” (“Jede Geste in der Stadt ist politisch.”)

My gratitude goes to Marcus Roloff whose light shines bright within the German translation in this chapbook.

Download the halation assembly kit 

If you want a printed copy of the chapbook, PM me on Facebook in the next couple of weeks.


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Kickin’ it with Toby Fitch

This edition of the ‘Kickin’ it with…’ series is different.

Instead of a dialogue, we’re presenting a pattern poem called ‘nightcap’ by Toby Fitch. Toby kicks it with us by sharing some thoughts about the poem and the long road to everywhere.

(click the image below to enlarge)

About ‘nightcap’

My pattern poem ‘nightcap’ is the last poem in my book Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012) and is a kind of ars poetica, and a tongue-in-cheek one. Icarus makes an appearance as the “I” in the first half of the poem, though this “I” could also be the speaker, the subject being spoken to, or the poet. In the first half, I paraphrase Baudelaire’s ‘Get Drunk’. I was reading poems with Icarus in them by William Carlos Williams and W H Auden. In earlier drafts, I had allusions to these poems, but they didn’t work so I stripped them out. I was also reading ‘Drunken Boat’ and ‘Genie’ by Arthur Rimbaud, and I think the allusions are pretty obvious but necessary in the second half of the poem. Besides the sentiment that the poem teases out — the desire to let go of control in order to create — the dualities in the poem are probably the most important bits: the conflation of “I” and “you”, and then of “you and I” to “we/our”; the road of the conscious world doubling as the black river of the subconscious (think Ashbery, think also of the Underworld); the surface of the water with a child’s boat on it, as in the end of ‘Drunken Boat’, that in my poem transforms into a porthole and then doubles as the sky; and, of course, the two wings mirroring each other. I also like to think that ‘nightcap’ mirrors the first poem in Rawshock, ‘On the Slink’, which can also be read as an ars poetica, but with less intoxication.

About Toby Fitch

Toby Fitch was born in London and raised in Sydney. His first full-length collection of poemRawshock was published with Puncher & Wattmann, 2012, while a chapbook Everyday Static came out with Vagabond Press, 2010. He was shortlisted for the Peter Porter Poetry Prize in 2012 and has published poems in anthologies, newspapers and major journals, nationally and internationally, including Best Australian Poems 2011 and 2012, MeanjinThe Australian, Cordite, and Drunken Boat. He is poetry reviews editor for Southerly journal, and is a doctoral candidate at Sydney University.

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Levin A. Diatschenko’s ‘My Soul Cried the Spaceman’ is out now

Black Rider Press is proud to announce the release of the ebook novel My Soul Cried the Spaceman by Levin A. Diatschenko.

The small spacecraft Wanderjahre comes upon a coffin floating in space. Bringing it inside the ship, Captain Spendthrift discovers a Gleamer (the first type of robot deemed sentient) inside it. The captain follows the coffin’s trajectory back to a nearby Earth to find that its major cities are engaged in massive funerals processions with hundreds of coffin-bearers surging down the main streets. All the coffins are identical to the one Spendthrift had picked up.

There are many planet Earths, all linked across dimensions by the force called gravity. All known Earths share similar historical and political backgrounds (though with varying emphases) but Earth 13 stands out bizarrely. The men there die on consummation, and the women only weeks after childbirth. The children inherit the combined memories of both parents, while the population shrinks.

Millions of people from the other Earths flock to the funeral planet, and wait with bated breaths for what may be the last Thirteener – one person with the knowledge of an entire species.

The locals of Earth 13 employ Captain Spendthrift – member of the Astronaut’s Guild – to find the mythical moon rumoured to be revolving around Earth 13, and penetrate the infamous ‘hidden moon cult.’ This group of nuns, who also may or may not exist, have either discovered the secret of immortality or degraded over the years into predatory vampires. Either way, they may pose a threat to the last Child.

As with Diatschenko’s other novels, My Soul Cried the Spaceman discusses the metaphysical and psychological underpinnings of human culture. This is his fourth novel, a science fiction written in the vein of Theodore Sturgeon and Philip K. Dick.

You can pick it up around the traps generally for about 5 smackers from:

iTunes Bookstore
Amazon Kindle Store
Angus & Robertson
Sony Reader Store
Kobo Books

Levin A. Diatschenko

Levin A. Diatschenko was born in Sydney, and raised in Alice Springs. Though he has lived in most major cities in Australia, he resides in Darwin.

Arnold Zable called him ‘The Kafka of the Outback’.

Rak Razam called him ‘The suburban Borges’.

His work has been referred to variously as magical realism, hard-boiled Surrealism, and mystic fable.

Since 2004 Levin has published three novels: The Man Who Never Sleeps, Meta-Detective and The Rooftop Sutras, which was shortlisted for the ‘Northern Territory Book of The Year Award’ in 2010. Levin also produces and edits an independent magazine called The Veil, which is devoted to philosophy, theosophy, mysticism and occultism.

Levin has written one play, Darwin Vs. Matilda; The True History of Australia’s Northern Frontier, which featured in The Darwin Festival, and for a season at the Darwin Entertainment Center. Sometimes he plays guitar and sings for a band called Flugendorf.


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JJ Deceglie’s ‘the sea is not yet full’ – out now

Black Rider Press is proud to announce the release of the sea is not yet full by JJ Deceglie, an ebook version of the novel previously published.

the sea is not yet full is the story of Sep, an Australian writer roaring through flickering life, love and despair. It’s the story of Fremantle, Western Australia, and its brilliance and squalor. It’s incandescent. It’s Beat. It’s a punch in the gut.

Thrown in with a listless generation, Sep doesn’t understand his life or his reasons. Where is all he once knew? Sep will risk it all for a spark. Loss. Lust. Literature. Love. Limbo.

JJ DeCeglie was born and bred in Fremantle, Western Australia, and writes from Melbourne, Victoria. His work includes the novella the sea is not yet full, the short story collection In The Same Streets You’ll Wander Endlessly, and the novels Damned Good, Ennui and Despair and Drawing Dead. His next novel, Princes Without a Kingdom, is forthcoming.

His works have been published in France, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

Find out more about JJ at and

Read into JJ’s words in conversation with Black Rider.

Cover art by Ryan Swearingen

What they’re saying

“Squalid and brilliant. It reads to me like James Joyce getting blind drunk with Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t recall a novel which has captured the breadth and depth of the city – from freeway to Fremantle, river to beach – with such scope and energy. It is a blooded, passionately despairing portrait, a testament not just to passion but to talent”. – Nathan Hobby

“…a transgressive fever dream, an intense assaultive descent into the horrors of self”. – Levi Asher

“..touches on human emotion like few have been capable of achieving. Nothing is censored and it is refreshingly authentic. There is so much about this book that is universal. It does something few authors have been able to do – move me to tears”. – Monique Rothstein

“There is a clash occurring in the sea is not yet full, between the world of twentieth century European and American literature and twenty-first century Western Australia, with its vacuousness and nihilism. This is an age after history is finished, Deceglie seems to be suggesting. It is a time when there’s nothing left to tell. And yet our small lives flicker on.” – Guy Salvidge

Now available

The ebook can be purchased from a range of online stores, including:

Amazon Kindle
Kobo Books
Borders Bookstore
Sony Bookstore
Barnes & Noble
with more stores coming soon.


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Black Rider Podcast 06 – forward slash launch

… and then the sixth instalment of the Black Rider Podcast.

This edition takes a detour from the soundtracks we’ve been publishing to bring you a live recording of the forward slash launch at the 2012 Poetry Symposium held at Deakin University a few weeks ago. You can listen to Corey Wakeling’s launch speech, followed by Duncan Hose and Michael Farrell reading some of their poems published in the journal.

Download the the live recording from (the download link is in the lower left corner after the jump).

Read the speech transcript.

Stream the gig here:

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Corey Wakeling’s forward slash launch speech

Last Thursday forward slash was released into the stratosphere via Melbourne’s 2012 Poetry Symposium – The Political Imagination: Contemporary Postcolonial and Diasporic Poetries. Corey Wakeling’s kindness permanently abounds and he launched this li’l ole journal for us. You can read Corey’s speech below.

We’ll be podcasting the launch as well, which means you’ll be able to listen to Corey’s speech, as well as Michael Farrell and Duncan Hose reading.

Online purchase of forward slash will be available soon. Collected Works also has copies if you’re in Melbourne.

forward slash launch speech by Corey Wakeling

The Queen, Elizabeth II, is glad this journal exists. It is sign after all that the Commonwealth is still wretchedly in effect, the colonies clearly and seamlessly in dialogue across the seemingly impassable thousands of kilometres to the North, and the North to South. “A collage of Australian and Canadian innovation” write editors Jeremy Balius and Matt Hall. It is not by accident that we then release this journal to the post-colonial subject in situ – we are after all in attendance at a conference entitled ‘The Postcolonial Imagination’. Indeed its troubles, its criminality, and its critical heritage, are herein displayed, written by seven of the finest Commonwealth poets. The British Empire has retracted, the imperial gesture disseminated, now rather laid like new broadband into the loam and concrete beneath our feet, working less like a brain now than a lymphatic system attacking satellite infidelities and acute threats.

Little does the Queen know, in all of her enamour of the exuberance and colonial specificity of the curatorship of this journal that the agents chosen by Balius and Hall happened to be double, arch and diabolical mutineers, fiends, cultural extortionists, saboteurs. In postcolonial times a sophisticated poetic of dissemination, probes of hottest imagination, devisers of transformative syntax, are perhaps a great exacerbator of the retraction of empire, methods to instantiate transcultural cross-germination, and better acknowledge the bequest of diasporic, processual traditions of nomadicism and expression under duress that have for so long sustained the fixities of national identity like that of the subject of the Commonwealth.

The postcolonial subject is neither severed from national technologies to which it is under duress, nor is it passive to identity politics in formation, in deviation, in conflict or contradiction to the national. It is compositely colonial and postcolonial. Why can’t you speak about the body and technology exhort Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange. Why can’t you speak about the body in technology beg Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange. Why can’t you speak about technology in the body, technology of the body retort Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange.

As the hypothetical philosophers of language, or the language philosophers of hypothesis, or the hypothetical linguists of philosophy, these poets in particular have an active intervention into landscape and language’s prosthetic eye on it with consequence. Louis Armand writes in ‘“EROSION MIMICS A FRAME”’:  “the sentence “is” a body…” The reciprocity between language and landscape – at once elaboration of the teasing proximity language brings to ambulations and memories of landscape and yet too elaborating the rejection of words by the landscape – produce, frankly, devastating, cosmic, and singular hallucinations in the work of these poets collected. Hallucinations because they are ecstatic, and because they see what they are thinking, and that after all is impossible. These are reliable maps in another sense, however, reliable topographies of place thought, thought indicating its setting as much by its flight and repulsion as its disseminations as probing retina.

Each poet collected appears fascinated with this limina, and if they’re anxious, then they’re performatively so. Just see a.rawlings spreadsheet poem ‘THE GREAT CANADIAN’, with its page saturating refrain: “I will not ruin the environment”. More on that cascade later. For each poet it is not remiss to surmise each poet landlubber of a psychic art turns to the criminality of the topographer-fencer, and makes a riot of his or her former small time. This is big time crime, but for that hardly less true because the landscape is making them do these terrible things. This is Whitman in the woods, but also Whitman in black.

M. Farrell: “George Clooney is walking across the A landscape. He’s what makes it.” ‘INVISIBLE AMERICA’ (10)

D. Hose: “When   did     Tasmania   get    so / German               anyway / Here we are in German Tasmania / Appeldorff,        Little Alp,      hills are randy / w/ tearful horses, / Hohenzollern barns engineer the air to chasten / horny grasses \” ‘LIQUOR’S NOT LIKE THAT’ (3)

a.rawlings: “Descend from a cliff into a forest near a field by a shore on a river that empties into a language.” ‘THE GREAT CANADIAN INJURIES’ (16)

L. Armand: “… crude ore / dark floe from the un/conscious / belies geo-strata not yet raised to perception – / intestinal montage of / red black / fossilised in its veins’ metastasis / becoming sub-specie …” ‘“EROSION MIMICS A FRAME”’(23)

K. Babineau: “Marri Douglas Canoe / rip A Ford Near Moscow // A Delusion of Pat Anderson, 1915-”

A. Lorange: “needle along the edge of a river such a / slab of science emptying itself on the banks” ‘GRUBS’ (36)

And J. Millar’s hallucination, or the truth of the matter: “Foot after foot atmospheric / melodies repair each one / higher than the next, a trail // of geographic outcroppings / & visual stimuli that oppose / news. What sits there remains – / millennial drones of rock // & shoreline collections of / mosquito bites, a pure pure / Canadian tropism entered into / the record books as whims.” ‘GATHERED FOR THE PURPOSE’ (39)

It seems Canadians and Australians have been dreaming the similar dreams, or at least tangoing together under shroud of oneirodynia, the disturbed sleep. Yes, these poems, all of them, are of disturbed sleep – Hose’s post-coital, pre-coital; Farrell at his most O’Hara-esque incubus-like swimming through the dreams of others, for Farrell it is Richard Roxburgh and baby boomers dreaming Hendrix; rawlings ‘The Great Canadian’ a litanical nightmare of the suffocating demands of the intra-festal obsessive compulsive declamation “I will not ruin the environment” turning at once from denial, remorse, fecklessness, pomposity, demand, imprimatur, injunction, thesis, antithesis, synthesis, transition, in the accretion of its stupid inexorability. Indeed, rawlings is the most self-interrogative, and her transformation from ‘SUBJECT’ to wolves in ‘WOLVES’ ENEMIES’, the wolves supplanting the once pathological reiterations of the ‘I’ and words’ clamour on the ‘I’s superficies, this roaming collective of wolf in plural, wolf mapping territory, wolf territorially pissing, the preposition “to” ever turned to verb-like to end on as salve to perimeters of ‘I’, its borders and fields. rawlings explains:

Shown urine from wolf on the to

the wolf or of wolves run.


But aren’t these poets big personalities too, not just big wolves? I mean, aren’t these poems big architectures? I mean aren’t these poets big ‘I’s? I mean, aren’t these poets big programmes? I mean, aren’t these poems catastrophic erosion, hangovers, lusty pinions, mouthpieces, fears, ruins? Perhaps it isn’t size at all, perhaps sprawl instead, contagiousness! Listen to Matt Hall and Jeremy Balius speak and it’s the maximalism fusillade, which might be better considered part of our poetics. This maximalist turn is delightful in forward slash, performed with dexterity and wit.

Condensation however is certainly not left to the periphery, what Ezra Pound did to the Homeric verse, what Charles Olson did to Ezra Pound doing the Homeric verse, what Duncan Hose did to what Charles Olson did to what Ezra Pound did to the Homeric verse, is part of this weird Commonwealth journal: the turbid juices of something other than style is certainly being condensed here. What Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Michael Dransfield did to what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Michael Farrell does to what Michael Dransfield did to what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, is demonstrated here as part of the syntax elaboration in contemporary poetics, questions of syntactic transfiguration, interrogation, extenuation – this is entirely traditional and rabidly deterritorialising (what Farrell might call un-settling).Precision, the diamond tip of the probe: this certainly is the horizon here in the pages of an undeniably perky journal.

Jay Millar is the most cautious, and that is why he appears the most serene and delicately pensive. Duncan Hose’s agents are bleeding, goosing the temple bell; and he has had his “cup of the coward’s bouillon”. Faire du skeptique, to the sceptical, he writes: “I keep finding pearls”. Has a geologist ever found so much movement in the earth, and yet simultaneously been as conscious of the uncertainty principle, as Louis Armand? His work does not demystify the processes of geological formation nor the body’s reliance on them, rather his findings are drawn up by the ghosts of illegibility and the mirages of articulate palimpsests. Armand is the most foreshadowing of his prosthetic I/eye, Astrid Lorange the least: she is the eyeball disturbed and unsocketed, roaming wildly pontificating rather on the ear. She says:

private celebrations

of speaking (not at all like fasting)

with diagrams

full-bodied and fruit

thud missiles

rattling into the ear

making each

the first available name                                               (34-5)

And it is this, the “first available name” that Kemeny Babineau versifies and sends rustling through the capitals, proper nouns, of history as towns and towns as historical human beings, “Saul, ‘The stars are glittering in the sky’ / 1818 ‘O! Come / in the Orilia Woods // Mair Tecumseh / Lanigan Threnody / Isabella The Helot” (27). Yes the locale is but a cut-up of old Canada, and yet my boots are wet and muddy, and somehow Flanders Field got on them, John McCrae’s old war threne somewhere within “The Pomegranate Mouths / Drunk on Crutches”. Unbelievable!

I would like to propose to launch forward slash, but then to me it appears it has launched itself, perhaps one of the most exciting new poetry journals since Vlak.

Instead, may it live long.


Filed under Australia, Black Rider Press, Poetry, Published, Spoken Word

forward slash launch in Melbourne

forward slash will be launched by Corey Wakeling and will feature readings by contributors Michael Farrell and Duncan Hose. The launch is part of The Poetry Symposium 2012, this year titled The Political Imagination: Contemporary Postcolonial and Diasporic Poetries.

The Political Imagination is a symposium that brings together some of Australia’s leading poets and poetry scholars to investigate the state of contemporary postcolonial and diasporic poetries. It aims to explore the contentious, at times controversial, issues surrounding the production and discussion of poetry and poetics in work that engages with the politics of the postcolonial, the transnational and the diasporic.

Edited by Matthew Hall and Jeremy Balius, the first edition features:

Duncan Hose
Michael Farrell
Louis Armand
Kemeny Babineau
Astrid Lorange
Jay MillAr

“In showcasing seven of the most exciting writers either side of the Pacific, this collection demonstrates just how strikingly resonant Australian and Canadian contemporary poetries are in challenging pretexts of language, nation, and the interior.  Here we have undressed affect, meddlesome crossings of intimate and ideological landscapes, and ebullient spurs against aesthetic and political complacency.  It is, in short, redactive iridescence.” – Ann Vickery

Volumes of forward slash will be available for purchase at the event for 10 smackers.

Thanks to Ann, Ali, Lyn and Corey for making this happen.

When: 4:30pm, Thursday 12 April 2012
Where: Deakin Prime, Level 3, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne

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