I gave myself the weekend off; no writing, no reading.  Just crafting.  Out came the white ceramic cups and mugs I've been saving up to paint, as well as a charity store sweater I've been wanting to spruce up a little. 
The results:

I'm ready for a big week of research and writing now that I've got these projects out of my system...

Happy Sunday!


In lieu of reviews (a book and two films - look at me go!) I thought I'd post a few links to bits and pieces of awesomeness that I have recently encountered on the wonder that is the world wide web.

Please peruse the following at your leisure (or do what I do and save them up for procrastinatory purposes).  Don't say I'm not good to you...

Beloved NZ author Margaret Mahy passed away this week.  This is a great blog entry about the power of Mahy's stories
♥ A Great piece interrogating the "self" in "self-made"
♥ Famous authors and their tattoos on Flavorwire

This sweet online creative mag
♥ A literary print I'm eyeing up
♥ I heart everything Benjamin Law has ever written

♥ Seems everyone knew about this book site except me...
♥ Stuart Evers' Top 10 homes in literature
This website is my current favourite.  (Thanks Hildog!) I dream of writing in places like those...

Dumpster Designers.  Brilliant.
This is what happens when you start paying attention
New Katherine Mansfield stories?!



Today I'm sharing the poem that was recently printed in Issue 9 of Potroast.  The theme was diagrams, how to guides, instructions, components etc.  So I decided to write something based around the idea of distorting the "true" meaning of a word by breaking it up and concentrating on the other words embedded with in it, thereby creating something radically different than what was intended or expected.  This was very much an experiment for me, and it has spawned a few new pieces exploring a similar theme.  Here goes...


An explanation, friend,
                is not
A telling how or why
A former 2D colony,
Lost for scheme, design and strategy
That is now a body politic
With all its bones but buried.

A diagram, therefore,
                is not
a picture, showing
A letter sent to someone suffering
Where stops are small black breaths, for
Ironic font typed names
Behind dull plastic panes

A system, then
                is not
a whole comprised of separate parts
A shaft of growth, diseased
No budding colour at the apex
Just the start of inconvenience
A growth toward the end of ends.

A method, it follows,
                is not
A numbered process or procedure
One’s harsh demise abbreviated
By chemical conspiracies
The true end product of its excess
And networked faulty compass Norths.

So therefore,
it follows,
That context
                is not
                can’t be
Message, sense or point,
                but rather,
Lying, cheating phrases,
With manipulative tendencies,
Absolving themselves of all
Host responsibility.

Copyright: Kirsty Helen, 2012.

The Wordinary: Entry No. 8


bro-fess-or [bruh-fes-er]

1. The most knowledgeable person in your circle of friends.

2. A rather friendly academic.

For more about The Wordinary click here.

Looking Back (2)

In which I share some of my visual journal entries from our unforgettable trip to Cambodia...

This has to be one of the most amazing places on Earth.


Fact: caramel salted macaron eating is incredibly conducive to creativity and of rather great assistance when it comes to poetry writing in particular.  (You can thank me for the tip off later).

I've got a few of my Stranger & Co poems underway and numerous short story ideas have been creeping into my notebook; characters are slowly establishing themselves.  It feels good.

I'll share more soon.  In the meantime, Shakespearean adaptations and Utopian notions call...

Enjoy your Sunday.

PS: This photo is exciting, not only because it captures the awesomeness of said macarons (take me back) but it is also evidence of the fact that I have finally learned (read: remembered to) use the camera feature on my phone.  Therefore, in lieu of an i phone and the ever popular instagram (a girl can dream right? Struggling artist and all that...) I shall henceforth* be experimenting with the features of my trusty acer cell.  Hmmm, me thinks this might be dangerous procrastination material...

*I love using that in a sentence

The Lady is a Hawke

"I wanted to make music that could put a smile on peoples faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time. "
Pip Brown

Ladyhawke: aka New Zealand songstress Pip Brown, aka my favourite guitar toting, fringe rocking, 80s repping, funky t shirt wearing, humble heroine, played a super-cool set on a crisp winter's eve on Thursday at The Foundry.  I've been a fan for a few years, my first foray into live Ladyhawke being a chance encounter during a somewhat spur of the moment attendance at Portugese summer festival Sudoeste; I'd heard of this blonde locked London based lady who channelled "all the good bits" of the 80s in her debut self titled album but I hadn't yet listened to her tunes myself and, I have to admit, I was somewhat ashamed that the audience members around me sang out her lyrics in fervent unison, whilst I, dumbfounded, had to enjoy the moment somewhat vicariously through them as they formed their fingers into love hearts and held them above their heads in admiration of Miss Brown. The vicarious business didn't last long though; sweet synths and 80s inspired guitar riffs got me dancing with the rest of them and I have been a fan forever after. Balance was restored on Thursday as I made my way to the front and sang to my heart's content beside other faithful fans; an experience I had been coveting in the years post that delightful Portugese summer.  She rocked it. Enough said.  Thank you, Miss Brown.  Please, come back soon...

The Wordinary: Entry No. 7


car-ne-voy-eur [kahr-nuh-vwah-yur]

1. A former carnivore turned vegetarian who watches others eat meat in an attempt to fulfil their craving for their long lost diet.

For more about The Wordinary click here.

Of Late

“Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry."
Jack Kerouac

I did it.  Two 10,000 word assignments have left the building (thank you, thank you very much) and two brand-new-slightly-intimidating-but-nevertheless-exciting papers now stand in their place.  I'm reading (a lot). And writing, too;  the "Stranger & Co" experiment is well and truly underway and I've found myself adrift in the sea of words sent to me from far off places that I must now fashion into individual poetry pieces to be handwritten and sent away.  I'm looking forward to it; I am doing this partly for inspiration, partly to connect with others, partly to practice the art of poetry and interrogate my own creative process, and partly to be prompted by being made accountable for my work, in order to make good on my promises to myself (and now, to others) to just write. I apologize for my absence; those assignments almost got the best of me.  But now I'm back, and I hope to be more regular with my posting, now that I've got a tiny bit more time on my hands. 

What does July have in store for you?


(You know, because Wellington is swell...)

Whenever I visit our capital city I feel at home, despite never having actually lived there.  It's one of those places where you feel at ease in your own skin, comfortable to wear what you want, walk at a leisurely pace, stop and take a few snaps and admire the harbour views and plethora of art installations.  I don't feel hurried along in Wellington, like I do in so many other cities; I don't feel as self conscious.  And because I've never lived there, there is a kind of pleasant freedom in anonymity.

Our holiday consisted of down time with family, museum visits, cheap curries at Satay Kingdom, a comedy show, a short film viewing, a night at Havana with sweet, sweet music, country & folk with Eb & Sparrow, John the Baptist and The Unfaithful Ways at Bodega, incredible pizza in a magical log cabin in the middle of nowhere (fairy lights and cider included), a trip along the Wairarapa coast, a few games of pool, and catch ups with friends.  

In short, it looked like this:

(Note: me and the Monsta being cheesy tourists / Lord of the Rings fans/ shamelessly plugging New Zealand. It had to be done...)

Until we meet again, fair city...