Thursday, March 31, 2005

Things I never knew we needed #471,313

Dog condoms.
 

Comings & goings

Cassie Lewis has started up a new blog, The Little Workshop. Welcome back, Cassie.

I'm also adding ecce mulier, an anonymous blog "posted by R.L." although up until a couple of days ago it was "posted by Nietzsche's Wife" which I kinda liked since it reminded me of the great Charlie Mingus' tune "All the things you could be by now if Sigmund Freud's wife was your mother". I mentally translate ecce mulier as "Behold the Donkey-Driver", but since the blog emanates from Mexico that might be construed as racist, so I'll let it pass.

I've also linked to Poetic Inhalation's eye peasant page, a comprehensive listing of "written creation links".

& I've drawn a line through all those links - although the link is still there - to blogs which have been silent for a number of months.
 

Robert Creeley 1926-2005

A COUNTERPOINT

Let me be my own fool
of my own making, the sum of it

is equivocal.
One says of the drunken farmer:

leave him lay off it. And this is
the explanation.

Robert Creeley
Entropic sunset. The
stones define
themselves

by
doing cartwheels
on the edges

of the lawn.
They catch
alight.

Random
numbers or
chaos theory asks

the newsagent when
I go
there

for
a haircut.
An icecream van

melts as it
makes its
campanological

way
down the
street. Birds cluster

beneath a carapace
of broken
grass.
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The exhibition of vispo

at the Durban Segnini Gallery in Miami, Florida has closed, but the entire show is still viewable here.

Well worth the visit. Several visits in fact.
 
Can't
tell you anything
you haven't
heard
before. Only
change
the timbre
pitch
accentuate
some different
syllables
in the hope
the telling
might come
a little closer
to you. It
is vanity
speaking.
 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tawny Frogmouth is not a porn star


I am not a camera adept. Would like to be - I like photographs, am enamoured of the way the camera can snatch an instance, an instant of reality & make it something more.

But not for me, as Ira Gershwin once wrote. I grew up in an age of box brownies. I didn't own a camera for many subsequent decades - it would have been just one more thing to hock & never redeem. & now that I do, all I seem to manage are bad photos - out of focus, or the subject too distant, or, or, or.....

So I don't carry one around. & regret it sometimes. Like a couple of days ago, staying in North Queensland, about 700 kilometres further north from what we currently call home, visiting friends down near the sea & driving back to where we were staying on a road formed from the right angles of sugarcane fields, the night so warm that the windscreen of the car fogged over on the outside because of the temperature differential from an inside that had had the airconditioner on all day. Lights on high beam. & caught in them as we rounded - squared - a corner a shape, rigid, that, as we got closer, turned out to be a tawny frogmouth, with its identifying funny bristles around the beak, guarding the corpse of a cane toad that had been squashed by an earlier car.

We stopped the car. I got out, tried to shoo it away. It didn't move, so after a minute or so I got back in & we drove around it very carefully. (& a couple of hundred metres up the road saw the shape of another night predator, this one a grey owl, diving after something at the edge of the cane.)

My bird book mentions this in passing. "Frogmouths often get killed on the roads as a result of their groundfeeding habits." Hopefully this one survived the night.
 


 Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28, 2005

The re-discovered first pages of a journal

I am writing this from the nth floor of a hotel in the Sydney CBD. I am writing it on a laptop, balanced on the bench in front of the mirror, next to the hotel brochures & about a metre or so from where our bags lie, one open, one closed.

I am writing the record of a journey, 2000 kilometres by road but shorter by air, hours instead of days. I should have written it on the plane, during the trip, words reflecting the clouds placed below, at arbitrary intervals, like dots in a sand painting. I should have written it as I went; but notebooks for me, when I use them, are things that you scrawl in, fray, return to cross things out, doodle in, scrawl all over.

But I am scared of this one with its pure white pages. Maybe I should have left it in the sun before using it, to cure, to temper, so the pages become yellow & I would have no qualms about soiling them with words or scrawls or squiggly bits. This notebook has the unfortunate quality of having quality. & so you approach it as you would a tombstone, something to be worked on after the act, when you've got all your shit together. Put it down somewhere else, the plasma screen, click & drag, copy & paste, until it's ready to roll. Print it out, go over it again, revise. & then enter it in the journal, into this notebook.

Or maybe I am lying, have taken the plunge & am writing directly into the book, ten thousand metres above a point on a line between two inland beacons, the true journey, move in from the coast, move back out towards it. & instead of working in retrospect I am working towards some point in the not too distant future when I shall sit down at a laptop on the nth floor of a hotel in the Sydney CBD & work my way through these notes. Perhaps revise, perhaps just transcribe. Or maybe I won't sit down with it at all, but abandon it for a while, somewhere in the sun, to yellow, so I can face its pages at a later time, without fear.
1/7/05
11.35 a.m. E.S.S.T.
 

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Graffiti memories & junk emails or: How much is that Doge in the window?

Once I was young & had so much more orientation & could talk with nervous intelligence about everything – no, that's the beginning of a novel by Kerouac. Let's restart. I remember when Rock was young. Uh oh. Elton John.

Okay. When I was younger, so much younger than today, I found humour in a couple of much-quoted & -reproduced pieces of what I would describe as repartee graffiti, that is graffiti where a line is answered by another line in someone else's hand.

My favourite was always My mother made me a homosexual to which somebody had written underneath That's nice. If I gave her the wool would she make me one too. But close behind it was

I hate grils
You mean girls you fool
What about us grils?

I was reminded of the second sequence – which, of course, reminded me of the first – by the subject line of a junk email I received today. Fsreh e-book on how to make wemon really happy.

But I'd almost been brought there yesterday by a google search for doges fucking women that ended up at the pelican. How could I not resist tracking that back one step? About sixty results, one of which appears to be an essay on Ezra Pound by Jennifer Scappettone, another from the Muse Apprentice Guild – why am I not surprised? - but most of the rest mis-spellings - the car brand; he doges the blows of his opponent; a few looking for bestial sex sites. Or should that be bastial sox?

Git along little doge...
 
Heading
north for
a couple of

days.
I might
post. Might pass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Nightjar

Jean Vengua has revamped the format of her poetry blog The Nightjar. Gone are the surroundings that used to remind me somewhat of a Quaker kitchen. In their place is a black background. The page is crowned by a photo of arched windows reaching towards a flat roof, a dark blue sky above, all seen from the perspective of someone looking up.

The presentation conveys a depth, a darkness, an infinite night with the words as stars. &, in what is probably a totally subjective judgement because I've always liked her work, I feel an additional power, a strength, a hard-edged beauty in the new poems that are posted there.
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A very moving piece

by Allen Bramhall at tributary on the death of his father after a long illness.

It is undercut with an emotion, a grief, that you cannot help but share.
 

Wall Street & The Arts

     for E.T.

Incent-
i-
vized

by the prospect of

a bonus stock issue
& an extra dividend

if
the paint company
in which he
held shares
met

certain targets

he
gave up
painting like

Franz Kline
&

followed the
Jackson Pollock
route.
 

Monday, March 21, 2005

A rare pleasure

to be able to include a link to another New Zealand poet's blog.

Have added Jill Chan's Navel Orange to the sidebar.

Some recent work of hers appeared in the latest issue of foam:e. Earlier poems can be found at the New Zealand electronic poetry centre.
 

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Take Five Decades Later

Seemingly
it is a music
that keeps you
young, the
Dave Brubeck Quartet re-
dux, combined age
around 300 years,
more white hair
than a polar bears'
convention. They
try to
belie their age. It is
a form of floating.
But. The music. Is.
Old. & without
the transcendent magic
of Paul Desmond
they are only
old men
going through
the motions
paying the
rent
presenting
the past
as it
was
not
what it should be
with fifty years
to change it
in. They want to
dance, but
this recycled air
is not for
pirouetting. But. They.
Go through some
easy steps
until the elderly Brubeck
plays
Brahms' Lullaby
as an encore
for the elderly audience
& everyone &
the elderly band
realises
it is
past their
bedtime.
 

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pour Prévert, some autumn leaves

              l                         t
l
  e               l
                            o
          u
                                r
       f            e                          s
                     s

            i
     s
 

        e              m                  e

Friday, March 18, 2005

After joy, sadness

I
have donned
sackcloth & ashes.

Tom
Beckett's blog
has gone dark.

Vaudeville
apparently needs
organs to survive.

I
will happily
donate my heart.
 

pelican dreaming is 1 year old today

so it seems appropriate to recognise the occasion by posting the poem from whence it got its name.
PELICAN DREAMING

Later he would walk down to the lagoon
to look for the pelicans. They were
his touchstone, the way their
solid bodies gave substance to the
landscape, a centre to it. Only when
they found him would he return.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

He
paused to
admire the view

when
he reached
the top of

the
mountain &
then continued climbing.
 
What part
of
      NO
don't you
under-
stand?

N?

No,
O.
 
Savaged
& ravaged
by rabid mosquitoes.
 

The Misanthropes



apologies for the quality of this one, but it was a double-paged reproduction.
 Posted by Hello
 

The Wedding Breakfast



Again the pelican becomes a repository for the images of Magritte. Slaved over a hot scanner to get this. & now yet another Magritte is out in the ether & the poems at Series Magritte are link-less no longer.
 Posted by Hello
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Have added another couple of link-less poems to Series Magritte.
 
"The thing that's really become important with me now is my involvement in ear research. I know you would think I'd be involved in eye research, but it is not so. It's ear research because I have so much respect for hearing. I don't know what would have happened to me if I hadn't been able to hear."
Ray Charles

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Metropolis

is
full of
Moloch & marquee.
 
Felt the need for the ocean today, so this afternoon drove the forty kilometres out to it. Then twenty kilometres along the coast, pausing every so often, before turning inland again.

Apart from the wave caps, the sea was the colour of wet sand.
 

Have added

The Pillow Book - Makura no Soshi - of Shin Yu Pai to the sidebar.

& have just finished reading Unnecessary Roughness, her wonderful & witty collection of sports poems. It takes the piss out of everything athletic, but with an incisive insight that would probably get her a major coaching job.
 

Sunday, March 13, 2005

e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s

In keeping with the expansionary intention of Tom Beckett's philosophy for the blog, former interviewee Thomas Fink becomes current interviewer of the wonderful Sheila Murphy at e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s.

& as I write this, a kingfisher swoops across the yard to pause in a tree. I am a firm believer in omens.
 

36 Views of Lion Mountain

# 1

Lion
does not
appear

in the
lexicon

of the
traditional
owners

of the
land.
 

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

for Miss M.

cat kookaburra
late-night owl

the
avariciousness
of another
avatar

attacked by
angry ants &
in defence
a self-
inflicted
mortal blow

attempting
to emulate
the Worm
Ouroboros

auto-erotic
asphyxiation
 

serpent dreaming

Some time ago I wrote of finding a snake in two pieces in the back yard, severed according to the golden mean. A Fibonacci sequence the shaman told me.

Yesterday I found another dead snake in the yard. Entire, but with what could possibly be teeth marks in its patterned skin. Just over a foot long. Now residing in an empty coffee jar, waiting to go to the university for identification. The shaman knows about snakes as symbol, he doesn't know their species.

But he tells me small snakes are the avatars of the giant serpent, that I am being tested. If I see a live snake between now & the approaching winter – we are just over one week into autumn – then I shall be the one that hibernates. If it is large then I may wake in spring inside a snake. If it is small, I may wake with the snake inside me. I may wake as myself. I may not wake.
 

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

At
different times
different harmonies. Night

strikes
a different
chord to day.
 

Speculative Fiction

FROM: Sgt. Mark Ed
Important Message
To President / Managing Director..

Good day,


My name is Mark Ed, I am an American soldier, I am serving in the military of the 1st Armoured Division in Iraq, As you know we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs.We managed to move funds belonging to Saddam Hussien's family.

We want to move this money to you, so that you may invest it for us and keep our share for banking.We will take 50%, my partner and I. You take the other 50%. no strings attached, just help us move it out of Iraq, Iraq is a warzone. We plan on using diplomatic courier and shipping the money out in one large silver box, using diplomatic immunity.

If you are interested I will send you the full details, my job is to find a good partner that we can trust and that will assist us. Can I ! trust you? When you receive this letter,kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone/fax numbers for quick communication also your contact details. This business is risk free. The box can be shipped out in 48hrs.

Respectfully,
Sgt. Mark Ed
Ah well, it makes a change from Nigerian scams. But you think they'd get the spelling of Saddam's name right. Or is the misspelling meant to be proof of the email's authenticity?
 

Monday, March 07, 2005

Plaint

I am feeling excluded.
I am not on Dubya's hit list.
I am not on his crush list.
My weapons of mass destruction were used up years ago.
I have no troops in a foreign country.
I do not understand how it is right to have U.S. troops in Iraq & wrong to have Syrian troops in Lebanon.
I believe fences should not be used to keep people apart.
I have no nuclear power program that could be construed as a front for the enriching of uranium.
My axis is not evil.
I am not a hostage who can be released & then be shot at by her supposed allies.
I am not a university professor invited to Harvard who is declined a visa because of her links with the Sandanistas.
I do not know what the word terrorist means any more, nor do I understand how it continues to expand its meaning. Actually I do. A terrorist is all the people you don't like, plus a significant percentage of the people who you say you do.
I do not know what the word democracy means any more, nor do I understand how it continues to contract its meaning.
I do not have a famine that can be ignored because
I am not oil-rich.
I do not have a G7 spot.
NATO is not courting me.
I do not have bases that can be used as a staging-post for spy planes or bombers or troop-carrying helicopters.
I am not a born-again Christian who believes they have a God-given right to dictate policies to the world.
I have never advocated torture & have never not advocated & then used it anyway.
I would not believe anything confessed to under torture.
I have never taken part in a naked human pyramid. Not under duress anyway.
I have never licked Dubya's arse.
I do know his shit does not smell like roses though many others seem to think this is true.
I use words, but since these are never used on a teleprompter it is as if I am mute.
There is no bounty of $25 million out for me.
I don't even have a Camp Alpha.
Or like apple pie.
I believe that the United States of Dubya is spelt with a k. Three ks actually. AmeriKKKa.
 
In the
morning

after
the rain

she
listened to
a couple
of Aretha Franklin
tracks

& then
got ready
to go out.
 

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Marquee & Music

At first the
tinkle
of a temple bell
but with
each refresh
the line
grows
longer.

Jukka's marquee pieces, more beautiful than ever, now come with or without accompaniment. See / hear / be amazed via Nonlinear Poetry.

& it would be remiss of me not to mention the marquee pieces by Jack Kimball at Pantaloons. The latest one is quite splendid.
 

sit 11

a visual / textual piece posted by harry k. stammer to his eponymous blog on 3/2/05 is wonderful. harry's work, textual, visual, visual/textual, textual/visual (& occasionally textural), both on his own blog & at As/Is is some of the best work going on around the place in any field.
 

K. Rexroth's "The Advantages of Learning"

There are certain physical characteristics you saw in your parents as they aged that you knew you would inherit. The hair colour you shared with your mother, how it would fade. The pattern of the thinning of your father's hair, & the extent of it –good to know that when he died in his nineties he still had plenty of it. The skin blemishes, the way lines formed on their faces. Your father's shoulder slump that you also share.

But it is a poem I feel I have most grown into, unshaped by genetic inheritance. One I came across more than forty-five years ago, that moved me then, that spoke to the inner me in a way I had never experienced. I do not know if it was some sort of premonition or whether it became some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy but it is the poem that I have most inhabited, that has most inhabited me, over all the intervening years. & even though I have read much that I have liked / loved since then, even though I have written much in which I expose or privately see parts of me I would have preferred remained hidden, it still remains for me the poem.

The Advantages of Learning

I am a man with no ambitions
And few friends, wholly incapable
Of making a living, growing no
Younger, fugitive from some just doom.
Lonely, ill-clothed, what does it matter?
At midnight I make myself a jug
Of hot white wine and cardamon seeds.
In a torn grey robe and old beret,
I sit in the cold writing poems,
Drawing nudes on the crooked margins,
Copulating with sixteen year old
Nymphomaniacs of my imagination.

Kenneth Rexroth

Friday, March 04, 2005

Luca Antara

At Luca Antara, Martin Edmond posts the contents of his new book Luca Antara which don't include any mention of Luca Antara.

But what's there prompted me to answer "yes" to his question "..would you want to read a book like this?"
 

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lady Guinevere's hay(na)ku of love

The
beat of
my knight's heart

is the pulse
of my
daze.

 

non sequiturs
                                   followed


 

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Will no-one free me of this turbulent priest?

Vaudeville without Organs. Tom Beckett is back!!!!
"I'm not sure I should be here again in the world of personal (poisonal--to give it a 3 Stooges inflection) blogging, but I am weak. Poor impulse control, don't you know. So, a soft opening. No e-mails to announce the rebirth. I'm not reborn."
Ah, Tom,

Withdrawals
in Winter
are alWays Worse
 

& so, in honour

I've decided to repost this poem that first appeared on As/Is since it seems quite appropriate.
My life in Vaudeville

for Nick Piombino because he didn't / ask the question
& for Tom Beckett because he gave me / the title


The players in the orchestra pit
are aging, some are
already dead or too infirm
to hold their instruments. Only
the drummer manages to keep
a beat; & that occasionally
runs ragged since his
bass drum had a triple bypass
four months ago. Nobody
wants to play this type of music
anymore. No fame or
fortune in it. The singers have all
left, the jugglers drop more
than they catch & local bylaws
have taken the fire-eater
out of the program. Two years ago
my partner died. No one to replace him
so I've been using a dummy
whose response to "Why is there
a gryphon in the garden?"
is a very wooden
"Because Thurber took the unicorn".
We've had the North Korean
Totalitarian Drill & Marching Band
in for a couple of weeks but now
they've overstayed their visas
& are due to be deported
in the morning. There's nothing
left except to clear the last
tableau & close. Next week it's
strippers, sound machine & a single
spotlight. The theatre's being re-
named, either "Vanishing Acts" or
"Pussies Galore". They'll probably
go for the latter. Boom tish.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

the letter e

Jukka's latest kinetic piece, letters, has me transfixed. There is something magical, mystical about the transformation of the letter

e

as it disappears off-screen to the right.
 
Messages
were left.
On the surface

simple
cyphers. A
different meaning underneath.