Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Che in Bolivia

If I make it
out of
here, I must thank
Fidel for his
parting gift. A book
of poetry, by a Yanqui
yet, who set out
to write
something every day
even when it was hard
to find something
to write about. It's an
idea I've picked up
on. Am keeping a diary
although daily Bolivia is
the same old same old
unlike New York
where there are "so many
things in the air!" Here
there are only mosquitoes
& the mutterings of
peasants intimidated by
our presence. They help us
because they are frightened
of us, & then send to tell
the army because they are
more frightened of
the soldiers. The Bolivian
Communist Party doesn't
want anything to do
with us. We are running out
of food, are running out of
time. "The only thing to do
is simply continue." The army
is in the next valley. It is
an inevitable confrontation.
I go forward to meet them,
a man with two hearts. The
one that beats still dreams
of revolution. The one that
weeps is in my pocket, it is
Lunch Poems by Frank O'Hara.

oops

In my recent post noting the latest issue of moria, I omitted from the list of contributors one of my favourite writers, Eileen Tabios, who reviews iduna by another one of my favourite writers, kari edwards.

Monday, August 30, 2004

whatever
happened to
jean-luc ponty?

An announcement

The e-chapbook
The Oracular Sonnets,
a collaboration
between Jukka-Pekka
Kervinen & M.Y.-self,
is now up & down-
loadable at
Meritage Press.
Our publisher, the self-effacing Eileen Tabios, does enough preeeening for all of us in her press release which is up at The Chatelaine's Poetics.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

conjunction hay(na)ku for j.v.

The
synchronicity of
our chosen words.
There is a nice re-working & re-assembling of poems at Jean Vengua's The Nightjar.

& when George W. loses in November

he will always have these to fall back on.
After World War II synthetic fur, a deep-pile fabric closely resembling fur, became popular. George W. Borg was among the first to adapt circular knitting machines to make a pile fabric from synthetic fibers.
I ran across a unique passive filter. Wonder if anyone has seen or heard of one. It is Military surplus. It is called Radio Filter FL-30. Made by The George W. Borg Corp. It appears to consist of potted torroids. It is about a 2 1/2 inch cube with a large 3 position switch on top.

even though

photographs of the trials at Guantanamo Bay cannot be taken by reporters because the U.S. Government has declared that this contravenes the Geneva Conventions

even though
the U.S. Government has contravened the Geneva Conventions in every other aspect of this incarceration

even though
the trials have been declared illegal by an international panel of jurists

even though
Mamdouh Habib & David Hicks, the Australians interned there, would, if they were sent home, be set free because they have committed no crime under Australian law

even though
even in this judicial farce they may still be be found innocent

none of this means jackshit
because they can still be declared
"enemy combatants"
& kept detained
at the pleasure of
George W. Borg

even though
the linking of
"George W." &
"pleasure"

is outlawed
under the Geneva Conventions
as a cruel &
unnatural
conjunction

Friday, August 27, 2004

moria

A new issue of Bill Allegrezza's poetry mag moria is up. There are poems from A. di Michele, Arlene Ang, Claudia Alonzo, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Andrew Lundwall & Jeannie Smith, Deaborah Meadows, Raymond L. Bianchi, Skip Fox, Ruth Danon, Mark Young, Kerri Sonnenberg, Camille Martin, James Maughn & David Huntsperger, & reviews from Anny Ballardini & Rodney Robinson.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Hay(na)ku Anthology

Let me point you in the direction of Jill Jones' marvellous impermanent tenses 1 & 2 at Ruby Street as a reminder that submissions are still open for the Hay(na)ku Anthology.

The Allegrezza Ficcione, Part 9

Who searches for
the silkworm
must first find
the mulberry tree.
Anonymous. c.600 CE
included in: Rivalling The Six Dynasties: Poems from the Eastern Turkish Khaganate selected & translated by Umberto Allegrezza; The Uzbekistan Historical Society; Bukhara, 2000.

Previous Part / Next Part

If I were sitting in Le Père Lachaise

           under a fine mossy tree
           Allen Ginsberg: At Apollinaire's Grave

We are two thirds of the way
through the holiday, heading home but still
two thousand kilometres away from it. It is
mid-morning; & I am sitting under a
mango tree in the Home Hill cemetery
being entertained by birds. Black-tailed kites
ride the thermals overhead. Yellow honeyeaters
not much bigger than the flowers they
draw nectar from race through the trees. All sorts
of supporting acts. I have taken advantage of the
break from driving to take care of the basic needs —
a piss, a coffee, several cigarettes. It's an ironic
spot for them, but even though I've made it so
this is not a comfort stop nor are we
playing tourists in this small-town cemetery.
This is where Lauren's grandmother is buried;
& she & her mother have brought
new flowers, old memories to lay on the
grave. I sit watching them, suddenly aware
that I do not know where my
parents are buried. The thought is unemotional,
but trailing it is another more animated one. That
if this were somewhere like Le P ère Lachaise
I would not be sitting, would without doubt
be playing tourist. Rushing here &
there, guidebook in hand, seeking out the graves
of people who are not even distantly related to me
now I know exactly where they are buried. It is more
than I can say about my distant relatives; but then
I have always been one who wept
at the funerals of acquaintances, stayed
dry-eyed at the funerals of family & friends.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Aural Jukka

The amazing Jukka-Pekka Kervinen - composer, visual poet, editor, manipulator extraordinaire of text, publisher (there are links to all of his activities in the sidebar at the right) - now has a new string to his bow, sound poetry.

He emailed me a link to his first piece which is "...made with speech synth, Csound DSP language and my own program" this morning. I found it quite an amazing piece. It's choral & canonical - the phrases re-entering, repeated, over-laying one another; it's like some of his visual pieces in that some of the words aren't totally defined but phase in & out, with their different textures & timbres; & it's one of his manipulated text pieces as well. & having the words in front of me as I listened to it helped me appreciate it more.

I have his permission to publicise it. The piece is called "omega thumbs" - at least that's the name of the file - & is available as an MP3 download here.

This is the text the piece is based on:
fiction worked absence ending pride chop dozen crunch seventh careers levels, produce sense cluster mails son waist gear, song ware brick fishy menace irr unpack rough largest remote awhile, wheat why hostile, omega thumbs keeper thereof why waded setback sphere acts bypass wearing rubbing revise pack linking phones steep lion glue then parity taller divine bitch domino scores averts dive crowded lady tire snake
Later (11.30 p.m.) omega thumbs is now up at Jukka's textual conjectures.

There's a long line of good pieces at Clayton A. Couch's Word Placements. Check them out.

He writes in a response to a comment from Steve Tills
"I guess I'd like to reach a place where I can assemble...... texts that have the capacity to dream on their own....."
I think, Clayton, that you've already reached the place of dreaming texts; & I, for one, want you to keep on assembling them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

via kari edwards' transdada.
On August 13, the federal government and the Labor opposition voted in the Senate to ban same-sex marriage by passing the Marriage Amendment Act, which defines marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.

The legislation was passed just days after the closing of submissions to a Senate inquiry into the issue. The Greens and the Australian Democrats opposed the bill. The major parties rushed the legislation through in the knowledge that there are three same-sex couples preparing court cases to have their marriages, which were performed overseas, recognised.

Prominent gay rights activist Rodney Croome, from the Equal Rights Network, is investigating a High Court challenge to the legality of the legislation. He told Green Left Weekly that a campaign for its repeal is needed. “The legislation is not going to be repealed in a hurry, but this shouldn't stop us calling for that, as well as highlighting the way both major parties have fallen prey to anti-gay campaigners and fundamentalist churches. We need to channel the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community's anger into effective action, right up until the federal election and beyond, if we are to have any hope of achieving law reform in the near future.”

Word for / Word

From Jonathan Minton:
I'm pleased to announce the 6th issue of Word For/Word, which is available at http://www.wordforword.info

The new issue features poetics, prose, visuals, and poetry by: Jenna Cardinale, C. S. Carrier, Geneva Chao, Alison Eastley, Skip Fox, Vernon Frazer, Anthony Hawley, Mary Kasimor, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Donna Kuhn, Carlos Luis, Camille Martin, Andrew Nightingale, Juliet Patterson, Christian Peet, Ken Rumble, Brandon Shimoda, James Shivers, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Steven Timm, and Mark Young.

at Series Magritte

La Lunette d'approche
Once upon a time Blogger would tell you that it was having difficulties in publishing a post & break off. Now that icon keeps on going round & round like an ill-tempered clock & you don't know where the fuck you are.

The post below took thirteen minutes to publish. I know it took that long, since in the interim between clicking the mouse to publish & the post appearing, I managed, in the words of Stan Freberg, a favourite comedian of mine in the fifties, to boil three two-minute eggs, two three-minute eggs & make 60 cups of instant coffee.

Monday, August 23, 2004

another doodle

To play the
part. To play
all the parts.
Set a part
to play. Apart.
The
words in-
tact. Or split

into
their separate
pieces. Modus operandi.

Mo
dus   op
er   and   i.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A slack Sunday

Feeling lazy, so the post below is an old poem. It was published a couple of years ago in AnotherSun, a London-based e-zine that has now ceased being refreshed.

The internal evidence of the poem dates its conception to the time when I was starting writing again, obviously struggling to get my shit back together; but I remember that it hung around like a tapeworm in the guts of the PC for quite some time before it approached anything like something I was happy with.

Why I am not writing

I am re-reading James Ellroy's
The Black Dahlia, am re-reading
Thomas Kuhn's The Structure
of Scientific Revolutions, am
reading the sub-titles to the
opening titles of the animated
manga Neon Genesis Evangelion
when Mayakovsky rings to say
he will not be coming around
today. I scan the TV guide
& plot an alternative itinerary.

I think about opening Word
& end up opening Solitaire
instead. I listen to the humming
of the PC but it tells me nothing.
It sounds like the refrigerator but
that only hums at intervals &
does not give me card games
as a built-in option — it is
too dedicated in its purpose.

I think about work, where I have
been listening to the presentations
of consultants to decide who
will be the anointed ones to whom
we will pay hundreds of thousands
of dollars to rewrite our planning &
information systems. I have yet
to hear anything new, decide I'm
in the wrong business. But the
arrival of the consultants is
serendipitous in that it loosely
coincides with one of the subjects
I have to do at university next
semester. I plan to use the
aggregated data in my major
assignment — at least I will get
some value from what I consider
to be an obscene outlay of money.

& I am reading & re-reading my
textbooks as the exams draw nearer.
Though they & the other books are
shelved in some sort of order, the CDs
are jumbled. I am working my way
through them from the top of the
stack on down, sorting them out
by listening to each one in turn
then putting it back in the place
where it was. I have just listened
to Sonny Rollins' Saxophone
Colossus; now I am listening
to Revolver & decide again that
this album & not Sergeant Pepper
marked the paradigm shift for The
Beatles even though for me
when I first heard them the order
was reversed. & in passing
I want to thank Thomas Kuhn
for developing the concept of
paradigm shifts & for redefining
the term paradigm. When words
change meaning they are re-
energised, & if I were writing
I would hope to be using energetic
words. But instead I am singing
along with Eleanor Rigby & the
refrigerator is humming along
in harmony & the Red Queen is
shouting from the PC "Lay me
on the Black King! Lay me!" She
is off her head. But I already knew
that, was told by Jefferson Airplane
many years ago & reminded of it
by the inclusion of White Rabbit
on the Greatest Hits of the Sixties
compilation I listened to three CDs
ago. Then Mayakovsky rings
to say he has changed his mind.
I start to tidy up the house.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Meanwhile, at the Oh limp pricks

He dived into the future
off the three metre board.

A forward one-&-a-half tuck,
a degree of difficulty of 1.2.

Lost his footing, went
arse-first into the water.

Received no points. Tomorrow
will be the same as today.

The Allegrezza Ficcione, Part 8 - a note on Caius Septimus

In Book VI of
De bello Gallico
there is a passage
where Julius Caesar relates
how, on the way
to his third war
with the Gauls, he
stopped over at the
villa of Caius Septimus,
a citizen who "lived
closer to Gaul than
to Rome" & spent
part of a relaxed evening
listening to his host recite
Terra Inculta, a sequence
of poems about the ten
months of the year. A scribe
of a slightly later time
records how when
Vercingetorix was
paraded in chains
though the streets of Rome
as the prize exhibit in
Caesar's triumph, he was
guarded not by soldiers
but by the retainers of
Caius, "friend of Caesar".
The poems may have
survived. Amongst the
von Holstein collection
in the library of
the University of Heidelberg
there is a 'Commentary
on the Poetry of Caius
Septimus' though some
modern scholars posit
this may be a ficcione
by the Count & point out
that Allegrezza does
does not record anything
by Caius in his definitive
recreation of the catalogue of
the Library of Alexandria. One
final point of interest. In their
investigation into a fire
at the home of an Anglophile
poet of some renown
(whose name still cannot be
mentioned for fear of a
libel action) police reported
that the blaze appeared to
have been started by the
deliberate destruction of documents
setting a rat's nest alight. All
they could find of the original
fire was a small piece of
scorched parchment on which
were written the words mensis
Aprilis mensium primori atrox est
.

Previous Part / Next Part

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Jukka has redone his wallpaper at nonlinear poetry & the way it sets his pieces off is almost as good as a new post.

Nifty & nice

For once something good with Blogger's unannounced changes, the google "search-the-blog" that now resides above the pelican dreaming header. & easy to install, simply visit the blog template, save changes & it's there.

Or, thought about later, maybe all you need to do is post something new.

Monday, August 16, 2004

As Melville wrote in Billy Budd, "goodbye to you too, old Rights-of-Man!"

The following is an extract from an article by Adele Horin, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday August 14.

I don't know if Mamdouh Habib is a good guy or a bad guy. But I do know that if the North Korean Government had captured him, held him without charge in an interrogation camp for years, and denied him contact with lawyers, family or friends, the Howard Government would be apoplectic.

Faced with such flagrant abuse of his legal and human rights, the Government would work hard for his return.

But when it is our friend and ally the United States that acts as a totalitarian power, the Government throws principle and decency to the wind. It is a scandal the way our Government has abandoned Habib, and fellow detainee David Hicks, to the legal black hole that is Guantanamo Bay.

This week Habib was allowed his first phone call with his wife and four children in the three years since his capture. Despite officials monitoring the conversation, the call confirmed reports Habib had been subject to beatings, sleep deprivation and abuses. He sounded a broken man. Convicted murderers and rapists get better treatment.

This is no way to treat a bad guy. But it is shocking to think Habib might be a good guy, innocent of whatever charge is eventually brought against him.

Yet his innocence is hardly a far-fetched prospect. Dozens have been released from Guantanamo Bay in recent months to governments that lobbied hard for their citizens' rights. They included a 90-year old shepherd, cobblers, taxi drivers and foot soldiers of the Taliban, conscripted to fight against their will. Of the 147 released, only 13 have been sent to jail, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights in the US.

At the end of the US war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, as the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, put it, "they scooped up 10,000 people". These were not necessarily on the battlefield; some like Habib were far away in Pakistan; and most were picked up by the Taliban's enemy, the Northern Alliance, and handed over to the Americans. The Americans whisked some, including Habib, temporarily to Egypt, allegedly to be tortured.

Beginning in January 2002, hundreds of men and boys were sent to Guantanamo Bay, which has been described as "Dante's ninth circle of hell".

Yet in making Guantanamo Bay a rights-free zone for the nationals of 42 other countries, the Bush regime has taken us back to medieval times. Before the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, kings could throw a person in jail, with no charges laid, no lawyer, and no prospect of release; and now the American president can.

Against the recommendation of Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, who foresaw the repercussion for captured US soldiers, the Bush Administration also turned its back on the Geneva Conventions. These spell out how prisoners of war must be treated. Bush renamed his prisoners "enemy combatants" and said the conventions did not apply.

The US Government used September 11, 2001, to override 800 years of progress on human rights, the Magna Carta, the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention against Torture. Rather than treating the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon as acts of terrorism or crime, with perpetrators subject to criminal law, it treated them as acts of war. But even so, it refused to abide by the international rules of war.

The Howard Government, obsequious as ever to the US, acquiesced without a murmur. It went further. According to a report in The New York Times last year, when the US Government wanted to hand Hicks back, the Howard Government refused to take him because there was no evidence Hicks had violated Australian law.

In contrast, Britain has succeeded in securing the return of five of its citizens. On arrival, one was immediately released, the other four held for questioning, and then released. With Tony Blair a red-hot ally in the war on terrorism, it is certain the five would have faced trial if they were bad guys. It appears they were innocent, deprived of their freedom for two and a half years because the US has dispensed with the rule of law.

The Allegrezza Ficcione Part 7 - from: von Holstein's "The Wanderings"

"I was well-treated by my captors, but although I was allowed much freedom in their Castle, & generously provided for with food & vestments, I had been starved of conversation. I have only a few words of the Unbelievers' tongue; & to hear my own language, even if only in the form of a poor Hauptdeutsch, brought tears to my eyes.

"Al'Farah told me he was a southern European, no more specific than that, who had arrived at Smyrna from Genoa seven years before. His goal was to reach the Eastern Lands, to establish opportunities for trade, to bring back porcelain & textiles, especially the cloth called seres, silk, named after the people from whence it came.

"How he had travelled, first by ship to Iskenderun , & then to Mosul across the Aljazirah Mountains. How he had realised how unprepared he was for such a journey as awaited him so sought prenticeship with a merchant there, to learn the language & the customs. Had taken a local name, a translation of his own. How he had been approached by an agent of the great son of Sabbah, offering him service in Tabriz, ostensibly part of the Empire of Persia but in reality part of the vast domain of Hassan i Sabbah. That he had accepted, for a stipulated period of five years, in return for more learning.

"How that time was now up & so he had come to Alamut to pay homage & to say goodbye. That he would still go East; but now it was the journey, not the endpoint, that was important."
Previous Part / Next Part

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Adding

Jay Thomas' Bad with Titles.
Cassie Lewis' The Jetty.

If you ever plan to motor west

travel my way, take the highway that's the best,
get your kicks on Route 66
Or something like that. A Bobby Troup song, made famous by Nat King Cole & later covered again by the Strolling Bones.

I write somewhere that "unexpected presents / are so often the /best". & so it is proved again. In my letterbox, totally unexpected, Steve Tills' "Behave" from dPress. & what a wondrous gift it is. A series of Rants, starting with #67 - there is an unincluded Rant #66; the cover, a retouched roadsign from one of Steve's favourite highways, can be said to take its place

To someone like myself, who seriously believes that poetry should be funny even when it's being serious, who believes that words should be trifled with, truffled with, trod upon, sat upon, shat upon, played with, plaid with, parlayed into other words, speyed, splayed, relayed, decayed, flayed within an micrometer of their possible meanings & then given mouth-to-mouth so that the whole process, the hole progress, the holy protest can start all over again, this book is a joy.
well wrought,
delicious
I'm reminded of a jazz musician, has to be a sax player, someone of the calibre of Bird or Coltrane, who starts a solo with an exquisite phrase, returns to it, reworks it in a series of variations that build upon themselves until a point is reached which it seems can not be gone beyond, that it can't get any better. & then goes & tops the whole thing. & then moves on to the next song, where it happens all over again.

My dealings with Steve are filled with serendipity & synchronicity. He remarked in a post on Black Spring about a New Zealand poet called James K. Baxter whom he'd had to write essays about when doing his M.A. I pointed him to where he could find a couple of photos – Richard Lopez also made reference to one of these photos in his "books received" post on Really Bad Movies that I appropriated & re-posted a couple of days ago - of J.K.B. in company with myself & another poet, Dave Mitchell. Dave has gone back to university at the age of 60+ & is now doing his M.A. on Baxter.

& in the readings Dave & I did together as a double act I would usually work with a rock band for at least part of the night. & inevitably, as the excitement of the evening grew, there came a point where I would say "fuck the poetry" & most times we'd launch into, yes, Route 66. & everybody would get up & dance.
Won't you get hip to this timely tip
when you make that California trip
get your kicks from Rant 66

Thanks, Chris

for the pelican photo & the posted poem at tex files.

Friday, August 13, 2004

volte-face

The Opposition Labor Party has voted with the Government to ban same-sex marriages in Australia. There's an election due soon. On the basis of Labor's aboutface on this issue it seems that no matter who gets in it's going to be more of the same old conservative shit.
Dear
Ivy Alvarez.
Every time I

visit
your blog
the Referrers' List

refuses
to include
me in the

day's
visitations. So
to prove I've

been
there I've
left a small

posy
of lemon
blossom down in

the
bottom right-
hand corner. No,

not
there, a
little further down,

near
where your
hand is resting.

I think

I'll have to write a batch file that posts to the pelican on a regular basis how much I love the work of Jukka-Pekka Kervinen.

At his textual conjectures the floodgates have opened; & there are these delightful centred pieces that look like they've been cut with an elliptical cookie-cutter from some extraordinary sheets of dough.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Allegrezza ficcione, Part 6

His thesis finished, & sent to the reviewers, Allegrezza began the waiting period by sending what was essentially a chain letter to all the relatives whose addresses he could obtain. He explained that he was searching for any information about the ancestor who had headed East, leaving out that it was a personal quest by hiding it under a vague umbrella of post-doctoral research, asked that if anyone had anything at all could they please send it to him & could they please forward his letter on to any of their more distant relatives.

In the meantime he & Gemma continued their own search. By cross-checking municipal & religious records they put together a family tree that went back a millenium. There were gaps, false starts, branches that turned out to be the one branch. They discovered that one still extant branch had begun with the illegitimate offspring of a monk, that one branch became extinct when a Maria transformed into a Mario during an unwritten-about interval of years. Children died, but these deaths were not always recorded & they wasted hours looking for non-existant records or lines that had never started.

The notebooks of Rustichello were of little use. All they contained was a brief note saying "Must follow up about this Allegrezza. Polos won't tell me anything, secretive, but there may be material for another book. Possibly controversial."

Finally, in a litterae patentes dated 1041 & issued by His Eminence Bishop Artemis, they found an authority for "That Company made up of The Merchant Franco Allegrezza & his Three Sons" to be declared the sole supplier of priestly vestments to the See & The Principality of Genoa. The time seemed right, the occupation proper for someone who would have a purpose for venturing eastwards. The names of the sons weren't given; but two, Petro & Paolo, could be identified from the genealogy they had already drawn up. The third was a new player in the history.

The letters kept coming in. More rumours, myth, speculation. Variations on the name. Additions to the family history. An Allegrezza who was now a Visconti, whose grandfather, a committed Communist, had gone to Russia in the 1920s to help rebuild the post-revolutionary nation & who had been executed for counter-revolutionary activities in 1937. Allegrezzas in England, South America, North America.

& then the letter they had dreamed of. From Australia, North Queensland, a place called Home Hill.
My Great-Great-Grandmother was an Allegrezza. Something of a witch, a mystic.

She came here as a sixteen-year old girl, an arranged marriage to a man thirty years her elder, who grew sugar-cane here in the Burdekin. She had her only child, a girl, a year later; but the birth was difficult & prevented her from having any more children. Which was probably what prolonged her life.

She had no English, was alone. I learnt Italian so I could talk with her, be a companion. I lived with her, looked after her, for the twelve years before her death aged 103. For the last five years she was bedridden. But one morning I found her sitting upright on the edge of her bed, focussed on something I could not see.

Without looking at me she said "There were once a father & his three sons who were textile merchants. Each year at least one of them would travel north, to the lands of the French or the Allemands, looking for cloth to buy. One year the youngest, Giovanni, came back all excited about this cloth he had seen, that had been brought back from the East by a Leipzig merchant. It was called silk. He told his family that he would go East himself to bring a supply of it back for themselves. The next year he left. He was never seen again."

My Great-Great-Grandmother died a week after telling me this. I became a nun. I am now Sister Raffaela, of The Order of Little Sisters. I was christened Gemma.
The coincidences of her names, the fantastic but detailed story – it could not be anything but the lost piece for which they had been seeking.

Two days later Allegrezza headed north, to search the libraries & State Collections for anything within the block of time between 1050 & 1100 that might give him further information. In Leipzig he found nothing, in Strassburg he received notice of the confirmation of his Doctorate, in the University of Heidelberg he found a manuscript entitled "The Wanderings to the Land of Persia & Other Places in Search of The Grail" by Theophrastus, Graf von Holstein.

In it Holstein recounted how he had been captured & held for ransom in a mountain fortress in Persia called Alamut, though for the two years he was there he had been well looked after & kept in excellent health, better even than during his journey. His captors were extremely well organised, followed the maxim Nothing is true, everything is permitted. & led by a man called Hassan, the son of Sabbah, to whom they gave the highest allegiance, even unto death, as had been demonstrated on several occasions.

How, while he was there, there had been a banquet to which he was invited to participate. It was to farewell one of the followers, whom they called The Frankish, who was leaving to venture further north & east. An Ismali who appeared to not be from the region, who spoke passable German, who gave his name as Al'Farah. The Joy. In Italian, allegrezza.

Previous Part / Next Part

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Greek ficcione

On being told
that his
latest work had been
rejected for a
literary grant

Socrates
stamped his sandal
& stormed out
of the Atrium in
a hissy
fit of pique

muttering
something
about never being able
to trust
fucking platonic
lovers who were
always badmouthing
you behind
your back.

The mistake
was discovered an
hour later; but
by the time they
found him to
tell him
it was actually
Sophocles
who wasn't getting
any money

it was
too late.

To save face
the committee
of eminent citizens
pretended
no mix-up
had occurred
& announced
they were subsidising
Antigone. It was
a great tragedy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Adding Victor Az' Concretismo! with its wonderful archives which I found via Crag Hill who had also come to it via a couple of vias.

& thanks, too,

to Steve Tills for his appreciative post at Black Spring on my most recent Series Magritte poem.

Thanks

To Nick Piombino (a fellow collaborator in David Nemeth's "Bernstein Chain" which is due to go up at nemski.com today or tomorrow) for including my Series Magritte in his latest ::fait accompli:: "Crush List".

& delighted to see some of my "crushes" included on his list - Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's nonlinear poetry & textual conjectures, Richard Lopez' Really Bad Movies, Ivy Alvarez' Ivy is here, Vincent Ponka's Napoleonic in the works, the eponymous harry k. stammer & Kirsten Kaschock's NEGATIVE WINGSPAN.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I hope you like it more than its previous owner did, Richard

The following is from Richard Lopez' really bad movies:

In Praise of the Good Stuff

here is a list of books I received the past week:
Big Smoke: New Zealand Poems 1960-1975 edited by Alan Brunton, Murray Edmond and Michele Leggott (Auckland University Press 2000)

this book is the Big Find in a long, long time. I've been wondering how to get the books of fellow poet/blogger Mark Young and now I'm quite literally salivating. this is the book, I believe, that got Young writing again. the collection gathers together the writings of New Zealand poets and documents a scene of discovery and experimentation. there is a really cool autographed poster for a reading reproduced that is a photo of a bearded Young with James K. Baxter (also bearded) and David Mitchell. the poster reads: An Evening of Poetry, Barry Lett Galleries, Aug. 20, 8 pm. I feel very lucky in finding this book. there is even an inscription in gold ink on the frontispiece: Happy Birthday Kirsten/ Your 10th Oct. 2000/ love, Richard.

hey, wait, that's my name. what the huh?

Found word for the day

Otoliths - "earstones" - are small white bony structures found in the head of all fish other than rays, sharks & lampreys. They provide a sense of balance in much the same way that the inner ear provides balance in humans. They also aid in hearing. In some fish, the otolith is connected through fine hairs to the swim bladder & this aids the fish to hear behind itself.

Growth rings, much like those of a tree, record the age & growth of a fish from the date of hatch to the time of death in such detail that everything from the year of hatch, the migration pathways & the temperature of the water can be analysed from the otolith.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

The multi-talented Mr Kervinen

Jukka seems to have finally settled on Blogger for his textual conjectures. Plus, one day short of a month since the last one (& how I've been hanging out for it), there is a new piece posted to his nonlinear poetry. Plus + Plus, there are two new compositions of his, Dripping & Fold, available as MP3 downloads from the compositions page at his music site.

Sun/flower

The rich smell of earth still
slightly damp from a week of rain
comes up to our nostrils. & the
sun has the mouth of a shark, sharp-
closed around our groins. Your eyes
are shut; but mine part-open, watching
your cock rise & harden, & outline itself
against the denim of your jeans.
From where, plucked by my fingers, it
finally pushes forth, white flower, out
of the sun's mouth, & into mine.

1973

Friday, August 06, 2004

Is this dickhead for real?

George W. Borg, talking about terrorists, & demonstrating once again that his arsehole is a ventriloquist.
They never stop thinking of ways to harm our country, & neither do we.

Missing you Joseph

I have been remiss in not mentioning that David Nemeth posted a page of hay(na)ku to his nemski.com a couple of days ago.

Put it down to the fact that I have been searching for a suitable quote from H.P. Lovecraft to bemoan the fact that both of Joseph Garver's blogs have sunk beneath the sea like Cthulhu's island leaving only circling seagulls & a "Page Not Found" behind.

If I had a time machine I would stage a New Orleans funeral, where we all marched behind the blogcoffin to the mournful strains of "Flee like a bird to the mountain"; & then, after the preacher had cast a sod of earth into the grave & intoned "He was an writer of excellent hay(na)ku until the butcher cut him down", the band would break out into "Didn't he ramble" & we would all head back to a bar to remember him & his works.

But the only time machine I have is the back pages of As/Is from whence comes this hay(na)ku of Joseph's:
On
My bed
Dear Sir, sorry

I
Missed you
Signed, The Monster.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Meanwhile, on the Starship Enterprise

Chris Murray's delightful little book, Meme Me Up, Scotty!, which she produced to accompany her recent reading at The Carrboro Poetry Festival, has just been transported into my letterbox.

A deceptive volume in that it has much more weight than its size suggests.
It dances, it sings. It is an exquisite collection. From "Jump Phrasing 1" that starts
Turning it on garden then
standing fresh
in blueberry for
the grace
note
through to the beautiful "Postcard from Novi Sad" that ends
...your first cry, your first I, that one
echo holding you on the sloped roof
of first word, first window gaze
on yes: shared, how "things are good."
Yes, Chris, things are good. I would have loved to have been there to hear you read these poems.
Adding Geof Huth's dbqp to the sidebar because I like what he does, what he says

&

Swapping Carl Annarummo's arm sasser (which is "in hiatus") over to his new Ampersand and Ghetto.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I heard the Brubeck quartet mentioned below in Wellington in the late fifties or early sixties. I have never been a Brubeck fan, though I've liked a couple of things he did - Take Five & Blue Rondo a la Turk from the Time Out album; & Miles Davis' version of The Duke, Brubeck's tribute to Duke Ellington - but I've always quite liked Paul Desmond. & since hearing live jazz from overseas was a rarity in N.Z. in those days I went to the concert.

Desmond entranced me. The first number had a piano intro, & then Desmond came in over the top. He lounged - that's the only way to describe it - against the curve of the Steinway & from his first notes on it was something like an i.v. drug rush. He had an electricity.

It's a feeling I've had a number of times over the years, usually from compact things, a poem or a painting, a track from an album - k.d. lang singing So in Love on the Cole Porter tribute album - or the occasional single or t.v. spot - I recently heard Cindi Lauper do a fantastic version of Time After Time backed by a pianist & C.L. on dulcimer. Rarely do I get it from novels though there are exceptions - Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers & Burroughs' The Naked Lunch are two that come to mind - but shorter prose pieces (J.G. Ballard, Borges, Samuel Delany) quite often get me in the gut. I got it the first time I saw the Sydney Dance Company, when I saw my first Bergman film, when I saw Kurosawa's Rashomon. I got it from a scene in Billy Liar where Julie Christie made her screen debut, walking through a market with a vitality that was totally mind-blowing. I still get it from anything by Bach or Miles Davis even if I'm hearing it for the hundredth time. From Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. Occasionally I get it from people.

But the times from live music are few. I've mentioned Desmond. The High School I went to in Wellington used to hire out its assembly hall to the local chamber music society; & late one afternoon I listened to Mstislav Rostropovich rehearse for a couple of hours & have loved the sound of the cello ever since. There was a Dylan concert I went to in 1974 at the Sydney Showgrounds. Jimmie Webb doing his songs - Wichita Linesman, Macarthur Park, etc. - at The Basement in the early nineties. &, wonder upon wonder, a Michael Jackson concert at the Parramatta Stadium in the mid-eighties, where we sat on the playing field, & the synthesizers started, & the earth began to tremble. & we danced all night.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

glasimmewareshieldds

The multi-lingual, multi-skilled, multi-talented, multi-posting, multi-sided, multi-xPress(ive) Jukka-Pekka Kervinen at textual conjectures.

Bird Lives! but Paul Desmond?

Eileen! Whatever you were drinking that night please let me know so I can obtain some legal mind-altering substances.

Brubeck is 82 years old, Joe Morello has gone blind, Eugene Wright has faded into anonymity & Paul Desmond died when you were a teenage spunk.

Swoooooooooooon.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Singing
along with
the street-mime's song.
Another fascination with Barbellion is the way in which his Journal resembles a weblog, nearly a hundred years before the form was invented. It is this aspect of his book which makes it seem so contemporary because, unlike many diarists, he is writing for a contemporary audience, for now, since he knew there was no sense in addressing himself to posterity.
Martin Edmond writes on the Journal of W.N.P. Barbellion at Luca Antara, & discovers Maria Bashkirtseff's "I am the Most Interesting Book of All" along the way.
A new issue of Tin Lustre Mobile is up.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

That was a good idea
you had, sending me
the answers in
advance. Here
are my questions
in response. Note that
an answer can have
several questions. Where
you write that
daguerreotypes are
a greater agent of
change than a mere
silhouette, my question
could be either "what
is it that brings you
so close to madness?" or
"what part does your cat
play in the choice of
colours with which
you fill your dramas?" &
do not feel obliged to
take them in the order
I have placed them. One
has to start somewhere.
By all means break them
apart, reassemble them
so that what you have
already said might
take on an unintended
meaning. I have also
inserted some additional
answers to questions
I have yet to ask, &
embellished some
where I felt your answer
was ambiguous. & I still
have to frame the thread
of inquiry that leads up
to your final answer "the
boy I was no longer is
a catalyst for yearning."
I
have forgotten
where poetry resides.