Monday, January 31, 2005

the mid-evening news

The highest wind gust yesterday was officially recorded at 94kph.

It's going to cost us just over $1000 to get the damaged trees trimmed & fixed up.

A broken branch at the local zoo fell on the monkey cage . Two monkeys escaped, but because they were so unused to freedom they just hung around until their keepers came for them.

I am glad so many Iraqis voted. I am sad the U.S. say they have no intention of leaving.

Condoleezza Rice talks in clichés. She'll go far. I notice there's a website advocating her as the Republican Presidential candidate for 2008.

One of the reasons I don't like either George W. Bush or Tony Blair is because their eyes are set too close together. Seen one after another on tv I start thinking I am watching Wind in the Willows.

Mole? Or Badger?

My tooth is hurting again. Glad it's coming out on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Some twenty years ago the state of New South Wales in Australia repealed the law that made consensual sex between adult males a crime, punishable by up to five years in jail.

But they didn't make the repeal retrospective. & so, in a Sydney Court last week, a priest in his sixties was charged with indecent assault & attempted buggery for a consensual act that was committed 23 years ago.

The other party, a teacher, 29 at the the time & who does not deny being gay, claimed in a victim statement that he has led a "wretched life of guilt, shame & pain" which he blames entirely on his encounter. "I had a sense that if I couldn't trust a priest, who could I trust, who could trust me."

The magistrate acknowledged the teacher's sense of betrayal, but rejected other claims that there had been physical intimidation, that the teacher was frightened, that there was post-traumatic stress. He found that the sex was consensual. "The adult victim was aware of the situation he was in & did not seek to leave it."

But although he admitted that "a conviction would not be obtained today" on the facts the magistrate still found the defendant guilty under the laws at the time of the offense. He sentenced the defendent "to the rising of the court" & then declared "all rise".

What remains, however, is the fact that homosexuals active before the law reforms of 1984 - &, to quote David Marr in the Sydney Morning Herald, "that means most gay men over 40" - may still face prosecution for having had sex back then, even though that sex would now be regarded as lawful.
The power has just come back on after being off for several hours. A clear day, temperature up to 38° C (just over 100 F), humid; & then, just after 5 p.m., a small weather cell came up from the south that turned into a mini cyclone, 100kph winds, rain sweeping in. Extremely localised. But a 30 metre high tree was uprooted on our bottom street frontage, smashing the neighbour's fence. A tree fell across our back driveway. Branches came off or broke halfway off the large tree in the backyard and filled the pool. Other branches were blown onto the roof falling across the power lines which were also threatened by more broken branches hanging from the large tree in the front. Fortunately no damage to the house. I rang the local power company & the State Emergency Services & both were round within the hour, orange hazard lights flashing from trucks in the dusk, the older workers complaining about being dragged away from watching the cricket or the tennis on tv, the younger ones having a ball cutting up branches with chainsaws & saws on telescopic poles.

& so, tomorrow, waiting for the Council to come & see what part of the mess is theirs. The tree at the back is definitely their responsibility & possibly some of the ones at the front. Insurance assessors. & no doubt the difficult task of finding a tree-lopper to come & cut the broken branches away cleanly &, hopefully, chip the broken branches & get rid of the mess.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Sometime, if I have time, I may go in & revise the poems at Series Magritte. I have always regarded it as a work in progress, both its open-ended entirety & the individual poems. I have, in fact, revised some of the earlier ones, but for a long time I've generally left them alone once they've been posted.

But the latest poem I posted, Irène, has been bugging the shit out of me. Since its original appearance I have gone back in three times & deleted & replaced it. Version #4 is now up; & though I shall probably dwell further upon it, I intend to leave it alone for a while.

ant doodles

in the
corridors
between
the bricks
there are
perambul-
ants

*

might
be
corridas
if they
are bull
ants

*

either
way
eleph-
ants
would not
fit in
there

The next interview

is up at Tom Beckett's E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S with Tom interviewing Thomas Fink. Dare I say it, but the piece throbs with a tom-tom beat.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jukka's new direction



This is an example of what you're missing out on if you're not keeping up to date with what Jukka-Pekka Kervinen is doing at nonlinear poetry.
 Posted by Hello

with a churl in the middle of his forehead

I have turned into a curmudgeon.

Today I have rung the complaints department – sorry, customer service department – of a national flour milling & breadmaking company to complain of foreign matter in a loaf of bread. There was a one-inch cube inside the loaf of what looked like a cross between shit & oilslick, uncooked. I suspect it's a raw material from another batch of a different bread variety & their between-run cleaning procedures have gone down the gurgler. The local sales manager is calling around this afternoon to pick it up.

I have also rung the distribution department of the local weekly giveaway paper – a branch of the evil Murdoch empire; how could I resist this - & told them they were stupid for delivering the paper, unwrapped, at night in a rainstorm so that when you found it in the morning it was so sodden it went straight into the recycling. The whole street, & probably every paper delivered within the neighbourhood, would end up in the same condition as ours. I am having a new paper hand-delivered tomorrow.

& I have rung up our swimming pool maintenance people & accused them of stuffing up the pool. Which they have. There seems to be a rather large turnover of staff – I suspect they pay shithouse wages which in Rockhampton means SHITHOUSE - & so all these people with about two hours actual training are sent round supposedly to maintain the quality of your pool. The supervisor is coming around tomorrow for me to vent my spleen upon.

Plus, I got a call last week from the dentist I visited saying that he'd looked at the x-rays & suggested that I have the rest of my teeth pulled out. This from a dentist who has to refer me to an "oral surgeon" – now there's a job for you, Tom – because he doesn't think there's enough tooth showing to extract what's left without an operation. For you, my dear sir, two words.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's

It has been raining for most of the last week. Not heavily but continuously, about 18mm - ¾s of an inch – a day. The rain has cooled the place down by several degrees, 25° C. today where a week ago it was 35, has turned the countryside green, but has only left a pittance of water on the beds of the totally dried-up lagoons & barely increased the levels of those that still had water in them. By my calculations it would take another 1-2 months of this level of rain to bring them back up to the levels they were when we arrived 18 months ago.

On both the Yeppen Yeppen lagoon – a couple of hundred metres away from our house - & the Woolwash lagoon – a couple of kilometres away – there are a single pair of pelicans. Most have headed towards the inland lakes which are filling up from the seasonal monsoon rains that drench northern Australia at this time of the year & flow south. I do not know why these few remain. Maybe they've been appointed as caretakers, or maybe they just don't want to follow the crowd. They have the lagoons pretty much to themselves, though a couple of weeks ago I watched four hawks or kites, some sort of raptor anyway, perch on fenceposts beside the Woolwash &, at regular intervals, take off & rake the shallow water with their claws, perhaps in search of the small fish that inhabit the lagoons, perhaps newly hatched turtles, but whichever one, now in danger because there is no depth left to escape to.

The river is muddy & fuller than it normally is. Its catchment area is much further north, further inland; there are anecdotal stories of it flooding locally when there hasn't been any rain for several months. The last big flood in Rockhampton was in 1991, a combination of heavy local rain as well as in the catchment area. The city was isolated for three weeks. When the river floods, it spreads across the flood plain from the north & west, circles south, & joins the lagoons together until they form a second river that meets up again with its current course east of the island that the southern part of the city has become. The airport is on the flood plain, the highway, at best, only a metre or so above it.

The river has changed its course over the millenia; it has emptied into the sea at various points within a four hundred kilometre range. The chain of lagoons mark the meandering of the river at some point, some points, in its past.
Lethargy -
an alternative
to fossil fuels.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

John Coltrane
quoting from
'Fascinating Rhythm'
in his solo
on
Milestones
is one of
my favourite things.

thanks, harry, for giving me an escape route

A comment by harry k. stammer about the hay(na)ku posted yesterday has offered me a much more personally-acceptable first stanza.

You
know it's
heavy medication when

etc.
You
know you're
getting old when

the
poetry of
Thomas Stearns Eliot

rattles
the bars
of your cage.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

in-dentured

I have a broken tooth, which has become infected. It has to come out, but before that can happen I have been placed on a week-long course of two antibiotics – two because the dentist is either unsure whether the bacteria causing the infection are gram-positive or gram-negative or it may be, as he says, one hastens the action of the other - to clear the infection up.

Pain is something I am familiar with, can handle or, at least, manage it through natural alkaloids or artificial suppressants or a combination of both. But these antibiotics are strong, & make me somewhat uncomfortable & woozy.

I feel clammy, unsteady, out of my environment, ready to play the title role in the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Accidental Intersection

for D.S.

Simple enough beginnings. I am here
with Lauren, dropping off a bar fridge
that we'd bought on special
for her office. Down the hall
you are packing for your move
across the continent, the room full
of unsealed cartons. My eye
isolates a book by Umberto Eco
on top of one of them; I am surprised
to see it here. Not in this
specific place — I do not know you,
know your tastes — but in the wider space
that is Rockhampton. It took the
local bookshop six weeks to bring in
Baudolino for me & I forget
how many times I had to spell
the author's name, the book's
title. (Alberto? Echo? Bordello?)
I make a comment on it. You spontaneously
give it to me. An unwrapped gift; but the panel
from Bosch's Temptation of St Anthony
that decorates the front cover
is better than any wrapping. Triggered
by some spark, an arc in the air
that adds to them, impetuous presents
are so often the best. & Serendipities
is such an appropriate title in this
happy & accidental intersection where I
have gained from your generosity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

&,

belatedly, but I've been away from the keyboard, I have to mention - nay, shout it to the world although I'm about the 777th person to do so - Tom Beckett's wonderful new blog E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S, an interview site with the first interviewee the equally wonderful Crag Hill.

Jonathan Mayhew describes Tom as "one of the best interviewers of his generation". I would take issue with that, would delete the "his" & substitute "any".

This is going to be a must-visit site.

Thank you

Richard Lopez for the green fuzzy slippers. Now I can sleep safely, knowing I will never fall through the cracks in my dreams.

For Toshiro Mifune

I
would have
liked you for

a
father. Or,
perhaps, a lover.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Back in Capricornia

after a week & a bit away. In Sydney getting the city fix which I've been without for about a year. Was good. Like the coffee. & the joy of being in a place that was open until late or, in some cases, never closed.

Caught up with friends, rode on ferries & trains & trams, played the tourist, bought some books. Filled in a couple of holes in Library #3 - selected Paul Eluard, selected Ezra Pound, the City Lights Pocket Poets edition of Howl (ah, nostalgia! though was tempted to wait for a new printing in the hope it might be me that bought the millionth copy) Jean Genet's The Thief's Journal (hard to obtain for some obscure copyright reason). Bought some new stuff. Jill Jones' wonderful Screens Jets Heaven, J.G. Ballard's latest novel Millenium People, The Portable Magritte - 400 plates yet! At the rate I write my Series Magritte poems that's about seven years feedstock - & a quite incredible book by Joe LeSueur, Digressions on some poems by Frank O'Hara. Was given a couple of beautiful small books too - Jill Jones' Struggle and radiance: ten commentaries & Martin Edmond's essay Ghost Who Writes.
Had
lunch with
Jill & Martin.

Exchanged
books instead
of business cards.
& now back in Rockhampton, suffering from toothache. & reminded what a weird place this is, how nothing is easy. Finally found a dentist who could see me today, went there, was examined, given a script for antibiotics; had another appointment made for me, several hours & several kilometres away, for an X-ray; &, because the tooth was bad & has to come out, had another appointment made with another dentist, two appointments actually, two weeks away, one to see if it can be done under local anaesthetic & then one for the next day if it can be. Christ knows what'll happen if it can't. Six months before I can get into a public hospital since it's not life-threatening. That's the current waiting time.

Picked up the cat from the boarding kennels last night. She's pissed off. Apparently had lots of company there plus air-conditioning, & now only has me & the hot paving.

But it's good to be back, back at the blog.
Some more information on the Jackson Browne cover here.

Friday, January 07, 2005



Noticed the cover of Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky" reproduced at Laura Carter's écritures bleues. Check it out against the Magritte below.
 Posted by Hello


René Magritte's The Empire of Lights.
 Posted by Hello

a note on magritte

"The art of painting expresses the invisible by means of the visible, thoughts by means of images. People have often abstractedly  theorized about this form of articulation. Magritte's genius doubtless lies in the fact that he concretely  reflected it, made it the subject of his pictures themselves. If he is to imagine the difference between what is visible and what is thought in his painting, the painter must render these thoughts visible, must render them so that they can be perceived by the eye. It is for this reason that Magritte introduced words into his pictures, uniting that which can be seen and that which can be read on one and the same surface."
Marcel Paquet: René Magritte (1898-1967); Thought rendered visible

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Fuck the global economy!

To paraphrase a financial expert aka talking dickhead on last night's tv news.
"(The tsunami) has had no impact on world markets because most of the victims were marginal to the global economy."

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

PENNSOUND

Have added PENNSOUND to the Other Links part of the side bar. Ali Baba's Cave! Kid in a Candy Store! What's collected there is overwhelming!! I have many, many treats in store.
I pay no attention to fixed seasons & solstices. My summer begins when black muscat grapes appear in the shops. Juicy & full of sugar, they are my favourite grape, bottled or otherwise.

So, on January the 5th, let me just say that this year's summer has finally - vinally? - arrived.

In this world

of doom & gloom it is a minor thing. But major for me. The fucking locusts are eating the shit out of our citrus trees & I can't get rid of them.

We bought three a year ago, a lemon, a lime & a grapefruit. The lime we planted amongst the trees in the garden where it struggled but grew. The grapefruit we left in the earth inside its black plastic wrapping where it grew quite happily. The lemon went into what was supposed to be a part of the garden but with poor soil & so previously home to a wild gathering of opportunistic weeds.

All three flowered. Then the ants came along & decided the fertilised fruit would be their larder & ate the buds. One grapefruit survived, probably because they're fairly large fruit & by the time the ants had got through the others, this was too far along & defeated them. But the plants still looked quite attractive. Then came the locusts. They ignored the lime most of the time, but now the lemon especially looks like it got so sick of having bad hair days that it ripped all of its hair out.

I've transplanted the lemon & the lime into plots & am monitoring them. I go to the hardware store & look for weapons of mass destruction but they all say "do not use when the temperature is above 30°C" & it's that for at least ¾s of the year here. I have become a locust-killing machine, & feel no shame.

Forgive me, Gautama, for I know very well what I'm doing.

a reciprocal act of love

The back story comes back for us:

reddest rockets of the universe, that stick out like sore celestial thumbs, and in the present tense there will be time. These rockets are earnest in the giving of wide to where we'll be. In time, vetting something with great civilizations of anteriour creatures who've crossed vast distances to exert overthrow or just normative hopalong pleasantly. Such as the gainsay, after we have met. And the whirl of future trust in spins and spans, halting only when the movie gets too rich, and residuals take the story line. you can see the stress factor of living such a life, there in the future, which we make even now. Trifle of laugh but mostly real screenwriting hard work, getting heroes in position with a kiss or two, and looks of flashing things of circumstance. Language will follow us everywhere.

And wend.
Am adding Allen Bramhall's writing blog Seize Song to the sidebar. He describes Seize Song as "an ongoing poem built into the season". First posted to a freehost site where he paid the mortgage through popups. The last time I visited I had five showing before I'd even finished downloading, & one so large it concealed the page.

Blogger's latest to earliest format may not be the most ideal for an on-going work but it's free of ads. & work this good shouldn't be dis-enhanced by the crass distractions of a plethora of popups.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A reminder

that Jill Jones' interview / reading is still available for listening to at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Poetica site. Will be there for roughly another week & a half. It's a must hear!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Life imitates the
art of
war.

Dump
the bodies
in long trenches.

Use bulldozers to
cover them
with

earth.
Fill in
the details later.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Adding

Laura Carter's écritures bleues which is her new home in 2005, having moved away from Blue Revisions & Blogger.

Starting the year with J-P K

The collages Jukka is posting at mailXart are beautiful pieces of work. The form, the use of colour, the spatial arrangement. & I’ve always loved the way his various blogs seem to cross-pollinate. Check out the asemic collage at self similar writings. (You may need to scroll down the page to see it – Blogger's doing one of its weird things.)

Hoth hies hither

He of the Heteronyms - Joseph Garver, Simon Hoth - comes closer to revealing his true name, but if totally then his soul would be seized. So, no more than Craig.

& in the process The Red Dragon & The Black Beast is destroyed. Wiped out. Now a new name to the blog, Random Assault Generator. & only a single post (where yesterday there were two, one of intention, one of suffering; & before that many more). Now only the headache remains. Which I hope is over soon, so some more of his hard-edged hard-hitting posts appear to fill the space.
Far-called our navies melt away;
      On dune and headland sinks the fire;
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
      Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!