Sunday, February 27, 2005

Nick Piombino

of fait accompli is Tom Beckett's latest interviewee at e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s.


argument as moving text
moving text as argument

Geof Huth at dbqp. & then, in the physically preceding, temporally proceeding post, from his own Alexandrine library, he unearths a piece of vispo by Ron Silliman & comments on it with that reasoned thoroughness one finds in all of Geof's posts.

10.55 p.m.

an umlaut
modifying the Moon's

O. Jupiter
at eight o'clock.
body dances,
but nobody
dances with
the man.

The prejudice of Church

The worldwide Anglican Church has edged closer to schism, with the US & Canadian churches to be disciplined for their role in the dispute over gay bishops & same-sex unions.

Conservatives from the Sydney Diocese are among church leaders to have demanded the North American churches repent & withdraw their sanctioning of blessings of gay unions & the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

& State

The US military has had to spend an estimated $200 million over the past ten years to replace the 9488 gays & lesbians kicked out of the service.

More than 300 of them were foreign-language specialists considered crucial in the "fight against terrorism".

(Mind you, that was only one half of one percent of the 2.37 million members of the military kicked out for all reasons during the same period of time.)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

6 x 6 x 6

plaudit                 I                           century
guiltless              filament             scar
cubbing              blooms              green
rap                        in                         thanks
portmanteau      bland                 bootleg
snuffle                  trails                   thumbnail

equiprobable    contained         play
normal                 on                       usurped
transposition      and                    unbelievable
half-plane           when                  knew
max                      and                     perplexity
syllogism            with                     metaphysics

Friday, February 25, 2005


In the background the pool pump hums.
Put clarifier in the water, & now
it has to circulate for thirty-six hours
to allow the clouding particles to

There is a smoke smell in the air.
Driving around over the last few days
on roads impinged upon
by opportunistic grasses. A day
of rain & they grow. A month later
they are dry, primed for burning.
Easier to set them alight than mow
the strip that runs along the roadside.
          chicken & rice
       burnt grass    
               a tart plum     
The static geometry of the house
separates the evening into panels.
A quintych. Angular, oblique. Trees fill in
some of the gaps, but the most striking
are those where there are gaps
in the trees themselves, one in
particular, bite shaped, as if someone
had tried an apple & then abandoned
it. Acute.

Touch yourself
            & the hand passes through
the flesh
as if it wasn’t there.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

the pre-gonzo days

When the bars closed at two, five of the outlaws came over to my apartment for an all-night drinking bout. The next day I learned that one was an infamous carrier of vermin, a walking crab farm. I went over my living-room carefully for signs of body lice and other small animals but found nothing. I waited nervously for about ten days, thinking he might have dropped eggs that were still incubating, but no vermin appeared. We played a lot of Bob Dylan music that night, and for a long time afterwards I thought about crabs every time I heard his voice.

Hunter S. Thompson: Hell's Angels

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

& then The Master comes along

Several of us have been playing around with moving text in the last couple of days – Karri Kokko, Eileen Tabios & Ernesto Priego on their blogs, Tom Beckett & myself at As/Is. But compared to the Formula One master, we’re just mere amateurs playing with pedal cars in the back yard..

To see the real stuff, check out what Jukka-Pekka Kervinen has just posted, either through the link at Nonlinear Poetry, or directly here. & it’s not just a single piece, it’s a post with infinite depth. Refresh & another variant appears. Refresh again & yet another…& another….& what the hell are you still doing here? You should be admiring the miracles of the infinite universe of J-K.P.

Les Mémoires d'un saint

My paperback book of Magritte paintings is, short of cutting out the pages, too thick to scan. So I'm cheating, posting a painting here, & using that as the URL to which the poem at Series Magritte is linked.

& cheating a little bit more, because it's actually one of those "genuine oil paintings" reproductions. But it was either that, or having a watermarked illustration.....
 Posted by Hello
Have you stopped asking questions about yourself?
Have you stopped questioning the answers?
When you see yourself reflected in a mirror
do you move out of the line of sight
or do you accept the presence of the other & then move on?

Nathalie Montressor (1824-1851): Optical Allusions

Monday, February 21, 2005

Karri Kokko

posts a moving hay(na)ku.
the way
of the gonzo

driving instructions

light brakes where notion shines

the young

I don't want to be like my parents and
say I wish I was still a kid so I can do
this or that. I don't want to spend my life
wondering. I want I to know.
13 year old Nicole, from Michigan. Her blog is These are my poems. Criticize all you want. I don’t care.

& the old

Two elderly Australian bocce players face two-year bans from the sport after they tested positive to banned drugs. Both were taking medically prescribed beta-blockers as part of their heart medications when they gave their urine samples during the Australian championships which were held last year.

The man is understood to be particularly distressed at the test results, & grave fears are held for his health.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

iraQ & A

Q. When is an interrogation not an interrogation?

A. When it's being conducted by Australian Intelligence personnel in Abu Ghraib or other Iraqi detention centres. Then it's called an interview.
Senator Hill concedes Australians did interview prisoners but they were not involved in any interrogations.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Name of the Rose

is Jacques Prévert.
 Posted by Hello


Jordan Stempleman's Growing Nation to the blog links in the sidebar.

Have also added, in the other links section, Walleah Press, a small Tasmanian publishing house who have graciously included pelican dreaming in their ever-growing list of links to Australian & overseas sites. & have also added Softblow, the fairly recently begun poetry e-zine out of Singapore which is developing into a very interesting journal.

Avec Prévert

Garçon. A new
please. This
one has
spilt upon it.


specials are
spelt out on
the table-
cloth. After
you have
read them
please ball
the paper &
place it in
the finger-
bowl. I hope
you like
the flower
that un-
folds. It is the
sans paroles.


Prévert. He
can pay for
the tablecloths
next time.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

An intercepted missive from the Napa Valley Health Inspector

Ms Tabios.
I do hope

dog washed
her paws before

part in
the culinary adventures.

Big Bridge

Despite trial & tribulation of an extreme order, Michael Rothenberg has brought out a new issue of my favourite e-zine Big Bridge. The contributor list is stellar!

Force Frappe

It is said that these days it is not necessary to test a nuclear weapon to know that it will work. But when I was growing up, in the days of the Arms Race & the Cold War, nuclear tests were all the go.

In New Zealand we didn't have the paranoia of nuclear strikes & bomb shelters. Our fear was more real, a fear of the impact of the tests, because the South Pacific was a favourite testing ground. The U.S. used Bikini Atoll; the English tested their bombs either on the mainland of Australia or on islands off the coast. & the French? Well they used Mururoa Atoll which was so close to N.Z. that there was an earthquake everytime they set a bomb off. They started in 1966, & didn't finish until less than a decade ago. The report below, from a speech in the New South Wales Parliament in 1995 condemning the French for carrying out another test, covers the history.
In 1966 France moved its testing program to the South Pacific. It resumed atmospheric tests instead of underground tests. Those bombs were detonated using either barges or balloons. On three occasions the bombs were dropped from high-flying aircraft. I refer to a number of incidents in relation to the safety record of the French nuclear testing. In July 1966 a safety firing was conducted at Mururoa. It was designed not to explode, and it did not. However, the bomb fragmented and the case broke apart, resulting in the dispersal of plutonium. In order to contain the radiation, the French simply covered the contaminated area with bitumen. In September 1966, just following that so-called safety firing, President de Gaulle attended another test at Mururoa. It is reported that due to his impatience the bomb was detonated despite adverse wind conditions, which resulted in radioactive fallout to all islands west of Mururoa, including Western Samoa - 2,000 miles away - Fiji and the Cook Islands.

After a nuclear test on Fangataufa atoll in 1968 it was said that the atoll was so heavily contaminated that all tests were conducted on Mururoa for the next two years. It was recommended that humans not visit Fangataufa atoll for six years. In 1970 the French defence Minister flew into Mururoa and took a swim in the lagoon six hours after a detonation, to placate the critics. French atmospheric tests have resulted in widespread fallout of radioactive material on many countries bordering the South Pacific, including a further disastrous account of fallout on one of the Polynesian atolls in 1971.

Despite these slight difficulties, President de Gaulle's atmospheric tests continued until 1974. International outrage finally forced France to move the South Pacific tests underground from 1975, but the testing continued relentlessly. A further eight underground tests were conducted in the 1970s. One test in 1976 was infamous because radioactive gas did not escape along the predicted path and, according to media reports of the time, technicians were still trying to find out what happened to it. A further 103 bombs were exploded in the South Pacific atolls between 1980 and the moratorium in 1992. It is believed that, in total, France has exploded 191 nuclear weapons during its testing program - 17 in Algeria and the remainder in our ocean.

An Australian Government report states, "There seems no doubt that nuclear explosions have damaged the structure of the surrounding reef at Mururoa." In 1987 Jacques Cousteau found what was thought to be manmade cracking or fissuring during inspection dives. However, France is not too worried about this cracking. It claims that the volcanic rock underneath is unaffected, but admits that the basalt rock can be fractured up to 400 metres around the bomb site. It is best to think of the atolls as Swiss cheese: as each explosion is moved to a different location, it creates an underground cavern. There is a pattern of them across the atoll. President Chirac wants us to believe that such a radioactive honeycomb is safe forever. It is important to remember that the French do not have a good safety record with regard to nuclear testing; in fact, its record is very poor.
& not content with that, agents of the French Secret Service blew up Greenpeace's flagship Rainbow Warrior, a major participant in the on-going flotilla of protest boats that blockaded the test sites, in Auckland Harbour in 1985, killing one of the crew.

So forgive me if I find a certain black humour in the news announcement that a French company is seeking to mine for uranium in Australia's heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. (Think Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon for U.S. equivalents.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Infinite or out

My belief that the web was infinite has been dealt a savage blow. I cannot find an image anywhere of a particular Magritte painting, even though he did three with the same title & either of the other two would suffice at a pinch. Thank Christ the poem stands pretty much by itself.
Some rain recently, & so the green has reappeared. From a distance smooth; but up close spiky, irregular. Marsh grasses with heavy seed heads, tall enough to hide any oncoming traffic on this country road. I drive sedately, but even so butterflies die on the windscreen.

The Disabled Were Used To Test The Gas Chambers. Don't Tell Me That They Are Useless

I don't know of any other way to describe the above post on Jim Ryals' The Lawyer Novelist except to say read it & weep.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Every time a different poem, a different
context, but the biographical note remains a variation
on the one theme. How I was born in Hokitika
in New Zealand sixty-three years ago, have
done this / that, published here / there, am now
living in Rockhampton, Australia. It's the truth, no
denying or escaping that. But scared
I will give too much away if I put too much in
I leave out the most interesting parts. Now only
the bare bones are revealed; & reading them
more than once is more than boring. & that's
just for me — think what it must be like
for other people who follow the sport.

So I have decided to write a chameleon poem,
submit only that but change the biography with each
submission so that meaning, subtexts, even
the very sound of the poem are transformed
by the information that accompanies it. I have
beginnings, have biographies, though which
is which is open to debate. Put it down to the fact
that my mother spoke rapidly, had a tendency
to blur her words so that I was never sure
if it was aliens or Raelians who had
abducted & cloned me when I was nine. Sent
the clone home she believed. Left the
real me wandering the world.

He  Me  We

grew up to be R2-D2, grew down
to be George Bush senior with chromosomes
so damaged by the cloning process
that any male offspring would almost
certainly be intellectually impaired.

Set out to prove Fermat's last theorem
but were beaten to the punchline.

Changed our name to Richie Valens.

Were so badly scarred in the plane crash
in which Buddy Holly & the Big Bopper died
we pretended we had died as well, disappeared
into another name change & forged a will
giving our new selves as the beneficiaries
in the hope that the cyclical nature of fashion
would make us popular again in thirty or so years
especially since our death had happened
in such dramatic circumstances
it would probably inspire a Hollywood movie.

It was a good call. We have lived off
the royalties & on an abandoned oil rig
in the Southern Ocean ever since. Spend most
of our time refining the definitive piece on
whether Procul Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale
contains more of Bach's Air on The G String
or his Wachtet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. But we
cannot agree. So in the meantime, in between times,

writes the poems

write the bionotes

& occasionally
we write to one another.

big things.....

Kong is King

small things......

I always like to leave a line between the end of a post & the "posted by" that follows. Up until yesterday all I had to do was hit the enter key. Now Blogger has decided that's not enough, edits the post & omits the blank line.

So now I have to put a space or something to achieve the same thing. What else have they changed?

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Years ago, in the belief
that it was a book of
short stories by Arthur Miller
whom I knew of as the author
of Death of a Salesman & the
husband of Marilyn Monroe.....

Friday, February 11, 2005

small things.......

I like the way Arabic blogs appear in the referrers' list with the number on the lefthand side.

Thank you, César

for your Antipodean assemblage.

When I was growing up in New Zealand I was taught that if you drilled a hole directly through the Earth you would come up in the Iberian Peninsula. It always seemed a long way away.

Now as I learn, with more precision, that if I'd started digging from my then home in Hokitika I would have exited in your home in Grijó
distance doesn't
seem that great.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Numbers of The Chatelaine

In a recent incarnation as part of the flotsam & jetsam that bobs along marking the flow of the universe I remarked in an email to Eileen Tabios that of course I had seen an item she’d posted to The Chatelaine's Poetics because I was one of her five billion peeps.

Eileen, although by nature a conservative person, is definitely not a member of the FLUX SUX brigade; & since five billion is the next significant number (based on the Laplace operator, the sum of the second partial derivatives of a function) after the twenty million & some change she'd previously been quoting, she quite happily accepted this amended figure as the current readership of her blog.

So when I received an email today in my hotmail account with the subject 54868179 satisfied customers and still counting, I thought it was a rare act of grandstanding from her. Then I saw that the sender was New Diet Pill, realised the error of my ways, & wondered what the relationship was. Decided that what the writer of the missive was doing was contacting the readers of La Chatelaine & offering them the chance to regain their trim, taut, terrific figures after over-indulging in the gourmet (gourmand?) recipes – leaving aside the Achillean ones - & wine lists that they had discovered there.

I think you should ask for royalties, Eileen. Even at a cent per customer that's an awful lot of books that Meritage could publish.

(& not to forget Achilles. As I bobbed along I was pased by a whaler whose sailors were singing a sea shanty as they trimmed the sails. The chorus went:
Oh soon the town of Gloucester will glimmer so.
The ladies waiting there will shimmer so.
Such a pity my balls met the trimmer, oh.
For me it'll be basted turkey for dinner, oh.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Kung Hei Fat Choi

A stamp from an earlier Year of the Rooster when the world was a different place.
 Posted by Hello

Indentured, or one more reason why this is no country for old men

My broken tooth came out last week. Which means that the plate that age has determined should grace my lower jaw needs to be added to.

It's something I've had done before. But that was in Sydney, where you'd go into the dentist one day, they'd take an impression, you'd come back the next day & they'd extract the tooth & put in the amended denture.

Here there is no connectivity. Once you've had the tooth out you're on your own to find someone to do the next part.

So I rang the recommended dental technician - one of the only two in the city - yesterday, to be met with the message "The office is unattended. Please leave your name & contact details & we'll get back to you." Which I did & which they did, today, their turn to leave a message which included "We are only open on Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays."

So I rang back. To an hour of busy signals. Finally got through, explained what I wanted. Was offered an appointment in August.

Am rather proud of myself that I did not become arrogantly abusive which is how I usually react to such levels of service. Enquired politely why, if they are that busy, did they only work three days a week. Was given a convoluted answer which was not an answer but I must have pressed some button because I was offered an appointment in two weeks time.

Get me back to the big smoke!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

To whoever

Googled egyptian eye sockets looked black and what made it look black and it has to rhyme with (which is where they ran out of space to enter more words) & ended up at pelican dreaming, if by chance you come back again the answer is kohl.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Avian harassment

Our cat is a supervisor. Which means that when you go to do something around the house she tags along, finds a convenient tree to sharpen her claws on to get into the right frame of mind, & then settles down to watch, to make sure that whatever you're doing is being done correctly.

So this morning, I'm at the pool checking the pH, the cat watching me, when down from the trees in rapid succession come about 40 blue-eyed honeyeaters which perch on two sides of the pool fence & in the bamboo above & shriek at the cat. She looks at them, makes bird noises back, & then looks at me as if to say "Okay, Buster, you're the muscle round here. Get rid of them." I obliged.

I don't like birds that shriek. Though these have some redeeming qualities in that they're quite attractively coloured, & they hang from branches upside down in their search for insects & such. In Sydney we had noisy miners which have absolutely no redeeming features. They're even more noisy, & extremely aggressive, driving most of the other varieties of birds away from any territory that they take over. They also have a fetish for grey fur, line their nests with it. & in Sydney we had a grey cat (which contracted diabetes & died after seven months of insulin injections, morning & night). The birds would spy her on the lawn & come sweeping down, dive-bombing her, grabbing tufts of fur & taking off as she lay hunched up, paranoid & petrified. Mind you, they probably had just cause because she was a bit of a bird-catcher.

There is another, smaller variety of the same bird family that I have never seen, only heard. It is the bell-miner, whose melodic 'pings' quite often accompany you as you drive through heavily-wooded sections of the highways. It is a sound you listen for, & are delighted when you hear.

 Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

But if you're not into toys, plush or otherwise

then perhaps you should check out the Spring 2005 issue of Gregory Vincent St Thomasino's eratio which has just been published.

Care for anyone enough to give them Ebola?

One of the range of Giant Microbe plush toys(?) available. The whole range can be found here. As well as Ebola they include HIV AIDS, Hepatitis C & The Black Death.

 Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Just as the
seasons & the sun
& the position of
the other
stars start
growth in plants
& birds to
fly to imprinted

so, too, do
anniversaries of
certain incidents
in the life
of Giorgio de Chirico
cause bells
to fall silent &
fall to earth.

Antiquities weep
blood. In the
Byzantine piazzas
of the labyrinth
pigeons pause
& whisper

Friday, February 04, 2005

just signing in


struts the branches
of the mango tree.

his troops
before battle.

Short steps.
Loud voice.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jill Jones

posts poems from Paris.

new & upcoming

Issue #7 of Word For/Word is out.

Poetic Inhalation has a new issue of Tin Lustre Mobile up, plus new e-books.

& Paul Hardacre asks that the word be spread that submissions for Papertiger Media #5 CDROM are still open. Guidelines here.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

When you're living in a very small city

forget you've ever heard of Miles, let alone
                                 & everyone
through to
Zappa & Zimmerman
that used to inhabit your CD collection. Swallow
your Charlie Pride & listen to a selection
of country music singers. At the very least
trawl through the local record store &
memorise a couple of the names.

Learn how to spell the name
of every writer that you like. The bookshops here
are newsagents in disguise, carry primarily
bush ballads, romance, new age, sport
& the Tom Clancy franchise canon. You're going
to have to ask the resident teenager to order in
anything that you want. Remember
to    speak    slowly    when    you    do.

Take up comparative ornithology. Discover
why the birds engage in such raucous debate
amongst themselves. Take sides. Should you follow
the ravens or the white cockatoos?

Tell yourself over & over
that you've finally got time to
get around to reading Proust. Always
find something else to do.

Enrol in an offensive driving course. Be taught
how to stay at 30kph in a 70 speed zone, change lanes
without indicating, realise that you've
just passed where you want to go
but don't let that stop you going there anyway. U-
turns are legal here. Buy a tray-body truck
& a dog you can tie up on it. Brush up
on your veterinary science, especially that part
that relates to canine auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Relearn what the clouds mean.