Friday, September 30, 2005

Living in the 'blurbs, a ficcione for The Chatelaine

Except for those weeks
immediately preceding
&, if the national
entry manages a place
amongst the top
three, immediately following
the Eurovision Song
Competition, Icelandic
radio plays nothing
but Björk. Turn it off &
there are the sounds
of volcanoes & hot
pools which, if you’ve
heard them once
you’ve heard them to
the point of bore-
dom. Still Björk. Little
wonder then that,
on a day when the
melting polar cap
drove banks of fog
southward & made
moving hazardous, Einar
Beestiol, self-proclaimed
but much-rejected poet
whose style derived
from Voluspo, the great
Icelandic creation
poem, & whose
titles - I Take Thee,
Jules Verne, for My
Beloved, since by setting
the portal of your
Journey to the Centre
of the Earth in Iceland,
you showed me there
was a way out
– were
so long that readers
gave up on them before
they had even come upon
the body of the poem,
decided on a change
that he hoped might
make his name heard
across the world. Three
steps to it. Compile
a program that through
random selection but
stochastic process
combines & rearranges
as poems parts of
Voluspo & The Diaries
of Golda Meir, a book
he’d found discarded
outside a goodwill store.
His name as anagram
as author. A persona
to go. Thus Eileen R.
Tabios. Thus attractive
female, memberless
but member of
a minority, MBA &
former East Coast corporate
banker, now growing
grapes in West Coast
California. The R., he
decided, could stand
for Rose. Even Ice-
landers have heard
of Gertrude Stein.

Self Analysis

Neatly, ever so neatly, I have
taken the top off my skull. Spread
mesh across the opening
to create co-ordinates & am now
gently excavating the contents
& sifting them to see what
appears. I am pleased to report
that I have found no fossils
though there is a midden where
previous inhabitants have apparently
come down to the waterside
to eat the shellfish they found there.

Already the diggings cover half
the backyard. I have raised up
some rows in which to plant
potatoes, will train runner beans
to follow the neural pathways that are
drying in the sun. & I have in mind
if I had a mind to have it in
an exquisite bonsai maple which will
sit perfectly in the brain cavity.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


When Captain Cook put ashore in what is now called Cooktown in 1770 to carry out repairs on the Endeavour, the local language, Guugu Yimithirr, became the first Australian Aboriginal language to be documented, & also gave, eventually, most of the world’s languages a new word, gungurru, kangaroo. Cook described the speech he heard as “soft & tunable”.

There were around 250 Aboriginal languages – up to 700 dialects - spoken in Australia when the Europeans began their colonisation in the century following Cook’s visit. 55 of those have already gone, & the rate of extinction grows as the elderly die out not having passed on their tongue. (Perhaps not as bad as the death of 85% of the 1200 Brazilian languages that existed pre-colonisation there.) Somewhere between 50 & 100 fluent speakers of Guugu Yimithirr still remain, most elderly & living in the one area. A generation goes by. Will any remain?

Language is power. Language is history. The massacre that was carried out by the Dutch on the other side of Cape York at the time of their discovery of Australia would almost certainly have been forgotten had it not been for the Wik people who passed it down from generation to generation over 400 years.

What is now being put forward, even being taught, is Aboriginal English which is described as a dialect in the sense that Scottish is a dialect of English. Part of its raison d’etre is the claim that if words from different languages continue to be used, then that language cannot be considered as dead. But is Latin a ‘live’ language, simply because we have incorporated words like et cetera & non sequitur into English?

The death of a language becomes almost a Zen koan. If no-one speaks it, how can anyone tell if a language is dead?

A selection of Google translations of the links @ Series Magritte

Allen Bramhall Saisissent La Chanson
Les p-ramblings d'Allegrezza de facture
dossiers du tex des murray de chris
Placements De Word De Clayton A. Couch's
Scorecard de la poésie de la colline de Crag
Générateur Aléatoire D'Assaut De Craig F
Le Poetics Du Chatelaine D'Eileen Tabios
Ernesto Priego Jamais Neutre
Poetics de dbqp:visualizing de Geof Huth
Travaux de mailart de qbdp:the de Geof Huth
Grapez de Greg Perry
Eratio de rue Thomasino de Gregory Vincent
Le romantique postmodern de rue Thomasino de Gregory Vincent
bégaiement harry de k
Lierre d'Alvarez de lierre l''est ici
Pantaloons De Jack Kimball: Tykes sur la poésie
Le mauvais de Jay Thomas avec des titres
Whimsy De Jeffery Bahr Parle
Rue Rouge De Jill Jones
Le Romancier D'Avocat De Jim Ryals
Oscillation De Bemsha Jonathan Mayhew
Nation Croissante De la Jordanie Stempleman
Écriture autosimilaire de Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Jukka-Pekka Kervinen se terminent et restent résident
Conjectures textuelles de Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Wingspan Négatif De Kirsten Kaschock
Bleues de écritures de Laura Charretier
Nicholas Avalant Un Nouveau Balai
Accompli:: de fait de:: de Piombino d'entaille
Films Vraiment Mauvais De Richard Lopez '
Makura de Shin Yu Pai aucun Soshi
Steve A labouré Le Ressort Noir
Le monde de la serre chaude Stuart une lettre
Excepté De Tom Beckett
My favourite? Nation croissante.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Returning" a visit, finding

the blog of a twelve-year old, finding this:
I honestly feel like killing myself right now.


To keep my
hand in

to keep
my hand out.
Sick, & / losing the plot. Went to put butter as topping on my already-buttered breakfast toast....

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Immaculate War

The Immaculate War, PR Primeau's chapbook of what he describes as 23 pages of surreal poetry, has just been published by Persistencia*Press.

I read it in manuscript, & my comments at the time were:
I like the poems in The Immaculate War more & more each time I read them. At first there were just a few that jumped out at me, the title poem, Isidore, we walk to church, we have a son, & I had this feeling about some of the others when I read them that they contained a specific word, or words, that were almost fault points, that the poem disappeared down them as though a plug had been pulled. Now, reading them again, I don't understand what made me think that way. As I said, they've grown on me.
Details of how to obtain a copy, plus a couple of extracts, are up at PR's blog.

He also has a wonderful poem in the latest issue of eratio.
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Friday, September 23, 2005

I still hear your sea waves crashing

Glen Campbell turned it into a boppy country ballad that the composer hated. But listen to Jimmy Webb himself sing it on ten easy pieces & its underlying anti-war message comes across much more clearly. Galveston has always been one of the songs of the sixties for me, one of several songs that made Jimmy Webb, for me, one of the songwriters of the time.
Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

The solution in hand

If I had taken up
all the offers
consequentially, com-
pleted each treatment
& returned for more,
my penis would stretch
from here to the
White House or
the Mongolian border. I
would no longer
have to work. Those
parts under water
could be leased out
as a submarine
cable or a seismic
detection device. Slightly
modified I could be
used for mineral &
oil exploration. Add
hooks & I could feed
the village for a
year with the fish
I caught. On land
& with a catheter camera
inserted into my urinary
tract I would be a
spy device. Satellites are
all very well, but think
of the advantages of
surveillance. &, as I
snaked my way across
the North American
continent, parts of me
could appear at every
State Fair I passed
through. Then there’s the
added bonuses. My
overseas friends
could give me head. Plus.
Anybody disgruntled with
U.S. policy could hire me
out, the one-shot wonder,
the only person able to
piss on the President
from a great height length.

Welcome back

to/from (cross out the one which doesn't apply) the real world, Mr Piombino.

The price of free speech

Under its newly expanded “counter-terror” laws, the Australian Government has the right to detain, deport & a whole lot of other ‘ds’ – including, probably, dismember & disappear – anybody they feel is engaging in terrorist activities.

But terrorist here doesn’t mean terrorist in what you or I would consider to be the strict meaning of the word. It can be anybody who speaks out or protests about globalisation or advocates world peace.

The government has just cancelled the visa of & deported U.S. citizen Scott Parkin, & billed him $A11,000 for the privilege of doing so. Parkin had been travelling around Australia over the last few months, sightseeing, but also giving workshops on non-violent political activism. Late last month he was one of hundreds of anti-globalisation demonstrators against the Forbes Global CEO Conference which was held at the Sydney Opera House.

A couple of weeks later, after he had arrived in Melbourne, he was “invited” by ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, to come in for an interview. When told it was a purely voluntary visit, Parkin declined. Several days later he was sitting in a café when ten men from the Australian Federal Police and the Immigation Department detained him – not arrested, because that implies a basis for their action that could be tested in a court of law. Five days in a Detention Centre followed, & finally deportation to Los Angeles in the custody of a couple of minders, which is what the bill was for.

More details of this sorry action can be found here.

Seems like an appropriate time to re-post a poem from a year or so ago.

Caught on tape

Certain words are flagged
for recognition. The surrounding
passages on the endless
monitoring tapes are
isolated & extracted, sent past
voice recognition software,
digitalised for immediate
interpretation of combination
& association. Names, times,
places. More words to add. This
is no brief history of the world
but a paranoic infinite
dictionary. By themselves
the words are meaningless.
Meaning is added later. “I am
going to the shops” is sufficent
reason for assassination.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


The Man who Never Sleeps

These days, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen has so many sites, either alone or in partnership, it is getting impossible to list or link to them all. Easier to use his list at nonlinear poetry to navigate your way to & through them.

But I would like to draw attention to one of his latest, postcard variations, building up to, one per day, 365 variations of a postcard by Jim Leftwich. There is a small pic of the original postcard in the top lefthand corner of the blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ah, what Singers

there are out there.

Barely have the last melodious notes of Lorna Dee Cervantes' wonderful series of alphabet hay(na)ku ceased - but why stop with the English Z, Lorna? There are Mayan & Sumerian & Greek & Cyrillic alphabets out there just begging to be immortalised - when Ernesto Priego steps up on stage & begins a Baedeker of world city hay(na)ku.

Let me drop in a quote from Samuel Delany's Time considered as a helix of semi-precious stones, probably the one piece of writing I could not live on a desert island without. "Singers are people who look at things, then go and tell people what they've seen. What makes them Singers is their ability to make people listen."

& am I listening!

A postscript to Babur

I have received an email from a J.L. Borges of Buenos Aires who writes, in response to the post immediately below, to correct my historical facts. His email, in part, says:
”You are maintaining a fallacy. Cunnilingus was the delta port from which the Greek Fleet set out to sack Troy. The site of Babur’s skirmish before engaging his Indian enemy – a pre-dacoital interlude you might say – is generally accepted as having been Kunnilingam.

But even here, as I explained in some depth in Los traductores de las 1001 Noches, there are still grey areas. The original manuscript was transcribed so many times that there is some confusion as to whether Babur lost his tongue or his lung there.”
The rest of the email is spent explaining how he, Borges, has access to his late brother’s bank account in a country called Tlön, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius, & if I would care to provide him with some preliminary funding & my bank account details, we will both become incredibly wealthy.

In the interests of historical accuracy, I have changed the place name in the poem. & also, as accurate history, I wish to point out that it was triggered by the final verse of an untitled poem by Karri Kokko,
to make
the sweet felicity

your cunnus
and my linctus.
This poem was one of the finalists in Eileen Tabios’ just-judged pleasure poetry competition. There were some excellent entries going by the the work of the winner, Joanna Fuhrman, & that of the runners-up which are posted to The Chatelaine’s Poetics along with a delightful account of the judging which was done by Eileen & a group of her fellow pissheads wine connoisseurs.

The quality of the poems was undoubtedly provoked by the quality of the prize on offer, an exceptional & large selection of books, included amongst which I was incredibly honoured to see a couple in which I had a hand, the soon-to-be-published The First Hay(na)ku Anthology which I co-edited with Jean Vengua, & Poles Apart, a selection of my collaborations with Jukka-Pekka Kervinen.

&, though I have a couple of dear friends amongst the finalists, I am sure they will forgive me when I say I congratulate the judges on their ultimate selection of the winner of the competition.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Babur, a ficcione for Karri Kokko

So much on the
positive side. Founder
of the Moghul
Empire, great grand-
son of Tamur the
Lame & therefore
descended from
the great Genghis
Khan. It is a lineage
easily able to hold
all the existing
continents together
as a single land
mass. Quite the
white night; & that's
how the miniatures
inevitably display
him. But the friezes
at Khajuraho tell
a different bed-
time story,
show him with
an extensible tongue
inside an elongated
skull that is totally
resistant to tarnish &
corrosion. His glorious
victories at Panipat
are not depicted
here. What is is how
he got his name, The
Man who Lost
his Lung in the
Battle of Kunnilingam.
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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The milk of paradise?

I don’t use the next blog function, but occasionally I’ll “call back” when those who do turn up in the referrers’ list, especially when the blogname pricks my interest. So when someone came visiting via attractive lactating women I did what anyone would do, even if their foibles didn’t run in that direction.

& found the following one-post blog:

Thursday, September 06, 2001

. nutrition for lactating women nutrition for lactating women That weisser can you get pregnant from dry sex glatze Are Sjonnie pregnant celebrite photos unwanted ) nutrition for lactating women He kinds help getting pregnant major ? His obstaculos attractive lactating women appearance I send free pregnant women pics strike by Him padulo required The Home acute . Their rklub weeks pregnant patacca Their subject somebody to sex pregnant pregnant toons didn nutrition for lactating women When criminal damage adult babies short story candy linda lactating fuckin .
Don’t ask me to explain. I have no idea, have only one theory to advance.

That, extrapolating from the date, somewhere in this was the secret ‘go’ message that brought planes to land in the sky, that brought buildings falling down.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The tapa notebook

When I was back in New Zealand last year for the New Zealand electronic poetry centre’s 3rd birthday celebrations, I was given two notebooks. Exquisite things. White, white paper, unlined, & bound in tapa cloth. One was for my eternal unseen use, the other was to be returned to the University of Auckland Library where it would be held in their Special Collections.

The books frightened me with their pure intensity / intense purity; but after about six months I steeled myself sufficiently to start using the one I had to send back –the second still sits beside the pc; I use a crappy old notepad if I feel the need to write something down when I’m out. The first entry was ambiguous. Typed out & posted later to the pelican, it is not made clear whether or not it was written within those covers. (It was.)

Over the next six months there were more entries, more poems – or the early scratchings of them – added. Eventually it was full enough for me to feel comfortable about sending it back. I was asked to write something about it, responded with a poem which also was posted to the pelican &, in a sort of Möbius strip, is also reprinted & linked to on the nzepc page that has pictures of the front cover & several inside pages of the notebook.
from: The Tapa Notebook

This book is
diction. The cover
tapa cloth, traditional.
But the paper inside
high-tech, high
gloss. So much
dioxin used. So
white I am
afraid to write
on it. An impediment
to speech. Contra

(above) a page from my tapa notebook

The scratchings on the page above (clicking on the photo will allow a larger view of it) eventually became #83 in my Series Magritte, the poem below.
Deep Waters
for Alfred Hitchcock & Tippi Hedren & Alex Gildzen

Unlike most
of Magritte's birds
is neither egg nor
simulacrum. With
blood. Wondering
which way to turn.
Le sang froid will
take the woman's
coat from off her
back. Or. Le sang
chaud will whisper
in her ear &
wake her from her
statuary. Or even le
sang très chaud.
Will influence a
Hitchcock movie.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005


This written for the future,
something to look back on, to see
what my thoughts were
at the time. A commentary on what
is now before me, how you feast
on the dead, play replay after replay,
from different angles, rewritten
as choreography, a Hollywood blockbuster
with the producers wanting to make sure
the audience gets its money’s worth. It is
what you’ve come to expect; but most
movies are cleaner, have stars that are
paid more for their one performance
than this whole episode would have cost
to carry out. Think on it. Brood on the
implications of what you’ve learnt
in the two days since. The stand-in pilots
had work visas, lived next door,
supported themselves & contributed to
the economy of the country
they have just put on notice. The airlines
paid for & provided the bombs.
The extras paid for their own parts.
There was no need for rehearsal.

Published in the Muse Apprentice Guild
Included in Sun Moon's Mother

Monday, September 12, 2005

a littoral reading

It's National Poetry Week in Australia, & the local activity will be a group of Central Queensland poets, including Louise Waller & Kristin Hannaford, who'll be reading on the beach at Yeppoon this Friday.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

An eclectic list

Veteran TV presenter, interviewer, writer Melvyn Bragg's South Bank Series on U.K. ITV next year will be on twelve British books that changed the world. It's a most interesting list, not all of which are books, that ranges from the Magna Carta to William Wilberforce's first speech against slavery, from Darwin to the rules of soccer, from Sir Isaac Newton to Marie Stopes.

How to move to the left, whilst standing still

It is probably a good indication of just how far to the Right the ruling Australian Liberal Party has moved when I hear a radio interview with a member of their junior coalition partner, the National Party, in which he says that these days the Nationals, which has its major constiuency amongst regional & rural Australia, are a force for moderation.

When I first came to Australia thirty-five years ago, the Nationals, then called the Country Party, were less liberal, more conservative, than their senior Coalition partner. But in the years since, or at least in the last fifteen of them, the Liberals have moved further & further to the Right, & so it is true to say that the Nationals, who haven’t moved at all, are now the more liberal, less conservative party, & probably do have some moderating influence.

But. The crypto-fascists fundamentalists Liberal Party are now so deeply entrenched in power because of the lack of a strong opposition party that they could almost govern on their own. Which is what the Nationals are afraid of. So, because the need for power, or at least a portion of it, over-rules everything, they still go along – most of the time – maintaining the coalition, upholding its rightist, righteous stance.

Check them out (x 26)

Lorna Dee Cervantes has finished her wonderful hay(na)ku series Towards a New Beginning of the Alpha bet.
Brilliant. Compelling.
Definite eye fodder.

hay(na)ku. I
joyously kongratulate Lorna.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


has been posted elsewhere, but it's just too good to go past.

Go in to Google, type in failure as the search term & see what the first out of 220,000,000 results is.

Since the word doesn't appear anywhere within the link, I can only assume it's a deliberate action on the part of Google (or at least I'd like to think it is). &, if it is, I applaud them for it. & if it's not, it demonstrates that the psychic power of the world can influence search engines, because it's what a great many of us are thinking about the man in question.


PR Primeau's PERSISTENCIA*PRESS is seeking erotic poetry for Lipstick!, its upcoming mail micro-series. Lipstick! will appear irregularly and run indefinitely, with each "issue" being dedicated to a single poet's work. Full details here.
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Thursday, September 08, 2005

The city that never sleeps wakes

Went to a show last night by stand-up comedian Wil Anderson. A very funny man & a most enjoyable evening. His stance is the “this guy’s stoned” routine, until you realise how skilfully he weaves his way around, diverts from, comes back to, goes off at a tangent, has nothing to do with, a story that is about he & his girlfriend at an airport being confronted by a sniffer dog. It’s the act of someone with an extremely alert mind, who maintains the tension & the humour for the entire length of his hour-plus monologue.

But. The show started at 7.30 p.m., an extremely obscene hour, but this is Queensland where they don’t have daylight savings because, amongst other things, that extra hour of sunlight will fade the curtains. & we were running a little bit late, so with no time for a meal beforehand, we grabbed kaffee und küchen at the local McDonalds on the way, deciding to have dinner after the show.

But #2. This is Rockhampton. & when we got out of the theatre at about a quarter to ten, nothing was open, or, if they were, the kitchens were closed. Chairs piled up on tables & people mopping the floor, or dark windows. There may have been a truckstop open across the river, but that was in the wrong direction. So, home to a BLT sandwich.

This is a place that claims to be progressive, multi-cultural, thriving. It is, in fact, a place that lives in the past, a time-warp, truly a Rocky Horror Show. & now it’s been announced that the once-a-day direct flight to Sydney has been withdrawn. That connection, kept in the back of the mind, was a lifeline. The fact that you could be back in Sydney in under two hours at least gave a semblance of contact with the real world. Now…..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


when I get round to it, this will be the cover
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from the wizard of id

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what happems when you don't renew your domain!

It breaks my fucking heart to see Andrew & Jeannie Lundwall's wonderful Poetic Inhalation site turned into this.

Let me utter a silent prayer that Katrina bankrupts the new inhabitants.

a pause to preen, or: a message from the sponsor

Almost half the alphabet of my series of poems Betabet has now been published or accepted for publication.

Poems have appeared to date in:
     minimum daily requirements

have appeared today in:

are to appear in the next issues of:

& hopefully there will be some more additions to the list.

I'm thinking of putting together a pdf file of the poems. If anybody wants a copy, either email me (the address is at the bottom of the links in the sidebar) or leave a note in the comments box.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I wonder

how long it will be before it is announced Haliburton has the contract for the rebuilding of New Orleans....

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Terra Nullius

means Empty Land, & was the deceitful principle England relied on to claim ownership of the Australian continent despite the fact that it was already inhabited.

After three days of spring

the summer moves in. The temperature is nudging towards 30º C, the air is humid, the corrugated iron roof makes noises like drops of rain falling on it as it expands in the heat, dark clouds blow in from the sea.

The “official” seasons in Australia were decided by bureaucrats. Ignored the exquinoxes, the solstices, paid no attention to the knowledge that the original inhabitants of the land had garnered over 60,000 years. Instead, just like financial quarters, the seasons start on the 1st of the month.

So, in this time of what I shall call sprummering, it seems like a nice idea to post a poem on the subject & what lies behind it that I wrote a couple of years ago.

Terra Nullius

December 1. Supposedly
the day on which the
season changed. Some-
one's arbitrary determination
after they had shifted
hemispheres & found
their world turned
upside down. A quick fix,
rendering the present
so it reflects a
particular past, done by
attaching the familiar
to the unfamiliar &
throwing names around
to overwrite the
land. Fine at the time,
but pets rearrange
themselves as pest to
overrun it. New grains
don't hold the soil together
the way the native grasses
used to do. & where the
traditional owners of the land
sometimes admitted six,
sometimes two, depending
upon what the weather
was actually doing, now
the seasons come around
on the first of the month,
every three months, a
regular reminder of the
debts outstanding on
something that was
taken, never loaned.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

But I did laugh at one item of news last night

On the local news out of Rockhampton, a place known far & wide as Rocky, there was an interview with the head of the local branch of the Australian Medical Association. His name? Dr Bulwinkel.

I kid you not.....

Friday, September 02, 2005

I look at

the news footage of the Battle of New Orleans & am horrified. Is this the richest, the most powerful country on the planet? No-one seems to be arranging for relief to flow or to get it there, no-one seems to be able to get their shit together. How many days is it now?

I look at most of the people in the news footage. Black, & poor, unable to escape. Is this why white Amerika is not coming to help? Some form of racial cleansing?

I look at the news footage & wonder how those who embrace the right-wing pseudo-science of intelligent design will explain this away. The Sodom & Gomorrah theory has already been bruited about.

I look at the news footage & think: Maybe somebody should suggest to the great facade, the great procrastinator, the great insincere puppet aka George W. Borg that perhaps he invade New Orleans. At least that way there would be unlimited people & supplies arriving for a population that actually needs them.

Ain't that a shame

Fats Domino is missing in the floods.