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
contra-
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
diction.


 
(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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1 comment:

AlexG said...

back in the day when I was a rare book librarian I dealt with this sort of thing almost daily. it was great fun then & I still enjoy seeing such "backstage" activities now.