Monday, October 31, 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Today the

postman brought
me a poem
from William
Carlos Williams.

Special delivery.
No letter, no
card. The
spoken word.

Stopped his bike
at the top
of the steps &
started to recite

in a voice
equally suited
for delivering
babies & poems.

“A big young bareheaded woman
in an apron….”

I was im-
Waited un-
til he had

finished &
gave him the
flight of small
cheeping birds

that were
in the ice
box & which
you were

for my
old age.

Forgive me.

Sunday mornings, go for a ride

Today, according to the Fab Four, some of the secrets of the universe are supposed to be revealed to me.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?
I wait
with bated

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Today the
postman brought
me several
vials of
frozen bull semen
& the complete
of John Philip
Sousa. It is
my retirement
dream. The
first Minotaur

After Han-Shan

Was looking through on-line bookstores last night, & found this:
Title: SENGAI CALENDAR, 1963.Author: Suzuki, Daisetz T.
Description: Tokyo: Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., 1963, 1st edition, stapled white wraps, 29 pages. Wraps lightly sunned & soiled, otherwise Very Good. Paperback. Item # 184543 $12.50
When I worked at the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand in the early sixties, one of the joys was the annual calendar – one amongst hundreds – from a Zaibatsu called Idemitsu Kosan. Its owner, Sazo Idemitsu, made & lost about five fortunes over the years, but what he maintained was the world’s premier collection of black-ink – sumi-e – paintings & scrolls by the great master Sengai, & the calendars were beautifully produced reproductions of some of these. Plus they had an introduction by Daisetz T. Suzuki.
“Sengai (1750-1837) was born in Idemitsu's home town of Fukuoka. During his lifetime he was well-known for his humorous drawings of the Zen Buddhist monastic world. Sengai was a prolific artist and his irreverent paintings of Zen monks were held in high regard. There are also a seriousness, a purity of expression, and a spontaneity in Sengai's work, which probably most influenced Idemitsu to collect hundreds of Sengai's paintings.”
I ended up with, from memory, five calendars – I didn’t work at the Embassy for that number of years, but I was there for all or part of four of them, plus there was the first calendar that had come out in 1960. All part of my first library, now lost. (He breaks off, almost weeping, remembering the signed Surrealists texts, the complete Olympia Press catalogue, almost every small press publication by almost everyone in The New American Poetry, &, &,&…..)

But back to Sengai. Amongst the paintings were several of Han-Shan, at least one of them with his crazy friend Shih-te who used to sweep the monastry at Kuo-ch’ing. I’d read Han-Shan’s Cold Mountain poems in translation by both Arthur Waley & Gary Snyder, loved them, loved Sengai’s painting. & so, one of my first ekphrastic poems, from about 40 years ago. I don’t know if the painting below is the one that provoked the poem – I seem to remember Shih-te having a twig broom – but it’ll serve more than adequately.
Han-Shan, old chinese poet madman,
tramp & hermit, a true poet of the colloquial.
Often he came down from Cold Mountain
to visit Shih-te at the Kuo-ch’ing Temple.
The monks there cannot understand them;
these two madmen laugh at everything — Ha Ha!
Their laughter rings out, loud & clear
as the black-ink brush strokes of this painting.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Today the
postman brought
me a delicate
blue & white
vase. Ming,
I thought
as I gently
flicked a
against the
rim. “Qing”
it replied.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bush - ID - O

President Bush said recently he believes schools should discuss "intelligent design" alongside evolution when teaching students about the creation of life.

During a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, Bush declined to go into detail on his personal views of the origin of life. But he said students should learn about both theories, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported.

"I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."

The theory of intelligent design says life on earth is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying that a higher power must have had a hand in creation.

Christian conservatives — a substantial part of Bush's voting base — have been pushing for the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Scientists have rejected the theory as an attempt to force religion into science education.

But. If he
really was
a product of

his eyes
wouldn't be
so close
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The agenda for Intelligent Design

aka The Wedge Strategy
"The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.

The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth.

Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.

The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a "wedge" that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the "thin edge of the wedge," was Phillip ]ohnson's critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe's highly successful Darwin's Black Box followed Johnson's work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

The Wedge strategy can be divided into three distinct but interdependent phases, which are roughly but not strictly chronological. We believe that, with adequate support, we can accomplish many of the objectives of Phases I and II in the next five years (1999-2003), and begin Phase III


Governing Goals
• To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
• To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

Five Year Goals
• To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
• To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
• To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals
• To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
• To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.
• To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life."
Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Today the
postman brought
me a haiku
from Issa.

Under the
new anti-
it had to be
translated into
English before

Nineteen syllables
in literal translation.
Excess postage was charged.

7.30 a.m.

that first
cigarette & The

of the
Body Snatchers begins.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why bother with penis enlargers

when this
pelican dreaming
... David Mitchell, Mark Young. BOMB. A reading at the Barry ... by redneck country boys or men with small dicks – actually the first is ... Big Bridge Black Spring online BlazeVOX Dirt era... [Found on MSN Search, Yahoo! Search]
can become this
Search: Young Black Boys with Big Dicks - WebCrawler [1]

The Two Renés

through 17
by L’Académie
on Le Discours
de la Méthode

& fearing
he was
about to be
pushed be-
yond the
bounds of

his wig
& his silk
& hose
& headed
for the
leather bar

“Who gives
a fuck what
thinks. I am
what I am.”

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Today the
postman brought
me the new
album by
Parker. Jesus.
How do these
dead guys
do it?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

word verification

now on your blogger posts.


i write an

The beginning

of another direction for the hay(na)ku. 13 million hay(na)ku at Stephen M. Johnson’s ancilliary blog plus1.6.

eye / light

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Another portion of Australia's proposed anti-terror legislation

"A parent who is told that their child has been held by the Government under its tough new laws aimed at preventing terrorist attacks faces five years' jail if they tell their partner what has happened."
The Sydney Morning Herald 10/22/05

A new interview

up at Tom Beckett's e-x-c-h-a-n-g-e-v-a-l-u-e-s. Tom Fink interviews Stephen Paul Miller.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The poem in the post

below this was first published last year in word for /word as a static piece; but I’ve always considered the right-hand side as a rolling list. I’ve modified it slightly, because what was implied in the piece as it first appeared needed to be amplified for its current form.

Pi, Pythagoras & I (re-tried)

Given that
you can determine
the length of
any side of a
right-angled triangle
by the fact that the
square on the hypotenuse
is equal to
the sum of the squares
on the other
two sides
& calculate
the area
under a curve
by integration provided
the equation
of the line that the
curve follows
is known
or be tested to see
if you are pre-disposed
to diabetes or m.s.
or even cancer
by the make-up of
particular genes &
the use of
sequencing machines
why can’t I
by assigning weights
to all those things
I love or hate or
am indifferent to
arrive at a formula
that can easily
determine who
I am & what is pre-
destined for me?

amongst my loves are
kurosawa movies with
mifune in them tropical
thunderstorms self-
propagated macadamia
trees ready to drop
their fruit driving
long distances up &
down the coastline
little frogs that
cling to the security
screens bach the sun
just before it goes
behind the hills
lemon drink night
skies full of stars
the poems of frank
o’hara living with
lauren certain
species of birds that
I find exciting
because of how they
look how they sound
fruit bats tasty
cheese umberto eco
a whiter shade of pale
heard for the first
time broadcast on
a.m. radio 1700 kilo-
metres away & still
sounding great despite
the static stone
gardens meerkats over-
grown gardens my cat
certain tokens that
were given or found
& have acquired a
patina of magic ray
charles & aretha
franklin together is
a duet i would really
like to hear whales
south park black-ink
paintings with their
zen over- & undertones
the sound & sight of
the sea at all times
but especially when
it’s stormy vietnamese
food fifty years of
miles davis unseen
trains & seen mountains
the croak of frogs
below the window rené
magritte a new moon
with the old one
sitting in its lap the
chime of bellbirds
along isolate forest

& then the hates
an extreme distrust of
right-wing amerika the
taste of aniseed armed
intervention conservative
politics intelligent
design totalitarianism &


Friday, October 21, 2005

Curiously enough

Jim Baxter (see post below) was our local postman when I was growing up in Wellington. I remembered him when I first "met" him later because he had a large head, seemingly out of proportion with the rest of his body, that rocked & threatened to fall off its neck stem.

He published his first book of poetry when he was 18, at university. He dropped out a little while later, went back intermittently over the next few years, eventually completed his B.A. It is said, though I've never been able to verify this, that one of the set texts in his final year was his own first book.

for Alex Gildzen

the post-
man brought me

post card
from the past.

still from
"We're No Angels".

Aldo Ray,
Bogart. Who's who?


A poem at Michael P. Steven's blog, which includes the photo below, has triggered a few memories.

James K Baxter, David Mitchell, Mark Young.
BOMB. A reading at the Barry Lett Galleries, August 1969.

High Country Weather

Alone we are born
And die alone
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.

James K. Baxter (1945)

from: Night Through the Orange Window

I remember her as a fifth season
who came unheralded
into those lean months
shaming the precise blue evenings
with the proud eternity of her flesh

David Mitchell (1963)

For Dave Mitchell
"th prfct wrdslngr"

Seeing your poems, your picture on the
blue middle pages of the NEW ARGOT
I wish I could be with you once more in
"th cafe lebanon". It is summer, & the
spare tables will have been unstacked
& set outside; & we could sit there
in our perfect white tropical suits,
sipping pernod, smoking panatellas
waiting for something GREAT to happen.

Mark Young (1973)
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Hirsute, his suit

Me in 1973. Jim Baxter died the year before, aged 46. Dave has since drifted away into a life of isolation.
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

OK, call me paranoid,

but there are networks out there. Have to be. Otherwise how to explain why you suddenly get a concentration of hits via a search engine, from different i.p. addresses, from different locations, all with the same search phrase. In the last two hours I’ve had six hits for “beauty busted in bali”. The time before that it was “accordion smurf”.

Maybe it’s all innocent. Or chance. Maybe not. ¿Quien sabe?

I retreat further into my shell. Put more alfoil up over the windows. Recall a poem I posted here many months ago. Put up even more alfoil.
Homeland Security

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 permutations
& 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.

In this landscape

of exotic birds, of parrots & honeyeaters & cuckoos & kingfishers & raptors & finches & various species of water-birds, I am surprised to see a sparrow on the front path.

A rare sight here. & yet, ironically, it is the only true exotic bird, in that word's original sense of being introduced from another country.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cage uncaged

I have just been absorbing - listening to & watching are not strong enough terms - the full orchestral version of John Cage's 4'33" which I downloaded from Ubuweb.

It's an amazing piece, full of tension. I was quite bowled over by it.

Diurnal Nokturno

In a recent post to dbqp, Geof Huth wrote:
"Tonight, I’ve added a link in my sidebar to the Finnish webzine Nokturno, which its proprietor, Marko J. Niemi, describes as a “kind of a Finnish UbuWeb.” Nokturno includes a good selection of digital, visual, and sound poetry from across the planet, but especially from Finland. Nokturno has lots of interesting material in its pages, though a command of Finnish will help you understand the content."
Marko, who also has a textual blog, Elämä on larffii!, & a vispo blog, Nurotus, which has in its archives some amazing vispo hay(na)ku, has just honoured me by including in Nokturno a couple of pages of my work translated into Finnish. One page is a selection of marquee pieces taken from the pelican, the other is of chessboard poems which have previously appeared in print journals, most recently Crag Hill's Spore.

I'm in great company at Nokturno, & am most honoured to be included. Many thanks, Marko.

11.06 a.m.

Things happen
that re-
call poems.

“The day before he died, a burnet moth
come to town….”

But where / you go / from there / is open.

The 15% lemon
drink tastes
of skin.

You know
nothing of

The Postman Rings Twice

Today the
postman brought
me the riddle
of the Sphinx.
A little later
Oedipus came
along delivering
give-aways. I poked
his eyes out
to save him
future grief.

This afternoon
the postman
called again, a
special delivery
letter. From
Sigmund Freud’s
solicitors, informing
me that the
not-yet-great man
was suing me
for blackening
his fame.
& yet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

11.05 a.m. or: Who's Rachmaninoff?

Quick! A last
poem before I
go off my rocker
& the clock ticks
over to 11.06.
Today the
postman brought
me a letter
addressed to
the person who
lived here be-
fore me. We
share the same
name. I don’t
recognise it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

This is no snowjob

Jukka has sent me a minibook of extracts from my Abominable Snowjob post below, interpreted in his inimitable way. 16 images, of which the above is one.
 Posted by Picasa
He thought about it on the train back to Bratislava.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

For Tom Beckett

Today the
postman almost
brought me
a copy of
of Things
Past. I found him
asleep on his
a few
doors down.

The abominable snowjob

(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person intentionally:
(i) makes funds available to another person (whether
directly or indirectly); or
(ii) collects funds for, or on behalf of, another person
(whether directly or indirectly); and
(b) the first-mentioned person is reckless as to whether the other
person will use the funds to facilitate or engage in a terrorist
Penalty: Imprisonment for life.
A couple of weeks ago, the Premiers of the Australian States & the Chief Ministers of the two Territories, all of whom are Labor, held a meeting with the conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, to discuss the new anti-terror laws that the P.M. was going to introduce.

It was a meeting of great depth, that lasted for all of two hours before ending for publicity shots. It was a boys' meeting - apologies to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory for lumping her in - of the "my anti-terror laws are bigger than your anti-terror laws" variety.

No-one saw the draft legislation - the P.M. only outlined it - but they all agreed that though the new legislation would be draconian, inherently anti-Muslim, & trod on just about everybody's civil rights, it was "necessary".

Last week the P.M. forwarded to the attendees the draft legislation, marked several times on the first few pages as "DRAFT-IN-CONFIDENCE. This draft is supplied in confidence and should be given appropriate protection."

The Senate is the house of review. It was informed at exactly 4.30 p.m. last Thursday that the legislation was to be introduced into the Lower House soon, & that the Senate report back within three weeks. However, Thursday was the last day of sitting for two weeks, &, under House rules, the Senate cannot vote on any issue on anything introduced on or after 4.30 p.m. on the last day of sitting until the next sitting day. Which is, in this case, October 31. One week at maximum to debate it, to call in outside experts to explain the full ramifications of it. No-one had seen the bill to be introduced, so how the hell could anyone prepare for any serious discussion. It would be kept under wraps for at least two weeks.

But conscience sometimes has a way of bringing things into the light of day. The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, the area around Canberra, has obviously had second thoughts about his earlier agreement, & promptly posted the draft to his official website. (It's a long PDF, but if anyone wants to read it it's available here.) His reason for doing so was that the legislation was so prohibitive, that there needed to be genuine discussion & debate in the community at large, because there wasn't going to be any allowed in the Parliament.

There are all sorts of provisions for detention without the need to reveal the reasons for detention; it's an offence to let on to anyone that you've been detained; the use of force by Federal Police is frowned upon, but, if an officer feels their life is threatened, then action can be taken of the variety that saw English police shoot dead an innocent Brazilian "bomb suspect".

I took part in the anti-Vietnam War protests just under forty years ago. If this legislation is brought in, & there is no doubt that it will be, I would have serious concerns about taking part in a similar sort of protest today.

Who's the Star? Who's the Fish?

Who's been living in a petri dish?
"What is this agist crap? At least I know surrealism was a movement of the 1920s -- that makes you what? 100?"
Ron Silliman in an email to the editor of Starfish, PR Primeau, noted as a post to PR's blog.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Seize Song

I am sorry Allen Bramhall never continued on with his other blog, Seize Song. The blog has been unaugmented since January, a fortnight of postings, the sequence on the page runs 11-13, then 1-10. There is some wonderful writing there, & well worth the visit.
Today the
postman brought
me the third
issue of the
series Patterns
of War
. This is
the one I
have been waiting
for. It shows me
how to knit
a hand-held
missile launcher.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


The Tom Beckett edited issue of MiPOesias is up. Lots of good poems, & the added magic of many of them in audio as well.
Today the
postman brought
me the missing
arms of the Venus
de Milo. I am
using one to write
this note. It
works well, but has
a tendency to
bring out the
softer side of
me. Though possibly
that’s because I’m
using the left
where normally
I am right-handed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


there actually is a thunderstorm heading towards us.

passed by with much rain, now a starry night, but another thunderstorm is due tomorrow afternoon, & the afternoon after that, & the afternoon after that.....

Katrina & Katrina

Tropical cyclone Katrina formed on the 3rd , then wandered around the Coral sea for about 3 weeks having only a minimum impact on the Queensland coast. The maximum intensity of category 4 was reached on the 15th for approximately 18 hours whilst it was located about 300 nautical miles northeast of the north tropical coast. It finally weakened to below Tropical Cyclone intensity on the 25th.

from: the Bureau of Meteorology’s Significant Weather, January 1988 report
The Gulf of Mexico’s Hurricane Katrina, however, has had a much more significant effect on this area, not in damage, but in a sudden & significant jump in home insurance premiums. We have a small holiday house south of Townsville, in an area that is considered to be highly susceptible to tropical cyclone crossings because the Queensland coast in this area swings towards the NW to run in a direction more parallel to the SE trade winds. We’ve just received our annual bill for insuring the house, & the premium has tripled since last year.

Comparing it against our main house, we are paying six times the premium for a house that is valued at less than half of the one we live in. But Rockhampton is considered to be at the bottom edge of the tropical cyclone zone, so I'm wondering how long it will be before our premiums here take a sudden hike.

The insurance company’s excuse.
“Our research with the Cyclone Testing Station indicates your previous premium did not sufficiently reflect the cyclone risk for your area. We felt it was important to adjust the premiums fully to reflect the risk so all customers are paying the appropriate premium for their situation.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

there's something romantic

about seeing your work in another language, especially a Romance Language. It's like someone has come along & cut & polished the rough diamond you presented them till it sparkles in the light.

Ernesto Priego has translated into Spanish the poem in the post below. I am delighted by it. Honoured. Thrilled.

Dear friend.
Today the
postman brought
a bill
from the glue-
works for

Monday, October 10, 2005

Today the
postman brought
an elephant. I
have no idea
what to do
with it. There
was no instruction
manual included.

"The way the light is"

David-Baptiste Chirot responds at length in the comments boxes of my earlier post.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

a little bit of self-promotion

Even though I, for some reason or other, cannot download it, the latest weekend edition of miPOradio includes me reading. Four poems, El Culo de Bettie, & three of the four unblogged Series Magritte poems included in the upcoming, Tom Beckett edited, issue of MiPoesias.

(checking the links, I discover that tho I can't download the podcast entire, I can download the individual pieces)

& Billy the Blogging Poet, who maintains a continuously-refreshed list of recently-updated poetry blogs, has included pelican dreaming in his other, manually augmented, another blog each day, list, Tooth Rats And 100 Blogging Poets!, where it gains some reflected glory from the company it has joined.

After / the one / that is before

ened by
breakfast coffees &

a grape-
fruit, he decided

fight the
day’s foretelling. He

off his
Genesis head &

it with
the one that

The Mamas
& The Papas

where in
it. Oh California

Oh Eileen,
Oh Richard, Oh

Oh Jean,
Oh Jordan. Oh

poem of
Del Ray Cross.

Another Omen

He woke up
with a
Phil Collins
song in his
head. It was
going to be
a bad day.

Friday, October 07, 2005

a verified word?

couldn't resist this (almost) wrinkled old retainer

he vsratched his vsrotum & scerified the word.
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David-Baptiste Chirot re-masked

Geof Huth has removed the text from his recent post about David-Baptiste Chirot that I, along with a number of others, had commented favourably on & linked to.

He gives as his reasons:
“My apologies to David Baptiste Chirot. He has some serious concerns about the posting I made about him and his work a couple of days ago. Because these concerns grew out of counter-assumptions each of us had made, I feel a deep responsibility to address his concerns, so I'm taking down all of my words about him for that day, but leaving up the images for now.

“Let me be clear, to David and everyone else, that I meant no offense to David and thought I had clarified everything I was going to do sufficiently before hitting the "publish" button. But I obviously have not. I do want to revive, however, as much of my original text as possible, because it was a celebration of David and his work, one that I worked on for many hours, one that filled me with emotion, and one that I think does him a little justice for his art.

“David and I will work out any errors of fact and other changes, and see what we can do.”
Whether Geof did include “errors of fact” or whether it was David-Baptiste reacting to seeing his words, or an interpretation of his words, in the cold light of day we won’t know until the revised post reappears.

But I also received an email from a friend about my comment on Geof’s post.
“I also wanted to say that I liked the Geof Huth piece on David-Baptiste Chirot, but I found it a bit too romantic…… the hard life of the street as a place to find yourself and your art. It reminds me of some of the comments about the Dylan PBS piece. Some people seem, at least to me, to have this romantic attachment to his earlier history as if it was some sort of mythological dream. I don't know. If Dylan or David-Baptiste were just written about like they were regular folks would any of us have any interest in them? So I guess the question is, is Geof doing David-Baptiste a favor by writing about him in this way?”
It is the perennial question. How much does our knowing or knowing about a person influence, improperly or otherwise, our opinion of them as an artist?

& the reciprocal. How much of your past do you reveal? I have been open in there-for-posterity interviews in print & on radio, but there are aspects of my life that I don’t talk about in everyday conversation. That they have had a major impact on who I am is beyond question, but how much they have influenced or provided subject matter for my writing I cannot – or will not – say.

I maintain a public persona for convenience. Its history is full of gaps, but, in the main, it lets the writing speak for itself. Though I'm not remiss in leaving a few bits here & there to garnish the image.

The Practice of Democracy

One of the stated intentions of the U.S. in trying to justify its invasion of Iraq was to bring 'democracy' to the country.

It seems it's succeeded. In an unannounced vote last Sunday, the Iraqi parliament quietly amended a law so that approval of the new constitution now becomes easier. Instead of the constitution being rejected if 2/3rds of those voting in at least three of the eighteen provinces cast a negative ballot, now it is 2/3rds of registered voters which means that someone who abstains is now considered to approve of it. & since less than 60% of Iraqis voted in the January elections......

Changing the transitional laws is supposed to require the approval of 2/3rds of the National Assembly & of the Presidency Council. But because the politicians consider what they did as merely "clarification" of the laws, approval wasn't sought.

(Abutting this report in the paper was another item detailing how charges were being brought against Bush ally Tom DeLay for laundering corporate donations & using them to help fund the 2002 Republican Texas election campaign in which the Republicans took control of the Texas Legislature for the first time since the Civil War & prompty remapped the State's congressional districts to increase the number of Texas Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I have said it before

& I'll say it again, Geof Huth is for me one of the greatest & most illuminating writers about poetry, about the practice(s) of poetry, about the practitioners of poetry.

Check out his wonderful piece about his recent meeting with David-Baptiste Chirot.

From the not-Pogo Pages

Much crashing around in the undergrowth last night, so I went out with a torch & found a young possum prowling. No O in front of its name as its American cousin has. Yes, Virginia, there are marsupials in other parts of the world, & one is even named after you.

& my taxonomic skills are not great, so I couldn’t tell if it was a brushtail or long tailed, though I’d go for the latter because of (a) the length of its tail & (b) the fact that it didn’t confront me with that gargling growl that brushtails have.

Under the torchlight it quietly came down from the orange tree it was trying to climb & then sedately walked up the driveway before scuttling away as soon as it reached the corner of the house. Later repaying us for its illumination by calling in its friends & holding races up & down the corrugated iron roof for half an hour just after we’d got to sleep.

There have been possums in most of the places I’ve lived in in Australia, sometimes even living in the ceiling cavity above our heads. Let me just say that possums are noisy fuckers. Literally.

In New Zealand I didn’t see all that many of them. Here they are looked on as cute little things, almost in the koala league – though if you see the claws on them, & the way they look at your leg as a possible means of getting closer to the food you may or may not have in your hand for them, cute is not the first adjective that springs to mind. But in New Zealand they are a matter of major concern.

They were introduced there as the foundation of a potential fur industry. Escaped, of course, & took to the wild. But they’re a disease vector, a reservoir of tuberculosis, with the potential to decimate the dairy industry which is one of the main contributors to the New Zealand economy.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From Ross Priddle



(note those two Aussie icons B1 & B2, the Bananas in Pyjamas)
& Inside

The First Gathering of the Five Million Copies Project.
Many thanks, Ross. & thanks too to John M. Bennett who compiled the booklet.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Most likely you go your way (& I'll go mine)

The fact that Jonathan Mayhew has received the rather Sillimanesque total of – so far – 31 comments on his posting about being indifferent to Dylan seems to suggest to me that it’s difficult being indifferent to being indifferent about Dylan.

But I’m confused about this either / or thing that wends its way through the comments. You see, unlike most of the respondants, including JM, I like both Dylan & Coltrane. Does this mean I need to see a doctor? Or does it just mean that it takes a Bob to laugh, it takes a Trane to cry?

& just to prove

my earlier point that "What- / ever moves / is some- / one’s / meat"


A hay(na)ku with a title by Einar Beestiol


too, but
only more so.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Craig Freeman,

who used to write under the name Joseph Garver, has some new long intense poems up at his blog which is now called Twin Variations & which used to be called Being (which is how I've got it in the sidebar) & was called The Red Dragon & the Black Beast before that, & called Blue flax sucks at your heaving something-or-other before that, & before that there were two altogether separate blogs.

Two points to make. Knowing Craig's prediliction for deleting posts, & blogs, I'd suggest you visit fairly soon. &, possibly, judging by the current shape of his earlier posts, I think that there is an html closing bracket missing.

There's also, amongst the earlier posts, a selection of firearms offered as potential domestic protection instruments in response to a post by Eileen Tabios some time back when she mentioned she may have intruders. Perhaps she can make use of them now to coerce her six billion peeps into ensuring that she breaks the world record & gets included in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most blurbs ever written for one book.