Saturday, February 25, 2006

This has
nothing to
do with

Ah, Ernesto

Ernesti, tuo Marco,
malest, me hercule

laboriose, et
magis magis in

et horas.
For how can

one let
the only Latin


pass unremarked?
Magis, Magus. (a)More.


has been picked up by Geoffrey Gatza's BlazeVOX books & is now available as a pdf file (with a much more modern cover than it used to have) here. For those of you who like the feel of a book, it is, unfortunately, no longer available as a POD.

Oban 06

A goodly number of you took part in last year's New Zealand electronic poetry centre built live on-line anthology Fugacity 05.

This year they're doing it again with Oban 06. & it's your chance to become part of history. Because unless there's ever a poetry festival in Tierra del Fuego or Antarctica, this is the furthest south anybody's ever going to be published from.

The details:

is the title of nzepc’s online poetry anthology, building 21-23 April 2006 as part of the BLUFF 06 poetry symposium in Southland. Bluff’s famous Oyster Festival happens over the same weekend.

Bring a poem on a disk to any of the symposium events OR email your contribution to between 21-23 April.

We aim to build a local and international poetry anthology over three days, launching Sunday 23 April in Oban on Rakiura (Stewart Island). We welcome your poem. We’d like it to engage with time and place, transience and duration, memory and forgetting, coming and going, poetry and oysters – any or all of the above.

If you could see this jet
fire-seeded sky,
chill here with me
on a plastic chair
on the veranda, we'd hear Bluff hum
while lines of sodium and magnesium
bridge and wharf lights
bleed to black,
as on other nights, other verandas,
another port - a kauri pew,
wings on the sill of an inside-out
lit window,
scrying the dark
insistent stars, fireflies -
we have talked of poetry.

      : Cilla McQueen. ‘Antiphony (Letter to Peter Olds)’

Anthology compilers: Brian Flaherty, David Howard, Michele Leggott, Cilla McQueen and nzepc team

Submission guidelines
• work should be your original composition
• if it has been published elsewhere, please include acknowledgement and publication details
• the compilers reserve the right to copy-edit contributions before uploading
• copyright for individual contributions to the anthology remains with the author

Thursday, February 23, 2006

contradiction hay(na)ku

on something
that doesn't work

The evil eye

One of the joys of what I shall euphemistically describe as reaching a certain age is having a doctor tell you that what's occurred is because you're old.

I have what he told me is a conjunctival haemorrhage. In other words, I'm safe if, in the next few days, I get into a situation where my opponents have been told not to fire until you see the whites of my eyes. My left eye has next to no white in it, is red, from a burst blood vessel.

& the reason for it? No specific reason, just age, old age - amended to as you grow older after I cast a one-eyed sideswiping glance at the doctor. Just happens, nothing you can take for it, do to it, doesn't affect your vision. Only wait till it goes away, a series of colour transformations, red through to yellow, just like a bruise.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Today the
postman brought
me an
invitation from
to attend the
Inquisition. Specified
dress. Either
full Inquistorial regalia &
bring a bag or
sackcloth & ashes
& come as you
are. That's the trouble
since Dubya assumed
the Papacy. No
middle of the road
to walk down

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Last swill & intestatement

I, Mark Young,
being of sound
mind & body, do
hereby bequeath
the letters of
my name to
anyone who can
make more out
of them than
Guk Mornay.


A consonant avowal

Probably prompted by the post below, I have been thinking about vowels & consonants. Strikes me their existence is some kind of linguistic freemasonry, little information on why they are, what they're on about.

What they are we know, strictly defined though sometimes changed. When does y become a vowel?

A vowel, the OED tells me, is one of the more open sounds uttered in speaking, a sound capable of forming a syllable. The same source tells me a consonant is an alphabetical element other than a vowel, a sound that in forming a syllable is combined with a vowel.

Consonant comes from the Latin consonantem litteram, which derives from consonantia from whence comes consonance, the sounding of two notes in harmony.

Vowel ultimately derives from vocalis littera, a vocal letter, via the Old French word vouel, a word that is full of vowels. I discover that a vowel mutation is an umlaut, which makes sense when you consider how the diacritic changes the pronunciation of the o in Gödel. But I also know that sign as a dierisis, something that is not a diacritic but a separator, indicating that two vowels together should be pronounced separately, as in coöperate.

I also discover a new word, ablaut, a vowel gradation that arises out of differences in accent & stress, as in drive, drove, driven.

No doubt I could learn more if I Googled the terms, but I get distracted by the thought that if I inserted a dierisis that term would then become Goögle = go ogle, which is essentially what googling is all about.

So I go no further in my quest, remain no wiser.

I am a man of consonant sorrow.

A word for Tom


Galatea's erection

is actually Eileen Tabios' new review blogzine Galatea Resurrects (a poetry review), but since it's up for the first time, I pay homage to its initial erection.

Lotsa reviews. Lotsa & lotsa reviews. To quote THE EDITOR
This issue inaugurates itself with 25 new reviews of 27 poetry publications and a poetry video, e-reprints of ten reviews previously published in print publications, and a section of three featured poets partly chosen by two guest editors. The gratifying response suggests this venture is a good idea, notwithstanding its sloppy birth during one of my bouts of insomnia -- or a better idea than I even anticipated.

Well then: Let's see! And party!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Harry Potter & the half-arsed Politician

"His only function is to let you know
what Harry Potter's going to look like
when he's old."

Billy Connolly on Australia's Prime Minister John Howard

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Virtual reality

I have been reading of late, not writing. Sure I've taken the occasional trip out into the barnyard, stirred the dust, made a few chicken scratches that the wind blurs immediately. But mainly reading.

Behind it all, I have also been thinking about a selected from 50 years of poetry. Not that far away now. Just over three years. It's a conceptual thing, not thought of often but kept on a shelf above my head, brought down, dusted off, brooded over when I doubt my worth. A postscript to a twenty volume suicide note perhaps. Should I last that long.

Perhaps that's why I've been reading. Anything to take my mind away. Age creeps up, the brain atrophies. Dessicates. Add water. But there has been little rain of late.

I have been reading Ian Rankin, the Inspector Rebus books. I'm not a great fan of English crime fiction, too many manors, too many Miss Marples most of the time. Much prefer U.S. or European. English crime fiction, for me, died after Sherlock Holmes had been resurrected & done his golden oldies tour. The only exception I'll make is for the Val McDermid novels which feature Tony Hill & Carol Jordan. Flawed characters. Like Rebus.

But Rebus, like Rankin himself, is Scottish which means I don't have to change my earlier-stated attitude. & the novels are set in a city, barely an oak-lined avenue in sight. I'd seen a couple of TV adaptions, but been slightly turned off them because the actor who played Rebus, John Hannah, had also played the lead in another series, McCallum. I'd enjoyed that short series – another flawed character - but because the transposition of a strong actor across roles tends to bring too many overtones of the earlier character, I kept getting the two confused.

So I hadn't got around to reading any of the books. Yes, it's preconception, prejudice, procrastination, exactly the same reasons why I've never bought, borrowed or stolen a book by Zukofsky. Still haven't with the latter, but I saw Rankin's latest novel, Fleshmarket Close, on sale, was running out of things to read, thought if I like this that means there are another fifteen novels and two collections of short stories by him which would fill some space up, bought it, liked it, went back and started reading the whole lot chronologically.

I'm currently up to number fourteen, Resurrection Men, the title a play on the name by which Burke & Hare – aka The Bodysnatchers – were known (though Burke & Hare are found as background to the novel before). Some of the books are great, some are flawed like Rebus. But I find flawed a major attribute of any character, real or imagined, that I like. The books are immensely enjoyable, & reading them this way is like reading one enormous novel. Rankin has created a credible landscape, probably more real than imagined, by insinuation, by wrapping it around his characters, &, as you grow to know them, you get to know more about the place itself.

I think this aspect of U.S. crime fiction is why I like it so much. From Chandler & Hammett on, place has always been as critical to the construction as the characters. & for someone like myself, who tends to feel out of place much of the time, having a place to slot in to, even if only temporarily, even if just as an onlooker, a pedestrian on the sidewalk, is something I value immensely.
He stumbled
in the face
of such
fierce repartee.

Friday, February 17, 2006

from: Parachutes, My Love, Could Carry Us Higher

There is coral below the surface,
There is sand, and berries
Like pomegranates grow.
This wide net, I am treading water
Near it, bubbles are rising and salt
Drying on my lashes, yet I am no nearer
Air than water, I am closer to you
Than land and I am in a stranger ocean
Than I wished.

Barbara Guest (1920 - 2006)
hot in
the early afternoon.
getting cooler
in the mornings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What $100 Million buys you these days

or: Poetry? I thought you were giving it for poverty.

or: I'll do you an obscenity for $1 if that's what you're after, & throw in a blowjob for free.

Twenty-three Ways to Say I Love You
Valentine's Day poems from the archive.

Almost Brand New
Publishers select their favorite love poems from recent books.

Ted Kooser Sends His Love
Selections from the Poet Laureate's annual Valentine's Day postcard poems.

Forgotten Love
Discover why Tagore is one of the most beloved poets in Asia.
(from Poetry Magazine)

Hearing Voices at the Met
Fra Angelico and the dramatic monologues of Browning. By W.S. Di Piero.

Two Drama Kings Take on a Master
Paul Giamatti and Alfred Molina Read "Fra Lippo Lippi" and "My Last Duchess."

Reading Guide: Robert Browning
In the realm of the world-class talkers.

The Diction of Dance
Applying poetics to dance: a review of the most recent New York dance season.

To Infuse (As Life) By Breathing
Facing a grim diagnosis, a man has a charmed collision with a poem. A story by Elaine Segal.

Would She Have Been a Blogger?
A letter from the editor about this new site and the founder of Poetry.

Check out

the latest issue of MiPOesias & The not-so-Violent Femmes.

A couple of days ago

I was wishing I could be in Finland with my friends. Now it seems, according to this link that Marko Niemi has sent me, it mightn't be that difficult to get there.

But a couple of apologies. To my friends in the Americas, I'm sorry I didn't drop in & say hello when I was in the neighbourhood. & to Lars Palm in the Canary Islands, oops, sorry. You're either underneath my landmass, or that's me sitting across the table from you in the outdoor café on the beach & I haven't introduced myself.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

There should be

some sort of moratorium put in place by Blogger that prohibits, for a number of months anyway, the acquisition of names of blogs that have been terminated by their owners.

I am overwhelmed by grief. For the past few days I have been greeted by the dreaded blog not found when I've tried to visit Kirsten Kaschock's Negative Wingspan. Now there's a blog back there, but……

The name is no longer in caps but in lower case, & napisan would be a better name for it based on the only post. It is possible that it's all a huge joke, & the links would seem to give that a whiff of creedence. But it's not clear(water), & it's not a revival, & it's a sad suicide note, if that's what it is.

So, I'll leave the link in the sidebar for a couple of days, & if the diapers haven't been changed by then…..

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Couldn't resist

this word verification.

Can't decide whether it's to do with Dr e-Jeku & Mr e-Hyde, or the beginning of the climax of one of Tom Beckett's "deleted sex scene hay(na)ku competition" entries.


once again by birds, I realise I haven't written about them for some time. They are still there, the multitude, the changing varieties.

I give them names, especially the ones that wake me. The whirlpool bird, so-called because its song spirals downwards as it dies away; the shriekers, the crows & white cockatoos, raucous, demanding – I would throw rocks at their noise though not at the bird, though perhaps the crows…..; the bebop bird.

Their prevalence or their singularity changes. I haven't seen a pheasant coucal this year, nor have I heard the owls at night, boobooking, mopoking away. There are more pelicans in the local lagoon which still has water unlike some others around. Rainbow lorrikeets are everywhere, either performing their acrobatics in the trees, orange breasts in the green, as they eat the flowers, or getting drunk on fermented fallen mangoes. I have seen a white-browed woodswallow for the first time, or maybe it's always been here & I've only just come to recognise it. But the small birds are not around.

A pair of kingfishers prowls the pool fence, flying away when I come out. A kookaburra remains on the clothesline, head cocked, watching the ground, watching me as I hang out the clothes a metre away.

The seasons change, but we give them their European names & overlook the subtleties. The earth changes & I do not recognise it. Obviously the birds are aware of both, & their comings & goings reflect it. They have an innate knowledge where I only have a potpourri of impressions. They live, not by rules as we do, but by symbiosis, living with, not on, not off, the land.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I always say

I won't respond to tags. But every so often I get tagged by someone I like, & my resolutions go out the window.

This time the evildoer was Rochita the Raindancer who also tagged Eileen Tabios, & since Eileen - bitch - has decided to respond, now I feel obliged to as well, though my answers will be nowhere near as interesting as either Eileen's or Rochita's.

Three books I can read over & over

I've read a lot of books over & over over the years. Singling any out - if that's the correct term when you're dealing with more than one - is hard, but I'd probably go for:
1) The New American Poetry edited by Donald M. Allen.
2) The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett
=3) the Collected Poems I, 1909-1939, of William Carlos Williams
& Driftglass by Samuel R. Delany
Three Places I've lived
1) Hokitika (the first place I ever lived)
2) Sydney (where I lived the longest, & will probably go back to)
3) Rockhampton (where I'm living now)
Three TV shows I love

Owned up to these before.
1)The West Wing
=2) South Park, & Doctor Who
3) Buffy
Though, showing my age, I would have to say that my alltime favourites would be two documentary series, Kenneth Clark's Civilisation & Jakob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man, both of which also fall into the books over & over category.

Three highly regarded & recommended TV shows I've never watched a minute of
You did say 300? Oh, only three. OK. 1) Survivor
2) Friends
3) The O.C. Can I keep on going?
Three places I've vacationed
What's a vacation?
Three of my favourite dishes
1) Fish & chips in certain places at certain times
2) My three cheese / bacon / potato / egg / pecan / carrot / tomato / sun-dried tomato / sultana (or golden raisins as Tom Beckett told me they were called in the US) & lettuce salad
3) Lamb Rogan Josh (because I cooked it tonight, & there's enough left over for tomorrow)
Three sites I visit daily
You know who you are.
Three places I'd rather be right now
1)Finland (with my friends)
2) California (with my friends)
3) Anywhere but here

Monday, February 06, 2006

for tZOM BIEckett

o.k. so
christ rose again
from th’ dead
& it’s
supposed to be
his birthday
which this year
just happened
to fall
on th’ nameday
of baron samedi
so maybe
it is a

& even tho
you do
th’ voodoo
that you do
so well

i worry about
someone who
comes up
outta th’
ground @
xmas &
th’ holiday
with such
th’ living

(Posted to As/Is a year or so ago, as a response to the first of what have now become Tom Beckett's Little Book of Zombie Poems. I liked the poems then, still do, but I still worry about the writer…….)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

wise it
would be prose.

For the past

twenty or so months, the ABC, the Australian public broadcaster - public in so far as the conservative government, that continues to tighten the purse strings because it thinks the ABC has a leftwing bias, will let it be - has been replaying episodes of Doctor Who, starting with ones made in 1963 & continuing through to 1989 ones. Four evenings a week, then five, then two episodes a night. Fucked up dinner preparations, but I watched them all.

Seven different leading actors across the years - regeneration in a new body was the cause of the transitions - from grandfather characters through to nerds. My favourite was Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, though it helped that this was the time when the best scripts were coming through. I might be wrong about this, but I think it was about this time that Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was, first, writing scripts, then acting as script editor.

Dr Who was amateurly done, though it improved with age (& technology), but one of the joys from this point in time is picking out just who ripped it off over the years. Star Trek definitely, Star Wars just a little & a mutual ripping off.

After 1989 it went across to radio with the same voices. I think the comic books & the paperbacks continue to come out. & a couple of years ago back to TV, different Doctors, a new one in each of the three new series, although so far in Australia we've only seen the first.

Now the replays have ended. My evenings won't be the same, though the dinners may get more attention in their making.

re the post below

I sent myself an email, asking to be let in, & it seems to have worked. But keep that paranoia chilled, Jim.

One / step away / from total paranoia

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Just a reminder

of the "deleted sex scene hay(na)ku" competition that Tom Beckett has running
the screaming
stopped & an

emerged from
the bedroom. Then

hammering started.
I looked in,

him re-
building the bed.

eyebrows quizzed
him. Noisy bloody

phants, he
said. Takes half

joy out
of bestiality worrying

the neigh-
bours might think.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Seems like

not only
is dangerously
spreading in Mexico!
as Ernesto Priego points/posts out but it is coming dangerously close to being the official verse form of Finland.

Joining Karri Kokko, Marko Niemi (here & here), & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen (co-publisher & visual interpreter of The First Hay(na)ku Anthology), is a new Finnish blogger, Lassi Miinalainen, who in his very first entry at his blog Jälkikäteen posts three poems, including a hay(na)ku.

So, as the form spreads to cold & hot climes, & everywhere in between
us here
give praise to

Eileen Tabios, the
inventor of
who, despite her recent protestations to the contrary, will always be considered so.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just out,

the latest issue of what I consider to be THE heavyweight of all e-zines, Michael Rothenberg's Big Bridge.

The only thing

I have brought out from a day of busyness, some of it crazy, some of it productive, some of it completing things only to discover that I have to do them again because some bastard changed the parameters without telling any one, is that the action, the burning of the French warship L'Orient at the Battle of the Nile, that produced the painting below

was also the inspiration for the much-bawdlerized poem Casabianca, in which
The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;