Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Now out from Otoliths—The Meditations, by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa



The Meditations
Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
80 pages
Cover painting by Julia Wolfson
Otoliths 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-5-5
$12.50 + p&h
URL: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/the-meditations/7491123

Jane Joritz-Nakagawa’s Meditations beautifully combine the inward focus of reflection with the leaps and breakages of contemporary urban life — a life in which meditative stillness is elusive, if not impossible. At the meeting-point of real-world politics and poetic internality, The Meditations jump-cut between the rhetorics of capitalism and constant war (“as if the weapons were moving // entirely in the wrong direction”) and hard-won lyric flight (“horses laugh // and clouds put on their aprons”). Throughout, Joritz-Nakagawa plays with line-breaks and white space, with orthography and diacritical marks — all of which syncopate syntax and hint at the manifold meanings hidden in phonemes. Like tesserae, her words and lines create — through fragments — exquisite patterns. These are poems that “enter the language partial / and come out / whole.”
—Elisabeth A. Frost

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me three
of the four
humors. "Sorry
about the
missing one,"
he said,
phlegmatically.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The usual reminder

that submissions for issue 15 of Otoliths close in a month's time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bought the latest

Dan Brown book last week. No excuses for doing so, wasn't even trying to save a bookshop since I got it at the local outlet of a national department store chain at 50% off listprice. Oh, the power of bulk buying!

Anyway, finished reading it a couple of nights ago. Had to force myself to do so—from page 1 it was obvious that this was going to be a wanking piece of pretentious crap—but even at half-price it was the equivalent of a couple of packs of cigarets, & I'd never throw those away, or leave them unfinished. Don't mind giving up on a remaindered <$5 book that I've picked up on spec., expect to do so half the time at least, was determined to finish this. Took me a number of sittings to do so, though.

Unlike the other book I bought at the same time, Fever of the Bone, the latest Tony Hill / Carol Jordan offering from Val McDermid. Over 400 pages, but this I couldn't put down, two sittings to finish. This series has softened a bit since the first few books, & this one, in particular, has several aspects that indicate that there will be, at the most, only one more book, but it's still highly enjoyable. The profiler/ psychologist persona has now become one of the major playmakers in a lot of the best current British crime series, & is often offset against a variant of that other great prototype of British crime, Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus.

Just as I hope that there will be more Rebus, even though he's retired, I hope also there will be more from Val McDermid with these characters. If not, there's always the ongoing TV series of Wire in the Blood, which, unlike Rebus' translation to the new medium where the episodes were always based on a book, has, apart from the very early episodes, used the characters in written for TV settings although the Carol Jordan character was replaced by a new female detective when the actor who played her left the show.

Friday, September 25, 2009

in itself / of itself

he
said nothing.....
which says something

Thursday, September 24, 2009

leger demain aujourd'hui

not
smoke&mirrors
making the
unreal
real

but
smoke&dust
doing
the re-
verse

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For the climate change sceptics out there,

a day in the life of Australia....

Queensland


photographer unnamed, Springfield News

Sydney


photo: Mark Khademi, Timesonline

Broken Hill


photo: Gavin Schmidt, The Daily Telegraph

Canberra



photo : AAP, Adelaide Now

Adelaide



photographer unnamed, Adelaide Now


"Extreme conditions are causing mayhem across the country, ranging from Sydney's freakish dust storm, to bushfires in Queensland, hail storms in South Australia and the Hunter Valley, heavy rain in the Mallee and even earthquakes in Victoria.

In Queensland, hundreds of firefighters were yesterday called to battle the blazes as total fire bans rolled into place across more than half of the state.

Fire conditions have been described as "very high to severe" in a huge area stretching along the south-east coastline, through the majority of inland Queensland and as far north as Mount Isa.

At least four Sydney-bound flights have been diverted to Brisbane this morning and long delays are expected at Sydney Airport as dust clouds blanket much of NSW.

Hail stones reportedly as big as cricket balls hit the town of Crookwell near Goulburn, damaging windows and tiles but there are few reports of damage in Sydney.

Victorian residents last night told of shaking houses and loud bangs after two small earthquakes rocked Melbourne's south-east suburbs.

The magnitude 3 and 2.6 earthquakes south of Frankston were recorded within 13 seconds of each other at 6.21pm. No major damage was reported."
The Age

edifice

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(Reasonably) Recently Received

Michael Basinski, All My Eggs Are Broken, BlazeVOX [books], Buffalo NY, 2009

Skip Fox, Delta Blues, ahadada books, Burlington Canada, 2009

Scott Hamilton, To The Moon, In Seven Easy Steps, Titus Books, Waimauku N.Z., 2007

Michele Leggott, Mirabile Dictu, Auckland University Press, Auckland N.Z., 2009

John Martone, ksana, Red Moon Press, Richmond VA, 2009

Pat Nolan, Carbon Data, Last Cookie Press, Box 798, Monte Rio CA 95462, 2008

Paul Siegell, jambandbootleg, A-HEAD Publishing, Nicasio CA, 2009

Eileen R. Tabios, Nota Bene Eiswein, ahadada books, Burlington Canada, 2009

Eileen R. Tabios, Footnotes To Algebra: Uncollected Poems 1995-2009, BlazeVOX [books], Buffalo NY, 2009
My thanks to all the above authors, both for the books & the enclosed messages.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

remington randy

Friday, September 18, 2009

insert: archipelago

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tom Taylor, 1938-2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's an equinox,

but Gaia is unsure which one.

So, I spend my days raking up the leaves that have fallen from some of the trees whilst the rainbow lorikeets maniacally drain nectar from the flowers that bloom in profusion on others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

monk II

Sunday, September 13, 2009

cascading vertices

9/13

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 we 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 we’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
we’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.
9/13/01

Saturday, September 12, 2009

strike the pose

Friday, September 11, 2009

monk

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Masters

1.
Is the Master you follow Basho or Bosch?
Is your glass half empty or half full?

If it’s Basho then empty your glass
& your mind along with it. But if it’s Bosch
then you’ll probably need to augment it
with a whole lot of things. Maraschino
cherries, coloured ice cubes, maybe one
of those little umbrellas. & that’s just for
starters. There’ll be so many additions
by the time you’ve finished that a
single glass could never hold them all.

2.
I am often told that what is left out
can be just as important as what’s
included. &, moreover, I adhere to the
precept, unlike those Flemish Masters who
include so much in their paintings that it’s
impossible to tell if anything is missing.
I mean, who’d notice the absence of the
kiwi in Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights,
painted several centuries before New Zealand
was discovered by Europeans, if it
wasn’t there? & who but a New Zealander
would notice the damn thing anyway
in that mosaic of activity? But Hieronymous
manages to give it the right balance, the right
to be there, even though it took a couple
of hundred years for that imagining to be
realised, & meant ignoring his patron
pleading from the studio door for
more naked lovers, fewer flightless birds.

swordy Arabia

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The hunting of the snark thylacine


Thylacine, 1845–63
John Gould and HC Richter


Sheep farmers used the thylacine to pressurise the Hobart government into compensating them for losses. In 1888, a bill was passed offering a £1-per-head bounty on thylacines, an enormous amount in those days, and one that encouraged even more trappers to hunt the animal in its own habitat far from farms, just to get the money The impact of this bill, which was not rescinded until 1909, was immediate and devastating. During the period of its imposition over 2,000 animals were killed and, at the peak of the hunting, the government paid a bounty on a 'tiger' every two days. But in the last days, one bounty every year was nearer the mark, so rare had the animal become. It is unlikely that it ever existed in vast numbers, and certainly never to such an extent as to pose an actual threat to sheep farmers' livelihoods. That thylacines were accused of hunting in packs and killing up to a hundred sheep in a night just for sport.







rapid decline

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Those who love to talk
will have to eat their

own words. Some will
eat themselves to death.

Anonymous. c.650 CE
included in: Rivalling The Six Dynasties: Poems from the Eastern Turkish Khaganate selected & translated by Umberto Allegrezza;
The Uzbekistan Historical Society; Bukhara, 2000.

Jaggernaut

Monday, September 07, 2009

Breton sigh

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

In the southern Afghan district of Shorabak, the tribesmen gathered shortly before last month’s presidential election to discuss which candidate they would back. After a debate they chose to endorse Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai’s leading opponent.

The tribal leaders prepared to deliver a landslide for Abdullah – but it never happened. They claim Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s brother and leader of the Kandahar provincial council, detained the local governor and closed all the district’s 46 polling sites on election day.

The ballot boxes were taken back to the district headquarters where, tribal leaders allege, they were stuffed with ballots by local policemen. A total of 23,900 ballots were finally sent off to Kabul, the capital – every one of them a vote for Karzai.    more
Jerome Starkey and Jon Swain, Times Online

licorice

Saturday, September 05, 2009

de-tail

Friday, September 04, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me a postcard
from André
Breton who
writes that he
is alive &
well, & co-
habiting with
an abandoned
kaleidoscope
off the coast
of Costa Rica.

which prompted

Today the
postman brought
me a postcard
from André
Breton who
writes that he
has changed
his family name
to Rieu, & is
making a motza
taking the mickey
out of the
musical world.