Monday, January 24, 2022

to your scattered bodies go

This place is a rip off, a real
live example of campaign 
momentum in action, on the
downward slide. A year ago 
it might have been a ukelele
serenade, encouraging women 
to talk to their doctors for free
about the ineffectiveness of 

retention programs or fad diets 
or maybe something about Jam-
iroquai. Now the promises have 
no value, imagined or other-
wise. The candidate is bundled
up, the gifts have stopped giving.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

100 Titles from Tom Beckett: #85

Scanning Barcodes

starts a new life of piety & righteousness

can put a child in serious danger of injury or unnecessary medical care

sometimes makes an individual decide to perpetrate a sexual crime on another person

makes some people say they feel exhausted & sad after doing it

makes other people turn to pornography to self soothe their anxiety or depression

is generally associated in the Western world with Right-wing populism

can cause your body to release a number of hormones

may cause inflammation of the pancreas

is a pejorative label used to discriminate against "new religious movements"

helps dogs to develop patience

causes your tyres to wear down more quickly

kills more than 480,000 people in the U.S. each year

will not lead to blindness

Saturday, January 22, 2022

to get a prosion

dans les termes de la
Loy de J^^1'** Nature 3 
ou qui les ayant violez

described the reduction 
in cor- Te distribution of the
slurry during aprosion

solutiopes cold sores,     you 
are on the righlast thing you
want is a decent steering lock

Friday, January 21, 2022

Notes for Clara

Two places of significance bracketed my teenage years, & both involved bus stops. When I started high school, the morning trip there was by school bus, a more or less direct trip. In the afternoon, though, it was make your own way home; & the terminus for the only bus route available for schoolchildren just happened to be outside a electrical & record shop, whose main salesman just happened to be a jazz enthusiast. Thus bebop replaced — though not entirely — the Bach of my parents as my prime musical interest.

In my later teenage years, the bus routes became less restrictive, & I was able to catch one that dropped me off ten meters, rather than the previous ten minutes, from my home. The terminus for that bus, which I would also use at the beginning of my university days, was across the road from what I consider to be the greatest secondhand bookshop I've ever come across. From there, over the next several years, I bought much of the foundation of what would be my first library.

Brief CliffNotes from the intervening time, in no particular order. My parents were readers, which meant books all through the house. My mother wrote poems. My brother read science fiction & left his library at home when he moved away. I heard the great cellist Mistislav Rostropovich rehearsing in the school hall one afternoon & that prompted me to learn to play bass. I discovered a record called Jazz Canto, poetry & jazz, with poems by William Carlos Williams, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Philip Whalen, Walt Whitman, et al. I played jazz. I went to the local film society & saw movies by Luis Buñuel, Cocteau, & others. A drummer who I didn't think had read a book in his life introduced me to Kerouac's On the Road. My first piece of creative writing was called "The Pied Bopper of Harlem," about a Charlie Parker-like character who came along & blew everyone away. All of which — along with a variety other things — was preparation for what lay ahead.

My first visits to the secondhand bookshop resulted in my taking home quite a few books, but they were also sounding out times, in both directions. I finding out what was available there, the bookseller finding out where my tastes lay.

I came in one day & the bookseller said he had just got in some things that might interest me. He went out the back of the shop & returned with what turned out to be someone's collection of surrealist writings. There was the complete set of Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution, six issues published between 1930 & 1933, that contained writing by Breton, Éluard, Tzara, Dalí, Duchamp, Buñuel, & others. There were collections of Éluard, Breton, & Robert Desnos; an issue of a journal edited by E. L. T. Mesens that contained work by Magritte & Ernst alongside that of Breton, Éluard, & Tzara. Various other bits & pieces.

English translations were rather scarce at that time so I started slowly working my way through what I purchased from the bookshop. Some of what I had translated on the run, as it were, I polished & subsequently had translations of poems by Éluard & Apollinaire & Desnos published. I started writing poems in French. I worked my way through what novels fitted in to the canon — Breton's Nadja, Hebdomeros by de Chirico, the earlier Les Chants de Maldoror of Isidore Ducasse. The paintings of Ernst, Magritte, Dali, & de Chirico I already knew: they were joined by others — Hans Arp, Paul Delvaux, Joan Miró, Duchamp, Méret Oppenheim. Add to that the photographs of Man Ray.

The poets that moved me most at first were Éluard, Tzara, & Desnos. Add to them the predecessors such as Apollinaire, & the contemporaries & successors that their work lead me to — Arp, Jacques Prévert, Paul Celan, Octavio Paz.

Surrealism, therefore, was one of the great early —perhaps, first —influences on my work. The double-Ws were another, Walt Whitman & William Carlos Williams.

Several years later would come Donald M. Allen's great anthology, The New American Poetry, in which many of the poets included displayed similar influences to mine, but within a new paradigmatic landscape; but before that it was the combination of the surrealists' visions, & the colloquialisms of Whitman & Williams, that would lead to my writing, at age 17,

I sit on the parched front porch;
around me the house is falling down,
soon my rocking chair may fall through the verandah.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Today the post-
woman brought
me a large Bo 
tree. I have re-

planted it in
the overgrown
back garden be-
tween the lychee 

& the macadamia. 
Next week we 
are going for a 
holiday, & there 

will be no-one 
here to hear it 
if it falls. Will

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

wednesday newstrip

Asteroid with more force than biggest nuclear bomb to come close to Earth in 2029 · Red Dead Online players are frustrated after months without a major update · dolphins have a fully functional clitoris, study finds · Brutish Pram Minister Porous Sandstone 'hosted 40-person garden party' in Downing Street at height of UK lockdown · model Yael Cohen Aris claims company ripped off her likeness to make sex doll without consent · Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling lawsuit dismissed because plaintiff never opened game · Microsoft Office now has a "wokeness" editor that will flag your writing if it contains insensitive phrases · new study of Mars meteorite found in 1984 debunks proof of ancient Martian life on the planet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

wednesday newstrip

Rare joint statement from Russia, China, Britain, US, & France says 'nuclear war cannot be won' · as Afghanistan spirals into a vortex of poverty, parents are desperate enough to sell their own children · mysterious footprints suggest Neanderthals climbed a volcano right after it erupted · TikTok's highest-earning stars Charli & Dixie D'Amelio raked in $38 million in 2021 · snowstorm kills at least 21 tourists at Pakistani resort · at least seven dead after boulder crashes on tourist boats in Brazil · the latest handbag accessory? The rise of carbon dioxide monitors · 'the epitome of dignity & grace:' Barack Obama leads tributes for Sidney Poitier.

Friday, January 07, 2022

recently, at Series Magritte

La Fleche de Zenon

At this point in time the rock is not falling or hovering or travel- ing in a straight line between two points. At this point in time the waves are not crashing on the shore, the clouds are still, & the moon has stopped orbiting the Earth. At any point in time, says Zeno, an arrow is not moving to where it is going or where it is not. No time elapses; so how can it move? It is already here, so how can it move here? At this point in time I am watching the movement of a painting that does not move & yet it moves this viewer even though, at this point in time, the viewer is motionless.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

wednesday newstrip

Sydney pathology service incorrectly tells 400 positive COVID-19 cases they are negative · Genshin Impact releases 3 new redeem codes for free Primogems in V2.4 special program · inactivated SARS-CoV-2 induces acute respiratory distress syndrome in human ACE2-transgenic mice · they're back: asteroid three times the size of Statue of Liberty to skim past Earth · COLORFUL intros Warhalberd CN600 NVMe M.2 Gen 3 SSDs, 256GB for $39 · green single step manufacture of Mn nanoparticles for nanofertlizer use · Tesla recalls more than 475,000 cars because of rear-view camera, bonnet issues · Golden Girls star, 'national treasure' Betty White dies just short of her 100th birthday.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

wednesday newstrip

Mum stomps on elderly woman’s head, king hits man in brutal attack · floral tributes grow at scene after six children killed in Tasmania jumping castle tragedy identified · Tencent buys Back 4 Blood & Left 4 Dead studio Turtle Rock · necklaces conspiracy theorists wear to 'protect' themselves from 5G are actually radioactive, nuclear experts warn · Ant-man's new ride? Scientists discover 1,306-legged insect · five Ice-Age mammoths unearthed in Cotswolds after 220,000 years · Police investigate $1 million silver bullion theft from truck · biologists describe structure & function of heme transport & assembly machine · Travis Barker & Kourtney Kardashian’s latest TMI Instagram display · northbound traffic is heavy on the Sydney Harbor Bridge after a van lost a load of salmon · women & children among dozens reported killed by government troops in Myanmar Christmas Eve massacre.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Today the post-
woman brought

me a surface to 
air missile with 

black currant & 
sweet red capsicum 

on the nose &
underlying subtle 

smoky hints of 
oak & gooseberry.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Meanwhile, in the Cotswolds

Homeowners are turning to burning corn in special stoves. Activists want pet chimp declared a 'person'. Live like you want to live, Baby.


The Japanese do not believe that shopping cures all ills. That's why God has given the human race mystics, Sufis, & Zen masters. We are all starving now.


The show visits all the fabulous places where Victorians liked to spend their libertines & leisure. There was a bitter irony in her emigration to England.


In proportion to the number of people affected, the extortion is asymptotically sharp & able to be untied very quickly. Regular tune-ups of your heating system will cut healing costs.


The bad news is this formula is based on the premise of a small man. The good news is the items above are all currently in your shopping cart. Are You My Mother?

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Today's list

(aka The contents of my shoulder bag in the time of Covid)

two apples  (5.)
note book  (3.)
rubber gloves  (5.)
three ballpoint pens  (3.)
Covid mask, not worn but unfurled, ready  (8.)
a rolled up reusable shopping bag  (5.)
glasses case (empty)  (1.) 
a second mask  (8.)
elastic knee brace  (6.)
two handkerchiefs  (2.)
pocket-size tissues  (2.)
J. G. Ballard's The Day of Creation  (7.)
packet of antibacterial wipes  (8.)
ticket to double header rugby tests, played three months ago  (4.)
a third mask, this one N95 standard  (8.)  
sheet of Panadol Osteo  (6.)
a second shopping bag  (1.)
vaccination certificate showing double shots plus booster  (8.)
ticket to a guided tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens over two years ago (4.)
instant hand sanitizer  (8.)
eye drops  (5.)

deductions from the above

(1.) I'm a jackdaw
(2.) I always have to have something to blow my nose on
(3.) It's important to be able to jot down thoughts when they arrive
(4.) I quite often retain mementoes of experiences I found special
(5.) Just in case
(6.) My knees are fucked 
(7.) It helps to keep a book by a genius writer with you 
(8.) Covid's not going away

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

wednesday newstrip

Scientists manage to keep droplets of water in liquid form at -47.2°F · Jesy Nelson is getting roasted like a Christmas turkey for this PR nightmare of a Xmas Show · cellular properties of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD in virus-infected African green monkey kidney epithelial cells · Agent of Chaos North West is probs in big trouble after going on TikTok live in Kim K’s room · Kentucky candle factory bosses threatened to fire those who fled tornado, say workers · SK hynix becomes the first to achieve 24GB DDR5 DRAM chip density, has begun shipping samples to customers · … the Australian way —a country run by mates, & mates of mates, where the foundational doctrine of the current Federal government is "we look after our mates." Particularly when they’re Rupert Murdoch’s mates · a flock of chickens joined Santa Claus & a woman from bed during an outrageous court hearing for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Mr. Andrews had been summoned to appear before the criminal court on a charge of concealing treason & fraud. The court later confirmed the proceeding against Mr. Andrews had been struck out, but could not provide an explanation as to why.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

wednesday newstrip

New robust tool for faster, economical, easier coral reef monitoring · Pete Davidson & Machine Gun Kelly drive fans wild as they strip down to Calvin Klein underwear during Instagram takeover · Scuf’s Reflex for PS5 is a pricier, customizable take on the DualSense · UK prioritised animals over people during Kabul airlift, says whistleblower · teen arrested in western India for beheading pregnant sister as mother allegedly held victim's legs · China’s Yutu II spots ‘mystery hut’ on far side of the moon · New Zealand's Smokefree legislation to ban people born after 2010 from ever buying tobacco · Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologizes for clubbing despite COVID warning, after gossip magazine publishes photos of her on the dancefloor.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Today the post-
woman brought
me the Noble
Piece prize plus

a bagful of
requests from
the many

penis enlargement
companies I've
dealt with
over the years.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

wednesday newstrip

US military plans for greater presence in Australia as it confronts China's power · emissions rise 2% in Australia amid increased pollution from electricity & transport · a republic is born: Prince Charles, Rihanna watch as Barbados ditches the Queen · legendary New Zealand giant eagle was a killer that ate like a vulture · North Korea is banning leather trench coats to stop citizens from being able to copy Kim Jong Un's style · 3.7-million-year-old fossil footprints were made by mystery species of hominin, not a bear · KFC fans lose it over next-level menu item · champagne shortage hits Australia · Niantic unlocks the frame rate in Pokemon Go on iOS.