Monday, December 31, 2007

The Discrete Charm of the Brandenbourgeoisie

The post/poem below sent me off looking at music videos, a stochastic journey, as such things inevitably turn out to be, starting with Ferry/Roxy Music & pinballing off to Hendrix, The Mammas & Papas, John Sebastian, John Sebastian Bach, The Band, Dylan, Brecht, Bobby Darin, Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel, Sylvie Vartin, Nina Simone.

Somewhere between the avuncular Trenet’s La Mer & Brel’s hyper-emotive Ne me quitte pas, I decided to pre-empt the two-faced Janus & end, rather than begin, the year with something that I have enjoyed in the past & will undoubtedly continue to enjoy in the future. A quick round-up of the usual suspects, a selection made. & so, below, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major played by the Orchestra Mozart conducted by Claudio Abbado.

Lots of strings attached — three violins, three violas, three cellos, a contrabass &, as Denise Levertov wrote, “don’t forget the crablike / hands, slithering / among the keys.”
Its complex and pessimistic theme of a spiritually-failed man is told from several, unreliable perspectives and points-of-view (also metaphorically communicated by the jigsaw puzzle) by several different characters (the associates and friends of the deceased) - providing a sometimes contradictory, non-sequential, and enigmatic portrait. The film tells the thought-provoking, tragic epic story of a 'rags-to-riches' child who inherited a fortune, was taken away from his humble surroundings and his father and mother, was raised by a banker, and became a fabulously wealthy, arrogant, and energetic newspaperman.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Every couple of years

the photo below seems to make its way onto somebody's blog or site, most recently Jordan Stempleman's Growing Nation.

So I've added a poster below for the 1969 reading for which the mugshots were taken

& pulled out from the dreaming pelican some poems posted when noting the last time the photo surfaced.

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)
only cause
he thought worth

dying for was
to grow


Friday, December 28, 2007

Meanwhile, in Swastika, Ontario

The examination of
light to find aspects
of religiously-valued
experience as some
libidinal cathexis
of the self is closely
tied to narcissism;
but as a conceptual
rubric, emotional
regulation inexorably
erodes old norms. The
eloquent drama of the
romantic movement
becomes less salient.
Each day is now an
exercise in controlled
chaos & its viscissitudes.
Society tends to idealize
farm life, focusing on
genetic diversity, fleeces,
structural correctness, as
well as breeding. The
development of
better animal models is
all the rage these days.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Intermittent rain, continuous low gray cloud. Unseasonably cool, hovering around 25° C compared with the 35°+ temperature it normally is at this time of the year. There’s a cyclone building out in the Coral Sea just north-east of where we are, still forming, unknown when it will cross the coast if indeed it does. Some time next week most likely. Seven metre waves predicted, very strong winds—already intimations of the buildup. We’re some forty kilometres inland, separated from the sea by hills, so should be safe—it’s the wind coming from the inland that does the damage here.

The rain brings the frogs out. They croak in the drains. Basso profundo, echo chamber. “Well since my baby left me / I’ve found a new place to dwell...” Elvis in the bulrushes.

I go outside. A little green frog, the size of my thumbnail, bounces away from me.

Basho profundo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me the generic
Prozac I’d
ordered from
an online Canadian
company. Not
worth the wait. Some
time back turned my-
self inside out to
hide the blemishes &
make in(tro)spection
easy; & these
pills don’t work
when it’s surface
tension that needs
to be treated.

Outside / & bare / yr butts. NOW.

AS astronomers scan the universe for signs of intelligent life, a group of researchers predicts other beings just might be looking at us.

A scientific paper published in this week's online edition of Astrophysical Journal suggests alien astronomers armed with a large space telescope could detect our planet and possibly determine the presence of life.

A new print journal starting up

Michael Steven, a New Zealand poet & publisher & a contributor to Otoliths, is starting up a new print journal & would welcome contributions. Details are:

a journal of new initiatives

editor: Michael Steven
We are interested in receiving poetry,
short fiction, black & white vispo,
essays & poetic theory.

Submissions for issue one
close February 25th, 2008.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Are we talking about the same thing here?

"If enough generations go by, and if the gene pool is rich enough, we should eventually start to see interesting poems emerge..."

"Hello... Look at this small little poem. My fren wrote it. He was one of the guy from my class but i dun really know him. My fren pass to me this piece of paper. As I read through it I find it... Interesting..."


I look for Hiroshige at the boat harbor.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Condensation on the windows & glass door. Hot & steamy outside, air conditioners on in. Temperature differential. What I grew up with, but not what I grew up with. Then, the fire alight, the cold outside. Sometimes just the breathing.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I am re-retiring

in a couple of days. What was supposed to be a few weeks of social interaction some twenty-five months ago ended up being much more than that. Apparently I still had my old management skills intact, & so that contract was supplemented by another one, & then another one &&&...

But I’ve decided no more. My writing has suffered though part of the irritation of that has been soothed by my new-found editorial & publishing pursuits which the regular income has helped subsidize. & even if I hadn’t been going to work, there is no guarantee that I would have been writing at the level & extent I would like to have been. All I know is that previously I had more opportunity to write, but it took quite some time before I got into a zone where I actually was productive. Occasionally I look through the archives of pelican dreaming & wonder if my time will come again or have I blown those last few years of a still reasonably active & agile mind.

So what is before me is hopefully an amalgam. I hope the writing will take off again; the editing & publishing will continue with the only change being – unless I win the lottery – that there will be no more contributors’ copies of Otoliths after issue eight. I’ll still bring it out in print, but I won’t be able to afford the $1000+ it costs for complimentary copies each issue.

But now I have free time. Look out for me in your neighborhood! Wherever you are.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

He apologized, &
then apologized again
for having felt the
need to make
apologies. Seems
like everything he
does these days
is qualified.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The Second XV Interviews now out.

Just Out from Otoliths

E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The Second XV Interviews
Curated by Tom Beckett

328 pages
$19.95 + p&h
ISBN: 978-0-9803659-9-3
Otoliths, 2007

Following on from the successful first volume of interviews from Tom Beckett’s insightful site, E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The Second XV Interviews has just been released.

It contains interviews with Mark Young, Michael Heller, Bob Grumman, Shanna Compton, Sandy McIntosh, Jim McCrary, Gary Sullivan, A.L. Nielsen, Michael Farrell, CAConrad, Anny Ballardini, Denise Duhamel, Nick Carbó, Jack Kimball, Geoffrey Young & Jordan Stempleman, plus more than 100 pages of text & visual poetry, an essay, even a play. The interviewers this time around are Tom Beckett, Thomas Fink, Richard Lopez & Geof Huth.

Friday, December 14, 2007

getting yr priorities right.....

" I just went for a stroll down the beach with the dogs, and with the girlfriend, Christy," he said.
Mind you, the quote comes from a news item that may witness the birth of a new urban legend, the great white shark that ate a surfing kangaroo.
Today the
postman brought
me a small
block of granite
entitled Homage
to Catatonia
. It
is an erased
version of Orwell’s
memoir of the
Spanish Civil War.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today is an historic day for Australia

From around midday today, when newly-elected Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, having ratified the Kyoto Protocol, heads off to Bali to attend the United Nations’ Climate Change summit — an act of huge significance given that the previous conservative federal government was essentially the only one in the world to go along with the U.S.’s “what climate change?” stance — Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard will make history as Australia's first female acting Prime Minister.

Funky bookends & foreign beer

Power tools, mullets, toaster
ovens, dogs—where did
all these stereo- & empirically
derived learning disability sub-
types come from? Being drunk
is no excuse for animal cruelty.
I still have a tendency to act
impulsively but my analyst—
his hands are far too cold & no
one in their right mind would
EVER pay to hear him talk—has
finally signed off on me. I’m
all dressed up for the dance. Hat,
coat & white carnation, demon-
strating the role clothes play in
influencing or masking our
personalities. Last week
I appeared examining my
cuticles on the front cover of a
national lesbian magazine: inside
I talked about how scientists
say right-handed gestures show
left-brain dominance. Now, if
I can just keep my skirt on, more
appearances have been promised.

Monday, December 10, 2007

.....& of the Holy Zeitgeist?

"The gunman was shot and killed by a church security guard after entering the church's main foyer with (a) high-powered rifle shortly before 1pm local time and opening fire...."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Marko, Miia, Mark, Magritte, Manning = MMMMMMMM

When I posted some time back an announcement by Nicholas Manning that he had started an online journal, The Continental Review, devoted to poetry videos, I noted that I hoped it wouldn’t become a repository just for talking heads (“don’t forget the shoulders,” added Nicholas in the comments boxes).

Since then, amongst the poets who have appeared are a number associated with Otoliths; verbal — Tom Beckett, Jordan Stempleman, Eileen Tabios, Jill Jones — & visual — Spencer Selby, Nico Vassilakis. But I felt I should do something about my original statement & practice what I preach, as it were.

So finally, thanks to the informal Networks sans Frontières that create community in our (electronic) world, & especially thanks to the creative genius of Marko Niemi, substance has replaced pontifical stance. A video, working title “Three from Series Magritte”, has just gone up at The Continental Review

The poems included are:
The Flavour of Tears
Not to be Reproduced
The Art of Conversation
all from from Series Magritte, published by Moria Books.

The readings by Miia Toivio first appeared on Toisen äänellä – In Another´s Voice on the website.

The design concept & the animated flash file are by Marko Niemi without whom this project would never have been realized.

Check it out at The Continental Review.

Think about contributing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Genji Monogatari XII: The Shell of the Locust

The rulers are busy
with their power games
as I continue pondering
where the next conflict
might be. Sweat lodges
put me in touch with my
holistic inner self, I depend
upon the most innocent
bits of consumer culture—
LL Cool Jay lyrics or the
latest news on the Tampa
real estate market—to help
my predictions. I have
cachet with the industries
of war since I wagered
that the blaze of 1993 would
hasten the collapse of the
toy-making plant & over-
the-counter Rock Hudsons
would become a phenomenon
with no competition. I enter
Utsusemi’s room. Moths
bang on the paper screens.
I wish I could change the
name plate on my office door.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

farting kangaroo hay(na)ku

farts may
stop global warming.
As the article points out, 50% of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions comes from the farting of its dairy cattle.

Genji Monogatari XI: Wild Carnations

Panatellas at
sunset. Wine, ice water,
small sweet balls of
rice. One of several
lives, not all of quality—
some bought new, others
found at garage sales, flea
markets & second-hand
or resale shops. The child
we used to be still lives
within us. Now, in the
night hours, great white
flowers have opened. I
long for climate change.
Mr. Watanabe, a middle-aged government worker, suddenly finds that he has very little life left when diagnosed with terminal cancer. Moving from drunken despair to quiet resolve, he vows to make his final days meaningful. At first he throws himself into the city's nightlife, but this does not help. His attempts to communicate his anguish to his son and daughter-in-law lead only to heartbreak. Finally, inspired by an unselfish co-worker, he turns his efforts to bringing happiness to others by building a playground in a dreary slum neighborhood. When the park is finally completed, he is able to face death with peaceful acceptance.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


after three weeks of ergonomic discomfort & extreme frustration, I have connectivity - internectivity as I've come to call it - through my new desktop.

With what I now know, it should have been three days; but the free help from my service provider bears out the adage you get what you pay for. Maybe eight phone calls & two CDs later, I got the shits big time & went to their third-party pay-for-service contractor who spent about a minute listening to what I had to say & then informed me that the network adaptor - a dongle, I've learnt, in geekspeak - wasn't compatible with Windows Vista. Oh? I wonder why none of the helpdesk people I'd talked to had thought of that.

& with what I now know, it should have been three hours; but I had to have a dongle dingle-dangled in from A BIG CITY - lesson #2: don't live in the backblocks even if they really aren't.

& even with all the above, the thing keeps cutting out.

Fuck the world, I want to get off.

strange fruit

I thought
was a mango

appears to be
a lychee

Michele Leggott Announced as Inaugural N.Z. Poet Laureate 2007/2008

"Auckland University Press congratulates distinguished poet and University of Auckland scholar Michele Leggott, who has been announced as the New Zealand Poet Laureate for 2007/08.

Michele’s publisher, AUP Director Sam Elworthy, said, “Michele Leggott is not only a great poet, widely recognized in New Zealand and around the world, she is also an innovative promoter of poetry through her New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre, dynamic teaching, and through her editorial work on poets such as Robin Hyde and Alan Brunton. We congratulate Michele on this great honour.”

The Minister responsible for the National Library, the Hon Judith Tizard, announced the appointment at a function at Parliament last night.

“Michele has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand poetry and I'm thrilled to announce her role as the 2007/08 New Zealand Poet Laureate.”

Michele Leggott is an Associate Professor in The University of Auckland's Department of English Department and founding Director of the NZ Electronic Poetry Centre, an important international and national digital resource for poets, schools, universities and the reading public. She has published five books of poetry and has edited five anthologies of poetry and criticism. Her first collection, Like This?, won the PEN First Best Book of Poetry in 1989 and Dia (AUP, 1994) won the 1995 NZ Book Award for Poetry.

The Poet Laureate Award was established earlier this year to recognise writers who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand poetry. Administered by the National Library of New Zealand, the Poet Laureate is selected biennially and receives an award of $50,000 per year.

The Poet Laureate's working papers and published work will be preserved in the National Library's National Digital Heritage Archive and in the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

The New Zealand Poet Laureate Award is based on the Te Mata Poet Laureate scheme, which it will supersede."

know a
poet laureate. Yay!!!!!

a couple of days late

but I'd like to note that it's been a year since kari edwards died. I miss that energy.

Monday, December 03, 2007


A tiny bird sits looking up at the cycle
next to a box finished in red baked enamel
with large lettering left by a mourner
that matches her well-chosen out-
fit perfectly. Why is the phone on
fire? Maybe was once a wobbly table
& four chairs gifted by an aunt. Now
mirror is temporary. The accompanying
folded sheet is positioned about ten feet
away from the model & very animistic
so that women in another epoch taken
out of that down-cycle environment
were awake with their eyes closed in a
reclining chair indulging in his wonted
sorrow during a successful seduction.
He treated her like a normal human
being. This does not indicate a relation-
ship. Merely an obscure awareness of
the quiet, dark shades, the stone under
foot, the master of unfinished business.

&, since it'll be a long time

before I'm in this sort of company again, let me post the publishing of
OCHO # 14 guest edited by Nick Piombino. Featuring Charles Bernstein, Alan Davies, Ray DiPalma, Elaine Equi, Nada Gordon, Kimberly Lyons, Gary Sullivan, Mitch Highfill, Brenda Iijima, Sharon Mesmer, Tim Peterson, Corinne Robins, Jerome Sala, Mark Young and Nico Vassilakis. Cover art by Toni Simon.

Available through Didi Menendez' Lulu site here.

Beckett is back at it!

Slim Windows.

But how long until defenestration?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Genji Monogatari X: Channel Buoys

The light, the shadows, the
tracks, the curve. He was
reminded of what a
fortune-teller had once
said to him—Are miracles
really capricious magic or
just modern Tagalog verbs
that serve as a paradigm
for other such personal
solstices? It's this mixture
that makes it one of the least
understood areas in the
evolution of selfish
elements. Suddenly he was
down around zero. He
strained at a gnat & swallowed
a camel. With its clichés
of southern pageantry the red
light of the burning wicker man
cast a lurid glow over a
substantial fraction of the
drosophila genome. Soon
he would have personal energy
at home from a machine.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

One final spray

on our recently-deposed, unlamented, inglorious Prime Minister.
"In The Sun-Herald on November 18, John Howard nominated the putting asunder of political correctness and the celebration of our Anglo-Celtic past as the pinnacle of his social, indeed national, achievement. He was nominating as a virtue political incorrectness of a kind that gave some the right to speak and behave towards others in terms disparaging of their colour, religion, class or social standing. In a country of immigrants, such a view emanating from the Prime Minister is social poison."

"The defeated Liberal leader appealed to a meaner side of the national character which is not generous: an Australia that defied the world on climate change, and sought refuge from its own history on race and the rights of its indigenous people. At its worst the Howard government represented a distasteful reaction to modernity, and its repeated exploitation of this to achieve electoral success offered an unhealthy example to the political right around the world. That is why Mr Howard's defeat has a significance that runs beyond Australia. The politics of progress beat the politics of retreat."

"Mr Howard, who almost certainly has lost his seat of Bennelong, said nothing publicly yesterday. His only duty was a private function for staff at Kirribilli House. As the Liberals drowned their sorrows on Saturday night, one former senior Liberal adviser blamed the result on "the fucking Chinese", an apparent reference to Asian voters in Bennelong turning against Mr Howard."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I remember when I was young......

elections used to be between the socialist left & the conservative right, between the revolutionaries & the reactionaries. But today, where it's election day in Australia, it's between what CNN quite correctly describes as the centre-left & the centre-right. The respective political party leaders tend almost to morph into the same person, it's been a me-too election, nobody wishing to offend that central self-centred majority of voters on whom both sides depend.

However, I'm glad the centre-left have emerged victorious. There is a chance that they may change the direction of this country. They've promised to withdraw from Iraq (but not Afghanistan); they've promised to ratify the Kyoto protocols on climate change; hopefully the treatment of the indigenous inhabitants, the traditional owners of this land, will improve; hopefully the gap between the haves & have-nots will halt its growth & even begin to reverse. I hope.

& I hope that maybe now Australia will become a republic.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pissed-off internectivity issues hay(na)ku

a week.
Received new disk.

Right platform but
for the

Now I’ll
have to wait

another week. Fuck-
wits. Fuck-

10. 100.
1000. 10000. .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Genji Monogatari IX

Confirm is periodic, historic
drama loh! Especially about
the different Dynasties. I went
to see Deep Purple with both
hands curled around a stick of
flame-tempered hardwood
or maybe it was the silent
u in biscuit. There's confirm.
No doubt about the history, its
unmistakable grace & mastery
of brilliant color, the syntax
may leave a little to be desired,
should allow rich, expressive
statements in contrast to
the previous constructions.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me an enquiry
from Schade &
wondering how
my ego was
now it's been
from super-
model status.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Genji Monogatari VIII: The Broom Tree

Sometimes he guessed
correctly, sometimes
not; but he preferred
to do such things him-
self rather than call in
the others who were
paid to do the tasks. A
way of adding drama,
of turning emails into
fortune cookies, to make
an inside verse out of the
imagined message. He spent
little time with his bride.

This is justice?

An appeal court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the number of lashes and added a jail sentence as punishment for a woman who was gang-raped.

According to the Arab News newspaper, the 19-year-old woman, who is from Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, was gang-raped 14 times in an attack in an eastern province a year-and-a-half ago.

The young woman, who is married, said she had met with a male acquaintance who had promised to give her back an old photograph of herself. After she met her acquaintance in his car in Qatif, a gang of seven men then attacked and raped both of them.

Seven men from the majority Sunni community were convicted of kidnapping—apparently because prosecutors could not prove rape—and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years. The judges reportedly ignored evidence from a mobile phone video in which the attackers recorded the assault.

But the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man. The male victim was also given 90 lashes as punishment.

On appeal, the Arab News reported that the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

The rapists also had their prison terms doubled. But the sentences are still low considering they could have faced the death penalty.

The Arab News quoted an official as saying the judges had decided to punish the girl for trying to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.

The victim's lawyer was suspended from the case, has had his licence to work confiscated, and faces a disciplinary session.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A balcony is in the dark.       A man is sharpening a razor by the balcony. The man looks at the sky through the window-panes and sees ...       A fleecy cloud moving toward the full moon.       Then a young woman's head, her eyes wide open. A razor blade moves toward one of the eyes.       The fleecy cloud passes across the face of the moon.       Then the razor blade passes through the young woman's eye, slicing it in two.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

an asshole of a day

Am writing this in an ergonomically unsound corner of the main downstairs rooms. To use the mouse I have to reach almost behind myself, the room lights are at the back of me & cast a shadow which blocks the keyboard, I've a small table lamp that is resting on my right shoulder & giving me sunburn, the screen's at the end of my nose.

Why am I suffering so? Because I had to go back on the old pc & this was the only place I could put it. It's been playing up for a little while, too much on it I suppose, & then the anti-virus software froze which meant that scans couldn't be carried out when you opened Word & any document inside it which meant that I couldn't get into it to finish off the remaining three books of this round, plus a book review for Eileen which is, conservatively, six months past promise date. Managed to get everything onto a memory stick, all 2.8 gig of it, so there's nothing lost, but nothing new.

So I took the day off work to put together the new beast I'd received recently - ah, birthdays - got it set up where the old one was, loaded Office, transferred all the Word files safely, went to set up the Internet connection &, as they say, shit happened. We've got one of those home wi-fi things, where you can run a number of machines from anywhere in the house at the same time. We've stuck the software on at least three machines with no trouble. But the new one has Vista, & that means the cd with the program on is apparently out of date. So I had to put the bits & pieces of this machine back together again in the only available space so I could download the update plus see if there was anything in the bowels of it that might help me set up the other. Transferred the files via stick to the other machine, tried to install again, got the occasional blue light to say it was alive, machine tells me there's a network that's got a strong signal but it's an unnamed network & requires a name & it doesn't like the ones I've been giving. Mind you, I started with "Fred", now it's up to "fucking asshole".

I've been trying for 12 hours now, & that's enough for one day. Will see if I can get a cd tomorrow rather than try & point the installer to places on the pc. If I can't get it going, then I'm buying an axe. If I can find a compatible one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

when beauty is only foreskin deep

Had somebody asked me if I'd ever had cosmetic surgery, until today the answer would have been a definite no.

Then I read this news item:
"Cosmetic surgical procedures have been banned in South Australian public hospitals. Health Minister John Hill says it will free up hospital beds and operating theatres for other patients.....the ban includes liposuction, facelifts and circumcision of boys."
Oy vey!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Uttered in passing during forlorn fornication between Claudia and Sandro, l'avventura is also impertinent Italian parlance for the serial sexual adventures of one-night stands, the terra incognito of strangers feigning intimacy as they try to find love without moral compasses.

today's oxymoron

scientific whaling

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This town is so small that private conversation outside one's immediate family soon becomes public knowledge. I no longer speak to people, not even to give strangers directions when they ask. I am offended they take me for a local.


The AC/DC cover
band blasting up
the driveway
from the Rugby Club
at the bottom of the
hill does not swing
in either direction.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Issue seven of Otoliths is now online

Issue seven of Otoliths has just gone live. It's as eclectic as ever, but that means there's something there for everybody. Lined up in this issue are Sheila E. Murphy, Nico Vassilakis, Anny Ballardini, Vernon Frazer, Matina L. Stamatakis, Geof Huth, Matt Hetherington, derek beaulieu, Andrew Taylor, Nigel Long, Marko Niemi, Michael Steven, Anne Heide, Mark Prejsnar, Márton Koppány, Jim Leftwich, Catherine Daly, Bill Drennan, Julian Jason Haladyn, Alexander Jorgensen, Jeff Harrison, Paul Siegell, Robert Gauldie, Martin Edmond, Raymond Farr, John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Friends, Andrew Topel & John M. Bennett, Andrew Topel, Mark Cunningham, Jeff Crouch, Randall Brock, Eileen R. Tabios, Jordan Stempleman, Daniel f. Bradley, Lars Palm, harry k stammer, Karri Kokko, Katrinka Moore, Tom Hibbard, dan raphael & David-Baptiste Chirot. It's what Hieronymous Bosch dreamt about, a Garden of Earthly Delights.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me a notice from
the Harry Houdini
Trick, Tract &
advising that a
number of its
products were
being recalled
because of faulty
mirrors. Many
magicians will be

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

my darling Clementinne

I am KOFFI WILLIAMS a gold minner and I have 490kg of gold for sales.
Please if interested do not hesitate to reply me urgently.
Best Regards

& Jukka Joins in, with text

sixty-six for Mark

[66 words]

jerry-built singularity rain wrongheaded waken musician
uh-huh canary vivacious [chaste] phonics testosterone full-blooded
regionally preset self-consciously fiasco [scruple] [mortgagee]
so [d] stink [andante] adze bury [drowsy] [wool] nebulae pasty
decisiveness self-denial wanting philodendron desalination
chilblain mockingly remind risky border whoops yesteryear
[polytheistic] heedless elevator stanza accomplice insignificance
orthodontics has hillock third party, lineman marihuana
preferment birthday suit, mercy [boar] diaphragm foolhardiness
disconnect nonviolence downtown galore whorehouse congruence

[6 lines, 6 words]

spark impact camp cramp reamer leaden
weal neath latent fete pretty tire
rarely herein recant cavity revise revive
ravine travel raffia stuffy snuff snub
nut guts mutter pout doughy shrug
threat thresh shrift shift shred shrub

[66 characters]

r-ut ga ohade esi h-uh aay icoucste nsesoef-lddlloiosocrlo okde ze

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen.10.29.07

& visual

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen: Mark66


Today is my 66th birthday. I had thought to acknowledge it by posting what would be some, undoubtedly, drab numerical graphic, or the left-hand side of a set of engorged quotation marks (& would spend the next 33 years wondering if I would make it to the other side).

Then I thought of all the talented people I know & whose work I love. If I'd had several months to do it in, this post might have ended up being 66 (or 99) ways of looking at 66. But I only got the idea late last week, just enough time for a quick email to a few whom I consider nearest & dearest.

So, below, offerings from three much-loved-by-me members of my extended electronic family.

Sheila E. Murphy: Happy 66

Geof Huth: 66

Márton Koppány: Ellipsis No. 12 — for Mark Young

Thanks, guys. A big hug from the bottom half of the world.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Division of Surplus

We are not that hip
to Hindi, but know
that the Tantras teach
there is a Lingam with-
in each Yoni. It is not
so much a collection
of strokes, but a series
of phases of intention
evolved from a convenient
same-sex marriage of
peace comics & security
spiders. The Yoni does
not do the slow train
with no seat routine.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One of the interesting things about blogging is that, at the time, poems seem isolate when you post them, unrelated to anything else, esp. for someone like me who tends to jump about, work in a variety of styles, find other things to interest them & thus let possible sequences tail off or wither on the vine. You work with the mindset that nothing is connected, that you're not really doing or achieving much, just marking time.

Then an opportunity presents itself & you go into yr archives to gather like things; & discover that, when collected together, there are quite substantive archipelagos.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sic transit gloria barramundi

There is a story Paul Desmond told of, after a Brubeck Quartet gig somewhere in the mid-West, jumping into a taxi, asking the driver to take him where the action was, & ending up at an illegal fishing spot.

It's the sort of thing I could imagine happening in this place. Actually, I lie—even a spot of illegal fishing is far more exotic than what goes on here. The height of excitement, it appears, is to steal the genitals off one of the fifteen or so bull statues dotted around the town. Apparently it happens often enough for them to now have them cast as modular parts. Screw out, screw in. Screw it.

For the last week or so there's been an amateurish "float" parked on the river—cabin cruiser, pontoon, big papier-mache fish, handwritten sign—advertising, I think from memories of such a thing happening last year, the Barra Bounty tag & release competition, or who can catch the most meters of barramundi now that the season's opened. Which means, I suppose, that catching them at any other time would be illegal. Wow, the town's growing up! & today, as I meandered off home about two o'clock—yes, Martha, it is POETS day & I'm pissing off early—down to my riverside carpark, there were a number of outboard-motored boats out in the river between the bridges, each with a couple of guys—always guys; chauvinist heaven here—with their lines dangling in the water, silent, nothing happening, every so often shifting the position of their boat to another place, where nothing would once again happen.

Talk about yr fucking school of quietude…..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lunch Poem

Faultlines. Call-
igraphies of
longing. Some-
times feld-
girls on
outside the
Mall. Zoo-
notic. Cross-
species trans-
mission. Txt me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me a poem that
he'd stolen
from the
who had stolen
it from Pablo
Neruda. Let me
count the ways.

Lunch poem

The fire has run
its course, the
ashes remain. I am
is where it was, all
contiguity vanished.
I eat a bag of
Carmelite Nuns
since that’s what I’ve
always done with
Caramel Creams. Can’t
taste the distance. Sky
blooms, clocktowers
flow inland as the toad
changes. Boards sing arias
or are they hiding be-
hind the arras? My mouth
cannot tell me. I sit down
to lurch. A centipede
takes me out to dimmer.

Saturday, October 13, 2007



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lunch Poem

The e-mail kiosks lock
on to me as I
cruise the Mall. My exo-
skeleton — beltbuckle,
glasses, the tips of
my shoes, even the
decidedly feminine gold chain
I have around my wrist —
lights up with messages. They
are not for me; I am being
mistaken for someone
else. But there are no
shops in this part of
the strip & I’m a snoop be-
sides so I read them with
half an ear, even though
my heart is in the jeweller
looking through their
recipes for eloquence &
my soul is in the toystore
set on rich dark fruit
cake laced with brandy.

a new rendition / an old song

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to allow a lawsuit to go forward that questions the government's use of rendition, the controversial practice of capturing suspected terrorists and sending them to other countries for a more intense form of interrogation than permitted under U.S. law.

Without comment, the justices let stand an appeals court ruling that the state secrets privilege, a judicially created doctrine that the Bush administration has invoked to win dismissal of lawsuits that touch on issues of national security, protected the government’s actions from court review.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? proclaimed Juvenal. "Who Controls The Control Men" permutated William S. Burroughs a couple of millenia later. & in another couple of thousand years, it'll probably be a similar song albeit in a language we haven't heard yet.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hat as Hat

Ya Hazmat Mevlama

Calligraphy is a spiritual geometry produced by material implements.

The literal meaning of the Turkish word for calligraphy (hat) is line or way.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A reminder

that submissions for issue seven of Otoliths close at the end of this month.

It's shaping up to be another merry mix. Trick or treat.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

strange how we see words sometimes

brie fly

Yr heroes

might make bad song choices, or have lesser backing musicians, or do poor concerts, or slide into the temporary insanity of religious conversions, but they'd never sell out to Big Business. Or would they?

Cut to.

A TV commercial of an atv or truck or 4-wheel drive or whatever they're called in yr neck of the woods, making its way up & down rugged steep terrain, fording rocky streams, all the sorts of things that you'd buy such a vehicle for to get around town in & meanwhile dream. & underneath — or actually over, replacing the voice —
& it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007








ually the
narwhal wrote back

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New books from Otoliths - Raven, Gildzen, Topel & Leftwich, Fieled, Stempleman

This quarter's round of books from Otoliths has just been released.

Shifting the Question More Complicated
Francis Raven
76 pages
Cover design by Sheila E. Murphy
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6594-8
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
Francis Raven's original poems – with the occasional, collaborative and smartly alarmed interventions of Jeff Bacon – take on a world made hopelessly abundant by too much. Too many commodities, too much philosophy, too much poetry, too much music, too many reviews, too many misunderstood friendships, erotic deceptions and, of course, corporate obstacles, including the language of insufferable meetings:

           Our wires got crossed. We must be sitting in multiple meetings.

How do you respond to someone’s quest to make the perfect french fry? Where is truth, art, love, direction, and a sense of navigation? How can the mind, psyche, and body find a trajectory when fenced in by any and all options that present themselves as obligatory and legitimate representatives of the real? In the face of such a cascade from the other, how do you even write a poem, believe in, or trust its significance?

In playful, subtle and deceptively sharp language – from consciously flat to purely and quite beautifully poetic – Francis Raven has taken on these days of nausea to replant the flag, the stroke, and necessity of the poem:

                     Every painting has been landed on by critical flags, claimed:
           Swimming, I find a mystery in a poem I thought was a problem, solved.

---Stephen Vincent, author of Walking Theory

It's All A Movie
Alex Gildzen
92 pages
Cover design by Ray Craig
ISBN: 978-0-9803659-6-2
Otoliths 2007
$12.50 + p&h
Want to know Marilyn Monroe’s measurements? Or the first movie Jonathan Williams saw? Alex Gildzen provides answers in this unique book about film. His long love affair with cinema is reflected in a collection which brings together some of Gildzen’s recent poems, photographs of him with Hollywood legends such as Sylvia Sidney and Samuel Fuller, prose dating back to 1985 and a year from his important autobiography in progress Alex in Movieland.

Andrew Topel & Jim Leftwich
76 pages, full color
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6598-6
Otoliths 2007
$20.00 + p&h
"i remember very clearly working on these sheets, using boxes of trash and junk mail, writing in the names of songs i was listening to, riffing off of what was in front of and around me. five very busy years later these images have a very strong resonance for me. 'veil reveal re-veil', as andrew puts it, seems to express the dynamic quite clearly. at some point i think we would like for the process to halt at 'reveal' - but that isn't likely to occur often if ever, and certainly not with collaborative work like this. maybe we're looking at something more than 'shadowed truth', something like 'shadowed being' - perhaps hidden in plain view, but hidden all the same." — Jim Leftwich

Opera Bufa
Adam Fieled
64 pages
Cover design by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6595-5
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
           How can a prose poem be a comic opera? Take the following ingredients and stir: Chopin, Maria Callas, Baudelaire, Pluto, Orpheus, the Court of Ferdinand, Amherst wafer-eaters, Dante, Cleopatra, and Valium. Mix in a dollop of desperation, two dollops of perversity, and a small drop showmanship, and shake violently, as though in the midst of a fit. You have entered into a new realm; a foreign habitat; a fresh and unholy Opera Bufa. You may remain as long as you like. You may even sing along. The author, Adam Fieled, suggests exiting at the first sign of nausea, unless you find nausea pleasing. Oddly enough, some do.

Jordan Stempleman
64 pages
Cover design by David-Baptiste Chirot
ISBN: 978-0-9803-6597-9
Otoliths 2007
$10.00 + p&h
Jordan Stempleman writes of his new collection, Facings: "These are poems that begin from the almost observed, places not yet finished, excuses untested, and individuals who only appear after they find comfort in retracting all they've been said to say."

In addition, the print editions of Otoliths issue six are out, with a spectacular piece of Geof Huth vispo on their covers.

Part One
90 pages
$10.00 + p&h
Part one of Otoliths issue six contains prose, poetry & visual poetry from Tom Beckett, Karri Kokko, dan raphael, Kristine Ong Muslim, David-Baptiste Chirot, Paul Siegell, Javant Biarujia, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Matthew Medina, Adam Fieled, Bill Drennan, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Joel Chace, Brian Foley, Raymond Farr, Philip Byron Oakes, Rochelle Ratner, Julian Jason Haladyn, Alex Carnevale, Jeff Harrison, Juliet Cook, Alexander Jorgensen, Martin Edmond, J. D. Nelson, John M. Bennett, Mark DeCarteret, Michael Steven, Jordan Stempleman, Iain Britton, Andrew Topel & Ernesto Priego.

Part Two
56 pages, full color
$15.00 + p&h
Part two of Otoliths issue six contains visual & text poetry from Reed Altemus, Joe Balaz, David-Baptiste Chirot, Spencer Selby, John M. Bennett & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Márton Koppány, Luke Daly, ek rzepka, Ray Craig, Mary Ellen Derwis, John M. Bennett & Sheila E. Murphy.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Genji Monogatari V: A Rack of Cloud

The tendency is to
humanize the wild life
about us; but a screen
densely covered in
text is impersonal, un-
welcoming & fatiguing
to read. Language &
memory cannot be the
exclusive province of
humans, nor can
humanity be attributed
to all. Someone stole my
identity. I feel sorry
for them. We are now
as hungry as two bears.

Genji Monogatari VI

Rock. Colorful banners. Fine
cast bronze wind bells. Authentic
curries, outstanding pho. He'd
never screwed up like this
before. Scissors. The Earth
is a closed system; activity, no
matter how refined, takes
nanoseconds off its life, &
this was gluttony. Paper.
Who knows what prompts
people to write or draw?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Farcical Farsi call

have no
gays in Iran

answered President Ahmadinejad.
Or maybe

We don’t
execute gays in

just for
being gay &

the translator fucked
up. It’s

A. said
B — since con-

gay sex
is the executable

offence & he
could deliver

with a
modicum of truth

still keep
his face straight.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rubbery Shrubbery

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," Mr Bush said. "Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

a late afternoon hay(na)ku for Geof Huth

too temper
& (a)mentally un-

to ever
be an archivist.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thought as high-
      pitched as
helium voice. In-
tuitive anime.
Today the
postman brought
me Larousse
. I
couldn't get
through it all
in the one
sitting, have put
the leftovers
in the freezer.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

well Eileen, shd i hold or fold on yr behalf?

in this morning's spamelot

an offer regarding your site:

My name is peter
i would like to have a link exchange with your site:
i have many gambling ralated sites pr 3-5
i you are intrested please send me your sites list (that if you have more
than one site)
so we castum a dael that will benefit both of us
i you are NOT intrested in link exchange and you are selling links from
your site , i will be happy to recive your rates and payment method (we are buying links also).
waiting for your reply

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The impassable dream

When I was growing up, the Northwest Passage, the sea route from Europe to Asia, was one of those fabled sites of adventure that populate boyhood (day)dreams. Distant though it may have been, Hollywood & books brought it close, along with other dreamings of impenetrable forests, forgotten cities & fabulous animals & birds (& don’t forget the reptiles) that may still exist.

Today I read that a rapid rise in the rate that Arctic ice is melting has opened the NWP at least two decades earlier than scientists monitoring the effects of global warming had expected.

The European Space Agency said Arctic sea ice was now at its smallest recorded extent, raising the possibility of the passage being routinely used by commercial shipping during the summer.

Scientists had expected that with the climate changing, the passage would become navigable for merchant ships within the next two decades, but the discovery that it has already opened up has caused surprise & alarm.

In the past year alone, the rate at which the ice is melting has increased tenfold. There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100,000 square kilometres per year on average, so a drop of one million square kilometres in just one year is extreme.

The image above is a mosaic of over 200 individual photos taken by the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite. The dark grey represents clear water, while sea ice is colour-coded green.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

hay(na)ku epiphany

sight dressed
up — satori-al splendour.

Lunch poem

Nothing makes sense
anymore. Everything
does. I bind my camel
to a smokestack
at the edge of an anti-
climax & set the
guidebook alight to give
me light to better
read it by. The hidden
pattern in the last
flicker of a hologram
tells me I’m
in Machu Picchu
where I shouldn’t
be. Entropy arrives
to peck out my I-
balls. Equilibrium. It’s
a eunuch experience.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Genji Monogatari VII

Multiple inheritance leads to a taxonomy of concepts. Lineage relates to the persistence of an entity over time. New arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology confirm that death & the separation of body & soul play an important role in the analysis of circadian systems.

If a meme were continually interested in "what happens next" somewhere in the brain activity must be changing. Although they can think independently & move of their own accord, the claim that a thing exists, when added to our notion of a thing, does not add anything to the concept.

I’ve always gone along with the orthodox interpretation & used the term to refer to any cultural entity (such as a song, an idea or a religion) that an observer might consider a replicator. The idea that our consciousness is an interlocking system of memes is reflected in the early stimulus-blocked responses that are part of a generalized fear & feeling of loss of control.

Once the roles of cause & effect are assigned to objects in interactions, people tend to overestimate the strength & importance of the causal object & underestimate that of the effect object in bringing about the outcome. This bias is termed the causal asymmetry. Eventually we will reach a point in the past where all humans can be divided into two groups. The storage assumption greatly simplifies the treatment of resource variability.

& now that the Linnean system has been largely replaced by a cladistic system in which any clade or complete branch of the evolutionary tree is given a name, & the only remaining fixed rank is genus, luck plays only a small part in discovering fossils. There are clear ontological differences between biological individuals & States.

Genji sent his man to ask the name of the flower.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Backgammon strategy

The strings are just off the
frets & don't buzz, the front
vowels are in blue. Light
rays obey Fermat's Principle
of the least optical path, a
street lined with shops &
restaurants in minuscule
wooden houses hung
with chaussure de foot &
autre article & vêtement
de sport. Many large laughing
mouths gates of hell gaping
wide open hungry taunting
beckoning. It sounds like
chicken noodle soup, this
craving for attention to re-
place a lost mother's love.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Late in August

Marko Niemi curated a show at a library in the centre of Helsinki of visual, digital & sound poems taken from his wonderful Nokturno site. The digital poetry was screened as an hour-long loop, the visual printed out by the library staff &, to quote Marko, "looked surprisingly good, considering that they were quite large and printed using originally pretty small, web-quality files."

He's sent me a couple of photos of my work there, one of three of my checker/chess-board pieces, & the other a still from my, what becomes in Marko's Finnish translation, "Prévertille, syksyn lehtiä".

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me the final
volume of The

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where there's a Wall....

“After subjugating and uniting China from seven warring States, the emperor Qin Shi Huangdi connected and extended four old fortification walls along the north of China that originated about 700 B.C. Armies were stationed along the wall as a first line of defense against the invading nomadic Hsiung Nu (the Huns) tribes north of China.”

“Hadrian decided to enforce the old Roman policy of "divide and rule." His wall would split the Brigantes from the Selgovae and hopefully overawe and pacify the troublesome tribes. Construction of the wall commenced ca. AD 122, right around the time of the Emperor Hadrian's personal visit to Britannia.”

“In the afternoon of August 12, 1961 at 4 p.m. Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader, signed the commands to close the border. Next Sunday at midnight the army, police and the "Kampfgruppen" began to bolt the city. The wall is built and separates the city into two parts for more than 28 years.”

“Since Israel began its construction of the West Bank Wall in 2002, it has sparked intense debate, being condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice. Israel claims it is a security measure to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks. Opponents point to the serious impact on the rights of Palestinians, depriving them of their land, mobility and access to health and educational services.”

“Parts of central Sydney now resemble a city under military occupation, with a steel and concrete fence, five kilometres long and 2.8 metre high, encircling the environs of Circular Quay and the Opera House, a popular harbourside tourist precinct. Only those with the required accreditation, involving clearances from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), are permitted inside this fortressed area.”


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me a compendium
of words &
phrases that are
rarely used these
days. Gadzooks!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Four of the five

books I'm bringing out under the Otoliths banner this month are off to their respective authors for final proofing, the fifth has had the interior proofed & we're just deciding on which cover from a wonderful selection will be used. So expect an official publication notice for another great round in a couple of weeks. The quality & variety of what's developing into a substantial catalogue is bringing me lots of joy & pleasure. My sincere thanks to everyone involved.

Once they're launched, then it's on to the print editions of issue six of the Otoliths e-zine, followed by getting the next round of books underway. Plus issue seven of Otoliths is already shaping up to be another eclectic collection.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

a today, a yesterday, & a bunch of bullshit balderdash

"Note; If you are a Red Self-Existing Moon or a Red Overtone Moon or a Red Rhythmic Moon or a Red Resonant Moon then you are born on a Portal day."

Of pen & other umbra

Last night the sky was clear, the full moon pristine. I'd gone out to check where it was because tonight is eclipse night, & I wanted to be sure of where to look.

Today, all day, the sky cloudy. Not really overcast, but light grey clouds covering most of the sky. Pissing me off as the evening drew nearer, big big chance that I wouldn't be able to see not seeing the moon.

But late afternoon the clouds started getting blown away, so that by evening there were only a few around. &, right on time, just before 7 p.m., the bottom of the moon started getting a dirty look about it. Slow progress, but as I write this, around 8, the Earth is totally in the way of the sun, & the moon is in total eclipse. It is as they promised, a shade of red, & will be that way for another hour & a half. Then the clearing until around 10.30 when the whole moon will be visible again. Though, apparently, it's still within the lighter penumbral shadow for another hour after that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me a Refutation of
Chaos Theory. I'm
a bit skeptical
about the research,
however, since the
paper opens with
a disclaimer that
no butterflies
were harmed
during the course
of the study.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Entourage of the Emperor of Amerika

George W. Bush is flying into Sydney early next month for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum. With him will be his wife & her staff of four, plus:
1 personal chef
4 cooks
15 sniffer dog teams
50 White House political aides
150 National Security Advisors
200 State representatives
250 Secret Service Agents.
To get to Australia, they'll use two identical 747-200Bs (Air Force One & its decoy clone), another chartered jumbo, & two to three Globemasters or Galaxies to carry all the equipment that accompanies the Emperor. & that includes:
The Imperial Helicopter (Marine one) plus a backup, Black Hawk helicopters for surveillance, the Imperial limousine Cadillac One (five inches of ballistic armour, transparent armour windows designed to withstand attack by anti-tank grenade launchers, run-flat tyres, & is environmentally sealed against chemical & biological attacks), a twenty-strong motorcade which includes more armour-plated limousines, the Secret Service War Wagons (Chevrolet Suburbans) the last one of which usually has a battery of battle-ready machine guns, a SWAT wagon & an ambulance. & then there's the back-up motorcade in case something goes wrong or they need to run a decoy.
As I was going to St Ives.....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mission Briefing

Guys. We don't know where Osama bin Laden is, but we do know where the Brits are. So let's get out there & bomb the shit out of them, just so you can paint some more of those little kill doohickies on the fuselage of your planes....
Britain's Defense Ministry says three British soldiers were killed and two others wounded in southern Afghan-istan by a U.S. air strike that was supporting them in a battle with Taleban insurgents.

News item 8/24/07

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wallace Stevens' 14th way of looking at a black_bird

"Arnold had gone through paranoid kippages about their not wanting to put a black man's image on the cover. ("Who let the coon in?"—Wallace Stevens' inquiry at the 1950 Drew-Phalen Awards banquet, when that year's recipient, Gwendolyn Brooks, had entered the hall—replayed regularly up from the kerygma of black literary history, a-broil in memory and imagination, even after forty years.)"

Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflection

The "Drew-Phalen Awards" are Delany's invention, but the incident is real, at the 1950 Pulitzer Prize Awards ceremony where Brooks was awarded the prize for poetry.

This book, Delany's latest, is wonderful.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lunch poem

At the sandwich shop
Paul Simon is
busy telling me that
I can call him Al just
as a bus goes past
whose emblazoned arse
tells me that local
real estate broker Al
Lewis is above the
crowd, ahead of
the pack — though
if that's true, then
what's he doing at the
back of the bus? &
even though this is no
meaningful coincidence
it still leads me into
thoughts of Jung
& how it would be
great to experience
some act of synchronicity
in this town of the
collectively unconscious.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Beware / of a / camel after sex

An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present after the animal apparently tried to have sex, police said Sunday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

a note for Tom Beckett

There are quite often times when I feel the need to justify my existence. This happens to be one of them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave Captain to thank:
(So the crew would protest) "that he's bought us the best —
A perfect and absolute blank!"
Lewis Carroll: The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Political arse-covering 101

Always find someone to blame when you look like losing.
"ALEXANDER DOWNER has a dire warning for the Iraqi Government: rein in the insurgents or there could be a change of government in Australia.

Unless the Iraqis improved security, the governments in Australia and the US could be thrown out, the Foreign Affairs Minister said yesterday. Public patience on Iraq was "wearing pretty thin".

"You will get people electing governments that do want just to walk away from Iraq," Mr Downer said."

The Sydney Morning Herald
hurled insults
from the snidelines.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

everything old is new again.....

Hey, hey, LBJ,
how many kids did you kill today?

in the sixties
"Eventually, there simply were not enough volunteers to continue to fight a protracted war and the government instituted a draft."
news item 8/11/07
"The top US military officer in charge of coordinating the war effort in Iraq says that it makes sense to consider a return of the draft to meet the military's needs."

Hey, hey, GWB,
how many kids will we never again see?
Today the
postman brought
me some ephemera—
at least that's
what the customs
declaration on the
empty box said
was in it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

As if there wasn't already enough shit in the mail

Given my predeliction for postman poems, that probably wasn't a wise title; but I came home yesterday evening to find a fat A4 envelope from the Federal Government reposing on the bench on the front porch. Opened it up.

I would like to ask you to take part in the National Bowel Screening Program…The National Program is being introduced gradually….People who turned 65 last year are being invited to take part…..

The letter went on to say that the test is known as a faecal occult blood test — thus confirming my suspicions that Satanism is shit — & giving instructions on how the sampling should be carried out. A more detailed 32 page booklet on the protocols of stool sampling was included in the postout along with plastic tubes & sampling sticks, a biodegradable sheet to catch your stool on — "empty your bladder, flush, then lay the sheet on the surface of the water printed side up" — & a postage paid envelope to send your samples back in.

Don't get me wrong. I think such programs are great. But the thought of all that shit making its way through the bowels of the Australia Post means I'll be using latex gloves to empty my mail box over the next several weeks.

Maybe they could revert to an older form of mail delivery. You know, stool pigeon post…..

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lunch poem

Having to step
over the urine stream
left by a just-passed
cattle truck causes
me to lose my
mental balance
right at the moment
when I was about
to comprehend the
intricacies of the effect
of subprime mortgages
on the economy of
the United States. Or
maybe it was the
probable songlists
for Dylan’s current
concert tour that I
was thinking about,
ticking off on my
fingers whether it
was likely to be a
good or bad tour
based on past ex-
perience. Ex-
ponential options
from which I’m
brought back down to
earth by being pissed
on underfoot. The
wind touches me
on my left elbow. I
give it a couple of
dollars. It goes away.
Today the
postman brought
me an optical
allusion & some
special spectacles
to help me
understand it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


the episode does
not have any allusions.
, &, particularly
n smaller
; —
the skin is thick
& granular —
. But everybody

Day __________

for Jean Vengua
What I am really
thinking is that
the posterior
surface of the
thighs is
central to robot
map learning.

aw shucks, Tom

Tom Beckett has done me the honor — no, not the next dance nor my proposal for his hand in marriage, but of naming me one of his chosen "thinking bloggers". I find it slightly ironic, because these days I tend to consider myself intuitive rather than thoughtful, but, coming from Tom, I will happily put on my thinking cap — peak backwards as is de rigeur — & strut the runway, even though, as cummings wrote,
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers.
& though, as if they were some genetically-inherited wasting disease, I usually let such things die with me rather than pass them on, in this case I will make an exception & call Ernesto Priego up on stage to accept my nomination of him as one of the great philosophers in the making.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Last night the
owls returned. Small
bird, large tree,
pale breast picked
out by flashlight.
Small bird, large
sound. No call &
        answer but
suddenly side
by side chorus.
I was ecstatic.

Was(tc)h yr mouth!

Elsewhere they'd be
classed as

it's just
the gene pool.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who is killing all the great directors of Europe?

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007)

Otoliths issue six is now online

Issue six of Otoliths has just gone live. It contains work by Adam Fieled, David-Baptiste Chirot, Bill Drennan, Joel Chace, Julian Jason Haladyn, Spencer Selby, Kristine Ong Muslim, Juliet Cook, Reed Altemus, Michael Steven, Jeff Harrison, J. D. Nelson, Alex Carnevale, Mary Ellen Derwis, Alexander Jorgensen, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, dan raphael, Raymond Farr, Márton Koppány, Javant Biarujia, Philip Byron Oakes, John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Rochelle Ratner, Sheila E. Murphy, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Jordan Stempleman, Ray Craig, Iain Britton, Paul Siegell, Andrew Topel, Ernesto Priego, Mark DeCarteret, Matthew Medina, Joe Balaz, Brian Foley, Luke Daly, Martin Edmond, Tom Beckett, Karri Kokko & ek rzepka & has a cover by Geof Huth.

A reminder that print editions of the previous issues are available at The Otoliths Shopfront along with an ever-growing number of books.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)

"The demons are innumerable, appear at the most inconvenient times and create panic and terror. But I have learnt that if I can master the negative forces and harness them to my chariot, then they can work to my advantage."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me the periodic
table to go
with the other
periodic furniture
we have around
the house.

Logic table: or why doncha do write?

I don't write about things I don't write about.

I do write about things I don't write about.

I don't write about things I do write about.

I do write about things I do write about.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lunch poem

Yesterday it was almost
Autumn in New York
&, putting a logical
footprint on a flight
of fancy, I suppose
today is also. Here it’s
coming into spring
but there’s not a
flower to be seen
& the paparazzi are
reduced to polishing
their camera lenses &
taking bets on which
way the river will
flow next. My nose
is filling in for a
broken traffic light, the
rest of the clownsuit is
at the cleaners. Once
more that same old
sandwich & double
espresso routine &
no longer funny when
you're out of drag &
they've heard it all before.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lunch poem

If you took small
things out of
context, could
probably assemble
a tolerable landscape. Talis-
men in yr tote bag — the
post office clock
tower, customs house
cupola, some birds, a
measure of hills. Arrange
them where/when
ever you might come
to rest, lean back,
contented or at least
a semblance of. Lasts
for a minute. What

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Day three hundred & thirtysix

Midday raga. Long queues
form at fuel pumps, another
homosexual has been
executed in Iran, rumors
of total, not limited, war
abound. One does not have
to be devout to be
excited by it, to want to
be a part of it, even if it's
only selling enchiladas
to the disciples of Chicago
economic liberalism who
have all lined up to watch
the statues weeping blood.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Today the
postman brought
me my
contributor's copy
of Haiku by
Serial Killers
. It's
the first in a
number of
volumes. The
ones will be
published at