Thursday, December 31, 2009

prime ordeal

time for
fireworks—I end

the year listening
to Charles

. We
come from it

& I'm preparing
presently to

Monday, December 28, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me an invitation
to the opening
of the latest
in a chain of
goodwill stores
all filled with
what used
to be directed
towards the

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

At least there's one New Zealander

who likes my poetry—though, mind you, like me he lives on this side of the Tasman Sea.

Martin Edmond's review of my Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008 is reprinted in the latest issue of Galatea Resurrects.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

came / whiffling through / the tulgey wood

Just over four years ago I posted the following two entries to my then blog, pelican dreaming:

Read an article

about a book I must get, The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World by Adam Jacot de Boinod.
"I picked up a weighty Albanian dictionary to discover they have no fewer than 27 words for eyebrows..."
It's about foreign words which have no equivalent in English.

areodjarekput (Inuit) "to exchange wives for a few days only"
tsuji-giri (Japanese) "to try out a new sword on a passer-by"
narachastra prayoga (Sanskrit) "men who worship their own sex organ"
chakwair (Shona) "walking through a muddy place making a squelching sound"
tingo (Pascuense, Easter Island) "to borrow things from a friend's house, one by one, until there is nothing left"

Another word from "The Meaning of Tingo"

Ariga-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn't want them to do and tried to prevent them doing, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favour, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude.
& check out The Meaning of Tingo blog.

What I read caused me to order the book through what-passes-as-a-bookstore-hereabouts, & I wasn't disappointed.

I've just received an email from Adam Jacot de Boinod, the author, giving details of his new book.

"The Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).

Discover all sorts of words you've always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one's money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Delving passionately into the English language, I also discover why it is you wouldn't want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else. See more on"

& from the website:
"In my research I’ve discovered some fascinating people, from the parnel, a priest’s mistress, through the applesquire, the male servant of a prostitute, to the screever, a writer of begging letters. If the first two of these are now largely historical, the third certainly isn’t, nor is the slapsauce, a person who enjoys eating fine food or the chafferer, the salesman who enjoys talking while making a sale. Most of us know a blatteroon, a person who will not stop talking, not to mention a wallydrag, a worthless, slovenly person, and even a shot-clog, a drinking companion, only tolerated because he pays for the drinks."

Monday, December 21, 2009

flying the friendly skies

The kookaburra dives, catches a lizard midway along its length, holds the lizard in its beak, renders it senseless by beating the half where the head is against a convenient fallen branch, then proceeds to eat it in torn-from-the-body bite-sized pieces. Not one for swallowing it whole, a delicate eater despite the method of dispatch.

Friday, December 18, 2009

a bit rough, but it's a marquee piece I still like

farmer, fox, bag
of corn, chicken

fox, bag of corn

bag of corn


farmer, chicken

farmer, fox
farmer, chicken

farmer, bag of corn

farmer, chicken



fox, bag of corn

farmer, fox, bag
of corn, chicken

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A personal, portable Beowulf cluster

Implication & silence
are experiential
activities that stimulate
your mind, say the
people who created
in-ear ear-phones, &
provide, when coupled
with smart antennas
& interference rejection,
a near-perfect music
experience in which
those trees associated
with mantram repetition
will readily co-exist
with the prevalence
of problem gambling
among adolescents.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

heading north

early tomorrow for a week or so away. Any correspondence will come out of a small internet cafe in the small sugar town where we're heading, so don't expect to hear too much from me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's a
three frog night.....

Of late

Haven't written any poetry in the last few days, but they've been quite productive.

Finally, the last three issues of Otoliths are now available in print so I'm up to date there. Will hopefully sell enough to cover the cost of supplying the State Library of Australia with copies; have to do that in return for them issuing the ISSNs. & have my first formal subscription, from a U.S. University. I feel almost legitimate.

Have given permission to a U.K. publisher of educational textbooks to include a poem of mine. Received a modest fee for same.

Have replied to a letter from a lady in Philadelphia who, having attended a poetry reading by Paul Siegell where he'd mentioned me, & the fact I came from New Zealand, hoped that I might be related to her Grandmother's brothers who had emigrated to New Zealand after the First World War. The details she supplied didn't fit my family, so I had to disappoint her. But in giving my details in return, I realized there is an element of romanticism to them.
.....both sides of my family arrived in New Zealand in the 1840s, the first decade of European settlement.

Both sides are Scottish, although both descend from immigrants from continental Europe. My father's ancestors were protestant Huguenots who left France in the 17th Century because of religious persecution. My mother's side were, in effect, accidental immigrants. Her antecedents lie with German fisherman out of the port of Bremen, wrecked on or rescued off the coast of Scotland, who decided to stay, settle, & marry the locals. Hence her family name, Bremner.
& today the postman brought me my contributor's copy of poem, home, the anthology edited by Jennifer Hill & Dan Waber of selections from Ars Poetica. Looks great, as do the two chapbooks I got in the same parcel, one by Jennifer Hill & the other by Eileen Tabios.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Later, after dinner, he walked along Nevsky Prospekt. It was eerie, the snow melting as it touched the gaslamps & then turning into ice as it slid down the glass, only a few people, & those few melting away out of the light before he reached them. Was Winter in St. Petersburg seen as so cruel that only visitors ventured out?

Monday, December 07, 2009

The roadway

under the tree at the top of the driveway has become a dumping ground for mango seeds. Apparently, fruit bats have favorite trees to which, once they've taken fruit from another tree, they fly to eat their spoils, & this tree, not a fruit tree btw, is one such tree. Each morning, another five or so well-chewed seeds appear there.

Made the mistake of leaving the car outside a couple of days ago. Looked like it was covered with fruit salad the next morning.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

why / Batman is / full of crap

     Nothing es-
capes him. He
         is a cloak-
         ed cloaca.

Friday, December 04, 2009


of red-tailed black cockatoos around at present. Unusual to see so many. Unusual, too, to see them on this side of the river. Maybe it's the drought that's brought them in closer to the coast, increased their numbers. Striking-looking birds. Totemic.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the song / remains the same

Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
The (Melbourne) Age

Many, many, many, many moons ago I went to an Ella Fitzgerald concert in Wellington, New Zealand. Enjoyed it, but, twelve moons later, was a bit disappointed to come across Ella in Budapest, a record of another concert that was essentially the same as the one I'd been to.

This moon, we went to see Fleetwood Mac in Melbourne. Great concert, enjoyed it immensely. Here's a review of it, only it's the concert they did in Birmingham in the U.K. three weeks earlier. Essentially the same, songs, patter. Not disappointed though. Probably relieved. We go for the nostalgia, not the newness, these days.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Heading south

tomorrow for a couple of days. See Fleetwood Mac, maybe watch some cricket, definitely visit a couple of bookstores, the Art Gallery.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Night, Santa Barbara

"I'm working putting together a photo show in SB for tomorrow night (that means hanging pictures for photographers, I think they are more picky than poets and musicians, well maybe not, but still, the same) and then playing at it. Which means, which song goes B to E or which song goes from E to B, and then, shit, that G#5 chord, where does that go. oh, and the solos and changing strings..."
from an email from harry k stammer

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me soap on a
rope, the Pope
on dope, hope
on a slope, a
trope at a lope.
I couldn't cope.

"Don't bring
the ingredients
next time," I
told him. "Just
the finished
Dr Seuss book."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

today's Mad Marsupial piece

Farmer Chris Rickard received extensive injuries when he was attacked while trying to rescue his blue heeler cattle dog, which was being drowned by an angry kangaroo in a dam at Arthur’s Creek, northeast of Melbourne on Monday morning.

Mr Rickard suffered deep cuts and scratches to his upper body and wounds to his face when the rogue kangaroo turned on him as he tried to pull his blue heeler cattle dog out from the clutches of the 5ft-tall eastern grey kangaroo.

Mr Rickard had been walking his dog, named Rocky, at the back of his property when they disturbed the kangaroo, which had been sleeping in grass nearby.

Mr Rickard said Rocky had chased the kangaroo into the dam when the marsupial turned, grabbed the dog with its front paws and held Rocky underwater for about 20 seconds.

Mr Rickard told the Herald Sun newspaper he then jumped in and grabbed the dog, but the kangaroo then turned on him.

Paramedic Michael Vasopressin said Mr Rickard had suffered a 20cm wound across his abdomen that was so deep “it cut through a couple of layers of flesh into the fat”, as well as a deep cut across his face and eye and a number of scratches to his chest, face and arms.
Times online

Monday, November 23, 2009


Christo wrap
when he lays
her to rest?


I look at words & they don't seem right, even though I've spelt them correctly. One that has always caused me to pause is uncle. Today I spent a couple of minutes trying to work out if anything was wrong with spring.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm finally

getting around to doing the print editions of the last few issues of Otoliths. Have more or less finished #13, will probably start on #14 tomorrow, &, since I'm in the zone, will try & follow up & get #15 ready.

Plus, I've got six or so books in various stages of preparation. I know I said I wasn't going to do any more, but it looks like I spoke too soon.

& issue #16 is already becoming quite substantial, even though its go-live date is still two-&-a-half months away.

The temperature today is 37° Celsius, just under 100° Fahrenheit, & there's an even hotter day forecast tomorrow. It's not even summer yet, which is a reciprocal of the many emails I'm getting from the States which mention that it's an early winter. How can people be sceptical about climate change?

& I'm off to watch a repeat episode of Buffy on cable. I'm too embarrassed to let on how many times I've watched what is one of my favorite shows.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


In the course of my first cigaret of the day, I saw, in the immediate neighborhood, an ibis, a pair of double-barred finches, several magpie larks, a wagtail, three varieties of honeyeater of various sizes, a pheasant coucal, a couple of raptors, probably kites, circling over the lagoon down the street, heard sulphur-crested cockatoos, koels, & crows.

It's a fairly standard list for these parts. The pheasant coucal is not as regular a visitor as the others, but because it doesn't fly much, preferring to hop/bop its way along low branches or fences, black body but with mottled wings & tail, the latter longer than its body, it tends to stay around for a greater period of time. & the list, depending on the time of day, is supplemented by kingfishers, kookaburras, parrots, other varieties of honeyeater, olive-backed orioles, swallows, pigeons & doves, black cockatoos, kurrawongs. But they're all natives.

Which is why I was surprised to see, when I went up the road to get the Sunday papers, some sparrows on the carpark fence. An exotic sight, x 2. Firstly, they're an imported species, an exotic, brought here by the early European settlers along with rabbits & foxes which have multiplied to become scourges of arable land—rabbits—& of native fauna—foxes. Secondly, unlike every other place I've lived in, they're reasonably rare up here, &, rather than the friendly birds I remember that were happy to live on crumbs of bread, they tend to be quite feral.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

causality / casulty

A flasher on board a Hamilton bus in New Zealand has led the driver to crash into a police station.

A 14-year-old male passenger allegedly exposed himself to a female passenger on the bus on Friday morning, causing her to scream.

The bus driver called his company office, who advised him to take the bus to the nearest police station.

When the bus arrived at the Hamilton North Community Policing Centre, the driver activated the emergency door lock, thinking the bus was in neutral.

But the bus was still in gear and rolled into the station entranceway, hitting an arch, cracking the bus windscreen and causing minor damage to the building.

No one was injured and the 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with carrying out an indecent act.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

which becomes

Series Magritte #205

Discourse on Method

In there for
show, or
core co-
bald, be-
but not at all
by the juxta-
position of
the box &
horse's bell
Magritte has
placed be-
fore him.

To him
two objects
in Euclidian
space; a three-
makes all

what I'm currently working on



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Descartes ficcione

through 17
by L’Académie

on Le Discours
de la Méthode

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

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

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

Monday, November 09, 2009

According to The Australian Literary Review

which is as pompous & oldfashioned as its name suggests, &, like so much of the literary establishment in these parts, licks its own ass & likes the taste of what it finds there—shit that is stylistically at least threescore & ten years old—these were the ten best-selling books of poetry throughout the country in the last week.
1. Shakespeare's Sonnets
2. The Bee Hut, Dorothy Porter
3. Book of Longing, Leonard Cohen
4. Dorothea Mackellar's My Country
5. Selected Poems of T.S.Eliot
6. Penguin's Poems by Heart
7. The Odyssey
8. W.B.Yeats
9. The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran (hardback)
10. The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran (paperback)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

There are walls

that are built to keep people out—the Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall—& there are walls built to keep people in—the West Bank Wall, the Berlin Wall.

There are walls that are built of stone, of timber, of steel, of concrete. & there are walls that are built with unthinking irony, as was that constructed by the organizers of a free U2 concert in Berlin celebrating the anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall who built a two-meter high barricade around the event to keep it from public view.

Friday, November 06, 2009

stops on the morning-thought bus route

wake to the sound & smell of rain


many mornings since


is pleasant


is sweet & pleasant


dulce et decorum est


huge memorial window at my old highschool


first world war


wilfred owen poem


The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.


never more so than now


& then


country joe & the fish


& it's one, two, three
what are we fighting for?


fort bragg



Thursday, November 05, 2009

a co-post

Series Magritte #204

Quand l'heure sonnera (When the hour strikes)

Venus de
Milo, hot-
air balloon,
writing down
the elements
doesn't have
the tension
of a painterly

unless you
know the sub-
text. So. Some
clues. Start
with a child-
hood incident.
Continue with
de Chirico.

Redesigning the Pompidou Centre

    Three of the five
corners of     Praxiteles'
            head are tastefully
                 filled with imitation
         plants. The fourth
                 & fifth     share a
            Liberace-style white
                      baby     grand piano.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

from a Q & A with Sir Ian McKellen

Details: Is it true that when you stay at hotels you tear out the Bible page that condemns homosexuality?
Ian McKellen: I do, absolutely. I'm not proudly defacing the book, but it's a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible. And I'm not really the first: I got delivered a package of 40 of those pages—Leviticus 18:22—that had been torn out by a married couple I know. They put them on a bit of string so that I could hang it up in the bathroom.

Details: So did you?
Ian McKellen: It is in the bathroom, yes, but it's too much of a curiosity to actually put to use.
The whole interview can be found here.

Jean Vengua reading

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me de Sade's
120 Days of
. It has
a 30-day

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Otoliths 15 is now live

Ira Joel Haber
July Collage

In a switch on the normal All Hallows' Eve tradition, the someone who's come knocking at your door is bringing you candy. No tricks, just treats. Issue 15, the southern spring 2009 issue, of Otoliths has just gone live, & has in its basket a wondrous variety of text & visuals—sometimes both—from Ray Craig, Crag Hill, Andrew Topel, Jeff Harrison, James Mc Laughlin, Bob Heman, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Tyler Flynn Dorholt, Philip Byron Oakes, Chris Gordon, Louise Norlie, Donald Dunbar & Andrew Lundwall, Raymond Farr, Márton Koppány, Halvard Johnson, Kathleen Rooney, Rodger Lowenthal, Travis Macdonald, John J. Trause, Kat Dixon, John M. Bennett, Baron & John M. Bennett, Sheila E. Murphy & John M. Bennett, Robert van Vliet, Cecelia Chapman & Jeff Crouch, Yoko Danno, Charles Clifford Brooks III, j/j hastain, Daniel f Bradley, Tim Marcuson, Michael Brandonisio, Lance Newman, Adam Katz, Andy Martrich, Jeff Klooger, Yonah Korngold, John Martone, Bill Drennan, Karri Kokko, David Berridge, Ira Joel Haber, Marcia Arrieta, Martin Edmond, Andrew Topel & John M. Bennett, Felino Soriano, Jal Nicholl, Ed Baker, Tony Rickaby, Sam Schild, Paul Siegell, Tom Beckett, Grzegorz Wróblewski, David-Baptiste Chirot, Jon Curley, sean burn, Tim Kahl, Mara Patricia Hernandez, PD Mallamo, Carlyle Baker, Bobbi Lurie, John Moore Williams, Dominic Amerena, & Spencer Selby.

So turn on the porchlight, & get reading.

Friday, October 30, 2009


should have been born on another day, since that would mean that I, who shares his birthday, wouldn't have to spend it laboring over a keyboard putting in the several hundred links that will tie the next issue of Otoliths, due out in about 33 hours, together.

Still, we're going out tonight for dinner, to a fairly new Vietnamese—yes, this place is getting a little bit more cosmopolitan—restaurant that sits (almost) on the riverbank. & the night will hide the normal cruddy, muddy color of the water, & there'll be lights reflected in it, & for a while we can imagine we're in another city, in another country, by another river.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) today confirmed that a series of New Zealand and European laboratory tests on a single New Zealand sheep brain have detected the condition atypical scrapie (also known as Nor 98).

Atypical scrapie/Nor 98 is a relatively recently discovered brain condition of sheep and goats that is quite different from the classical form of scrapie.

Neither atypical scrapie/Nor 98 nor scrapie is known to pose any risk to human health or the safety of eating meat or animal products.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I used

to buy from Amazon because it was pretty much the only way, in this town of the solitary bookstore, to get the books I wanted. Sure, when you took into account the exchange rate & the cost of shipping, it was probably more expensive than ordering them locally, but I didn't mind that impost &, in many cases, I got the books weeks before they became available in Australia.

These days, with the Australian dollar closing in on parity with the greenback, it's cheaper to import than it is to buy locally. The rule of thumb for local booksellers, I read recently, is to double the U.S. list price & that becomes the $AU price. With Amazon having pre-order discounts, buying from there, even with shipping charges included, means that I'm paying somewhere around 2/3rds of what the book would cost locally.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me Indiana
Jones & The
Walking Frame

Saturday, October 24, 2009

who's a pretty luddite, then?

I have just been forced to decline a poem for Otoliths, not because I didn't like it—I do—but because it made liberal use of wingdings, & I've discovered that coding for wingdings produces nonsense characters on machines using any other browser than IE. &, as the graph below demonstrates, that's the majority of visitors to the site.

I did a search for the reason for the gibberish, & found:
For Windows, browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape 4 that are not standards-compliant allow non-Unicode fonts such as Wingdings to be specified in HTML or CSS, to enable additional special characters to be displayed. Specifying Wingdings font is contrary to the published specifications, has never been a documented feature of HTML, is not reliable, and should not be done.
My normal default is to view in IE when I post stuff; but I've found over time that the robustness of HTML in IE is not always echoed in other browsers. Usually it's small stuff—forgetting the semi-colon at the end when you're coding for spaces still shows as a space in IE but displays the actual code in Firefox. Occasionally it's a bit more complex, when, for example, there's a passage with a number of tags to it—say italics + bold + underlined + font face + font size—which can be closed in any order in IE & produce the desired result, but which have to be closed in a mirror sequence to their opening to get what you want in Firefox. These errors are generally picked up when I put up the page for the contributor to check, but I've had Firefox loaded for a couple of years to be able to check things if I need to.

But I don't like Firefox. Not for any aesthetic reason, just the fact that proponents of the browser display an almost religious zeal in their advocacy. They remind me of adherents to the theory of creationism, proselytizing that Firefox is a true example of Intelligent Design. Which fits with.....
"Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent say humans evolved, and that God was not involved." (CBS poll, 2005)
Looks like I'm out on my own here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me the catalog
raisonné of a
Flemish Master
who doesn't
yet exist. I've
his creations
with the names
that are listed in
the catalog. I'm
still working on
his creation, am
using that fictional
detective from
Los Angeles as
his working name.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Issue six

of Pinstripe Fedora, guest-edited by Raymond Farr, is up.

It contains work by Michael Farrell, Thomas Fink, Thomas Fink & Maya Diablo Mason, Daniel Y. Harris, Christine Herzer, John Lowther, Henry Rasof, E.K. Rzepka, James Sanders, Paul Siegell, Matina L. Stamatakis, harry k stammer, & Mark Young.

Great director, great cast, great movie!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Last summer,

it was a category 4 cyclone chugging down the coastline with its attendant threat to move inland at some point during its progress. Fortunately it didn't: the city received a bit of rain & some fairly strong winds, but nothing else.

The year before it was two floods a month apart. Again we were lucky. The lagoon enlarged itself & redefined "the bottom of the street", but we're on a hill, & it was only the low-lying flood plain areas & a few houses that were built on them that went under.

The year before that, a mini-tornado started up about five kilometers away, described an upside down J in its ten kilometer passage, with hyper-winds that tore branches off trees—& occasionally tore down entire trees—but which caused no structural damage to the house though it left us with a bill for over $1000 to have someone cut off the broken branches & clear away the fallen ones.

I may be a year out with that last one. But the first of the two years that either proceeded or bracketed it was extremely hot & dry, & the other was filled up with a long sequence of afternoon tropical thunderstorms.

Six years we've been here, & every summer has been different from the others. This summer—&, yes, I know it's not even summer yet but it may as well be—we're having the worst bushfires that have been recorded in these parts since Europeans settled here the better part of a couple of centuries ago.

There are two ways to build in a flood-prone area. If you build on the flat, then you raise the house well up from the ground, the traditional Queenslander, where the area underneath the house is also great for escaping the heat. The other way is to build on higher ground; & so, over the years, there has been an ever-increasing encroachment on the lower parts of the range of hills that separates the city from the sea. Once the lower slopes have been built on, then the area behind is next for development, & each new area backs upon the bush that covers the hills.

The hillsides behind the houses are reasonably inaccessible; there's the odd walking path, a single road up to the top of the highest point, a few dry creek beds. In other words, it's mainly forest, rarely cleared. & extremely dry. The average total rainfall for the six months May through October over the last 70 years is 200mm. This year it's around 20mm. Add to that a week of what's been described by the Bureau of Meteorology describes as "erratic winds".

We're across the river, well away. But it's a small city, & we're close enough to have ash cover the front porch, to be able to clearly see the fires when we drive down the road. So far there's been no loss of human life, but there's been property damage, loss of domesticated livestock, & probably significant loss of the native fauna that inhabits the area. There have been evacuations, both main roads to the coast have been cut a different times, & one is likely to be again if the fire keeps on going. Fire breaks have been created to protect the built-up areas, but there's still a lot of bushland to provide fuel.

& I'm left wondering what natural disaster is going to occur next summer.

The local daily newspaper has a gallery of fire images here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me a trans-
passenger liner. I
tried to sail it
in the lagoon
at the bottom
of the street but
when I got it there
it wouldn't budge,
something to do
with Newton's
fourth law of
motion which, in
précis, posits
big fish / big
pool. I've decided
to leave the
liner where it is,
open it up as
an hotel. The
pelicans are pissed.

an aspect of incense

Monday, October 12, 2009

Let me just say

that, not being a revhead, I don't understand a single reference in the post/poem below. Beast!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a found postman poem

Yesterday I
ordered the
tranny parts off
monster garage, &

today the
postman brought
me my dirt-
bones—they look
beast—& my
novarace head
which is a very
nice piece of
machining. Now I
just need my wasp
for it to go on.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Combinatorics, anyone?

In mathematics, the four color theorem, or the four color map theorem, states that given any separation of a plane into contiguous regions, called a map, the regions can be colored using at most four colors so that no two adjacent regions have the same color. Two regions are called adjacent only if they share a border segment, not just a point.
(Image by MIT OCW.)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me the Noble
Piece Prize plus
a sac(k)full of
requests from
the many
penis enlargement
companies I've
dealt with
over the years.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

geographies: Martha's Vineyard

He went into a
hair salon to
get a trim, ended
up walking out
with a bob. Now
he is including
straight bar curls
in his arms
routine. The
prior art has
always shown
that broken or
cracked ribs
from an Italian
             will never fill
          the harbor
beyond Edgar-
town Lighthouse.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The 2009 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

The aim of the awards is to honour achievements that "first make people laugh and then make them think". The Ig Nobel Prizes were presented to the winners by genuine Nobel laureates. The ceremony was organised by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research.

Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK, for showing that cows with names give more milk than cows that are nameless.

Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the faeces of giant pandas.

Medicine: Donald L Unger of Thousand Oaks, California, US, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand but not his right hand every day for more than 60 years.

Economics: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa (and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy).

Physics: Katherine K Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, Daniel E Lieberman of Harvard University and Liza J Shapiro of the University of Texas, all in the US, for analytically determining why pregnant women do not tip over.

Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M Castano of Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for creating diamonds from tequila.

Literature: Ireland's police service for writing and presenting more than 50 traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country - Prawo Jazdy - whose name in Polish means "Driving Licence".

Public Health: Elena N Bodnar, Raphael C Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, US, for inventing a bra that can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks - one for the wearer and one to be given to a needy bystander.

Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.

The 2007 Ig Nobel Prize

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Mao ficcione

Mao Zedong as he
is now known
started the Long March
with 100,000 followers
& three movies. When
they reached Shanxi
there were only
8000 people &
one movie left. Loss of
faith, starvation, accidents
& the continual harrassment
by Jiang Jie Shi’s
Guomindang army
accounted for the attrition. The
two movies — The Battleship
& Les Enfants du
— were lost when
a landslide carried
the mule that was carrying them
away. Stagecoach was the
only one to survive; but,
fortunately, the pedal-powered
generator that provided
the electricity also
made it through un-
scathed. It is said
that by the end of the
March all the survivors
knew every word of the script
by heart. There is a poem
of Mao’s that starts:
“The long shadow
of John Ford
guards the entrances
to the Shanxi Caves.” That
Zhou Enlai who
drove the generator
is equally revered is
evidenced by the number
of bicycles in China today.

from Calligraphies (xPressed, 2004)

It was 60 years ago today

Chairman Mao taught the band to play.....

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

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,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For the climate change sceptics out there,

a day in the life of Australia....


photographer unnamed, Springfield News


photo: Mark Khademi, Timesonline

Broken Hill

photo: Gavin Schmidt, The Daily Telegraph


photo : AAP, Adelaide Now


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


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.

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.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

cascading vertices


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.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Masters

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.

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.


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


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
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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Today the
postman brought
me a satellite
system with
Bob Dylan
doing the voice-
overs. Worked
fine until we
were coming
up to Highway
61, when it
stopped giving
directions &
started asking
where do I
want the
killings done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

if not


                    at least

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I've been so many places
in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs
I've made some bad rhyme
I've acted out my love on stages
with 10,000 people watching
but we're alone now & I'm
singing this song to you

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Suffused with hubris,

he laughed in the faces of the influenza gods. Two days of snuffling, he decided, was more than enough. On the third day he rose from the bed, dressed himself as a harlequin, sang, danced, wrote poetry. He smoked again, metaphoric, meteoric.

But the gods were devious. Came to him as he slept, whispered in his ear, whispers in the air, closed his nostrils. The mind was willing but the body weak. Was bitten in the ass. This time the venom stronger than before.

Friday, August 14, 2009


it's still Winter, but it reached 33° C. today. That's around 91° for those of you who continue to use illogical measuring scales.
Today the
postman brought
me jambandbootleg
by Paul Seigell. &,
hand-written on
the back of the
envelope, a poem
from the author:
"Today the
postman brought
me jambandbootleg
by Paul Seigell."
It took the words
right out of my
mouth. Meatloaf
& PHiSH. Quel
like to see that.

Monday, August 10, 2009

it's been

a few years since I last had a cold or the flu. This one is really making up for lost time.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Portuguese discover Australia, again.

Martin Edmond, at Luca Antara, on Luca Antara:
"When I returned home quite late last night after a dinner party, there was an email from a Lisbon based publishing house complimenting me on Luca Antara, the book, and inquiring very politely as to who they should speak to regarding a possible Portuguese edition? There's no way of saying this without sounding like a ninny but the fact is, I was so moved that I wept. Luca Antara is written in homage to the great Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa; and it also seeks to imagine specific ways in which the early Portuguese presence in Australian history might be made manifest. So an expression of interest from the most prestigious, and also one of the oldest, publishing houses in Portugal felt like a mark of honour in itself; and a kind of validation of a book that already has a curious history." more
The N.Y.Times review of the book can be found here.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Lorca bout

In the moist recesses of my romantic youthful imagination, I harbored regrets for not having been able to do a couple of things because they were before my time. One was to have fought in the Spanish Civil War, the other was to have been able to see Nijinski dance.

I was reminded of these wistful & wishful thoughts by a paragraph in a fairly lengthy review by Scott Hamilton in the Scoop Review of Books of Kiwi Compañeros: New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War.
"The Spanish Civil war may have been a marginal feature of highbrow New Zealand literature at the time when the conflict was actually being waged, but what about its influence on the work of a later generation of writers? In the 1960s a number of iconoclastic young Kiwi writers proclaimed their admiration for Federico Garcia Lorca, the modernist poet who became the great literary martyr of the Civil War when he was shot in cold blood by Franco’s supporters. Mark Young, who was perhaps the most innovative writer operating in this country in the early ‘60s, paid homage to Lorca in an early poem and included references to the Spanish Civil War in several other early pieces. Did the failure of the literary establishment of the ‘30s to do justice to Spain and the writers of the Republic lead to a sort of backlash amongst the following generation? Did some of the exiles from Spain and America who settled in New Zealand after the war help to introduce the work of Lorca and other great Spanish-language modernists to this country?"
To the youthful me, the Spanish Civil War seemed to be the last pure struggle against Fascism. A just war, one that even a pacifist like myself could justify participating in. Then I read George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. The descriptions contained in it of the lengths the various leftist groups went to to gain supremacy over the other leftist groups, the bitter squabbling between them that reduced the defeating of Franco to a secondary driver, were enough to make me glad I hadn't been around to take part in it.

But Nijinski still leaps through my imagination, &, even though I invented a time machine,
I Never Did Get To See Nijinski Dance
I hurry through the streets
of the Principality, towards the
theatre where the Ballet Russe
is performing, refusing
the entreaties of the dealers &
street whores who are as
prevalent here as in any other
time. I dodge the Ducattis & the
occasional Hispano Souza on
the roads, the Gatsbys & Grimaldis
on the sidewalks. Looking around
I see that my research has not been
all it should have been, hope that the
synthetic fibre of my tuxedo will not
be noticed. I stay in the background,
sidle into the theatre, take my seat
as unobtrusively as possible. The
lights go up just before going down
again & I see several well-known faces
in the loges. Diaghilev is in the
audience tonight, hosting a party
of his friends, amongst them Cocteau
who will reprise the structure of this
scene twenty-five years later in his
Testament of Orpheus. Then the
overture starts, the Bakst curtain
rises, the dancers enter. I do not
recognise the soloist. “Where is
Nijinski?” I ask. “Sshh!” says
the person on my right. The one
on my left tells me Nijinski quit
the company ten years ago, is now
hopelessly insane. “Such a shame”
she adds. I am forced to agree.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Scorsese's Shine A Light / on Saturday night. Great film; but I have to agree with — I think it was — Charlie Watts' comment that Buddy Guy was the highlight.

The Stones seemed bigger & better than I remember them, possibly because it was all so up close & personal. But it was very much the same old, same old. They do not reinvent themselves the way that, say, Dylan & Miles Davis do/did.

That said, I still get goosebumps listening to Sympathy for the Devil.