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.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

odds & sods

A new issue of Moria is on line. It contains poetry by:

Subhashis Gangopadhyay, Deborah Meadows, Marcia Arrieta,
Becca Klaver, Natalie Knight, Holms Troelstrup,
John Moore Williams, Talia Reed, Brian Zimmer,
Jason Fraley, Adam Strauss, Tom Hibbard,
Nick Demske, Sarah K Bell, Scott Doolin,
Hugh Tribbey, Ann Fine, Mark Young,
Alexander Jorgensen, Andrew Topel.

It also has an article by Heather Momyer on Stein, Myer, and Fraser.

The Canadian on-line continuous-issue journal ditch has been updated with some poems of mine.

The already huge but still unfinished new issue of Big Bridge keeps surfacing & submerging. It contains a piece by me in its feature of commentary from around the world on the election of Barack Obama, & elsewhere in the issue, there's a review by Tom Hibbard of my Meritage Press book, Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Issue fourteen of Otoliths has just gone live.

It's one minute into August on the Tropic of Capricorn, & that means it's time to let loose issue fourteen of Otoliths.

As always it's full of variety. There's work by Kirsten Kaschock, Pat Nolan, Márton Koppány, Jim Meirose , Anne Gorrick, Caleb Puckett, Peter Schwartz, Fredrick Zydek, Ed Baker, Ross Brighton, Derek Henderson, John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Sheila E. Murphy, Raymond Farr, Jill Chan, John Martone, Bob Heman, Philip Byron Oakes, Ric Carfagna, Eileen R. Tabios, Justin Mulrooney, Jeff Harrison, Eric Burke, K. R. Copeland & Jeff Crouch, Crane Giamo, Paula Kolek, Daniel f Bradley, Arthur Leung, Joseph Harrington, Iain Britton, Thomas Fink, Tan Lin, Kristine Marie Darling , Joel Chace, Paul Siegell, Mariana Isara, Jay Snodgrass, Bill Drennan, Jill Jones, Stu Hatton, Nicholas Michael Ravnikar, Mara Patricia Hernandez, Felino Soriano, Matt Hetherington, Marcia Arrieta, Charles Freeland, Vernon Frazer, Grzegorz Wróblewski, Julian Jason Haladyn, Martin Edmond, harry k stammer, Reed Altemus, Randall Brock, Anny Ballardini, sean burn, A. Scott Britton, David-Baptiste Chirot, Joan Harvey, Mary Ellen Derwis, Bobbi Lurie, John Moore Williams, Sarah Ahmad, Scott Metz, Theodoros Chiotis, & Sheila E. Murphy.