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.