Thursday, January 28, 2010

there / is no / other fit medium.

The mind 
lives there. It is uncertain,
can trick us and leave us
agonized. But for resources
what can equal it?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Black cockatoos in the distance. Small
white flowers on a tree much closer
to me than from where the birds are. Fallen
flowers on the path from a similar
variety of tree, this color. Close to it,
anyway. Darken as they dry, look a
lot like cranberries when they do.
But. No juice in them, therefore no joy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Google's not waving the flag on Australia Day

As today's logo was originally designed.

As it appeared.

Let The Age explain

my annual Australia Day post

On 26 January, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, on behalf of the Crown of Great Britain, took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor.

However, for Aboriginal Australians and many others, the 26th of January is not a day for celebration. To them the date signifies invasion and dispossession. As Thomas Keneally noted in his 1997 Australia Day address -
"A majority of Australians can see why today cannot be a day of rejoicing for all, and that therefore there may be grounds for ultimately finding an Australia Day, a celebration of our community, with which we can all identify."
The choice of 26 January as the day of celebration for all Australians has been queried and argued from a historical and practical viewpoint from the 1800s. That the day might symbolise invasion, dispossession and death to many Aboriginal people was a concept alien to the average Australian until even the latter half of the 20th century. The Editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald of 2 January 1995, arguing for a change of date, stated that January 26 "can never be a truly national day for it symbolises to many Aborigines the date they were conquered and their lands occupied. This divisive aspect to 26 January, the commemoration of the landing at Sydney Cove, will never be reconciled".

Involvement of the Indigenous community on Australia Day has taken many forms - forced participation in re-enactments, mourning for Invasion Day, peaceful protest through to an acknowledgment of survival and an increasing participation in community events at a local level.

By 1888, the year of the centenary celebrations, the white population had increased significantly while the Aboriginal population had declined from at least 750,000 in 1788 to a mere estimated 67,000. (Aboriginal people were not counted in the census until after 1967). The 1888 Centenary events overwhelmingly celebrated British and Australian achievement and as Nigel Parbury writes in his book Survival: ”In 1888 Aboriginals boycotted the Centenary celebrations. Nobody noticed.”

By 1938, the Aboriginal community was becoming well organised in the white ways and able to make strong demands for political rights and equality. An Australian Aborigines League (AAL) had been formed in 1932 and this was followed in 1937 by the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA), a group that began to achieve publicity in the press and addressed a variety of groups such as the NSW Labor Council.

The AAL leader William Cooper and the APA's leader William Ferguson, were instrumental in organising the Day of Mourning Committee for the 1938 Sesquicentenary celebrations. A manifesto, Aborigines Claim Citizen Rights, was published and on Australia Day a conference and protest were held in the Australian Hall, Sydney. Five days later, the APA led an Aboriginal delegation to meet with the Prime Minister and soon after Australia Day, the Committee for Aboriginal Citizen Rights was formed.

The Aboriginal community's push for recognition was highlighted by the 1938 official Australia Day celebrations. Due to a refusal to cooperate by city-based Aborigines, the government imported Aborigines from western communities, locking them up in a stable at Redfern Police Barracks. Immediately following the re-enactment, the group featured on a float in the huge parade in Macquarie Street. The following day they were “sent back to their tin sheds on the Darling River”.

Re-enactments of Phillip's landing continued to be an accepted part of Australia Day ceremonies around the country and it wasn't until the Bicentennial in 1988 that the New South Wales government refused to condone a re-enactment as part of their official proceedings.

On January 26 that year, 40,000 Aboriginal people (including some from as far away as Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory) and their supporters marched from Redfern Park to a public rally at Hyde Park and then on to Sydney Harbour to mark the 200th anniversary of invasion.

From this march grew the concept of "Invasion Day" and "Survival Day", marking the anniversary of the beginning of land loss, but also recognising the survival of a race of people who had been expected to die out. In 1992 the first Survival Day concert was held at La Perouse and in 1998 the event moved to Waverley Oval near Bondi Beach.

The Aboriginal Flag was designed by Harold Thomas, an artist and an Aboriginal, in 1971. The flag was designed to be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the giver of life.

In the late 1960s, Aborigines stepped up their campaign for indigenous land rights through protest marches, demonstrations, banners and posters. The protests increased in the early 1970s and Harold Thomas noticed they were often outnumbered by non-Aborigines with their own banners and placards. He decided they needed to be more visible and the idea of the flag was born.

The Aboriginal flag was first raised in Victoria Square in Adelaide on National Aboriginal Day in 1971, but was adopted nationally by Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in 1972 after it was flown above the Aboriginal "Tent Embassy" outside of the old Parliament House in Canberra.

It is perhaps the only symbol commonly accepted by the diversity of Aboriginal people.

The Aboriginal flag is increasingly being flown by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. In view of its increasing importance in Australian society, the Government initiated steps in 1994 to give the flag legal recognition. After a period of public consultation, the Government made its own decision in July 1995 that the flag should be proclaimed a "Flag of Australia" under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953. The flag was so proclaimed by the Governor General of Australia, William Hayden, on 14 July 1995.

The official flag, the Union Jack, the outcome of a competition 100 years ago, reflected the 1901 Federation’s historical background, the Southern Cross its place in space, and the large star the six States making up the Federation. Here, it was said, was a flag containing "history, heraldry, distinctiveness and beauty".

However, the flag still had no legal status beyond the original British Admiralty authorisations which only related to use at sea. It wasn't until the Flags Act 1953 (enacted 1954) was passed by the Menzies Government that Australia finally had an official national flag, and one that was required to be flown in a superior position to any other national flag (including the Union Flag).

The Flags Act 1953 formally adopted the current design as Australia's "National Flag" and the Act was assented to by Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Australia on 15 April 1954, the first Act of the Australian Parliament to receive assent by the Monarch rather than the Governor General. Finally, more than 53 years after the first design was hoisted, Australia had an official national flag.

The Australian flag was usually flown in conjunction with, often in an inferior position to, the Union Flag of the UK well into the 1960s despite the requirements of the Flags Act 1953. Many Australians considered themselves to be Britons, and Arthur Smout in his 1968 The Flag Book lamented the fact that many seemed to show more loyalty to the Union Flag than to the Australian flag.

Today, there is a growing debate about whether Australia should adopt a new flag, as many see the current British ensign-based design as inappropriate in an increasingly multicultural country that has been progressively weakening its ties with Britain since 1901. Also, the Union Flag occupies what is known as the vexillological honour point, and as Australia becomes more independent, many think Australian symbols rather than the flag of another nation should occupy this position.

(compiled from various sources, including )

recycled from pelican dreaming, 1/26/06.

Monday, January 25, 2010

chez klies

what keeps me awake at night

is not worth

loosing any sleep over

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ah, / the old / soy boy ploy

The evangelical-Christian owners of a national gym franchise are being taken to task for encouraging their members to read discredited material claiming that drinking soy milk makes men gay.

In its most recent e-newsletter Club Physical, whose advertising slogan is "A place where you belong" and whose owners proudly proclaim their membership of Auckland's conservative evangelical Life Church, provides an "interesting" link to an article that claims that soy milk given to young boys turns them gay, with the rider that "homosexuality is always deviant."

geographies: Upper Ulam

                    Rarely are the
                needs of small
            rural school districts
                    met by donations
            of mid to high-end
                street luxury sneakers
                    or by playing endless
        loops of wedding videos
                    in truckstops on
                the nearest highway.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today the
postman brought
me a fart
in a jar. Damn
that voice re-
I'd asked for
a jam tart
to go with my
morning coffee.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beauty & the beast

A kingfisher has just swooped out of nowhere & plucked something from the cycad in the front yard without breaking flight.

Five meters beyond that point of predator/plant intersection, a glossy black crow waddles down the edge of the road. Christ, they're ugly birds.

an unupdate on wild life rifle fire

Even after a couple more emails to Lulu, I still haven't received a response from them.

Getting mightily annoyed. Starting to feel like I'm in an episode from South Park.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Life Lessons 101

Somewhere I read/heard/learnt that fibrous turds sink, fatty turds float.

Incompetents are a form of fatty turd, who, if left unflushed, continue to float for so long that people think they must have something going for them since they've survived so successfully. They get given positions of power, then surround themselves with other incompetents—or fatty turds, if you prefer—thus creating a faecal empire.

That's why the world's going to shit.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

geographies: The Pompidou Center


Three of the five
corners of
Praxiteles' head
are tastefully filled
with imitation plants.


The fourth & fifth
straddle a white
baby grand piano.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Fucked by the fickle finger of fate

with its avatar of an exclamation mark.

Monday was meant to be the launch date of Paul Siegell's new book of concrete poems from Otoliths, wild life rifle fire. The date was considered auspicious because of its binary balance, 01 11 10. Unfortunately, fate in the form of the automated printing process of print on demand has intervened, & it now going to be delayed to a date still to be decided. (I'm going for 10 10 10—not only is there that binary thing, but we can also celebrate the anniversary of the start of the Russian Revolution. Ooops, got carried away there for a minute. Just kidding, Paul.)

As the piece above demonstrates, Paul likes his exclamation marks! So, too, it seems does the afore-mentioned printing process because somewhere in the second half of the book it started cloning them & sticking them on pages where they weren't before, as the photo below demonstrates. First proof was perfect inside, but we had to do a little bit of work on the cover. Next proof an almost perfect cover, but the exclamation marks had arrived!

I hoped it was just an aberration on that run, but the next proof had a perfect cover & more exclamation marks inside. Thought the file may have got corrupted, re-uploaded, tried again. Fbtffof!

No joy yet from Lulu. No explanations. No response to my complaints except for an intitial "you're important to us" or some such. Once you used to be able to contact a Lulu customer service person through a chat feature which worked fine for me because the time zone thing meant that whoever was on the keyboard at the other end was nearing the end of their shift & was only too happy to assist because that would carry them through to knockoff time. Now it's take a number & we'll be in touch.....

Though to be fair to Lulu, I've been dealing with them for four or so years, have a shelf-full of books I've brought out through them under my Otoliths imprint, & I've never had any problems anywhere near this magnitude before.

So, I'm going out to disembowel a goat to see what the future holds. Once I've read the entrails—or Lulu get back to me—I'll post an update.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Out from Otoliths—nick-e melville's selections and dissections

selections and dissections
nick-e melville
128 pages
Otoliths 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-4-8
$14.95 + p&h
This is poetry from within an international concrete-typographic tradition to which it pays respect as a means of placing itself precisely in its own distinct take on language. Gide said most good writers have their own specific sense of irony, and that’s one of the things nick-e melville shows in the work here. But by irony is not meant that commonplace smart-arsedness of British literary middleclass detachment and defence; on the contrary this is a way of viewing and engaging that is basic, delicate, and political. — Tom Leonard

What nick-e melville creates within selections and dissections is text as experience, presenting us with different ways to look at visual language, different ways to understand the ubiquitous textscapes of daily living. The pages of this book are filled with games, but games of the most serious kind, games about the act of being sentient textual beings. Melville, a textual imagineer, examines the spaces between letters, the negative spaces between lines of text, and even the halftone atoms of printing, always looking for the surprise in the printed text. To read this book is to experience these acts of textual imagination as cinema, as vibrant and moving sequences of thought. — Geof Huth

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

the mist &

I have been getting

hexagram 37
repeatedly. The
skyscrapers' neon
lights shine brightly
& moderate the
release of

ancient Buddhas &
crumbling ghosts
into the blood-
stream. I have been
getting hexagram 37
repeatedly. What

happens when the
soldiers start
to question why
they were taken to
Afghanistan &
forced to work

as exotic dancers? I
have been getting
hexagram 37 re-
peatedly. "The
occasion for

will disappear."

Saturday, January 02, 2010

If I ever

do a book from the outside in—that is, title first, poems after—I'm going to call it

feral velcro

Friday, January 01, 2010

'gator Aid

Year's Day—
seen one, seen

all. Just
like that 'gator

bit off
my leg. "Oh,

horrible. Which
one?" Can't tell.

one 'gator,
seen them all.