Wednesday, March 31, 2010

day To

It is after midnight.

My toes are bloodied from broken blisters.

I take my shoes off.

I arrive home.

Korean dinner with friends.

Five books in my bag, gifts, swaps. Jill Jones’ Dark Bright Doors, Michael Farrell’s a raiders guide, their exceptional combined anthology Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay & Lesbian Poets. Both of them are over here. Read with both of them tonight, a great pleasure. Jill’s book was also launched tonight. The other two books I’m also delighted to have: Wystan Curnow’s modern colours, & the book nobody thought would ever see the light of day, Steal Away Boy, the selected poems of Dave Mitchell, now desperately ill in Sydney, but my partner in a series of poetry readings in the late 1960s in Auckland. “Mark played intellectual Baudelaire to Dave’s anarchic Rimbaud”, an Ian Wedde quote in the introduction by the editors, Nigel Roberts & Martin Edmond.

A reading, preceded by the launch of Genji Monogatari, preceded by a day of talks, one of which was mine. Am pleased with the way all three went.

The first poems of the nzepc Home & Away digital bridge have gone up.

Pleasant surprise when Wystan Curnow boarded the bus I was on to go into the city. He’s probably the person around who I’ve known the longest, since the end of the 1950s. Yesterday, in catching up discussion, he told me how he was in New York with Nick Piombino when Nick got the proofs of Free Fall, his visual collage novel that I published. Small world.

I have done more walking in the three days since I’ve been here than I’ve done in the last three years.

My notebook is still on Queensland time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The view

I have from the balcony of the apartment where I'm staying in Auckland is, to say the least, splendiferous. Top floor on top of a hill, the harbour laid out all around, the sea beyond, the islands.

& the little I've experienced of the city so far - a short walk to the local shopping center to get some grapefruit & a pre-paid broadband stick that works with the local provider - gives me the feeling, for the first time in the six or seven decades I've known this place, that it finally has that bigcity feel to it.

& oh the osmosis I'm experiencing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Google doodad

tells me that Akira Kurosawa was born 100 years ago today. He was always one of my—if not the—favorite directors, so I'm honoring him by posting a poem from a few years ago


It is the rain, initially, that acts as
catalyst to combine the static
elements. A thin patina of it on the
road, & the slope of the hill behind
provides the perspective that forces
the shadows of the park sign, the gum trees
& the low log fence around the park
into the core of an image, an ideogram
drawn upon the road. To concentrate
the brightness, add low cloud with the
city lights reflecting off it, & sodium lights
above the intersection hidden by the
houses at the top of the hill. Arrange
the ingredients thus; cloud cover,
sodium lights, gum trees, park sign,
fence, rain on the road. I do not know
what the ideogram means, but I archive
it anyway, store it as a zipfile in my mind.

The ideogram is augmented later. A
story on the 10.30 news has as back-
drop to the newsreader a stylised image
of a Japanese gate. Now I know what I am
reminded of, & reach beyond it, through
a simple gate of similar shape. To Akira
Kurosawa’s Rashomon, & that image of
Mifune in the rain, bound with ropes but
still defiant, the mud-smeared murderer
in a story that has four tellings. Foretelling.

In the morning, without backlighting, the
road is nothing more than wet asphalt.
I bring in the newspaper. The death of
Kurosawa is reported on an inside page.

Monday, March 22, 2010

geographies: The Dickens House Museum

     Nobody likes the 
obscure, but the retro
atmosphere of fiber
optic systems begun
during the cold war
is always random &
drops the core body
temp wicked fast.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

a birthday announcement

Though the first poem in the series was written almost four months before I started the blog, my Series Magritte was six years old yesterday. 209 poems so far, plus a video & two books. Not a bad outing for the M&Ms.

Once again

we miss out on the worst of a cyclone by the narrowest of margins,

but, being to the south of its path, it'll mean heavyish rain & strong winds for much of tonight/tomorrow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

geographies: Reykjavik

The rhythm of the
liturgical year
is mechanical man-
ipulation, pressure
& temperature
increase. You cannot
deviate from the
plan. End of subject.
No need to think
about it anymore.

Thursday, March 18, 2010





Wednesday, March 17, 2010

R U holy & horny?

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Sorry, I didn't add the links. But if you're either that horny or that holy, I reckon you can find them for yourself.

here we go again hay(na)ku

Tropical Cyclone Ului
predicted to

Central Queensland
coastline this weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a / jacket whose / snaps don't align

I’m all for the tough-chick, edgy look we’ve been seeing everywhere, but go too far over the top & it loses the ability to encode a protein.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"My quietness has a hamster in it"

Used to be content
with the traditional
hamster package—
a wheel, a wooden
carrot to chew on, her
single goal to be a
fūzokujo in a soap-
lands. That all
overtaken by new
technology & the
advent of Polynesian
tiki culture. Now her
engine fueled by
biodiesel derived
from coconut husks
& she wants to drive
the slickest cars, to
become a Street
Czar named Desire.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

thnx 21000

If I could have been
bothered counting

I would now know
how many people

live in the continental
United States since

Jeff Bridges thanked
them all, one by one,

in his speech at yester-
day's Oscars ceremony.

For Bach,

the mystical experience
was canon

Sunday, March 07, 2010

a gentle question

Was this what Ron Silliman had in mind
when he moved & relabeled his blogroll to
Silliman Slinks?

SLINKS - are suitable for Dancing, Exercising, Marching, Skating, Physical Culture, Stage work, Nurses, Fashion and More

SLINKS - are without doubt one of the finest tights you have yet slipped your thighs into.

SLINKS - uniquely new antron nylon, lycra spandex blend (unlike other tights) allows your skin to breathe

SLINKS - are available in colours, suntan, beige and black

SLINKS - are available in childrens sizes.

SLINKS - come in both shimmer and matte textures

SLINKS - give fantastic support.

SLINKS - do not move around on the legs when exercising or dancing.

SLINKS - are considerably stronger than most similar tights.

SLINKS - have a cotton gusset which is not visible when worn.


Friday, March 05, 2010

What / we're up / against in Australia

"The essential issue of why poetry is not being read is that it has morphed into the almost exclusive province of small presses.

What is killing poetry as a literary form are the lethal mix of vanity publishing, the uncritical gushing of blogger-poets and narcissism.

There is no shortage of poets, but there is a shortage of readers who bother.

The reason is that the tat that masquerades as poetry is emotionally, spiritually and intellectually inept. This is why it is imperative that children are taught quality poems with passion and insight. They then have some kind of basis to judge what is dross and what is distilled from experience and worthy to pursue.

They need to know what assonance, alliteration and onomatopoeia are and what the differences between a haiku, tanka, syllable cinquains, a sonnet a ballad and blank verse."

Christopher Bantick, who teaches at Trinity Grammar in Melbourne, prattling on ungrammatically in a piece entitled Poets must go back to school, published in this month's The Australian Literary Review, a monthly liftout in Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Out from Otoliths—Mark Young's Genji Monogatari

Genji Monogatari
Mark Young
60 pages
Otoliths, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9806025-8-6
$14.95 + p&h

Genji Monogatari is a sequence of 54 poems, each keyed to one of the chapters of the 11th century Japanese classic by Murasaki Shikibu. The result is a complex and beautiful palimpsest, wherein we are privileged, simultaneously and sequentially, to look upon worlds within worlds within worlds. Mark Young opens the book on the processes of the composition of the sequence itself so that, along with his reading of The Tale of Genji, we are also given the progress of the writing of that reading. His technique, foregrounded here, demonstrates a fidelity to stochastics allied with a profound knowledge of, and respect for, tradition: replaying / our cached millennium. All the characteristics of Young’s recent work—ferocious intellect, coruscating satire, black humor, exquisite emotion—are fully present, along with something more difficult to name: as if, in the drawing back of screen after screen after screen, what is revealed is the nakedness of all enclosure, the silence inside both world and word.—Martin Edmond

Genji Monogatari will be launched by Michele Leggott in Auckland, New Zealand, on 31 March, at the Home & Away Symposium organized by the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Center.

geographies: The Twin Cities

As far as branding
& communication solutions
are concerned, Minnesota
is still very much part
of the old west. Dance
rituals are enacted
to vary dissolution rates
& flash points, spiritual
themes abound, what
cherry picking is there is
there solely for dramatic
effect. Come Monday, the
entire red light district
is being floated on barges
down the Mississippi
preparatory to being
shipped to Singapore.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

geographies: Cork

Only infections
acquired after surgery
can dominate the
men's 400m hurdles
      & remove all un-
necessary programs
in the expansive &
expanding field
of Irish studies.