Tuesday, July 19, 2005

sontagging

And a propos of nothing, am currently reading a newish Susan Sontag book of essays called Where the Stress Falls. It looks as though it was published about a year or so before her death. Oddly enough, so far it's made me think about writing a novel again. Well, sort of a fictional memoir rather than a 'story'. I have just finished her essays on Machado de Assis and W.G. Sebald, whose Austerlitz I finished reading recently and whose Vertigo I have next to go. I like Sebald's peripatetic writing, which I would not emulate, but I started thinking of some ideas of my own.

By the way, we had a great surprise when walking around the cemetery at Montparnasse early in the year, late Feb to be exact. After visiting the Baudelaire memorial we strolled on to find a newly set up grave, one that had obviously been cleared out and re-released. There were fresh flowers all over it and wreaths from such as the Mairie de Paris. There was a very simple inscription on a metal plaque - Susan Sontag 1933-2004. Of course, she died in New York but was buried in Paris with a ceremony on 17 January, we heard later, which included readings by such people as Isabelle Huppert who read from Baudelaire and a Sontag favourite, Beckett (who is buried nearby). In attendance also were Ian McEwan, and Annie Leibovitz. There's a pic of some this on culture space blog. My camera had given up the ghost at the particular moment we came across the grave, actually it clagged up when I tried to take a picture of the Baudelaire monument, so I have no record of what we saw apart from memory sharp frozen on a chilly Paris morning, just a couple of weeks after the funeral.

little windfall

I've been on a mini buying spree picking up sale books of poetry. Not books I'd normally buy but quite happy at what I got for the price. including a lovely version of Wallace Steven's Harmonium, a Miroslav Holub (I'm a fan from way way back), Christopher Logue, Don Patterson, Christopher Reid, etc. As I say, nothing outrageous or edgy but books that feel good in the hand and will feed in a different poetics than those I've been following of late. I feel like a change.

in between ideas

An idea, dare I say, taken from Nick Piombino’s fait accompli:

Ideas, in themselves,
have no abode.


Am I worrying too much about transcendence? Or between-ness?

Is anything in itself? And do you come upon the ideas walking along the road? Or in stillness. Above, below, inside. Position, position, position. Not only Sydney real estate agents worry about this. And I’m a-worrying while others are as well. Maybe there’s a lot of bad ideas around at the moment. One bad idea: a national identity card. In fact, three bad ideas in a row: national (stupid borders), identity (a straight jacket) and card (the losing one).

ideas or textures?

Is it that the poem wants, or does not want, to be written? You hear these things said.

One view, a materialist one, say, might go – write a word, write another word, use your hand, or voice, however you write, pen, vocal cord, keyboard. The volition is yours, the poem’s volition is a nonsense.

Want, will (let alone The Will) and, doggone it, our old mate, desire – are they individual, if not material?

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow


Between the Shadow? (note the unfashionable caps) Could you touch this shadow? Hmm. Another nonsense, perhaps. A brain wave? But my brain ain’t waving at the mo’.

Is the inarticulate material? Is it merely a lack or negation – or something ‘real’? A black hole kinda thing? Then what to make of possibility (my old friend). Just circumstances, or a wish.

How common is the ground? Most days, my ground is made of artifical carpet fibres set down on concrete and steel girders, four floors above the asphalt and concrete street placed on the sandstone of this city built on stolen land. NAIDOC Week has just passed but can't ever forget.

Looking for that gap, or opening, between my own skin and the big bad dangers of the universal, if there's no common ground or language. ... Just being a bit tentative (burbling?).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

windows and 'stuff'

I had thought over the last few weeks of closing down this blog. Then I came to one conclusion: that I am hibernating.

There is no point in going into any details of the 'stuff' that has been going on. It's very ordinary stuff, that walks through the door and along the corridor, wafts out of air-conditioning, that great office sea song, that brain softens the night.

I have hardly been able to write, and what I have written is cracked and abstract, though it has colours. I'm glad there's some colours. And it has weather.

I would rather read something dumb. I have a lot of dumb things to read. I have lost my judgement and rely on tracks.

This space is a window at the moment.

From my back window I see the birds, from the big black plate glass I see the night, from the front window the slating morning winking off clouds and car metal. And there's always something going on in the neighbourhood. So I hang around. Relying on tracks and old steps.

still not got

yup
still not
got some words

to
say or
say a lot

i
write i
read adding up

words
like fees
for my life

Sunday, July 03, 2005

doldrums

I haven't had much energy for posting lately. I have been unwell - flu thing that hangs on. I had a burst of writing some actual poems yesterday but looking at them today I'd say there's not much there, a few lines out of too many.

So this is by way of thanking those who've dropped by lately to offer suggestions for broadband (all under consideration by this household), said kind things about the new pic of me or offered other comments. I hope I can rev myself up again soon as I'm making myself feel rather dreary. The only thing that perked me up slightly was the news that Tomasz Stanko is coming here later in the year.