Monday, November 28, 2005

mind?

Stevens says ' the poem of the act of the mind' but how does the mind act? Is it the same thing as thought? Has anyone seen a mind working?

Rather, the working of a body that is thinking.

Inside and outside, not just, say, 'inner processes'. Not to turn from thinking but to think of thinking in another way.

Connections, from nerves to skin to others, and to stuff, things, world. Something like work, like labour.

And ee-mo-shuns (fee-eelings)? They are some work as well, in and of the body. Of the same work.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

listening ...

... Nils Petter Molvaer, Khmer and Solid Ether.

It's cooled down today and so I've gone a bit Scando.

And reading How To Address Fog, XXV Finnish Poems 1978-2002, edited by Anni Sumari. Includes poets known (to me), Paavo Haavikko and Bo Carpelan, to plenty unknown.

bits of me

A quick update of where you might find some recent(ish) work of mine. I've been a bit remiss in pointing towards those publications that have taken some of my work.

The most recent is a poem featured at Jonathan Mayhew's blog magazine The Duplications. Jonathan also keeps the well-known blog Bemsha Swing and it's always worth reading.

There's also a goodly selection of poems, including a 'Bob Dylan' poem, at MiPoesias and, earlier in the year, other poems at Jacket and Malleable Jangle.

All the above are well-worth perusing for the other work by the many excellent poets and writers contained therein.

And last, but definitely not least, there is The First Haynaku Anthology, edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young. The blurbs runs: "The "hay(na)ku" is a poetic form invented by Eileen Tabios, as inspired by Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, and Tabios' meditations on the Filipino transcolonial and diasporic experience. The form is deceptively simple: a tercet comprised of one-, two- and three-word lines. Many poets also created variations from the basic form, attesting to its paradoxical suppleness despite its minimalist orientation. Inaugurated on June 12, 2003 (Philippine Independence Day), the form swiftly became popular and since has been used by poets all over the world -- including the anthology's 38 poets and editors Jean Vengua (U.S.) and Mark Young (Australia)." So there! The anthology is also of interest as most of the poets have made brief comments on the form as well as contributing their own examples.

I don't know if the anthology is yet actually published but, if not, its arrival seems imminent.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Of one of the mysteries

Waking as if in dusk
watching someone sleep
mist of morning
not the future yet
or radio damage
life creases forehead
smell night’s hair
still, like nothing is
still, cloud-sun very soon
rain cold, decisions
weigh in the body
lift, turn, flutter
currawong water falls
onto day side
struck dumb I hold
my hands warm
breath needing voice
on later, rising

providing for shadow

How do you read or understand a body? How you stand with someone, away or in? Just don't pack the party up to move it indoors. Let the wind fierce and the purple rain, graffiti embraced worldwide, as public as any penny, as you walk with a, with b, with a concern about blooms, or who rules. The sun rises up in your own northwest and a smile fades into it. It's hard to find that silver lining in the pour though you could get some backup facility running at a moment's notice, when storm clouds in and it starts to rain on Arabic television news. What's hidden in the moving text at the bottom of the screen? English characters or sets encoded, ASCII text, or a woman's secret language lost. Through the drought they stopped waiting for a lucky day. DVD reigns, though you've collected 745 books or magazines for self study. You might jib at it as relief while an obscure void inches wide beneath your feet. What of travel and holidays? When people speak as if being foreign turns English into a pale image of the past, repetition somehow alters the throw of policy’s dice into its shadow.

Does music make you sad?

Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?


(Just rummaging around in the Sonnets. Not worried about context.)

On silence

Even when there's only an estimate of this beauty, there's silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. Unlike the vocal tributes and hallelujahs of so many sports fans. To understand through the gut magic.

There is silence and silence. We have to ask whether Cage comes to silence or if silence has turned out to be the hammer we all had expected (or rather, hoped for). It takes a few listens more to fall with the noose, to hear the delta calling. Will death eat itself?

If there's a silence in a room someone will try to fill it as soon as humanly possible. There are two ways in, addiction or escort of the Blind Guardian. Silence can be as final as the exquisite score.

There is silence as I sit here staring at the screen. A struggle happened and so much has changed.

a bit hid

Hideous week - just thought I'd mention it.

In fact, hideous year, so far. Not likely to improve in the short term.

I'm not the only one, according to recent conversations with friends. Something cosmic? No, just 'stuff'.

And, no, it's not just about me. But some of it is.

Enough.

recently read ...

... Flesh and Blood by British writer, John Harvey. OK, it was a thriller, a good one, of the British kind.

I mention it mainly as John Harvey is a poet and was also the editor of an English poetry mag called Slow Dancer, which was the first overseas journal to publish me way back in the late 1980s. I was published there about three times between 1988 and 1991. The mag folded in the 1990s.

When I saw the book, I had to buy it and have a read.

listening

Electric Shadows, the film music of Zhao Jiping.

Excerpts from the soundtracks of Raise the Red Lantern, Farewell my Concubine, Ju Dou, Red Firecracker Green Firecracker, Sunbird and To Live.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

this zone

Axis, what axis, O Achilles don’t ask about my ankle
Breasted with sweat is likely in the forecast, on the boil
Cherry blossom was on my mind, not the new carpet squares in the lift
Digital noise, waves at temples, the cords, the drumming
Envelopes calling my name, and this egg on the face of a new version
Flex, files, there is nothing fancy grown here
Grant or grovel, the telephone juggles the calls
Hovercraft or the soul buzzing just above, a handbook tells no story
Irritants more than spring's imp, flying into my eyes
Jars in the bones, on the shelf, don’t jump
Kitchen action, a spider clumped on the switch, kooky all day
Legal action, legislative lugubrosities
Machine translations and other music anxious moments, my history in my shoulder
Nil return, nothing more until
Ormolu ticking in a back alley, near windmills and papyrus, fake ostrich feathers
Paper cups, a leftover, pencils smelling of cedar, a postcard pinned to the flimsy walls
Queen reading poetry, jumping through lush hoops, last night’s quest
Ringing, ringing, ringing, it won't stop
Splashes of cloud against blue slopes and filtered horizons
Tremors, something behind the eyes testing me
Ugly letters with return addresses, there's no going under
Veins crossing my palm left to right, without knotting vision yet
With a youth I used to swagger round wearing dazzles
Xanthic despite the silver mouse in my hand, o remember the days of xerox
Yoghurt isn't a food, she says, I have yawed by it, fetid and stale
Zooshed, and sticky with the product of the world, this zone of my own