Tuesday, June 26, 2007

a series of mergings

Louise left me a comment about the emerging/submerging issue. She suggests "the merging is ongoing and never gets further than a series of mergings over a whole career series of mergings". This makes sense to me.

I emerged this morning still unwell but needing to consider merging into day's tasks. Rain continues and now is a steady dripping onto paths and, one hopes, into ground and towards the catchment area. Despite it being winter, you can feel a humidity, cold and heat together on skin. Parts of the world continue to be filtered in via two different radio stations in separate areas of the house. The light is low outside but this screen kicks out the light as I type.



rain
and cloud
and the travelling

down
the colours
bright and then

grey
light windows
that don't depend

on
these words
that merge morning's

dream
that grows
with any time

Monday, June 25, 2007

survival of writing


I am interested in forms of writing and so have been intrigued by the wooden tablets which were discovered at Vindolanda, an old Roman fort in northern England.

The tablets are of postcard size and charcoal was used to write on them. To me this is beautiful and moving, that such day-to-day correspondence still survives. That such a simple technology still survives. The charcoal inscriptions are still able to be read, partly aided by infra-red photography and digital imaging.

The script is known as Old Roman Cursive which slants to the right but is mainly formed of capitals rather than lower case letters. There are few word breaks and no punctuation.

Here is a letter from Claudia Severa to Sulpicia Lepidina asking Lepidina to visit for Severa's birthday and sending greetings from husband to husband. It may be the earliest known example of writing in Latin by a woman. This would be AD 97-105.

The Vindolanda Tablets Online site is part of a larger project, Script, Image and the Culture of Writing in the Ancient World.

I wonder how long the capacity for handwriting will survive.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

more on reading

Talking about the reading experience (which may well segue into the 'poetry reading' experience), there's always good things to read from Christy Dena at Cross-media Entertainment. For instance, there's this post about portals not walls.

And there's even more stuff on this site, Writer Response Theory.

Of course, there are things that concern me. I am still a text person and I know I wouldn't work well with vlogging as opposed to blogging. I just ain't that gorgeous for da movies. Of course, with an avatar it could be a different story. But, but, but ... things will happen in all kinds of unexpected ways, despite or because of some overheated pundits. You learn as you go, using your own resistances and possibilities as you may.

emerging/ submerging

Left field musing. Reading Ron's discussion of a reading he did with Jessica Smith. Being intrigued I checked out the references he gave about Smith. I'll follow up on her work, indeed, and her blog is worth reading, especially on what Ron was discussing, which was 'the poetry reading'.

But ... here's my sideways not-to-do-with-any-of-this thought. Smith is involved in a press that is, among other things, publishing an anthology of 'younger' poets (ie under 40). Fair enuff, a publisher needs to be publishing whatever. To state the obvious, it's their passion, especially in a profit-free zone such as poetry. But ...

... the implication is that only 'young/er' equals 'emerging'. There are those who emerge 'older' and, thus, never get to engage with such projects. And there's an assumption that 'older' somehow means either you've made it, or your way of writing is 'set' and that you don't continue to 'emerge'. Who ever has done an anthology of poets who slip through the nets, such as the above? Yep, thought so. Not a sausage, nada, no cigar.

No reflection on this venture, which looks cool. Not even being twitter and bisted. Just noting, for da record, ya know. You make yr own tracks.

the reading experience

Interesting discussion about online v print media, about posting as opposed to publishing, how the material conditions of reading either online or on paper yield different forms and reading experiences, about dissatisfactions with online if it's just trying to do what the printed book does. About bad poetry, maybe.

me, bush lawyering about free press?

Maybe we will all have to say something 'positive' when we review books in future in this country. A recent judgement of the High Court supported the idea that a restaurant review that was negative could harm a business. The Court overturned the decision of a jury which, obviously, held the opposite.

The majority in the High Court supported the reasoning of Beazley JA in the Court of Appeal, who said:

"The food served in any restaurant is its essential business. If the food is 'unpalatable' the restaurant fails on the very matter that is the essence of its existence. This is especially so of a purportedly high class restaurant. To say of a restaurateur of such an establishment that they sold 'unpalatable' food injures that person in their business or calling and because of that, is defamatory. In my opinion, no reasonable jury properly directed could reach any other verdict."

The one dissenting judgement, from Justice Michael Kirby, said:
"Citizens do not always share the faith of appellate judges in the judicial resolution of the central issues arising in defamation actions. Typically (and here) those issues require the determination of a clash between a claim to protection of reputation and honour and a claim to exercise the right of "free speech" and a "free press"."

Kirby goes on to say:
"We would reject that submission. Business capacity and reputation are different from personal reputation. Harm to the former can be, as here, inflicted more directly and narrowly than harm to a person's reputation. A person who does not have an admirable character may be a very good restaurateur. It might be possible to say things about him or her personally that are not defamatory, but not about that person as a restaurateur in relation to the conduct of the restaurant. Restaurant standards rather than community ones are the relevant standards in that situation. No community standard or value could obliterate or alter the defamatory meaning of the imputations in this case. It is unimaginable, in any event, that the estimation of the respondents in the mind of any adult person, let alone a reasonable reader, would not be lowered by a statement that they sold unpalatable food and provided bad service at their restaurant, and did so for considerable sums of money. The reinforcement, by the trial judge in her redirections, of the present appellants' submission to the jury that they should have regard to community values and standards in assessing the defamatory nature or otherwise of the imputations, was, as the Court of Appeal held, erroneous."

The High Court case was centrally concerned about the jury process in this matter, yet in all of the above, dissenting or majority judgments, is a disturbing implication: could a negative review of a book harm a publisher's 'business' or an author's 'business', as opposed or as well as 'personal reputation', and therefore be subject to litigation?

I wonder if it will ever be tested. It's not as though there's never been litigation around things literary in this country before.

N.B. There are a range of interesting comments on this case at legal soapbox.

the beastie in me

Looking forward to The Mix Up, an all instrumental album from The Beastie Boys as I'm a big fan of The In Sound From Way Out!. The new one is supposed to be more post-punk than jazzy. I'll be interested in its chops but hope it's still got some swing.

My tolerance for rap is variable and sometimes limited, for all the obvious reasons, but the music, yeah, I can dig. Interesting, it seems a lot of people don't like instrumental music and will diss this album because there's 'like, uh, no lyrics, man'.
Yeah, I guess that's why it's an instrumental album.

this won't disappear

Coming real soon, David Prater's new book,
We Will Disappear
.

As the blurb (moi) says, David Prater's work in We Will Disappear is speedy, accurate, satiric, tender, intense, visceral, engaged. It's formally inventive whilst also dropping beats of pop media jargon and all the transitory idioms we live in. This is a new language for all tomorrow's aching parties. Exciting, highly charged, and affecting, is wot I reckon. Do yourself a favour ...

hearing and seeing

Many good things at Bob Marcacci's i-outlaw, including a poem being read by my mate, Androo of da West (aka Andrew Burke).

The good things are a mix of sound and visuals. Have a look and listen.

Anyway, I have been fluffing around with a microphone so you might hear more of me soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

flash

there's a hole in the air
flashing

the cold wind burns
it furrows and cancels
illuminated faces from
ignited thunderclaps

the intercepts of photography
grab at it
far above the standards
of a light bulb

the central coast line

what is to know about ...
to be above ground
the constitution of clouds
forecasts, weathering, instincts

sound carriages, sky high
the make of air
predictions, warnings, messages
to say, to share breath

whisper, all forms of speech
the blur lines
sky-pink on the leases

close

How close can you get to the page?

It's a matter of feeling the line and how your hand holds it and moves it, if the line follows the hill or the sky.

dwelling

If you're no different to me
than this and the next leaf
ordinary, lovely
in our genus, species
our fingers and toes
mine being shorter
and my leaves lighter
than storm sky or years
via Africa
mine different seas
but it was a lot of water
connected
at bight and strait
and those deltas, canals
languages and their lost libraries
and if yours was Alexandria
or Rome
or an island of columns
and mine the inscribed
lost from
standing stones
they were within some lovely
and terrible time
differently unaware, those mountains
but here we are besides
and both played
in shaking wind
in the weirs and passages
blowing over the gardenia
over there the sea
and its passengers
sails, dream boats, coracles
and kayaks
a thousand miles from care
we wish
that's how we
are here

"only home"

even this infirmary brightens

to travel on
only ticket
here

on making

What are the conditions of making? To go back into past work. The work builds upon work and takes it apart. The conditions are, in part, singing - phrases such as birds or wind touching across planetary surfaces.

It's hard to escape likenesses even if each surface or forehead is different, or difficult. The existential or the communal doesn't seem like a choice.

The conditions are like weathers, weathers for winning, or losing the thread or for calling up possibilities, might rather than should.

It's hard to see bits of the past that stick, until, maybe, they can be written out, even imperfectly. Written out then set beside.

If time isn't linear, it keeps coming back but changed, ever changed. Ink sometimes is just fleck marks. Change it to pixels and they, too, are unreliable.

That nothing makes sense, like making, and you can make sense of nothing. And that vowels and consonants have feelings: feel them in the medium.

Monday, June 11, 2007

notes

to shout towards outside through the painting

walking notes

does the street draw you to walk
echoing it
to propagate from threshold to echo

notes

the heaviest secret of night is the matter
which my opening re/sounds

... as in ...

of the winter advancing
the thin calm skin

the game of welcomes
movements of the gate

armour of rain
the memory question

notes

the question of memory
to transmit marks

Saturday, June 09, 2007

disorder smiles

thrown the end to believe the
rig, the matter opening the way

that one smile in the air
blues storm cloud microbe to method

disorder of air, the escape, nevertheless
designs direction’s release of question’s load

perform language in all, that writes

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

poetic engarbment

One of the events I missed at the Sydney Writers' Festival in Sydney while I was 'doing' the Sydney Writers' Festival in Newcastle was The Red Room's Occasional Poetry event, conjuring the ghost of Gwen Harwood, poetry and various garb, costumes, what have you, and Pam Brown's mineslec (mini essay lecture).

The indefatiguable Johanna Featherstone tells all over at the Red Room blog. James Dean is there, not surprising as Sydney can be like that, and Pam's text will appear soon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

whereabouts

Did the state change softly
shutting us into time frame
the porous veil?
Windows have the story.

Something still takes the eye
in aviation dream
the breath’s whereabouts
near silent work.

When does a movie
bake its valuables
into the destruction
in the background?

These questions fluctuate.
But they could become hot light
for us attached to normal something.
Why not.

How did the partial houses escape?
Or take the shadow balance
whose accident opens
collaged understanding.

Time’s robust angel pours
fording kindness down river.
There’s a place where calms increase
a blue continual colouring.

When you had to open inside
the marks of a sketch
of that beginning
where fire leaves the form

parts with glances
allows their disposition to cross
all the loading merchandise
freely with each possible. There are:

damages between
interests that worry movement
tigers connecting
oranges and crusts.

We take history
rather than equilibrium.
There’s no solution to images
but we part with their looks.

disclaiming

Check out Andrew's hi-spirited disclaimer.

Monday, June 04, 2007

also new

"seconds: a virtual treasury of verse" is an irregularly updated web-zine edited by Andrew Lundwall and has new work by C.S. Perez, Jane Rice, Mathias Svalina, Eileen Tabios, Scott Keeney, Alexander Jorgensen, Sheila Murphy, Tomaz Ĺ alamun and Andrew Demcak.

new journal

A new literary journal has just started up in the UK, The Warwick Review, edited by Michael Hulse.

The first issue has just been published with features on Turkish and Australian writing.

taking poems to newcastle

I've just been in Newcastle to read as part of Poets Paint Words. Thirteen Australian poets were commissioned to write a poem inspired by an Australian painting in the Newcastle Region Art Gallery collection.

The poets include Robert Adamson, Judith Beveridge, Luke Davies, Kate Fagan, Keri Glastonbury, Martin Harrison, Jill Jones, John Kinsella, Peter Minter, Les Murray, Dorothy Porter, Jaya Savige and John Tranter. The exhibition was curated by Peter Minter and Lisa Slade, in conjunction with Sydney Writers’ Festival.

You can read an article in The Australian about this or go to the Newcastle Region Gallery's site to read some of the poems.

The weather was good and a lot of people came and listened at the various sessions. I lingered for most of the weekend, though my gig was over by Friday night. I caught some kind of flu bug but luckily it didn't strike till Saturday. As someone said, it was a 'boutique poets' event'. And a cool idea.

notes

the interval flames, matter opening
winds change the road
you laugh, in order to feel the air
the bird of the thing

blue origin of colour crawls through the loess
forms dull you, you think
your fusion can hope to escape force of breakdown
with which we worried

take a number to the left of the eye
insane life, a strange ugly place
comes as liquid from a germ of method
means spillage on the track

these: the pouch of language in violent space
the feed of soil which formed sun’s rivers, chamfered
the muddle of air, collapse of topography
the end of output

yet dark manuscripts escape the interior animal
a tentacle writes to you
from within form, from spirals
from designs which tear through the whole

load questions in the tongue’s worm hole
take a walk in all directions, write them