Monday, December 31, 2007

walking - stevens

“I was the world in which I walked.”

- Wallace Stevens, from "Tea at the Palaz of Hoon"


surprise

Interesting post by Seth Abramson about, essentially 'secondhand' emotional weight v. surprise in the poem. He says, "the capacity of poetry to express emotional weight is often at odds with the capacity of poetry to surprise both reader and author".

By surprise, could that also be lightness, a kind of mobility, shape-changing, dancing, freedom (if that's a word one can ever use, apart from that Kristofferson song), rather than all this gravitas that I know, at times, I heavy myself with?


Sunday, December 30, 2007

listing

on paper the scrawl and overscrawl
yesterday's list

what was I thinking?

now enumerated with three
different colours of ink

of what was to hand
swelling as if thought
had become action


the 'stuff'

"... an empty drawer is unimaginable. It can only be thought of."


Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston, 1964, p. xxxiii.



Saturday, December 29, 2007

from 'Bursts'

Seasons, cloud banks, grave routes

The stillness within wandering

The traces of us

Roads are sidetrips, doors another weather

Who thinks of the rose in the dark?

The symbolic, just a dark plate

To be roadworthy in ways and means

How to know

White dust haloes round your feet

The city’s memories in bullet holes, wreathes and chisel marks

A half moon, again

A tiredness between sleep

Those beliefs in old landscapes

...



This is a little something from a sequence I'm working on; some parts of it are based around my recent meanderings around the world.

The above extract was worked up from notes written while in Paris (hence references to white dust, cemeteries and bullet holes etc) in September/October during the northern hemisphere's autumn (as in, they do seasons differently up there).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

walking - backwards

And who could forget the immortal words of The Goons on the subject of walking. Just a little late for this seasonal time, here's the first verse:


I'm walking backwards for Christmas,
Across the Irish Sea,
I'm walking backwards for Christmas,
It's the only thing for me.

I've tried walking sideways,
And walking to the front,
But people just look at me,
And say it's a publicity stunt.

I'm walking backwards for Christmas,
To prove that I love you.

catching up at yr's end

And just some bits and pieces before the year ends, mainly a bit of skiting.

4W 18, which was published in November, featured the winner of the Booranga Prize for best poem in the issue, which was none other than me, myself, I. To read the winning poem, The Beautiful Anxiety, you'll have to buy the mag for the moment.

But here's a taste:

... and distinguish the cold of it, dropt on
sun shadows within the petrochemical hum
it’s erotic scent, a ghost of ash
passing stars, and a kind of subliminal speech
among legends of flowers and birds, roses ...

- from 'The Beautiful Anxiety', Jill Jones

***


Also, the annual Newcastle Poetry Prize was announced in December. No, I did not win that one - the winner was Mark Treddinick for his poem Eclogues - but two of my poems were included in the anthology. Again, you should get the anthology for the whole nine metres, but here's a line or nine from mine:

... The birds do not care
which is why we watch them.

Rather than knot up star-dark rings
I abandon my latent crises and stretch
round your outlines. I grow wings. ...

- from 'A Series of Details', Jill Jones


... Above me miles of nothing (if you don’t count clouds,
‘yes, that would be too romantic’).
Walls cluster round branded air, which might be safe,
‘but is it good for you’, spoonful after spoonful? ...

- from 'My Fugitive Votive', Jill Jones


***

You probably all know that E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The Second XV Interviews, is out, but if you didn't, you do now. It contains interviews with Mark Young, Michael Heller, Bob Grumman, Shanna Compton, Sandy McIntosh, Jim McCrary, Gary Sullivan, A.L. Nielsen, Michael Farrell, CAConrad, Anny Ballardini, Denise Duhamel, Nick Carbó, Jack Kimball, Geoffrey Young & Jordan Stempleman, plus more than 100 pages of text & visual poetry, an essay, even a play. The interviewers this time around are Tom Beckett, Thomas Fink, Richard Lopez & Geof Huth. You can get your copy from the Otoliths shop.

walking - clare

My wild field catalogue of flowers
Grows in my rhymes as thick as showers
Tedious and long as they may be
To some, they never weary me
The wood and mead and field of grain
I coud hunt oer and oer again
And talk to every blossom wild
Fond as a parent to a child
And cull them in my childish joy

from "May", John Clare

walking - tung-shan

Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi

Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.
It is just I myself,
And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,
I can be as I am.


Tung-Shan (Tozan) (806-869)


(from Two Zen Classics, Katsuki Sekida. Weatherhill. New York, 1995.)

walking - kiarostami

My shadow
keeps me company
this moonlit evening


Abbas Kiarostami
(Trans. by Ahmad Karimi-Hakkad and Michael Beard)


A short extract from poems by Iranian film maker, Kiarostami.

absence

Yes, absent for a while. My computer melt-down caused a blog quietness (though not 'quietude'). Also, 2007 has not been one of the best of years, and one aspect was the worst of years.

However, life, work, art (techne, poesis, scratching words), pleasures and drudges, pottering with and without guilt, keep me going onwards.

The strains of technology leave their traces.

More noise on ruby street, anyway.