Showing posts from April, 2004


I haven't done much about walking lately but I've noticed that Stephen Vincent has been taking poetry out for a walk. Have a look at his site for the full ten poems called Walking Theory which are pieces supported by a commission from Slight Publications (Chris Sullivan, Publisher). Here are a few excerpts: from Walking Theory #4: "Acknowledge juxtaposition, mourning dove mocking bird, shape sound, alphabet character, melody blood: Release ten-fold, the robin on the trolley track, the crow caw stuck in the throat, the here gone, the inside character, the old flame froze, defrost, walk harder, don't bend to break, the cloven stairwell, one level to the next, each side "interesting": ....." from Walking Theory #5 "... Walking into structure, walking away, walking over the top, turn down the steep hill into theory, into reflection, into imagination, theory a,b, c, is cancelled by theory x,y,z, is keep moving, love is loving th
So, I'm supposed to be packing and going away from my desk but, wandering around Newtown last night, what do I do but go into Elizabeth's Bookshop on King Street and buy not one, but three books: Emil Staiger, Basic Concepts of Poetics (Grundbegriffe der Poetik) , (trans Janette C. Hudson and Luanne T. Frank, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991. Steven Clay and Rodney Phillips, A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980 , The New York Public Library and Granary Books, 1998. Jerome Rothenberg and Steven Clay (eds), A Book of the Book , Granary Books, 2000. I would suspect that the last two of the above belonged to the same owner. The covers are a bit hacked but the insides are fairly pristine. The Staiger looks brand new and there were two other copies of the same brand newness also there. Some kind of remaindereed stock, I presume. Pity I won't get to read them for a while.

getting the brush off?

I read an interesting comment on Ron Silliman's blog recently. He says: "Readers of this blog will know by now that while I am interested in most aspects of the post-avant writing landscape, one sector that I have tended to be less enthusiastic is that segment of retro-avant-gardism that tends to employ new technology in order to generate post-rational texts, ranging from tossing dice to the latest in flash technology. I often feel that such writing is too in love with techné & not with the text, sort of an avant-gardism at all costs strategy that can yield works as lumbering as anything the school of quietude could produce." OK, different strokes, etc. Though, first of all, 'lumbering' poems occur everywhere, from the most conservative to the most post-avant, language and post-language venues. They're not just the preserve of 'official verse culture', or 'school of quietude', or 'retro-avant-gardism'. We've all seen them

meme thing

OK, I'll join in. I got this from Ivy . 1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to page 23. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. So, I happen to have right next to me the latest edition of Boxkite , #3/4, 2004. Here goes: "The whole leg grew stiff in a week, with the thigh and calf wasted to nothing while the kneecap had grown to double its normal size." That's from 'The True Life of Arthur Rimbaud' by Charles Olsen. Dated 1945 and part of an unpublished (until now) manuscript. So, there you have it. Guess I'll go and have lunch.

Shortlist - 2004 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize

Here's the poetry books shortlisted for this year's Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, part of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. (This is the gong I got last year, if I'm allowed to skite.) Jordie Albiston, The Fall (White Crane Press) Pam Brown, Dear Deliria: New & Selected Poems (Salt Publishing) M.T.C. Cronin, beautiful, unfinished -PARABLE/SONG/CANTO/POEM (Salt Publishing) Brook Emery, Misplaced Heart (Five Islands Press Pty Ltd) Philip Hammial, In the Year of Our Lord Slaughter's Children (Island Press Co- operative Ltd) John Tranter, Studio Moon (Salt Publishing) There's more info on all the awards at the NSW Ministry for the Arts site . I won't be able to go to the awards dinner this year as I will be away. It's become a bit of a tradition for me. I was a member of the judging panel in 1995, I organised the awards in 1996 when I worked for the NSW Ministry for the Arts and then I got lucky last year. A strange kind of hat-tric
Hmm, but Lucinda can still be doing stuff like this with her old poet dad. Humph and grumble. And thanks to Jilly at Poetry Hut for the reference.
And speaking of poetryetc projects, not to forget poems about Fathers which Anny Ballardini has graciously hosted on her great Poets' Corner site on this page . Poems by Douglas Barbour, Sharon Brogan, Deborah L. Humphreys, Jill Jones, SK Kelen, Liz Kirby, José Kozer (trans by Mark Weiss), Nessa O' Mahony, Max Richards, Rebecca Seiferle, Martin J. Walker, Mark Weiss, and Kenneth Wolman. Check the site for many other goodies. You'd think we'd all been busy, eh.
All over the shop. Thinking of packing. Thinking currencies, languages, maps, pairs of socks. All the unfinished work that will have to remain so. Urrgh! So in that mood listening to The Wire Tapper 10 compilation. Four Tet, Colleen, Alias, Laibach, Polmo Polpo, David Sylvian, Satanicpornocultshop, Jah Wobble, Mice Parade and many more. Yep, feeling eclectic, woozy and a bit out of my body. Plus, I had to go to Wollongong today for a meeting and the trains, as usual, were running late, there and back. Do I need this? You know the answer to that one. But the meeting was fine, lively, a bit exhausting. ... plus, the big disappointment! Lucinda Williams cancelled her tour. Sad, because her mother died. But, hey, I wanted to see her, hear her, up there, on stage, in person like. A bit ordinary. It was going to be a big treat before we ran out the door, sort of plane wheels on a gravel skyway.

snapshots project

I've been involved in a great project as part of a list I belong to, poetryetc. It's called snapshots and entailed list members writing a 'snap' of where they are (physically, head-wise or whatever) at some time in the world each Wednesday. The greater part of the second iteration (sorry, I like that word) is archived, many thanks to Rebecca Seiferle of The Drunken Boat fame, on a special page on her site. Earlier snaps from this round are archived on Randolph Healy's Wild Honey Press site . The Wild Honey site also features an earlier iteration (yeah, OK) of the project which ran in 2001. The current snaps project has been running nearly a year. Time will tell if it continues. So, there's plenty there written from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Italy, Iceland, Ireland and elsewhere. Enjoy!
Many thanks to Ivy Alvarez and Mark Young , who both replied to my plea for advice on how to use diacritical marks in Blogger. Basically, it's &# plus the unicode or ASCII code number for the accented letter (see, for example, under the 'Insert symbol' menu in Word). You can either compile as you go or there's a list here . I've done this now for the most recent one's on this blog. I will correct some previous posts when I can. I'm way too busy at the moment to go searching through the archives.

poetry v. poetic

"There's an inexplicable reverence for the narcotic adjective 'poetic', whose arrival on the scene heralds the death of thought ... Perhaps this is because of poetry's status as prose's alibi, so that poetry can function as the unexplored but sanctified repository for whatever irrational elements prose may suspect it harbours within its own confines, and may wish to evacuate." - Denise Riley, in The Words of Selves (or, as Riley alternatively proposes The Swords of Elves ), p.18-19. [pub. Stanford University Press, 2000]
Cycling through Bill Evans Trio 'Waltz for Debby' and Miles Davis 'Round About Midnight'. Antidotes for I don't know what. And Evans' version of 'My foolish Heart' seems like the ultimate woozy, druggy track. We were going to go to the Show but there seemed to be too much to do at home - sorting out what to pack, doing some gardening, a bit of cooking for a change. So no cute animals this year. And this was the first year they were having rats amongst the cats, dogs, sheep, pigs and horses. Ah well, next easter. I have a shoebox of guidebooks I've been dipping into. Prague, Paris (as if I needed to) and Ireland. I worry about Czech pronounciation. I will get some pointers from a Czech friend at work. 'Pivo' is beer, which is a good start. Which reminds me - anyone who knows how to do accentual marks using Blogger, I'd be glad to hear of any tips. Just contact me - jpjones at ihug dot com dot au. I'd be most grateful. And I

travel notes

A poem containing Melbourne weather Faces in the street are coming for me down the dusk grids of the city under day's wandering light - ugly, lovely depends on your own arc how your skin attaches or repels the raid on the eternal which is another idea born of clouds and a whisk of stars. Or here in the hum of a hotel room in sight of spires and towers just above what is now so apparent, readily available but hard to distinguish where it belongs on this table, in this work, through this radio. The surprise is the blue above the squall a shining through the other or the outer patchworks like love or beauty unexpected though not completely how it is you could keep on pretending division belongs not even in the sky an enhanced reality besides which the grey gets grey and makes sense to crowds floating but also held to the way that keeps them if they cannot know even the spires that routinely mass above them. The cycle is less massive than hum-drum th

more walking

"Hold on to me and step Over the world's thorns. We shall soon be on The yellow and emerald moss Of the Penwith moor. Are you all right beside me? What's your name and age As though I did not know. Are we getting older At different speeds differently?" from 'A Walk to the Gulvas' by W.S. Graham


"Each day I take a different path now to the river, now to the wood or to the rocks where roses are I climb the hills where I look out but find you nowhere in the light my beauty and my words are gone into the air. Our words were right. ..." - from 'Each day I take ...' by Denise Riley (after Friedrich H&#246lderlin's 'Wohl geh' ich t&#228glich', written between 1798 and 1800) "... Blind in the green afterglow of a crimson dress Poised by a pale wall then gone on out of the light But the girl at the inn will fade, however intently I stare. And I go walking again all over the moors to sob That she is a long way off, which is where we shall always keep her. No having suffices the heart, which must keep integrally red." - from 'Goethe on his holidays' , by Denise Riley .
sounds across us senses of traffic let me off that hook slow holding in passages pushing the wall skirling over willows wherever we can ants and cows watch our hips curled being born turning with delicacy open tunnels into loving calamitous world

away stuff

the aeroplane's welded tears and the fat moon's goodbye eye from sky-blacked north twang with interrupted solos a chorus gathered out of tarmacs and linked diagrams inflatable lifejackets pointed out as necklaces while the cabin manages its own politesse - that's coming back from Hobart, where you walk out to the plane across the tarmac. That seems old style and real instead of the twisting above-ground warrens they have at Sydney and Melbourne. All practice for The Big Trip on the 20th. in interviews you're adding up clauses, requirements you must exclude the setting in this autumn an avenue of leaves above voucher kiosks veneered history, niches the ice is coming no doubt tho' every year it gets later the letters after your name recall the arcane you need an inswing to be plumb but light trembles with resemblance - the work I've been doing is helping individuals fill out applications (OK, it's a longer story than th


This is just a quick check-in as I've been a-travelling most of the week and am currently in Hobart at a cool internet cafe called Mouse on Mars (great band, too) in Salamanca Place as evening is almost here. So I must say thanks to Eileen Tabios who liked some of my hay(na)ku and added me to her hay(na)ku links. I've barely had time to collect up email messages let alone write anything for the blog being as this trip has been a high energy work trip. But I am enjoying the good clean Tasmanian air, the Hobartian hospitality (thanks Ralph, Jane, Pete, Anna and Stephen) and the clear golden Van Dieman's light. I've made some 'travel' notes but they're back at the hotel room. I might post them later in the week if they become formed enough for an airing.