Showing posts from June, 2004
Oh blush, some people liked my recent hay(na)ku. Nice mentions on pelican dreaming and okir. I find the form helps me to think through poem notes and poems 'gone bad' and get to the core of what works, as much as being a fresh way to start from scratch. I've done both, of course. I particularly like working with it as a long form.

And Shanna Compton is ordering my new chapbook.

Cool and thanks all.

The chap book, Struggle and Radiance, was well launched into Sydney last Friday night, thanks to a great speech by Peter Minter (thanks Pete) and the space given me by the Sydney Poetry Network (thanks Martin H, Brook E, and Pete). I won't regale you with the difficulties we had afterwards in getting into the County Clare Inn for 'just the one' wee drink. We were turned back at the door but we have a theory, which has nothing to do with the fact that none of us are 18 anymore. We think it was because we are published and none of 'them' (the whole five custome…

Carl Rakosi 1903-2004

John Tranter has passed on this sad news from Tom Devanney:

Poet Carl Rakosi died on Friday afternoon June 25 at the age of 100, after a series of strokes, in his home in San Francisco. He was with his family and they were reading Mark Twain and listening to music when he died.

Jen Hofer writes that Carl's last words, or nearly-last words were these:
'A hospice worker had come by in the morning to set things up with them and she was asking Carl if he knew what day it was (he didn't); or what month (he thought it was September); or what year (he didn't know); and then she asked him who the president is. He hesitated and Barbara (his daughter) was thinking that maybe he didn't know that either, but after a pause he said "Bush — that bastard!"'

You can read a poem by Carl (with a photo) in the very first issue of Jacket magazine, from 1997. Jacket will publish more material, including a conversation between Carl Rakosi and Tom Devanney, in Jacket 25.
long valley
before night is

I am
not like moves

me and
skin no barrier

transparent gold
better than god

can reach
because I have

atoms mingle
or flutters breeze

fine coaxed
planet hairs surprise

gets greener
the storm arrives

to cross
machine or dog

light empty
time takes slow

repeat never
the same even

as valley
rustle up dark

night stars
full of names

lyric and gap

"You must go on as if I was an open door. Go right on through me I can't answer all your questions."

- Susan Howe, from Frame Structures

I've been thinking a lot about the lyric lately. And looking back at very old lyrics.

As though language began with the wind and the body song.

Then was a time when 'self' was getting its edge (if I read Anne Carson correctly). We now mostly see the gaps in the ancient lyrics that have survived rather than the songs that they were. The gaps are part of our knowledge of ancients works by, say, Sappho. The gaps are how we negotiate these works and, in some ways, are now the most important parts of these works. What selves are in the gaps?

I also wonder about the changes in 'self'. And about the one and the many. How 'virtual realities' and speed of contact may have effects.

I can't answer these questions.

There are always gaps.

Each moment must be doubted. It must be doubted by being kept open. The poem won’t finish.

am I gutted? no, i don't think so.

OK, and there are some new poems of mine in the latest edition of gut cult. Part of a special feature of Australian poets edited by Michael Farrell.

It all happens at once it seems.

New from Wild Honey Press

I'm pretty excited because my chapbook, Struggle and Radiance: Ten commentaries is now available from Wild Honey Press. Randolph Healy at WHP has done a great job with the cover and each book is hand-sewn. Isn't it great when people really care about the books they make, what they look and feel like as well as the 'content', as it were. I feel privileged to be part of the Wild Honey Press list, which is definitely well worth checking out.

My book is being released alongside Three-Legged-Dog by Caitriona O'Reilly and David Wheatley and The Rothenberg Variations by Pierre Joris.

reverse haynaku?

Had I been
faceless I

not have felt
the colder

flocks seek me
like air

I had risen
once ongoing

quiet had I
been faceless

would not have
felt colder

'I' is not only an other, it's thousands, and many thousands of others.

I've just come home from hospital with gunk in my hair. Managed to finally wash it out but there's traces of sticky stuff on my body. There's also a new spider web outside my window. The sun has just got it, as it has got a small leaf furiously twirling in the wind. This bright light is so quickly moving on, however, and soon the whole formation will dim. This morning I saw the remnants of sunrise over the city from the 11th floor of RPA (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital). It's a holiday Monday here (Queen's Birthday, the quaint relic of Empire) and there was a pleasant cool quiet about the streets until about 8.30am. I sometimes wish I was a morning person.

I am getting ready for an interview for broadcast sometime in the future. Also a couple of papers to write for seminars. The discombobulated I that has been myself/ves lately is focusing on a couple of voices instead of the silencin…
Signs point elsewhere. To the place of ghosts. On the road to nowhere. The lost radiance. On the journey you pick a lot up however. And that is the journey. To not end. Even if nowhere. Always with the empty inside that is yours but along the way, the stops and potholes, rims, shoulders, shatterings, asphalt flowers that are the tradition of the road, and the company.

Here's another Transit of Venus page at the CSIRO website (thanks to Pam Brown's post on the poneme list).

Hey, I found this nice thing. Nick Piombino has put me on his "crush list" at fait accompli, which has been on my blog list for a while. Always worth a read.

Thanks Nick.

I've been worrying about trying to say something. Nothing comes. All I have is a constant head cold and a cough. But I'm not buying into some pseudo-psycho-babble about that. It's a germ, folks, a germ.

'Saying' is strange. 'It's all just typing', innit. Just simple stuff ...

in the
night frosty shake

in the
throat and tongue

rushes through
the last hour

hard to
get in beam

up into
dust and tripways

of Venus
in the air

Speaking of which, these guys at Monash University are doing a live webcast of the transit. Remember, don't look at the sun!