Showing posts from August, 2005

neglected corners

I came across this article in The Guardian , about neglected masterpieces, you know, the stuff that’s as good as the ‘same old same old’ list but never gets a guernsey. You know, it’s always Beatles, Dylan, Stones or Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Or Citizen Kane , You know what I mean. There was more discussion at The Observe. Some of it made me laugh, such as the folks that would say “if so-and-so becomes more famous I don’t want to like them anymore”. We want to keep out little secret corners of pleasure away from hyping eyes. As someone else said, look what they did to Nick Drake, after the fact. Indeed! I had a bit of a think about my private lists. So, in film, why not Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating . I had assumed you couldn’t even get it on DVD but, hey, it does exist. I better track it down now. I saw it twice, late 70s and early 80s. Both prints not so good and only viewed in a mouldy old art house cinema, and when did anyone last mention it to you? To me, it was a


leave low sky absent feather spring fragments fragile winter aspires to light wind sews body mysteries garden’s great amazements promise rain radio soul windows penetrate the grid transform


Cute kitties on on Laura's blog . I'm not always serious, despite appearances. I had a cat once, and I hope he's still alive and a happy old grumblebum.

miles ahead

Seems my mention of Miles Davis's album, On the Corner , stirred up some echo in Chris and Kasey - see comments below the entry. Cool! Here's an excerpt from a Down Beat review of the album in 1972: "Take some chunka-chunka-chunka rhythm, lots of little background percussion diddle-around sounds, some electronic mutations, add simple tune lines that sound a great deal alike and play some spacey solos. You've got a 'groovin'' formula, and you stick with it interminably to create your 'magic'. But is it magic or is it just repetitious boredom?" Sounds like a kind of magic to me and miles ahead of its time, certainly in jazz, though maybe not in classical circles. It raises all kinds of questions about 'reception' and about 'genre'. Miles was supposed to be playing 'jazz'. It didn't matter if what he was doing was good, bad, interesting, whatever, it didn't fulfill the requirements of the genre 'jazz' and

late poem

Grot among root still thaw but the chill crawls a glimmer dawn dark’s cold hasten and haze hill line’s blur Ground brown seed furred branch flare splay to orange ochre and flange year’s fit now for fire


That Miles Davis album, On the Corner , is wicked, and has stayed wicked. John McLaughlin's guitar riff is big and bad. Plus all the other stuff on the other tracks and in the mix. I played it twice in a row. I might play it again.

the age poetry book of the year shortlist - alright!

Just have to say I was surprised and shocked (happily) to hear I was on the following shortlist . The Age , of course, is published down south in Melbourne (a very fine town, if I do say so) and, though it's available online, I never thought to particularly read it today. I'm spending the weekend by myself (Annette being away in Wollongong) and have been 'pottering without guilt' (as Patrick Cook once said) all day. I was especially and deeply immured tonight watching England's second innings on the telly tonight and just picked up an email by chance after midnight from Alison Croggon detailing the list. If I may be allowed ... woohoo! In his judge's comments (see below), Kris says I have an 'obvious affiliation with "language poetry"'. "Yeah but no but ..." - this make me a just a tad uncomfortable. 'Language' is a movement, grouping, what have you, of its time and place, and I would never dream of making any claims to affili


Listening to a few K7 cds I picked up cheaper than normal. Daddy G: DJ Kicks - you know, one of the Massive Attack guys; Kruder and Dorfmeister: DJ Kicks , maybe better than the K & D Sessions (maybe); and the first of Peace Orchestra . You can hear real audio versions of them on the K7 website by following the above links. A good way to try before you buy. That's what I did. They ask you to sign up but it costs nothing and they've never bothered me.

agenda australian issue

The latest issue of agenda is their double Australian issue. No wuckers, mate, check it out.

a poem by Basil Bunting

Just after I found the Gael Turnbull poem below, this Basil Bunting poem turned up on poetryetc, courtesy of Jon Corelis. What The Chairman Told Tom Poetry? It's a hobby. I run model trains. Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons. It's not work. You don't sweat. Nobody pays for it. You could advertise soap. Art, that's opera; or repertory - The Desert Song. Nancy was in the chorus. But to ask for twelve pounds a week - married, aren't you? - you've got a nerve. How could I look a bus conductor in the face if I paid you twelve pounds? Who says it's poetry, anyhow? My ten year old can do it and rhyme. I get three thousand and expenses, a car, vouchers, but I'm an accountant. They do what I tell them, my company. What do you do? Nasty little words, nasty long words, it's unhealthy. I want to wash when I meet a poet. They're Reds, addicts, all delinquents. What you write is rot. Mr Hines says so, and he's a schoolteacher, he ought to know. Go and find work

a poem by Gael Turnbull

National Poetry Day "Transform your life with poetry" the card said, and briefly I fussed that this overestimated the effect until I remembered how it had thrust several old friends, plus near and dear, into distress and penury, how even I, without the dust of its magic, might have achieved peace of mind, even success, so maybe the advice is just, not to be ignored, a sort of timely Health Warning from the Ministry of Benevolence at the Scottish Book Trust. Gael Turnbull
No-one needs poetry Poetry is not good for you Satisfaction is not comfort You can't eat a poem

all gone

The day is teetering already the sun cannot guard us against winter there are no loud clothes But, wait a minute the imprint of rogue colour dazzles and one white billboard blank, edged with rust red sharp as a cymbal on the edge of the mix It’s not as though it’s ready for your free inscription this is all bought space and paid for next to the trees And what if I made up a song out of nothing but half seconds quartered time, a great tearing sound as if the words went, all gone sound and this blinking empty board waiting, flexing the ink but I am whitened into day What of tomorrow even if the weather change and I find all that I am, still pale between the notes and beside signs

friday night

cars go by does this seem wrong within the basics of Friday how the lights shine less lonely

downside and up

A few artistic grumbles lately, say, a disagreement in the way critics configure the field, but, no. musn't grumble. It’s been a sunny winter’s day here, my fingers were caught badly in the lift door. I’m always working through the contradictions. And to end on a better note, have been meaning to point you all in the direction of James Stuart’s c-side journal/ project/bunch of interesting stuff on-line. Latest ‘issue’ has work in the ‘collaborate” section by my good self but plenty of others including visual artists and musicians/composers/djs. Enjoy, world’s full of good things and all, you just have to walk out your own front door and take a look.

in medias

I did a reading/performance recently in Melbourne, which focussed on a collaborative work I made with Annette - a long text mixed with her photos. It was prepared using PowerPoint and, this time, a soundtrack I put together using (royalty-free) samples. I was nervous about the technology, as I'd never flown a data projector before with my humble li'l iBook, but there were no probs. Well, one or two slight things which I sorted in the hour before the event. I realise that the work, Hidden Shrines , exists in many 'performance' spaces. There's a text version, ie a poem only, in my latest book, Broken/Open , which I'm sure you all have a copy of (not). It's also available online at fusebox. Then there was the original 2003 version, done for the c-side project , presented in a bar kind of venue with djs accompanying the visuals. There's the flash version on Annette's website with me reading over the visuals. And now a re-zooshed PP presentation with a s


For some reason I've been on a Dylan jag. I re-read Chronicles , a book I don't believe, but at least the first third of it was thoroughy enjoyable. It's a book which has a lot of interesting words and phrases and sentences but the parts hide the whole. But I've trawled back through the music as well. I'm pretty much stuck on the 60s stuff but am starting to see some merits in the later work.

a thank you

You may have guessed I’ve been in a bit of a trough lately, I won’t labour it too much. In the midst of it all, Mark Young sent me a copy of The Cicerone . his latest chapbook, which is powerful, shivery and sharp writing. And a much appreciated gift.