Showing posts from December, 2006

seasonal sonnet 2

These temptations & spare Change
- something like a flip
waiting the station like rain
& leaving the Umbrella
for the homeless office worker
and another spreadsheet
Revisions demand the Rising
actions speaking louder than
Other than the phone

Pick me up o southerlies!
there is no snow
just some sort of ancient kindness
Nothing gone begging
But we're up for it

seasonal sonnet 1

At any end it's about Durance
And title - tho' calling a spade
A shovel near Xmas
Gets lost without party
Some years end in yellow
Some in smoky cumulus
This day is a slender Green
You can almost see the brush strokes

So holding on, like 'holding the man'
Is hard
But we are not men!
Which leaves us Outside, our arms
Lifting the minutes of the Rest
And holding our own green

fire season

becomes us
between each space

have learned
to keep secrets

in the life

Inspired by Tom Beckett's Day Project, here's the jumble of my day yesterday, as my head remember late last night.

dream and real, radio
evacuate and spiel
forgetting on a desk
and horizon has forgotten me
until I see leaf movement
friends leaving
excavate work lines
white soap, pale body

phone phone ascend and phone
descend, a fiddle tune, humidity
documentary about the Queen
a little Urn in cricket hands
coffee, tea, Peking noodle, stain
ascend, lift, rise
fall, incessant
voice beginning to crack

looking for a last signature
eyes still itch
long distance till you return
own bed, book on Cook
sauvignon blanc, sports screen
negotiation stalls and flows
green dusty air
escape, you wish

catching up with things

The much esteemed Cordite is refreshed with issue number 25: Generation of Zeroes.

And at last something to come home to, the sixth issue of Divan is finally on line.

Some of my thoughts on blogging are here .

the woods today

Yesterday I saw a bloke holding a teddy bear today, at the Devonshire Street entrance to Central. The man's thin greyish hair and beard matched the teddy bear's fur. That seemed kinda neat, I thought, as man and bear went off in a different direction to mine.

looking for horizons

"What if, say, the manner of going over the ground were itself a poetic act, and not merely a prosaic means of getting from one place to another."
Paul Carter, The Lie of the Land

They have taken away our signs. Many years ago I mourned, ever so slightly, the disappearance from the main city train stations here in Sydney, of the large static indicator boards. Well, no, they weren't static - there was movement. A light would go on beside each station the next train would stop at. Anyone who was a regular could tell just by looking at how the board was lit if the next train was theirs. They didn't have to read, they could just sum it all up in a look. When you're running, the ability to sum up the situation in a glance is important.

For some years these major stations have used screen-based indicator boards, which you must read as the names flow by quickly - or you must take a chance when a train is standing there as you rush up. More than once my chance has been wron…


"The more daily life is eroded ... the more we must counter this trend with complex, initiatiary sets of rules ... A work, an object, a piece of architecture, a photograph, but equally a crime or an event, must be the allegory of something, be a challenge to someone, bring chance into play and produce vertigo."

Jean Baudrillard, The Intelligence of Evil: Or the Lucidity Pact, (trans Chris Turner)

listening ...

Sakura, Susumu Yokota ...


Literary Histories [Le storie letterarie]

I have always been of the opinion
that Shakespeare was a cooperative.
That for his jests he always used charlatans
like himself in genius but careless
of everything else except money.
Survival can't swallow too much.
At times it digests a platoon,
at others it distills a few syllables
and throws a monument in the wastebasket.
It reproduces like mushrooms, you might find
a whole lot of them at once, and then
you are empty-handed for a whole day,
or a year or a century. It depends.

Eugenio Montale
(trans G. Singh)

better git it in your soul

My everyday soul plays like the wind in litter and noise. Am I soul-less? Maybe so.

I was asked on Friday afternoon: 'Are you an artist or a bureaucrat?' I have to say that, by this stage of a rather long day, wearing outwardly my bureaucrat's hat, I was rather tired of sitting in an auditorium listening to the usual shots at my day job, beloved of hack journalists in this country (who can forget the 'fat cats' line, flogged around many years ago now) and those more interested in deferral and distant academic pontification. So I replied, rather tartly I must confess, 'I'm both. Is that a problem?'

My interrogator, someone I did not know, took a deep breath (I said I was very tart by this stage) and then came out with questions along the line of, what happens to your, and I quote, 'artistic soul' - in other words, you couldn't possibly work as a bureaucrat and be an artist as it would damage your art, irreparably, I was to suppose. My next tart…

while cleaning up

I wish I did not need this green plastic bag
I would walk on sand and carry nothing
if I did not need action and reaction.

Rope would be useful but not steel
I would love the grain of sticks, deltas of leaves
But not the noise of this bag

to return

Questa sfera arida parte ogni discorso e ogni poema; e ogni viaggio attraverso foreste battaglie tesori banchetti alcove ci riporta qui, al centro d'un orizzonte vuoto.

"From this arid sphere every discourse and every poem sets forth; and every journey through forests, battles, treasures, banquets, bedchambers, brings us back here, to the centre of an empty horizon."

Italo Calvino, The Castle of Crossed Destinies (translation by William Weaver)

angels and ovals

this is a tough journey hussey
enjoys vultures monitor attitude devour uncertainty
angels appeal & grunt they have longevity
and bowling brains bones

Nick Whittock from "magnum ponting"

What a magnificent match! Whosoever says cricket is boring does not know the way of the way, in all its reversals and dramas.



To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

- Emily Dickinson

on the way

Reversal is the movement of the Way;
Weakness is the usage of the Way.

All creatures under heaven are born from being;
Being is born from nonbeing.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching (trs Victor H. Mair)



A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel-
A Resonance of Emerald-
A Rush of Cochineal-
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled Head-
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride-

- Emily Dickinson


"In intention, the ego progressively loses its ego individual character
and finds itself carried to a universal value
that makes it escape from the strictly ego form of the ego. It is, nonetheless
only through intention that the formless ego becomes
self-consciousness. Thus the ego is a transient fact, not only as a result of its
chance birth and its approaching death, but also because
the process that determines it is also the one that
exhausts it. it is impossible even to reach
a clear distinction between determination and
exhaustion. The determined ego is, by the sheer fact
of determination, an exhausted ego."

Georges Bataille, Critique of Heidegger

from Bataille's original manuscript, Biblioteque Nationale de France (trs Stefanos Geroulanos).
In October 117, Summer 2006.

weight & appearance

The Trees

"Because we are like tree trunks in the snow. They appear to lie smoothly, and with a small shove one should be able to push them away. No, it is impossible because they are firmly bound to the earth. But see, even that is only appearance."

Kafka, 'The Trees', from Contemplation, (trs Kevin Blahut)

possibilities - amongst atoms

"The poetry of the invisible, of infinite unexpected possibilities - even the poetry of nothingness - issues from a poet who had no doubts whatever about the physical reality of the world."

Calvino - on Lucretius, from Six memos for the next millennium.