Archive for March, 2008

midnight not often

david prater had an even-handed article in the Weekend Australian, this weekend. interesting because he drew in whitman, & this made me remember his poems & story. i talked upon these thing in a class once. the emerson factoid made me laugh when i first heard it all those years ago (no-one in the class laughed. curious. picture me giving a seminar to 12 people, 10 of them not having read the ‘song’, tho they may have clocked the length…). apparently emerson wrote to whitman saying how good his poems where. whitman quoted emerson’s private letter in his book-publicity. emerson apparently said in conversation (another ‘private’ forum?) he found it a ‘strange, rude thing to do’. ha.

mostly it all makes me think of the song itself. i should revisit it, be more influenced, casually. i wonder if there will be a whitman movie? perhaps there already has been? i imagine a bearded (yet handsome) whitman lying somewhere scenic. he reclines, & gradually – to some suitably stirring melody – he lightly touches himself. then the voice-over begins to intone: ‘i loafe & invite myself…’ or something…

what a great poem. & self-important individual. all tied together.

tired.

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Why all the questions

The television implies that one should ‘un-package sexual notions’ not me. That’s fashion. We shuffle through an arid landscape of remote controls while the ridiculously cruel April wind stabilises reception – true, there are only truths, now. And people are better off with censorship. Think of your neighbour emerging to inspect the lawn. A beautiful girl fumbles for her keys rocking back and forth like some mechanical part half-effective in some aluminium smelting plant: I don’t know, pepsi cans & empty dog-tins. Ever and always catching her image torn apart by fly-screen and Perspex (I’m there catching that instant, glowing with this halogenic intensity I once courted) at the wrong moment. Sit down. Forget the gloomy knowledge of distorted positions, in between atoms that are glued together in things like blowflies. There’s that drone of guitar as knocked by a cat, or a small child. There would be a glory in rendering that in a more opulent way, some process opposed to the vagaries of talk…or even silence.

A quiet five minutes and another eight lines about a favourite personal possession; but it’s okay to become a blue crayon at times. A game of inanimate charades. And I can’t think of anything more apt, better. Sometimes I conjecture: maybe if we were to drive west, in love, and hold on tightly at that spot near the sea, or somewhere similar, then feelings would all = what you say. We could morph at will into singular masses of waxy stuff on sawtooth paper + black ink words of something to remember. There there. There’s no extra-features to all this and you’re plainly asleep (a paper tent of weariness) so it makes sense to trash the impulses for the night, compel myself into the rest of time. You’ll spot the beautiful girl and that’s enough.

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to do list

i will, soon, re-set-up all the links that should be on this page. i know you’re missing them.

i’ve been re-writing very old poetry into newer, strangely more discursive, prose-poems. it allows me to reflect on what i was doing a few years ago, & also now. it seems i was trying to sub in a lot of vernacular speech to my poems. it seems, also, that this vernacular speech wasn’t anything like i would speak in real life. it seems writing poetry is modifying the way i speak. it makes sense: i often feel i am being comprehended less by people, as time goes by, but that they are nodding as if they understand. like when you don’t quite hear something someone said for the second or third time in a row, & you just nod because it probably can’t be too important.

anyway, an interesting new tangential project. one that is of course eating up time i could be spending on more officious activities. but that’s creative-procrastination for you, man.

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Things fallen behind the couch

When you’re overly conscious of a cracked mind (some element of the tandem working re: dualism) you’ll mostly be reading film-credits, scratching, preparing to think you should be writing revisions, or have written them previous to being here. You are not the sort of person (obviously) that films play for or what you are reading is written for. You’re perky walking home from the cinema up a hill, in the wake of a new idea

So you’re ostensibly cracked but some of that sentiment you stole: well-structured thought was programmed into the golden books and Seuss; post-dinner laughs generously concealed parables. Immediacy is central to this eccentric bush life, and that’s right, you’re noticing the strange tangent shifts getting ever stranger. Nothing ever gets shiftier (you wish) in this life. You collect curios and read mystery into magazines. So the mirror reveals an engaging personality but what lies beneath. Intriguing the spreading inattention to causes as revealed on talk-shows.

Causes, they make you want to spend $23.95 on stories of inspiration. If you had to imagine yourself painted on a fractured urn – and you do – you could be lost in static meaning just because of the above. Of course you’re textual and present today: you can in 20 words direct people to books, show them where to go so to speak, and re-order the world’s mind: one perfect confluence. But the re-stitching preempts history. (I can be lost in static meaning, but on the other hand I am no poetaster. Lacking definition like that. I did meet one once, and he was un-intelligent and un-engaging. Not a good combination.) Continue checking the ‘date modified’ tag on your lines and wrinkles, checking when things got left askew, un-vacuumed.

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Receipts stuffed in a wallet

1

A prattle of pigeons stray through the wet pop-rivets. A fell-swoop looking all ruffled, sad and attentive, preening beyond the confusion of my own fishbowl air, tasting of locks and keys (as is the way in dreams). This is not a dream you find yourself submerged in, feeling weightless and cool like any random Eleanor Rigby bridge section. It’s the inside of a plastic building. There’s humming – my breath short and low – a regular melody half questionable but half passable; when i drum my fingers too they peer. Just knowing all my tame plastic throwaway lines with a fluffy precognition. If they aren’t sick of this regressing line (personal philosophies intoning over and over) having eschewed deductive poetics long back, well, what are they doing? Pecking the rain?

Huffy at the desk, now is just to trace the patterns of doped-out bugs, the stupidest species for sure. Graffito pedestrians. You’d resist the candid urge to go out, where you not strung from a 19th century air-valve. One’s blurry promises are often found deleted before their time. Systems crash trying to parallel hearts.

2

If I loved you I would scan / print / copy / fax a lock of your hair, I might even capitalise you despite a rigorous habit. There you’d lay 20 seconds later, subject to sentimentality like an object. Your name would be Evan, Denise, or Sharon in this tract of generalities. We disappear in Smuggler’s Cove again, famous fools, lost and suspicious with no bird-noises at windows. No windows to speak of. The seconds of scuffling for memories become New Media. I fail in everything I begin but I engage with it, an informed consumer, for you; I join your own death as listed on the exchange. Futurised, never having been to a 3rd world country, I’m writing about considering ‘emotional qualities’ as they appear in your data. This emptiness is intriguing – do you think?

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you being my gardener

know nothing. or sense a minor accident, the flow of traffic issued in this sputtering flaw. i’ll go with it – you shouldn’t care, regardless, the electrically driven & living persist, they move from point to point. an impulse of ticking units. (blast) i’m so often that concave incision ford upon fairlane blue: exact; so silent too. flagging momentum there to drag things awry & pedestrians sense no real present, simply a receding instant full of ‘event’. real life gets held up slightly (background research coughing (abysmal pretender that)), but only slightly. tow-trucks wasted no time in salivation to effect thoroughfare. says this one guy ‘there shall be no pointless milling around…’ images always hovering exuding a rear-view quality; it’s my predilection at times, particles condensed, people looking, scratching, as if what was that! chance will suffice & that’s what. fictional rupture alright & i call you out. come on mate. you know punishment will be delivered. fey white lines unflinchingly tell you where to go. on-board-computers order your brain. yet maybe take something for the shock or the anecdote. a hard drug.

red: at least not the virulent stain of human flesh. a great opening line (or sentence parlay), don’t you think, or does it give away too much? pronounce my flaws in a way i should conceal, for now? you have this to think upon, negotiating a hedged-hairpin. you tell me yours, et cetera.

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huffy as a gaggle of scratch-head sillimans

feeling a bit disillusioned about this blog. unsure why. i could say more, but won’t. the feeling will probably pass. i’m going to paste in here an old short-story. very short. because cutting & pasting is easier than making stuff up. only offer feedback if you like having your comments ignored. (how’s that for alienating one’s audience…)

Driven

The man starts writing down random words. The words are something like: and, if, but, the, more, some, love, it, is, not. They are short words at first, but then they get longer as he runs out of words. He tries not to repeat himself. And some themes arise in his work. The man starts to think himself some sort of genius, and he believes he can create things, even change the world.

“You know,” he says to his wife, “I might just change the world with my lists of random words.”

He is always very honest with his wife. The wife looks away from the television and at the husband and takes another sip of her vodka tonic before pronouncing him a fool. “Don’t go getting stupid ideas into your head.” She ends the conversation with this. Surprisingly.

But the man is not put off. He keeps going and writes a parable for modern living. He calls it But. And it sells well; critics and laymen alike love it. He becomes a celebrity, or at least gets admitted to the same nice parties that celebrities go to. All his speeches are successes: he makes much use of his book’s title: “I would like to say I’m happy to be here, but…” At one of these parties he meets this beautiful young blonde actress-type (who in no way is a stereotype, or the product of a patriarchal society).

He says to her: “You know there is nothing to writing a novel. I simply started writing down random words and then look what happened.”

The blonde actress is still impressed though, she looks at him fondly and says: “Yes, but I couldn’t have done it.”

An amount of time passes.

The character has been divorced from his wife for three years. That’s how much time passed. It seems an appropriate amount of time for one to be divorced from one’s wife. She is looking into becoming a lawyer, and knows nothing of the highly-charged yet emotionally vapid sex the character and the blonde-actress enjoy together whenever circumstances permit it (her (the actress or actor) movie schedule is hectic). She (the wife) does however receive regular cheques from her ex-husband, and will purposefully (she is now very principled, though still lusciously drunk) rid herself of this money via the roulette wheel.

“I told him not to do it,” she is known to say with a semi-casual air to casual observers whom of course do not know her story and return to their respective houses not remembering her in the slightest. You might say this was her story. Or theirs. I don’t care either way.

(2006)

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going down swinging #26

a poem of mine will be somewhere amongst the pages of this issue, which will be launched here:

Tuesday 25th March,
8.00pm.
Northcote Social Club,
301 High Street Northcote
$12 with a copy of the book,
$7 without.

Featuring:
+ Tim Richards
+ Anna Liebzeit
+ Jen Jewel Brown with Declan Kelly
+ The Llegendary poetic tumblings of Emilie Zoey Baker.
+ The gorgeous vocal acrobatics of Carolyn Connors, premiering a new work especially for GDS!
+ Screening of the animated film “The Battle Of Clarendon Street” by Adam Ford, featuring the voice of Charles “Bud” Tingwell.
+ & Starring: Mal Webb & His Ebullient Dancing Larynx!

i can’t be at the launch (as usual) but, should you want to go along & pretend you’re me, that would be fine. try to behave eccentrically – it’s a trait i’m trying to develop.

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more about me

there are now 4 of us on board for the performance project (tina, newcastle, october) & i need 9 more. email me all you random readers that might happen to be in newcastle this coming october. or get someone to fund your travel. i sure will be.

(it would be good to to add some female writers to the list. it’s just that to the best of my knowledge christopher brennan (that’s right, the project revolves around the poetry of brennan) was a pretty blokey bloke (you know, a member of men’s clubs, cultural societies etc, where men would meet to drink smoke & discuss great literature & philosophy) & it seems kinda silly to continue in that vein, even if unintentionally.)

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call for something

by the way, i’m looking for (at the moment) eleven poets / writers / artists to perform a poetic sequence with me. it will be at Critical Animals, in Newcastle, in October.

will or can you be there? are you interested? (it pays nothing.) do you want more details?

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