Saturday, December 02, 2006
Note on ROOM 6 I wanted something quite different from the text presented - it actually looks quite good - but is nothing like he image-text I was trying to get - I don't know enough yet about how to get images or texts onto the Blog so that they "follow" what I want - so I will attempt to put an image of what I was doing - I think I have the ability to do these things but not the knowledge or experience - perhaps if I knew HTML (or other languages/methods just as an artist previous to computers needed - and they still do - to know of their materials and media - nowadays the writer or 'textualiser' needs or perhaps doesn't need but it is desirable in many cases to know something of the medium he/she works with - so we we see VISPO and the work say of Alan Sondheim who uses computer and programming jargon in his huge Meditation on the Internet project) or more about imaging and files I would be able to control the output ... (just as I learnt perspective and how to mix colours and much else from my father - who was an artist/architect/engineer - when I was about 8 tor 9 -but haven't 'worked' in that 'area' since - much - so one feels the need to learn a huge amount more -but life is perhaps too short).
[I emphasise again that I feel that the poetry-prose and poetry visual art divisions etc are for me limiting - I dont accept them except in that they are practical realities - limiting in many cases. I don't like to think of myself as writing poems as such but creating texts or processes. I am not interested though in the effect of jazz on poetry per se - if I compare poetry to music I am talking more about a conceptuating - constructive process...music as such -most popular music has no connection to the kind of work I want to do or imagine is "art"...Or I am maybe wrong on that. But I can't connect with Creeley's or (some of the Language poets such as Clark Coolidge - although I love his poetry and work -) enthusiasm for jazz - expect perhaps the improvisatory nature of some jazz.]
But it still shows something of what I was attempting and in fact I "discovered" that I could get colour via Word onto the Blog - now the Blog only allows centering - I cant push text around in the edit mode - at least - I can't do it at my present state of knowledge - that is in fact - in a way - what I am doing - it is learning process (that is this 'project' is not something delineated into separable poems or units it is a continuous process and this Room 6A is part of it) - and nothing is certain - though I wanted to eliminate chance as much or more than anything else I have done previously the irony is that chance has played part in EYELIGHT which attempts to be "about" something and to be a "serious" "project" (and not chance affected, or not as far as I could control) - even if I was off line and preparing a book as such I would be limited by my own skill lack - although I feel I could learn those skills - I seriously thought of doing a course in art and computer art etc etc but this is probably impractical so the EYELIGHT presented so far will have to be limited by the medium I am using - although I am sure ther are relatively simple things I can learn as I go.
One of the reasons I have set myself this "task" is to set limits - quite or almost arbitrarily - or to put a frame work to my 'work' - now this is almost in complete contrast to what I had done preciously when in fact much of my poetry was written for almost immediate reading - by reading I was publishing - and indeed as I could see that time no way to be published - I didn't in say 1989 to even 1992 (when I was reading either at the Albion or the Sakespear pubs every Monday and then at the Masonic once month on a Wednesday night) think I would be published by anyone - I also got big 'lift' out of reading to a live public which is much more difficult now for me to attain via print or on the internet or in non spoken medium) -
And while I started out with poems that were more or less "conventional" this gradually modified as my reading extended and so on. Now I also began to write entire poems with condsiderable rapidity - in many cases not revising - in fact most of the poems that my friends and others seem to like were not revised - eg The Red - it actually came to me first as kind of image of squares or rectangles of concrete - grey or white and red - and kind of 'beating' rhythm and words came into my mind as I was walking near the Sociology/Anthropology Dept to the English Dept of the Auckland University about 1992 when I was studying Gertrude Stein as a a part of paper called "American Poetry" (Stein is a very important poet for me). There are rectangles of concrete there and I was on the stairs linking the two departments. I stopped walking - scrawled a few lines and the rest I did in about 20 minutes at home that night and I read it out a few weeks later when I had a guest spot at The Shakespear - for my reading and - I received a standing ovation (for it and my other poems I hope) - now while I worked carefully when I typed it up* - the revision was mainly done I think by my mind's inherent sense of rhythm etc - as it happens it is almost entirely in iambics - but not pentameter. This was not designed. Any "design" was very rapid - I don't say this to boast but to show a contrasting compositional method - that I kind of "perfected" - I found that with some good exceptions - tinkering and rewriting was not my thing - but after a time I had so many poems and I found writing so easy I felt that I needed to "challenge myself" with a project -with something more formally preconceived - & with restraints etc - I wouldn't go so far as Robert Frost and say that poetry without such restraints or formal metrical arragements is "like playing tennis without the nets" but it is an interesting concept.
This starts leading into the question of what poetry (or indeed what any creative art) is - ontological or epistemlogical questions perhaps - or aesthetical - which lead even (ultimately down certain paths) to politics (at least to philosophy and possibly to ethics).
*The Auckland poet and musician Bryony Jagger has set The Red to music for full orchestra but a lines that I removed - that would appeal to a musician as it is a kind of intermezzo - I deleted to get a "harder edge" on the work - Bryony wanted that part in as it was in when I read the poem the first time - we disagreed (amiably) on the need for its inclusion - so that is an example of 'pruning' I DID do.
The line was - " A fascadassalation of a sheen of green". Too much for me!
I heard the music played by the Leys Institute Orchestra there (at the Leys Institute Library in Ponsonby) in December 1995. It is great music I feel.
Here is the poem The Red -
The blocks of red on red on red by black around
by black by black by line by line by round. The
red in red of red in red where black by back the
white around. Around the bound about the
white the red more red comes up the red. It
rears its head. The eye the see the sight to see.
The eye the see the light the sight.
The light not light not bright not dim not sun.
The sun not round not up not down. The blue
not there not green not grey. The grey ungrey
not grey not black . The up not down the down
And the black not black not black on night. The
light alight but light not light.
The clock is dead.
The clock awake alive like head. The head like
blood like hot is red.
The squares the slabs the reds the blocks are
chops of chunks: the chunks the chunks the bits.
The monks. And the red the red and round the
black. (There is no black).
To you my red my square my thing: I fall
and blubber like a sun-struck king.
The red on red of red the blocks. The orange
the green the blue. The see the sight the
steel the grey. The shape the tall the dark the
great. The high the high. The finger like a finger
on the sky.
The eye the seen.
O my blocks my reds my reds my blocks: orange
is not is gnomes is gone.
And the red in red. (There is no red)
The square that's not that's never that's there.
If red be red not is not green:
Then red on red of red is you my thing. And
if that is you by blocks by black are red around.
And black is black as black is black.
And red is red is red.
Friday, December 01, 2006
these black-faced mirrors
can I, a being bright yet dark, unblind
paper is made from wood
let’s r e a d
(we must l e a r n more)
( “just read”)
they give oxygen
breed thus a
I tried to explain
Nothing this, all this
Friday, August 04, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
NOTE - This will probably not reflect what I want in terms of lay out.
(And indeed it didn't - but I am limited by this medium -the effect is however interesting and approximates the original layout thematically.)
To the right - view of the Auckland ferry building and wharf nearby painted in pastels and water colour by my father Leslie Stuart Taylor (1907-1987) who was an artist and an architect originally from London - about 1927. He taught me many water colour and other techniques, such as perspective and colour mixing when I was about 9. He gave away most of his works -he came to have an aversion to the commercial use of art things - but I'm not sure as one work was sold to the NZ poet R A Mason in the Depression . The other comment my mother made was that he gave them away as presents eg for weddings as he didn't have much money in the early days (1940s ). When I was young we were in fact very well off - atleastin contrast to many around us in the workng working class area of Panmure - my father indeeed got a very good salary. While he strongly supported conservative politics - he seemed to feel (perhaps came to believe) that selling art was not a good thing.
(I am not a great fan of the grossly inflated art market). (Which is why I will never ask permission to copy any artist's work... art and poetry etc belong to everyone.
His father in London in contrast was a very succesful bsuinesman and bought and sold shares etc - opened a dance school and was a pioneering photographer - member of the Royal Society of phographers. There was some bitterness between them never resolved so thus his view against insurance -my grandfather was involved eventually in insurance - (but my father never bought any) and selling art. (Although I heard much of this second hand and it is not clear to any of our family). This attitude was nothing to do with socialism. He supported both Holyoake and Muldoon and was proud to be a professional worker. He was glad to have raised himself from the level of mere workers and felt himself superior to ordinary workmen. This wasn't complete contempt, but while, for example he liked Mason's poetry and knew his communist views, but couldn't imagine such a cultured man ever taking part in subversive activities. But he did admire Sutch and Mason and Fairburn whom he met at the WEA before the 2nd WW. He had one exhibition that was highly praised in a newspaper of the time.
Close up of egg cartons, photographed and modified by me. Everything to make an entire animal is contained in each of those ovoid things contained in that container - and I have consumed them - this has enriched my body - eggs symbolise so many things - of course. Look at my picture of the Universe in a previous post! (Curtesy the physicist Weisenberg).
God to Dog by Julia Morison - conceptual and minimalist artist - this is only a fragment of her huge works -very large sheets with hundreds of words printed on them. I don't know much about her work but Dog in my notes to Eyelight is indeed howI refer to God to remove any of the multiplex connotations associated with that word. Words are dangerous.
Eyelight - Room 5 Could the shapes change ever? No. Neither could the shapes of shade, in any never ever, ever be severed ever. Nor could not anytime The Cloud King Be. No. Nor turned, that T, nor
by grass and dust, the road I strode
unto and into the slit green goat (unto and into the slit green goat ( unto and into the
who dances claps to flute and light (who dances claps to flute and light
muscles contract zzzzzz │....sprout.│zzzzzzzzzzzzz accompanied
pressure in the zzzzzzz│.. eggs .... │ zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz mouth
causes the oper zzzzzzz│ .. of gol ...│zzzzzzzzzzz culum to bulge
so there will be zzzzzzz│... and w...│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz a reduction
flexible free edge zzzzz│.... mud ....│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzza│.............│zzzzzzz the mouth closes
and the squeeze zzzzzz │... sly f....│zzzzz the operculum wall
high pressure zzzzzzzzz│.............│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│....five...│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz is drawn
insects zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│.. eyes ...│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
oxygen enters zzzzzzzz│............│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz the body
through the zzzzzzzzzzz│...........│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz spiricals
to the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│.. ever ....│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
tracheole zzzzzzzzzzzz│... never ..│zzzzzz they give oxygen
and take zzzzzzzzzzzz│.. like T ....│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz │.. was......│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│... young...│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz materials
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│... once ....│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│... life .......│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz│.... No.......│zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Yes.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
LEICESTER KYLE (friend, poet, and scientist)
Recently my very dear friend Leicester Kyle a great man and poet died - I was greatly distraught - it still hasn't completely "sunk in" - to utilise that cliche - I feel he is still alive.
(In regard to Leicster and his works etc - see Jack Ross's "The Imaginary Museum" and also my link to that and "Reading the Maps". )
I met Leicester in 1994 when he came to my Poetry Club that I started in Panmure. That was in many ways a very successful Club - I met some interesting people and the publican - Stuart Dodds helped me a lot - he is Maori - and highly educated - he kind of "bridges the worlds" - and like Eddie MacGuire (who was) the compere of "Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire" (my favourite TV show) who can talk about pop singers and rugby and then quote whole sections of Shakespaere - Stuart knew Shakespear and the Gettysburg address and so on - (he is now a very successful businessman) - together - we organised a competition of the best reader of the famous "To be, or not to be" speech from Hamlet - which was well attended (good first prize) - and was won by Robin Kora - who is also Maori BTW.
But Leicester came later: I think his was a quiet but powerful presence. We met up later at the London bar with David Howard - later joined by Jack Ross and perhaps earlier by Scott Hamilton. He also came to the book shop I worked in, and also where I organised Friday nights readings of various Auckland poets for Ron Riddell - my good friend and fellow poet -who at that time owned the Dead Poets Book Store just off Dominion Rd. Later Ron moved his shops to K'Road and also Henderson. Leicester served in the shop once, and once or twice his wife.
Leicester showed me one of his first major works in progress. It was called "Koreneho" - the Maori name for Colenso - who came from England in the 19th Century for the Anglican Church and the Royal (Scientific) Society and translated the Bible into Maori and discovered many new plants and explored much of NZ -Leciester liked the fact that he was out of favour with the Church he was in because of an affair with a local Maori woman and also that sometimes his discoveries were in fact not new plants or that he ocassionally misclassified them - this carries on into Leicester's incredible work 'Koreneho' which uses (and twists or torques) Colenso's scientific texts (Leicester was a member of the Scientifc society and discovered or studied various plants and a new version or sub species of the Giant NZ snail) and then he - on the following page - then pared down the text - and we are left with a very subtle compilation of latinate words which form a very dense matrix of almost pure langauge (but Colenso's ambiguity is in there energising the langauge) - but then comes a small poem with a "pronouncement" - in all Leicester's "direct" pronouncements there is a sutble humour - and a seriousness - he could see that we live and stand in language - he was a man who experienced much tragedy in his own life but maintained a great dignity, a mana. He remained upbeat despite tragedies that would have sent me to the crazy house I'm sure...
Leciester produced many books of poetry. One of his books was dedicated to me.
Here is a section from "Koreneho" (after he has quoted Colenso's scientific report verbatim) ( that work has poetic-scientific intersection) he then transforms it to this -
FIELD NOTES E. alba
Ochraceously imbricated in mamillary
gland decurrent in the petiole sub-5
sided with mucro in the perianth tip
distichous striated entire and
twisted yellow margins sessile 2
fimbriate crenules sub linear to
terminal in compound panicle
and calli in declivity tubercular W. C.
NOTE: A description
of some newly-dis-
plants Trans , vol 23,
pp 381- 91 Vol 24 pp.
This is tough Louis Zukofsky stuff - around this time I lent him my ( my photo-copy of Zukofsky;s "80 Flowers") and he was reading that poet (he read "A" at least twice and also "Bottom" a huge work by Zukofsky apparently vital to "getting into" his later works) ; and also the letters of Lorine Niedecker to Louis Zukofsky. (Lorine Niedeker's poetic influence was very important). Then we get this transform on the next page of "Koreneho"
Hab. E. alba
where honey drops
and scree and moss
set with rock
for table books
from the southern ice
is falling over everything
The next page includes the subtitle "Joyful News Out of New Found Land"
(even in the title he simultaneously mixes satire and seriousness - one "take" is that Colenso feels (perhaps subconsciously) that he is God naming a new land - even God or Adam naming his new beings in eden (here is perhaps also the sin of pride) - there are many "takes" on this work however.
Obs. E. alba
sobs in the air
cut into my mind
or gentian blue
and I'm made joyful
for a new-found land
at the throat
in a land
I've made my own
by name for the nameless
and by claim
in a wild world
I used to phone him regularly when he was in Buller and he would make joke of it - "Oh, is that Auckland calling?" ! And he would of interrupt by putting another log on the fire (where he lived -in the South Island it is pretty damn cold in winter) so -when I called him not too long before he died - he turned to his partner and said (I overheard him) - he was very weak - "I have this drunken Auckland poet on the line and he wants me to say: 'Put another log on the fire' " He was enjoying the humour of the situation even when he knew was almost certainly dying. (The drunken part was the old me - I hardly drink lately! But the point was well made and taken! )
Leicester's poetic style was deceptively "laid back" - in fact there was always much more in his poems than a simplistic or casual reading could reveal.
He sent me his long poem "Written from Captivity" - it includes this ending which he told me came to him via a dream - the poem as whole deals with the long and tragic death of his wife Miriiel (who did much writing on the history of the Anglican Church in NZ) and his reactions at that time and to some degree their relationship - but this poem or this last part of the main poem actually deals with death and dying, and is perhaps for all of us - coming from a dream as some (very few) poems do :
Death is a cold wet thing
a slip in the fog
to a sink of sleep
a slip in the fog
a slip a sleep
a slip in the fog
a slip a sleep
Friday, May 26, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Origins - Who?
This is an image of a work by Len Lye, a great New Zealand artist, sculptor experimental filmaker, and philosopher. I took a day off work once in about 1986 and went to the Auckland Art gallery - and came across his strange work -one sculptural work is a "model" or a symbol of the universe in the form of a huge band of steel attached to an electromagnet which oscillates at mains frequency I assumed and through hysteresis etc causes the steel bands to pulsate; and as they do there is an awesome booming sound. Lye was fascinated by cosmology and the macro and the microcosmic. Science and metaphsyics come together in his workI think. At that time I hadn't written (or read significantly) much for many years and had never heard of Lye or Stan Brakhage - but later I was to learn that my lecturer in English - Roger Horrocks was doing a book on Len Lye, which as since been published. Lye's work ws shown at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. His work is on view in New Plymouth.
ABOVE: An image of the 'new- born' egg -shaped expanding Universe opening out from the initial beginning from the cover of a book called "The First Three Minutes" by Stephen Weinberg - a physicist and cosmologist. Whether this image of the Universe - the mind cannot conceive theUniverse per se - is "better" than that of any religions or that of the Maori or any other creation myths is debtable. The images or abstract concepts or conjectures of art or religion or mathematics help to perhaps give us some insight into the workings of our various universes -but in the attainment of knowledge- if such it can be called -after such attainment of such "advances" in our conceptions and questionable knowing; then further questions lurch The Question itself away from us - to paraphrase Bronowski in his book: "The Ascent of Man". Apart from anything we have the Heisenberg Unceratinty Principle and theories of knowledge and time involving entropy and information theory and thousands of years of philosophy and speculation and human history - and the mystery of existence and conscousnes and itself to contend with.
The First People - Origins.
A Maori Chief or Warrior by a 19th Century European artist. The tattooing is a kind of language - the link below decribes who the Moriori were and that they were basically another tribe of theMaori people - who were never actually "Maori" but a number of tribes. This -whether the Maori or who were the first into New Zealand or Aotearoa (The Land of the Long White Cloud) reflects other questions of ultimate origins and knowledge and my daughter's questioning as to "Who were the first people?".
Who Were The First People?
This is room 3 of maybe room 6 of this part of the house of EYELIGHT.
I will precede what I originally included as such, with a short discussion on who were the first people in New Zealand; whereas the question asked by my daughter may have meant that issue, it probably was a question by a child about ultimate origins.
Many believe – wrongly – that the Moriori http://www.crystalinks.com/newzealandcreation.html - are or were separate “race” who arrived prior to the Maori It is in fact a favourite one for the Right Wing racists of New Zealand. The Maori were a group of many tribes from Polynesia and the Moriori were basically another tribe not separate race as such –see the link above. Racists claim that the Maori have no claims to NZ or any rights to ownership etc as they themselves colonized and killed off the Moriori –this is completely false – in certain attack on the Moriori at the Chatham islands only one tribe was involved –and as I said they were not the first people in NZ. Racists want this theory as it gives them some ammunition to go against such things as the Maori land claims and the recent Sea Bed and Foreshore Act (this malevolent and racist Act provoked huge nation wide protests by Maori and much discussion and dissention until the Maori people formed new Political Party) that the Labour Government pushed through. NZ has had some bad Governments and perhaps Labour –the present Labour Government - is one of the better ones – but that said it is more by omission than anything particularly enlightened they have done and they are not progressive –of course –waiting in the wings there are more right wing groups – racism is alive and well in NZ. So we have, marginally, the best of a bad lot.
So the Maori were the first people to inhabit Aotearoa – New Zealand. New Zealanders would do well to recall this and show an interest in the great culture and society that the Maori achieved see Sir Peter Buck and Sir Apirana Ngata and others on this aspect of our history. Maori includes a language that was spoken but also the carving and tattooing was a method of recording and symbolising Maori culture. We neglect and show disrespect to Maori and Maoritanga at our social and psychological peril – historically, politically, humanly; and in all other ways. The Maori were the first people to arrive in these Islands and are first in importance or at least in significance. Maori and English are New Zealnd's two official languages
“Who were the first people?!”
When I lived in Wiri, or South Otara, in about 1982, Tamasin and Dionne, my daughters of 3 or 4 or 5 or so would ask endless questions - undoubtedly to delay the final bed time – which I – the patient dad – would answer as best I could. So much I had to say finally was made in factories – rubber comes from trees, but it starts as a liquid, a gum. What is gum? Books –paper and books are made from wood. How? It is crushed and the cellulose is pressed and heated etc and things (chemicals) are added to it and it is made into paper.
Tamasin would get quite frantic about the question she struggled to express – that of the first people.
But where did the first people come from? Where? Where?! I tried to explain.
It terrified me the intensity and the import of this question – as it does now.
At that time I was quite young and very fit and very happy –of course there were problems –but I was and felt that in those days that I was fortunate to have good job as Lineman and a Cable Jointer for the NZPO – now Telecom – it was an active job and I also jogged every night before dinner -I was very fit – I had a good wife and three beautiful children, Many are less fortunate. I had a keen interest in Chess and in fact had some minor successes in that area – beating some quite strong players or at least drawing with –including some International Masters. I did have some thoughts that literature or something in that direction was what I wanted but I was doing and later completed a NZ Certificate in Engineering (in Electronics and Telecommunications) and I had/have the equivalent of an Electrical Registration. I had ambitions to become a professional Engineer. But in about 1990 I started a B.A. in English literature and completed that in 1994. My wife did a degree in History and finished it in the 80s.
But at that time – the time of the questions – I was very happy with my life.
I enjoyed chopping wood for our fire – and my morning coffee. Simple joys. I had everything I needed – I wasn’t rich but I was reasonably well off. From my sudden decline at age 19, I had come a long way. I now have three children and my youngest child, Tamasin, has produced beautiful grandson – his name is Sebastian Richard Taylor.
At that time – the time of the questions – I was very happy with my life. But death is inherent in such questions – and the ultimate mystery of the origins of all things. I knew the Darwinian theory, and tried to explain it –I had also read some anthropological and archeological books (and a favourite documentary had been Jacob Bronowski’s “The Ascent of Man” and I had that book also –still have it – it is a beautiful but terrifying book) – but my explanations fell short – was this frantic questioning and her tears - a child’s preternatural awareness of the Nothingness? The mystery: of which I could say nothing? The Dog? The endless eternal beginning end?
‘BUT THE FIRST PEOPLE!. The FIRST PEOPLE!! BUT WHO WERE THEY??!!
WHO WERE THE FIRST PEOPLE???
Monday, April 03, 2006
The Policeman Still Has Two
In the place of Justice, at the Court.
I sit among dark, strange, beings.
Policemen, unmenacing, brush past.
Lean lawyers, men in suits, chat
With savages. Street girls smoke
And laugh. A fat, sad man is fined.
A transvestite titters. Black jackets suits ties.
Broken and unbroken people.
The Judge hardly glances
At a boy, nervily shifting in the dock;
He has only one eye. What does it see?
A dark woman, as elegant
As a queen, sobs from an interview room:
I hear: “Both of you have, the...guilt/
The grief...” Or was it "burden"? A lady in
uniform walks past. I wait.
My son has one eye.
Lawyers from behind their ties, explain.
My son has one eye. .
The dark night has gone.
The men who
have been destroyed by those they destroy
Are kept for wicked Ogres
In their sneering woo wah wooh wah
Waspy cars. They club the broken hits
Of our land to bloody lumps,
In their daily night bashings. Like
weeders in a jungle, they are ten feet tall
And they are green
And they spit death blue
And their great, bulging, blindingly
Yellow eyes burn merciless and blind.
My boy has one eye. One!
The other one was burst…
He had run outside and cried
That a big in him had died.
The eye, infinitely aware, was all life long
In it's marvellous/ Billion step creation/ Billion step making.
After vast tine unfolding
It shone in a baby’s face: it grew to manhood.
A policeman, a dutiful policemen, burst it with a baton.
The eye was as beautiful as every eye. My boy, my green
And gentle boy — has only one eye.
Two two two — one two one two one two — blue green blue green
Blue blue blue... Cops, courts, people, batons, judges.
Batons - love, hate - eyes eyes eyes. Victor cried for help -
They smashed away his eye. Why?
All I know is, a ten foot two-eyed Ogre burst his eye.
Monday, February 06, 2006
How, at this light of time
Can I, a being bright yet dark, unblind
this aspect under the eye, and, breeding:
breed thus a truth? Not
a general, transcendent truth that sparkles
like a light on a gay green Christmas tree, but
some signal interchanged: some moment:
this, all this....
It began somehow, and I
and you also, got caught up in it all:
you know, the usual thing, the he/she/it and the
terrible lovely, and and
the Begin: the big big single bang bang boom!
the singular begin. it hangs here
Our task is: never to waver, to neither look right nor left:
and indeed as I know you are thinking, there are certain uncertainties
whose monstrous beauty is almost nearly tiresome:
Why couldnt the matter: the deep stuff in the dark spring of things:
why couldnt it get in control? Why wernt we informed immediately?
There has to be an inquiry of course. What was the matter with
the matter? Could I tell you? That it kept throwing molds, kept
re-shaping – kept touching the clay and rebreeding life and so on:
but nothing is ever perfect as you’ve probably noticed. Matter
and fire for example are surely forever at war.
The special thing that burns in the eye: they are in conflict.
Eternal. The usual thing: Dog has set up a conflict, a complex:
a complex conflict like a five volume analysis of Finnegans Wake.
The Joycean, the Miltonic thing: which ever turns you on or out.
nothing is connected – somehow.
An enormous luminosity grew between her eyes and we were dumfounded: forgetting what was origin, orange, apple, or
where the serpent had parked the sedan beside the spreading sneer of the evening’s trees who were lush and unapproachable in the growing and licentious gloom whose possibilities mean so much, especially to the few in the know. So I stand outside in derided non-decision, forever
a pastel perhaps: struggling to at least reach the status of a syllable, or even a new word. Or had you noticed. Lets go inside...I have things to discuss...
Links and Beginning and Intro to Eyelight the Poem-Project
I have finally worked out how to post links. I am still also sending links to my own Blog and so on. A friend sent a comment re my poem-project Eyelight - briefly here are some of the concepts it is organised around - it derives so speak form my The Infinite Poem of which more (and more!) anon - but I wanted to do a project that took me away from the more "asbtract" poems I was doing - they are not actually abstract (that is term that is open to considerations) -but they wwere basically one page prose poems etc created indeed from knowledge (of literatrue and many other thngs) but not prefigured as such - and from years of reading live at poetry live - I will add a link here later but they meet to read poetry every Tuesday night at Poetry Live here in Auckland (N.Z.) - when they are going - about 7 p.m. - on Ponsonby Road in a place called The Grand Central open mike - I haven't been going as much as in the past but intend to start going a bit more - this somehow develop my craft -but I got to the stage that I could write very quickly - now "eyelight" was inspired by various long poems predicated on always some greater structure and based on some idea of poetics or philosophy or whatever - now I was working sans such preconceptions or structures - or I was concentrating such ideas into kind of semiotic mesh - not mess! Hence my "itch" to 'do' a project...
In reading about Louis Zukofsky I got the idea of predicating this perhaps on Bach (as starting motif perhaps) and also of bringing - however coded - myself and my poetry into Eyelight.
Here are some of the influences happenings in my life and ideas behind or in Eyelight
Light as light the physical phenomena (is the physical 'spirtual' or vica versa?) - but its many symbolic and or mystical and other references.
Various US poets of the NY and other schools and John Ashbery as well as
The "Language Poets". Also - nota bene - various NZ poets - some are listed below.
Becket and Robbe-Grillet and others such as Perec.
Art and the example of Beuys with his various art experiments and happenings (Conceptual Art is very important to me) and in particular -even if it may be apochryphal - his refusal to teach a course unless everyone who enroled in his art course was accepted.
Reading about contempray music of Charles Ives, John Cage, Stockhausen and others. Also New Zealand composers and the support of my friend the poet-composer Bryony Jagger who composed "If red be red" - a work for orchestra based on my poem The Red
The various 'long poems' eg Pounds 'Cantos', Olson's 'Maximus', Zukofsky's "A".
Hearing about the way Bach recyled themes of is music into his B Minor Mass.
Eyelight as the word is from poem in which the line"black veins on eyelight scrawled" is used.
My son Victor lost his eye to police actions in 1990 - it was tragic set of circumstances. I am not saying poor old us or that it was deliberate act as such - he events leading up to the already are complex (for example when he was struck it was getting dark - let us say however - that difficult and tragic questions hover about the incident.)
As well as being in some ways personal this "poem" (or text) is 'about' things such as the ultimate origins whether of the Univers itself or of New Zealand or whatever.
It is about the incredible wonderfulness of being alive.
It is 'about' the enormous strangeness of being. And Being.
It is about death and tragedy but also about life and hope - it asks "what is real" -nothing perhaps new there.
It is set agaisnt an incocievable Universe whose meaning we only we 'see' in flashes or perhaps we see it always - it asks why are we here and so on. Or 'why are we here'. Or why are we here.'
Eyelight is exploratory and processional - it is also for me to learn about things (seriously) -I also want to help others. While I have great interest in literature and some philosophy (I have very wide interests - but Iam not strong on philosophy - I find it very difficult) - I also want to involve these (in my The Infinite Poem) at all levels -but more on that - Eyelight is not as "difficult" or as grandiose as it might sound from this intro.
Lester Kyle's (my friend's who is a poet and lives in Buller) many projects and poetic works.
Scott Hamilton's great intelligence, discernment and support and his introduction to me of many poets and ideas I hadn't encountered at the Auckland University - this is not an attack on academia however!
It is structured from many aspects or kinds of writings (including the use of collage etc)- eg there is book I have with quotes from or comments on Art -call that book A - I also have one called "random" (ideas and quotes or just things I have found so to speak " call that B, things about poetics or related call that C and so on - many ideas. I think I go to M as I included -(potentially) any milieu and I have many visual aspects I cant put on this Blog (at this stage)
What I did is I start with my poem "Eyelight" then I take something from A then from B and so on then I have a page that is a mix of all the pages (A B C D ...M). (Perhaps I will go to Z - thus echoing Ron Silliman's alphabet project? Then I start again with poem. So each cycle or section starts with a poem. It is not prefigured apart from certain methodologies, and there is no "plan" of how this is going to develop -no plan per se - just a structure and these themes - apart from these repeating "beats" (Pound also had something- rather distantly - related to this idea -epihany to the quiotidian and so on.) Pound is also someone whose work is filled with light - or energy . I don't share his politics however.
Each of these cycles constitutes a Room ( a 'canto' was originally a room I think)
Also it is important to add my growing interest in New Zealand poets and New Zealand history a and also Maoritanga. As New Zealander there is of course a large influence from this counrty - R A K Mason, Kendrick Smithyman, Sargeson, Mansfield, Cilla McQueen, Michelle Leggott, Richard von Sturmer, Wystan Curnow, Hone Tuwhare, Micheal Morrissey (in particular his The New Fiction) Robert Sullivan and many others are or have been influential.
To some degree - Eyelight is thus political - or all writing is political in some sense of that term.