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Friday, April 25, 2008


R o o m 3 8 0





[~? [~? [~~~?? [[[ ~~~~ :|??? ! .....



(((((((((( .............................. ^^??????

In my last discussion of “what I am doing” here in and on EYELIGHT I referred to Pound’s ‘influence’ and his talk of “All things [being] a flowing.” via “sage Heraclitus.

Here are some notes I made:

“ Pound struggled toward this aspect [flow?],
and we see process and constant development in

many poets and writers (many artists of whatever

“discipline” in fact) –

here I will digress [for me digression or divagation and difficulty are or can be method] – I am not concerned about any potential reader [hence I reject “popularity” or transparency [the

Strunk and White effect] with a vengeance as the reader must become the writer – and I reject also “pathetic beauty” or “hope and consolation”

[one thinks of Ashbery’s line
all that useless love…”

[philosophers such as Heidegger were here one thinks of Hitler and his glorious parades and massive tirades into evil resonances of The Ring of Alberich (made by the Rhine Maidens (this [their song] heard partly in The Waste Land by Eliot) or that of Tolkien’s and so on – whence one thinks of Wagner’s wondrous and often too long and tedious (yet sometimes

wonderful tonkile tonkle) and erotic Gotterdammerang – but one also sadly contemplates in a new and horrible agony of being of the terrible destruction and the loss [one thinks or gedandke’s here of Anne Frank] – hence deconstruction – but as Mao said:

“There can be no construction without de[con?] destruction” (and flow) – { per se } – but we now return to the notes:

the constant obsession of many writers in the (first part of?) the 20th Century [BTW many of these ideas I am now mixing with my recent reading of various philosophers whose ideas I only had dim concepts of at the

(postulated?) inception of EYELIGHT

[really quite accidental but which must have had some paradoxical
inceptional modal ‘origin’ - but this [notion – [passing thought??] is open to infinite questions into echoes unto dearth] – before I continu

e ....


I will use term I have discovered (this as I say an learning process for me and hopefully for others – there are huge areas or blocks of Nothing in me I cannot disbelieve –and much of this new theory [not new in time of course new to me] is beyond me as well as you my lovely reader ] but here is the term – [see the ‘origin’ hyper link above] – but to return –

{ Richard STOP being so stupid just write it down people don’t want all this interrupting and crap {your not Einstein or Joycey or anyone you slop!} {I know! I know…sorry…} So you should be you stupid bastard –get on with it!??} -

you know Richard that was great that Moral tale of Laforgue “Hamlet” best thing I’ve read by him so far –cant get much in French or English by him… {died at 27???!} {Richard –stop it for the Bejazus! Stop!!} {It’s where I got the idea for that line

He washed......... his hand.............. s.................. in eyeballs

Read Laforgue (who influenced Eliot of course) from some book at Uni but didn’t think much about it for some time until I found the Jay Smith translation at the Hard to Find in Ponsonby…where that Yank was talking about reading – or he had read “The Rise and Fall…} {Richard – SHUT UP!!!...{Sorry…o.k.

{Should I play The Modern to 1. e4 from now on [Sicilian becoming too well known] ??

{ I WILL definitely try 3 Nxf7 against the Petrov’s though!!) {Topalov-Kramnik – only a draw but still…}

{Shut up I said!!!}

- (many writers) such as Zukofsky his ‘A’ and especially ’80 Flowers’ where the growing of the flowers itself (I feel) is itself an enactment enacted or

danced out over a period of 20 years of the writer’s life and thus becomes acted into the

totality of the poem itself;

Olson’s ‘Maximus’ and for me Gertrude Stein is


everybody in their entering the modern composition and they do enter it, if they do not enter it they are not so to speak in it they are out of it and so they do enter it; but in as you may say the non-competitive efforts where if you are not in it nothing is lost except nothing at all except what is not had, there are naturally all the refusals, and the things refused are only important if unexpectedly somebody happens to need them. In the case of the arts it is very definite. Those who are creating the modern composition authentically are naturally only of importance when they are dead because by that time the modern composition having become past is classified and the description of it is classical. That is the reason why the creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic, there is hardly a moment in between and it is really too bad very much too bad naturally for the creator but also very much too bad for the enjoyer, they all really would enjoy the created so much better just after it has been made than when it is already a classic, but it is perfectly simple that there is no reason why the contemporary should see, because it would not make any difference as they lead their lives in the new composition anyway, and as every one is naturally indolent why naturally they don't see. For this reason as in quoting…

The inception of EYELIGHT had it’s beginning in The Infinite Po

em and it’s fascination and use of collage and the interaction of texts and various forms or paroles of the resultant polyvocal and polymodal writing. The I.P. owes in turn

to an essay (“Writing and Method”) by

Charles Bernstein


This essay, which I read in 1992 while doing a (stage 3 B.A.) course on modern and postmodern US poetry, I discussed in the literary magazine Brief [Number 24, July 2002].

Why US poetry, and what was I doing? This is or could be long divergence (later I roamed into English, French (and other European) writers (mostly in translation): and much else: and of course I was always reading N.Z. writing

– in fact I read into anything so there is not now any preference for U.S. over Chinese or whatever) – but the starting point was a Journal we (stage three English students) kept. This was open to anything we could contribute about writers or writing on the course. I’ll get back to that Journal as there are things in it of quite some interest…

Part of my purpose or dreams in the ‘early days’ of the I.P. was somehow to ‘save’ all traces of all human consciousness as far as possible in and through all time. (When I started on The I.P. I had not read about


etc – I ‘found’ him more or less by accident at the Auckland Library)…’

Here is the relevant passage in Bernstein's essay - many of the ideas in the essay I studied very carefully and gave a lot of notes to, in my Journal, in 1992


were quite new to me and I wasn't completely aware that some of these ideas derive from

various Postmodern writers (and others mentioned by Bernstein - poets


for example at one stage he quotes Keats on "negative capability" and so on).

The essay I quote was a starting point, not a prescription, for what I began to do, or enact...

One vision of a “constructive” writing practice I have, and it can be approached
in both poetry and philosophy, is of a multi-discourse text, a work that would involve many different types and styles and modes of language in the same “hyperspace”. Such a textual practice would have a dialogic or polylogic rather than monologic method. The loss of dialogue in philosophy has been a central problem since Plato; Cavell, applying this to his own work, and that of Thoreau, talks about the dialogue of a “text answerable to itself”. Certainly Philosophical Investigations is the primary instance of such a text in this century, and also a primary instance of taking this practice as method. I can easily imagine more extreme forms of this: where contrasting moods and styles of argument, shifting styles and perspectives, would surface the individual the individual modes and perspectives, would surface the individual modes and their meaning in individual ways, and perhaps further Heidegger’s call for an investigation into “pure thinking” (Thinking is also construction.) Indeed, I can imagine a writing that would provide a philosophic insight but would keep essentially a fabric of
dance – logopoeia – where truth would not be to the validity of argument but to the ontological truthfulness of its meaning.


Charles Bernstein from

....................................."Writing and Method" In The American Tree.

Bernstein also talks - to summarise briefly -of the way that the difference between philosophy and poetry (or philosophical writing and poetic textuation - is there a difference?) is as much in the style or the "form" of that writing - so that the work of Sartre's Being and Nothingness

" a more poetic work than the Age of Reason in the sense that I find it more a structured investigation of perception of perception and experience – “being” whose call is to “memory and synaesthesia”, while the novels often seem to exemplify various “problems” using a rationalistic approach to argument and validity."

Here are two paragraphs leading to this -with my comments:

Poetry, like philosophy, may be involved with the investigation of phenomena (events, objects, selves) and human knowledge of them; not just in giving examples, but in developing methodological approaches. This implies not that the two traditions are indistinct but that aspects of each tradition, especially in respect to the basicness of method, may have more in common with aspects of the other tradition than with aspects of its own tradition; that the distinction between these two practices may be a less a matter of intrinsic usefulness than of professionalization and segmentation of audience and so of the address of texts.

Bernstein had earlier in the essay rejected the distinction of philosophy (and I’ll comment here that I believe that science has been and still very much is a kind of philosophy in action, and that philosophy is a sort of mental “science” so its possible that the distinctions between all disciplines are more of convenience than reality ...but I’ll leave those questions aside for now) and poetry. That is that philosophy was logical and explicatory and poetry was not while it contained “argument’: the differences are in fact in the way that they presented; the style, the genre, and so on. But let me stick to Bernstein on Sartre:

Jean-Paul Sartre, in his “Interview at 70” (In Life/Situations) argues that while literature should be ambiguous, “in philosophy, every sentence should have only one meaning” [this one might think would apply to a more rigorous discipline such as, say, physics (my comment)]; he even reproaches himself for the “too literary language of Being and Nothingness “whose language should have been strictly technical. It is the accumulation of technical phrases which creates the total meaning, a meaning which”, at this overall level, “has more than one level”. Literature, on the other hand, is a matter of style, style that requires greater effort in writing and pervasive revision. “Stylistic work does not consist of sculpting a sentence, but of permanently keeping in mind the totality of the scene, the chapter,...the entire book” as each sentence is being composed. So a superimposition of many meanings in each sentence – Sartre’s remarks are interesting in this context because he so clearly exemplifies the poetry / philosophy split, being equally known for his fiction and non-fiction. Yet for me, Being and Nothingness is a more poetic work than The Age of Reason in the sense that I find it more a structured investigation of perception and experience – “being” whose call is to “memory and synaesthesia”, while the novels often seem to exemplify various “problems” using a rationalistic approach to argument and validity.

This contradiction.......................... was one of the fundamental "eclairrisement's" .................... that energised my initiating my (my?) The Infinite Poem.

Interestingly, about 2 years after reading this, when I studied stage three philosophy we did "Continental Philosophy" (we covered Heidegger, Sarte, Camus, Foucault and a few others) we some readings of Being and Nothingness and The Myth of Sisyphus but took as as 'better' texts La NauseƩ and L'Etranger (two favourite books of mine) and it seemed to me, reading these, that Bernstein was right (or onto something interesting) - but I have only read patches of the longer philosophic works of Sartre and Camus.

So I began my adventure - my "break" from various conventions, affair...... with ostranie and so on.

Another impact on me has clearly been art - my father an was an artist (he practised as a professional Engineer-Architect) and transmitted his love of art to myself and also my older sister Gillian - who pursued art through her

life (this I was not always strongly aware of really until relatively recently) in between being a mother, working as teacher, skating (she took part in championships and did much coaching.) My brother and other sister took other paths - he in Chemistry and she in English Literature and teaching.

I kept a interest in all aspects of art (however defined) and at one stage took a good look at conceptual art - it was thus that I "discovered "


quite by chance (at the Auckland Library) - with him there was in me the near-hopeless "lunge" to preserve 'everything' - every human - in fact potentially all sentient - thought or conscious experience.

Consciousness being the deepest,
most profound project - the greatest and most beautiful mystery.


Boltanksi speaks:

every artist belongs to a mythical country

and miserable. This is precisely the reason why Boitanski's works are not made of bronze or of marble, but rather of cheap materials such as tinplate; materials that fall into decay by themselves. The artist also uses simple and easily recognizable materials such as coats or photos. To him, everybody is a fragile and unique character whose memories have to be preserved, just like the example of his grandmother: no trace of her existence has left, at the exception of this samovar displayed in the Moscow exhibition or the memory of those who knew her. It is all about "small" individual memory, that is opposed to the "large" collective memory, that of the history books that he also tells throughout his installations. Each of his exhibitions creates a new path made of old pieces combined with new works, which setting is renewed every time.

Boltanski tells thai at the beginning of every work of art, there is a historical or psychoanalytic event, referring to events that have to be told in order to be better understood.

"I was born at the end of World War II: my “hidden” father during the war, the discovery of the Holocaust, my anxiety about my father's desperation, these are all elements that moulded me ... 'Odessa's Ghosts' allows me to celebrate my personal stories — we have to entertain the dead.

every artist belongs to a mythical country

every artist belongs to mythical country

every artist belongs mythical country

every artist belongs mythical

every artist mythical

every artist



evy art

ev ar

e r


..................................there are huge areas or blocks of Nothing in me


The endless book...

Here is a picture of Bach's score the start of the Credo) for his B Minor Mass:

New color facsimile of the autograph score based on newly commissioned photographs. The "Great Catholic Mass" —as it was referred to in the will of CPE Bach—is both one of the crowning achievements of Johann Sebastian Bach and at the same time one of his most enigmatic works.

.............the Mass conspicuously lacks a title page


This (the written score by Bach's own hand - or facsimile of) - doesn't mean much to me - I can in fact read music - but I have no capacity to recall sounds - so while I can locate the position of notes on a piano for example I can never remember what it actually sounds like: I have no real music ability. [This doesn't matter BTW - many people play musical instruments who cannot "visualise" sounds etc although I suppose most musicians can to some degree, and people who are really great in this area are very rare..but I am saying this for the man of you who are as baffled as I am by such score - not totally though - and what fascinates me is the
look of it - and this is important - just as often I use parts of phrases for the texture of the impossible meaning resonance, rather than any possible completeness - I love to "partially" comprehend things such as this score -also I selected a facsimile rather than a neat modern score - this is the score as done by Bach's living hand - it attempts perfection - but is of the failed flesh...]

I used to "improvise" on my piano - but it was a mechanical process (it was a hobby for a time - almost an obsession - ) ... To play Beethoven I used to got all the way through the treble then the base then combine them and play it (e.g. 'The Waldstein' I could play quite well, but there were parts I could never "master") - eventually I would recall the music somewhat, but my musical "recall" is very it seems incredible tome that Bach etc could write music as that above and know how it all sounded... I don't really believe that any one is capable of it - but apparently he must have been.

But whatever - the B Minor Mass is said by many to be the greatest piece of music ever composed - and said to be perhaps one of the most extraordinary, towering conceptions ever realized by a conscious being. And I love Bach's work - but there is no way I can confirm this - or say it necessarily of the B Minor Mass in particular - or indeed of any other art work.

How can we know ? <<<

How can we know that this work is so great - and how do we judge it - and by what criteria? To many it is a terrible cacophony - of no interest - after all it doesn't really have a "tune" like some of the marvelous songs and so on - it isn't very happy or tuneful music, it repeats and drones on and on and on... for my mother (who loved 'classical' music except Bach (I know he was in fact baroque) ) Bach was "too dreary". My uncle liked jazz - but only happy, not complex, jazz - and certainly not Bach. Others keen on music I have heard say that Bach is too intellectual. Others call it "opera" and if they hear it will quickly switch it off... I myself cannot logically prove the "greatness of" or privilege Bach's music above any other music on this earth or within this or other universes.

But what about for me? What is great for me about Bach is the sense of the eternal present I seem to feel while listening to(for me) his best works) - as Glenn Gould pointed - out he wasn't interested in "getting through to the end, in getting to any conclusion, really..." (his sons were - they were "progressive" while Bach

was conservative and kept to a form that twas in fact already largely outmoded in his own life time. But his "melody" seems to dwell in a perpetual present.) While listening to Bach I am sometimes almost convinced there must be some God or a higher power - whatever. Einstein's ambition to get inside the thoughts of God... Bach's end is his beginning and his end: his endless end.

But my point - apart from this endless process in Bach - is a discussion I once heard about the entire work on the radio. The mass is not in fact a singe work per se - it was a work (according to my commentator) that was patched together from otter older scores, It is thus a composite. The musicologist then explained how the entire work was, in all kinds of ways, arranged in the form of a complex mathematical and musical symmetry. The music could theoretically be printed or presented as one vast shape - virtually a great gestalt, a kind of Fast Fourier Transform of itself to summate the multiplex complex wave or wave mass it is - shone onto a vast canvass in colour that could be "number crunched" and subtly analysed - it has been and a huge symmetry of fearful power emerges - a massive, glorious, huge winged Eagle with coruscating colours and coded in are to be found the letters of Bach's name as the notes chosen (a practice John Cage copied and continued).

I have done this in EYELIGHT - I am recycling texts or poems or fragments of poems constantly as well as bringing innovations, repetitions, and work form other sources than my own etc into the long "work" or process that is EYELIGHT. Am I vying with Bach? Of course not - I am applying the method - as I am interested very much in the methods of Bach and also many contemporary composers (who worked in very different ways to Bach - such as Varese, Xenakis, Cage, Ives, and Stockhausen etc. I see EYELIGT not as great (this term seems absurd to me) or unitary as Bach's work is - but I do see it as long and analogous to a composition in music although as I say in that area I am more or less tone deaf...

But questions remain. How do we define great art (let alone 'the greatest') -in fact how do we define and or privilege art, poetry etc?

For me there are no answers - the Mass is something incomprehensible (and undoubtedly magnificent -but for me not his best or even particularly good); but it is still the marvelous work of a human mind or brain. Incredible, as we say "incredible".

But so is everything else. Everything...... in the Universe ( .... or the infinite Multiverse.............?)......................................... is both immensely mysterious....................................., puzzling........................, fascinating.................................., and, ......................even in............................................. its defined................................................. 'ugliness'; beautiful;...................................................

even terrifyingly so.


Tyger , tyger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or


Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

And in Blake's great poem the last stanza replaces "could" with "dare" - which has been introduced earlier in the poem:

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain,
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?


Below* is the entire poem, showing the consummate interweave of ideas - and of words such as 'could' to 'dare' and the powerfully punctuating questions - the sense of immensity and beauty -

"A terrible beauty is born" ........!!???!........ as Yeats says...

And this perverse beauty can indeed seem the obverse of our conventional view of "beauty" -

it........... can at times seem terrible, dark, horrifying;.... or trite, tedious.

Eliot.................... refers to the "horror, the boredom, and the glory".

I don't know.

Take something ......... from this vast work or 'apparition' though - ........... what I have 'stolen' is the idea of recycling my own poems, or fragments of them into the main "body"of the work. From my original works................. back into


But EYELIGHT is not the greatest work!! This term, in fact, 'grates' on me! EYELIGHT is not great or a perfect anything - it is a process a happening, deepened and enriched by the palimpsestic depth of all earlier processes and workings of my mind in the earlier"works" or writings or whatever

has preceded or is a part of what I am presently doing; it could be seen as an endless beginning and ending as is (or seems to be) Bach's music

when I appreciate Bach most. It is a procedure, an eternal beginning and an eternal end with no predicted end or

beginning or obsess with such beginning or possible traumatic or tragi-pathetic end (as we seem to see Tchaikovsky's suicide predicted or adumbrated in "The Pathetique". ) Like life - which it is a part of


how can something in the world escape the world? - EYELIGHT proceeds with (albeit something if a sense of the eternal present) in relatively predictable ways. Sure I get inspired by Bach etc, but I am not now concerned with a single, finished, or 'perfect' product.

I cannot or don't wish to call EYELIGHT a 'poem' or 'work of art'; but it can be said to emulate a huge musical or artistic 'composition', where themes and ideas or motifs repeat, as say do the 'leitmotifs' of Wagner's "Ring Cycle". EYELIGHT is thus a text. In it, images, indeed potentially everything and anything, can participate in its progress, its on going...

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

But I want to describe how I "moved away" from the single, 'perfect' poem,

towards a (for me) new method of proceeding: a 'work', an action enacted,

that I myself cannot define. [It is 'structured' more than anything I have yet done, but while it is still my most 'structured'. 'constituted','planned' enactment - yet it it i..........................s yet of a form and nature happenstantial, and sometimes an "intuitive", or even random, work.

This thing I cannot define.

But I will try. In about 1990 I was at the Auckland University library. I was fascinated to see on display in a glass case, several versions of a poem called 'Narita' by Allen Curnow. Now I took a note of the "crossings out", the changes, the many versions, and the final 'perfect', finished poem. Here is the first stanza:

Turning the eyes from side to side, inquiring
brightly, the head of the door
issues from the door for arrivals.


Things such as this intrigue me - the poem and its process - I was then rather new to modernist/postmodernist poetry (Curnow has been described as both) and I hadn't read or written any poetry (or even much literature of any kind) for many years prior to about 1986. The poem fascinated and puzzled me. What was this strange writhing and inquiring worm? What was it all about? ( I have trouble with metaphor, abstraction, or symbolism - I tend to see almost everything literally, or in fact simply as combinations of words - and I think this has always been the case for me to some extent .) I later asked a friend what 'Narita' was and was quite surprised to discover it was not in fact a nematode, but an airport near Tokyo!



But the real importance for me of this encounter, as in once seeing a facsimile of a n original typescript of a book by Virginia Woolf and what most excited me were the crossings out, the errors, the starts and stops,the shapes of the words themselves, the strange or unique script, the marks, the blotches, the variously faded or clear typing, - the unfinished and the manifold look of the uncompleted work - that is of all the drafts displayed, and the strangenesses, the resonances and disturbances thus set up in me...


And every version seemed to me, peering over and into the austere glass and bossy case, of an equal, or similar merit, or wondrousness. Further: it was the totality as I felt this experience of reading and interpreting, and not understanding, was, for me. Later I realised that there was again here an example of constant process as 'poem' - and my encounter with it was part of an ongoing experience of a work - a work that ( if not for Curnow ) had it's importance for me in its endlessess and its non beginning. Later in lectures on Sartre (particularly his La Nausee) this issue or concept of there not being any place a "story" starts was presented as being problematic for the main protagonist.

In fact one project I did in philosophy was to write three stories -to somehow confirm (or not) that certain separate events had happened in my life - in life of course we have to - at least in our minds - separate things out.

The stories I recalled most vividly were ones that involved near death, or were of a romantic nature, or were distressing, erotic, or joyful - the "ordinary" totality of existence of course is mostly forgotten by the mind and we see things in separate "blocks" but we are amid an ongoing roar of process..a constant molecular and existential boil of Being and causation and the burning torment of matter and the agonised and joyful convulsions life lived in (albeit quantum mechanical and multi vectorial) space time...


........................the squirting joy of the act

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !


A similar thing occurred for me when I once came across a book on how to write poetry by Michael Harlow and Bill Manhire - these included some excellent creative writing exercises. Indeed I have probably used some of the ideas in that book in EYELIGHT and in some of my previous writings. But again my main interest was in Harlow's demonstration of the evolution of poem he had written. Again with many versions, "crossings out", changes, circlings, mysterious marks, squiggles, corrections - indeed, many 'Visions and revisions'.... all in Harlow's demonstration of the evolution of his poem.

But for me his poem began with the beginning of the Universe or the Multiverse - if it (they) has / have a beginning...

Here is (or are) an (some), image(s) of the poem [ in process or development] as it were] and the (some of) accompanying text:

The "process" continued (or continues) until Harlow (and he goes through all this with the potential writer who is learning or interested in this procedure) (perhaps of many but typical of writers and their methods) has or had or may have had could have or did have the"perfect poem"; that he then sent off ) (perhaps) to a publisher (or he may have kept it in drawer or his back trouser pocket for some time: until showing, indeed revealing, it here in this "how to" book) and it was now ready to be published - and was [or is or would have been or could be etc] thus final (complete -& total) - now the draft could have been thrown away - but it is this very draft or these tentative coils and loops of beginnings and hesitant incipiencies, the torture of making, the disgust and hatred of doubt and delay, the scribbles, the deletions, the intrusions of infinite phenomena and intellectual or sentential debris we cannot know, - the total making - all of every thing that goes "into" the poem or text that interests, nay fascinates, me...

So I "get angry"with it all!!

The finished poem as poem is good - really good. Harlow is a major poet in NZ - one of my favourite - but I am not interested just now in the poem's meaning (meaning is problematic in any case) interested here in the look of the totality of his work as worked through and I then transform it - as things constantly do in life - in fact I went "berserk" with it almost in trance or a fever, a kind of "creative rage" perhaps: creating a new "poem" or text as in the following image-poem-text-enactment: an implication of an infinite and progressive or degressive process ... I got very angry with it:

When he arrives
on his lips a small tattoo
The plumes of his pocket

almost a wonder

has signed

something else - buff -coloured signs are taken for wonders....

the leopards are strewn about the desert in a lazy terror

that only White can convey



W H O ?

They explode from the night into morning's dark indifference and the endless and near illegible unintelligibility of truth...



Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?



tertius said...

Read the whole room 380 just now and the mystery of the process deepens as bach and blake stand with the homeless and starving vagrants in the enclaves and recesses of the heartless city.

tertius said...

And then she flew in and landed near, with her body so bright and her eyes in the light so clear. There that terrible beauty was born and she likened that smile into the look of fear.

tertius said...

Arrested and sentenced to the term of your unnatural life. The judge declared you are found guilty of the crime 'bombastic pomposity' and the additional offences of a pompous bombastic. Take him away and destroy the key, this criminal must be gagged and bound for all eternity. Let him brew in the broth of beelzebub, he is the lord of the undone fly and he is to be cast out....

tertius said...

In the cold of the cell the machinations of the tiny began and paradise lost was again found.

Richard Taylor said...

tertius - good to see you still lurking or lurching in cyber space! I will comment on these comments more fully in good time...for now - yes there is perhaps a conjunction of Bach and Blake (neither known or appreciated in their own lives very well) - it occurs to me both mes start with a B! But yes.. both great "artists"... Blake was a kind of socialist Christian or mystic who "rewrote" Milton, (his "Milton" is great - Joyce read a lot of Blake's stuff) had complex mystical system that that almost precedes Einstein's Relativity Theory - very strange writer but his poem Tyger is for me one of the greatest poems ever written. Blake and milton were more or less "on the side" of the migrants or vagrants - the dispossessed - etc although Milton was more the "severe" Hebraic (blind) "genius" ..Blake for me is perhaps - well they both complemented each other...of course Blake's books of poems were also written or acid etched in many colours.

Mine in many colours as I love colour....

The "social" injustice or politics is seen here with child (my grandson)playing on the beach - Mission Bay in winter a few years ago) juxtaposed against an image of dead Iraqi or Palestinian still showing his bloodied chest - in that photo can be seen a chess position - chess has many symbolic aspects and there is also a book about a certain film animator (McClaren) beside the chess board - and in it there is a reference to our own film animator and artist Len Lye (an earlier post has an image by him - thus images or ideas repeat as with say the leitmotifs of Wagner)) (and paradoxically and tragically the "holocaust" goes on -but so does life - hence the foetus later... looking strange like an alien from space! - strange - but representing birth and hope) - similarly there are many references throughout my Blog and in each image...(but they can be seen just for themselves or as part of the "poem's" totality)) - theimges (esp if clicked on to enlarge them)carry many meanings although there is a chance element in there choice and placing - the Maori stone spiral is connected by a "language" of signs to a grave stone - the huge blanknesses are obviously what is there on Blogger - it isn't about my brain!!

Earlier in one post a "published" a huge piece of "blankness" or blackness.... a visual equivalent of John Cage's silence or perhaps an echo of Tristram Shandy and so on... Everyone will find connections - I didn't know or think were there myself (I also find them) as a part of the 'problem' [it's not really a problem] is that when I go to select an image I cant always see quite what I am going to use and its hard to visualise the overall effect - also there is a limitation between what I do on Word and what Blogger will filter out and so on - I need to learn HTML or Java or something one day ... Alan Sondheim* has gone as far as e.g using programs that do MoCap (motion capture) and some people (seeing this) might think I am THE other Richard Taylor of Lord of the Rings! (One person did think so earlier on...) But there is also another poet lurking out there with my name and scientist and so on...

The first image is enlarged of something I did myself "collaged" with some fragment of Harlow's poem. There is an element also of the method of Jackson Pollock here. Perhaps a dash of Collin McCahon also.

Yes - the city can be heartless -

(regards for now, Richard )

* He has a history of involvement in many things - film (experimental), setting up parts of the internet, (telecommunications and thus computing - I also was involved in telecoms/electronics - and understand some digital componetry etc, protocols - and codes etc but Alan uses the language of computing and science in fascinating ways - for their denotative and connotative meanings ... I suppose we all do that...I also - some terms and images I just love for what they symbolise or seem to mean than whichever actually so far as we can ever get to meaning!) art, poetry (he knew Kathy Acker when she also contributed to the Language movement etc) and so on... I have to admit I have not read much by here. I just saw an interview by her with Burroughs once.

Richard Taylor said...

"And then she flew in and landed near, with her body so bright and her eyes in the light so clear. There that terrible beauty was born and she likened that smile into the look of fear."

Is this from Blake? Or all yours!

Sometimes I forget what -whenam looking through my notebooks -what is "mine" (whatis?) and what I have stolen - as Eliot said great writers steal others only imitate! [Take that with smallish lump of sugar and salt]...Marriane Moore carefully acknowledges the masses of quotes she uses / Jack Ross acknowledges some...

Richard Taylor said...

A someone said about Voltaire: -

"That [Jack Ross ] is a cunning bastard!"

- He is cruelly and superciliously checkmating; if not zugzwanging; me; with a huge, unnamed and unnameable Joycean / Derridaen work in progress (but I have some counterattacking shots left and few zwischenzugs to boot!); ... [he is composing (in the dark - as that is how he works); an interminable if perhaps not tedious creaking insidiousness of untranslatable intent and of an enormous ennui and cynic glory ...

Thinking of the Good Doctor R. - the word "evil" flickers through my half-robotic, erotic, confused, and sleepless mind ... after all Milton has been mentioned here.

"He Miltoned his great musicks" (R. Taylor in 'Jorge Loius Borges')

Richard Taylor said...

tertius said...

"In the cold of the cell the machinations of the tiny began and paradise lost was again found."

This is good!

tertius said...

Its all mine but what is ownership? Anyway your eyelight project has given untold inspirations, I looked up auck uni web and was sad to hear about the passing of Dr Wright ... can recall some of his literature lectures... looked up some of your links too

Richard Taylor said...

I didn't know Dr Wright was dead - I didn't know him so well. He as very knowledgeable on Blake, Yeats and so on. I recall his lectures - very intense and informative.

Great that anyone gets somethingrmo here -that is theh idea to shre ideas and so on.

Since getting into Blogs etc I realise that in this medium one is really reliant only on oneself and that is quite liberating - one can do just about anything.

If people are "judging" or are praising or are indifferent - none of it really matters - it is great to get feed back but the main buzz is doing it.

tertius said...

I didnt know him well either but hearing of suicide is unsettling. (obituary in eng dept web by B.Boyd). Also saw in your elec. poetry link the passing of others too. In 92 in the am.poet lectures had guest poets I can recall Creeley where there any others? The reason I center on this as the language poetry matters had a profound impact on the way I viewed 'language' more than any other course attended. Also how subjects blend and dissolve so Ive inserted bits of my own 'lyricals' into responding to your text.

tertius said...

Ive tried to engage some of my own lyrics to your text, I do not have the conceit in me to comment on your text it is what is. So in respect of the 'language' it relates to itself so I insert my own 'lyricals'. Any thing less would be to me arrogance and I would never comment on your work. So the texts can engage on several layers . Trying to respond in poetry . Harder but stimulating.

Richard Taylor said...

Yes - not good about Wright. Boyd is still doing well - his books look to be fascinating. I actually have his bio - I read parts of it - Ialso used Field's book on Nabokov when studyingLoloita -but I had read King Queen Knave and The Defence as well as I read Pale Fire - that I liked the most. I have Ada but haven't read it yet - he did a PhhD on that I had heard that...and now he has a book on it - I would also like to read "Speak Memory"
auto bio by Nabokov - Boyd has written about that also...

As to Wright - it is tragic even more as he was very knowledgeable on such great writers as Joyce and so on.

Aloss - very astute people - very valuable to the "culture" etc but tragic on the "human" level.

It is tragic whatever.
Kleinzhaler came about 1990 or so - I had a talk with him - he doesn't or didn't like the language poets
-he came out with Ashbery but Ashbery only made it to Australia.

Lynn Heijinian was here - I heard the tapes she made - herbig influence was Stein - Stein was talked about when she was a child... Alan Loney was there and ethn Creeley came in about 1995..yes encountering the language poets etc was shock to a lot of people. Iam looing everywhee nowdays adn although influced by alotof thse guys I am less "disciplined" to say the least!! As with chess I tend not play more intuitively. But I am also careful with details -such as possible sudden attacks or what we call "blunders"...the key in chess is to keep alert... literature etc is deeper or wider...more scope for "mixing" stuff.

There is a range - I talk about Alan Sondheim a lot to get a bias -to see how I differ or how I am the same. But his "project" is more structured - he has also been involved in what is called Vispo - some of that is incredible stuff...

So we are all unique but all have similar basic needs, concerns, and so on...

"...subjects blend and dissolve so Ive inserted bits of my own 'lyricals' into responding to your text..."

Yes! I would like more of that from others also. When I get enough I will put a (another) post
of "comments" as I see these as being a part of the totality...

Richard Taylor said...

Anonymous tertius said...

" Ive tried to engage some of my own lyrics to your text, I do not have the conceit in me to comment on your text it is what is. So in respect of the 'language' it relates to itself so I insert my own 'lyricals'. Any thing less would be to me arrogance and I would never comment on your work. So the texts can engage on several layers . Trying to respond in poetry . Harder but stimulating."

Bernstein's "A Poetics" is - well a lot of it is in a kind of poetic form...poetry becoming criticism etc... negative and positive comments are all is hard for me to be objective -I get quite excited when I do the Blog here... I love looking at the images - colours and ideas - I don't understand it all but it is wonderful just as all of nature is.

BTW Vic is now less heavy than I am -we both walk each day and have changed our eating habits and I am now 73 kg and Vi is about 72 or 73 - took about 1 and 1 quarter of a year. My youngest daughter is doing an MA in the field of Psychological Medicine (specialty obesity problems.) Overall he lost 60 kgs in about 10 yeasrs with a 30 kg loss last 32 years! )

Jack Ross said...

"That [Jack Ross] is a cunning bastard! ... Thinking of the Good Doctor R. - the word "evil" flickers through my half-robotic, erotic, confused, and sleepless mind ... after all Milton has been mentioned here."

You were pretty much counting on my never making it here to the profoundest hinterlands of your domain, weren't you, Taylor? No such luck -- my all-seeeeeeing eye is everywhere. You cannot escape it, try as you might ... And for penetrating my earthly disguise with such blithe acumen, an eternity of repentance would not be enough ...

Richard Taylor said...

But I am Dr. Who! I trapped you! I have unveiled your evil connivance to destroy the world...with time warping and deeply spiraling transgressive palimpsestic scriptions in the Borgesian Maze...the Eternal Library of Towers. Your assault on the great Fortress of NZ Literature...that Eternal, Sacrosanct, and Wondrous Body...Thy Attacks Upon His Greatness - A. Loney! (Lately of Australia)...Usurper!

[Neilsen Wright must be informed immediately!]

tertius said...

Whats this? The bearer of the flaming light , holder of the eternal lamp , falling under boiling oil only holding his nostrils above the flickering surface. The battle of the opening gambit.

tertius said...

To the question of entrance an answer from the exit. Landed heavy with damaged wings to surface here when sent forth him away which did ease the night of dark that follows day. So happen not again thrust in motion, with a chain laden over the chest bound in poisoned lotion. Sentinel stand aside the portal opens...

Richard Taylor said...

tertius - thanks for your contributions.

How is it over there? It is bloody cold here.