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Friday, September 04, 2009

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Room 4.1 exp 3








Across the road in Panmure - Light.












The image. The power or indifference of the image.











The first school I went to - I ran away on the first day! I thought my mother would stay with me at school! It took months for them to get me to stay at school. But I eventually did, and I learnt a lot. ... Tamaki Primary.



Cottonwood (U.S. tree) in the grounds of my first school Tamaki Primary. There I learnt to read, write, and I learnt the magic of numbers coming together in patterns.







Everything gets stranger than a tree


(Grey Lynn shop in a state of convulsion...))))











The shadows - the shadows dance. No they don't. Shadows dont dance. The shadows. The shadows. The lines showing shadows. Shadowy shadows. The lines of what could be trees or grey veins. Shadow veins. Grey or gray. The insistent persistence. The after image. SEM = slow eye movement. Dreamless in shade land. Very shady!
The pub at the University of Auckland is called Shadows. Mum's cat was called Shadow. She was ferocious hunter and roamed widely. This is a message that isn't a message - read it by not reading it. Let it be a shadow. Or shadows. If "Willows willow" (Michelle Leggott) then "Shadows shadow." So there!







My art. Art? I can do art!







Sebastian and Tam - Mother and Son.

Grandson and daughter - Tam recently passed her MA in Psychology with top marks - an A.
She is with"Teddy Bear" Ed Cake - who has a great space on MySpace - he has somewhat of a cult following in the NZ music world.

Dionne is doing well and works in a library. Victor and I talk a lot - he is just now ill but seems to be o.k. so far. Seems just a bad cold.

The reason for life is life?

This was taken, about a year or so ago, at the home of the son of the, sadly recently deceased, poet Alistair Campbell. I talked with his son, a very nice young man. This inspired me to buy a copy of his latest book.










Night - everything is more mysterious and perhaps more frightening at night.







People shopping, living, struggling with reality as here in my local shopping centre of Panmre. Tony also lived in a working class suburb. Note the diamond patterns...








Local graffiti "art" in Panmure - each individual seeks to leave their "mark".




....................................................TONY FOLARI


......................................EYELIGHT



............................IMAGES

.............NUMBER



POSTING


.........................................................................WHERE TO NOW?




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I am experimenting with ways of posting and so on. Also, the previous post was part of my poem The Red - previously posted with the large fonts - the total effect of which I cant predict -in fact I was surprised (and pleased) by it. Since then in fat I have an upgraded computer and a different screen.

But I still have little knowledge of ways to manipulate texts and images or fonts on sites etc! Just a kind of "bush cunning"....

I am still not able to take a "composition" on say, WORD, and then load it up on to this blog site.

I haven't studied HTML at all - mainly from laziness I must confess. But I know that all the
"how to info" is all out there!

I like the rawness of the unembellished Blog I have here, and by the way, I don't see 'blackness' as something negative. When I published a "huge blankness" as a Blog post on here, I did it in the vague hope that no one else had - of course I am well aware that books with nothing in them hav been published (and much else has been tried!) and so on; e.g via the book, The Book of Nothing by John Barrow, a fascinating book for "the layman" about maths, cosmolony, and so on where it is shown how by dealing with the NULL set - let's say that is zero - in fact something can be generated. But I or Barrow I am sure don't claim to have solved Russell or Whitehead's problems or Wittgenstein's additions!) (And of course we have touched on Godel! .... in my case even the questions raised themselves are too difficult (for me in any case) to "get a handle on" as they say....BUT what is interesting is, as emphasised in Barrow's book, the complex reactions there have been to the idea of zero and nothingness over time - it seems that in general the Western religions or philosophies resisted zero as a number or even an idea for many centuries while the Indian or Arabian and other Eastern peoples more readily accepted zero. Also the use of zero in our decimal system is now known by us to be essential. But interesting is the interaction of religion, philosophy and many other 'disciplines'.........





....BTW I am just typing this straight on here I really don't know what I am about to say next as I do so.....I have no plan ...do you?...eh? minute to minute? .... eh?! ...hmmm!!! eh?!...eh Taylor, what's the ablative of (Latin word and a phrase, some trick involved...) ... I can hear old Watson's voice, I recall his old car chugging in to Tamaki College ... the fascinating Latin lessons...Graham Tatana, Les Clarke....(where's he gone - rumour is he "dropped out"... he was in the Labour Party once and had a degree in Economics...old Les...lived in GI...I tried to get him to become a Communist in the 70s... crazy days (I 'm getting old (61, a lot of people die in their 60s, a lot of people die...) ... ] but as I wrote somewhere else

............................. But I loved the darkness

This not negative. This posit.. This me honest. These days silence itself has deep attraction - not Buddhism - no isms for me. Just the idea of it.


And zero is connected to infinity - another "number" or idea, debated for centuries...related to zero as if you simply do this


.................................................5

.....................................................

................................................ 0

(Five - or any number except infinity - divided by zero)

You have


.................................... Infinity


Or, on calculator (none when I was a boy , slide rules for us, but log tables first)



Or




--------------------- ERROR




NUMBERS...........................................






Fascinated Tony Folari, poet and humourist, who, tragically; committed suicide on the 17th of August this year. A double tragedy for his family, as his brother, a hightly talented artist, also committed suicide some eyasr previously. Tony had many conversations with me over the years...he was deeply disturbed and passionate about words,writing,art, cosmology, and numbers - he once said that the number 3 was stronger than the number 4, and once, that there were praying mantices all over his jacket, and was quite angry that Praying mantises should be on his Jacket

"Why do the bloody things place themselves all over my jacket, and why is it that when I go on the bus or for walk people everywhere (my old so-called mates in many cases) run along side jeering and at me..?!"

In both cases I simply averred that..."These things happen."

Tragi-comic as this is, I liked Tony, who was part Italian, and had done pretty well in commercial art, worked as a house a painter and renovator but never seemed to settle, movng around from place to place. He was obsessed with words and language in way that could have meant he, unlike so many NZ writers, seeking a "common voice" or accessibility, or wanting to write about how their girlfriend or boy friend bit their left ear, or they couldn't get money, or they failed to orgasm, or whatever, or some sad moan about politics, or some dull "realist" or personal to confessionalist dilemma or event (unfortunately over popularised by such as Lowell, Berryman, Sexton, as Plath with her ridiculous and selfish suicide - o.k all these were tragic cases of the demise of highly talented writers, but it is the way these events have been exaggerated by the press and literary vultures, and slobbered over by feminists and homosexuals etc etc and others that have seemed to glorify this cult of the confessional which extends to dubious writers such as Bukowski) ...........

....what interested me about Tony was his absolute fascination with language as almost a thing in itself. Something rarely seen in NZ poetry - where still to this day - with (fortunately more than a few exceptions) - there seems to reign - a terrible plague of dullness (such as might requireth another Dunciad!) - but this turn toward language [this is also a major target, of course, of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement (influenced by postmodern philosophy and European poetry) which still has a powerful influence, and indeed has influenced me, although I am not a paid up Langpo) - perhaps we see it, or saw it in Spear's writing and some of that of Leggott's - certainly much is in the work of Jen Crawford (although she mentioned the British poet Roy Fisher to me the other day - he like Raworth etc is very interesting and twists and remakes language ), and "dance of language is cunningly concealed in the work of Jack Ross (who is very deceptive, if not a Langpo, well, hmm... his "realism" is a front - but he is onto some great stuff) ... and Smithyman and Curnow mixed their 'reality' and craft with dosages language intensity - and in fact all good writers are language obsessed or 'centred' to some degree, as language is a writer's main tool ... but too many veer away from this focused intensity and depth to a tired realist-conversational tone...

Tony, however had read of the Oulipo group and would spend weeks (or even months) on one poem. (Often Curnow would write only 8 or fewer poems a year. Such was his huge dedication to his craft.) Perec had written an entire novel without the letter 'e' which he called "Avoid" - this fascinated Tony and he read about the Oulipos (who have also influenced such as the late Italo Calvino and that great (and fortunately current!) Kiwi poetic magician Richard von Sturmer); and in a recent Poetry Slam at poetry Live Tony had three poems he had worked on for months - they were, he felt perfect. He was bound to win -no matter how he read them or who the audience was, by their sheer unearthly power: the force of the combinations of letters and sounds, the essential wizardry of his great gestalt

The problem was the abstraction. This drive for symbolic resonance or deep intensity of a near mystical kind has the defect that, we all need, at some point, to relate at a human level. Some of his poems in his books worked. I suggested to Tony that perhaps he should vary his style (or limit the number of his poems per book) as the poems with all the vowels or all the consonants as say 'i' or 'g' - so many poems with internal rhymes and mesmeric rhthyms, like the work of Christian Blok, who he admired, but whose work I find somehow tedious; that the accumulation of the sound and ryhme and repetition was ultimately counter productive. It was, or could be, like a telvision advertising jingle. At their best though - and taken individually - some of his poems were quite extraordinary. But not, perhaps, as I see it, great (however one defines that elusive quality - I may be wrong) : as there needs - beyond this abstract mystical essential force, to always be the pressure, if not the obvious presence, or evidence, or delineation, of some deep, human, and universal emotion or need. The emotion was there, but it was wierldy side-winded into word patterns and what seemed almost like mantras or magic spells. And poetry needs magic..but not all magic. But his project such as he attempted it - and he worked deeply and sincerely - his art - was in it's philosophy, direction and intention, was admirable, as was that of his brother's. He was, however, too tormented by deep ontological or epistemological questions or emotions (in his own self) . I say too tormented. But can we be so? Some would argue that these questions are THE issues of life. Others, simply, live.

I had started to write about how my Blog has changed direction somewhat and that my method now - was, at least for now, to continue to write as when I felt, rather than to any preconceived idea. My ideas about this, in fact all my ideas! - keep changing - so to keep to a structure as such may be superfluous. However I might revert to some more formal structure.

The structure will be whatever is haphazardly or luckily weaved....






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6 comments:

D M H Goldsbrough said...

Your blog has been a nice read, your thoughts quite clear and well developed even in "stream". I admire you for speaking your mind on the quality of writers/poets. Too many don't esp. in NZ.
Thanks for the kind words, if you ever wanna be critical, I would like that too.

D.

Richard Taylor said...

DMH Thanks for you comments!

I was trying to stir things up a bit! I'm not quite certain anything is really "wrong" ..just wanted to get some debate or reaction!

I veer way from criticisms but I do usually state what I do like...

Marty Mars said...

i enjoyed that richard - keep pushing those limits. An unusual aspect is that after stareing and reading the white text on black i seem to hallucinate (mildly) all over the place.

It adds a whole other dimension

Richard Taylor said...

Marty Mars - thanks for your comment. I am interested in the process of the whole "work" so that if it appears in certain way - sometimes not as I excepted - while I can edit it - the very limitations have an additive effect.

(Also, if you have not done so -clink on the images they also appear quite large).

I know the effect of white on black (although this varies with each viewer and that is good - this variation) etc it is what I really like about the format I have. Also the sense sometimes of things hanging in some kind of space.

And I frequently just "parse" (I scroll down "unthinkingly") the texts and images on here and kind of "see" it rather than "read" it although as I have said on here - "read my images and view my texts" which in a way is the same thing for me on one level.

And I proceed nowadays simply as I feel fit - that is there is less design here than might be imagined (or in some cases more!) although I compose these posts fairly quickly - I work partly by design and by intuition.

Also I allow myself to change things as I am working on the post - and sometimes that just stays on here.

I don't separate this into some high (or low - however that is defined) art as such and it reflects my own life as well as ideas I have...

These are probably not very profound ideas but I enjoy doing the various posts and it is great to get feed back.

maps said...

Sorry to hear about Tony Folari, Richard. I feel for his parents - two sons dying by suicide. What did Tony do in the last years of his life? I hadn't seen him since the mid-90s.

Richard Taylor said...

Maps - thanks - yes it is tragic. I cant vouch for anything about Tony as I didn't really know that much about him...I only heard from him from time to time, by phone or at one stage on line when he was also on the Poetics List (Bernstein's).

Tony seemed to be restless, even tormented. He traveled a lot - he was in Palmerston North for a year or so, where he had woman friend he said. He used to buy and do up houses, the resell. I think he could make money (and he had a lot of potential in various things) but he also spent his money it fairly quickly I believe - but I am not sure. As you know he tried joke books and poetry but he was prefectionist of a kind that one has a kind of admiration for. He would ring me from time to time. But he would move from talking of some banal issue to commenting about the cosmos or whatever, or how the universe is a huge brain, and so on. He never stuck at anything - he was always asking questions of me but would quickly move on to another topic - he thought that by writing in certain way he could - well he may have thought he could actually affect the universe. This is an old concept of poets and artists. And in part we indeed - all of us affect everything but not in the deep way Tony wanted or dreamed of...

The last times I saw him he entered the Slam at Poetry Live in K Road but they had a woman there who dominated - she was some kind of rap or hip hop poet - she was - actually she was really bad - but the audience liked her (style) and others and so Tony's poem was really only politely received - as were mine! I gave him a lift home and that, except once briefly here in K Road when I went another time was the last I saw of him.

My feeling is that such poetry slams are really not good in the same way as competitions for poetry are not good or things such as American Idol, America's Top Model etc etc. Even who is or who isn't a "star". Often they lead directly to suicide when people perceive themselves as having "failed"

The art work that I saw Tony had done was brilliant and so was that of his brother. But he couldn't settle on anything I feel.

His brother threw himself off the harbour bridge I think Tony used poison and alcohol.

I liked Tony - he did have a good sense of humour - sometimes it was laboured, but he was kindly enough, and he meant well.