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Friday, December 16, 2016



    At Richard von Sturmer's launch of his new book of his family and some of his distinctive and always extraordinarily imaginative poems I was able to see that the Publisher of Atuanui and Titus books books was then well, having been ill. I had mooted the question of another book and it seems
it will be do-able as the young doctors said of my broken leg. 

They were right but a more senior Dr. (this was 2004) had said no, there was still too much swelling, so the operation was delayed. But the plan is for some kind of version of EYELIGHT which I began almost by chance in 2005.

I am working on collating posts and then seeing how I can get some order into the book.

(Order might be an oxymoron for the way I stumble along but it is a word or a term.....)

I would like to see it happening next year, maybe about March or June. Hopefully before too much delay.

EYELIGHT has increasingly become an art project although it is more than that. I would like to say as Davis is quoted as saying he was a "language worker" in Emma Ferguson's MA Thesis "Going Faster than Speed" Leigh Davis 1983-1985 which I converted to a book form (for my own use) as it is long* - but very informative on Davis and also the intersection of neoliberal thinking (Davis was in the Treasury during the Douglas years and one of the aspects of his poetics was indeed the Rogernomical speed coupled to his way of Postmodernism and Ferguson discusses certain ambiguities and political and even ethical problematics arising) and say the thinking of postmodernism with its attendant complexity of theory, and Davis's tendency (in the years discussed) to be 'shifty'....the thesis is fascinating and throws light on Davis whose entire poetic and career Roger Horrocks feels needs more critical attention. Scott Hamilton did that in his review and a vigorous discussion ensued. I ranted on at length on Scott's Blog. I think that Fergusson's thesis would be a good start. Anyone tackling Davis would have to look at my work and that of a number of others such as Wystan Curnow, Alan Loney, Michelle Leggott, Roger Horrocks and many other writers (even Jack Ross and John Geraets) in what is almost a  sub genre in NZ. Some of the writers in the magazine Pot Roast which Rapatahana mentioned on Jacket2 as well as Minarets, a small magazine with some interesting things including in one I saw an essay on Olson and some work by Ross Brighton who seems to have, for now, checked out of poetry as such. Again one wonders about the definition and the very term "poetry"....

In any case it is necessary to see what is going on. Fergusson's thesis gives some good pointers to Davis's work (I mean here Willy's Gazette and his 'Flags' project which I saw as an art installation but have not seen in the book form.

In simple terms, can we separate the politics from the poetics? It is a complex question.

'Language Worker' is good. I mooted 'Textualizer' earlier on when this Blog started. I want to keep evading. Not quite The Male as Evader but The Text Engineer of Multitudes Contained or maybe the Pccott Evading Definity Thru Infinity...but it all gets rather silly this game of naming.

In EYELIGHT I cheat. I put a bob each way. In fact every way. (In fact in theoretically infinite ways, I don't assume, as Archimedes [who explained it all in a text found and used by mathematical historians etc] did, that he could assume an actual infinity and hence to find the formula for the volume of sphere (which of course everyone can instantly say is 4/3 pi x radius cubed!!) he imagined it divided into an infinite number of slices, infinitesimally small, thus getting the jump on Leibniz and Newton: as in my "real" world we cant afford the bus fare to infinity!); no I have to assume that there may be a near infinite number of combinations etc but in the end this vast potentiality is not significant.  [It might be if we are thinking of the potential of forms of human creativity, as we are always surprised by how someone finds some thing radically new...or is this "newness just variations on what has been?] 

....But in any case, I decided, after thinking about The Infinite Poem, that involved more or less random sections or fragments of language from many sources interacting with my own, also sometimes fragmented or not (to simplify the whole thing for now); that I needed to produce something that literally (or literally figuratively) allowed for Barthes 'Death of the Author'. So one aspect is that I step (this is all theoretical) out and all kinds of creative activity are allowed, good or bad, anything. The only limit is the physical limits of space etc so it becomes both a 'real' project in which anyone and everyone can contribute anything and of course the other reality that this is a utopian ideal....

Nevertheless EYELIGHT is interesting to do -- I never know what I am going to do next!!

Despite that I frame it -- as say Ron Silliman did by setting up the Fibonnaci series or indeed, Richard von Sturmer does by using the Oulippo games and strictures. This method can be seen in some of Perec's works and possibly those of Queneau (whose Exercises in Style are interesting to read indeed).

So, then, it seems, Titus I think it will be, have agreed that I mock up some form of this project. It will be different of course in a book form. I depend in some cases on the dramatic contrast of the colour with the seemingly absolute blackness.

At this stage I want to call it EYELIGHT and this Intermission is to put on hold other matters I am intending to put up here.

I like to think that it is one kind of huge poem: but not a poem. One thing I had already decided sometime ago before reading the thesis on Davis, was that I did agree at least with his point that the term "poet" or even "poetry" has always concerned me. I don't like it and I believe in a universal project that involves potentially at least all kinds of media, ideas, approaches. A "polyvocal" or non-monologic work. This was the influence of an essay by Charles Bernstein. But later, especially seeing Alan Sondheim's incredible and strange 'Meditation on the Internet' I started seeing this as something that went beyond the categories assigned. I read that the NZ poet and author Michael Jackson (son of the artist Emily Jackson whose great art and story was published as Emily Jackson: A Painter's Landscape by Atuanui Press recently) was also an anthropologist whose scientific work takes on a wider sweep than the normally restricted practices: the boundaries are crossed. Jack Rosses EMO and his Nights With Giodorno Bruno (both of which I reviewed) seemed to me to cross genres creating (almost) a new form.

I want to resist categorization or, sometimes, understanding; even by myself. I want to include the personal and things that "matter" but I want to contradict myself and undermine myself and any pat "realities". I simply don't know anything.

Some past images from EYELIGHT

I don't know what I am doing.

I just do it.

But why?

I don't know.

Why don't ya know?

I cant say.

Well, we all want to know.

Everything keeps contradicting everything else.


Everything somehow seems interconnected.

But what do you mean?

I don't know. Everything is stranger than a tree.

We cannot know anything. We cannot know, ever, why anything, rather than nothing, exists.

Ho ho!

But it's still frightening thinking of landing say in a room such as that in Sartre's No Exit.

Now you're talking. Is all this over now, can we go, teacher?

Yes, bouff off. But stay calm.

Thank you.


 *Anything too long I have difficulty reading online. I know this kind of contradicts what I seem to be doing here but I ask here that people read at their own pace, there is no need to read everything on here of course. And the images can be "read", the text somewhat scanned. There is no set order or way,  just read bits here and there, or all of it or none, or flick through or whatever...It doesn't matter. These are only words on a screen.