Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poetical Manifestations

This document is not a well thought out plan or campaign. It is not a
critique or any sort of guide. It is a ramble shambles, a sort of
hobby horse of the kind one often finds drunkenly stumbling along the
queen's briar patch of a highway. It is at best a handful of poetic
fragments that vanity wishes to be recorded. It is at best derivative
and repetitive, and yet...

The revolution MUST be made by the shattered scattered broken remains
of the present capitalist militaristic system. Peace is not the absence
of war, peace is no longer opposing the progressive.

What the thirty years since the Thatcher Reagan era has killed is the
very idea of cooperative spirit. Substituting a broken down ladder of

And now our society is made up of monads randomly colliding the void.

1. Sound over Sense. Meaning is lost and disjointed. After years of
writing technical documents I have learnt that precise language is
no stop to misunderstanding. Why bother. 'All things counter,
original, spare, strange;'

2. History states what is. Poetry shows what should be.

3. Fear not contradiction. The small petty minded feed upon tiny
glitches, slips of the tongue. Ignore them, they are of no
consequence. 'The wise contradict themselves'

4. The pedant abhors errors. The seer adores error. 'Errors are the
portal of discovery.'

5. Aspective not Perspective. Hills mock the straight line.

6. History is the contemporary. The Ever When. The All at Once.
Economics is home-life. History and Political Economy must be
the domain of the poets. These things are too important to be left
to historians, or even worse politicians. '...a higher thing than

7. Reserve the right to use any word needed. If the word or conceit is
archaic or poetic, so be it. If the reader needs to consult a dusty
old reference book, how can this a bad thing? Art should allow,
should force the reader to make links.

8. Think not of Euclidean lines, but rather the Mandlebort set.
Think of frost crystals forming on the window pane. (How long
is the coast of Tasmania?)

9. Creation is the tension between what the author meant and what the
reader understands. 'I go back to the top of the slide'

10. Truth is always progressive. Art is always progressive. Beauty is
always revolutionary, as Beauty must be the truth. The truth is
constant revolution. 'The cold knife thrust of the syllogism'

11. Socrates knew only of Eros. The great daemon that conveys and
interprets. Old the creative, the vegetative urge that comes
before and causes all things. The lighting that steers all things.
Plato is fit only to be mocked.

12. DIY becomes Do It Ourselves. We must band together. For protection
from the capitalist culture mongers, to extend experience and
knowledge. Truth is always social. Beauty is always social.
'O Multicolored mind, deathless'

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drifters Cafe & Caritas Poetry Event

Sharp windy, slow setting night walking.

Saturday last, I went out into the city, to the Drifters Internet
. Nestled off the side street down stairs the market dock
Salamanca shade of Wellington side of town. A relaxed venue for
listening to a poet. Poetry for Pakistan, a fund raiser for the
Caritas Pakistan Flood Appeal. A series of readings had been organised
for the appeal, but this was the only one I could attend. I was lucky
to be able to make it to this reading. More formless than planned out
this document is my attempt to understand what I learnt about the

Ghosts of the Galapagos; the poetry of flight. A series of new lyrics
by Paul Healy. Fog lifting revealing panta, revealing all things, the
picton bridge, the blue heron. I arrived late, mid poem, and began to
quiet sit and poured myself a glass of water. And set myself to
listen. And ordered a cup of chai, frothy in the modern style with a
shake of cinnamon on top. High vaulted and perfumed poetry.

A simple quiet venue, with a small attentive crowd. I was at once
swept up with the flow of the poets words, his skill at 'making', his
simple and confident reading style. As advertised the poetry was a
series of lyrics around the theme of flight, about bird flight. This
ordinary, everyday idea separated itself and allowed multicoloured
ideas to flourish.

I was, with the poem about the lame gull who was able to gain the
choicest food, struck with the scientific cold harded factual manner,
in that compassion may not be the best reaction in many a natural
relationship. The human desire to place our values, and with good
intentions to intervene is not always the best course of action.

Songs of loss and desolation, of joy and astonishment. A dialogue of
nature and a lesson in what is being done in our state. A tale of
chemical warfare in the forests and Tasmanian devil facial tumours in a
poem called simply '1080'.

Everywhere images of the wonder and of the erotic generative spirit of
nature. Will to Power, nature struggling to create and manifest across
many forms. From the rushing diving collared sparrow hawk making a
kill, to the blue heron still on blue rock shading the water to tempt
the little fish, to the unlikely pigeon in some plot of dead land
neither bush nor city highlighted in a ray of setting sunlight, to
clinking currawongs in the Styx Valley sounding like far off church
bells, the images of flight blended with a scientific understanding of
the environment, and created a strong series of lyrics.

The poet confessed his surprise at some poems which seemed to come all
at once, as if formed from the ether. This is of course the result of
study, and practising technique. Leave the reader hanging, the poet
offered as advice, using his own work for examples. Add a strong grasp
of the English tradition, and a love of the classic forms of
poetry. The comparison thoughts that sprang to my mind while words
described the spine tailed swift flying 5000 feet in the sky and
'rides the summer thunder wall', of course was Hopkins, followed by
the ol' Will-of-Wisp Yeats. Scrambled into the forgotten linkages of
the Heraclitian Gyre.

A poem about the Pied Butcher Bird described the harmony of white and
black and gray camouflage colouring, there is a unity in
diversity. Pied Beauty and a similar eye for natural detail as
Hopkins, and while I can not agree with the poet's program of reviving
the classical forms of English poetry, I will agree that the study of
poetry is worthwhile as an end in itself. A rigorous understanding
and appreciation of the various forms of poetry, allow vast fields of
poetic imagination and inspiration to spring to life. Ripe fruit for
the poet to feast upon. Even for the experimental poets it must be
accepted that 'no verse is free', and for all poets that creation is
social creation.

So while there was a strong spiritual element that I could not agree
with, I am only too happy to quote Lenin, “Intelligent idealism is
nearer to intelligent materialism than is stupid materialism." and
leave the subject closed.

Listening to the ABC local radio in the morning, I was at once struck
with the passion and pleased to hear the poet speak of the importance
of supporting young poets, and the need to create a space for young
poets. This is to me very important and if I can add a slogan to the
argument, it would be 'More mentors, Fewer English Teachers.' While I
readily accept that poetry comes in many shapes and sizes, and is
indeed a raw creative purgation involving language, practised by a
wide and diverse section of society, I do find it amusing to hear
academics discuss other academics as having a 'demotic voice.' Allow
me to step off my soap hobby horse box, and commend Paul Healy as a
poet, and even more importantly as a mentor.