June 28, '14
Great to read this blog, Bernard [B. Hemensley's blog]... Life of books, important relationships through such books... The synchronicity of the Blackburn-owned Eigner in the copy of Clouding... My feeling always to make the most of these conjunctions... Rereading your Birds [Towards a Classification of Birds, Stingy Artist, '14]book ive been thinking again of the nado / (Beltrametti) nadamas connection, luxuriating in the 'field' thus opening up to the reading... Each week Denis Smith selects a card from the box of Nat Portrait Gallery cards on the desk, as he says his 'occult method', ie, blind, and i'm sure it's another sign of his openness to the whole world appreciated as gift! But, returning to yr posting, enjoyed looking at your snaps of those Eigner covers, priceless in every sense!
Your snaps of the Eigner & the Blackburn from those 60s70s times are a reminder of the extent to which the little mags defined poetry's parameters for many of us --the production of the books & mags, the ambition for the poem itself, the world that such involvement in the 'new' & 'experimental' writing enabled... And it is an important question to ask of oneself as well as of the succeeding times, "what happened?" How did we change? How did the poetry scene change? How did life change? It does depend on ourselves, enthusiasts, to advocate for our poets, especially after their time. Life as a continuing im memorium, poetry as a continuous rereading (riff, elegy, celebration)... In which regard, i copy this passage from David Caddy 's recent review of the latest issue of the Long Poem Magazine (#11, 2014), --"Issue 11 is no exception to the usual high standard. Robert Vas Dias’ essay on Paul Blackburn’s The Journals (1975) is a wonderfully written personal and critical introduction to the subject. It is highly informative, providing a contextualised reading of a neglected, major American poet. By the way, Simon Smith is editing a Paul Blackburn Reader for publication by Shearsman in 2015, which will include hitherto unpublished material from the Blackburn archive at San Diego." --We've recently, indeed often, spoken about the dropping out of the conversation of so many poets we've regarded as major --fashion as instrument of oblivion --Paul Blackburn for one. So it's great to be given the opportunity to think about P B again via yr lovely note and to anticipate both Vas Dias' & Simon Smith's re-views! (I still have Robert V-D issue of Sixpack devoted to Blackburn, when was it, London '75? --just after the Cambridge Fest, his party for Jackson MacLow in Hampstead wch John Robinson & i attended... another great story!)
May 17th, '14
How's this for a synchronous series : from K H 's Journal, 13-5-14
Does anyone remark a connection between Howard Skempton's piano pieces and Herbert Howells' clavichord compositions (played by John McCabe, Helios, '93)[present from Alan Pose]? Or is it simply the English miniature tradition?
Shared this question with Paul (Georgie Fame, Mose Allison etc fan)-- he's brought in for me a 2011 disc of Robert Wyatt… Coincidentally, the other Paul (Harper) has 'burnt' me a copy of Zoot Sims' Baden Baden concert (June 23, 1958) --Paul first heard ZS playing in the Shop… and because of affinity i felt between his poems (PH's) & what i remember of Kenward Elmslie, and after John Tranter had spoken to me about Elmslie this morning (for instance, wonderful reading he gave in Sydney a few years ago), i suggested Elmslie to Paul who's looking for new reading matter --He bought City Junket & also Clark Coolidge on Kerouac & jazz, Now It's Jazz --Paul's poems & methods do also remind me of Coolidge….
April 20th, '14
Thank you Denis... ASYMPTOTE [on-line ; www.asymptotejournal.com/] always interesting. Permit me to sidetrack on its theme of diaspora. When i began regular home trips back to England in '87 it occurred to me one morning at the Dorset Brewers in Hope Square, Weymouth, as i looked at the postcards & photos behind the bar, that a fundamental dynamic of that little seaside town cld be summarized 'those who stay and those who go away'. Those who stay remember those who went away, and the latter think of home & intermittently return. It's the foundational equation. 'Diaspora' has become a loose ascription due to overuse. Many people & peoples in the world have had to leave their homes. As an expat ive experienced all emotions from anguish to nostalgia, and i'm a voluntary exile. Diaspora = post-colonialism's looking glass. When i was responding to Geraldine Monk's commission for her CUSP anthology, it was a shock to realize how long i'd lived in Melbourne and how warmly i felt towards it. In a way i was part of it, yet only accidentally... Darzet isnt my Darzet no matter what the song says! Southampton was more so because i grew up there. But Melbourne isnt mine either. And postmodernism's 'no home' isnt a salve at all. Circa 1972, I accepted totally Bolinas poet John Thorpe's proposition that Romanticism's Stranger was not the figure for our time & condition. Yet i struggle to be 'here' unconditionally, privileging particular (other) place(s) in the world... And so it goes, on & on!
April 6th, '14