July 3 / 14
re Bonny Cassidy's FINAL THEORY (Giramondo) launch by Lisa Gorton
Thank you, Lisa, for your (important) part in Bonny's great launch last night at Collected Works Bookshop. Wld love to read your speech, but came away (wrongly perhaps) with the question about lyrical frame-of-mind's encounter with a something-else --along lines of a discussion I saw on F/book some months ago re- 'non fiction poem', to wch Kate Middleton responded contra a kind of knee-jerk rejection by several others (like, huh? 'facts' more 'truthful' than fiction?). Closer perhaps wld be preferring 'world' to person (Yeats, Pound) wch Ive been thinking abt again after nibbling at Robin Blaser as it happens, wch is beside the point of course! The second thought growing in me as I write this is that Bonny mixes it up, poetically (or poetistically) neither [not] this or [not] that!
Further to the above : The poem is very much a narrative and therefore what might be 'flat' as per lyrical persona is actually delightfully all over the place as 'fiction'! (All these terms begged, naturally.) Yday & today began seriously reading, exchanging some thoughts this morning abt it with Sam Moginie...
July 5 / 14
[after correspondence with Natalle Irene Wood]
Ive been reading a bunch of contemporary Irish poets, published by the fabulous Gallery Press (County Meath), leant to me by Libby Hart, and including Dermot Healy's A FOOL'S ERRAND (2010). The loan came out of an enthusiastic Irish poetry conversation plied with Guinness! But the other day I heard from Libby herself just phoned up by friends from Ireland that Dermot Healy had died suddenly. Ive been enjoying A Fool's Errand --if it's not the barnacle geese then it's funerals & music... The book's a sonnet variation, 2x2, 3x2, 2x2 --I'd been wondering abt the composition and suddenly that jumped out of me from the page...
Anticipating a little Melbourne wake here is a posting from Ireland.
From Terry McDonagh : "Dermot was unique and his star will rise and rise. I'd like to say a few words about his legacy as a person...his books can be read by one and all...
It was strange to see such a vibrant person lying in the coffin. I didn't know him all that well, but I met him many times...he read at a festival in Kiltimagh that I directed and, as always, he made a huge impression on the audience. At his wake on Wednesday, his wife, Helen, reminded me that he'd enjoyed himself at our little festival to such an extent that when he'd left the town to return home, he suddenly asked her to turn the car and come back again for no particular reason other than the fact that he'd enjoyed himself.
His support for budding writers was special. He is remembered fondly by many he'd published in Force 12...a magazine he'd edited. His years as Director (and escapades) of Force 12...later Force 10 festival in Belmullet County Mayo are legendary.
Last autumn he read at Westport festival with the poet, Ger Reidy...I felt he looked a bit tired and not quite himself, but his reading from his novel, Long Time No See, gave me special insight into his message and style."
July 21 / 14
In case anyone's in the vicinity of the Yarra Hotel in Johnston Street between 6 & 8, The Family will be raising a glass or two and remembering Tim [Hemensley]...
Last night's cold brings back that terrible event. How interesting, though, his corpse was warmer than I was kneeling on the backyard path with him. Poor Loretta crazy crying in the house, me crazy talking to him in the cold night. And as the ambulance took him away, Cathy [O'Brien] arrived in her car to be with us.
Jamesons then for days & days!
Wish I could find the poem I wrote afterwards. Typically I cant find any of my stuff when I want it!
The catastrophe alleviated by friends' love. Thus The Family.
Ive been playing Time Wounds All Heels at Collected Works Bookshop all morning and now Loretta's arrived with the whiskey!
Marvelling at the sound of that band. And the voice. And the words. And the colour of the music. And the drive.
"...was i scared? no not at all..."
Tim H, a continuing tragedy and, simultaneously, an inspiration.
Thanks for the messages. Love from us to all Tim's rock n roll friends & followers, including of course those others who've perished along the way.
[Via Robert Lloyd]
from LINDA WAGNER: AN INTERVIEW
WITH ROBERT CREELEY
. . . I’ve come in the past few months at least––whether from fatigue or from a kind
of ultimately necessary conservatism––to feel that there can be at least one kind of primary measure for the activity of poetry; and perhaps this statement will seem oblique, but in any case what really sticks in my head through the years as a measure of literature is a pair of statements made by Pound––years ago, I would think. One is, simply, "Only emotion endures." And the other is, "Nothing matters save the quality of affection." Now these offer to me two precise terms of measure for the possibility of a poem. I feel that what the poem says in a didactic or a semantic sense––although this fact may be very important indeed––is not what a poem is about primarily; I think this is not its primary fact. I believe, rather, that it is that complex of emotion evident by means of the poem, or by the response offered in that emotion so experienced, that is the most signal characteristic that a poem possesses. So, the measure of poetry is that emotion which it offers, and further, the quality of the articulation of that emotion––how it felt, the fineness of its articulation. . . . Last fall Basil Bunting told me that his own grasp of what poetry might be for him was first gained when he recognized that the sounds occurring in a poem could carry the emotional content of the poem as ably as anything "said." That is, the modifications of sounds––and the modulations––could carry this emotional content. He said, further, that, while the lyric gives an inclusive and intense singularity, usually, to each word that is used . . . there’s an accumulation that can occur much more gradually so that sounds are built up in sustaining passages and do not, say, receive an individual presence but accumulate that presence as a totality. So that one is not aware, let us say, that the word the is carrying its particular content; but as that e sound or the sound accumulates, it begins to exert an emotional effect that is gained not by any insistence on itself as singular word but as accumulation. To quote Pound again, "Prosody consists of the total articulation of the sound in a poem"––that’s what I’m really talking about.
[Robert Creeley. "Linda Wagner: An Interview with Robert Creeley," originally in Minnesota Review, copyright © 1965, and Contents of Poetry: Interviews 1961-1971, copyright © 1973 by Robert Creeley and the Four Seasons Foundation.]
One used to teach 'sound & sense', and 'emotional rhythm'.... my poor old Adult Education classes (1975 to '87)! Some areas of poetry wouldnt at all agree with Creeley as speaking for them though... Of course it speaks for him, helps explicate his practice but not theirs... I remember listening to a radio piece by Robert Ashley, perhaps it was called The Park, not sure, late 70s, early 80s --in wch the author's/actor's/speaker's accent & intonation produced for me a totally & explicitly emotional text & experience... but the semantic content wasnt especially 'emotional' at all, rather the opposite, --lets not say banal but entirely normal, undramatic, occasional particulars... It was the accumulation of propositions wch delivered a narrative, and the accent of the telling wch endowed it with emotional colour... Creeley Ive liked very much though not much thought about for some years... I imagine youre reading this, Robert, from perspective of songster (poet with guitar in hand) or art-music composer...?
August 21 / 14
Thank you everyone for last night's reading : and it was a great room as they say! David Morley was wonderful to MY ear, because all of a sudden that hurdy gurdy spin of particular English country (imagination & evocation of country) within the argument John Clare & Wisdom Smith [The Poet & the Gypsy, Carcanet/UK] are made to carry, thus as I offered DM, possession & dispossession... the rich dialectic of the romantic trope... politics & sensibility etc... suddenly it was there in our room! 'and desert was paradise enow', words' world... Perfect foils for David in Will Eaves & Gig Ryan.... each one demanded an ear... Gig Ryan's classical Greek readings, and what appeared to be a new mss of poems, and her offering of a Martin Johnston sonnet... Will's larrikin Larkin (did he say?)!... Waking up to this morning after, still brimfull of delight in the poetry of the event let alone first class wine & company... Cdnt help myself interjecting Beowulf (after Will's translation)/Hopkins/Bunting/Thomas to hold David M's performance...
Oh me o my, much much much more to 'unpack' as they say!
August 23 / 14
Stephen Burt : "We're all going to die --and poems can help us live with that."
Ive read Stephen Burt but not seen or heard him before... Re- "we're all going to die... poems can help..." : Round age of 32 it was writing a story abt visitation of angel of death (who promised to spare me the dread of death --consciousness of time passing/G Stein --if I pledged to receive the angel (& the anxiety) twice more, at each doubling of my age... I situated the first encounter at age 16, so the second at 32, the third at 64... The story was a cure or coincided with the lifting of that anxiety... My education was completed when I lay on ground with Tim's body July 2003, --the image of death as edifice entirely dissolved, and via Tim appreciated it as the achievement of a moment, a passing away (Tim's passing)... no big deal, one dies... I'm probably in more than two minds abt Stephen Burt's lecture, which I enjoyed listening to by the way... Thanks Paula [Caine], my dear, for sending it...
August 24 / 14
Thanks Bernard Hemensley. for telling me about the Berlin family exhibition. Envy your visit to the Bridport Art Gallery to see the show. Important to me because, although Billy Fisher doesnt remember me (according to email exchange couple of years or more ago, and he something of an hero for me, a dream figure for my poetry), meeting his stepfather Sven Berlin at Emery Down in the New Forest (Hampshire) that Whitsun long weekend in 1964, when Billy invited some fellow students up to help bring in the hay, was momentous! Forever etched in mind & heart! Wonderful, too, exchanging email messages with Greta Berlin same time as Billy's no-go.
August 28 / 14
As Peter Robinson writes on his F/b page, "Carol Rumens has chosen 'The Book' by F. T. Prince as her Guardian Poem of the Week. Reading it with the argument of John Donne's 'The Sun Rising' in mind helps, I think, with any of the trickier bits ..."
I hadnt thought of FTP as undervalued these days but that's a consequence of living in my head and in Oz! But I'm delighted to read further that Peter R & Will May are "editing a couple of chapbooks of uncollected FTP poems for Perdika Press..." , including Keats Country...
Great news! It was Lee Harwood suggested I contact FTP back in 1970 when I'd returned to Southampton after three years in Melbourne. How can you live in Southampton and not see Frank Prince? he said. We saw each other regularly, and corresponded after I returned to Melbourne late '72. Most visits to England until a few years before he died I'd visit. I describe some of this in the piece I wrote for Geraldine Monk's CUSP anthology a few years ago. And that Keats poem he published himself after missing deadline for the official Keats anniversary collection he told me. I wonder if his translations of St John of the Cross are available? Maybe they've been collected? Dont have my Prince volume to hand. He sent me a copy but stressed it was not for republication! But your news makes my day --for FTP legacy but also the FTP that's part of me, if you know what I mean! All the lives which possess & animate one... Thanks for your good work here...
September 3 / 14
Thank you Juan, Ive heard of the Turnrow anthology but not stocked here yet. Our social-political situations are so different, impacting so differently upon our roles as poet and the poems we might write. Here are some lines from my Midnight Interrogation series, ca 73/4, from A Mile From Poetry (Island Press, 1979) : "The Poem is the barricade which ought to be realized by the people who take the poems, even their poems, to the barricades. // The Poem is a halo. It is the endowment of sovereignty. It gives voice its independence. The Poem is voice's reward. The Poem is the voice abroad, But abroad is no poem of yours, boy. // The Poem is an expression of the dignity of each voice's difference. Blood tends to confuse, stain & clog. Neither poem nor blood clarify the issues. Each is the issue of itself. Red is not always the colour of the equation." and so on. I must reread Nicanor Parra and bring his books back to the shelf! Best wishes, K
Juan Garrido :
Talking with Nicanor Parra in Santiago in 1981
Young poets/say whatever you want.
Pick your own style/ much blood has gone under the bridge
To still believe-I believe/ that there’s only one way to cross the road:
You can do anything in poetry. Nicanor Parra
When we arrived at your home in la Reina.
The dogs barking at us..
After a few minutes you appeared
Like a ghost in the afternoon.
I was born in the Barros Lucos’
I never went to the University.
However, I swing between two oceans.
I translate poetry in English into Spanish,
As a creative pathway (Puente)
Between two different cultures and lands.
Here I am
Listening to a Chinese-Australian poet
Listening to an Iraq poet
Listening to Aboriginal poets
Reading with my mind Australian poetry.
I agree with you
The style doesn’t come from a creative writing course.
My style comes from reading other poets, from passion
and learning the rhythm of the bird in a tree.
Learning how to plant seeds; preparing the plot, watering,
Looking after them everyday.
I agree again with you
Mr. when you say
Much blood has gone under the bridge.
Most of my poets are dead. Some of them
Have been killed or have suicide.
Essenin, Roque Dalton, Neruda, Vallejo..
Only Huidobro was a poet of the bourgeois-revolution.
Ernesto Cardenal survived the Pope’s sin against the Revolution
as well as the collapse of the Sandinista revolution.
So they killed the poets amongst the struggling people.
I have been on the path of the struggle, in prison,
Being tortured by the Chilean secret police.
When I went to your home
You welcomed us.
In this time I was an invisible poet with a few poems in my heart.
Victor Hugo Romo talked to you.
You showed us yours rooms,
frames on the walls with newspaper headlines,
as great paintings.
Your cat was like a prince in the poet’s palace.
You were happy to read your poems at the concert
That we organized in tribute to Violeta Parra.
After more than twenty years
I am sure you remember me very well
If I say my name to you:
I am Juan
My nickname was el Negro.
I worked in Nuestro Canto’s office 1980
With Miguel Dagvanino and John Smith.
I wrote a book
Variantes de la Libertad Definitiva
By Samuel Lafferte,
Published by Hondero Entusiasta Press.
Yes I remember you very well.
With pictures from newspapers on the walls
Replacing the painting of Picasso, Miro or Dali.
By the way
Could you tell me how to find the way out of this conversation?
Nicanor Parra say:
You can do anything in poetry.
You can do anything in poetry.
by Juan Garrido-Salgado
Happy Birthday Anti poeta!!!!!
[This poem appears at "The Turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry"
editor John Kinsella &Jack Heflin and William Ryan Series Editors (US)]
September 12 / 14
Home from excellent evening i/f Daniel White's book-launch at Collected Works Bookshop. Impassioned & informed younger generation 21C Labor visions, Republic Earth quoting Buckminster Fuller! Hey, thats OUR language baby! Very interesting. "Democracy our greatest achievement" : yes, wch means no gun at head whatever politics faith colour of citizens. The global ambition stops me but lots to consider. Wdnt it be fun to be around to see how it all pans out! Lovely chatting to David & Mary White. Congratulations the White bros for their project!
"Republic Earth is an educational, social, political, economic and technological ideology that aims at the establishment of a full global democracy that values all aspects of humanity around the world. Republic Earth primarily aims to build a global online democracy using the technology of the digital revolution, as soon everyone on Earth will be connected if they wish to be...." from Daniel's book. Web address is, www.republicearth.org
My feeling is that the 'digital revolution' aspect is the goer and even there asserting only the most positive assumptions of the technology... RE- 'democracy', I realize from Daniel's definition (wherein republic is its only legit. manifestation) that I, like most others, have a common usage appreciation of the concept, so the greatest diversity of types coexist. Re- the monarch, there've been several occasions during the past decades when the neutral authority has prevented coup or civil war (Spain, Thailand...)... Additionally ours is a constitutional monarchy.... How Oz Labor can re-present the Republic debate with any chance of success is the question. Of course it's an Australian decision. Once again I'm the visitor... And not at all sure how I'd respond in the English context.
September 20 , 14
[to Grant Macracken, re- the Scottish Referendum]
I'd love to see demographic analysis of the vote : I wdnt be surprised if young people (how define that? let's say 30 and under) were a majority for Yes... The safest position to stay with the status quo, and admittedly there wld have been a great deal of political economic readjustment between Scotland & the UK, but independence is a worthy emotion & project... Imagine what a referendum for Britain to exit the EEC would be be like? I remember twentyfive years ago big discussion around the table at Charnwood with Cathy & Des & Jurate, maybe also Robert Kenny, about the Baltic states and their dire struggle with the Soviet Union. Jurate argued passionately for independence there & then, whatever the cost. I thought independence was eventually inevitable but didnt realize how fast the wheels were turning.... Incredible courage of the Lithuanians... This has been in my mind with the Scots... At the same time I'm no longer a unilateralist nuclear disarmer, especially when the Yes position would have maintained the umbrella but pushed the missiles out of its domain... But all v interesting... And, Grant, the campaign in Scotland has drawn propositions for a rather different UK in the near future... Slainte!
70/71, Andrew Crozier sent to me packet of materials he'd received from
Allen Van Newkirk (in Nova Scotia?). As far as I recall he was part of the
Olson network. Intriguing man. (And what happened to him?) One paper he
enclosed concerned the 'break up nations',
and Cornwall & Brittany were among these. And it felt convincing to
me, almost like a contrary energy to the 3rd World defined as the rise
of new nations, --this 4th World, the break up of old nations especially
when equally old cultures had been absorbed/subjugated. Thus the age
old Basque struggle, the Irish, et al. I suppose the outsider's fear
(mine) at time of the Baltic states uprising against the Soviets was
that the small communities would be destroyed. Nothing like that in the
UK of course. Nor will be.
September 25 / 14
Emerging from the Delphi [Continental Cakes] in N/cote with Ken Trimble after accidental meeting, we pass a sign in window of one of the Northcote second handers, "20% discount for Teachers". Decide to put sign up at Collected Works Bookshop, "30% discount for gurus". For some reason Ken & I think this is enormously funny, and that's before we get to the Peacock for a pot! I'll be hitting the road soon enough to set up the evening's gig for Libby Hart's WILD (Pitt Street Poetry) book launching we're presenting with John & Linsay Knight. In fact better go now! See you all later...
October 8 / 14
Ian Brinton's notification re- Lee Harwood, not to mention his review of his book, tugs heartstrings... on which theme, email from Edward Mycue similarly affecting : thus,
"Writers here on Saturday Oct 11 at lpm --come with your scraps and scrolls that are diamonds pulled from your minds' caves
we have been doing this monthly a small round-robin for a couple of hours
many can't come but i ask anyway for ald ang syne (SP?) -- jerry flemming's in paris, jules mann in london years now, kris is in melbourne and has never been here except in my heart, jeanne bryan in Sacramento, Helen Sventitsky-Rother near Munich, Carl Ginsburg nr Vienna I think, Carla Bertola and Alberto Vitacchio in Turin, Anny Ballardini in Bozen on the east side of those Italian northern mountains, Bryan Monte in Zeisst, The Netherlands, Ruth Fainlight/ London who has never been here except in spirit (she has a beautiful poem about her mother's purse and the smell of the coty powder) & so it goes. I usually forget somebodies & usually those closest (!) because i just punch in the names and know that someday i will have to make some sort of "list" in the computer (but where is the fun in that!) -- and if I ever do that will be the end of the 45 years of person to person (remembering now that on one of those person to person 'connections' in the group many many years ago there was a BIG fight between harold norse and jack gilbert -- and then after that we changes locations and so now it is and has been on my little turf for tufts of years all gone patchy now (as myhair once became before it emerged as a pate smooth as a baby's bottom some have concluded)
To wch I reply,
"Hi Ed, What a surprise to be included because of course "never been" nor could ever except, as you remind me, in your heart, and mine too -- so many as I could also call their names as you do warmly here...
Thank you... Hope it goes well..
Kris in Melbourne, Spring morning, minutes away from hurrying up to Clifton Hill station for the train into the City and another day at my lovely bookshop!
Hope youre very well... saw pic of you & Richard I'm assuming on holiday..."
Ed Mycue : "Thanks, Kris. What a lone history we have since I think it was the early 1970's and of the time when you were the poetry editor of the iconic Meanjin [Quarterly] and you published all the new gals and guys that made it so exciting to read -- you kickstarted that venerable institution back to life when you were hellming (yeah helming w 2 'L's) and ever since then have remained a force from 'down under' with your bookstore and your magazines and publishing and writing(s) of all kinds. I doubt you will ever be a grand old man to yourself, but you seem from this distance to me to be a world force in poetry in the English language(s). What once seemed experimental and wild even have earned emeralds in value."
October 8 / 14
[Re- Morris Lurie]
Colin Tad Talbot :
i was sitting with David N [Pepperell], making his day much brighter as usual over a caffe late, when he took a phonecall which stopped him...a dear friend had disappeared into the blessed state of non-being. It's not my place to give the details but I imagine Dr Pepper will, when he feels okay to post. All I'll say is that his good friend (also a friend of mine) was a great man and will be remembered well.
K H : Sorry to hear of this Colin... Met him [Morris Lurie] several times over the years via the Shop or literary events... Commiserations to David Pepperell and all his friends here... On several occasions he almost bought a book from us, but always found a reason (the cover, the size, the price, the first sentences, his opinion of a previous title by the author etc etc) for returning it to the shelf... The architect at the Nicholas Building, Ken Edelstein, was a great friend of Morris... No doubt he'll come by some time and tell me some more stories... RIP, M Lurie
October 8 / 14
[Re- aniversary of the Gallery 6 Reading in San Francisco, 1955]
Thanks for the memories, Brian! Wonderful date memorial! Ive been reading Rip Rap again (50th anniv ed) last few days... Also the Snyder/W Berry correspondence, Distant Friends... good pun... Also, working something out abt G S, looked him up in Peter Cayote's memoir... My philosophy or attitude is 'warts & all' so it's all good as they say! That is, points of difference are what they are, --i do my best to contextualise o/wise carps they'll remain, somehow mean... However... On with the Show! Best wishes, Kris
Oh and Allen Ginsberg and all & all... But what about Rexroth? Ive never really u/stood his omission from The New American Poetry anthology, unless he himself declined? I'm not talking abt fights & spites but from the point of view of the poetry... First read him in an old Perspectives magazine, his poem Starting out from San Francisco (I think it was)... 1965, Isle of Wight holiday at my g/mothers, I was back in the South West after working a few months on British Rail, shortly before going to Europe again and then early '66 it was Australia! But, the question's still in my head...
October 12 / 14
Just happened, last Thursday, to be cutting through Block Arcade en route Bourke, when I saw the display of portraits, the Lord Mayor's [small business] Commendations for 2014... took a closer look in case i recognized anyone and up they popped! SAFF! that is, Saverio Fazio of Saff's Hairdressing in the Pt Phillip Arcade, where I get shorn every couple of months or so! A silver gong! Good stuff! And then PAUL CAINE our cousins, Caine Real Estate, a bronze! And then FIONA SWEETMAN fellow tenant at the Nicholas Building whose Hidden Secret Tours was the first to steer visitors Collected Works Bookshop's way! Great little booklet available from City of Melbourne with all the pics & captions. Our Town ay?!
October 19 /14
At the the Heidelberg garden centre sitting on bench opposite myrtle in bed of Snow Maiden (raphiolepis) & Heuchera Berry Smoothie in the one arc of shadow of otherwise full sun courtyard, turning around in my mind funny old term "smashing", long gone from the common vocab, as in smashing day and most of all the mural along & around farthest extent of enclosed display sheds, so large & detailed one's literally The Man Who Entered Pictures as of Opal L Nations' surreal prose pieces, published in the English little poetry magazines of the early '70s ("I like these without reservations," Andrew Crozier remarked; "What have you got against Indians?" Opal responded) --Walk around wonderful domestic perimeter of original colonial horticulture prospect, beginning at the house & garden, espaliered grape-vine, down gradient to the laid out plots beneath the purview of the hills, this romantic perspective including tromp l'oeil shadows of ghost gums angling across the painted tree trunk of same, or falling away from the leafy crowns --A stage set, the whole thing, first-rung experience where potential fuses with imagination, for a moment what the garden at home could be --Back in my room what I actually dig up is the Postscript from The Poem of the Clear Eye, and transplant it here, weeding as I type the errata & silly mistakes from 40 years ago :
"The mural on the walls of the fried-fish & chips shop is idyllic. the brothers over the gas-rings with scoops & mesh-buckets occasionally glance at the bay painted around the L of the walls. both brothers cannot be the isolate island fishermen. one must be elsewhere. or drowned. the fisherman hauls in his baubled line. a basket of fish beside his thigh. seagulls hang in the sky over the tallest palm-tree. the island's air is the same as the shop's of course. which explains why the fisherman has his back to the counter & the fryer brothers glance out often to the mural sea. i queue for coconuts though i order scallops & chips. the brothers merge in the imagination of the island fisherman. he has his back against it all right --what with turbulent winds & man-eating sharks. he dreams his escape. along the same passage of delivery the three men pause as they pass the unsung fourth. he resembles me apart from age & girth. a slender twenty year-old. ambitious for the gold of the future. they shudder & slide on in their various directions. i pay the bill --pennies flung into the blue swell. the fryer brothers pull in the coins adept as fishermen. they glance at the seagull on the wind's meander over the heads of their customers. the queue maintains its claim on their conscious attention. they miss nothing however of the mural's intentions. we know what we know.
[1972-3, 1974; Melbourne.]"
We know what we know.
October 19 / 14
Good to catch up yday, Denis, at the Fed Square for Robert Lloyd's Dylan Thomas celebration... BUT, thanks for the clip of Freddie & the Dreamers! As I was telling you the other day, Freddie & the Dreamers shot a promo film or advert at Bricket Wood station, on the St Albans to Watford Junction loop, in 1965, c/o of myself, Kris Hemensley, grade 4 booking offfice clerk but temporarily Acting Station Master of Bricket Wood, owing to the Station Master being transferred to Watford Junction (my home station) as Inspector of Platforms, --I'd given Freddie's manager permission to shoot film! Couldnt think of anything better! Freddie & the Dreamers! Never occurred to me seek permission from British Rail! Bloody anarchist! Anyway, I met everyone, and very soon they were cavorting all over the station & the track and on the little bridge into the estate. And they ate at the pub on the village side of the station, as I did, --i probably told them they cld get fantastic bread & cheese & corned-beef rolls & pork pies & etc! End of first day of filming the Station Master returned from Watford Junction, asked me what the trucks were parked outside and who were these people milling around. Were they passengers etc? Theyre Freddie & the Dreamers, I began to explain. He was a bit like Blakey in On the Buses! He almost exploded! I told him theyd be gone by the end of the following day. I think they were. This & other unorthodox behaviour didnt endear me to British Rail, yet it was I who eventually resigned and not BR sacking me! A wonderful few months. As for Freddie Garrity, I still have soft spot for his hits, You Were Made for Me, I'm Telling You Now, If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody, etc But have to confess I dont remember Do The Freddie!!!
October 26 / 14
This is for Dave & Ricky Rogers, our Southampton near neighbors late '69 to late '72, our very first new English friends after returning there from Melbourne. Loretta & I make their acquaintance at La Sainte Union one night where we're all attending performance by Bob Cobbing, concrete & sound poet down from London. Incredible! This is what I'd call music I say, recognising the layering & polyphony from the ISCM concerts attended in Melbourne couple of years before, organised by Keith Humble, back in Oz from Paris & musique concrete. Wonderful serendipity : La Sainte Union is also where the father of my tech College friend from '62-'64, Nick Buck, is the English prof. Catching up with Nick comes later, nowt to do wi' this tale! So, thick as thieves with Dave & Ricky. It's summertime 1970. We're all interested in dropping acid for the first time. One of Dave's friends can help us. Dave describes the guy to us. Nero, friend from Art College or on the scene made by the Art College students. Nero... And Dave imitates his way of talking: How fantastic this or that batch or crop was. His hand gestures : part drumming, part slashing : thaaaat good! Nero's wanted Dave to come & see how he's redecorated his place, Dave being a painter, with eye & technique, graduate from the Art College where one of his teachers is Amanda Wade, close friend of Lee Harwood, a poet I'd love to meet, encountered in the little mags I've read at Mike Dugan's place in Melbourne '68-'69. And she arranges a meeting one Sunday afternoon at her place. Lee puts me on to F T Prince, another Southampton neighbor, and that is definitely another story! Dave & I walk around the block. Nero has a brother. They look & talk the same. Artists, musicians? At any rate, heads. One or other of them lets us in. We step into the house and immediately into the freshly painted living room. It's white, all over. Gleaming white. And Nero is wearing white. White pants and loose top. This is my WHITE ROOM, he says, and giggles in that give-away head's way. Spells it out, W- H- I- T- E. R- O- O- M. And giggle-cackles again. Can I please have Cream playing full blast in Nero's house in this reminiscence? Full blast. "In the white room with black curtains near the station / Blackroof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings / Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes / Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment / I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines". Jack Bruce & pop poet Pete Brown. "In the white room…" "In the white room…" "In the white room…"