the view from the tower

arcite's day

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Today I thought about Matthew
My old school friend
I wonder what happened to him
What he's up to.

After the library, we went to Deluxe for coffee.
I read how the major of Budapest
only wants women with perfect legs
to wear mini-skirts
& for men employed by the city to wear blazers in summer.
Never underestimate the foolishness of mayors.
And the Ministry of Education has screwed up my pay.

I'm been seriously underpaid.
I'll have to go & sort it out tomorrow.

...arcite at Sunday, August 28, 2005...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I wake up early, a little too early:5.00 AM.
I took out The Fall's Bend Sinister: Domesday Pay-Off and Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else.
So getting ready for work I'm warmed by the cheery unwholesomeness of The Fall's cover of Mr Pharmacist:

Mr Pharmacist
Can you help me out today?
In your usual lovely way
Oh Mr Pharmacist
I insist
That you give me some of that vitamin C
Mr Pharmacist...

And last night I finished Joe Haldeman's Camoflage. Bucking the trend of bloat in SF, Haldeman's books are increasingly fast-paced novellas. Must be the Hemmingway influence but he's no macho poppa (well, maybe a little bit). Camoflage has the distinction of being the winner of one of my favourite literary awards, The James Tiptree Award for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender. SF fans: don’t ya just love 'em?

Of to work I go....
Have a good one.

...arcite at Wednesday, August 24, 2005...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fellow blogger, writer and musician David Edwards is selling his new book of stories and his music and spoken word CDs over at Schrodinger's Cat.

Go on. Make his day. I've ordered mine.

In Desperate Housewives I noticed that there was no appearance by Mike the uncover cop.
In this episode, one of the housewives pops the twins' Ritalin to keep going. I remember Mark Amerika telling me in Singapore that he once tried Ritalin and stayed up all night writing in a college computer lab writing this piece that was later published--he said he wouldn't do it again but it was an interesting experiment.
I greatly enjoyed meeting Mark in Singapore--he was very lively and one of the most unpretentious writers-cum academics I've met. We had a good chat in my office about SF art: there's a geekiness to art as well as a geekiness to computers.
Just ask Eno. Or Duchamp.
And I sometimes think Adrienne Rich.
David, let's aim for a cool geekiness sans theory.
Mark also said that most modern dealer conceptual art was a con.
I've always believed this with some very important exceptions.
I have stinking cold from school. Lots of the staff have it.
Back to bed with Crime and Punishment. I'm nearly up to part four. I can only read so much in one go.

...arcite at Monday, August 22, 2005...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The central library keeps telling us that we haven't returned books when we have returned them.
I go and find the books on the shelves and get them to wipe the replacement costs.
I listen to The Fall's Bend Sinister. Very odd lyrics.

Here's the opening 'verse' from the 'song' R.O.D.


It's approaching

600 pounds gas and flesh
Robes in tatters
It's approaching
Lips and tongue abhorrent
Flickering lexicon
Or a stray dog pack leader

Now I'm working on tomorrow's lessons.
I met up with an old university friend from 20 years back.
Just back from 10 years in Saudi Arabia.
Obviously loaded: impending divorce.
Also glad to be back.

...arcite at Sunday, August 21, 2005...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Well, my junior school classes are going well--especially my poetry classes. Thanks god that I like hip-hop and that poetry is still out there interesting kids.

The great news today is that the NZ Listener is going to publish one of my poems. I've wanted to be published by them since I was 16. So, there's hope, and despite a lean year on the publication front the decision to concentrate on poetry has had some rewards. I wrote and submitted the poem very quickly--but it was a re-write of a an earlier piece which I put on the blog way back in the Kent Vail days that had kept spinning around in my ditzy head for quite a while. What counts as writing or thinking anyway? So tonight I had a few Guinesses, feel extremely happy, and now I'm turning in with Crime and Punishment--which I do recommend although it needs to be taken slowly--before for my 6.00 AM wake-up. A glorious moon shines outside. Yea! Good friggin' day!

...arcite at Thursday, August 18, 2005...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I've just finished Tom Weston's Naming the Mind Like Trees. This is a superb collection of poems each one accompanied by a painting by Joanne Braithwaithe. There's wonderful orchestration in the poems as Weston takes us on a bizarre set of journeys through unfamiliar, dream-like landscapes. Hugh Robers has written a niffty review of the book--along with reviews of the latest Manhire and Cochrane--over on The Listener site.

The sky was so clear last night. I looked for a long time Antares, in Scorpius, and remembered that this was Maui's fishhook in Maori astronomy. Man, it looks like a fishhook! Now I'm going to make more of an effort to become familiar with my own start sign, Virgo.

I start my new teaching job tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

...arcite at Sunday, August 14, 2005...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The production was very minimalist: few props, simple, contemporary costumes, lots of slapstick and song. The nonsensical, complicated plot is made more difficult to follow by having actors play two parts. The best part of the play is the bad production of Pyramus and Thisbe in the play; a great Shakespearean paradox—especially given that good art and good works of the imagination should wash over you like a dream.
And then halfway through I realise that I have fever.
On Monday I sleep. Yesterday I got up and felt better. Good job that I don’t start my teaching job until next week—but now I’m behind preparing for the term. I did get time to submit that poem I’ve been labouring over to the Bravado competition.

This week’s library stack

The roots of Tommy. Uncut Compilation
Abductions and Reconstructions. Thievery Corporation.


Twelfth Night. (Dir. Trevor Nunn).

...arcite at Wednesday, August 10, 2005...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Anika Moa

Yesterday I bought Anika Moa’s new CD Broken Hill and a small personal grooming gizmo for trimming nostril and ear hair.
Anika’s new CD on first playing is leaps ahead of her disappointing Thinking Room CD. I was looking forward to the new CD after hearing her playing at a Matariki celebration over at Te Papa.
This afternoon I’m off to see Circa’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at a preview price of $20. Looking at the posters and fliers, it appears to be a ‘bloke orientated’ production with an all male cast. I have my doubts but let’s see.
My writing crawls along. I’ve been working on a poem for weeks. Almost there but still not quite right. Anyway, I was ‘almost about to pack in it’ but then I thought of these one or two other poems I’m working on or thinking about and maybe when I just get to the end of them.

Yea, yea. When I get to the end of them.
Yes, I said I wasn't going to blog about writing and my frustrations with writing but I lied.

...arcite at Sunday, August 07, 2005...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

In Desperate Housewives Teri Hatcher hides naked in a bush outside her house. The whole show reminds me of Sex & the City with a dash of The Lovely Bones. Like Sex & the City the shows features a voice-over narrator only this time the narrator is dead, mysterious, a little of an unknown quantity.
Today is our wedding anniversary.
I buy a secret gift.
We aren't really meant to exchange gifts.
But I find something that I want to give and buy it anyway.

...arcite at Tuesday, August 02, 2005...

Monday, August 01, 2005

New month; new start.
I bundle the demons and shades into the back bedroom cupboard before leaving for school.
“Just shut up and stop wearing my clothes!”
And I think Oh, “Desperate Housewives” is on tonight.
Meanwhile my poems aren’t accepted for another anthology.
Fiddle dee.

...arcite at Monday, August 01, 2005...