the view from the tower

arcite's day

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Moon's a common scene around my town. A reckoning, I reckon. You know, the term coming to a close, no real work, my partner trapped in a miserable job because I have no permanent work, bad weather. You know. Don't take it to heart. Worse things happen at sea. Yeah. Gray. Yeah

When I leave now don't you weep for me
I'll be back, just save a seat for me
But if you just can't make the room
Look up and see me on the...

Moon's a common scene around my town
Yeah where everyone is painted brown
And if we do get stuck away
Let's go paint everybody gray
Yeah, gray, yeah

Maybe The People Would Be The Times or Between Clark & Hilldale

I slept from 8.30 till 5.50AM. Exhausted. Roishan has bad ear ache. I'm not even that busy at work as the seniors have left--I finished three poems for PNZ so Mr. Newboy can scrawl over them with red pen (no kidding). But the poems are stronger than the last batch so let's see. And I still have those poems I'm working on for Takahe...

Listening the Disk 2 of Love Story the reason for Love's consignment to the margins of rock history becomes apparent: the later catalogue is quite dreadful and the dizzy heights of Forever Changes was never matched.

...arcite at Wednesday, November 30, 2005...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I think I've turned into a Love fan. The sheer brilliance of 1967s "Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale" runs through my head. If you haven't heard Forever Changes then you simply must!Imagine a sarcastic, poetic psychedelia that has the texture of a walk down a busy street on a warm evening without the romantic, grand posturing of The Doors. I drove to the library yesterday and took out some more Love CDs. (I've also been listening to Suzanne Vega's 'Men in A war' and 'Tired of Sleeping' and wonder if Leo might be interested in swapping music). I worked a lot over the weekend--a full six hours slog at school writing the reports. Yesterday, I sent a draft of my manuscript over to an old friend (and current Listener reviewer) who teaches over in California and began polishing three poems: 'Valency', 'The Shepherd' and 'Sea of Rains.' Last night, again, I couldn't sleep and kept turning lines over in my head. I slept so little.

...arcite at Tuesday, November 29, 2005...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The culture was promised but never arrived.
The culture must be forgotten.

I receive a copy of the latest Bravado which includes one of my poems (for which I get $10). My name is misspelt in the contents and beneath the poem. I have an Irish surname (I'm of Irish/Northumbrian decent--a Celt)so the substitution of an 'a' for an 'o' is common. For some reason I no longer feel anything for the poem and I'm amused by the typo. I'm making Canneloni again for dinner.

...arcite at Wednesday, November 23, 2005...
the culture must be built
the culture must be cured
the culture must be found
the culture must be many

& came home to a most welcome postal mail from my brother Paul: the book To Major Tom: The Bowie Letters by Dave Thompson and The Specials More Specials on the Two Tone label. The culture must be us. Phoned him up for a long chat as he's in Sydney. Cheers!

...arcite at Wednesday, November 23, 2005...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Swēven. Tohu-bohu. I thought I saw a dead white bird in the park but it was a clot of discarded tissues. The hills are alive with the sound of chainsaws.

A shit week—I think the worst I’ve had since I’ve been back in NZ. There’s no job stability at all and I feel very frustrated. I re-trained as a teacher to live in this town and write and now I see that I’m probably going to have to move on. And I’ve been terribly busy marking exam papers and assessments.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been systematically playing all the CDs in my collection. I do this every few years. The worst CD I’ve played so far is Spacehog’s appalling The Hogessy and the most welcome find has been listening to Love’s fantastic Forever Changes.

"As ye have herd, swich lyf right gan he lede,
As he that stood bitwixen hope and drede."

...arcite at Sunday, November 20, 2005...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My hair is receding. Every morning I watch it recede a little. I mean I still have plenty of hair but watching it recede is like watching the tide of your youth pull out to sea. I'm 44; what a bore. Ah, vanity.

And we've scrubbed the Dharamasala trip as we can't really afford it and we're worried that Roishan will freak out and find it uncomfortable. India unplugged. So we're thinking maybe we should go somewhere in the Pacific: Fiji, or Samoa, or the Cook Islands.

The whole morning seen as if through slow glass. As if I was only half-there or only half my usual self.

An expanding dandelion
of light

falls towards Eridanus

where they watch
Murray's bottle brush tail

greet me on the voiddeck

& it's difficult for me to concentrate today despite all the work. I start to read M.T Anderson's Thirsty and I'm hooked right into the vampire story.

...arcite at Thursday, November 17, 2005...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I think that my favourite word in English must be if: so much better than peut-être or si!

I was tired and irritable all last night and early this morning. I wanted to write but couldn’t seem to write and I felt like a piece of paper being screwed up into a ball. But this morning I was able to work on a thorny long poem called ‘Devotion’ which I’ve been working on and off on for months and I’m happy with the results and feel so much better.

My poetry getting more irrational. I think of poetry now as taking an idea or word out for a walk.

I am annoyed though that the music show ‘Later with Jools Holland’ has been shifted to the premium cable channel Rialto just when it’s going to feature The Fall. Damn. Well, at least I got to see Morrissey sing ‘The Last of the Gang to Die’ and ‘There is a Light that Never Goes out’ while it still screened on the free-to-air but best received with Sky C4.

Next year I'm going to be concentrating on readings/poetry jams now all the material is ready.

...arcite at Sunday, November 13, 2005...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm a bit tired. School's is full-on at the moment with junior exams and senior assessments but at the end of this week the seniors leave and all will be quieter. I'm getting mixed messages from the school about my future. It's like they want me to stay but they aren't sure if they'll have the student numbers to keep me on. Me and jobs: go figure. I had a funtime with Conchis earlier in the week to lift my mood. I told him the working title of my book of poems-which he didn't like-and this got me thinking about other titles. Nothing like constructive criticism to make you reconsider-the working title, 'Sea of Rains'-really isn't quite right. He thought it 'said nothing' but on reflection I think it's too melancholic. Oh, these little diversions.

...arcite at Thursday, November 10, 2005...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Rod Donald

Sad news tonight. Rod Donald, 48, co-leader of the NZ Green party died last night of a heart attack. I had great respect for Rod--here's a photo of him holding the Tibetan flag when a very senior Chinese dignitary visited parliament. The Chinese authorities were very pissed off about it and it had to be explained to them slowly and carefully that he was actually a member of parliament and could not be stopped for reminding them that many people do actually give a shit about attempts to eradicate the people of Tibet and their culture. Rod you were appreciated and you will be sorely missed. Given that you didn't drink or smoke and had just been at an all day Green conference I suspect that your crushing workload probably took its toll on you. God knows, I suspect many MPs do stuff all once elected and no-one could say that of you. Rod's achievements include removing homophobic legislation, better labour laws, fighting apartheid, campaigning for proportional representation, supporting alternatives to our self-destructive oil dependence, fostering a consideration for the biosphere, and most importantly of all an ability to work with others productively who did not necessarily share his views. Good on ya, Rod!

...arcite at Sunday, November 06, 2005...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Must have been the fever (now gone)
Mars is near Pisces and I'm using Mars as a way
To learn the tail of the fish.

Thursday morning I just had to use my free period to work on a new poem:

Thursday, I lay on the couch all day and night and watched and loved
Yes, I want that one in my DVD collection.
There is just so much right with this film.
And as I started to feel better Word-Girl and I went over our planned holiday:
from NZ to Singapore (catch-up with Brittle Lemon?),
to Delhi, meet family in Delhi,
then to Dharmasala,
then a three hour taxi to beyond.
And then back again all within two weeks.
All planned for the Easter break with the help of shared family
air points. But can we afford it?

And Leo and Aurora Floyd's dog died recently.
He was a lovely dog.

...arcite at Saturday, November 05, 2005...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm not at school today as I phoned in sick due to a very upset stomach. This is my first day off I can remember in years.

Anyway, I'm going to lie on the couch and watch the rest of Elephant that I started to watch last night. What a fascinating movie. I might also read a little of Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander--one of the books on my recommended reading list that I'm working through. So far I've enjoyed the novel; an unusual read for me as I'm not familiar with historical novels. Other novels on this list include Madame Bovary, Vilette, A Confederacy of Dunces and, gasp, The Da Vinci Code as well as a couple of history and art history books (Romanticism, The Penguin History of NZ; both of which I've dipped into and a book on Leonardo) and Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and The Pearl.

Last night the sky was clear and early on I show beautiful Venus near Sagitarius and a ruby Mars near Aries.

It's ironic that I should feel sick now when I haven't been drinking or otherwise abusing my body. Withdrawal or coincidence? I am so keen to improve my health and my diet has been exemplary! Nevertheless, the vitamin supplements have been binned and I'm sure that I'll feel better tomorrow. One drag with teaching is that I had to prepare relief lessons this morning from 7am-8am for the relief teacher while my stomach churned at the keyboard. Given that my job is still up in the air and senior students are rushing to complete assessments I just hope that this isn't all stress related.

The house is so quiet without the kids and I feel that I should be working either on the Orfeo poems or re-writes of poems almost there but not quite or else on school work. I haven't tidied the kitchen but I have, at least, fixed a block in the vacuum cleaner as I wait for my own pipes to return to a clean state.

...arcite at Wednesday, November 02, 2005...