the view from the tower

arcite's day

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In Wellington when you go for your morning walk you sometimes see empty Lion Red cans left on the pavements; as I walk up to Ponsonby road for my morning coffee I notice empty Deutz bottles left upright against tree trunks as polite memorials to a night on the town.

...arcite at Tuesday, December 27, 2005...

Monday, December 26, 2005

I'm up in Auckland and on Christmas eve we all went off to see King Kong. King Kong is too bloody long. King Yawn! Today art is the investigation and creation of an individual's culture. Jackson felt compelled to make the film; it's a boy's film, a very juvenile endeavour. Can he return to making grown-up movies? (Even Heavenly Creatures has a childish air--this is also my beef with Spielberg, all his movies are bloody infantile.)

I'm working on a new poem set in Singapore. God, that was not a happy time in my life!

...arcite at Monday, December 26, 2005...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Funny words spoken to me in a dream: "Relax. Take a bath. Books are all written by people you know." Dressed in a tuxedo and rented cufflinks. If you put the comma after 'people' then it sort of changes but there's still a hint that books are conversations and that the reader/writer relationship can be intimate, given the right mood lighting.

Birds doesn't have tunes? I must have been Beethoven. (Deaf, you know). What about the terrific 'No crying no more"? Nick Bollinger has an excellent review of the CD in the current NZ Listener that came in the mail this morning. I'll link to it if it ever goes online. Bic Runga's Birds has more than a touch of the new gothic about it; as if goth music offers yet underappreciated textures and hues. The stark black and white photograph and typography add to the atmosphere. Yes, I'm waiting for the cover to go online.

...arcite at Monday, December 19, 2005...

Friday, December 16, 2005

The new blog seems to be going well enough though I'm still so unsure about writing a blog under my real name. I've nearly finished three poems and I'm getting a smaller than originally planned manuscript together to publish a chapbook.

The holidays mean listening to Brittle Lemon's superb Christmas CD compilation as well as Richard and Linda Thompson's I want to see the bright lights tonight.

I see that Under the Bell is now in Dutch--but at least we still all get to appreciate the photos.

happy holidays

...arcite at Friday, December 16, 2005...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Changes are a foot with Arcite's Day. I've just started a poetry news blog under my IRL name and identity. This will allow me to publicise poetry events in Wellington as well as make a few notes on the books I'm reading. I can also show my students this blog as an example of how you can publish your own thoughts on the web.

If you're interested in reading this blog and don't know my IRL name then you can email me at or leave a query on the comments pad with your email and I'll email you the URL. I'm hoping, of course, that a kind soul like Ikrek Hava will come to my aid and develop a decent template for me!

I'm not sure what will happen to this blog. It's all a big experiment! I'm not sure if I can run two blogs or that readers would want to read two blogs--I certainly wouldn't want to read two. I just feel that it's time to drop the mask now and start writing on the net using my real name. It's time to move on which isn't the same as closing up shop.

My life is taking a new, very positive turn. My writing's going well and word-girl's starting to have real success with her fiction writing. I teach at a secondary school in a position that's now become permanent and I'm very happy with my job and the school--though it's tiring.

All the best

...arcite at Saturday, December 10, 2005...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mr Newboy has already rejected my poems for PNZ. Apparently he’s swamped with manuscripts for the last issue. At least he doesn’t sit on manuscripts for months. Well, he doesn’t sit on my manuscripts, anyway. ‘Rejection’s not so awful as long as one isn’t rejected all the time (Vile Bodies sotto voce). He doesn’t ‘get’ some of the language but the rejection makes me wonder about one of the poems that’s now turning into one of those difficult poems that need yet another re-writing/variation. And I’m still finding Bic Runga’s Birds a disappointment. Darling, where are the tunes? OK, I can hear two on the CD and that doesn’t make me gauche. Get out of Paris and back to The Bodega.

...arcite at Thursday, December 08, 2005...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Well, I'm sort of like 'haven't I already seen it?'
Well, I'm sort of why even bother seeing it?
What about the much underrated 'dark is rising' sequence?
The ring films are good--but they must be viewed as 'adaptations' rather than films (which is why I never feel the need to watch them again: now).
Could not sleep last night so wrote/channelled this weird poem called 'The Footballer.'
Where does this shit come from?
Listening to Bic Runga's new CD Birds.
But it ain't doing much for me, truth be told.
Much for me now
(awesome cover)
I will be patient.
Listening from the library to Scritti Politti's (one t or two ts?)
early compilation &
'how the hell did you make the pop jump--production must be everything'
Interesting sleeve
Oh the high high theory days
C. K. Stead has a line something like
"they think they know everything but know Foucault about anything"
he was right
but he's still a miserable cantankerous git

...arcite at Tuesday, December 06, 2005...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Fantastic news: On Friday I'm offered a permanent job at the school, starting next year, teaching Tourism and Social Studies. No English. I am so relieved. I was just about to start applying for jobs in Auckland and really did not want to leave the school. You can get very attached to a school and I like the people I'm working with; in some ways the attachment seems similar to what I'd imagine a hospital team would be like. So now, finally, I am sorted.

And the children's poem I wrote last year for 'W' is to be published in a poetry collection of alphabet poems. Wicked!

...arcite at Sunday, December 04, 2005...

Friday, December 02, 2005

"With a sudden intensity, as if she saw it clear for a second, she
drew a line there, in the centre.--

I know that fading in the afternoon light. Gone to autonomy, an infinite space under a walnut sky; a singular interior within the contracted horizon of an outside. Spring says summer might be the last one in town. I'm humming that tune again, you know, the one about how if soldiers have lost a limb then they still feel that limb; the one about men. The one about the if that's come and gone but they don't know it yet. Protocols of disappearance; leavetakings: I know how it is when something goes wrong. You just get so tired of the words when there's no other conversation to be had at the table other than future plans and problems. You start to think in dipgraphs (crow, snow, throw); you step inside because outside you've lost the chance of a fine thing, you've lost a piece of your vision.

--It was done; it was finished. Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision."

...arcite at Friday, December 02, 2005...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I haven't told you about my new fancy titanium framed glasses with non-reflective, photosensitive lens that turn dark with a touch of the sun. I'm finally rash free-although today I do wear my contacts for a change. I was so tired last night. I slept for the longest time.

The month of Gemini

They are going to hang that boy on Friday and it's all a big show of power. The same old show. Standing beneath the shadow of the elder gods without the strength to dream and all the while insects under the grass.

Old show of the same. The show says: whatever you call to us is of no consequence. No need.

Without commas, one line touching another.

The guards take everything--

After the emergency is over they say "there's no need for you to write, no need for you to even live, for no-one is reading and you live under our shadow, all the while insects under the grass."

See, we have take away your lights.

There's no mail, only fog drifts over the barracks

Could Cheney be tried for war crimes? Ikrek Hava reminds me that this is an interesting question: but you and whose company would be able ask it in such a way that it's an important, pertinent question? It's interesting for Cheney in a way that a game of Sudoku might while away an hour between briefings. Looking at (the) war (again), I'm still baffled by the question of advantage. What was the advantage to the player of the invasion? But here the player breaks down into a Pynchonesque multiple: the players behind the players who remain a faceless network of interests who assemble phantom players for their own ends. So Mike Moore probably provides so far the only plausible thesis: the war was staged for Cheney & Cos interest. But I
balk at the cynicism of this view.

Even the 'oil grab' thesis doesn't quite hold sway for me now. Just how much oil control has been gained by the US? Meanwhile the conflict has shifted as Iraqi society dissolves. The conflict isn't about 'insurgents fighting US or democratic forces'; the conflict is Iraqis versus Iraqis, Shiite versus Sunnite, and no amount of dithering changes this reality while the earth burns.

All of this is unreal, really. Only our relations with other people
are real.

People are real; history, races, sides and nations are our most
dangerous fantasies.

...arcite at Thursday, December 01, 2005...