In Millerton, where I live, there is a house that is kept available for any local man who falls into a state of domestic disorder. It is called 'the Back House', because it is at the end of the road at the edge of the bush.
I have taken this idea to house the narrator of this poem; from a silent and separate place he looks into his own separation, and out at the world and the home he has left. Much of the information is from my own recent experiences.
The second shorter work uses one of our early scientific texts to convey a rather creepy sense of disparity between one age and another.
The third, a poem sequence, was written while my wife was sickening with a terminal illness. The poems were hidden from her sight, and so well hidden that they were lost for several years.
It is only proper that this book be dedicated to Millerton and its inhabitants.
A Safe House For A Man
1. The Refuge
2. Lopped From The Tree
3. What The World Is, (in parenthesis)
4. Take My Sting
5. That Small Flower
6. Deep Within The Man
7. The Back House
8. I To The Counsellor
9. The Doctor
10. To Singh Batchem Singh
In The Morning
11. The Psychiatrist Says
12. Tangled From A Crooked Pole
13. In a Casserole With Towels
9. To Her A Book
© Leicester Kyle, 2000
Commentary & References:
Letter to Jack Ross (24/1/00):
Dear Yog Sugoth,
Here is the 'Necromonicon', not very oldened but I hope it does. The printer nearly drove me mephitic, and I became briefly non-euclidian, but on seeing her become ochreous in turn I calmed down, and accepted the inevitably inferior. The original has been sent to the publisher, where I hope it prospers.
Today is a very dark wet day, so I'm doing such works as these, and catching up on correspondence. At other times I'm relaxing into 'Lamentations', just for a week, as next week it will be necessary to prepare the mailing for 'Spin', and to do some work on the orbital mailbags: I hope all the rest of your long southern sojourn has gone well; from what I remember it is, as I write, still going, but I am positioned upon your return home, at which point my 'now' will be your past.
Leicester Kyle. A Safe House for a Man. 2000. 2nd ed. Auckland: Polygraphia Press, 2000:
Published by Polygraphia Ltd
P O Box 167, Clearwater Cove
Phone: 64 9 416 1437
Fax: 64 9 4161438
Copyright © Polygraphia Ltd 2000
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without prior permission of the Publisher,
Commentary & References:
Editing Writing Publishing
NEW IN JULY 2000
P O Box 167 Clearwater Cove
Auckland 1008 NZ
Phone: 09 416 1437
Fax: 09 4161438
Dr Jack Ross of Massey University writes:
The landscape of Leicester Kyle's long semi-narrative poem, A Safe House for a Man, will be familiar to most of us: separation, self-analysis, acknowledgment of loss. There's little that's recondite or difficult about this poetry, and yet the craft and subtle intelligence of its author come through in every line.
The title poem is accompanied by two others: The Araneidea - an oddly disturbing account of how to 'make good-looking, sightly cabinet objects' from live spiders; and Threnos - a moving elegy for the poet's wife Miriel. They are strongly linked to it in theme, and flesh it out into a major and strikingly original contribution to contemporary New Zealand poetry.
RRP: $29.50 (+ $2 postage & packing)
The copytext for the facsimile is my own copy of the first (2000) version of Leicester's original photocopied text. The initial copytext for the transcription comes from Microsoft Word files found on the hard-drive of Leicester's computer after his death, emended by reference to the facsimile. Bibliographical details and transcriptions of preliminary details are also given for the first book publication (Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd., 2000).
- Jack Ross,
Mairangi Bay, March 2012.
© Leicester Kyle Literary Estate, 2012