Thursday

Secondary Literature


Leicester on the Plateau
[photograph: Jack Ross (2000)]

Articles, Poems, Reviews, Tributes:

Contents:

  1. Bagby, Stu. "Letters to Leicester, 1-4." No. 1 included in Stu Bagby, "First Dance." AUP New Poets 2 (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002): 26.
  2. Chad, Tony. "On Leicester Kyle." The Imaginary Museum (17/9/06).
  3. Hamilton, Scott. "More than Pain: Leicester Kyle 1937-2006." Reading the Maps (5/7/06) [reprinted in brief 34 - war (February 2007): 12-18].
  4. Hamilton, Scott. "Pete Lusk remembers Leicester." Reading the Maps (9/7/06) [reprinted in brief 34 - war (February 2007): 25-26.].
  5. Hamilton, Scott. "Leaves from Leicester's forest." Reading the Maps (26/9/06).
  6. Hamilton, Scott. "brief goes to war." Reading the Maps (19/2/07).
  7. Hamilton, Scott. "Remembering Leicester." Reading the Maps (5/7/07).
  8. Hamilton, Scott. "Leicester style." Reading the Maps (5/7/08).
  9. Hamilton, Scott. "Remembering Leicester Kyle - and thinking about Roger Lambert." Reading the Maps (5/7/10).
  10. Holman, Jeffrey Paparoa. "At Millerton (once)." Paparoa's Blog (11/1/11).
  11. Howard, David. "Overburden." Spin 42 (2002): 30-32.
  12. Locke, Terry. "Review: A Safe House For A Man by Leicester Kyle. Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd. (2000). RRP: $29.50." Hyperpoetics: Best Words in Best Order (c.2000).
  13. Norcliffe, James. Note to "Villon in Millerton." Villon in Millerton (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2007): 1-5 & 69.
  14. Ross, Jack. "In the Ngakawau Gorge." Spin 32 (1998): 37. [Reprinted in The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)].
  15. Ross, Jack. "Leicester H. Kyle: Prophet without Honour." Pander 6/7 (1999): 21 & 23. [Reprinted in "For Leicester Kyle (1)", The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)].
  16. Ross, Jack. "Review: A Machinery for Pain, by Leicester Kyle, Heteropholis Press, 1999." Spin 33 (1999) 63.
  17. Ross, Jack. "A Clearer View of the Hinterland: Leicester at Millerton." Spin 36 (2000): 51. [reprinted in The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)].
  18. Ross, Jack. "Review: A Safe House for a Man, by Leicester Kyle, January 2000." Spin 36 (2000) 62.
  19. Ross, Jack. "Review: Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies. c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller, 2000." Spin 39 (2001): 66.
  20. Ross, Jack. "Review: Leicester Kyle, The Great Buller Coal Plateaux: A Sequence of Poems. Published for MAPPS [The Millerton and Plateaux Protection Society] P.O. Box 367, Westport, 2001." Spin 42 (2002): 61.
  21. Ross, Jack. "Der Berggeist." In Chantal’s Book (Wellington: HeadworX, 2002): 95-96. [Reprinted in The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)].
  22. Ross, Jack. "Review: Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies. Drawings by Philip Trusttum. Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-877332-08-9. 53 pp. RRP $22.50 [+$2 p&p]." brief 27 (2003): 98.
  23. Ross, Jack. "For Leicester Kyle (2): A Preliminary Bibliography." The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06).
  24. Ross, Jack. "for Leicester Hugo Kyle, b.1937." The Imaginary Museum (27/6/06). [Reprinted in brief 34 - war (February 2007): 6-11].
  25. Ross, Jack. "Leicester Kyle 30.10.37-4.7.2006." The Imaginary Museum (4/7/06).
  26. Ross, Jack. "We Were Talking." [Reprinting Leicester Kyle, "We Were Talking." The Press (Christchurch: 5/7/06)]. The Imaginary Museum (5/7/06).
  27. "Tavitacj". "Leicester Hugo Kyle. 1937 to 2006." Life Goes By (19/7/06).
  28. Taylor, Richard. "Leicester Kyle (Friend, poet, and scientist)." Eyelight (26/7/06). [Reprinted in brief 34 - war (February 2007): 19-24].
  29. Taylor, Richard. "Brief Submission." Eyelight (17/4/10). [Reprinted in brief 40 (2010): 80-86.]






AUP New Poets 2 (2002)

Stu Bagby:
"Letters to Leicester"

[No. 1 was published in Stu Bagby, Jane Gardner & Sonja Yelich. AUP New Poets 2 (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2002): 26.]


1
It seems natural to write
of weather, or begin this at least

with that word. Since your move
I have taken to keeping an eye on

your forecast too. Between us
the map looks like the bones

of fish (I wrote this in another
poem flying over Nebraska), and

it’s easy to visualise how the South
Island may once have separated

from the North. But this is not
symbolic or solid, rather, a way

of saying you are missed.
Are you watching your barometer, friend?


2
In terms of many friendships
we know little of each other

though the poems are down on paper.
When all is written and done

there you are and here I am, each
with whatever we fall back on.

I was thinking of the Dinah Hawken poem
where, in the photograph, a whale

breaches halfway between the poet and Bev.
There is water between us too

and perhaps whales in a sense. Possibly
my lines will tell you no more

than you could guess at,
say, after ... after.


3
The kingfisher has returned, I presume
it is the same one. Last year

he used the remains of the broken
branch on the gum in the front garden

as a lookout. I marvelled then
at the energy he expended flying back

with his prey. He was there
the day you left with Miriel

aboard that unusually tall vehicle of yours,
Miriel commenting out the window

on the dahlias. Miriel is dead
and the kingfisher is back, and so

is Miriel; more than bird or flowers.
I write these words as the bird dives.


4
Last night I read the Fleur Adcock
poem which ends with: ‘Art’s whatever

you choose to frame,’ the only
reading I’ve done lately, garage building

leaving me too tired at nights for
anything but television.

Yet, you have moved islands as I re-arrange
timber, seeing myself as Renaissance man,

and through the spaces made by
studs and noggins seeing flowers, the gate

or the goats; pictures altered by
my changing my perspective, but

perhaps you also saw ‘the secrets
of the great illusionists explained.’








Tony Chad:
"On Leicester Kyle"

[The Imaginary Museum (17/9/06)]


Tony Chad writes in to say:

Hi Jack - strange though it may seem (I was in Mexico on 4th July) I have only just heard of Leicester's illness and passing - although I fondly kept in mind the thought of another visit to the West Coast and inevitably to Leicester's hideaway in the hills, I never did make it and now of course it is too late. I was deeply saddened and shocked to read the news in the August NZPS newsletter (only just received). I had (I think) 2 visits to Leicester's, where I enjoyed his hospitality and some memorable walks. These memories are often referred to in our home, and will I am sure, stay with me through time. He was indeed a real gentleman and touched many people's lives and hearts. As you so rightly remarked, he moved visitors to write poems about their visit... here attached is one from my latest book

- all the best, Tony


Of chains & bondage & a walk in the bush

Two hours we journeyed in the faithful red land rover, the Ngakawau landscape instantly recognisable by the way the residents had transformed coal trolleys from the mines into flower boxes. We arrived safely at the secret parking place in the bush and travelled another hour on foot attended by the fantail and accompanied at times by bellbird, robin & tit. We smelled and glimpsed tiny native orchids and other memorable plants (whose names I forget), marvelled at gushing waterfalls, lunched on an island, carried the heavy rucksack by turn filling it with treasures until it was time once more for the faithful red land rover, a pint of Miners Dark at the Seddonville Hotel, then home to Millerton wondering who put chains around the trees, and why?

- Tony Chad
(from Self Titled (HeadworX 2006)



1 comments:

Richard Taylor said...
Thanks for this Tony and Jack. I am dedicating my projected book to my parents' memory and to that of Leicester. I never got to Millerton or Ngwakau, so it is good to hear a poem of a meeting with Liecester from there.








Scott Hamilton:
"More than Pain: Leicester Kyle 1937-2006"

[Reading the Maps (5/7/06)]


When I met Leicester Kyle for the first time he was wearing a leather jacket and a broad-brimmed leather hat and stroking a long white beard. He looked like a cross between a religious prophet and a genteel bikie, and neither religious types nor bikies were common sights at the Dead Poets Bookshop's Friday night poetry readings. Leicester soon became a fixture of the late '90s Auckland literary scene, turning up at readings, book launches and conferences, and invariably drawing respectful but bemused attention from Bohemian hipsters and literary politicians alike.

It's not difficult to appreciate the reason for the attention Leicester attracted. Kiwi writers are, by and large, a dull lot. The days when popular philistinism and government persecution moulded us into interesting shapes are long gone. Nowadays we are encouraged by friendly teachers at primary and secondary school, allowed to study 'creative writing' at university, then provided with safe middle class jobs as academics or publishers' assistants or librarians when we graduate. We marry other writers, settle in safe leafy suburbs like Grey Lynn or Te Aro Valley, write about our cute children and our greying hair, and take yearly holidays in Greece or Thailand. Like I say, we're a boring lot. But Leicester Kyle wasn't dull like us: he was emphatically and effortlessly different. He had come to writing late, by a circuitous and sometimes bizarre path.

After a childhood marked by the Great Depression and by the suicide of both his parents, Leicester trained first as a botanist and then as an Anglican priest. Over several decades he and his wife Miriel ministered to communities as far apart as Banks Peninsula and India. After they retired and moved to Auckland Leicester began to write poetry, and Miriel was stricken with the cancer that would kill her in 1997.

In his fine tribute to Leicester, Jack Ross reveals that it was the old vicar's idea to establish the regular poetry discussion evenings that began at the London Bar in 1997 and continue today in the more sedate surroundings of Galbraith's Alehouse. I don't know whether it was Jack or Leicester who chose the London Bar as a venue back in 1997, but whoever it was may well have been motivated by a desire to forestall the labyrinthine monologues that tend to occur whenever poets are given a captive audience and a regular supply of alcohol. In those heady pre-smokefree days the London Bar was so noisy on Friday nights that even Richard Taylor in full swing after a dozen Lion Reds couldn't avoid interruption, as the wannabe Coltrane in the resident jazz band reached for a higher note, or a girl in a white miniskirt spilt red wine over Hamish Dewe. In the London Bar on a Friday night there was always a surfeit of reasons not to pay close attention to anyone's tabletalk. When Leicester spoke, though, everybody always listened. That quiet and wry yet solemn voice somehow made the jazz and the miniskirted girls disappear.

When Leicester spoke it was usually to tell a story, and the events in most of his stories took place decades ago, in obscure places like Okains Bay or the wilds of Bengal. Despite or because of their settings, I always felt that Leicester's stories were intended as urgent parables, as gestures toward some moral lesson that needed learning. Yet story after story seemed to evade easy interpretation, to frustrate the urge to moralise. Leicester's tales were at once unforgettable and elusive. Nearly a decade later, there are a couple that I still recall almost word for word.

Leicester's Story of the Young Man in the Gutter

This happened when I had only recently been ordained a priest and was full of a desire to serve God and humanity. I was hurrying down a busy Christchurch street through the spring sunshine on my way to an appointment when I almost tripped over a young man in a black trenchcoat who had seated himself in the gutter. His eyes were bloodshot, there was a brown stain around his mouth, and he was shaking feebly. 'Are you alright?' I asked. 'You look like life has dealt you a harsh blow' I added, as I looked at him with what I am sure was an expression of sincere concern. 'I was about to say the same thing to you' he replied, staring back at me calmly.

Leicester's Story of the Corpse on the Roof Rack

A colleague of mine and his new wife were using their honeymoon to drive around a remote and beautiful part of northern Bengal, but the young bride took ill and died before they could find medical help. He decided he would have to return her body to her family, who lived on the other side of India, in a little village south of Bombay, so that they could help him organise a funeral. But his car was very small, too small to spread a body out in, and he was forced to put his wife's body on the roof rack, wrapped in the mattress they had been sleeping on during their trip. For three days he drove across India, stopping only for a few hours' sleep on the side of a dusty road in the centre of the country. When he arrived at his wife's family's home he climbed out of the car with a tired sigh of sad relief. He turned to the roof rack to undo the rope he had tied the mattress around his wife's body with, only to see that the mattress had been stolen.

It seems to me that these stories capture something of the worldview that would assume sharper focus in Leicester's best poems. Leicester Kyle's world is a place where love and horror, order and chaos, life and death are balanced precariously against one another:

as if there were no town
nor warm things in it

just the jungle
on the first day

In Leicester's world, heroic efforts are made by humans to impose order on reality, but the very extent of the schemas that men and women build up - systems of theological argument, or moral justification, or botanical and zoological classificiation - betray the ever-present threat of chaos and death. Ultimately, chaos enters into and undermines attempts to impose order on the world - as Leicester knew only too well, botanical classification and theological explication both succumb to the chaos of subdivision and conjecture, as the human mind wrestles unsuccessfully with the infinite complexity and fluidity of reality:

We walk on a meniscus
under it is silence, darkness
depths we have no means to plumb

But if there is chaos in the order that humanity creates, there may also be order in the chaos of nature. Like Hopkins, a poet he admired, Leicester struggles to read the universe as scripture, to explicate its infinite details into revelation. Leicester's poetry is attentive to the way that chaos of nature can gve way suddenly to a brief mysterious order: he notices the way the symmetry of a fern can rise out of the rubble of the forest floor, and the way that the churning chaos of the ocean can throw up the sudden perfection of a wave.

Leicester's oeuvre is marked by an unresolved tension between the effort to impose order on the world and a yearning to surrender to the world. The equanimity with which Leicester greeted his death from a cancer of the bone marrow does not surprise me. One of the darker themes of his poetry is the role of death as the final solution to the shortcomings of all human attempts to control reality:

Making makes mistakes,
as in making us
who make ruin

Why did Leicester Kyle begin to write poetry in his seventh decade? By the time he retired to Auckland he had enjoyed a memorable career that had seen him intimately involved in the lives of half a dozen different communities. He had been a social worker and a spiritual advisor for hundreds of people. Why would a man with his breadth of experience suddenly start sweating over where he put words on a page, reading to tiny audiences at Bohemian bars, and placing poems in little literary magazines?

We may detect, in the poems Leicester wrote during his years in Auckland, a reaction to the role he had played for so long as a minister. The Auckland poems are frequently full of surreal imagery and situations, and show a fascination with sin, violence and death. In a sense, they are 'anti-sermons': wildly personal poems written to meet the spiritual needs of the priest, not the priest's flock.

'Heteropholis' is the best of the Auckland poems, and it shows the strange territory Leicester was mapping in the second half of the nineties. Written as the interior monologue of an angel which has been turned into a lizard and set down in a glass tank in modern-day Auckland, the fifty-part poem is filled with exact and unsympathetic observations of a minute yet representative piece of the city:

My caregiver has no female. From obser-
vation of his ways (behold they
are so various) I have learned
of pleasures denied my reptilian
self

He grows amorous as the barometer falls,
which is often at full moon. His
thighs taughten. Sensing from
my wooden perch I see him fes-
tinate as the day goes until at
dark he rings for a Working Girl

It is a small tragedy that 'Heteropholis' has not yet found a professional publisher. With its disgusted, fascinated stare at the city most Kiwis love to hate, the poem reads like a bizarre successor to works like ARD Fairburn's 'Dominion' and James K Baxter's 'Ode to Auckland'.

At the end of the nineties Leicester surprised the many friends he had made in Auckland by moving to Millerton, an old coal mining town on the West Coast of the South Island. Joining the local volunteer fire brigade, publishing poems about local people and issues, conducting botanical expeditions through West Coast forests and swamps, and throwing himself into the campaign to stop the Happy Valley coal mine, Leicester soon became something of a celebrity in the Buller region of the West Coast. In a letter he sent me for a recent issue of brief, Leicester explained the new role he had found for himself amongst the Coasters:

[O]ne does like to write for a known readership...being poet to a defined and dometic community has its attractions, a sense of professional belonging...In Buller there is a great fondness for verse but little for poetry, so I stand alone and unassailed. My observable literary ability, my success in conservation and botany, my involvement in civic affairs, have all pushed me into a certain notoreity in the region which, were I so ambitious, would give me satisfaction...

We can say, then, that Leicester's move to Buller saw him once again assuming some of the roles he had played as a minister. The relative isolation of the Auckland years had been left behind, and not unsurprisingly the tone of Leicester's poetry changed. The best of the West Coast poems bring the alienation of 'Heteropholis' into conflict with a sense of community, and an empathy with the people of that community.

With its storms, wild coastline, industrial ruins and decaying towns and villages, the Buller region offered Leicester a metaphor for the precariousness of life, but the harshness of the region had created a sense of community that was absent in Auckland. In his 2005 book Breakers Leicester wrote about the erosion of Buller's coastline by a violent sea, but also celebrated the efforts of locals to stop the sea and other hostile forces - economic, as well as natural - from destroying their communities.

One of the most memorable of Leicester's late works is 'Death of a Landscape', which is at once an elegy for his daughter, who committed suicide in 2004, and a cry of protest against the Happy Valley coal mine. Handwritten on topographical maps of Happy Valley, 'Death of a Landscape' expresses a collective as well as personal loss:

But it was more than pain.
So much love
polished practiced honed
lost dead buried,
then blown like pollen
from trees in the wind.

I felt the some of the same sense of loss when I learned of Leicester's death yesterday.


5 Comments:

Blogger Richard Taylor said...
And this where he learnt from the Langauge poets - that poem is brilliantly placed on a map (so perhaps like Joanna Paul -who he knew very well - the writing and the 'art' are essentially integral) (or the map can be seen as kind of text or part of he text as are maybe Jack Ross's symbols etc) - he shared an interest in maps (and weather maps etc) with (many people of course) but one thinks of Smithyman -hence 'Reading the Maps' - Leicester learnt from everyone he met - including myself - he came to my Panmure Poetry Club in 1994 - I think I got him onto Ashbery (he particularly liked the poem "Laucustrine Cities" and "lacustrine" was a word he used later and other words or phrases that Ashbery used -he acknowledged this mostly) and the so-called Language poets and probably thus to Zukofsky who he utilised (perhaps as a model because of LZ's fascination with words and word origins) - he used phrases from Ashbery -and also probably he learnt from Alan Loney (more about Zukofsky and hence he read "A" completely and "Bottom" by L Z and also the Neidecker-Zukofsky correspondence was also fascinated by "A" but mainly by Neidecker. He also liked Graham Lindsay's work. Of the poets he knew, one was Alan Loney who published Koreneho - so Leicester was the only person outside of Loney's writer's group to get into ABDOTWW (now Brief) he met and had talks with and many others (Stu Bagby) (people at Poetry Live) and Alistair Patterson who helped him with the manuscript of "Koreneho" which I have a copy of - or at least the first "galleys") Leicester wanted my comments - I was enthusiastic about Koreneho but wanted him to fragment it even more than he did - but he changed very little as faras i can recall - it is a brilliant work as he did it - he was alert to a wide range of poets (David Howard eg) without being uncritical -

But Leicester never descended into any aloof intellectualism or elitism. He was a warm man and obviously liked people (many).

Then in Buller these works combined with the deeply personal and the local and the "intellectual" (he always had a strategy) - and often there is satiric or comic aspect but under that is a deeper darker sense of the universe. And a sense of the people in that universe (e.g.the ordinary extraordinary kiwis of his ANZAC book/poem ("Five Anzac Liturgies")). There is chaos struggling with order but there is also joy.

I and others have lost not only a wonderful man of great mana, but major poet in NZ and hence in the world - for he was a New Zealander - a South Islander he asserted - but his work could be read anywhere ultimately.

He could be stubborn and annoyingly so but I feel that he was in all a man of great integrity - no matter what occurred in hs life (he endured some awful tragedy) - The Leicester Kyle I knew was wonderful man. I recall once telling him of my diifculty being at poetry readings and really getting "into" the scene without drinking heavily -and he said "Why can't you just *be*?". He emphasised the BE. But it was not said invasively or preachingly - it was a strong but quiet and a useful comment for me. He was always very positive about my own poetry and wrote good review of my book RED (as did Raewyn Alexander - thanks Raewyn) which he submitted to The Listener but they didn't want to know.

But he was of great help and to me and his humanity and love and strength were always there -he is thus in Baxter's league - he may come to be of a similar legendary status - I used to phone him quite regularly (bitterly I know there is now one less person I can phone and exchange views and feelings) and we would talk of people and poetry and other matters; and we would joke; and he was always interested in what I and others were doing. He was rarely - if ever - negative - but when it came down to crunch, he had strong views.

I am deeply saddened at his passing; but I was gladenned by his life.
10:43 PM
Blogger Jack Ross said...
This is a splendid piece -- expansive and celebratory and yet with the necessary critical edge. Just one minor correction: Miriel died in 1998, not 1997 -- in March, I think. Leicester wrote to me that his own diagnosis with terminal cancer was on the anniversary of her death ...
11:01 AM
Blogger Asher said...
Thank you so much for writing this. I can honestly say that Leicester's writing has been an inspiration to so many of us involved with the Save Happy Valley campaign, and I regret that I never had the chance to meet him in person.
12:39 PM
Blogger Asher said...
I had this emailed to me today, with a request to put it on here, from Pete Lusk.

"I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to post something here, because it wasn't possible for our family to get to Leicester's funeral in Christchurch today. As the next best thing we went up to Millerton and walked along some of the historic tracks Leicester helped re-open at the Old Dip and Millerton mines.

When he came to live in Millerton it was as if a tornado had hit the place. Not a violent tornado of course. That would be out of character. Rather it was a methodical and very polite one as Leicester immersed himself in the community (firebrigade, Millerton radio station) and the botanical glories of the coal plateau.

I met him through the local conservation group, but quickly realised we shared another interest - coalfield's history. I have a collection of Marxist books, some bearing the names of long-dead communist miners. Marx's Capital is hard enough to read, but Anti-Duhring by Engels is a shocker. It's all theory and counter-theory, intensely academic, and to most mortals, barely decipherable. I've never got past the first chapter. But Leicester read it cover to cover and enjoyed it.

I went on several walks around the moonscape of Stockton Mine with Leicester and his dog Red. We did it when the mine was on holiday, at New Year and Easter.

The place has an unusual botany, and Leicester's probing revealed several new species of alpine herbs. I could see the pain the opencast mining caused him - it's not just the famous Mt Augustus snail that's headed for extinction.

Leicester became a regular at Buller Conservation Group meetings but one day announced he wouldn't be coming anymore. The conflict between miners and greenies was too much for him. I felt it went back to his vicar days - it's not a vicars job to have enemies.

Despite missing meetings, Leicester kept us up with all the mining gossip and supported the young people of the Save Happy Valley Coalition with their protest occupation. But I know he felt overwhelmed by the Machine that is Solid Energy. His Lament For a Landscape assumes the destruction of Happy Valley.

Leicester loved the Coast - he'd been here often on holiday as a child. And he told me his Coast-born father never fully acclimatised to living in Canterbury.

I went to a couple of Leicester's poetry readings is Westport. I felt he was very happy writing for a small community. Any wider recognition was a bonus.

I loved his stories - told with a glint in his eye and his special economy of language. The one that comes to mind was when he swapped parishes for six months with a vicar from Sheffield in England. The Sheffield parish was very poor - this was brought home to Leicester when he got sick and joined the depressing queue outside a doctors surgery in the winter cold.

His misery wasnt helped when he found he wasnt being paid - the English vicar had retained his old salary while also being paid in New Zealnd and saw no need to change the arrangement.

Pete Lusk"
9:07 AM
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3:21 AM








Scott Hamilton:
"Pete Lusk remembers Leicester"

[Reading the Maps (9/7/06)]


Jack Ross and I wrote tributes to the remarkable Leicester Kyle last week. Now Pete Lusk, a long-time environmental activist on the West Coast, has communicated some of his memories of Leicester.

I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to post something here, because it wasn't possible for our family to get to Leicester's funeral in Christchurch today. As the next best thing we went up to Millerton and walked along some of the historic tracks Leicester helped re-open at the Old Dip and Millerton mines.

When he came to live in Millerton it was as if a tornado had hit the place. Not a violent tornado of course. That would be out of character. Rather it was a methodical and very polite one as Leicester immersed himself in the community (firebrigade, Millerton radio station) and the botanical glories of the coal plateau.

I met him through the local conservation group, but quickly realised we shared another interest - coalfield's history. I have a collection of Marxist books, some bearing the names of long-dead communist miners. Marx's Capital is hard enough to read, but Anti-Duhring by Engels is a shocker. It's all theory and counter-theory, intensely academic, and to most mortals, barely decipherable. I've never got past the first chapter. But Leicester read it cover to cover and enjoyed it.

I went on several walks around the moonscape of Stockton Mine with Leicester and his dog Red. We did it when the mine was on holiday, at New Year and Easter.

The place has an unusual botany, and Leicester's probing revealed several new species of alpine herbs. I could see the pain the opencast mining caused him - it's not just the famous Mt Augustus snail that's headed for extinction.

Leicester became a regular at Buller Conservation Group meetings but one day announced he wouldn't be coming anymore. The conflict between miners and greenies was too much for him. I felt it went back to his vicar days - it's not a vicars job to have enemies.

Despite missing meetings, Leicester kept us up with all the mining gossip and supported the young people of the Save Happy Valley Coalition with their protest occupation. But I know he felt overwhelmed by the Machine that is Solid Energy. His 'Lament For a Landscape' assumes the destruction of Happy Valley.

Leicester loved the Coast - he'd been here often on holiday as a child. And he told me his Coast-born father never fully acclimatised to living in Canterbury.

I went to a couple of Leicester's poetry readings is Westport. I felt he was very happy writing for a small community. Any wider recognition was a bonus.

I loved his stories - told with a glint in his eye and his special economy of language. The one that comes to mind was when he swapped parishes for six months with a vicar from Sheffield in England. The Sheffield parish was very poor - this was brought home to Leicester when he got sick and joined the depressing queue outside a doctors surgery in the winter cold.

His misery wasnt helped when he found he wasnt being paid - the English vicar had retained his old salary while also being paid in New Zealnd and saw no need to change the arrangement.

Pete Lusk



1 Comments:

Blogger Victor said...
Hello.

I'm trying to get in touch with Pete Lusk to ask him about a publication that was put out by the Campaign Against Foreign Control In New Zealand back in the '70s. Would you, by chance, be able to point me in the right direction? Any help would be greatly and sincerely appreciated!

Best wishes,
Victor
6:52 AM








Scott Hamilton:
"Leaves from Leicester's forest"

[Reading the Maps (26/9/06)]


During my undistinguished and soon-to-end reign as editor of the literary journal brief I've used a pretty simple tactic to deal with the nuisance that is snail mail. I throw any letters and packages I receive into a large box, wait until people start nagging me - by phone, or e mail, or at the pub - to produce an issue or pay outstanding bills, then empty the box on my bedroom floor and pick through the resultant rubble for usable submissions and cashable cheques.

Last week, while preparing the second and last Hamilton-edited issue of brief, I encountered something much more precious than a cheque or a run-of-the-mill poem - a sequence of poems by Leicester Kyle, the much-loved vicar, botanist, environmental activist, and scribbler who passed away in July. Leicester had posted the manuscript to me when he had only weeks to live, along with a typically unassuming covering letter:

Dear Scott

Enclosed are a few literary/botanical tricks and puzzles. You asked me to send you some new work and here it is. I hope it pleases.

Leicester Kyle

The poems, which are beautifully illustrated by a friend, show Leicester's ability to turn the laconically technical discourse of botany into something lyrical and mysterious, through the careful selection of detail and sensitive handling of enjambment. I'm going to publish the whole sequence in brief #34, but in the meantime here's my favourite piece:

Actinotus suffocta

The Patch Plant

Low herb
With creeping branching stems
Forming compact patches

Stylopodium stout
And ill-defined

So small
You could be the young
Of any green thing

Of a moss

A slime mould
Peripatetic
On a bank

They should have let you go
Without a name

Anonymous
Anomalous

Patching up the pakihi
With humility

Thanks Leicester.


1 Comments:

Blogger Richard Taylor said...
Maps - look at your mail more often!

There is great strength and yet a delicacy and accuracy of great beauty and intelligence in this poem - typical of the many great poems of Leicester Kyle.
12:13 AM









Scott Hamilton:
"brief goes to war"

[Reading the Maps (19/2/07)]


A mere ten months after its conception, the 188 page 'War' issue of brief is on its way out into the world. The front and back covers of brief #34 feature Ellen Portch's extraordinary portraits of George Bush jr and Saddam Hussein. The butcher of Baghdad and the Texan bomber were two of the unsavoury politicians featured in a disturbing and much-discussed exhibition Ellen mounted at the University of Auckland's Old Government House last year.

Issue #34 kicks off with a sadly prophetic leaflet distributed by the Direct Anti-War Action group at Whenuapai Air Base in 2003, then devotes thirty pages to Leicester Kyle, the retired Anglican vicar, botanist, environmental campaigner, and poet who died of cancer last July. Jack Ross remembers Leicester as a close personal friend and keen contributor to enterprises like brief; I survey the extraordinary body of writing the good vicar produced in his short writing life; Richard Taylor recalls Leicester the scientist; fellow anti-mining activist Pete Lusk reveals the impact Leicester made on the West Coast, after moving there at the end of nineties, and marvels at the old boy's ability to read all the way through Engels' Anti-Duhring. Together with three previously unpublished Leicester Kyle poems and the contents page for issue #34, these tributes have been posted on the Titus Books website.

The anti-war theme is picked up by veteran trade unionist and rest home rocker Don Franks, who reproduces and ridicules Vincent O'Sullivan's sententious state-commissioned tribute to New Zealand's 'Unknown Soldier'. Bill Direen echoes some of Don's arguments in his short essay 'Rights of the Unknown Writer', which reveals that the Governor General of New Zealand used one of the texts of the 'Marxist sympathiser and utopian anti-imperialist' John Mulgan at the 2004 ceremony to open the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Wellington. Perhaps remembering the long essay on Mulgan that Dave Bedggood contributed to the previous issue of brief, Bill points out the absurdity of the Queen's representative in New Zealand appropriating the work of an ardent anti-monarchist. Olivia Macassey's 'Pick Up Sticks', which was first published on the Poets Against War website, offers a similarly sceptical view of the assumptions behind formal and less formal commemorations of war by Kiwis:

They say
you exchanged blood for blood and mud
for the glum mud of the Waikato, and stilled
your tongue beside the waters.
Now heedless youths drink beer in the Turkish sun,
watch it gild their skin, and believe
that false old alchemy.

In two e mails composed on September the 11th, 2001, New York poet Charles Bernstein registers the impact of the event that has come to signify the beginning of the 'War on Terror':

all of a sudden tonight the smell of burning plastic pervades our apartment, making eyes smart. is it something in the building? no, a neighbour explains, that's the smell coming from downtown.

Writing from Christchurch, Sugu Pillay offers an equally personal response in her poem 'Nine Eleven and Me'. The atrocities of 9/11 triggered an extraordinary debate on the US-based international 'Buffalo Poetics' e list, as avant-garde guru and long-time left-wing activist Ron Silliman shocked many of his admirers by urging support for a retaliatory war in the Middle East. brief #34 reproduces Silliman's argument for the invasion of Afghanistan, as well as Barrett Watten's powerful reply. We also give space to 'War=Language', a text Watten read at a protest against the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

In their different ways, Richard von Sturmer, Kendrick Smithyman, Kathy Dudding and Brett Cross all offer the sort of historical context that Silliman's warmongering so sadly lacked. Von Sturmer's poem-sequence 'Old Ez' examines Ezra Pound's tragicomic support for fascism during the Second World War; Dudding and Cross present documents from family members who lived through World Wars; and three pieces pinched from the posthumous Collected Poems of Smithyman take us back even further, to the British army's war of conquest against the Waikato Kingdom in 1863 and '64. My poem 'Private Gurney' explores the madness of a great war poet in a less historically responsible manner.

The centrepiece of brief #34 is 'San Toni', a previously-unpublished short story by Greville Texidor, an anarchist refugee from the war against fascism in Spain who spent most of the 1940s as an unhappy resident of Auckland's North Shore.
'San Toni', which is grounded in Texidor's wartime experiences, has been excavated from Texidor's papers and given a long and insightful introduction by Evelyn Hulse.

A short quote should make it clear that Texidor's story is of literary as well as historical interest:

The river or the ridge? Time yet to decide. No decision to make. For either way it ended in the village. To see and not to be seen? In the village where every face is known. Where every name is known. His own name had been in the mouth of the village in the glorious days of thirty-six.

Sweating he descended steadily by rocks hot in the sun, seeing out the corner of his eye the pale peak. He had climbed it once. It was green and inviting and there was a pocket of snow near the summit. He wanted to see what made it stay all summer. It blazed like a beacon. From any point near the village you looked up and it caught the eye. But when he got there it was only a dirty patch, no larger than a woman's petticoat.

Issue #34 also features a number of writers who do not touch directly on the subject of war. In a sprawling prose poem called '/cities.33' Michael Arnold continues his visionary exploration of modern China; Hamish Dewe, another exile in Beijing, offers a more jaundiced and pithier take on life in the world's next superpower. Writing from the University of Malawi, classicist and wanderlust Ted Jenner mixes translations from the fragments of Archilochus with memories of life on two very different continents. At the back of the issue I've managed to cram in reviews of work by Bill Direen and Will-Joy Christie that were shamelessly cribbed from the blog. (Apologies in advance for the sloppy failure to re-italicise book titles, after the pieces were copied and pasted from the net: I was keen to get to the pub and watch Ross Taylor bat.)

With issue #34 out of the way, I'm handing the reins of brief over to Brett Cross, who has already established a reputation as an editor through his work with Titus Books. Brett promises better promotion, speedier publication, and more music. If you're after a copy of issue #34 or a subscription for the next three issues, then you can e mail him at: graull@snap.net.nz


5 Comments:

Anonymous olivia macassey said...
Looking forward to getting my hands on the new brief.

I know this is er, picky of me but to clarify, my poem in this issue, which you seem to be calling 'pick up sticks', is normally titled 'parade'..... I think I mentioned this before, and am not entirely sure why this alternative title persists, but oh well. It's all good.

Congratulations on the release of the issue!
12:10 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
i have a friend called enis collins but i always call him snowy i wonder why why why?
3:59 PM
Anonymous olivia macassey said...
Annette once said to me that absloutely everyone should be called George.
7:19 PM
Blogger Richard Taylor said...
Be good to see Brief -some time this century.
11:10 PM
Blogger Richard Taylor said...
I was looking back at the posts on The Poetics List (Buffalo) I did leading up to and through 11 Sept 2001 and my reaction was quite bizzarre -

But the attack on the Twin Towers - the aftermath is brilliantly described by Bernstein and - had the effect to me at the time of a profound shock - it wasn't really any feeling for anyone killed in the Towers BTW - it was the kind of cinematic surreality of it and I had been influenced by my friend Jim Dollimore who is a kind of liberal and he had been talking about terrorists - I hadn't been following politics - in fact I had decided to cut myself from all of it - but my son woke me that morning so I watched the bombing etc over and over -as Bernstein did -

At first for me I saw it as an attack on my "freedom" (to culture) because of my fascination with the art and culture of the West and (other nations) - to some degree I might be accused then of a degree of ethnocentricism. But it was for me a kind of culture shock.

Then I listened to my friend Frank who put foreward the theory that it was oraganised from inside the US by the US to facilitate wars - this I believe to be the case (or a high probability scenario.) It is typical of the kind of thing we saw done in the 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s the US have been doing (dirty tricks) ever since WWII - but initially I reacted as if I myself had been attacked.

I had gone to NY in 1993 and been up the twin towers - the culture and vibrancy of the US is undeniable - and the people were all good that I met - I recall going into library and raeding a childrens book about the building of skyscrapers and in particular the Empire State. I then it was one of the very few books I managed to read when I was there. I am fascinated by such large structures and also by bridges. (I would have been almost grief stricken if the Guggenheim had been destroyed it is an exquisitely beautiful building.)

Soon after came a critique from Pierre Joris and I "recanted" my reactionary views. He is a great person and writer.

There is also a sense that it is - not a tragedy - it is in fact kind of work of conceptual art - the great musician Stockhausen said this (being such a famous man he had to recant though.)

One of the comments at the time was that a US bomber had collided - near the end of WWll into the 79th floor of the Empire State - I also went there. Now that caused a fire that burnt for a long time -longer than the Twin Tower fire and the Empire State didn't even look like collapsing - now the temperatrue that steel will melt is far lower than that that can be caused by jet fuel burning - basically it is kerosene (alhtough it can weaken structures before it destroys them.) Relatively the fire on the aircraft colliding into the towers was very small. Whoever did it actually arranged to do a controlled demolition (using explosives planted at key structural points) AFTER the planes had collided - to create a spectacular spectacle. A 21st Century Reichstag. This gave Hitler a reason to takeover Germany and he also fabricated reasons to attack Poland - similarly the US attacked Afgahnistan and Iraq. They have since murdered about 300,000 civilians or more. They are fasicsts. Their reasons not to get out immediately are all hogwash. The oil and territory and human resource grab didn't work. But who knows - the US are massing in the Gulf of Oman-so another illegal invasion of Iran is planned. It is essential that countries arm themselves with whatver they can agaisnt these warmongers in the US and Australia etc. Thus I support the drive of Korea and Iran to get nuclear weapons so they can keep the US Imperialists and the Israeli Zionists out of their nations - it would be good to see them drive the US out of South Korea also and unite Korea again. (It was wonderful also to see the Hezbollah take it to the Israelis when Israel invaded Lebanon - not so good when YOU are getting hit by missiles!! A big advance on 1967 etc)

At the very bottom of the South Tower in 1993 I saw there was a (cloth) Miro - now I tried to snap it but my film ran out or it didn't develop.
1:07 AM








Scott Hamilton:
"Remembering Leicester"

[Reading the Maps (5/7/07)]


It's a year since the death of Leceister Kyle, the priest, poet, environmental activist, Buller secessionist, and discoverer of giant snails who endeared himself to thousands of New Zealanders, and a few Brits and Indians as well, during the sixty-nine well-spent years of his life. I gathered some of the tributes that appeared after Leicester's death in brief 34 - you can read them here. My own tribute to the man was originally published on this blog. Richard Taylor dedicated his book Conversation with a Stone to his parents and to Leicester.

There are quite a few poems by Leicester floating about the internet - I've just found 'Letter to Lorine', which was originally published in Sport:

There are some words that I don't know.
Creosote is clear—
I've used it,
but
gestalte's not defined in my mind.
Sex is too small a word for the work it does...

With their wry mixture of authority and self-deprecation, those lines are pure Leicester. He is missed.


4 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...
New Website for Joseph Ceravolo

Hi Maps. We appreciate your interest and link to Joseph's poetry on your blog.

We recently moved the site and updated its content. More new content will be coming in the near future and you can look forward to a complete redesign of the site, as well.

Please take a moment to change the link to Joseph Ceravolo's Poetry to http://www.josephceravolo.com.

Thanks and Best Wishes,
Jim Ceravolo ceravoloj @ yahoo.com
Webmaster, www.josephceravolo.com
8:26 AM
Blogger Richard Taylor said...
Leicester was a great man and a great poet. I was deeply moved and distraught when he died. Thanks for remembering him and quoting that poem - I know it.

Lorine is Lorine Niedecker. He was fascinated by and her life and her work and her correspondence with Zukofsky.
11:27 PM
Blogger maps said...
Ah! I didn't know that. Perhaps you should take a lead in putting Leicester's Collected Poems together, RT?
12:55 AM
Blogger Richard Taylor said...
Maps

I could do - it needs to be done -
I have some of the manuscripts - Jack is the official man - but I could help some time -

Leicester influenced me - not maybe in style but by his enthusiasm. It was because he was always doing "projects" that I started EYELIGHT.

It is sad he died so soon as he had a lot more in him to give...
I have another Blog on My Space and I might use that to write about writers on there and Leicester could be one - I could go from there...

I think by writing about poets I will find inspiration myself.
9:01 PM








Scott Hamilton:
"Leicester style"

[Reading the Maps (5/7/08)]


Now pursuing truth
I make new moves
and am more business-like …

I must learn more

I’ll take to interstices

I’ll live in the wall that divides

I’ll watch with my bespectacled unblinking eye

I’ll see all sides

It's two years since the death of Leicester Kyle, who found time to be a botanist, environmental activist, Marx scholar, air force chaplain, family man, missionary, poet and editor during his three score years and ten. I dedicated an issue of the literary journal brief to Leicester's memory, and prefaced it with this account of the man's life and work. At the beginning of the piece, I tried to convey Leicester's originality:

When I met Leicester Kyle for the first time he was wearing a leather jacket and a broad-brimmed leather hat, and stroking a long white beard. He looked like a cross between a religious prophet and a genteel bikie, and neither religious types nor bikies were common sights at the Dead Poets Bookshop's Friday night poetry readings. Leicester soon became a fixture of the late '90s Auckland literary scene, turning up at readings, book launches and conferences, and invariably drawing respectful but bemused attention from Bohemian hipsters and literary politicians alike.

It's not difficult to appreciate the reason for the attention Leicester attracted. Kiwi writers are, by and large, a dull lot...But Leicester Kyle wasn't dull like us: he was emphatically and effortlessly different. He had come to writing late, by a circuitous and sometimes bizarre path...

For me, and I expect for very many other people, Leicester seemed to have stepped out of some alternate New Zealand, a place where many of the dichotomies of our society - the splits between the city and the country, between Maori and Pakeha, between intellectuals and an anti-intellectual majority, between liberals and conservatives - did not exist. Leicester moved effortlessly between worlds that were normally hermetically sealed from one another, and the poems he poured out during the last decade of his life are simultaneously scholarly and populist, vernacular and allusive.

Leicester's poems were eagerly received by Alistair Paterson, Jack Ross and other editors of prestigious literary journals based in New Zealand's big cities, but they were also popular in his adopted homeland of the West Coast. Leicester must be the only poet ever to have had a book part-financed by the Buller District Council. Heteropholis, his bizarre, book-length portrait of late '90s Auckland, has achieved a cult reputation, despite its almost complete unavailability.

Are there any publishers reading this? I can't think of anyone who deserves a posthumous Collected Poems more than Leicester Kyle.


1 Comments:

Blogger Richard Taylor said...
Thanks for this Maps - I put Leicester as one of NZ's major poets - almost as much as Baxter, Curnow, Smithyman et al (although he really wasn't of their "generation" in his writing), and I feel he "transgressed" into areas no other writer went - as you say he moved in many circles.

He sent me manuscripts or copies of virtually everything he wrote -I would be glad to help get a collected of his work - since he came to my Poetry Club in Panmure we became very close friends.

His work needs, ideally, to be seen as whole - Heteropholis was brilliant but his Anzac Liturgies is about NZ - very much - but also about the world... his poems about or based on the writings of Colenso (Koreneho) are awesome also. He also wrote many short poems - he was widely published in magazines around NZ.

He utilised (mostly gentle and nudging) satire but he was also very deeply a man of religious or mystical faith but open to ideas and had much compassion.
6:18 PM








Scott Hamilton:
"Remembering Leicester Kyle - and thinking about Roger Lambert"

[Reading the Maps (5/7/10)]


This week sees the fourth anniversary of the death of Leicester Kyle, the biologist, Anglican vicar, environmental activist, coalfields historian, and late-blooming but prolific poet. In the obituary I wrote back in 2006, I tried to explain the extraordinary effect that Leicester had upon the many literary friends he made in the last decade of his life, after he gave up ministering and began counting syllables.

My tribute to Leicester describes his complex and often tragic life, and lists the attributes of his poetry, but I'm not sure if it communicates the peculiar wisdom that was an essential part of the man, and remains an essential part of the man's poems. Leicester had an unflagging interest in the world - his obsession with detail made walks with him slow-paced affairs, and his poems are relentlessly concrete, even when they consider allegedly abstract philosophical or theological questions - but he seldom allowed himself to become outwardly excited by the places and events he observed so closely. When he commented on the affairs of humans - and he was seldom short of an opinion - he did so in a dry, analytical manner, as if he were discussing the behaviour of beetles or snails (and Leicester knew a great deal about beetles and snails: near the end of his life he even discovered a new sub-species of snail, during one of his forays into the forests of his beloved Buller).

Leicester was not a cold, let alone cruel, man: on the contrary, he was generous and good-humoured. His distinctive way of engaging with the world seemed to me to come not from any sort of self-centredness, but rather from a profound equanimity. He had seen and experienced his share of human suffering, and the existential facts that trouble many of us - the shortness of life and the threat of death, our lack of control over many aspects of our lives, the limited amounts of time we have in which to make difficult choices - did not seem to hold any terror for him. In his last decade, at least, Leicester had a clear-eyed view of life because he did not feel entirely implicated in life.

The authenticity of Leicester's life was shown by the way he dealt with his own final illness and death. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer on the anniversary of the death of his wife Miriel from the same disease, Leicester refused chemotherapy, and calmly put his affairs in order. Auckland friends who travelled to the South Island to say goodbye to Leicester were profoundly impressed by the way he had accepted death, and yet maintained a keen interest in life. Looking through my e mail, I find a message Leicester sent me in the last weeks of his life:

Dear Scott

My heartfelt apologies for my general lack of recent communication. Unfortunately it is not something I can easily rectify,as I am at present so overwhelmed by illness that my personal and business affairs have grown quite out of hand. An immense pile of unanswered correspondence awaits my attention, and I doubt if it will get much; I lack the energy and the self-control to attend to it.

In the meantime, until my health improves (which is not forecast as likely) please accept my thanks for your kind wishes, and, if I cannot keep you informed about myself, please at least give me your own news.

Yours sincerely,
Leicester

Leicester's equanimity had varying effects on his poetry. The poems he wrote about family and friends could sometimes seem patronising, because of the way he categorised and dissected his subjects. At other times, though, Leicester's distance from the conventional ways we think and feel could give his poems a visionary, almost Blakean quality. In Leicester's long poem Heteropholis, which Jack Ross hailed as a work of genius, an angel is turned into a lizard and dumped in a tank in a snazzy inner-city Auckland apartment, from where it composes a series of strange meditations on the mores of its owner and his fellow humans:

My caregiver has no female. From obser-
vation of his ways (behold they
are so various) I have learned
of pleasures denied my reptilian
self

He grows amorous as the barometer falls,
which is often at full moon. His
thighs taughten. Sensing from
my wooden perch I see him fes-
tinate as the day goes until at
dark he rings for a Working Girl

Leicester's religious beliefs remain something of a mystery. Although he had enjoyed a long career as a vicar, first in South Island parishes like Okains Bay and later in the Air Force, he gave little indication that he held conventional Anglican doctrine in high regard. Some of his friends wondered whether he had lost his faith, or whether he had perhaps become a vicar because he believed that religion served a useful social purpose, even if it were not literally true.

Last year I got around to reading John Updike's novel Roger's Version, which tells the story of an ex-priest who has become a professor of theology in Boston. Roger Lambert left the ministry under a cloud of scandal, and has grown steadily less enamoured with the certainties of his church's doctrine. He has become an expert on the Nestorians and other exotic heretical sects, and an enthusiast for the ideas of Karl Barth, the depressed Swiss theologian who described faith as 'a cave in which God hears the echo of his own voice'. Lambert mocks his earnest students, who want to use Aquinas and computers to 'prove' the existence of God, by telling them that God is defined by his indefinability. To describe the divine, then, is to blaspheme. Lambert often fails to obey some of the ten commandments, but he argues, with wonderful irreverent zeal, that sinning is a form of homage to God, because it allows God to prove his sublimity by showing us his forgiveness.

Although Roger Lambert is in some respects a darker character than Leicester Kyle, his mischievious attitude to theology, his distance from petty-minded morality, and his knowledge of both the pleasures and miseries of life all remind me of the author of Heteropholis. When I tried to write a poem for Leicester recently, I found myself combining some of the details of his life with the story of Roger Lambert.* I hope I won't get in trouble by posting the poem here, as a sort of tribute to Leicester's unique contribution to New Zealand literature.

The Vicar

But life is just,
Reverend Lambert. We die.
The road into your parish
intercedes between poplars
as upright and as bare
as the cross of our Lord,
or the cane you walked daily
from the manse to the pub.

You went about this kingdom
laying hands, distinguishing the evil
from the tolerable.
A split infinitive on the back page
of The Press, the empty belly
of a Hornby schoolboy -
these were evil.
The tan lines of widows
were tolerable.

Locals offer different reasons
for the lack of custom in your chapel.
Some say the manner of your leaving
made it tapu; others say the tapu came
after decay, to keep the kids away
from a fire trap.

Either way, I'm told, it's too dangerous
to visit. This totara beam might fall
and smite me as suddenly
as your cane. The weather might enter
through these arches,
blowing Paul and Samson
back to atoms of glass.

You would approve.
Dereliction is the world's duty,
you said, the gift God gives us
instead of grace.
A rat rummages under the pulpit
in homage to you.

*I should emphasise that the poem isn't supposed to be a piece of biography. Unlike Roger Lambert, Leicester Kyle certainly did not leave any of his parishes under a cloud of scandal. He was far too well-mannered ever to be the cause of scandal!


2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
When will LK's Selected/Collected Poems be published?
10:05 AM
Blogger Richard said...
Leicester certainly had a dark sense of humour - that's a good poem BTW. It captures the essence of L.K. I think he hid some of his concerns about death. He kept control. There was a sense that he accepted death...but he would certainly be deeply sad as he had so much to contribute.

It would be worth doing a collected as he was a major NZ poet. In a few years he wrote a large number of poems that were directly published in many magazines and he produced his own books and had two published
independently.

He actually worked on Joanna Paul's manuscript (in the 70s) for her book Imogen - he knew both Paul and the artist Jeffrey Harris. He also knew Trustrum and others.

He knew many artists and writers but he moved amongst all kinds of people. He was not arrogant ... he might sometimes seem that way but mostly he had great sense of humour. He was concerned about ecology and the environment.

I found him a great friend and he was always interested in anything I did - and others he had met when in Auckland.

He was one of the few of us to "charm" Alan Loney and was published in Loney's rather eclectic ABHOTTWW which became Brief. (Which Loney, the then Editor, another tragic Ovidian figure, exiled in Australia, now disowns).

Interesting connection to Lambert. Leicester believed in a Higher Power (of some kind) but his exact beliefs he kept to himself - he didn't push religion on anyone. He read widely.
11:09 PM







Jefrey Paparoa Holman:
"At Millerton (once) - for Leicester Kyle"

[Paparoa's Blog (11/1/11)]


Don’t get too attached to this way station.
It could be a cushion. It might be a cross.

You broke your back to get here and now
you want to stop? You think this is the top?

You think this is home, and friends, and dog
tail going thump thump thump? It’s not. It’s a trap.

Relax. The road is a flood where you, borne
up, are carried off your feet. Relax. Death

for you is sweet: the torrent is taking you way
out over the bar, to no return and who you are.








David Howard:
"Overburden"
(for Leicester Kyle)

[Spin 42 (2002): 30-32.]


1
Contractor Henry Walker Eltin will take over coal extraction at Solid Energy’s Stockton Opencast Mine in Buller from 1st June under an agreement reached by the two companies today. Solid Energy and Henry Walker Eltin have also agreed to actively work together to develop new opencast mines on the Buller Plateau, including the Upper Waimangaroa and Millerton reserves.

A conversation with no one, the wind;
a conversation with no one, the rain.

Macrocarpa rooting the irrigation ditch;
the pug on your Grandfather’s ploughshare.

And his callused hands, and his companion
magpie picking the eyes out of that scarecrow

in the next field. And twelve hours of sunset.
The colour of foreign birdsong in the nor’westerly

playing with dust the way a young girl plays with the priest
who hears her confession. ‘Yes, my child.’

Tenderly, with the chrysanthemum’s pink,
you were born to the vernal world

as your father nailed the sky-light
shut. Innocent, disenchanted,

you pace out the vegetable garden
where a makeshift cross honours the tomcat

and father never ventures. Camomile
fragile as the wall of the cemetery

next door, where there are no doors; thistle
faithful as a dog and dogged

around your ankles, scratching
thin-skinned Paradise: ‘Angelo….’

2
Kaipara Excavators Ltd is currently contracted to strip the overburden above the coal seams while Solid Energy extracts the coal. Kaipara will continue to strip the overburden until the end of November 2001, or earlier by mutual agreement, when this work will be taken over by Henry Walker Eltin.

Naturally the sun

glances like a stone
skipping across the surface of the surface
(now now no)

things being other than they appear.
That darkness in the blackbird’s gullet

oozes with the mud of this track
through noon. In Millerton the wind is
aimless as our Sunday

stroll. Head thrown
back, your eyes mine coal from a remote
pit: black on black.

Embarrassed by the kid inside you with the
skinned knee,
by a moment’s memorial boredom, the light

wraps around your ankles, tripping you; your arm
wraps around her waist

tighter than old man’s beard around a rose (I know).
Hesitant yet eager, an adolescent’s hands

against an old lecher’s irreverence, his prospects
slender as the reeds

bending by Narcissus’ pool. Of course her hips
curl like a snake

evading your stick; her voice (let go)
falls towards the sea. ‘Betrayed’ too strong

you opt for ‘compromised’ when the blackbird
swoops to protect its nest. You have no patience

with anything (I feel nothing bro)
except emergencies.

3
By the end of November, when it takes over stripping of the overburden, Henry Walker Eltin will employ 65 people on the site. Solid Energy will continue to operate the aerial ropeway and directly employ 51 people in the Buller area.

The best wedding present is clearly the electric blanket
– how considerate of Rita and Ted, how knowing –

yet your sweat trickles over the air where
her nipples used to stand.
Come up and see me; make me smile. I’ll
do what you want

you promise the sun, burning the ears of
neighbours
who remember her as a burnished schoolgirl

eager to slip from her uniform, to wriggle
in her slip
for you – or was it the thought of you?
Perhaps

she sang for her self, daydreaming a
luminous beach
where Jeff Buckley, Dennis Wilson and Jim
Farrell splashed her like brothers?

You are her marble-cutter, screwing up
the face she once polished with kisses: This
is not a relationship

it’s a monument. Her laughter echoes
through the square where confetti
falls before ‘the happy couple’ forget their
pursuit

because the horizon retreats like desire, because
‘because’ is all God offers – apart from an
electric blanket.

4
The aerial ropeway, which transports coal from the mine on the Stockton plateau to Solid Energy’s rail terminal on the coast, north of Westport at Ngakawau, is being shortened from 7.7km to 2.2km to improve efficiency. The ropeway was shut down on 1st May for the new system to be commissioned and operational from the beginning of June. From then coal will be trucked from the mine to a new depot near Millerton and loaded into the aerial ropeway’s buckets for transport to Ngakawau.
Voyeur, you are poised with tweezers
like a watchmaker. There is time.

‘Return the daughter to her mother,
the moon to the sun. Come with us.’

Still she sleeps under the date
like a scorpion under a sundial.

Your mother-in-law a tombstone, you
offer flowers: they are sticky

as the blood on her daughter’s groin.
Your smile is smooth as Charon’s oar-hole.

Wasted because the light is off,
your pseudo-distracted look as she

unbuttons to suckle the baby.
If she could see she would see

your face is hard like a dial
holding the sun to ransom at noon.

5
Henry Walker Eltin Chief Executive Officer, Richard Ryan, said: “The company is looking forward to working with Solid Energy and the Stockton workforce and to becoming an active member of the Westport community.”

While singing Bob Marley to the Pakeha
moon she reads
Tarot cards for Ngakawau housewives.
Later she waits

in her Sunday best to be undressed by their
husbands.
Her bastard dances with his father’s shadow

by the spa where, over the long weekend,
an opossum bloats.
As the boy’s Christian name

lapses into disbelief she repeats the names
of others
black and blue across woven envelopes.


[Note: The italicized passages are verbatim excerpts from
http://www.coalnz.com/ab- http://www.coalnz.com/ab-news.htm#news1]








Terry Locke:
"Review: A Safe House For A Man
(Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd. (2000). RRP: $29.50)"

[Hyperpoetics: Best Words in Best Order (c.2000)]

Polygraphia is a small publishing company with an interest in the ancient world, in archaeology and history with a number of publications having Christian content and associations. How such a company came to publish Leicester Kyle's collection of three poem sequences ('A Safe House for a Man', 'Araneidea' and 'Threnos') is a story I'd like to be able to tell but can't.

So I will begin by saying that I really enjoyed reading this book. Since it is unlike anything I have read before, I'd better begin with a few descriptive comments. The poems occupy around 90 large pages with wide margins. (You're invited to fill that space with your own gloss, I imagine.)

There is a preface which tells you that it is only proper that Kyle dedicate his book to the inhabitants of the West Coast town of Millerton where he lives. This book is not quite a Kiwi version of the American Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology but it's the closest comparison I can think of.

There is a photograph of the author that bears comparison with the photograph Whitman attached to the first edition of Leaves of Grass. But unlike, the indolent saunterer of Whitman's poem, the author of this work averts his eyes from the reader. He looks to be a man in his sixties, with grizzled beard, weathered leather hat, black shirt and jerkin and clasping a staff with his right hand as if all set to take to the open road at a moment's notice.




At one level, there is a myth being created here and it is played out in the book's major sequence, 'A Safe House for a Man'. 'In Millerton, where I live,' writes the author in his preface, '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.'

This is the classic middle state idealised location, reinvented in the New Zealand context. There is, of course, a kind of sexual politics being played out here. And bravely, too. (But I don't want to go down that far too well-travelled road.) What interests me more, is the evocation of a kind of dark night of the male soul – the sort of territory Robert Frost explored before he began to live off his fame and realise that he had a ready market for his manuscripts with Jewish collectors.

'What / does a man do when he's done / his work'? the narrator asks in the poem fourth section. We might let that stand as the theme of the sequence. What I find remarkable about Kyle's work is the assured poetic. While the narrator is clearly a quester, the poet writes as if he has arrived.

The sequence is contained by the formal adoption of unrhymed, predominantly three-stressed couplets. What shifts is the linguistic play and syntactical texture of the language. Take the following beginning to section 9 ('The Doctor'):
The doctor will say to me:
'You're an intelligent man,

an independent thinker and
fit for your age, but inevita-

bly you bear in your mind
the fruits of your past...

It's tempting to suggest that there is little to recommend the sheer prosiness of this stuff. But then, you realise, that what's being evoked here is a particular kind of discourse. It is, if you will, the prose that breaks down under the pressure of the quest Kyle's not-altogether-blokey narrator sets out on.

The following extract will serve as contrasting illustration:
In silence in this night alone
I grieve at my strength my

potency my wealth my inno-
cence all useless now invali-

dated cancelled by my history
as if I'm born today; I've

memory; but it's flat upon
the page like a book with

no-one in it living and no
conversations.

Or a more extreme example from the final poem of the sequence ('To Her A Book'):
These things like a change in
the weather can only be seen

from a firm perspective else
the cloud won't precipitate

into voices as good weather
does at home when it's watch-

ed so still and quiet is what
I want to be alert to the

whispers in umbilicals of life
at my feet and elbows and

in the room where it happens
still in the partitioned room.

What's good about this is that what's happening is happening there in the verse, one perception leading to another (sd Olson), old discourses dropping away or being transformed, language reinventing itself, fluid, attentive and ever on the edge of finding a satisfying resting place.

I could say more, but I have a word limit. There is no time to comment on the other two sequences. 'Threnos' ('written while my wife was sickening with a terminal illness') tells its own painful story and deserves to find a readership. A shame about the price of the book.






[James Norcliffe: Villon in Millerton (2007)]

James Norcliffe:
Note to "Villon in Millerton"
(for Leicester Kyle)

[Villon in Millerton (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2007): 1-5 & 69.]


... François Villon was a French troubadour poet of the fifteenth century and something of an outlaw. This poem imagines him in self-imposed exile in the small ex-mining settlement of Millerton, perched on a plateau above the Buller settlement of Granity on the west coast of the South Island. Millerton, now practically deserted by the mining community that gave it its original purpose, is now inhabited by alternate life-stylers and those who for various reasons prefer its natural lonely beauty to the pressures of urban life. One of these was the poet Leicester Kyle, to whom this sequence is dedicated.








Jack Ross:
"In the Ngakawau Gorge"

[The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)]


Plastic arrows broken
off, DOC plaques
erode to
native yellow.

Detour, they said,
back on that
tramline
fuelled by gravity.

Irrupting from fern-
bush: creek, stream,
rill, foam-
berged, peat-

stained. No further
forth – no rain
(as yet). We sat,
said:

What does one do
with this? Cite
Rilke? Prate about
milady’s favours? Fail to


(9/7/98)


[Spin 32 (1998): 37].








Jack Ross:
"For Leicester Kyle (1)"

[The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)]


Here's the full text of an article I published in our lamentably shortlived print journal the pander early in 1999:

Leicester H. Kyle
Prophet without Honour

Are you the kind of reader who goes for the fattest, glossiest, most shameless paperback on the bestseller shelves? Or are you the sort who snoops through ratty old second-hand bookshops looking for the esoteric and elusive: the promise of the unknown masterpiece?

Ezra Pound chanced upon Andreas Divus’ Latin translation of the Odyssey on an bookstall in Paris; D. G. Rossetti found Fitzgerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in a remainder bin in Charing Cross Road. If we wait long enough, eventually someone may pick up a copy of Leicester Kyle’s Heteropholis in the stacks of one of our larger public libraries (defenders of the obscure, God bless them), and be similarly transfixed by this strange work of the modern sensibility. Why wait, though?

Heteropholis is a complex, multi-faceted narrative poem, not predominantly lyric in inspiration – which at once condemns it in the eyes of most readers of contemporary poetry (the only sin more heinous being what Milton calls “the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing”). It concerns a fallen angel, who has descended to earth in the form of a small green native gecko (species: Heteropholis gemmeus). This gecko has been caught by an apartment-dwelling Aucklander, and makes observations on his habits, on the weather (a subject of particular concern to angels, who are used to looking down), and on sundry other matters. Some of the matter is lewd, some liturgical[*]. It is, nevertheless, a profoundly serious and, indeed, partially autobiographical work. No commercial New Zealand publisher will touch it with a barge-pole.

Leicester Kyle, like his lizard protagonist, has been caught. Poetry snared him late, after a long and successful career as an Anglican pastor. He had written short stories before that (notably for the Listener and the London Magazine), but his poems began to appear in New Zealand magazines midway through the nineties, and have now become almost inevitable features of any local publication. Like other late-flowering converts to poetry (Thomas Hardy, say, or Herman Melville), he is prolific, and could undoubtedly present us with a collection or two of lyrics which would take their place with the others so routinely reviewed in these pages.

Instead, he perversely insists on writing erudite, book-length works in an experimental mode (Zukovsky and the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets are acknowledged influences). His shorter poems have tended to be wry, ironic reflections on modern New Zealand life, which explains their ready assimilation into the bland modernism-without-tears of our present literary milieu. The longer works, though, defy ready characterisation. They display a darker, more rebellious gift.

In order, we have Koroneho: Joyful News out of the New Found World (which has been appearing serially in Alan Loney’s journal A Brief Description of the Whole World from issue 6 onwards). A series of descriptions of – misidentified – native orchids compiled by the missionary and botanist William Colenso are here versified and complicated by Leicester into a work combining the scientific and literary vocabularies (a continuing preoccupation in his writing). This is perhaps the most austere and “difficult” of his works to date.

Next comes Options (1996-1997), available only through Leicester’s own Heteropholis Press (now removed from its former location in Mt. Eden to the wilds of Buller). This set of four poems examines, with a wickedly satirical eye, a series of religious and mystical vocations. We have Evagrius, the fourth century ascetic; Jeremy Taylor, the seventeenth-century Anglo-Catholic Jeremiah:

Always look for death.
Every day knock at the gate of the grave.
… Consider the tomb
At your triumph; the skeleton
At the revel; the bones
At the banquet …

(Leicester comments, perhaps tongue in cheek: “It was my intention to make better use of Taylor’s humour, but I found this oddly difficult to do. It is here, but unexpectedly dark”); Fran, a thirteenth-century Franciscan mendicant transported to contemporary Northland; and finally Maria, the celebrated nineteenth-century dancing prophetess of Kaikohe. The disjunction of cultures and epochs might seem extreme, but that’s how its author likes it.

As a whole, Options is a delightful and witty work which deserves a wider audience, and which might have great value as a corrective to the mouthings of the New Age prophets who surround us in these last days of the millennium.

State Houses (1997) is more personal, interweaving tragic family history with the history of the first state houses in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton. Leicester explains that his “dream-like recollection” of childhood “is set against the ideology of which the state houses were part” (hence the Bauhaus epigraph, and the various diagrams and maps), but that “progress is provided by a ritual house-blessing, an alternative ideology, which moves the family group from room to room, part to part, of reality.” This is an intense and moving poem, whose total effect can perhaps be best summarised by repeating the quotation (from Lorine Niedecker’s correspondence with Louis Zukovsky) on the dedication page:

“Yes I know you’re moving – in a circle, backward with boxes –”

The “moving” pun is intentional.

Finally we come to A Voyge to New Zealand: the Log of Joseph Sowry, Translated and Made Better (1997). “Made better” is a description cribbed from Talmudic commentaries, but this is more ludic, a bit of fun. The author has taken a real nineteenth-century journal, and teased it into strange shapes on the page and in the imagination. It reads as an affectionate tribute to the spirit of our pioneers, a fin-de-siècle version of Curnow’s “Landfall in Unknown Seas.”

As I mentioned earlier, Leicester Kyle has moved from Auckland to the West Coast of the South Island, where he can scribble, observe, explore and botanise to his heart’s content. The samples I have seen of recent work (including sections of The Machinery of Pain: a new sequence on pain management, prompted by close personal experience) promise some extraordinary new directions. My own hope is to see, eventually, a single volume, a little like the Black Sparrow Press collection of Jack Spicer’s poetry books, which will showcase his work for a larger public.

Jack will have his heroes, you may say. Regular Pander readers have already observed me constructing “hagiographies” (Danny Butt’s word, Pander 3:6) of Kendrick Smithyman (1: 10-13) and Kathy Acker (5: 26-27). But saluting the unorthodox is a principal reason for this magazine to exist, it seems to me.

There is nothing inaccessible about Leicester’s mad, funny, eccentric verses, seen in their proper context, but perhaps they do sound like a barbaric yawp next to the anaemic pipings of our other bards.

Now pursuing truth
I make new moves
and am more business-like …

I must learn more

I’ll take to interstices

I’ll live in the wall that divides

I’ll watch with my bespectacled unblinking eye

I’ll see all sides

It’s a strange thought, but I’m uneasily aware that in this strange flowering of Leicester Kyle we may be seeing genius.

[Pander 6/7 (1999) 21 & 23].

* For an example of the former, see Pander 3: 19.




2 comments:

Richard Taylor said...
Leicester kyle was/ois a greaetpoetadn great friend of mine - death is inevitable - but I wish Leicester was not dying. I am deeply troubled. He had an enmormous signification in my life. I cannot speak.
Richard Taylor said...
Erratum. Sorry - I meant "a great poet and a great friend of mine".








Jack Ross:
"Review of A Machinery for Pain"

[Spin 33 (1999): 63].


A Machinery for Pain, by Leicester Kyle, Heteropholis Press, Millerton, c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller, $10, 44pp, Jan 1999.

Dear Leicester,

I’ve read A Machinery for Pain through a few times now. The central body of it works very well, I think. A nicely ironised set of prescriptions. Personally I’d feel inclined to do something more complex with the formatting of the various herbal remedies – put them as footnotes or marginal notes, but it’s not really a big problem. The ending is quite lovely: invocation of the Neinei tree “whose sap is the sorrows of God.” Moving and effective.

My real proviso is with the first section, “The Pain.” This seems to me 1/ too long, and 2/ too indirect, to give the utterly desolate impression I take it you’re going for. I think it could be cut down to a page or two without great loss. As it is, it somewhat detracts from (by anticipating) the tone of the central – and most original – section.

I’m sure you’ll totally disagree (in fact, nobody ever does seem to agree with my readings of their poems, but never mind). You can get your revenge on some of my works when I get down there. We can get pissed on Miner’s Dark and try and kill each other, then have a weeping, maudlin reconciliation.

Love, Jack








Jack Ross:
"A Clearer View of the Hinterland:
Leicester at Milllerton"

[The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)]


Absence of rapids on Ngakawau stream.

Big Ditch and Little Ditch Creek – impious hand bisects the ‘D.’

Cobweb of raindrops in dragon sun.

“Down, down, down from the high Sierras ...”

Electrical storms: intensity of affect.

Fund-raising at the Fire Depot.

Grey & white kitten, black robin, and black fantail.

Huffing into an Atlas stove.

“If you can see the hills, it’s going to rain.”

Jack said: “A succession of inner landscapes.”

Kiwis peck through sphagnum moss.

Leicester said: “A community devoted to male play.”

Millerton speaks – A Cannabis Landslide.
Nature tips – gorse is choked by bush.

Other landrovers get one wave.

Proud grey donkey; manure in a sack.

Quarrelling over the Fire Service.

“Rain has a persistency of grades, much noted by the locals.”

Siren: “I’m always free on Wednesday nights.”

Twin side-logs set for smoke-alarms.

Utopia St, Calliope Rd.

Village hall stained with camouflage paint.

White-packaged videos, too frank a stare.

X of three rocks marks one rare tussock.

“You have to say: Great! Awesome! Choice!”

668 – Neighbour of the Beast.

(7-10/7/98)

[Spin 36 (2000): 51].
[This alphabet poem, written during my first stay with Leicester at Millerton, was described by the one reviewer of that particular issue of Spin as "languid and oddly-themed" (Wayne Edwards. Small Press Review 334-5 (November-December 2000): 18). I've always taken that as some sort of backhanded compliment, though it may not have been meant that way at all ...]









Jack Ross:
"Review of A Safe House for a Man"

[Spin 36 (2000): 62].


A Safe House for a Man, by Leicester Kyle, Millerton, c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller, 88pp, January 2000.

The familiar gets
Exceptional when you like it.

It’s difficult to be objective about your friends’ work. Or rather, it’s difficult to say exactly what one thinks about it without either hurting their feelings or being accused of running a mutual admiration society. Leicester Kyle and I are good friends, and I’ve praised his poetry in print in no uncertain terms (most notably, in Pander 6/7 (1999) 21-23).

Having made this preamble, I feel that A Safe House for a Man is his very best work to date. There’s nothing recondite or difficult about the diction of this long semi-narrative piece. The intricate processes of separation, self-analysis, and acknowledgement of loss are sorted through with beauty and precision. Everyday events recur at once casually and hauntingly in the patterning. This is, I feel, a wise poem, which might provide solace – or at least companionship – to many men in similar circumstances. I say “men” because part of the intention of the piece seems to be to providing ideological models for his own sex. This is not really to confine its intended readership, though. We all have certain experiences of loss in common, and how can one achieve empathy without understanding?

The long title poem is accompanied by two others: “The Araneidea” – a rather creepy 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 thematically associated with the title piece, and flesh it out into a book which reminds us what this whole poetic enterprise is about – just how much can be achieved, here and now, by dedication and ingenuity.








Jack Ross:
"Review of Five Anzac Liturgies"

[Spin 39 (2001): 66].


Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies. c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller, 2000.

It’s a strange experience to drive across the Canterbury Plains, and to pass through, or see signposts pointing to, the five interlinked communities (Hawarden, Waikari, Rotherham, Culverden, Waiau) described and mapped (both literally and figuratively) in Leicester Kyle’s set of Anzac Day poems. The plains are dry, and flat, and monotonous – save for such occasional oases as Hamner Springs, or the Easter Island rock formations of the Weka Pass – but Leicester’s careful, loving celebration of the lives of their inhabitants lends them a kind of vicarious life accessible even to the outsider. As an Aucklander, I guess that’s what I’ll always be (or be perceived as), but it’s nice to feel the veil drop for a time, to feel privy to these dignified, though sometimes tormented and introverted lives. This volume contains some of Leicester’s finest poetry to date, particularly in the sections of chorus and response which punctuate each section:

Far from the shining sound:
Of the grey-blue water.

Where the one is so like the other:
Of the many-braided stream.

A longer extract may be found on page 38 of this magazine.








Jack Ross:
"Review of The Great Buller Coal Plateaux"

[Spin 42 (2002): 61].


Leicester Kyle, The Great Buller Coal Plateaux: A Sequence of Poems. Published for MAPPS [The Millerton and Plateaux Protection Society] P.O. Box 367, Westport, 2001.


All gone or going
This landscape from the Eocene
Is being ploughed
For the faulted seamed and fossilled fuel beneath

For it they take a mountain top
Smother poison level flood extinguish
This old part of us

Is it okay to write engaged, propagandistic poems for a sufficiently just cause? If you read through David Howard’s sequence on pp.30-32 of this journal (particularly the prose sections), you’ll got some idea of the horrific fate in store for this beautiful plateau region – “the ascetic province of the pakihi” – just north of Westport. The hysterical and disproportionate local reaction to Sandra Lee’s recent attempts to stop foreign gold miners storing toxic waste behind a massive and unstable dam will give you some clue to the probable outcry against anyone daring to suggest that the area shouldn’t be strip-mined and turned into a wasteland. Nevertheless, it’s Leicester Kyle’s home, and he feels entitled to protest. All power to his elbow, I say. “Once shamed may never be recovered,” as Sir Lancelot says in the Morte d’Arthur. Once you’ve destroyed a place of haunting beauty, you can’t get it back again. Leicester’s verse is passionate but disciplined, and I’m glad to say that the very idea of a wide circulation for this booklet has struck fear into Solid Energy management. Who says that poetry makes nothing happen?

[I’ve reprinted the prologue to Leicester’s book on p.34 below].








Jack Ross:
"Der Berggeist"

[The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)]


‘If there were no small pines in the fields,’ he murmured to himself. Such a fitting reference, I felt; far better than any new poem of mine could have been. I was most impressed.– Diary of Lady Murasaki



[Monday, 3rd January – 10.55 a.m.]

Leicester has found a strange orchid, which he wishes to collect. Time for an orange-break.


Sunlight gleams

the leafy spot
we passed on the track

foaming, tannin-brown stream

miraculously green rock


“The weather’s not doing what it should be – I don’t have it properly trained” – Leicester Kyle in the Fisherman’s Rest, Granity.



Der Berggeist

Tom’s words laid bare the hearts of trees
– J. R. R. Tolkien



Bush-lawyer glow-worms
in the garden butcher’s
shop ground to stone
slabs Dracophyllum
Mountain Neinei Dr
Seuss Trees the yellow
orchid like
Aladdin’s cave a pothole
in the moors with water
flowing by
the Christmas
bush so long
as no-one mentions
anything to do
with Christmas

green like that stone
you picked up last
time from the Gentle
Annie



[Jack Ross, Chantal’s Book (Wellington: HeadworX, 2002) 95-96].


1 comments:

Richard Taylor said...
These are great poems by you and Leicester - Jack. A nice interaction also.And I like Leicester saying "the weather's not doing what it should"!

Must have been great to get down there to Leicester's - I never got around to it - story of my life!








Jack Ross:
"Review of Five Anzac Liturgies"

[brief 27 (2003): 98].


Leicester Kyle, Five Anzac Liturgies. Drawings by Philip Trusttum. Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-877332-08-9. 53 pp. RRP $22.50 [+$2 p&p].

The production of this new book by Leicester Kyle deserves attention, before we get to the poems themselves. It’s A4-sized, with a glossy white stapled cardboard cover, and printed in (I’d guess) ten-point type. The illustrations are of particular interest. They’re photographs of the original Trusttum pieces, incorporating pieces of the wall behind (complete with power-points and skirting boards), often cutting off the head or foot of the panel, and generally not in perfect focus. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this is meant to tell us something.

“El-cheapo,” is one reaction, of course. But, as brief readers, surely we’ve been trained to go deeper than that? The Trusttum drawings are accompanied by small road-maps of each town by Leicester himself, complete with spidery handwriting and carefully ruled lines. There’s something tactile and comfortable about the whole thing, in fact. This is not an art book, though it may be a work of art. It’s not for coffee tables but coffee mornings – to be handed round and read from at the kaffeeklatsch, over buttered scones and Leamingtons.

The subject is, after all, Anzac day – New Zealand’s equivalent to the Mexican Day of the Dead – and Leicester gets his teeth deep into the significance of this iconic event for each of the five small Canterbury plains communities (Hawarden, Waikari, Rotherham, Culverden, Waiau) he memorialises. Each section repeats the same pattern: an initial invocation, more intimate characterisation of one of the inhabitant, a liturgical speech-and-response, a description of their memorial (“The Shrine,” “Lest we Forget” “In Loving Memory Of” …), and finally an address to the townspeople (“To the People of Hawarden say” …)

Does this sound too mechanical? Five parts, each made up of five sections, about five towns? Or is it intended to function like the five taxi-rides in Jim Jarmusch’s Night on Earth? Repetitiveness can be disarming, enabling one to stop concentrating on it and listen instead …

Your small straight roads …
end where the river flows
and the great wind blows
on the forest rows
when the dust-storms fly.

Then all is quiet as eternity.

Such deceptively simple lyrics alternate with more “daring” passages of internal monologue, echoes of the Anglican prayer-book, of Eliot’s Ash Wednesday and Four Quartets, of botanical and geological manuals (“Eschscholzia on the rocks and apple trees”). This makes it a difficult work to characterise overall. I should perhaps close, then, by acknowledging the ambition inherent in Leicester’s scheme. He wants to reach a “non-poetry-reading” audience, in language they’ll understand and appreciate, without compromising his own standards of precise articulation. This work may offer a way forward for others as well.








Jack Ross:
"For Leicester Kyle (2):
A Preliminary Bibliography"

[The Imaginary Museum (26/6/06)]

Longer Poems:
Koroneho: Joyful News out of the New Found World (1996)
[In A Brief Description of the Whole World, 6 (1997) – 9 (1998)]

Options. Mt Eden: Heteropholis Press, November, 1996. [& Maria (July, 1997)]

State Houses. Mt Eden: Heteropholis Press, June, 1997.

A Voyge to New Zealand: the Log of Joseph Sowry, Translated and Made Better . Mt Eden: Heteropholis Press, October, 1997.

Heteropholis. Mt Eden: Heteropholis Press, February 1998.

A Machinery for Pain. Millerton: Heteropholis Press, 1999.

A Safe House for a Man. Millerton: Heteropholis Press, 2000. [republished: Auckland: Polygraphia Ltd., 2000.]

Five Anzac Liturgies. Millerton, Buller, 2000. [republished: Auckland: Polygraphia Press, 2003.]

A Christmas Book. Millerton, Buller, 2000.

The Great Buller Coal Plateaux: A Sequence of Poems. P.O. Box 367, Westport: MAPPS [The Millerton and Plateaux Protection Society], 2001.

King of Bliss. Millerton, Buller, 2002.

Things to Do with Kerosene. Westport: Heteropholis Press, 2002.

A Wedding in Tintown. Millerton, Buller, 2002.

Dun Huang Aesthetic Dance. Millerton, Buller, 2002.

8 Great O’s. Millerton, Buller, 2003.

Panic Poems. Westport: Heteropholis Press, 2003.

Living at a Bad Address. Millerton, 2004.

Anogramma. Westport: Heteropholis Press, 2005.

Breaker: A Progress of the Sea. Illustrated by John Crawford. Millerton, Buller: Heteropholis Press, 2005.


Publications in brief (1995-2006):
[the magazine formerly known as: A Brief Description of the Whole World / ABDOTWW / description / ABdotWW / Ab.ww / brief. &c.]

Koroneho: Joyful News Out Of The New Found World / 6 (1997): 10-19
from Koroneho / 7 (1997): 35-40
from Koroneho / 8 (1997): 62-67
from Koroneho / 9 (1998): 49-54
Comparative Atmospheric Pressure; On Forest Culture / 10 & 11 (1998): 43-47
Marlowe overwritten / 13 (1999): 36-39
On The Principle Of New Zealand Weather / 14 (1999): 57-62
Errata / 15 (2000): 86
Mr. Buller To... / 16 (2000): 84
A Voyge to New Zealand / 18 (2000): 12-21
On The Great Buller Coal Plateau / 19 (2001): 38-40
Sign-off/ 20 (2001): 66-67
Mr Muir and Mr Emerson / 24 (2002): 75-77
from Dancing in the Cave / 25 (2002): 58, 60, 62
On Birchfield Fen / 27 (2003): 55-56
Spawning Galaxis / 29 (2004): 57
Death of a Landscape / 31 (2004): 83-92
Peninsula Days / 32 (2005): 61-64
A Letter from Buller/ 33 (2006): 44-45


Longer Prose:
The Abbot and the Rock [32 pp.] (c.1970s)

I Got Me Flowers: Letters to a Psychiatrist [54 pp.] (c. 1975)

Deosa Bay: A Pastoral [47 pp.] (c.1970s)

The Visitation; An Account of the Last Diocesan Visitation of John Mowbray, Bishop of Calcutta; Largely Compiled form His Journal and His Letters [68 pp.] (c.1970s)


Shorter Poems:
There were at least 475 of these, when I attempted a preliminary census in 1999. Heaven knows how many have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the seven years since ...


1 comments:

tavitacj said...
I appreciate this being posted. Leicester's sister (my wife) burnt all the poems she could find of his in a rage over an imagined slight a couple of years ago when she found out about Anna's death on a T.V. programme. The collection was mine! Hopefully one day I will get to have his collected work again as his was a fine and very individual voice.
Fortunately she has now left me for a long time friend and much wealthier man with no near kin. whatsoever.








Jack Ross:
"for Leicester Hugo Kyle, b.1937"

[The Imaginary Museum (27/6/06)]


Persistence of tussock
maxed-out Mastercard


Well, I’ve had some rather bad news. My friend Leicester Kyle is in extremis, with terminal cancer, at the Bone Marrow Unit of Christchurch Hospital. He’s elected to receive no further treatment for it, and his partner Carol circulated an email on the 18th of June warning his close friends and associates that he wasn’t long for this world.

As I write, a week later, they’re administering the Anglican last rites, or “final anointing.” David Howard – who was able to travel up from Dunedin to see Leicester one last time – just rang to tell me that, and also that he and I have been asked to be literary executors. I wish I could be there too. Writing this instead is, it seems, the best that I can do.


Barns raise rooftops
in reverse


Leicester’s wife Miriel died of cancer, too, a year or so after we first met. It was at a poetry workshop in 1997, actually – rather an auspicious day: the day I met Lee Dowrick and Stu Bagby, also. We’ve been friends and allies ever since.

The first Leicester I knew, then, was the Auckland Leicester – the man who invariably went along to Poetry Live on K Rd and sat there looking avuncular with his long white beard and broad-brimmed leather hat, before standing up to read some wry and witty verses to the assembled hipsters.


The scenic guard-rail’s

whited out


After Miriel’s death I asked him if there was anything I could do for him, anything at all to make things easier. He said that there was one thing, rather a trivial thing – if I were to organise a regular gathering of friends, perhaps weekly or fortnightly, to talk about poetry, that might be a nice distraction.

Accordingly Richard Taylor, Scott Hamilton, Leicester and I began a semi-regular series of meetings in the London Bar, punctuated by visits from the likes of Hamish Dewe, Michael Arnold, Miriam Bellard, Kirsty and Andrew McCully, as well as the boys from evasion ... Those meetings still continue, at Galbraith’s tavern, under the nom-de-plume of the brief organising committee. Leicester got us onto a good thing.


Charming Creek
takes an awkward turn


Then Leicester left. He bought a house, sight unseen, in the tiny village of Millerton, in the hills above Westport, and drove off there in his red Land Rover. It seemed a bit of a leap in the dark. I felt quite worried about him at first. But when I heard he’d acquired a little cat called Cursor (because he kept pace with the lines every time you turned over a new page in a book), I thought he’d be all right. And he was.

I visited Leicester in Millerton three times. The first time, in 1998, I flew down for ten days. The second time was after escaping that vast melancholy mud hole called the Gathering at the turn of the millennium. The third time, a few years later, I drove over in a rental car with David Howard for a week or so.


A naked tap
for Miner’s Dark


The lines I’ve been quoting above are from a poem called “Tips on Stress from Seddonville” which I wrote during my first sojourn in Millerton. We drove over there to buy some coal, after trying rather unsuccessfully to dig some out of one of the exposed coal seams that criss-cross the region (it looked bona-fide enough, but belched out acrid smoke whenever we tried to burn it).

The Tavern is, it appears, quite famous. We had a beer there, and then tried to compose some poems in each other’s manner. After a while the proprietor came over and remarked that there were two types of weather in Seddonville – if you can’t see the hills, it’s raining; if you can see them, it’s about to rain. Then he turned on the rugby. No poetry-scribbling drifters for him!

This is the poem I wrote that day, called “Kylesque.” I’m sure it doesn’t do him justice, though it later appeared in one of Tony Chad’s anthologies under the title “City Face”, so it must have touched some kind of chord:


Told yesterday
I had a ‘city
face’

this morning
I spent
practising
before the glass

insouciant sneers
atrocious leers
insolent stares

till I noticed
the espresso
had gone
cold

(9/7/98)

[As “City Face” – Valley Micropress 1: 11 (1998) 6;
All Together Now! A Celebration of New Zealand Culture by 100 Poets,
ed. Tony Chad (Wellington: Valley Micropress, 2000) 85].

After a while, as Leicester became more and more of an iconic figure on the West Coast (mainly because of his intense involvement in the fight to save the local environment from strip mining), I began to feel that someone should compile an anthology of the various poems and tributes to him which had begun to appear all over the place. Virtually everyone who visited seemed to want to write a poem about Millerton and his strange, old-man-of-the-mountain role in the community.

Tony Chad, David Howard, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Jim Norcliffe are just some of the writers I know who went there and wanted to record something of the extraordinary nature of the place.

So what will I miss most about Leicester? His wry sense of humour, above all, I suppose. In the very last letter he wrote me, just six weeks ago, he offers one parting reflection: “it isn’t really true that the quality of a poem has anything much to do with the beauty of the reader” – a typically sly and offbeat reaction to my own moonings over girls.

Also, his unfailing courtesy. He was a gentleman in the deepest sense of the term. When I heard how ill he was, a couple of months ago, I sent him an advance copy of the Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance anthology that I’d edited for AUP with Jan Kemp. I thought he might like it, hearing again the voices of Curnow, Glover, Tuwhare and the rest reading their iconic poems. Even from a cancer ward he took the trouble to ring up and thank me.

I was out at the time, so he had to leave a message. Is it sentimental of me to have saved it, and to play it back again now? The voice is thin and breathless – a shadow of what he used to sound like – but it’s so recognisably him:

Message recorded Sunday June the 4th, 12.27 pm:

“Hello Jack, this is Leicester. Just ringing to thank you very much for the poetry book. I think it’s a real triumph. The poems are so well chosen, and it’s really good to read New Zealand poetry all keeping such good company. So very thoughtful of you, and I’m reading it with great pleasure. Bye.”

I guess that’s the last time I’ll hear his voice. There are a thousand more stories I could tell. Maybe I will tell some more of them later on, but for the moment I just want to put on record my love and respect for that wise and complex man – priest, poet, conservationist – the Reverend Leicester Kyle.


6 comments:

raewyn said...
thanks for that Jack, good to read about our mutual friend.i will miss him.
Richard Taylor said...
Is there any further news of Leicester?

He was of great signification in my life - a great man and poet - a man I held / hold in great esteem - of considerable dignity but much humour and humanity.

His scientifc interests - his interests in all of us. His great sense of life - his deep faith - his comic sense.

As with Raewyn, I will also miss - deeply miss Leicester - his person and his great poetry.
Jack Ross said...
Leicester is still with us! Carol writes to say that he is now known as the Superman of the Bone Marrow unit, as his three days to live have grown into two weeks ... Clearly he's marching to his own drum once again, as so often before.
Anonymous said...
you mention Yves Harrison; hes still writing? where is he based now?
Jack Ross said...
No idea about what Yves Harrison is up to now, actually. Perhaps Judith McNeil would know -- check out Poetry Live, Tuesdays at the Grand Central in Ponsonby ...
Anonymous said...
Will do. Thanks






[photo by Simon Creasey]

Jack Ross:
"Leicester Kyle 30.10.37-4.7.2006"

[The Imaginary Museum (4/7/06)]


Leicester passed away this morning at 1.28 a.m.

"The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house."
-- Philip Larkin, "Aubade"









Jack Ross:
"We Were Talking"

[The Imaginary Museum (5/7/06)]


David Howard writes in to say that this poem by Leicester appeared in the Press today. I guess that as joint literary executors we can jointly give permission for it to appear here. Please also check out the fine obituaries here and here on the Reading the Maps blog ...


1 comments:

Martin Edmond said...
way to go ... vale, Leicester







"TAVITACJ":
"Leicester Hugo Kyle. 1937 to 2006."

[Life goes by (Wednesday, July 19, 2006).]


I met Leicester soon after I enrolled at Canterbury University College in 1957. I walked across the road to the botanic gardens and asked the curator who I could contact in Ch.Ch. about my interest in N.Z. native orchids. His reply approximated "Go and look in the fernery and you will find an amateur who is one of the most knowledgeable people in N.Z. "

Leicester was one of the new apprentices and we became firm and lasting friends. Years later, after he simply walked out of the gardens and into College House one day (having found God in a big way), I was visiting him in his room when up the stairs floated a vision in a sunfrock carrying a chocolate cake. It was his sister Sonia who I remembered as a very young flat chested teenager with prominent teeth and a flaxen plait. What a transformation aged nineteen! She later became my wife and until she left we spent a reasonably happy forty-three years together.

At the time I met Leicester he had excavated a square hole near the back door of his parent's home. It was roofed and on the shelves was an extensive collection of potted native orcchids growing beautifully.

I see now the good thing about my marriage was the guaranteed connection with her brother and we visited him and his family at most of the vicarages they lived in. After Miriel's death I spent time with Leicester at Millerton on a no. of occasions and like him, relished the diversity of flora and fauna in the region. When I retired we moved to a wonderful cottage and garden on the banks of the Ngakawau river at the start of The Charming Creek Track - one of the very best walks in N.Z. We only stayed two years as the floods were somewhat offputting and not too long after our return to the North Island Leicester rang and told me a snail shell I had picked up on Mt. Augustus years earlier had turned out to be a new species. What a lot of grief that find has given Solid Energy!

Only last February I stayed with Leicester for a week and we tramped the plateau - looking in particular for different forms of Celmisia. These are just some of the unique plants soon to disappear for ever. We also did some track repair work to restore access to one of the mine sites revealed to the public in the new Millerton Heritage Park he was instrumental in getting established. A cottage he bought acted as the Millerton Information Centre. I wonder if that great facility is still operating with its photos, supplied by D.O.C., maps and poems. Visitors could make a hot drink and all that was asked was a donation.

While staying with Leicester on this last occasion I had the pleasure of reading works in progress and hope he finished the family sequence in particular. I enjoyed the series loosely based on his days in the Ch.Ch. Botanic Gardens too and was pleased to be able to replace some of the poetry burnt by Sonia a couple of years ago. How that was meant to hurt Leicester I don't know but it was certainly a blow to me.

One poem in particular I would love to replace was a short one of Miriel's passing.

It is hard to believe that within a few weeks of being there enjoying his and Carol's company while putting his sister's departure behind me his kidneys should fail and that he is now dead.

Such a great loss.

posted by tavitacj at 7:02 PM








Richard Taylor:
"Leicester Kyle
(Friend, poet, and scientist)"

[Eyelight (26/7/06)]


Recently my very dear friend Leicester Kyle a great man and poet died - I was greatly distraught - it still hasn't completely "sunk in" - to utilise that cliche - I feel he is still alive.

(In regard to Leicester and his works etc - see Jack Ross's "The Imaginary Museum" and also my link to that and "Reading the Maps".)

I met Leicester in 1994 when he came to my Poetry Club that I started in Panmure. That was in many ways a very successful Club - I met some interesting people and the publican - Stuart Dodds helped me a lot - he is Maori - and highly educated - he kind of "bridges the worlds" - and like Eddie MacGuire (who was) the compere of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (my favourite TV show) who can talk about pop singers and rugby and then quote whole sections of Shakespeare - Stuart knew Shakespeare and
the Gettysburg address and so on - (he is now a very successful businessman) - together - we organised a competition of the best reader of the famous "To be, or not to be" speech from Hamlet - which was well attended (good first prize) - and was won by Robin Kora - who is also Maori BTW.

But Leicester came later: I think his was a quiet but powerful presence. We met up later at the London bar with David Howard - later joined by Jack Ross and perhaps earlier by Scott Hamilton. He also came to the book shop I worked in, and also where I organised Friday nights readings of various Auckland poets for Ron Riddell - my good friend and fellow poet -who at that time owned the Dead Poets Book Store just off Dominion Rd. Later Ron moved his shops to K' Road and also Henderson. Leicester served in the shop once, and once or twice his wife.

Leicester showed me one of his first major works in progress. It was called "Koreneho" - the Maori name for Colenso - who came ITom England in the 19th Century for the Anglican Church and the Royal (Scientific) Society and translated the Bible into Maori and discovered many new plants and explored much of NZ -Leciester liked the fact that he was out of favour with the Church he was in because of an affair with a local Maori woman and also that sometimes his discoveries were in fact not new plants or that he occasionally misclassified them - this carries on into Leicester's incredible work 'Koreneho' which uses (and twists or torques) Colenso's scientific texts (Leicester was a member of the Scientific society and discovered or studied various plants and a new version or sub species of the Giant NZ snail) and then he - on the following page - then pared down the text - and we are left with a very subtle compilation of latinate words which fonn a very dense matrix of almost pure language (but Colenso's ambiguity is in there energising the language) - but then comes a small poem with a "pronouncement" - in all Leicester's "direct" pronouncements there is a subtle humour - and a seriousness - he could see that we live and stand in language - he was a man who experienced much tragedy in his own life but maintained a great dignity, a mana. He remained upbeat despite tragedies that would have sent me to the crazy house I'm sure ...

Leicester produced many books of poetry. One of his books was dedicated to me.

Here is a section from "Koroneho" (after he has quoted Colenso's scientific report verbatim) ( that work has poetic-scientific intersection) he then transforms it to this -

FIELD NOTES E. alba

Ochraceously imbricated in mamillary
gland decurrent in the petiole sub-5
sided with mucro in the perianth tip
distichous striated entire and
twisted yellow margins sessile 2
fimbriate crenules sub linear to
terminal in compound panicle
and calli in declivity tubercular W. C.

NOTE: A description
of some newly-dis-
­covered indigenous
plants Trans, vol 23,
pp 381- 91 Vol 24 pp.
W. C.

This is tough Louis Zukofsky stuff - around this time I lent him my (my photo-copy of Zukofsky's "80 Flowers") and he was reading that poet (he read "A" at least twice and also "Bottom" a huge work by Zukofsky apparently vital to "getting into"
his later works); and also the letters of Lorine Niedecker to Louis Zukofsky. (Lorine Niedeker's poetic influence was very important). Then we get this transform on the next page of "Koroneho":

Hab. E. alba

under beech
sub-fusc
where honey drops
black sweetness

lichened cliffs
and scree and moss
small grass

in cracks

root forever
set with rock
glossed
for table books
and calendars

when autumn
from the southern ice
is falling over everything

The next page includes the subtitle "Joyful News Out of New Found Land" (even in the title he simultaneously mixes satire and seriousness - one "take" is that Colenso feels (perhaps subconsciously) that he is God naming a new land - even God or Adam naming his new beings in eden (here is perhaps also the sin of pride) - there are many "takes" on this work however.

Obs. E. alba

sobs in the air
cut into my mind
like butter

chrysanthemum
or gentian blue

But white
and I'm made joyful

a friend

for a new-found land

white
for resurrection

gold
at the throat
for glory

perfume
for embalmment

in a land
I've made my own

by name for the nameless
and by claim
on order
in a wild world

I used to phone him regularly when he was in Buller and he would make joke of it - "Oh, is that Auckland calling?" ! And he would of interrupt by putting another log on the fire (where he lived -in the South Island it is pretty damn cold in winter) so -when I called him not too long before he died - he turned to his partner and
said (I overheard him) - he was very weak - "I have this drunken Auckland poet on the line and he wants me to say: 'Put another log on the fire'" He was enjoying the humour of the situation even when he knew was almost certainly dying. (The drunken
part was the old me - I hardly drink lately! But the point was well made and taken!)

Leicester's poetic style was deceptively "laid back" - in fact there was always much more in his poems than a simplistic or casual reading could reveal.

He sent me his long poem "Written from Captivity" - it includes this ending which he told me came to him via a dream - the poem as whole deals with the long and tragic death of his wife Miriiel (who did much writing on the history of the Anglican Church in NZ) and his reactions at that time and to some degree their relationship - but this poem or this last part of the main poem actually deals with death and dying, and is perhaps for all of us ­coming from a dream as some (very few) poems do:

8

Death is a cold wet thing
a slip in the fog
to a sink of sleep

a slip in the fog
a slip a sleep
a slip in the fog
a slip a sleep
a slip

- Richard Taylor








Richard Taylor:
"Brief Submission"

[Eyelight (17/4/10)]


REPETITION IS TRUTH

a textual square

The empty cup.

The silence.

The brightness.

The crunch of implication.

Piece of. The blot. Ignore it.

Leicester Kyle Residential:Calliope Rd,millerton.Ph(03)782860

Postal: c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller.

NEW ZEALAND.

Dear Leicester,

I have finally initiated a reply to your letter. I’m afraid I’ve been procrastinating – not because I didn’t want to reply or anything dramatic, but for a number of reasons. First: some news. Tamasin, as you might recall, is in Melbourne, and on Sunday I fare welled Dionne who was going with her boyfriend to (hopefully) reform The Nudie Suits in which she plays the Hawaiian guitar. Tamasin plays the violin and they all dream of doing well in music. This is good. But it saddens me somewhat. Not, of course, their musical ambitions, but that I am two daughters down: or at least, separated from! I get emails and some letters but it’s not quite the same. But there you are. One never gets used to being alive. I’m 52 and still learning and blundering!

After my initial success on eBay auctioning books etc I ran into the US elections which meant that most of my potential buyers were glued to their radios and TV sets while they replaced a corrupt regime with a slightly more corrupt one!

As to my “poetry career” I’ve never really thought of myself that way. I went through a period (about 1989 to 1995) when I got a great “buzz” from it all especially when I was “the poet” at the Shakespeare. But concomitant

completely neglecting in fact tragic consequences followed on from it (and the “blame” I give to myself as much as my b) in X’s reaction and even some deep hurt in the But drinking almost to my own death intensified the frisson, the sense almost of being godlike, and the adrenalin buzz. In fact I may have (unconsciously) been seeking some form of destruction (either by car, or arrest, or what you will). But it had to be me who was being applauded – nothing less. Me. It would never be enough just to listen to others. I still cant very well. I don’t want to fool myself on this one. I was then totally egocentric. But this arose at that time kind of crisis. My own father had painted but what was left of his total Energized by that and then by my leaving me I went through a deep which nearly lead to

Perhaps the University course I did helped move me into “reality” somewhat and I am thankful for that. When I say totally. I mean I suppose that my primal impulse was that. It would have been better had I had some “project”.

In this I’ve influenced somewhat by Scott Hamilton (in turn influenced by Smithyman). (I’ve just received the latest ABD but more later).

But I have never seen it as “life and death”. Also I would be lying if I didn’t admit

Also I’m well aware that rejection is more the norm re submissions. Witness poor old L’s 30 submissions to SPORT before he was published! His frenetic drive and hunger to be published. Good on him, I see he won a competition. So.

My difficulty is working into something that is meaningful without becoming dull realism or something tediously “poetic”. So thus I will begin on my various projects very soon. In fact writing that last sentence made me feel better about it!

Thanks for your kind words re my published “situation”: I see your “Sowry” thing is in Brief as its now called. I haven’t had time to scrutinize it but as you know I’m very keen on that one if it is like what I saw of it originally. I also like Scott’s stuff, and am glad for him. I went to Jack’s book launch and got his book, which I found, quite unlike his other stuff (as they were short excerpts etc) after his “Brunettes” book, it was very interesting. In fact I offered to review it in ABD (Jack and Geraets have agreed – no collusion there!). But his book “clashed “ with yours. They are so different in tone and import.

On further reading of “Anzac” I wasn’t sure: got a bit cross with it! But now I feel that it is fundamentally “bang on”. Jack strives more for (some degree) of indeterminancy. But what you are doing as I see it so far is to cleverly combine a certain sly humour with a high seriousness and also a use of often quite beautiful poetry “for its own sake”. I think also you quite readily bring in certain personal things so that the lives of others “ordinary” NZrs who turn out to be not always ordinary (and that’s a brilliant device using the “dash” to kind of accelerate the background on the lives of these people.) I like the way you move from the “mundane” (the people arriving and setting things up etc) to the “high” tone but that is off set somewhat by your personal “intrusion”. So overall I still like Anzac. I think Jack was deceived by the repetition which bothered me at first but I see how that reinforces what you have to say about Anzac as a ceremony, the implications of sacrifice, the “genuine” and the near hypocritical elements which are always there, and the sense of “it could be any where in N.Z. – in fact it is N.Z. in a sense. And it’s more than dawn ceremonies to commemorate very real tragedies (and the greater shadow of war – that great grim thing) and so on.

Once I’ve reviewed Jack’s book, which is more “complex” by design (but very good) I’ll have another and deeper read of your book. But up ‘till now I have found all of your books to be excellent. Taken as a body we are looking at some important literature.

To change the subject, I’ve joined

reason to procrastinate on my projects!

I went to a reading at the Temple about a month ago where R, O, and others were to read but I found that the whole feeling of it depressing so I left after about 50 minutes. It included a “grand Slam” but I don’t like competitions of that sort for poetry. Poets need to work at home alone and occasionally read in dignified surroundings: or at least with more time up one’s sleeve. There were some good poets there, but one, (a chap dangerously called X2!), was the previous month rather indifferent last time when I

Overall things are good. When the elections were on I put too many books up for auction and not many sold so had to pay a big bill of about US$90.00. I’ll now go and have some dinner (most of my vegetables come from the garden including potatoes) and talk to the cat and mull over G’s masterpiece (!) and re-read your book etc. But I’ll add things on to this letter: it’ll be interesting if I “discover” more about “Five Anzac Liturgies”. By the way I’m having some fascinating “conversations” with some people on the Poetics group (run by Bernstein but not all of his ilk by any means and I don’t think he would really wish it so either to be fair)

So I’ll knock off for now! You may or may not notice the commercial; break!

Hi! I’m back after a day. I haven’t looked at your Anzac so my finals summation shall have to wait. What Jack is doing at the moment is so very different from your work that I have been “crossing them” in my mind. I’m cooking dinner or chicken is being cooked I added some broccoli from the garden to yesterday’s dinner and I added some Italian parsley and some mushrooms in sauce and some basil. By the way I’m a fanatic when I do these for absolutely correct grammar and spelling etc unless I want to write poetry or add a deliberate “error”. The spell checker helps but I ignore stupid errors.

I want to say though that your “Sowry” thing is brilliant. At first one chuckles a bit derisively at Sowry’s grammar and bad spelling, but then I found it very moving. You’ve created a very powerful thing. The “incorrect” spelling etc makes the text relatively free from influence: it becomes more of an “innocent” text. While there are none: it certainly is like the “raw thing”. The impulse would be to correct it and publish it in the style of the day. But seeing this uncorrected thing we are closer to Sowry himself and his tragedies and tribulations, as well as the text being presented by you as a text. And the notes round the margins introduce that effect which will be or would be puzzling to many who se it (outside ABDW).

I’m pleased that Scott is in (although some paradoxes arise there),

My project is to 1) . 2) more structured I think I could at least experiment with writing more “programmatically”. Some thing roughly on the lines of William’s “Patterson”. Must go and consume my repast. Back soon (The process!)I’m back! I had chicken with mushrooms which I might heat up separately next time. I just listened to some Hayden (his Teresa Mass) but also read some Patterson (I’m up to about page 63). I have to admit that I feel a bit “left out” with you, Scott, Hamish, Jack and Simon all in Brief. It is good to be published. Still John G has agreed to me doing a review of Jack’s book. That will be difficult: but at least I do like it, unlike his “A Town Called Parataxis” which I couldnt’t see the point of. So, as well as doing the review, I’ll prepare this manuscript for the US (there are other potential publishers over there (and some here) and or I’ll continue with my Infinite Poem (which is predicated on an essay by Charles Bernstein. Also I’ll get into my “Panmure” or “Maungarei” project. I have actually always been interested in local

By local of course I’m ultimately talking about the world. The universe in fact. There is also the mystery. the (for me) eternal question mark hanging over our existence which a poet must keep alive: what are we, why are we here etc as in the famous great painting by Gauguin – an artist who has always fascinated me since I read “The Moon and Sixpence” by Somerset Maugham.

So after all that I’ll probably start playing

I went to Tiri Tiri Matanga Island with “J” whose returned from living in London and takes a great interest in nature: evolution, birds, various animals, classification, and various topics relative to science and philosophy. We saw some beautiful bird life there as the place is free of predators: the Saddleback, Kokako,Tui,Fantails,Terns,a Sky Lark and some Takahe as well as the native Robin and the Bellbird (which I may have seen or its a brilliant trip.

Suddenly this isn’t spell checking which is good in one way but I cant see how to activate it. I want control!

Anyway, I hope all is well with you, and I’ll look at “Anzac” again but I feel it does the job. I’ll read it with these disappointments which I feel at the moment...which to be honest I have thought of dropping writing as a bad joke. Maybe I simply lack ...But I shall rouse myself! Read some Nietzsche (can never spell his name).

I have continued the letter. I’m back! It’s strange, but for the first time in a long time I have been feeling a little “down”. There’s a feeling that I wont get the things done that I want to. This month I may have to forgo or shorten Jack’s review, but if I can get someone else to review it I will. I went out book buying and mucking about with Jim the Ant (whose not particularly interested in Literature) and in our visit to Onehunga I picked up “American Poetry Since 1950” (includes Williams, Pound, H.D., Charles Reznikoff, Langston Hughes,

…Ronald Johnson (very intriguing writer), Robert Kelly, Gustaf Sobin, Susan Howe, Clark Coolidge, and Michael Palmer. But most of these people were relatively neglected in their own lives. Eliot Weinberger (the editor) says:

“Of the poets now deceased, more than half died with most of their work unpublished or out of print. Yet, within a few years of their deaths, nearly all of them were recognized as having been among the central poets of their time. Most are now decked with critical apparatus from the academy – book-length studies, biographies, annotated texts, collections of letters, bibliographies – and some of them have become the models of the new generations of establishment poets to imitate. (Meanwhile those laureled in life seem to have vanished from their graves:read the lists of those prize-winners of decades past.) For the poets of the opposition the first condition of immortality is death... [They were] ...outside the outside. All of them are innovators, those who make it like new. Nearly all have devised idiosyncratic forms of prosody or musical composition, and have introduced worlds of historical, mythological, political, scientific, biological and scientific matter into their poems...”

I’m not sure if this cheers me up or not! But reality kicks in: this is the way thing are. Ron makes a big thing about “Dead Poets” (and I think that deep down he is a

As to “making it new” Geraets is sticking his neck out a bit. Especially in view of the above. Sure it’s hard to come up with something fundamentally new and renewing (everything seems to have been tried). But people just do! Not many of course. Your stuff is unique a) in the sense that each person is naturally unique b) you avoid imitating too much (which is not always bad – I mean “imitating” or being “derivative (Duncan announced that he was derivative, and deliberately so) c) the concept and act of doing the Sowry and presenting it in this manner. a) and c) merge somewhat. Also I think, and this applies to many writers, the totality of what you (one) does builds to a kind of philosophy and or is a reflection of that person’s outlook or philosophy. It looks as though Geraets is wanting writing that “questions” beyond itself so to speak.

Loney referenced perhaps too much to himself and the problem of “Postmodernism” (which I think was good in a way except that there wasn’t a sufficiently vigorous response to his monologue. Whose “fault”?). or perhaps not too much.....On the other side of the coin, its amazing how vitipurative certain critics and writers become of what Brief etc are doing.

So I’m feeling rather more sanguine. Even if my garden is clogged with weeds and even if I just picked two corn cobbs only to find that they were useless after I had stripped them. Even if I feel I have so much to read. And so on. A minor crisis at this point. It will be solved by action. By me getting on with my projects (which makes me wonder if I should abandon the book “game” and see if I could survive financially. In fact it might be more time-efficient to work part-time somewhere and devote majority of other time to writing and reading. Books

After all, like you, I do feel that I am a writer even if I I fell like a writer: so I’m a writer? Yes/ No? Well, what do I really want? spend the rest of my life not doing what I most feel is most productive and intersting ( joyable and fu illing as against “work” per se or “grind” (although grind is ok if it is part of that fulfilment). There is some (possibly moral perative) (which is at least inked back to being part of the human “socious” to use Bernstein ase); of the creative act and its consum

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind, the “spirit”, the heart and body, and the universe. Art (I use this term in the usive sense) seems to me to be linked somehow to our higher purpose (even more so than the accummulation of endless scientific “facts”). In this I don’t deny the importance science (utilized responsibly). e.g. the Maori way living “through the land “ has not been understood enough. ourselves have (to repeat an old chestnut) have become alienated: that our notion of “progress” needs a close watch. whatever it is, or whether it’s possible, I feel that writers and artists or Artists to use a more inclusive vital. Just as for the Maori certain ceremonies a way, Anzac is. In a wider way we may never be able to divorce so called destructive things from the orderly or “good” things. So I like the idea of graffitti, or the idea that

Art is not confined galleries: literature to pournals or even any media form. concept of life itself as art and so on...

Well, its raining now: after there being days of dry weather (altho cloudy) so that the soil was becoming quite dessicated. So this morning I watered the garden! But it will probably clear soon and we’ll get hot weather so the extra water wont hurt.

Will definitely send you another report after I re-read “Anzac” but provisionally I give it the thumbs up.Thanks for everything so far Leicester. My next move shall be to work on my manuscript then my (ridiculously titled) Infinite Poem. The M.S. will at least clarify things for me.

My warmest regards, Richard.

PS. I’m still writing this letter! Just report that I feel more positive now re the poetry scene etc It seems I’ve been fooled by the old demons of ego (in the wrong place). It’s a trap this business. I’ve been looking through “Brief” and the work there overall doesn’t look greatly more what I am doing .Nor is it any . I’m resolved to push on with

is a fatal one. Asking to be published here and there and relying or is futile. One must have a determination to life.

that may include doing eative iting only “you” the writer can say when to stop. I refuse to iticise: the is to do, to act, to

One beautiful, passionate woman, is worth all the literature and Nobel Prizes and fame. I went for a walk around the waterfront (near Mission Bay) today. I oyed that. And I had time to water the garden later as it was light almost until nine. so all I have to do is to print your

Hope all is well with you in Buller and your cat and your strange neighbours! Keep a safe house open. So I have to write about

Also the sense of how marvelous everything is overall! By love too, I mean my children. And I remember I used to read and reread “Texts and etexts” by Aldous Huxley. There

the lonely, the seriously old and ick (or young and very ill) than love...your “Anzac” thinks about (so called) ordinary people”. It has at least compassion. But irony. Y’s work e.g. seems to me to lack lyric intensity and

“…we are setting out to create new worlds, new beings, new modes of consciousness.”

Off? …the apple red and it –

“… a little vague, because images always cohere. By nature, there’s a sort of magnetism. You have an image over here, it’s going to attach itself to similar images. It’s simply a matter of the way words work. There’s usually a sort of magnetism.”

…with a furrowed visage, which as yet could hardly be termed…

…heterogeneous garb…

…deformity…with so percussive a force…

a textual square reading “black Block”, in which he aligns himself with the supremacist project as an artist depicting

“…a model of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt.”

There are also thrice five rolls about changing forms.

…except by acquiescing…

foreboded….

……. a textual square………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Pivots on…has the spirit any place in the world?

[In the pub by 3.pm.]

Pick.. Bright. Ignorant blot.

Begins to generate the new – new linkages.

….. where are we, if not in the foot of death’s scream?!!

reanimate ethical

irrespective

tentatively postulated

cold moving coldness / cacophony of quivers (circles) or sparks in dark

and oxymoronic vision of flowing ice in sparkle / transilluminates dark supple silence

when the chuncks again as he edged until crevasses plunged / the viol stroke not so bad as Winter plays in bone leaves and bone speech and the spectre of sand / vast ones without cause except the creeping of old force the steps are heard and who and the cause of cold coagulant / until there is a new kind of death sprung out of coal and basalt of every sparkle shivering / and something there / the cruel creaking cold in the masses of the thinking things

[makes notes at this point on why you are doing this…]

he moves as one moves in the queer effect of a backward electric crab whose grin pierces the vast collection of glints or dints as if you had been an other…

cracked one… over and over…

Night orgasmed: it wasn’t lightless, its neon and its street lights gave out an artificial and polluted light.

All the noises grew along with the silence.

About two blocks straight on she came to a dark object. She saw that it was a tower.

Would that the gods grant me now to be my book!

§ Are there additional sources of quark flavour violation beyond those already predicted within the Standard Model?

surprised that someone else knew about them—

then I miss the other strands of this complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems of ‘Abd al-Rahman, exiled to North

Africa from his home in Spain. It is not only a matter of

fortuitous connections. Books are transformed by the

sequence in which they are read. Don Quixote read after

Kim and Don Quixote read after Huckleberry Finn are two

different books, both coloured by the reader’s experience

of journeys, friendship and adventures. Each of these

kaleidoscope volumes never cease to change; each new

reading lends it yet another twist, a different pattern.

Perhaps every library is ultimately inconceivable,

because, like the mind, it reflects upon itself, multiplying

geometrically with each new reflection. And yet, from a

library of solid books we expect a rigour that we forgive

in the library of the mind.

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind

the cruel creaking cold in the masses of the thinking things

Nature loves to hide.

Nothing touches, but, clutching, devours.

None grow rich in the sea.

Bleached of identity.

The empty cup. The log.

Why did I see anything?

FRIENDLY BUYING ATMOSPHERE

The crunch of FRIENDLY implication.

Why did I make my eyes guilty?

Leicester Kyle Residential:Calliope Rd,millerton.Ph(03)782860

Postal: c/o Postal Agency, Ngakawau, Buller.

NEW ZEALAND.

Dear Leicester,

I have finally initiated a reply to your letter. I’m afraid I’ve been procrastinating – not because I didn’t want to reply or anything dramatic, but for a number of reasons. First: some news. Tamasin, as you might recall, is in Melbourne, and on Sunday I fare welled Dionne who was going with her boyfriend to (hopefully) reform The Nudie Suits in which she plays the Hawaiian guitar. Tamasin plays the violin and they all dream of doing well in music. This is good. But it saddens me somewhat. Not, of course, their musical ambitions, but that I am two daughters down: or at least, separated from! I get emails and some letters but it’s not quite the same. But there you are. One never gets used to being alive. I’m 52 and still learning and blundering!

After my initial success on eBay auctioning books etc I ran into the US elections which meant that most of my potential buyers were glued to their radios and TV sets while they replaced a corrupt regime with a slightly more corrupt one!

As to my “poetry career” I’ve never really thought of myself that way. I went through a period (about 1989 to 1995) when I got a great “buzz” from it all especially when I was “the poet” at the Shakespeare. But concomitant with that was the imbibing of a lot of the sacred ichor and

Late and overfull is the vengeance of that early book, and distant is the penalty for the time of sin…

There are also thrice five books of changing forms.

It is so safe not to love.

…so strange, so inward twisted, that he grew into his own strangeness…

His staff was of every colour, impossible to distinguish, and too bright to gaze upon. But his voice was clear as crystal…

….Tuhituhia ki to ngakau no te mea e kore koe e mahue I a au a maku e whakaaka…

‘Inscribe this in your heart, for I will not forsake you, and I will teach you.’

Many had been maddened by their perceived troubles into a gay despair.

It is coming out of nothing, straight at you, and echoing into the past.

silhouette, of submarine

The deeps are cold:

In that darkness camaraderie does not hold:

Names were much more than labels, they were sacred.

An infant was not considered a human until it was named. The assignment of a name to a newborn baby was therefore an urgent matter. An infant was not regarded as a unique individual, but as the fresh embodiment of a dead person’s soul. All that was required to complete the reincarnation process was to assign to the baby a deceased person’s name.

We argued, unremittingly, about, what was for me the ambiguous state of being. But my son sees only that he KNOWS he has a soul. That after death he will become some other being. Thus a kind of eternal life. But he doesn’t like religion as such. I say he only thinks he knows, but there is no way I can get him to consider that that he doesn’t know, or that humans are only kind of higher animal and so on. The argument is futile. Each has to respect the other’s belief. Otherwise each person cannot live together with another with whom one has close ties. Such is the ideal state, or the idea of it. At the extreme, such a view could be that the other person was evil, and had to be destroyed. From my direction I have to see that others have right to their views, strange as I may find them…………….

Or move, stunned by their own grandeur.

Is an intensely uncomfortable writer…driven…like a street preacher…

His aesthetic primitivism embodies his wounded search for a primordial wholeness.

i am what i am who are you and how is your house i am in the middle of the middle of the beginning of a beginning and i am a …what am i and am i and what might i who was might i become i am and am I in the beginning was i who are you and who is that man i am sad and i is also i is …

surprised that—

then I miss the other strands of this complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems of ‘Abd al-Rahman, exiled to North

Africa from his home in Spain. It is not only a matter of

fortuitous connections. Books are transformed by the

sequence in which they are read. Don Quixote read after

Kim and Don Quixote read after Huckleberry Finn are two

different books, both coloured by the

kaleidoscope volumes never cease to change; each new

reading lends it yet another .

because, like the mind, it reflects upon itself, multiplying

geometrically in wildernesses of screaming mirrors with each new reflection.

And yet, from a library of solid books we expect a rigour that we forgive

in the library of the mind.

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind

that produce acoustic substance

throughout his listening space

“Trapped with Lamia in the Palace of Tongues…”

…changing forms…[my] changing forms…

WHILE A FIST OF COLD SQUEEZES THE FIRE AT THE CORE OF THE WORLD…

Identification with the momentous aesthetic primitivism instant.

All the noises grew along with the silence.

About two blocks straight on she came to a dark object. She saw that it was a tower.

They migrate, it’s not just my reading, or my understanding of my reading (limited as that is) –for after all, I forget much of it – but the words migrate…albeit with my assistance…is there any thing in this other than I like doing it? Shift and migrate, slip and slide, decay etc…

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………… what am i …in the middle …what am … in the beginning …i am………you…

a risky and radically subjective form of writing

‘…I only know that I have composed many, and that everything in me is song…’

…he loved the symbols, the shape of them, the shapes…

engage with [the] livingness

The crunch of implication

On further reading of “Anzac” I wasn’t sure: got a bit cross with it! But now I feel that it is fundamentally “bang on”. Jack strives more for (some degree) of indeterminacy. But what you are doing as I see it so far is to cleverly combine a certain sly humour with a high seriousness and also a use of often quite beautiful poetry “for its own sake”. I think also you quite readily bring in certain personal things so that the lives of others “ordinary” NZrs who turn out to be not always ordinary (and that’s a brilliant device using the “dash” to kind of accelerate the background on the lives of these people.) I like the way you move from the “mundane” (the people arriving and setting things up etc) to the “high” tone but that is off set somewhat by your personal “intrusion”. So overall I still like Anzac

The other…

… re-enters the water by melting…

It is as if Hughes had been endlessly re-drafting the same poem.

The problem was or is, why was I writing? Or, if I have theme or theory, what underlying theoretic do I have? What am I saying? What is the big or little idea? Is it sufficient simply to write? Surely I need to be adding to Art or Humanity or The World, or indeed The Word? Surely I must be saying something? I cant see myself except in inexplicable glimpses…I wrote too much too quickly. Words alone were not enough. Surely I –

……whispering, clicking, exploding, and clotting the poem…

body hunched slightly forward.

As he twisted.

‘Quite a different sort of art form, which attained a high level of development, was story telling. Eskimo tales were based on a rich body of folklore and historical traditions supplemented by the actual experiences and observations of the narrators themselves. Thye were expressed in a language which, despite its regional variations, was as rich as any other in concepts dealing with natural phenomena, sentiments, ideas, and the experiences of daily life. Eskimo languages are even more amenable than most to expressing subtle shades of meaning. This ability derives from what is sometimes referred to as their ‘synthetic’ structure… Since there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of…the number of variations arising … from the possible…is very large, if not incalculable.’

…bleached…

…as if these things, these words, were sculptural physicals of forms, as if their validity of veracity was the very ink or mark or shape of them; their marked and tenuous existence sighted or heard, as in ‘Briggflatts’ , by Basil Bunting, where each chink or chop of a cold chisel cutting a name or word on headstone is “timed to a lark’s twitter; and there arises a seeming solidity which becomes also a “real”, almost edible, consumable, thing; or a generator of ‘music’, or kind of magic, or meaning, whose meaning, howver deeply or complexly described, we can never comprehend, or consume, or eat, or penetrate…

The otter…

…re-enters the water by melting…

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind

BEGINNING IS MY IN MY END

Stories were thought to be true, no matter how fantastic they might appear to be to an outsider.

FRIENDLY BUYING ATMOSPHERE

So Philosophical Investigations entered English philosophy as something both baffling and exhilarating, on account of its.

This is the time of long nights and short days.

surprised that someone else knew about them—

then I miss the other strands of this complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems of each new

reading lends it yet another twist, a different pattern.

Perhaps every library is ultimately inconceivable,

because, like the mind, it reflects upon itself, multiplying

geometrically with each new reflection. And yet, from a

library of solid books we expect a rigour that we forgive

in the library of the mind.

you suck, you ignorant fuck!

THERE HAD BEEN SO MANY SYSTEMS AND THEY HAD ALL SO MANIFESTLY FAILED

…the inception…only one of the thousands against the huge sun of the ovum…

IN MY IN MY IS MY

So ‘Philosophical Investigations’ entered English philosophy as something both baffling and exhilarating, on account of its…

“Where everything is fugitive and found, and luminous…”

to create

“… BOTH BAFFLING

AND

EXHILERATING …”

Who are you who so fill my heart with your absence?

Who fill the entire world with your absence?

….were though to be true….

…..outsider………………………

suddenly they, they…

‘It’s horrible when faces change so much and you cant recognize them.”

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind

“Trapped with Lamia in the Palace of Tongues…”

"I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the colored sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire — angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans."

jeffamarie (1 month ago) Show Hide

to you... see the problem is, you're looking for entertainment in this music. not all music is for partying and getting drunk to.

Tecpriester (4 months ago) Show Hide

Einfach wunderschön :)

mars7272 (4 months ago) Show Hide

Majestic;Glorious;Divine. So many adjectives to describe Bach.

Thorgal20 (4 months ago) Show Hide

powerful, pathetic, dark, magnificant. This gentleman was the origins of metal. also Wagner, Beethoven, 5/5 that's for sure

surprised that someone else knew about them—

then I miss the other strands of this complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems ultimately inconceivable,

because reflects upon itself multiplying

geometrically each new and yet from a

library of solid we expect rigour we forgive

in the library of minds

pligana (5 months ago) Show Hide

Amazing! Bach is unique!!!! 5*****!!!!

negativecreep420 (5 months ago) Show Hide

you suck, there would be NO modern music without this you ignorant fuck

urchin34 (4 weeks ago) Show Hide

actualy if this was never made im pretty sure people would still make music by now. but i do LOVE bach!! his harpsichord pieces are amazing!!!

There is no one who hears when someone cries in the darkness. But why dos that cry exist?

……..something something something something something something something something something something something something ……..

IN MY IN MY IS MY BEGINNING’S END

………. The Question …. revere The Question…

T I M E

-------------We are all guilty of murder. Not that we all commit it, but tat we are collectively guilty. We are linked, and there is no escaping our isolated togetherness – our guilt is both comprised of omission and commission. Silently or by our voices or our acts we commit. Our partness is our apartness, and being “ hurt … into poetry” cannot absolve us.

And yet there seems such saints of innocence in a child; …. how does this horror arise?

Physicists hope that the LHC will help answer the most fundamental questions in physics, questions concerning the basic laws governing the interactions and forces among the elementary objects, the deep structure of space and time, especially regarding the intersection of quantum mechanics and general relativity,

It would never be enough just to listen to others. I still cant very well. I don’t want to fool myself on this one. I was then totally egocentric. But this arose at that time following my father’s (and father in law’s) deaths and a kind of crisis. My own father had painted some paintings, but what was left of his total life? Energized by that and then by my wife’s leaving me I went through a deep personal

creativity is a kind of sexual intercourse of the mind

where current theories and knowledge are unclear or break down altogether. These issues include, at least:[10]

complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems ultimately inconceivable,

because reflects upon itself multiplying

§ Is the Higgs mechanism for generating elementary particle masses via electroweak symmetry breaking indeed realised in nature?[11] It is anticipated that the collider will either demonstrate or rule out the existence of the elusive Higgs boson(s), completing the Standard Model.[12][13][14]

§ Is supersymmetry, an extension of the Standard Model and Poincaré symmetry, realised in nature, implying that all known particles have supersymmetric partners?[15][16][17] These may clear up the mystery of dark matter.

§ Are there extra dimensions,[18] as predicted by various models inspired by string theory, and can we detect them?

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"I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the colored sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire — angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans."

Other questions are:

§ Are electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force just different manifestations of a single unified force, as predicted by various Grand Unification Theories?

§ Why is gravity so many orders of magnitude weaker than the other three fundamental forces? See also Hierarchy problem.

§ Are there additional sources of quark flavour violation beyond those already predicted within the Standard Model?

§ Why are there apparent violations of the symmetry between matter and antimatter? See also CP violation.

§ What was the nature of the quark-gluon plasma in the early universe? This will be investigated by ion collisions in ALICE.

The problem was or is, why was I writing? Or, if I have theme or theory, what underlying theoretic do I have? What am I saying? What is the big or little idea? Is it sufficient simply to write? Surely I need to be adding to Art or Humanity or The World, or indeed The Word? Surely I must be saying something? I cant see myself except in inexplicable glimpses…I wrote too much too quickly. Words alone were not enough. Surely I –

REPETITION IS TRUTH

The beautiful mystery and madness of science! As if it could all be worked out! The poetry of numbers! The wonderful folly! HA! HA! HO!!

negativecreep420 (5 months ago) Show Hide

you suck, there would be NO modern music without this you ignorant fuck

Wolfgang Laib finds spirituality in the simplicity of everyday, organic substances—milk, pollen, beeswax, rice—that provide sustenance or engender life. In 1975 he created his first Milkstone in what has become an ongoing series of elemental sculptures. A rectangular block of polished white marble containing a slight depression on its upper surface, the piece is filled with a thin layer of milk to foster the illusion of a solid form. Though an inert object, this sculpture requires ritualistic participation. Laib performs the first act of pouring the milk when the piece is displayed, but after this initial gesture, the collector or museum staff must clean and refill the stone each day it is on view.

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Loney referenced perhaps too much to himself and the problem of “Postmodernism” (which I think was good in a way except that there wasn’t a sufficiently vigorous response to his monologue. Whose “fault”?). or perhaps not too much.....On the other side of the coin, its amazing how vitipurative certain critics and writers become of what Brief etc are doing.

a textual square

The empty cup.

The silence.

The brightness.

you suck, you ignorant fuck!

Ritual plays a central role in all of Laib's highly reductive art. He lives in a remote region of Germany's Black Forest, communing with the natural world outside his house as a painter would work in his or her studio. During the spring and summer months he collects pollen, including dandelion, hazelnut, pine, buttercup, and moss varieties, from the fields surrounding his home. He displays this laboriously gathered material in simple glass jars or sifts it through sheets of muslin directly onto the floor to create large, square fields of spectacular color. He also molds the brilliantly pigmented dust into cones, as in The Five Mountains Not to Climb On. Though intimate in scale and intensely fragile, this hazelnut pollen sculpture alludes to the monumentality suggested by its title. The notion that there is infinitude in the infinitesimal is beautifully manifest in Laib's spare but highly aesthetic practice.

Wolfgang Laib lives and works in Germany.

IN MY IN MY IN MY IN MY IS MY BEGINNING’S END

The problem was or is, why was I writing? Or, if I have theme or theory, what underlying theoretic do I have? What am I saying? What is the big or little idea? Is it sufficient simply to write? Surely I need to be adding to Art or Humanity or The World, or indeed The Word? Surely I must be saying something? I cant see myself except in inexplicable glimpses… Words alone were not enough. Surely I –

REPETITION IS TRUTH

negativecreep420 (5 months ago) Show Hide

you suck, there would be NO modern music without this you ignorant fuck

complicated web, and

wonder how, like a spider, I was able to string the seem-

ingly immeasurable distance, for example, from Ovid’s

Tristia to the poems ultimately inconceivable,

because reflects upon itself multiplying

Have I talked to you of the Blackness lately?

inexplicable glimpses… inexplicable glimpses… inexplicable glimpses… inexplicable gl

Loney referenced perhaps too much to himself and the problem of “Postmodernism” (which I think was good in a way except that there wasn’t a sufficiently vigorous response to his monologue. Whose “fault”?). or perhaps not too much.....On the other side of the coin, its amazing how vitipurative certain critics and writers become of what Brief etc are doing.

Terror is the purest emotion.

the inception…only one of thousands against the huge sun of the ovum…

a textual square

The empty cup.

The silence.

The brightness.





© texts: the authors
© compilation: Leicester Kyle Literary Estate



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