Posts Tagged ‘Stead’

Today is Montana Poetry Day. I’ve been thinking for a while what I’d pick to post here on this occasion. Had to be a NZ poem for a start and apt somehow. I wanted to post Dryads by Martin Edmond but maybe a little too x-rated :-).

So I reached for “Under Flagstaff” an anthology of Dunedin poetry and found this, which sums up where I am at (maybe)

Dunedin by CK Stead
(Remembering James K. Baxter, 1966)

Evening where Taieri moved
between dark McCahon hills

fog threatened. You were back
in your aquarium town

wearing your flesh and blood
as if it belonged to you.

Would I get out? Would
it close on Momona?

In the womb we were all
fish. Once was enough.

Any bad-coloured sky
I’d have risked climbing

scaled any barnacled chain –
yet there you went, at home,

submariner for God
telling the squid and the skate

‘Open your gills, my brothers.
Enjoy the life of the deep.”

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When I am blogging I don’t often think of ‘the audience’ and  so it surprises me when I get comments like this expanding on the Mangamahu Possum story or this invitation!

Just goes to show again what a small arts and lit (and blogging) world there is in New Zealand. It makes me sheepish for a while, put some proposed posts on hold and basically get a little paranoid.

However I have to update you on the “Days of Our Lives My Bookshelves”. My books are even more mixed up now after our move, (so much so that they DO need to be sorted out), but I noticed that somehow Edmond and Stead remain side-by-side. It is therefore fortuitous that The Bone People has washed up on the other side of Karl as I feel it may keep things more seemly.

More proof that its a small world is that I noticed the Festival of Writers in Hastings (March 2009) lists both CK Stead and Martin Edmond in their event A Night of Pleasure in Association with Te Mata Estate … An interesting prospect.

Of more interest to me would be the audience with Martin Edmond, Peter Wells and Roger McDonald on “The Importance of Place” a topic I find myself returning to frequently in regard to New Zealand ‘Arts and Letters’. Of course as the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival appears to be off the agenda (unless this blog suddenly becomes self-funding), Hawkes Bay is an even more remote possibility.

And finally, I felt this post needed a picture and this made me laugh. It has nothing to do with a recent review I read in Landfall.


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I noticed*

I have given up hope of my books ever being shelved in order again and interesting permutations continue to arise. Yesterday I noticed that “All Visitor’s Ashore” was sitting right beside “Lauris Edmond: An Autobiography“.

 * I give up on numbering

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It really has been an odd few weeks (months?) and to have sudden realisation and clarity can be a bit of a shock to the system. Wake up call even…

Today I have been on the receiving end of “a bad review”. I have been doing a writing course to fill in some time and the marker on my latest efforts has bought me back to earth with a bit of a crash. Not a bad crash, but a great lesson on reviewing and being reviewed and thankfully not cutting in a CK Stead kind of way. However I shall in future try not to be so flippant in my opinions here now that I partially understand the effect!

Also another sharp reminder of how small NZ is generally and hence the art world village here came today when in my internet art searches I came across a ‘new’ artist doing interesting stuff and then found they had a very personal (if once removed) connection to me. It was quite startling and because of the connection I can’t quite bring myself to “showcase” the work here. Life is so complex! It reminds me of a hospital administrator who once said “it would all run so much smoother if there were no patients”.

Enough of my day of personal revelations. How about “we need more happy art” as a discussion topic? Don’t you find a lot of art is very serious, stark and angst ridden? Full of deep half-hidden meanings and symbolism and dark thoughts and concepts? Then when something with a bit of humour arises, it’s dismissed as flippant or lightweight? So what about this then (from an artist)

Art that makes you HAPPY. Not just art with deep meaning. If it brings you joy when you walk in the door, brings you a smile when you’re down, I’ve made something so much more meaningful. I’ve given you something to bring you life! We can’t be serious all the time. We cannot bear the weight of the world on our shoulders 24/7.”

Lastly this art (design/fashion statement) should NOT make me happy – but it does…

Who Killed Bambi?”

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