Papyri

Poems, Imitations & Translations

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[Coptic Papyri]

Contents:



  1. Papyri: Love-poems & fragments
    from Sappho & elsewhere
    (2007)





  2. Ovid in Otherworld (2006)





  3. The Puppet Oresteia (2008)





  4. The Britney Suite (2003)





  5. 31 Days (2009)





  6. Case Studies (2001)





  7. Flying Blind (2009)





  8. Theme & Variations (2010)





  9. Celanie: Poems & Drawings after Paul Celan (2010-12)





  10. Melbourne Notebook (2011-12)




[Bruegel the Elder: The Tower of Babel (1525)]

Thursday

Melbourne Notebook (2011-12)



The Tapa Notebooks are a special project of the nzepc: a collection of manuscript notebooks housed in Special Collections at the University of Auckland Library.

I was given one of these notebooks in mid-2011, and was asked to use it to record my impressions of Poetry & the Contemporary Symposium (Melbourne: Deakin University, 7-10 July) later in the year.

I started writing in it the day I left Auckland, Wednesday 6th July, and kept on recording poetry-related events and materials in it up till the end of February 2012, just as the new semester was starting.

The notebook was handed back on 28th March 2012, at the beginning of the Short Takes on Long Poems symposium in Old Government House, Auckland. Jill Jones gave hers back at the same time, and a number of new ones were given out (to John Tranter and others).


[Michele Leggott, Robert Sullivan, Lisa Samuels, Jill Jones & Jack Ross]



[Cover]


[Half-title]


[Title page (first state]

[Title page (second state]

[2011]:

[1]
Wednesday, 6 July - Auckland Airport (1):
Waiting

Departure Card

despite
the
smart
passport
the
card
is
still
printed
out
by
hand



[2]
Wednesday, 6 July - Auckland Airport (2):
Paul Klee's Pedagogical Sketchbook:

TO STAND DESPITE ALL POSSIBILITIES TO FALL!



[3]
Wednesday, 6 July - Auckland Airport (3):
Departure Lounge

Unicef Donation envelope

The idea is to put in your spare change
- & some people (to their credit) did -
It as wrapped around the earpiece
for the inflight entertainment



[4]
Wednesday, 6 July - Melbourne Arts Hotel:
Waiting

Brooklyn Arts Hotel

I dunno if I'm that glad I found it ...
So far it resembles some of the hotels I stayed in
in India more than a 'pensione' -
&, have you ever noticed, when you've been left
to cool your heels for half an hour
(& it really is cold here)
that it's always somehow your
fault - & if you make any kind of
issue of it, you really end up
the villain ...



[5]
Thursday, 7 July - Melbourne Bookshopping:
List of book purchases to date



[6]
Thursday, 7 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (1):
Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne (opening session)

Poetry and the Contemporary Symposium

our
first
lunatic
- 'aliens
are
all
around
us
I
am
in
touch
with
universal
energies'
-



[7]
Thursday, 7 July - The Bella Union Bar
Pam Brown's performance / Dinner with Lisa Samuels



[8]
Friday, 8 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (2):
"The Poetics of Unimprovement"



[9]
Friday, 8 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (3):
Michele Leggott's Periphery, Carlton Gardens

Actions

Work, America!
Act old.
the as
theof
eaters of
paper nothing
woman ancient
often dead
construction Mediterranean
places or
and site
actions


work
America
the
as
eaters
of
woman
ancient
construction
Mediterranean
and
actions
site
or
places
dead
often
Nothing
paper
of
the
old
act


[10]
Saturday, 9 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (4):
Lisa Samuels on "Six Types of Experiment in New New Zealand Poetry"

Lisa's paper

was
almost
obscenely
interesting
to
me,
at
any
rate -
whether
it
works
for
everybody
else
I
don't
know



[11]
Saturday, 9 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (5):
John Tranter: "No-one wants an incontinent hostage"

Homophony

"Tarah, Dish!"
"On anew!"
Zeal and poor - it reedy
Find veg ...
"Ern!"
Ill, in't?
- Till his "fie!"
Nil dub.
"Ill, ish yew?"
Tunnel, even in Ock ...
"Toe-burr!"
None teen nigh.
Ten ate.



[12]
Saturday, 9 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (6):
Jen Crawford on the Singaporean poetics of "teeming"

Paul Celan

revealing moments of absolute truth
the eradication of the subjective
evacuating lamentation rather than
inhabiting it
violence at a personal and social level
an often desperate conversation with his accuser
the reader is led to the abyss that swallowed
PAUL CELAN (after Matt Hall)
doubly or triply resonant
the implicit power of sending one to their death
the story of Biblical creation
caught in the anguish of his own non-restoration
the real and absent cause of death
subjectivity arises from the fidelity of the situation
a naming of the void of history.



[13]
Saturday, 9 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (7):
Victorian Trades Hall mural / List of purchases

Readings

déjà vu

THE
BACH
ELOR
MACHINE

'A
lot
of
Borges,
huh?'
as
the
guy
said
at
the
counter
when
I
brought
up
my
spoils
He
also
told
me
about
the
Hill
of
Content
bookshop
in
Bourke
St.
...



[14]
Sunday, 10 July - "Poetry and the Contemporary" Symposium (8):
After-party at Heide


THERE'S A THIN
LINE BETWEEN
CLEVER & STUPID

[after Aleks Danko, "It's Such a Thin Line Between Clever and Stupid" (2008-9) Sandblasted mirror / edition 10/10]



[15]
Monday, 11 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (1):
Monash University, Caulfield East (opening session)



[16]
Monday, 11 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (2):
Memories of last night at the pub with Ruby Brunton, Jen Crawford, Maggie Hall & Martin Edmond



[17]
Monday, 11 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (3):
Royall Tyler: The Tale of the Heike

Art & Design

clouds are the messengers
of eternity
we see
the consequences
of reading Bashō
& talking to
the dis-
tinguished trans-
lator of Sei Shōnagon
in my lateness
for the student
talking to herself
(if no-one else)
in Rm H. 2.22


[18]
Monday, 11 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (4):
Emil und die Detektive

Two Confessions of Howard Fast

incest
violence
or unwanted pregnancy
are removed
from the text

circumstances
have prevented
her from being here
today but she'll
be happy

to answer
any questions
that are relayed
to her
via email

the first phase
involved the intensification
of a closer
relationship
with Chinese

The war mindset
shifted to
World Literature's
'Hu Feng
event'

contradicting
Mao Tse-Tung's
rectification movement
spearheaded
by Soviet

authors
such as
peasant's loyalty
to the
régime

let a thousand
flowers blossom
let a hundred
schools of thought
contend

Howard Fast
enjoyed
unequalled success
all 18 of his novels
every genre

such a
comprehensive
coverage
was unprecedented
till his apostasy



[19]
Tuesday, 12 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (5):
Kafka / Aleksandr Blok

In the Tram

caught the
number 3
tram from
Swanston St.
all the
way through
St. Kilda
& the
suburbs out
to here ...

Woman: What did you see?
Little Girl: A Little dog.
Woman: Where was he?
Little Girl: In the water.
Woman: And what happened?
Little Girl: A big helicopter came down
for him.

Woman: And did they rescue him?
Little Girl: Yes.
Woman: And what happened then?
Little Girl: He gave them a big kiss!
Woman: And was he happy to be safe?
Little Girl: Yes.
Woman: And was his owner happy?
Little Girl: Yes.


Aleksandr Blok: Двенадцать / The 12 ...

Black: Night
White: Snow
Wind, wind ...
Whoopsie, over you go -
Wind, wind
Scouring the world

Windgusts scatter
flakes of snow
Underfoot
black sheets of ice ...
Watch out!
Ow! Poor you ...



[20]
Tuesday, 12 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (6):
Aleksandr Blok: Dvyenadsat' / Paul Celan: "Die Zwölf"



[21]
Tuesday, 12 July - "Literature and Translation" Conference (7):
Dryden's Preface to Ovid: three methods of translation



[22]
Wednesday, 13 July - Day of Departure (1):
Tram Network / Preliminary skirmishes at the Arts Hotel



[23]
Wednesday, 13 July - Day of Departure (2):
Directions / Arrival at the Departure Lounge



[24]
Wednesday, 13 July - Day of Departure (3):
Damrosch on the canon / Conclusions about the trip



[25]
Thursday, 14 July - North Shore Hospital (1):
Waiting to see Bronwyn

Never give up (1)



[26]


Never give up (2)

when you
get home after an undisclosed
absence abroad (say seven days)
to find your life in
chaos wife in hospital note
in red ink left on
the coffee table explanations given
gratis by your father who
can’t hear the doorbell nor
is he aware of any
of the names of any
of the main protagonists it’s
a rainy night and nothing
for it but to drive
to the hospital (wherever that
might be) and fight for
parking in the truncated parking
zone – crowded out by their
new building – make your way
to the curtained alcove hone
in on the source of
disturbance see her hear her
voice breathe deeply understand the
cat’s hysterical reaction but transcend
it hug her tell her
about the presents you’ve brought
back for her leave her
behind eventually having been seen
(not moved) by the doctors
then go home
to sleep

(14/7-1/8/11)



[27]
Friday, 15 July - North Shore Hospital (2):
Third day of Bronwyn in hospital: waiting on tests



[28]
Thursday, 21 July - Mercy Radiology:
Derren Brown: The Events / Waiting on Bronwyn's ultrasound



[29]
Friday, 22 July - Burger King, Takapuna:
Stu Bagby's Poetry Day reading at the Public Library

Poetry Day

(Otara) South Side
HATO
Petera
Collage
14/7/11
4.59 pm
Shity
day
DTPB

Rachael
has been
here to take
mye shit!
4 you

BEES
ICLIT

Fuck Im Horny!
I'm holding out for
my gf who lives
in the naks
→ he's f ing
ya best mate

yo Biartch ! !
Ha Ha Ha
I can sp
I can
spell !
I can spell !

Fuck it when I die wanna
go to hell I m a piece of
shit it aint hard to fucking
Tell

Devo
Bitches

Jamie is Gay



[30]
Tuesday, 2 August - North Shore Hospital (3):
Bronwyn back in hospital again / Friday Poetry reading in Titirangi



[31]
Friday, 29 July - Titirangi:
Late Poetry Day Reading

Dark Night
Reading in Titirangi (1)

after "La noche oscura"
by San Juan de la Cruz (c. 1578)


Canciones del alma que se goza de haber llegado al alto estado de la perfección, que es la unión con Dios, por el camino de la negación espiritual.

The song of some souls who felt pretty chuffed to have reached that high state of perfection which consists of being asked (& paid!) to read out your own poetry in public, then have it reprinted in a special limited-edition chapbook ...


En una noche oscura,
con ansias en amores inflamada,
(¡oh dichosa ventura!)
salí sin ser notada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

In the late afternoon
anxious about rush-hour traffic
(not to mention the parking!)
we drove off to Devonport
to pick up Michele Leggott

A oscuras y segura,
por la secreta escala disfrazada,
(¡oh dichosa ventura!)
a oscuras y en celada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

Fortunately she was ready
already & even agreed
to leave Olive behind
since there was so little room
in the car for a guide-dog

En la noche dichosa,
en secreto, que nadie me veía,
ni yo miraba cosa,
sin otra luz ni guía
sino la que en el corazón ardía.

On the motorway
no-one noticed
as I chose the wrong turn-off
& had to go round again
to find the right exit



[32]

Dark Night (2)


Aquésta me guïaba
más cierta que la luz del mediodía,
adonde me esperaba
quien yo bien me sabía,
en parte donde nadie parecía.

Bronwyn was determined
to check out the exhibitions
in the Lopdell House Gallery
I’d set my sights
on Murray Gray’s bookshop

¡Oh noche que me guiaste!,
¡oh noche amable más que el alborada!,
¡oh noche que juntaste
amado con amada,
amada en el amado transformada!

O Café that welcomed us!
O waiter who made such a song & dance
over pouring out wine!
O elegant curly fries
& soft, buttery loaves!

En mi pecho florido,
que entero para él solo se guardaba,
allí quedó dormido,
y yo le regalaba,
y el ventalle de cedros aire daba.

When we finally roused ourselves
to tool off to the venue
in the ramshackle old lift
we found half the punters
flushed & loud on mulled wine

El aire de la almena,
cuando yo sus cabellos esparcía,
con su mano serena
en mi cuello hería,
y todos mis sentidos suspendía.

The musicians on stage
were strumming & bashing
their drums & guitars
so we settled in
for a bit of a siege



[33]

Dark Night (3)


Quedéme y olvidéme,
el rostro recliné sobre el amado,
cesó todo, y dejéme,
dejando mi cuidado
entre las azucenas olvidado.

I found after a while
I was starting to enjoy it
even after the crowd heckled
my attempts
to speak French

En una noche oscura,
con ansias en amores inflamada,
(¡oh dichosa ventura!)
salí sin ser notada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

In the late evening
avoiding the rush
from the Lopdell House carpark
we drove back from Titirangi
to drop off Michele

A oscuras y segura,
por la secreta escala disfrazada,
(¡oh dichosa ventura!)
a oscuras y en celada,
estando ya mi casa sosegada.

We got back to the flat
more dead than alive
to find the cat yawning
(unaware we’d been gone!)
so we turned off the lights

& crawled straight into bed


(1/8/11)



[34]
Tuesday, 16 August - Mairangi Bay:

I can't even tell

what colours
these are
in the dark

everyone knows
that he’s a
patriot

you guys
go too far
sometimes

anything
can happen
any time

she’s fine
she’s
fine

let it go
can’t you see
you’re on safe

ground?


(16-17/8/11-22/1/12)




[35]
Friday, 26 August- Objectspace, Ponsonby:
Opening of Bronwyn's Lugosi's Children exhibition



[36]
Wednesday, 24 August- Massey Albany:
Notes on the Oracle



[37]
Wednesday, 21 September - Massey Albany:
Creative Writing class exercise: Ut pictura Poesis

Forest and demarcation zone (1)



[38]
Thursday, 6 October - Massey Albany:
Creative Writing class exercise: Ut pictura Poesis

Forest and demarcation zone (2)
in the border area of Saariselkä (Finland)

(after Doris Frohnapfel)

pine-trees on a hill
shadowing further lines

of trees
snow on the ground

the branches
fence

open plan
big enough squares

to let out mice
small birds

but not let in
the larger predators

saplings grow
despite the weather

some have fallen down


(21/9-6/10/11)




[39]
Thursday, 22 September - Massey Albany:
Creative Writing class exercise: Ut pictura Poesis

Family Portrait

17 people

6 in the front row
7 in the second row
4 in the back row

7 ties1 bowtie
corsages in 3 pockets
suitsbest frocks

staring out at the camera
with thick-rimmed glasses
beehive hairdos

prosperous
not comfortable
chairs grate on concrete

at the edge of the lawn


(22/9-11/10/11)



[40]
Wednesday, 7 September - Massey Albany:
Creative Writing Class exercise:

Haiku (1 & 2)

Shambling

across the road
looking at nothing
except your phone


CARIB 4WD

As enjoyable as communing with
Nature is the comfort of cruising
through the tree-line boulevard



[41]
Saturday, 24 September - Objectspace, Ponsonby:
Jenny Lawn and me in conversation at Lugosi's Children

Oracle Box Answers

Clear your mind.
Don't try to steer the void.

If your heart is in what you do
energy will be given.

Tigers cannot be tamed.
The jungle is their home.

To be still in the midst of stillness
To act in the midst of change.

Step further back.
Don't ask 'could' but 'should'.

The fabric of the night
Shadows all who stand under it.

The ant burrows in the side of the hill
A pebble is a mountain to him.

In the Black Forest you wait
for a word in the heart ...


(26/8-30/9/11)



[42]
Monday, 31 October - Mairangi Bay:
Poem for Ka Mate Ka Ora translation issue

Marie de France:
Laüstic (I)



[43]
Laüstic (II)



[44]
Laüstic (III)



[45]
Laüstic (IV)



[46]
Laüstic (V)



[47]
Laüstic (VI)



[48]
Laüstic (VII)



[49]
Laüstic (VIII)



[50]
Wednesday, 12 October / Thursday, 20 October - Massey Albany:
Creative Writing Class exercise:

Haiku (3)

Peach blossom

on the windscreen
as we set off
to work

Pity what you can't change

How can one defuse
such personalities?

The girl with a grating voice
in your morning language class

The Machiavel manager
whose own thwarted career

as writer & researcher
has choked & foundered here

Deception is one way
Listen to what they say

with feigned sincerity
Perhaps you’ll start to see

admire what you despise
open – or shut? – your eyes


(20/10/11)




[51]
Friday, 23 December - Auckland Airport:
Flying to Wellington



[52]
Saturday, 24 December - Paekakariki:
Christmas Eve celebrations


[2012]:

[53]
Friday, 30 December - Wellington Airport:
Boarding Card

The Nightingale (1)



[54]
The Nightingale (2)



[55]
The Nightingale (3)



[56]
The Nightingale (4)



[57]
The Nightingale (5)



[58]
The Nightingale (6)
(31/10/11-14/1/12)



[59]
Monday, 9 January - Mairangi Bay:
Sent to Karl Chitham for his Dunedin MOTH exhibition

Choruses from
The Society of Inner Light

(6-9/1/12)



[60]
from Maui in the Underworld:

Opening Chorus (1)



[61]
Opening Chorus (2)



[62]
Final Chorus



[63]
from Kupe & the Fountain of Youth:

Opening Chorus (1)



[64]
Opening Chorus (2)



[65]
Final Chorus (1)



[66]
Final Chorus (2)



[67]
from Hatupatu & the Nile-monster:

Opening Chorus (1)



[68]
Opening Chorus (2)



[69]
Final Chorus (1)



[70]
Final Chorus (2)



[71]

Jay & the Mail-Order Bride

Jay didn’t know what he was
getting into
really

Fantasies of freshly laundered sheets
and folded linen
foundered on

the fact that she could
hardly speak his language
so he couldn’t

tell her how to use the
washer
ended up

waiting on her
instead
Once he slapped her

on the butt
while they were standing
at a bus-stop

Friendly-like
not roughly
what a fuss that caused!

He had to face it
However angry
and determined

you may be
sheer incomprehension
is a weapon

hard to overcome


(25-26/1/12)


[72]

Jay as Line-Manager

I trust you have not dis-
seminated your views

on the committee’s decision
to anyone other than

the present addressee
freedom of speech

– of course –
is a central value

of the workplace
it is not an open

invitation
to opine ...


(2/11/11-3/2/12)


[73]

Jay & the Great Storm

Snow like a wall of salt
dissolving

A wind as physical
as any tackle

Cold like a hammer
clawing at your ear

Cling to those children
in the haystack

dead though
they may be

The need to survive
outweighs

humility


(2-3/2/12)


[74]
Thursday, 16 February - Auckland Airport:
Leaving for Palmerston North




[75]
Thursday, 16 February - Palmerston North
SEMS [School of English & Media Studies] Staff Summit



[76]


Jay Addresses the Troops

Treat your professional life
like your love life
know when it’s time
to stop

Cherish the fruits
of your labours
like baby photos
look on them fondly

but don’t read them
I’m taking a guilty pleasure now
in watching you reinvent
yourselves

in interesting ways


(16-26/2/12)




[77]
Friday, 17 February - Palmerston North:
Staff Summit (second day):


WORKLOADS:
SO MUCH TO DO
SO FEW $$$

– in the staff toilets





[78]

INDEX

Dates & Locations:

pp.
1-4: Auckland to Melbourne (6/7/11)
5-14: Poetry & the Contemporary Symposium (7-10/7/11)
15-21: Literature & Translation Conference (11-12/7/11)
22-24: Melbourne to Auckland (13/7/11)
25-27: North Shore Hospital (14-15/7/11)
28: Mercy Radiology (21/7/11)
29: Poetry Day, Takapuna (22/7/11)
30: North Shore Hospital (2/8/11)
31-33: Titirangi Poetry Reading (29/7/11)
34: Mairangi Bay (16/8/11)
35-36: Lugosi's Children exhibition (24-26/8/11)
37-40: Massey Creative Writing exercises (7/9-22/9/11)
41: Lugosi's Children Oracle Verses (24/9/11)
42-49: Ka Mate Ka Ora translation drafts (31/10/11-23/12/11)
50: Massey Albany (12-20/10/11)
51-52: Christmas at Paekakariki (23-30/12/11)
53-58: Ka Mate Ka Ora translation (14/1/12)
59-70: MOTH exhibition drafts (6-9/1/12)
71-73: Auckland & Palmerston North (1-2/12)
74-77: SEMS Summit (16-17/2/12)

Poems & Fragments:

pp.
1: Departure Card [6/7/11]
3: Unicef Donation envelope [6/7/11]
4: Brooklyn Arts Hotel [6/7/11]
6: Poetry and the Contemporary (7/7/11)
9: Actions [8/7/11]
10: Lisa's Paper [9/7/11]
11: Homophony [9/7/11]
12: Paul Celan [9/7/11]
13: Readings [9/7/11]
14: There's a thin ... [10/7/11]
17: Art & Design [11/7/11]
18: Two Confessions of Howard Fast [11/7/11]
19: In the Tram [12/7/11]
19-20: Aleksandr Blok: Двенадцать [12/7/11]
25-26: Never give up [14/7/11]
29: Poetry Day [22/7/11]
31-33: Dark Night Reading in Titirangi [1/8/11]
34: I can't even tell [16-17/8/11-22/1/12]
37-38: Forest and demarcation zone [21/9-6/10/11]
39-39a: Family Portrait [22/9-11/10/11]
40: Haiku (1 & 2): Shambling / CARIB 4WD [7/9/11]
41: Oracle Box Answers [26/8-30/9/11]
42-49: Marie de France: Laüstic (1-8) [31/10-23/12/11]
50: Haiku (3): Peach blossom [12/10/11]
50: Pity what you can't change [20/10/11]
53-58: The Nightingale (1-6) [14/1/12]
59: Choruses from The Society of Inner Light: [6-9/1/12]
60-61: from Maui in the Underworld -
Opening Chorus
(1-2)
62: Final Chorus
63-64: from Kupe & the Fountain of Youth -
Opening Chorus
(1-2)
65-66: Final Chorus (1-2)
67-68: from Hatupatu & the Nile-monster -
Opening Chorus
(1-2)
69-70: Final Chorus (1-2)
71: Jay & the Mail-Order Bride [25/1-3/2/12]
72: Jay as Line-Manager [2/11/11-3/2/12]
73: Jay & the Great Storm [2-3/2/12]
76: Jay Addresses the Troops (16-26/2/12)
77: Haiku (4): WORKLOADS (17/2/12)

= 38 poems & fragments









© Jack Ross (2012)