Monday, June 30, 2008


I am afraid I will have to rant now. I was taught to respect another’s wishes, until they began to mutter words like “faith”, and “no more”, then we were supposed to find a minister, or “minister”, I have always been hazy on matters as intimate as religion. Anyway, it’s too late now. I am Anglican and so barking mad by default. Either you are all too talented, too feckless, or too prudent to submit to me. Your choice, invisible one. This blog becomes either a bible or a history.

But you should know I tread this earth very lightly. I am a tall, fleshless thing, and my stamping up and down will not coax one boat further to the shore. Yours or any other. I may have given the impression that such is what I am looking for in poetry. For that I apologise. For being agnostic in most things that matter to our time, I do not. I am a poet. They shoot better than me for nothing.

Mark Dapin had an interesting little rant at the opening of his piece on the young writer Chloe Hooper in The Sydney Morning Herald (Good Weekend 28/29th June 2008). It is a rant couched by a wide shot of an elfin Chloe Hooper all little-girl-lost in her "small converted factory in North Fitzroy". It begins (and I only quote at all because its cry to the buried past lends it gravitas)

"Covens of Australians are jealous of Melbourne author Chloe Hooper. They hiss and they bitch and they spit and they mew (you can tell he's English, can't you), and by night they drink pinoit gris and howl at the moon. They think Hooper (meaning Chloe, first names in this country please, Max, the war is over- I think?) has had it all too easy. On the publishing-party canapes circuit, rumours spread like exotic turrine on very small crackers."

Well bugger me!

I mean the canapes and those nasty turin poor poor Mark defers to Pepys red-faced Albion and island of shoddy paperwork. From whence he fled and brung the bad taste here, ta very very.

He should be working for me, don't you think?

For we are still just a tiny island, miraculously white, and shorn of all sheep now, Mark. And yet, there's a story of incarceration, of a kid boxed in, of a child out of step with her time. And some bald prick with his arms crossed looking frightened as hell pretending he knows everything.

I'm sorry, I seem to be drifting between small, bloated men now. I was referring, just then, to Andrew Wylie, the old Testament god guy of all Antipodeans with a mss and an rss and no sense of good old bss.

And the ridiculous leap

No-one in the writing fraternity who cares about what they do ever wished Chloe Hooper anything other than "good luck". She made you young again, pilgrim. Didn't she? Unfold your arms, stop looking east. It is a dangerous occupation.

When there is a lack there is a tendency to fall about. That is history. All great cultures are prone to it. As are all great drunks.

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