I have been reading:
John Haynes’ Letter to Patience. I can’t remember an English poet writing better about
Autistic were they, Tarzan, Peter Pan,
Mowgli, those hunters through our videos
and comics strips – Tammylan, Caliban,
Green Man, who come back and come back like those
ghost abikus, ‘half savage and half child’
in Kipling’s words that might just be Rousseau’s?
Emile, I thought of, sitting in the Wild
Zone fenced off in Lara’s primary school.
In Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan teaches himself to read but not speak English from the children’s books his dead father has left in their cabin. He calls the printed letters ‘bugs’, as Haynes tells us in a note. An abiku is a Yoruba evil spirit. Haynes writes in long, loping verse paragraphs that are hard to excerpt. You’ll just have to read the whole thing.
John Riley was born in
in almost total deprivation we are all
learned survivors, the soft fruit calls, soft rain
a crystal, carried internally, a facet gleams as if
by chance, at the bark of a tree, glows in the atmosphere
when memory is of the future
then we may speak of fear and sharpening
and of love too more than of the fallen fruit
of the form that is calling and to that lovely form
Steve Burt’s recent LRB piece on Creeley has also been sending me back to Black Mountain Bob. Could some unsuspected Norn Irish roots be showing in the final ‘so we are’ of ‘A Birthday’?
spaces occur, a ground is
disclosed as dirt. The
mountains come of it,
the sky precedes, and where
there had been only
land now sticks and stones
are evident. So we are
here, so we are.
I’ve also been reading plenty of Tim Robinson on Connemara, Claire Keegan’s short stories, and George Oppen’s prose, but what is this, the wire service? That’s enough quotations and updates for now.
Picture found here. Ah,