and why it sticks to me. last year’s overcoat, that feels so comfortable and safe. the past and why it won’t go, but wraps it’s tentacles around me in a cold embrace. all that’s lost yet still remains. a lilac shirt i wore on a hill in june four years ago. a railway ticket found in the corner of a pocket. a sound that sounds familiar - how these things bind me. how time passes, how it stays.
I have just seen the film Lifeboat, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and billed as written by me. While in many ways the film is excellent there are one or two complaints I would like to make. While it is certainly true that I wrote a script for Lifeboat, it is not true that in that script as in the film there were any slurs against organized labor nor was there a stock comedy Negro. On the contrary there was an intelligent and thoughtful seaman who knew realistically what he was about. And instead of the usual colored travesty of the half comic and half pathetic Negro there was a Negro of dignity, purpose and personality. Since this film occurs over my name, it is painful to me that these strange, sly obliquities should be ascribed to me.
i’d never seen this before. basil bunting is now acknowledged as a major 20th C. poet. a friend of ezra pound and other modernists in the ’20s he retired after the war to northumberland only to be re-discovered by a generation of new poets influenced by the beat poets such as allen ginsberg, gregory corso and the rest. key among these geordie poets was tom pickard. i became friendly with pickard during my yoof as a geordie counter-culture wannabee. pickard had been politically active on the left and the CND scene in newcastle in the early ‘sixties. he had been apparently intimate with my elder sister, or so he claimed, but that was after we shared several joints. i think he might have been trying to provoke. whatever. pickard was instrumental in bunting’s resurrection and recognition as a key british poet of the 20th century.
the title suggests to me that the tom of the title and tom pickard are one and the same.
What The Chairman Told Tom
Poetry? It’s a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.
It’s not work. You dont sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.
Art, that’s opera; or repertory -
The Desert Song.
Nancy was in the chorus.
But to ask for twelve pounds a week -
married, aren’t you? -
you’ve got a nerve.
How could I look a bus conductor
in the face
if I paid you twelve pounds?
Who says it’s poetry, anyhow?
My ten year old
can do it and rhyme.
I get three thousand and expenses,
a car, vouchers,
but I’m an accountant.
They do what I tell them,
What do you do?
Nasty little words, nasty long words,
I want to wash when I meet a poet.
They’re Reds, addicts,
What you write is rot.
Mr Hines says so, and he’s a shcoolteacher,
he ought to know.
Go and find work.
the bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems by conceptualist artist/photographer martha rosler from the whitney museum collection
i’ve never longed for spring so much as this year