Beneath the domestic surface

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

“Mementos that Bird has kept for years hold the past inside them, making it tangible and permanent: clippings of Mickey’s hair, peels of the first orange they shared, a bloody tissue. They stir nostalgia but reopen its wounds, like scabs asking to be tugged back so they can bleed.” (from Sarah Gerard’s NYT review of “Bird” by Noy Holland)

On page 59: a lovely sentence that seems like a found senryū …

A swell of things:
gathered, unsortable,
gone. 

“It is here, in Holland’s subtly radiant ­details … that “Bird” shines brightest, since they so aptly mirror what’s happening beneath the domestic surface.” (another snippet from Sarah Gerard’s review)

This novel sings like
poetry; I’m obliged to 

read between the lines.

(19 May 2016)

“The writing is hallucinatory, musical and intimate.” (Sarah Gerard)


Holland, Noy. 2015. Bird. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press.

On Lambton Quay

two violins by Danny Andreini

two violins by Danny Andreini

On Lambton Quay, Bach
for two violins; small boy
stands captivated.

(16 May 2016)


On an autumn afternoon, unexpectedly, a vivacious counterpoint crosses Lambton Quay and stirs up in me both joy and nostalgia.

Thin red line

thin red line (23 December 2015)

thin red line (23 December 2015)

“You like buildings, do you?” A mature female voice is addressing me.

I am in Victoria Street, and about to click the shutter on this image, an uncommonly handsome view of the Central Police Station – a strong contender, I reckon, for the title of Wellington’s ugliest building.

Standing at my right shoulder, the speaker is clad in a striking mauve jumpsuit. Jauntily perched on her head is a smart little summer hat. She is not someone I know.

I smile as she wishes me the compliments of the season.

“I like anything that catches my eye,” I tell her. “So be careful.”

The clock ticks three times as she registers what has been said. And then both her thumbs go up. “Nice one!” she declares.

 

 

A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings

Source: A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings

What would Barthes think of his Hermès scarf? – The New Yorker

“It is fair to say that there exists in our era a tragic discrepancy between the staggering richness of the visible world and the extreme poverty of our capacity to perceive it.”

word pond

” . . . world blindness, a disease described superbly by Robert Harrison in his book “Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition”: “It is fair to say that there exists in our era a tragic discrepancy between the staggering richness of the visible world and the extreme poverty of our capacity to perceive it.” The cure, Barthes knew, can be found in the study of literature, photography, and other art forms, optimal training grounds for developing the kind of attention necessary to see what surrounds us.” – Christy Wampole

What would Barthes think of his Hermès scarf? – The New Yorker

View original post

Railway romance

Wellington railway station (22 October 2015)

Wellington railway station (22 October 2015)

The interweb is richly endowed with photographic images of the Wellington railway station – and you’ll find there no dearth of relevant descriptive text. There is no need for me to add anything. My motivation in posting this image is simple: it is an attempt to signal an especially intense nostalgia, a romantic memory of childhood.

Returning to the capital after visiting to my father, I am conscious of my love and gratitude for having grown up here.

Reason enough not to …

Choisya ternata – Mexican orange or mock orange (28 October 2014)

Choisya ternata – Mexican orange or mock orange (28 October 2014)

.

.

.

.
A spring afternoon.
Gardening: reason enough
not to write haiku.

(10 October 2015)

.

In truth, it was not my own little domain that took my attention today, but the garden of a friend. I was helping to lay out terracotta planters in place of timber troughs which, having rotted, had begun to collapse.

The choisya flowers decorating this post belong to last year; during late autumn and winter the painters’ scaffolding decimated what had been a handsome and luxuriant bush outside my front window. There are a few flowers again now, but full restoration is going to take a bit of time.

 

Pink camellias

camellia #402 (11 August 2015)

camellia #402 (11 August 2015)

.
.

 

The shopping is done,
and the menu decided.
But which vase to use?

 


The prospect of dressing the table for dinner this evening sends me out to the front garden, where the camellias are beginning to flower. The weather has been showery and cold, but the wind has not yet burned the pink petals: there are enough good blooms for the vase … although it’s hard to hold the camera focus at close range.

Senryū on a winter’s night

window #167 (21 Aug 13)

window #167 (21 Aug 13)

.
.
Winter gives little
inspiration, but demands
my full attention.

Last night, Armagnac
and friendly conversation.
Tonight, hot black tea.

(Friday 07 August 2015)


Several years ago, a friend suggested we keep in touch by texting the occasional haiku (or senryū) back and forth. It had not happened of late, though, so his text about “red curry hot and good” was an unexpected delight. In the ensuing phone-call, we talked about winter’s power to drive us into hibernation. 

Maybe that’s why it’s more than a month since my last post on this blog. 

Gingko gold in Grey Street

The atmosphere in Grey Street, off Lambton Quay in downtown Wellington, is often thick with cigarette smoke – especially at lunch-time on weekdays. It’s a pedestrian precinct, with a water feature and abundant seating. It also offers access to my bank, among other things. And it has gingko trees.

A recent post on the |cross-ties| blog pictures the canopy of gingko gold on Lambton Quay, near Wasabi Sushi in the James Cook Arcade, where I like to eat lunch from time to time.