The first murder I committed was of a bird, a sparrow. I fired from the hip. Phut, the air rifle spat. Phut, the little thing fell dead onto the pavement. Fuck, I was so elated. Such a sweet shot I thought. A Peckinpah of a shot, the kind we rejoiced in the Westerns we watched. We were hypocrites. We are hypocrites. The succulent violence of bullets balloon-bursting flesh that we sought in cinema, we don’t want for real.
One thing that’s all about some other thing/s. Sometimes poetry is just that. It is a form of coaxing: it’s a toothpick (the one thing) to get at what’s stuck between the teeth of thought (other thing/s). Poetry is a way of thinking aloud. Everything we do is illustrated thinking. Isn’t it? ‘Gawd, my life is shit’ is a thought that’s made manifest in leaving the cap off the toothpaste or wet towels in the bath.
I bought this book Our Words, Guerrilla Poems from Latin America (trans. by Edward Dorn & Gordon Brotherston, Grossman Publishers, 1968). It’s secondhand, of course. For ages, weekend after weekend, we had attempted to get ourselves to Skoob, but we always got waylaid (mostly by pubs and restaurants); one Saturday, we managed to arrive, and I found this book pinched into Poetry. It’s an artefact of the political idealism and Pop iconography of the Sixities.
On Sunday gone, I sat through a portmanteau film ‘Tokyo!’. It is not a great compendium of shorts, made by two French directors (Michel Gondry and Leos Carax) and a Korean (Bon Joon-ho). Each of its three stories is a response to some experience of Tokyo. I am not going to review the film (I would give it two stars out of five), but I will tell you why it was I watched it.