Spot Check

by Ken Bolton

 

 

                             “Too many
… of the people I know about,
care about
                      are dying”
                                                a
feeling
                   more than a thought

                                          books of
last works,
                      books of late recognition

Jane Freilicher, Peter Campbell
                                                          no one
I know personally
                                           —still,

I feel like an insect on a twig
floating down stream.

I check Slaven & Leadbitter:   who’s
playing the piano
                                         on these Nighthawk
                                                         recordings?

(Bob Call)

                            read Gig’s article
                                                         on
Vicki V
                      Nighthawk playing quietly
in the background
                                a CD

                      
                                            look at a map of Rome

gauging the parts I never went to

parts that join up as, at the time, I never knew they did

a detective novel, The Fatal Touch, has
me doing this
                                   read Augie again

on Lee Harwood
                                     —  his Collected
on sale at work —
                                    I should let the punters
have a go
                          but then it’s mine
                                                             or I
order another one

                      the guy who wrote Eternity
                                                            on Sydney
                                                                  footpaths
when I was a kid
                                           the shock they gave
of quiet wistfulness
                                            & admonition,
                                                               & that they
made the day seem more vivid
                                                            historical
registered for a moment
                                                  in its meanness
its noise  & beauty

                                         the innocence of another
                                                              era

(the guy who used to wheel the coffin about

—‘out of Gogol’—
                               )
                                      (the guy
with the Mexican hat & a (toy) horse around
                                                his middle

—beaten up, they say
                                    by the police
                                                             )

I screenprinted that word
                                            “Eternity”
in gold leaf for its appearance in
                                      Laurie’s poem

“Psychiatry is an evil & must be banned”

That guy.
                                ( Beaten up, they say,
by the police   )

                                        Actually, I
have never been beaten up by the police —

& may not be, now,  …

                               I suppose that is a hope

Probably a certainty.

Read Adorno again?

                                    Sloterdijk?

Maybe too smart for me,

                   but sometimes very funny.


The moon is rising

                                       Crying won’t help you

Actually, 
                     the moon is long risen.

                                                            Cath & I
looked at it earlier,  high, surrounded by
                                                          mist

a soft, dissolving look
                        a ball or shield  
                                                We check the house
Anna is interested in
                                         Take it easy, baby

Maggie Campbell
                                 The moon is rising, again.

                            Nighthawk Boogie

                                                                He played
at Muddy Waters’ first wedding

                                                    I was there
naturally.

                                    And I knew Vicki,
a little
                  a share house with her
                                                       “The beautiful
trembling Irene
                        is taking another pill”

Gig quotes her.

                        And again

where Vicki has the city
                                        “roaring
& sledging its iron name into the ground”

                                                  Actually (!)
‘At East Balmain’   is a terrific poem
                                                         more real
than anything I will ever write

                                                 I listen
to Robert Nighthawk again

                                        Nighthawk Boogie.

 

 

 


(SPOT CHECK) — Neil Slaven and Mike Leadbitter—Blues Records, 1943—1966, a complete guide to twenty years of recorded blues: Bob Call and Curtis Jones were on piano; The Fatal Touch—a novel by Conor Fitzgerald.


Ken Bolton is a poet and arts writer in Adelaide, South Australia.