(St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 2010)
These notes are about 35 printed pages long. They aim to give two kinds of information: general introductions to some of the poems, and more detailed information including the page number where the poem begins together with any author’s notes to the text. Poem titles are presented within guillemets «thus», magazine titles in italics, book titles in italics. Lemmata are followed by a single right bracket, thus]. Line numbers are preceded by the page number and a period and followed by a period: for example, 9.12–23. refers to page nine, lines twelve to twenty-three. The line numbers begin afresh on each page, and the count includes the title of the poem and any section titles and any epigraph lines on that page.
There are four sections below:
From Andrew Wilkins, in Bookseller + Publisher, Sept. 2010:
“The publication of Starlight marks John Tranter’s 50 years as a writer, and follows the highly successful Urban Myths (2006), which won just about every literary award going, including the overall prize in the South Australian Premier’s Award for Literature. Tranter is one of a handful of Australian poets whose books sell well […] Starlight gives us all the more reason to celebrate this most energetic and literate of voices. Reading the 150 poems in this collection is to spend time in the company of a writer steeped (well-versed?) in the work of other poets, and able to assume different narrative voices at will. There are poems inspired by the French poet Baudelaire, American John Ashbery and T S Eliot. Infiltrating his work is a dry, laconic wit and a rich understanding of culture and history. […] A particular pleasure was the lively sequence ‘At the Movies’, which ruminates on films of the past, and Tranter’s updated response to Baudelaire’s celebrated Les Fleurs du mal, which is every bit as wicked and visceral as the original.”
The poems in Starlight derive from two main sources.
Poems in the first half of the book, up to page 134, began as material written for a doctoral thesis in Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong, titled ‘Distant Voices’. The thesis consists of two parts: a collection of poems and a thirty-thousand word exegesis. The poems were presented in three groups. In Vocoder four long poems explore, in different ways, the idea of displacing the authorial ego with a kind of writing at one or two removes, through the process of translation, ventriloquy, mask or disguise. Speaking French presents 101 deliberate mistranslations of some of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations’ and poems by Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Verlaine. At the Movies is a group of narrative, discursive and reflective poems that speak about various movies and their cultural settings.
For Starlight, most of the poems in the thesis have been revised and rewritten, some drastically. The four Vocoder poems have been reduced to three, and notes below describe these three very different works.
The 101 fourteen-line poems that made up Speaking French have here been reduced to a group of 83. These poems, from «Hôtel de Ville» to «Hair of the Dog», present deliberate mistranslations, involving multilingual dealings with most of Rimbaud’s «Illuminations» and poems by Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Verlaine, spoken in French into an English-only speech-to-text computer program. The resulting drafts have been reworked extensively. As well, a line or phrase from various poems by John Ashbery (from Selected Poems, Penguin, 1985) has been inserted into the fabric of each of these poems, though in a few cases these lines have been lost when the poems were revised. Seventeen of these poems, each in an earlier and different form, appeared in my collection Urban Myths in 2006.
Some of the movie poems from the thesis have been deleted and other new poems written. The group of eight poems from «Caliban» to «The Cedar Bar, NYC, 1957» speak about various movies and their cultural settings, as detailed in the notes below.
The 56 poems in the second half of the book under the group title Contre-Baudelaire — from «Albatross» to «Seven Old Men» — were written during a six-week Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri centre in Umbria, Italy, in 2009. These poems began as loose and radical revisions (definitely not “translations”) of about a third of the poems in Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal (second edition, 1861). I should add that in the poems that appear here, the apparent obsession with sex, drugs, betrayal, bodily decay, death and graveyards is mainly Baudelaire’s, and that when its presence in various of his poems became too rich for my taste I left them by the wayside.
You can read the poem [»»] here
This work initially resulted from a commission from a Toronto magazine to write an essay of any type on John Ashbery’s 1967 poem «Clepsydra», a long poem (253 lines), first published in book form in the 1977 volume Rivers and Mountains. In response I took the first word or two and also the last word or two of each line from John Ashbery’s poem, and wrote material of my own to fill each line out.
A clepsydra is a water-driven clock, invented in Ancient Greece. An anaglyph is a drawn or photographic image, usually printed in red and bluish-green ink, that, when viewed through spectacles containing one bluish-green lens and one red lens, presents a three-dimensional image; that is, an image consisting of two superimposed and differently-coloured views of the same scene. Most of the following notes on «The Anaglyph» are adapted from the thesis mentioned above, in which I refer to myself in the third person. «The Anaglyph» is partly about its own process — that is, the deconstructing and reconstructing of a poem. It is also about Tranter’s relationship as a developing poet with John Ashbery and with Ashbery’s poetry.
The word ‘blazon’ gives us a clue to one of the poem’s effects (14.2–3. Deep within its complex innards a purple jewel / Exists as a blazon, rotating slowly…). In the essay on John Ashbery in his remarkable study of forty-one US poets, Alone With America, Richard Howard points out that Ashbery often buries a small ‘blazon’ in his poems, and quotes André Gide:
I like discovering in a work of art… transposed to the scale of the characters, the very subject of that work… Thus in certain paintings… a tiny dark convex mirror reflects the interior of the room where the scene painted occurs… the comparison with that method in heraldry which consists of putting a second blazon in the centre of the first, en abyme. ’ (pp.19–20)
That is, inside the poem is a reduced diagram of the poem itself, ‘a tiny mirror for the plot, or maybe narrative’, as Tranter writes, referring to just this device, in his poem ‘The Alphabet Murders’, written over thirty years ago. The buried presence of Ashbery’s poem — that is, the line-beginnings and line-endings from it — haunts «The Anaglyph» as a kind of fragmented and half-buried blazon.
The title of the poem itself, «The Anaglyph», is embodied in some of the poem’s ‘business’, for example in the line ‘their left and right perceptual fields, red and green’ (7.4). This hints at the anaglyph’s dependence on binocular vision. «The Anaglyph» is similar to Ashbery’s original poem ‘Clepsydra’, having the same number of lines and the same line beginnings and line endings, yet it has been written by a different author at a different time in a different society, coloured differently and seen from a slightly different point of view, and one which has one more layer of knowledge than the original. When Ashbery began work on ‘Clepsydra’ in the 1960s, nothing like it had existed before. When «The Anaglyph» was begun, its progenitor had been modifying the ideal order of the literary landscape, to use Eliot’s phrase, for three decades. ‘The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them.’ (Eliot, Tradition, 47–48) «The Anaglyph» depends on the earlier poem, and perceives the world partly through and from that poem’s viewpoint.
On the first page Ashbery’s poem is displaced, codified and rationalised. The title of Ashbery’s poem, ‘Clepsydra’, refers to an ancient Greek water-clock, which appears disguised twice in «The Anaglyph»:
Here behind the tiny horological waterfall
Drums amplify the fun, but only at nightfall, then just for a moment
Of horrible error as I clutch the wrong person’s hand. (3.18–20)
Later in the poem, ‘that tiny hydraulic clock’ (13.24).
The mention of Proust’s great novel (‘The way / Things fade away, les temps perdu seems to be the point / Of this rodomontade’ 10.12–14 [Note: “The” is missing in the printed edition: typo]) reminds us that the scents and flavours of his remembered life soaked into Proust’s writing. Over many years these changed from private, evanescent memories into private handwriting fixed on paper, then to corrected proofs, the text of which was reified into public print, and eventually entirely replaced Proust’s own actual life, as this poem seeks to replace its progenitor.
Favourite themes of Ashbery’s are also glancingly referred to: old schoolteachers, for example (‘the old school-teacher’s chief creed and belief’ 4.18) and his use of ornate words harvested from the dictionary: ‘Those crowded riverine cities’ (6.3) reminds us of Ashbery’s title ‘Those Lacustrine Cities’ — that is, cities built beside or on a lake. The phrase ‘ashes and diamonds and nourishing food’ (6.17) obliquely refers to the title of the 1958 Polish movie Ashes and Diamonds directed by Andrzej Wajda, based on the novel by Jerzy Andrzejewski. Ashbery had the nickname ‘Ashes’ bestowed on him in that decade by his poet friends Kenneth Koch and Frank O’Hara. In the movie, a poem by the nineteenth-century Polish poet Cyprian Norwid is quoted:
So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames
of burning rags falling about you flaming,
you know not if flames bring freedom or death.
Consuming all that you must cherish
if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest
Or will the ashes hold the glory of a star-like diamond
The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.
— Wikipedia: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashes_and_Diamonds_(film)>
Ashbery himself, as the maimed father-figure, makes a brief appearance to protest what has happened to his poem: ‘From Rochester he came hence, / A writ of Cease and Desist clenched in his teeth’ (9.12–13). Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York State, in 1927.
Speaking of father-figures, the distancing yet ligaturing effect «The Anaglyph» seeks to enact between Tranter the translator and Ashbery the originator is addressed by Lacan:
Rather, the subject would now find himself alienated in a symbolic system which he shares with others. That system structures the human unconscious, and communication with the other can now be enacted through the shifting positions of signifiers in a system of symbolic exchange. The self is still an appropriated self, but what is appropriated is language as the other, and not an ideal but alienated image of an individual self. (In the resolution of the Oedipus complex, this would involve moving from a specular rivalry with the father, in which the child seeks to take the father’s place, to an assumption of the function of the father and, most fundamentally, of the symbolic father who, as Law, is that which makes possible all symbolic operations.) (Bersani, summarising Lacan, 115–16)
One final function of the poetic father is to license the son to take his place. It is worth noting that Tranter has stated that he asked Ashbery’s permission before embarking on this disfigurative exercise: ‘After wrestling with [«Clepsydra»] for a while, I felt that it needed demolishing and rebuilding, and — with Mr Ashbery’s permission — that is what I did.’ (Feints 29)
Perhaps to empower Ashbery as the lawgiver, other elder poets are downgraded. The most common thematic reference in «The Anaglyph» is a series of references to bear hunting, the first of which is ‘a hunter in the dim mirror killing a bear’ (4.12). Poet Galway Kinnell was born in the same year as John Ashbery, and also lives in New York City. Daniel Schenker says
In one of his [Kinnell’s] best known poems, “The Bear,” an Eskimo hunter stalks a polar bear who eventually succumbs to the sharpened bone coiled in the hunter’s bait. When the hunter comes upon the bear’s carcass he eats voraciously of the animal’s flesh as we would expect. But instead of then abandoning the carcass or considering its other uses, the hunter climbs into the body and life and death of the bear. The object of the hunt thus becomes not the mere domination of the bear by the hunter, but an effort to acquire an understanding of what it’s like to be something other than oneself. As if to validate his attempt to identify with the other, the hunter is granted a vision of spring at the end of the poem as geese come trailing up the flyway and a mother bear tends to a litter of new-born cubs.
Kinnell’s poem contains an explicit comparison between bear-killing and poem-making, where his Eskimo hunter ponders thus: ‘… the rest of my days I spend / wandering: wondering / what, anyway, / was that sticky infusion, that rank flavour of blood, that poetry, by which I lived?’ A hard question to answer, for an aboriginal American, from inside the corpse of a dead bear.
This seems light-years away from Ashbery’s modus operandi, and in «The Anaglyph» the business with the dead bear is perhaps a ‘feint’, an example of what poetry is not, except in a willed personal myth drenched in contemporary bourgeois American nostalgie de la tundra.
In «The Anaglyph» there are eight further references to Mr Kinnell’s ill-fated bear: ‘inhabiting a reputation’ (5.10), ‘the story of an Eskimo inside an eviscerated bear like this?’ (6.12), ‘the fact that he “inhabited” the smelly bear-skin… ’ (6.13), ‘clambering inside an animal’ (6.18), ‘that animal’s demise’ (8.6), ‘taxidermy at midnight’ (8.7), ‘a polar bear falling over, and the hunter’ (10.11), and a final dismissive if syntactically ambiguous aperçu: ‘He read poems about killing large animals to keep awake / On the tepid waters of café society.’ (12.20–13.1)
Other images deal with Ashbery’s poetry as an influence and refer more sensibly to the process of rewriting as redesign or rebuilding: ‘this project, I admit that / It is like gutting then refurbishing a friend’s apartment.’ (5.2–3) ‘returning to my sources, raking through my prototypes’ (5.7), and ‘blueprint is found and seems just right’ (5.8).
Not that «The Anaglyph» is loaded with a freight of too-serious literary endeavour: that would betray Ashbery as much as Tranter, and of course seriousness in itself has no literary value, nor has its cousin, sincerity. As Harold Bloom reminds us, Oscar Wilde remarked that “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” [See: Oscar Wilde: Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).] Though Bloom, too lazy or too confident to check his sources, expresses the concept as ‘Oscar Wilde sublimely remarked that “all bad poetry is sincere”.’ (Bloom, xix)
There are lighter moments, and many of them. For example: ‘the fireworks, they / Ended with a fizzing Roman candle sound that frightened the guest who was / Intended to rescue Gertie McDowell from that dirty old man.’ (8.1–3) In 1918 the US Postal Authorities burned copies of the Little Review carrying the instalment of James Joyce’s Ulysses in which young Gertie McDowell exposes her drawers to the gaze of masturbating Leopold Bloom in the dusk while roman candles fizz and explode in the sky. Joyce’s passage parodies the style of women’s magazine stories of the time:
And then a rocket sprang and bang shot blind and O! then the Roman candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O! O! in raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden, O so lively! O so soft, sweet, soft! (Joyce 477)
Exclaiming over roman candles must be a universal phenomenon. Jack Kerouac, in On The Road, published in 1957, and seemingly unaware of Ulysses, writes:
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’. (Kerouac 8)
Page 3. «The Anaglyph» 4.2. the sky over Twenty-second Street, but / The sky leans nonchalantly against the coop — I mean “co-op” — about / As graceful as a cowboy leaning on a chicken co-op — I mean “coop”] John Ashbery’s apartment is in a building that bears a large vertical sign advertising “COOPS”, or co-operatively-owned apartments. The vertical alignment of the word ‘coops’ does not allow for hyphens. See the note to ‘Ninth Avenue’ below. ¶ 7.11. The assurance Baron Corvo had an excess of, a crowing assurance] The eccentric writer Frederick Rolfe (1860–1913) adopted the pseudonym ‘Baron Corvo’ (along with several others at different times). The Corvidae are a family of birds including crows, ravens and jays; corvine: crow-like. ¶ 8.15. presented in a Potemkin-Village spirit] Potemkin-Village, a pretentiously showy or imposing façade intended to mask or divert attention from an embarrassing or shabby fact or condition. 1935–40; after Prince Potëmkin. “Catherine’s [the Great’s] tour of the south in 1787 was a triumph for Potëmkin, for he disguised all the weak points of his administration — hence the apocryphal tale of his erecting artificial villages to be seen by the empress in passing.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica Deluxe edition 2004 CD ROM). ¶ 8.16. a vast electrical disturbance] The phrase comes from an early line of John Ashbery’s: ‘My child, I love any vast electrical disturbance.’ (Some Trees, Corinth 20) ] and was used again in ‘Electrical Disturbance: A dramatic interlude’, which was published in the thesis, but not in this book. ¶ 9.8. coffee and a Strega] Strega (Italian: witch ) is a liqueur. In Frank O’Hara’s poem ‘The Day Lady Died’:
It is 12:20 in New York a Friday [… .]
and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue…
¶ 9.8. Il Miglior Fabbro] Not in fact a New York café, bar or restaurant, though perhaps it should be. This phrase was T S Eliot’s dedication of The Waste Land to Pound: ‘the better maker’ or ‘the finer craftsman’, which is what Dante calls Arnaut Danièl, an Occitan troubadour of the twelfth century and the inventor of the difficult sestina poem form, a favourite of Ashbery’s. ¶ 9.20. the pearl-handled revolver] A radio play device: a common name for any clumsy explanatory dialogue. In an archetypal radio play, to identify the villain to the radio audience, who are ‘blind’, and where the type of gun the villain is holding is vital in identifying the real murderer, typical dialogue ran thus: “Carruthers, you swine, put down that pearl-handled revolver!”] ¶ 10.6. Not likely to allow me to escape the whirligig of voracious time.] Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, (act five, scene one): ‘Clown: … And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.’ ¶ 11.18. a canal reflecting its own anagram] Psychoanalytic philosopher Jacques Lacan developed a theory of the ‘mirror stage’ of ego development. Reflections and mirrors are of course symbolic of the central process this poem enacts. Canal is an anagram of Lacan, whose name appears in another mirror later in the thesis. ¶ 12.7. a step or two away from them] Frank O’Hara again. His 1956 poem «A Step Away From Them» contains the lines:
It’s my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-coloured
cabs. [… .] First
Bunny died, then John Latouche,
then Jackson Pollock. But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them? [… .]
A glass of papaya juice
and back to work. My heart is in my
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.
¶ 12.11. Leading to a rowboat mounted in a park] From John Forbes, «Monkey’s Pride»:
I’ll be employed on a rowing boat
mounted in a park,
the one the avenues lead to
because society has elected me / to decorate
its falling apart with a useless panache [… ]
¶ 12.18. Infant mortality was declining as aspirin consumption increased.] Though the two trends are not directly related, each is a product of scientific advances occurring over the same period:
In 1897, scientists at the drug and dye firm Bayer began investigating acetylsalicylic acid as a less-irritating replacement for standard common salicylate medicines. By 1899, Bayer had dubbed this drug ‘Aspirin’ and was selling it around the world. Aspirin’s popularity grew over the first half of the twentieth century, spurred by its effectiveness in the wake of Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, and aspirin’s profitability led to fierce competition and the proliferation of aspirin brands and products. (Wikipedia)
Starting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a precipitous decline in infant mortality was observed in the United States. Economic growth, improved nutrition, new sanitary measures, and advances in knowledge about infant care all contributed to this decline in infant mortality. (Lee, Kwang-Sun. ‘Infant Mortality Decline in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: the role of market milk.’ Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Volume 50, Number 4, Autumn 2007, pp. 585–602)
¶ 13.19. Ninth Avenue] John Ashbery’s New York apartment abuts Ninth Avenue. See the note to ‘Twenty-second Street’, above. ¶ 13.22. to turn your back on Europe] As a young man, John Ashbery lived in Europe for a decade from 1955 to 1965 — indeed, one of his poems is titled ‘Europe’, though it is mainly about the eponymous Paris metro stop and its neighbourhood — then returned to live in the United States. ‘Clepsydra’ was ‘one of the last poems Ashbery wrote while he was in France. The poem was composed in the Spring of 1965… ’ (Shoptaw 83). The unusual number of French phrases and names in «The Anaglyph» also suggest this French connection: Salon des Refusés, Buffon, Paris, eau-de-cologne, la vie littéraire, longeurs, Mallarmé’s abyss, Valéry, appliqué aperçus, puissant, les temps perdu, simple entendre. ¶ 14.17. Your well wrought urn] Ashbery’s oeuvre; the reference is to both the noted critical study of poems by Donne, Wordsworth, Keats, and Eliot, The Well Wrought Urn by Cleanth Brooks, and to John Keats’ poem ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, which ends: ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.’
15. «Desmond’s Coupé» is a mainly homophonic translation (rather, mistranslation) of Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem «Un coup de dés… » A stanza break occurs at the foot of pages 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20.
22. «Five Quartets» This poem is a truncated version of T.S. Eliot’s poem «Four Quartets» which, at nearly a thousand lines, seemed to me to be far too long. This version is Eliot’s poem with most of the words removed, and runs to a more economical seventy-five lines. A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 22.
27. «Hôtel de Ville» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Ville» (Oliver Bernard. Arthur Rimbaud: Collected Poems. London: Penguin Books, 1997. 256). The Ashbery material quoted in this poem is “He is his own consolation prize”.
28. «Deluge» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «‘Après le Déluge» (Bernard 233). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “it was always November there”. Also: “and in the thievery of my own dreams I can see the square like a crystal”.
29. «Ornery» Ashbery quote: “you are the harvest and not the reaper”.
30. «Democracy» Ashbery quote: “today your wanderings have come full circle”.
31. «Royalties» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Royauté» (Bernard 248). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Virtue is really stubborness”
32. «Pronto» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Promontoire» (Bernard 277). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “You who were always in the way”.
33. «Departure» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Départ» (Bernard 247). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Turn on the light:”. Also: “we see only postures of the dream”.
34. «The Fixer» Ashbery quotes (2): “The distant box is open”. “they are all free to come and go as they please / through the vanilla-flavored venetian blinds”
35. «Metro» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Métropolitain» (Bernard 274). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the promise of learning is a delusion” also “That’s what befalls most of us plagiarists”.
36. «Movements» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Mouvement» (Bernard 281). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Silly girls your heads full of boys” also “Yet if I want to take you on my lap and be romantic”.
37. «Flowers» Ashbery quote: “There is no possibility of change”.
38. «Horticulture» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «H» (Bernard 284). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “The whole voyage will have to be cancelled”.
39. «Anguish» Derivation unknown. Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “My initials in the sky” also “and a beaker of wine darker than the deepest twilight”
40. «Barbarians» Derivation unknown. ¶ Ashbery quote: “it is cool and dim inside, but the patio is sunny”.
41. «Bottom of the Harbour» Derivation unknown, possibly «Bottom» (Bernard 283) Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “There was calm rapture in the way she spoke”.
42. «Dawn» Ashbery quote: “the system was breaking down”.
43. «Parade» Derivation unknown, possibly «Parade» (Bernard 242) Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the presumed landscape and the dream of home”.
44. «Scenes From a Voyage» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Scènes» (Bernard, 278). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “The news spread like wildfire through the buildings”.
45. «Sorehead» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Matinée d’ivresse» (Bernard, 249). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “in the hushed and fast darkening room”
46. «Eighteen Fairies» Derivation unknown. ¶ Ashbery quote: “written by music, he knew he was a saint”.
47. «The New Music» Derived from Rimbaud’s «Enfance» (Bernard, 235). Title] Previously “Childhood Music” or “Childhood”: ¶ Ashbery quote: “A silence already filled with noises” also “That’s why I quit and took up writing poetry instead.”
48. «Genius» Derivation unknown. ¶ Ashbery quote: “But hungers are just another topic”.
49. «Lives» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Vies» (Bernard, 245). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Barely tolerated, living on the margin”.
50. «Martian Movie» Ashbery quote: “This was our ambition: to be small and clear and free”.
51. «New Beauty» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Being Beautous» (Bernard, 244). ¶ Ashbery quote: “night after night this message returns”.
52. «Dolls» Ashbery quote: “out of night the token emerges”.
53. «Childhood» Ashbery quote: “Performing for thousands of people”.
54. «Brooklyn» Derivation unknown. ¶ Ashbery quote: “But things get darker as we move”, originally included but lost in revision.
55. «Shames» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Honte» (Bernard, 229). «Honte» («Shame») is the last poem of the sequence «Fêtes de la Patience» («Festivals of Endurance») and does not belong to the sequence «Illuminations». Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Men appear, but they live in boxes.”
56. «Story» Derivation unknown, possibly «Conte» (Bernard, 240). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Behind the steering wheel”, originally included but lost in revision.
57. «Villas» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Villes» (Bernard, 259). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Advancing into mountain light”.
58. «Subcontinent Nocturne» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Nocturne vulgaire» (Bernard, 270). Published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ Ashbery quote: “The atmosphere is breathless”.
59. «Winter Maps» Loosely derived from Rimbaud’s «Fête d’Hiver» (Bernard, 272). ¶ Ashbery quote: “the vinyards whose wine tasted of the forest floor”.
60. «Whistle While you Work» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Bilet À Whistler» (Pas les rafales à propos…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “I prefer ‘you’ in the plural”.
61. «Among Wild Swine in the Woods» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Petit Air 1» (Quelconque une solitude…). ¶ Title] Also the title of a poem by Eve Langley (also known as Oscar Wilde), first published in the Jindyworobak Anthology, 1942. Editor: Victor Kennedy. Melbourne, Victoria : Georgian House and Jindyworobak Publications, 1942. (pp.51–52). Republished in The Oxford Book of Australian Love Poems. Editor: Jennifer Strauss. Melbourne, Victoria : Oxford University Press, 1993. (p.78). ¶ Ashbery quote: “It’s true we have not avoided our destiny”.
62. «Bracket Creep» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Petit Air 2» (Indomptablement a dû…). ¶ Title] Usually refers to the effect of the rise of wages and the consumer price index pushing taxpayers into a higher-paying tax bracket, while still earning the same effective wage before tax in real terms. ¶ Ashbery quote: “To tell the truth the air turned to smoke”.
63. «Bomber’s Moon» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Petit Air» (Guerrier) (Ce me va hormis l’y taire…) ¶ Title] Usually refers to a clear night with a full moon, making it easy to find bombing targets (World War Two). ¶ Ashbery quote: “autumn’s far country, all rusted and red”
64. «Drinking in the Kitchen» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Plusieurs Sonnets» (Quand l’ombre menaca…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “The night is cold and delicate and full of angels” also “and so we turn the page over to think of starting. This is all there is.”
65. «Digital Clock» Probably derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Plusieurs Sonnets» (Quand l’ombre menaca…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “knowing what important details to leave out”.
66. «Old Folk» Probably derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Plusieurs Sonnets» (Quand l’ombre menaca…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “a stamp could reproduce all this in detail, down to the last autumn leaf”.
67. «Cover Art» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: Sonnet» (Sur le bois oubliés…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “But what dismal scene is this?”
68. «Bookkeeper’s Holiday» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: Hommage» (Le silence déjà funèbre d’une moire…) « Bookkeeper’s] The only frequently-used word in English with three double letters in sequence. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Moths climb in the flame”.
69. «Lady Mondegreen» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: Hommage» (Tout Aurore même gourde…) ¶ Mondegreen] A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically … a lyric in a song, due to near homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in her essay “The Death of Lady Mondegreen,” published in Harper’s Magazine in November 1954. She wrote: “When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy’s Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember: Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, / Oh, where hae ye been? / They hae slain the Earl O’ Moray, / And Lady Mondegreen.” The actual last line read: “and laid him on the green.” (Wikipedia) ¶ Ashbery quote: “a pillar of waiting”.
70. «At Sans Souci» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: [untitled]» (Au seul souci de voyager…) ¶ Sans Souci] (literally “without care”) is the name of a Sydney suburb where the poet Michael Dransfield spent his youth. ¶ Ashbery quote: “One morning you appear at breakfast”.
71. «Pride of Erin» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Autres Pöemes et Sonnets»: (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ Title] Previously titled «Pride at Evening». The “Pride of Erin” is an old-time dance: Pride of Erin Waltz — A New Vogue Fast Waltz. Music: 3/4, 140 beats per minute, 32 bar choruses. Choreographed by G. S. Woods, Edinburgh, Scotland, circa 1904. <http://linus.socs.uts.edu.au/~don/vogue/prid.html> accessed 2 October 2010. ¶ Ashbery quote: “that was something between her legs”.
72. «The Armani Endowment» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, « Autres Pöemes et Sonnets:» (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ a glass cross on a cheap necklace] inspired by the necklace worn by Kim Novak’s character “Judy” towards the end of the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the great careers are like that: a slow burst”.
73. «Sheriff of Nothing» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Autres Pöemes et Sonnets:» (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ Title] Also the title of a painting by Australian artist Reg Mombassa in the possession of the author: see above. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Unsupported by reason’s enigma”.
74. «Blue Moss» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Autres Pöemes et Sonnets:» (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “there is no use trying to escape”.
75. «Break Some Eggs» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Autres Pöemes et Sonnets:» (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ Title] from the saying “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.” ¶ Ashbery quote: “a butler enters with a letter on a tray”.
76. «Muzzle Flash» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Autres Pöemes et Sonnets:» (Tout Orgueil fume-t-il du soir…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “ask a hog what is happening”.
77. «Police Action» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «La Marchande d’herbs aromatiques» (Ta paille azur de lavandes…) ¶ Title] The Korean War (1950–53) which killed over four million people was called by the UN forces which took part “a United Nations Police Action” rather than a war. ¶ Ashbery quote: “And the face resembled yours, the one reflected in the water”.
78. «Smash and Grab» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «La Savetier» (Hors de la poix rien à faire…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “slowing down opens out new avenues”.
79. «Working the Oracle» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Les Fenêtres» (Las du triste hôpital…) ¶ Title] To work the oracle means “To wheel and deal, to scheme to one’s own advantage, especially for money-raising purposes; to engage in artful behind-the-scenes manipulation of those in a position to grant favors. This British expression uses oracle as the means or medium through which desired information or goods are obtained.” <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/> accessed 2 October 2010. Also: “to invent an oral statement of guilt on the part of a suspect. A term from police jargon (synonymous with ‘verbal’).” Citation ‘I wondered if his return was a consequence of his reluctance to verbal, to “work the oracle” as it is sometimes called… ’ (Inside the British Police, Simon Holdaway, 1983) <http://www.slang-dictionary.com/definition/work-the-oracle.html> accessed 2 October 2010. ¶ Ashbery quote: “like some pocket history of the world”.
80. «The Tomb of Baudelaire» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: Le Tombeau de Charles Baudelaire» (Le temple enseveli divulgue par le bouche…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “we have moved on a little ahead of them”.
81. «The Tomb of Edgar Poe» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe» (Tel qu’en Lui même enfin l’éternité le change…) The French seldom use Edgar Allen Poe’s middle name. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the whole business starts to frighten even you”.
82. «The Tomb of Verlaine» Loosely derived from Stéphane Mallarmé, «Hommages et Tombeaux: « Hommage » dédié à Verlaine » (Le noir roc courroucé que la bise le roule…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “like a first-aid kit no one ever uses”.
83. «Well Equipped Men» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «L’albatros» (Souvent, pour s’amuser, les hommes d’équipage…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “Yet I shall never return to the past, that attic” also “lately I’ve been looking at old-fashioned plaids”.
84. «The Drunk at the Lecture» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Au Lecteur» (La sottise, l’erreur, le péché, la lésine…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “everybody wondered who the new arrival was”.
85. «Touch of Evil» Loosely addresses the 1958 Orson Welles movie of the same name. ¶ Ashbery quote: [no quote provided for this poem]
86. «Mister Real» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Benediction» (Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “faded in the precise moment of bursting into bloom”.
87. «Liana» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Benediction» (Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “The constellations are rising in perfect order”.
88. «Down by the Station» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Benediction» (Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “but intermittently as through dark mist”.
89. «Lateral Sclerosis» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Benediction» (Lorsque, par un décret des puissances suprêmes…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “I want to go back, out of the bad stories”.
90. «Bohemians en route» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Bohemiens en voyage» (La tribu prophétique aux prunelles ardentes…) ¶ 90.11. diapositive] a technical word for transparency film, e.g. Kodachrome. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the dwarf led you to the end of a street”.
91. «Good Times» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Chatiment de l’Orguiel (‘En ces temps merveilleux où la Théologie… ’) ¶ Ashbery quote: “the soul has to stay where it is”.
92. «Don Wan» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Don Juan aux enfers» (Quand don Juan descendit vers l’onde souterraine…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “there is no way out of the problem of pathos vs. experience”.
93. «Emma» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Elevation» (Au-dessus des étangs, au-dessus des vallées…) ¶ Title] Previously titled «Sharon». A congeries of several imaginary Emmas, including those created by Flaubert and Jane Austen. ¶ Ashbery quote: “I feel the carousel starting slowly and going faster and faster”.
94. «Deep Sky» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Hymn à la beaute» (Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de l’abîme…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “now we really know it all happened by chance”.
95. «Man Overboard» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «L’homme et la mer» (Homme libre, toujours tu chériras la mer!) ¶ Ashbery quote: “it is like watching a movie of a nightmare”.
96. «Grace and Florence» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «Le Masque: Statue allégorique dans le gout de la renaissance: à ernest christophe» (Contemplons ce trésor de grâces florentines…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “it was a conspiracy of right-handed notions”.
97. «King of the Hill» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «L’ennemi» (Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage…). ¶ Title] Previously titled «The Enemy». ¶ Ashbery quote: “This was mine, and I let it slip through my fingers”.
98. «Melting Moments» Loosely derived from Charles Baudelaire, «La vie anterieure» (J’ai longtemps habité sous de vastes Portiques…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “although that too is something that must be owned, together with the rest”.
99. «No Parole» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «A Clymène» (“Mystiques barcarolles, / Romances sans paroles…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “this event rounding the corner”.
100. «The Coloured Future» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «A la manière de Paul Verlaine» (“C’est à cause du clair de la lune… ” ) ¶ Ashbery quote: “too bad they didn’t ask my advice”. ¶ Title] The coloured future is a tense that affects “shall” and “will” in English, now mainly forgotten and no longer taught, and perhaps needs explication. See: H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler. The King’s English (Third Edition). London: Oxford University Press, (Revised 1931, Reprinted 1974) from which the following is taken.
Shall And Will.
It is unfortunate that the idiomatic use, while it comes by nature to southern Englishmen (who will find most of this section superfluous), is so complicated that those who are not to the manner born can hardly acquire it; and for them the section is in danger of being useless. In apology for the length of these remarks it must be said that the short and simple directions often given are worse than useless. The observant reader soon loses faith in them from their constant failure to take him right; and the unobservant is the victim of false security.
Roughly speaking, should follows the same rules as shall, and would as will; in what follows, Sh. may be taken as an abbreviation for shall, should, and should have, and W. for will, would, and would have.
In our usage of the Sh. and W. forms, as seen in principal sentences, there are elements belonging to three systems. The first of these, in which each form retains its full original meaning, and the two are not used to give different persons of the same tense, we shall call the pure system: the other two, both hybrids, will be called, one the coloured-future, the other the plain-future system. In Old English there was no separate future; present and future were one. Shall and will were the presents of two verbs, to which belong also the pasts should and would, the conditionals should and would, and the past conditionals should have and would have. Shall had the meaning of command or obligation, and will of wish. But as commands and wishes are concerned mainly with the future, it was natural that a future tense auxiliary should be developed out of these two verbs. The coloured future results from the application to future time of those forms that were practically useful in the pure system; they consequently retain in the coloured future, with some modifications, the ideas of command and wish proper to the original verbs. The plain future results from the taking of those forms that were practically out of work in the pure system to make what had not before existed, a simple future tense; these have accordingly not retained the ideas of command and wish. Which were the practically useful and which the superfluous forms in the pure system must now be explained. (pages 142–143)[…]
Syntax: Rule 2. The Coloured-Future System.
In future and conditional statements that include (without the use of special words for the purpose) an expression of the speaker’s (not necessarily of the subject’s) wish, intention, menace, assurance, consent, refusal, promise, offer, permission, command, &c. — in such sentences the first person has W., the second and third persons Sh.
I will tell you presently. My promise.
You shall repent it before long. My menace.
He shall not have any. My refusal.
We would go if we could. Our conditional intention.
You should do it if we could make you. Our conditional command.
They should have had it if they had asked. My conditional consent.
The only questions possible here are the asking for orders and the requests already disposed of under Rule 1.
Observe that “I would like” (which is not English) is not justified by this rule, because the speaker’s mood is expressed by like, and does not need double expression; it ought to be “I should like”, under Rule 3. (page 146)
101. «Monkey Business» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Voix de l’Orgueil : un cri puissant comme d’un cor» ¶ Ashbery quote: “signs of rot and corruption are everywhere”.
102. «Chinese Chequers» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Vous êtes calme, vous voulez un voeu discret» (“Vous êtes calme, vous voulez un voeu discret”) ¶ Ashbery quote: “from where I sit I can see hundreds of freight cars”.
103. «Aqueduct» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Crimen amoris» (A Villiers de l’Isle-Adam) (“Dans un palais, soie et or, dans Ecbatane”) ¶ Title] Aqueduct Racetrack, known as the “Big A”, is a thoroughbred horse-racing facility located in the neighborhood of Ozone Park in the New York City borough of Queens. ¶ Ashbery quote: “Some time you must tell me of your intentions”, originally included but lost in revision.
104. «Davy Jones» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Tu n’es pas du tout vertueuse» (“Tu n’es pas du tout vertueuse…) ¶ Title] Davy Jones’s Locker is an idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors. It is used as a euphemism for death at sea (to be sent to Davy Jones’s Locker), whereas the name Davy Jones is a nickname for what would be the devil, saint, or god of the seas. The origins of the name are unclear. (Wikipedia, accessed 2 October 2010.) ¶ Hoover … stockings] “The spectacle of the fleshy FBI chief lurching around the corridors of New York’s Plaza Hotel in drag is now indelibly lodged in American popular folklore. The story is deeply satisfying since it suggests the powerful Hoover — who monitored, harassed and blackmailed thousands of Americans about their sex lives — was a rank and villainous hypocrite. Unfortunately, it is based entirely on the testimony of only one witness: Susan Rosenstiel, the former wife of a wealthy liquor distiller, who was quoted at length in the over-heated Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, a 1993 biography by muckraking Brit Anthony Summers and excerpted in Vanity Fair magazine.” From Dress Code: Behind the rumor that Hoover wore women’s clothing. By Tony Perrottet. At <http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article02221001.aspx> accessed 2 October 2010. ¶ Ashbery quote: “as though the story could advance its pawns”.
105. «Honeymoon Hotel» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «A la princesse Roukhine» (“C’est une laide de Boucher…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “gawkers perpetuate the misquoted line”.
106. «Bridge in the Rain» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «A Madame X… (En lui envoyant une pensée)» (“Au temps où vous m’aimiez (bien sûr?“) ¶ Baron Corvo] See note to 7.11. ¶ Ashbery quote: ”night, the sleeping animals — it all gets carted away”.
107. «So Long» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Adieu» (“Hélas ! je n’étais pas fait pour cette haine…) ¶ Polk Street Park] The mise en scène is similar to that of the movie The Conversation (1974) directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest. The site of audio surveillance central to this film was San Francisco’s Union Square, a park seven blocks from Polk Street, which in fact does not have a park, though the north end of the street runs directly into the Aquatic Park area of Fisherman’s Wharf. ¶ Ashbery quote: “the perfume climbs into my tree”.
108. «News Item» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Ballade en rêve — Au docteur Louis Jullien.» (“J’ai rêvé d’elle, et nous nous pardonnions…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “I shall return in the dark and be seen”.
109. «Hair of the Dog» Loosely derived from Paul Verlaine, «Chevaux de bois» (“Tournez, tournez, bons chevaux de bois…) ¶ Ashbery quote: “Wake up, you’re looking at this magazine”.
113. «Caliban» Refers to the movie The Forbidden Planet, 1956. ¶ 113.11. The Tempest in outer space …] The movie is science fiction, though with the added complexity of some basic themes from Shakespeare’s play. ¶ 113.14. a tip for Saturday] a tip for the winner in the weekend horse races; also the title of an early poem by Australian poet Francis Webb.
¶ 113.15. hideous id] An The Forbidden Planet another set of themes is borrowed from Freudian theory, then topical in the USA. (There are hints of an Oedipal father-daughter conflict as well.) As he lies dying, the character Doc Ostrow tells Captain Adams (Leslie Nielsen) that the scientist Morbius was too close to the problem. “The Krell [an alien race] had completed the project. Big machine. No instrumentalities. True creation. But the Krell forgot one thing: monsters, John, monsters from the id.”
114. «Columbo’s Kangaroo» Columbo was a US crime television series, 1971–2003. In the episode titled Fade into Murder (1976) Police Lieutenant Columbo investigates a murder suspect, the television actor Ward Fowler, played by William Shatner. “Fowler”, who has a murky past, is successful as a popular television detective. As for the kangaroo, some twenty years had passed between the present author’s viewing this episode and writing about it, and the facts relating to the marsupial in question are not exactly as given in the poem: I plead poetic licence, an addiction to alliteration, and a touch of forgetfulness. While Columbo is questioning a friend of Fowler’s in the back lot of the TV studio, the alert viewer may notice some extras in the background of the shot: a man in American Civil War uniform and a woman in a gold-coloured dress. A man in casual clothes joins the couple. He kneels to pat a small animal on a lead held by the woman. The animal is probably a wallaby, a smaller member of the kangaroo family. This peculiar tableau is visible briefly, twice, for a total of about seven seconds.
115. «Rink» Refers to a rejected scene from the hypothetical movie Skater, David Lynch, 1976. Please don’t waste your time searching for this movie: it only exists in this poem.
116. «The Last Clean Shirt» is the title of a 1964 movie by film maker Alfred Leslie and poet Frank O’Hara which the present author saw in the exhibition In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art organized by Russell Ferguson and presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, July 11–November 14, 1999. See an excerpt from the curator’s Introduction to the catalog here at <http://jacketmagazine.com/10/oh-ferg.html> The poem borrows from a detailed discussion of the movie by Olivier Brossard in Jacket magazine number 23, August 2003, at <http://jacketmagazine.com/23/bross-ohara.html> ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 116.
118. «The Glass Bottom Boat» Refers to the movie The Glass Bottom Boat (also known as The Spy in Lace Panties), 1966. ¶ 118.18. Doris Kappelhoff] the birth name of movie star Doris Day. ¶ 119.2. Dorothy Gale] the clever name of the heroine of the movie The Wizard of Oz: her adventures are the result of a knock to the head occasioned by a tornado that wrecks her home and carries her into the air.
120. «Boy in Mirror» Refers to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie Vertigo, 1958. It is a companion piece to «Girl in Water», a double acrostic poem published in Urban Myths, 2006. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of pages 122, 123 and 124.
126. «Paris Blues» Refers to the 1961 movie Paris Blues. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of pages 127, 129, 130 and 131.
133. «The Cedar Bar, NYC, 1957» The poem imagines the heroine of the 1944 film noir movie Laura, thirteen years later and now married with two kids, meeting Frank O’Hara in a Manhattan bar, a noted haunt of artists and writers.
137. «Venus» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Muse vénale» (“The Venal Muse”) (“Ô muse de mon coeur, amante des palais, / Auras-tu, quand Janvier lâchera ses Borées, / Durant les noirs ennuis des neigeuses soirées, / Un tison pour chauffer tes deux pieds violets?…)
138. «Albatross» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «L’Albatros» (“Souvent, pour s’amuser, les hommes d’équipage / Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers, / Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage, / Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 138.
140. «Elevation» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Élévation» (“Au-dessus des étangs, au-dessus des vallées, / Des montagnes, des bois, des nuages, des mers, / Par delà le soleil, par delà les éthers, / Par delà les confins des sphères étoilées,…) ¶ 140.9. The Encounter] The distinctive white “Theme Building”, designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961, resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a cultural and historical monument in 1992. A four-million-dollar renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the “Encounter Restaurant” opened there in 1997. (Wikipedia) ¶ 141.4. Bourse] Stock Exchange.
142. «The Age of Nakedness» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «J’aime le souvenir de ces époques nues» (“J’aime le souvenir de ces époques nues, / Dont Phoebus se plaisait à dorer les statues. / Alors l’homme et la femme en leur agilité / Jouissaient sans mensonge et sans anxiété, / Et, le ciel amoureux leur caressant l’échine, / Exerçaient la santé de leur noble machine…) ¶ 142.23. Diane Arbus world of Freaks] Of photographer Diane Arbus, a friend said that Arbus said that she was “afraid… that she would be known simply as ‘the photographer of freaks’”; however, that term has been used repeatedly to describe her. Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. The Nemerovs were a Jewish couple who lived in New York City and owned Russek’s, a famous Fifth Avenue department store. Because of the family’s wealth, Diane was insulated from the effects of the Great Depression while growing up in the 1930s. Arbus’s father became a painter after retiring from Russeks; her younger sister would become a sculptor and designer; and her older brother was Howard Nemerov, who would later become United States Poet Laureate. (Wikipedia) ¶ 143.1. The Age of Mechanical Reproduction] The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (German: Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit; originally published in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung) is a 1935 essay by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin, which has been influential across the humanities, and especially in the fields of cultural studies, media theory and art history. It was produced, Benjamin wrote, in the effort to describe a theory of art that would be “useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art”. In the absence of any traditional, ritualistic value, art in the age of mechanical reproduction would inherently be based on the practice of politics. (Wikipedia). ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 142.
144. «Lights on the Hill» A version of Charles Baudelaire, « Les Phares» (The Beacons), which discusses the painters Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Puget (Pierre Puget, French Baroque era sculptor and painter, 1620–1694), Watteau, Goya, and Delacroix. ¶ 144.6. Fantin-Latour … salon of poets] Henri Fantin-Latour (1836–1904). His painting Le Coin de la Table (sometimes titled “Un coin de la table”), 1872, offers protraits of writers (standing:) E. Bonnier, Émile Blémont, Jean Aicard, (sitting:) Verlaine, Rimbaud, Léon Valade, Ernest d’Hervilly, Camille Pelletan. You can see the original in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where the label for the picture identifies Rimbaud and Verlaine by their surnames only, as I have done here; the others are given both their first and second names in order to identify them to an uncaring posterity. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 144.
146. «The Bad Writer» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Mauvais Moine» (The Bad Monk) (“Les cloîtres anciens sur leurs grandes murailles / Etalaient en tableaux la sainte Vérité, / Dont l’effet réchauffant les pieuses entrailles, / Tempérait la froideur de leur austérité…)
147. «Friends in Hell» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Don Juan aux enfers» («Don Juan in Hell») (“Quand Don Juan descendit vers l’onde souterraine / Et lorsqu’il eut donné son obole à Charon, / Un sombre mendiant, l’oeil fier comme Antisthène, / D’un bras vengeur et fort saisit chaque aviron…)
148. «The Enemy» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «L’Ennemi» («The Enemy») (“Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage, / Traversé çà et là par de brillants soleils; / Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage, / Qu’il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils…)
149. «Rotten Luck» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Guignon» («Bad Luck») (“Pour soulever un poids si lourd, / Sisyphe, il faudrait ton courage! / Bien qu’on ait du coeur à l’ouvrage, / L’Art est long et le Temps est court…) ¶ 149.5. vita brevis, ars longa] Horace’s Latin translation of the Greek saying by Hippocrates: “Art is long, life is short.” Chaucer translated it (in pentameter) as “The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne, / Th’ assay so hard, so sharpe the conquering.” («The Assembly of Fowles»)
150. «Correspondences» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Correspondances» (“La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers / Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles; / L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles / Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers…) ¶ 150.14. chloral hydrate] A sleeping draft, potentiated by being mixed with alcohol, as in the “Mickey Finn”.
151. «The Sick Muse» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Muse malade» (“Ma pauvre muse, hélas! qu’as-tu donc ce matin? / Tes yeux creux sont peuplés de visions nocturnes, / Et je vois tour à tour réfléchis sur ton teint / La folie et l’horreur, froides et taciturnes…) ¶ 151.7. remoras] A remora, sometimes called a suckerfish or sharksucker, is an elongated, brown fish, whose distinctive first dorsal fin takes the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals.… In ancient times, the remora was believed to stop a ship from sailing. In Latin remora means “delay,” while the genus name Echeneis comes from Greek echein (“to hold”) and naus (“a ship”). Particularly notable is the account of Pliny the Younger, in which the remora is blamed for the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium and (indirectly) for the death of Caligula. (Wikipedia).
152. «Gypsies» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Bohémiens en voyage» («Traveling Gypsies») (“La tribu prophétique aux prunelles ardentes / Hier s’est mise en route, emportant ses petits / Sur son dos, ou livrant à leurs fiers appétits / Le trésor toujours prêt des mamelles pendantes…) The closing images are remininescent of those in the 1955 movie Night of the Hunter.
154. «My Former Life» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Vie antérieure» («Past Life») J’ai longtemps habité sous de vastes portiques / Que les soleils marins teignaient de mille feux, / Et que leurs grands piliers, droits et majestueux, / Rendaient pareils, le soir, aux grottes basaltiques…) ¶ Epigraph] “Longtemps, je me suis coucher de bonne heure… ” are the famous, if syntactically peculiar, opening words of Proust’s novel À la recherche du temps perdu.)
155. «Literature» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Beauté» («Beauty») (Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rêve de pierre, / Et mon sein, où chacun s’est meurtri tour à tour, / Est fait pour inspirer au poète un amour / Eternel et muet ainsi que la matière…)
156. «Pride» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Châtiment de l’orgeuil» («Punishment of Pride») (En ces temps merveilleux où la Théologie / Fleurit avec le plus de sève et d’énergie, / On raconte qu’un jour un docteur des plus grands, / — Après avoir forcé les coeurs indifférents…)
158. «The Mask» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Masque: Statue allégorique dans le goût de la Renaissance» (À Ernest Christophe, statuaire.) (Contemplons ce trésor de grâces florentines; / Dans l’ondulation de ce corps musculeux / L’Elégance et la Force abondent, soeurs divines. / Cette femme, morceau vraiment miraculeux, / Divinement robuste, adorablement mince, / Est faite pour trôner sur des lits somptueux / Et charmer les loisirs d’un pontife ou d’un prince…)
160. «Hair» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Chevelure» («Hair») (Ô toison, moutonnant jusque sur l’encolure! / Ô boucles! Ô parfum chargé de nonchaloir! / Extase! Pour peupler ce soir l’alcôve obscure / Des souvenirs dormant dans cette chevelure / Je la veux agiter dans l’air comme un mouchoir!…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 160.
162. «The Ideal» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «L’Idéal» (Ce ne seront jamais ces beautés de vignettes, / Produits avariés, nés d’un siècle vaurien, / Ces pieds à brodequins, ces doigts à castagnettes, / Qui sauront satisfaire un coeur comme le mien…) ¶ 162.6. Leibovitz] Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz, born October 2, 1949, is an American portrait photographer. In 2007, the Walt Disney Company hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in various roles and scenes for Disney Parks “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign.
163. «Big Girl’s Blouse» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Géante» («The Giantess») (Du temps que la Nature en sa verve puissante / Concevait chaque jour des enfants monstrueux, / J’eusse aimé vivre auprès d’une jeune géante, / Comme aux pieds d’une reine un chat voluptueux…)
164. «Aphrodisiac» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Je t’adore… » (Je t’adore à l’égal de la voûte nocturne, / Ô vase de tristesse, ô grande taciturne, / Et t’aime d’autant plus, belle, que tu me fuis, / Et que tu me parais, ornement de mes nuits, / Plus ironiquement accumuler les lieues / Qui séparent mes bras des immensités bleues…)
165. «Perfume» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Parfum exotique» (Quand, les deux yeux fermés, en un soir chaud d’automne, / Je respire l’odeur de ton sein chaleureux, / Je vois se dérouler des rivages heureux / Qu’éblouissent les feux d’un soleil monotone…) ¶ 165.10. Eau d’Ivresse] “water of drunkenness”, as in the perfume or toilet water «Eau de Cologne”, a play on the title of Rimbaud’s poem «Bateau d’Ivresse», «Drunken Boat».
166. «Hymn to Beauty» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Hymne à la Beauté» (Viens-tu du ciel profond ou sors-tu de l’abîme, / O Beauté? ton regard, infernal et divin, / Verse confusément le bienfait et le crime, / Et l’on peut pour cela te comparer au vin…) ¶ 166.5. kif] Kief or keef (from Arabic: kayf, meaning well-being or pleasure) refers to the resin glands of cannabis which may accumulate in containers or be sifted from loose dry cannabis buds with a mesh-#30 kiefing screen or sieve. Kief contains a much higher concentration of desired psychoactive ingredients, primarily THC, than other preparations of cannabis buds from which it is derived. Traditionally kief has been pressed and baked into cakes as hashish for convenience in storage and shipping, but it can also be vaporized or “toked” in its powder form. (Wikipedia) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 166.
168. «Paradise» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «De profundis clamavi» («Out of the depths I have cried») (J’implore ta pitié, Toi, l’unique que j’aime, / Du fond du gouffre obscur où mon coeur est tombé. / C’est un univers morne à l’horizon plombé, / Où nagent dans la nuit l’horreur et le blasphème…)
169. «You Would Fuck Everybody» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Tu mettrais l’univers entier dans ta ruelle» («You would take the entire world to bed with you… ») (Tu mettrais l’univers entier dans ta ruelle, / Femme impure! L’ennui rend ton âme cruelle. / Pour exercer tes dents à ce jeu singulier, / Il te faut chaque jour un coeur au râtelier…)
170. «Hulk» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Une Charogne» («A Carcass») (Rappelez-vous l’objet que nous vîmes, mon âme, / Ce beau matin d’été si doux: / Au détour d’un sentier une charogne infâme / Sur un lit semé de cailloux…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 170.
172. «Greed» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Sed non satiata» («Never Satisfied») (Bizarre déité, brune comme les nuits, / Au parfum mélangé de musc et de havane, / Oeuvre de quelque obi, le Faust de la savane, / Sorcière au flanc d’ébène, enfant des noirs minuits…)
1173. «Silk» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés») (With her pearly, undulating dresses…) (Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés, / Même quand elle marche on croirait qu’elle danse, / Comme ces longs serpents que les jongleurs sacrés / Au bout de leurs bâtons agitent en cadence…)
174. «The Serpent» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Serpent qui danse» («The Dancing Serpent») (Que j’aime voir, chère indolente, / De ton corps si beau, / Comme une étoffe vacillante, / Miroiter la peau!…) ¶ 173.8. Pop-Rocks] a candy whose effervescent beads fizz in the mouth. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 174.
176. «Vampire» A version of Charles Baudelaire, « Le Vampire» (Toi qui, comme un coup de couteau, / Dans mon coeur plaintif es entrée; / Toi qui, forte comme un troupeau / De démons, vins, folle et parée…) ¶ 176.18. Nembutal] Pentobarbital (Nembutal) is a short-acting and dangerous barbiturate that was first synthesized in 1928.
177. «One Night» (One night I lay with a frightful Aryan…) A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Une nuit que j’étais près d’une affreuse Juive» («One night I lay with a frightful Jewess») (Une nuit que j’étais près d’une affreuse Juive, / Comme au long d’un cadavre un cadavre étendu, / Je me pris à songer près de ce corps vendu / À la triste beauté dont mon désir se prive…) (One night I lay with a frightful Jewess, / Like a corpse stretched out beside a corpse, / And I began to think, by that traded body, / About the sad beauty my desire does without…)
178. «Remorse» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Remords posthume» («Posthumous Remorse») (Lorsque tu dormiras, ma belle ténébreuse, / Au fond d’un monument construit en marbre noir, / Et lorsque tu n’auras pour alcôve et manoir / Qu’un caveau pluvieux et qu’une fosse creuse…)
179. «Ghost Who Walks» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Un Fantôme» («A Phantom») (I Les Ténèbres: // Dans les caveaux d’insondable tristesse / Où le Destin m’a déjà relégué; / Où jamais n’entre un rayon rose et gai; / Où, seul avec la Nuit, maussade hôtesse…) ¶ Metrics: the last line of each stanza is an Adonic, traditionally the last line of a Sapphic stanza: dactyl and trochee. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of pages 179 and 180.
182. «Little Dog» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Chat» («The Cat») (Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux; / Retiens les griffes de ta patte, / Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux, / Mêlés de métal et d’agate…)
183. «The Duel» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Duellum» («The Duel») (Deux guerriers ont couru l’un sur l’autre, leurs armes / Ont éclaboussé l’air de lueurs et de sang. / Ces jeux, ces cliquetis du fer sont les vacarmes / D’une jeunesse en proie à l’amour vagissant…)
184. «A Present» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom» («I give you these verses so if my name…) (Je te donne ces vers afin que si mon nom / Aborde heureusement aux époques lointaines, / Et fait rêver un soir les cervelles humaines, / Vaisseau favorisé par un grand aquilon…)
185. «Devil» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Possédé» («The Possessed») (Le soleil s’est couvert d’un crêpe. Comme lui, / Ô Lune de ma vie! emmitoufle-toi d’ombre / Dors ou fume à ton gré; sois muette, sois sombre, / Et plonge tout entière au gouffre de l’Ennui…)
186. «Ever the Same» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Semper eadem» («Always the Same») («D’où vous vient, disiez-vous, cette tristesse étrange, / Montant comme la mer sur le roc noir et nu?» / — Quand notre coeur a fait une fois sa vendange / Vivre est un mal. C’est un secret de tous connu…)
187. «Grey Sky» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Ciel brouillé » («Cloudy Sky») (On dirait ton regard d’une vapeur couvert; / Ton oeil mystérieux (est-il bleu, gris ou vert?) / Alternativement tendre, rêveur, cruel, / Réfléchit l’indolence et la pâleur du ciel…)
188. «After Midnight» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Que diras-tu ce soir, pauvre âme solitaire» («What will you say tonight, poor lonely soul») (Que diras-tu ce soir, pauvre âme solitaire, / Que diras-tu, mon coeur, coeur autrefois flétri, / À la très belle, à la très bonne, à la très chère, / Dont le regard divin t’a soudain refleuri?…) ¶ 188.4. The Conversation] See note to page 107. The film ends on a bleak note with the protagonist playing jazz improvisations on a saxophone in his trashed apartment.
189. «Screen Angels» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Flambeau vivant» («The Living Torch») (Ils marchent devant moi, ces Yeux pleins de lumières, / Qu’un Ange très savant a sans doute aimantés / Ils marchent, ces divins frères qui sont mes frères, / Secouant dans mes yeux leurs feux diamantés…)
190. «All of Her» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Tout entière» («All of Her») (Le Démon, dans ma chambre haute / Ce matin est venu me voir, / Et, tâchant à me prendre en faute / Me dit: «Je voudrais bien savoir…)
191. «Evening Harmony» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Harmonie du soir» («Evening Harmony») (Voici venir les temps où vibrant sur sa tige / Chaque fleur s’évapore ainsi qu’un encensoir; / Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir; / Valse mélancolique et langoureux vertige!…) ¶ Metrics: I have kept the abba rhyme scheme, though I have changed the hexameters (common in French) to pentameters, a more natural English metre. The original is in the form of an irregular pantoum. The pantoum is derived from the pantun, a Malay verse form - specifically from the pantun berkait, a series of interwoven quatrains. (Wikipedia)
192. «The List» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Beau navire» («The Beautiful Ship») (Je veux te raconter, ô molle enchanteresse! / Les diverses beautés qui parent ta jeunesse; / Je veux te peindre ta beauté, / Où l’enfance s’allie à la maturité…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 192.
194. «Grab Your Passport» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «L’Invitation au voyage» (Mon enfant, ma soeur, / Songe à la douceur / D’aller là-bas vivre ensemble! / Aimer à loisir, / Aimer et mourir / Au pays qui te ressemble!…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 194.
196. «Poison» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Poison» (Le vin sait revêtir le plus sordide bouge / D’un luxe miraculeux, / Et fait surgir plus d’un portique fabuleux / Dans l’or de sa vapeur rouge, / Comme un soleil couchant dans un ciel nébuleux…)
197. «The Creature» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Le Chat» («The Cat») (Dans ma cervelle se promène, / Ainsi qu’en son appartement, / Un beau chat, fort, doux et charmant. / Quand il miaule, on l’entend à peine…)
198. «Afternoon Song» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Chanson d’après-midi» («Afternoon Song») (Quoique tes sourcils méchants / Te donnent un air étrange / Qui n’est pas celui d’un ange, / Sorcière aux yeux alléchants…) ¶ Metrics: the last line of each stanza is an Adonic, traditionally the last line of a Sapphic stanza: dactyl and trochee. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 198.
200. «A Talk» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Causerie» («Conversation») (Vous êtes un beau ciel / d’automne, clair et rose! / Mais la tristesse en moi monte comme la mer, / Et laisse, en refluant, sur ma lèvre morose / Le souvenir cuisant de son limon amer…)
201. «Goats and Monkeys» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Les Chats» («The Cats») (Les amoureux fervents et les savants austères / Aiment également, dans leur mûre saison, / Les chats puissants et doux, orgueil de la maison, / Qui comme eux sont frileux et comme eux sédentaires.…)
202. «Spleen» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Spleen (Pluviôse irrité)» («Spleen (The Month of Rains, angry with life…)») (Pluviôse, irrité contre la ville entière, / De son urne à grands flots verse un froid ténébreux / Aux pâles habitants du voisin cimetière / Et la mortalité sur les faubourgs brumeux…) ¶ 202.3. COBOL] A computer programming language developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s and used mainly for business applications. The acronym stands for Co(mmon) B(usiness-)O(riented) L(anguage). COBOL skills were urgently required to cope with the Year 2000 bug, as many financial applications were built on top of old COBOL code and were vulnerable. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 202.
204. «Drunks» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Les Hiboux» («The Owls») (Sous les ifs noirs qui les abritent / Les hiboux se tiennent rangés / Ainsi que des dieux étrangers / Dardant leur oeil rouge. Ils méditent…)
205. «Obsession» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Obsession» (Grands bois, vous m’effrayez comme des cathédrales; / Vous hurlez comme l’orgue; et dans nos coeurs maudits, / Chambres d’éternel deuil où vibrent de vieux râles, / Répondent les échos de vos De profundis…)
206. «To a Creole Lady» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «À une dame créole» (Au pays parfumé que le soleil caresse, / J’ai connu, sous un dais d’arbres tout empourprés / Et de palmiers d’où pleut sur les yeux la paresse, / Une dame créole aux charmes ignorés…)
207. «Country Music» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «La Musique» (La musique souvent me prend comme une mer! / Vers ma pâle étoile, / Sous un plafond de brume ou dans un vaste éther, / Je mets à la voile…) ¶ Metrics: As with «Ghost Who Walks» the short lines are Adonics, traditionally the last line of a Sapphic stanza: dactyl and trochee.
208. «Landscape» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Paysage» («Landscape») (Je veux, pour composer chastement mes églogues, / Coucher auprès du ciel, comme les astrologues, / Et, voisin des clochers écouter en rêvant / Leurs hymnes solennels emportés par le vent…) ¶ 209.9. fiddling with sapphics] denotes a poetic form and metre associated with Sappho, the 6th century B.C. Greek lyric poetess from the island of Lesbos in the Aeolian Sea, the stanza consisting generally of three lines of trochaic pentameter line with a dactyl in the third foot, and an Adonic fourth line. The need to avoid three or more short (in accentual-syllabic verse: unstressed) syllables makes the form difficult in English. For example, the phrase “Saturday and Sunday” is not allowable in Sapphics, as is the phrase “Parliament of birds”. ¶ 209.10–11. recalcitrant adonic — obstinate rhythm] The phrase “obstinate rhythm” forms an Adonic, as do the last lines of the last two stanzas. ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 208.
210. «Seven Old Men» A version of Charles Baudelaire, «Les Sept Vieillards» («The Seven Old Men») (Fourmillante cité, cité pleine de rêves, / Où le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant! / Les mystères partout coulent comme des sèves / Dans les canaux étroits du colosse puissant…) ¶ A stanza break occurs at the foot of page 210.
This is the full bibliography for my DCA thesis. It’s more than you need for this book, but why not have more than you need? You might find it interesting. — J.T.
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Allen, Donald (editor). The New American Poetry 1945–1960. New York: Grove Press, 1960.
Ashbery, John. Flow Chart: A Poem. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
———. Can You Hear, Bird: Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995.
———. Selected Poems. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
———. Some Trees. New York: Corinth Books, 1970. First published by Yale University Press as volume 52 in the Yale Series of Younger Poets, 1956. The quoted line is from the poem ‘A Boy’, page 20 in the Corinth edition.
———. (Interview) In conversation with John Tranter, New York City, May 1988. In Jacket magazine number 2, at < http://jacketmagazine.com/02/jaiv1988.html>
———. Two poems: ‘Potsdam’ and ‘Aenobarbus’. Jacket magazine number 17, at < http://jacketmagazine.com/17/ashb-kins.html>
Atherton, Cassandra. ‘In the Dreaded Park’: Gwen Harwood and Subpersonality Theory. Journal of Australian Studies. 84 (2005):133–39.
Baudelaire, Charles. Les Fleurs du Mal. Project Gutenberg Ebook (Etext number 6099) at <http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6099>
Berrigan, Ted. Clear the Range. New York: Adventures in Poetry/Coach House South, 1977. An excerpt is available in Jacket magazine number 16 at <http://jacketmagazine.com/16/ah-ber1.html>
Bersani, Leo. Baudelaire and Freud. Berkeley: of California Press, 1977.
Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (2nd ed.) New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Bolton, Ken. ‘Untimely Meditations (Excerpts)’, in The Space of Poetry, Lyn McCredden and Stephanie Trigg, eds. (Melbourne University Literary and Cultural Studies vol 3). Parkville Victoria: Department of English, 1996.
Brennan, Christopher. Musicopoematographoscope. Introduction by Axel Clark. Sydney, Australia: Hale and Iremonger, 1981.
Callimachus, Hymns and Epigrams. Lycophron. Aratus. Translated by Mair, A W & G R, Loeb Classical Library Volume 129. London: William Heinemann, 1921.
Carrière, Jean-Claude. The Secret Language of Film. Trans. Jeremy Leggatt. London: Faber and Faber, 1995.
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Craig, Alexander, ed. 12 Poets 1950–1970. Milton, Queensland: Jacaranda Press, 1970.
Croggon, Alison. Review of John Tranter, The Floor Of Heaven, Harper Collins Australia, Sydney, 1992. ABC Radio National Books and Writing, 8 November 1992. A copy of the original script for the reading on radio of the review is available at <http://johntranter.com/reviewed/1992-croggon-tfoh.shtml>
Didion, Joan. ‘Life Styles in the Golden Land: Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream’, in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. New York: Noonday Press, 1968. ‘Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream’ first appeared in 1961 in The Saturday Evening Post as ‘How Can I Tell There’s Nothing Left’.
Diogenes Laertius. In < http://academic.reed.edu/humanities/110Tech/Theater.html>
Duwell, Martin, ed. Makar magazine, Vol 12, No 2, December 1976. English Department, University of Queensland.
Edel, Leon. Stuff of Sleep and Dreams: Experiments in Literary Psychology. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.
Edgar, Iain R. [Reviewed work:] Mad Travellers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses by Ian Hacking. Source: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 7, No. 3, (Sep., 2001), pp. 600–601. Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Stable URL: <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3134446 Accessed: 19/08/2008 22:22>
Edwards, Chris. ‘A Fluke: a mistranslation into English of Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem “Un coup de dés… ” with parallel French text.’ In Jacket 29 (April 2006) at <http://jacketmagazine.com/29/fluke00intro.shtml>
———. A Fluke: a mistranslation into English of Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem ‘Un coup de dés… ’ with parallel French text. Thirroul: Monogene (PO Box 224, Thirroul NSW 2515, Australia: ISBN 0975138324.)
Eliot, T S. ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’. The Egoist, September/December 1919. Reprinted in T S Eliot, The Sacred Wood, London: Methuen, 1920. pp 47–59.
———. Four Quartets. London : Faber, 1942.
———. The Waste Land: A facsimile and transcript of the original drafts including the annotations of Ezra Pound. Edited and Introduced by Valerie Eliot. London: Faber and Faber, 1971.
Evans, C. Stephen. ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way: Kierkegaard’s theory of action.’ In Hugh J. Silverman, ed. Writing the Politics of Difference. Albany: SUNY Press, 1991.
Fagan, Kate, and Peter Minter. ‘Murdering Alphabets, Disorienting Romance: John Tranter and Postmodern Australian Poetics’ in Jacket magazine 27, April 2005, at <http://jacketmagazine.com/27/faga-mint.html>
FitzGerald, R D. ‘Verse and Worse’ in Southerly vol.33 no.2 June 1973 (pp.156–166) It begins: “MANY strange things are called poetry today which quite go against anything my own generation looked for once such as order, composition, melody, harmony, emotion, meaning and what has become a really dirty word: beauty.” You can read this sad and confused article here.
Forbes, John. Meanjin vol.42 no.2 Winter 1983. (pp.249–53). ‘Poetry Reviews : Accelerating Subject’. John Forbes reviews John Tranter, Selected Poems (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1982). This piece is reprinted in < http://www.john tranter.com/reviewed/selected-forbes.html>.
Forbes, Peter. ‘Working the web: Poetry’, The Guardian (UK), Thursday June 6, 2002.
Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. A A Brill. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1997.
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Gilson, Annette. ‘Disseminating “circumference”: the diachronic presence of Dickinson in John Ashbery’s “Clepsydra.”’ In Twentieth Century Literature, Winter, 1998. At <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0403/is_/ai_54370332?tag=artBody;col1>
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Henry, Brian. ‘John Tranter’s New Form(alism): The Terminal’, Antipodes: A North American Journal of Australian Literature, June 2004, pp 36–43. It is reprinted on the internet, with the footnotes that were absent in the Antipodes version, at <http://johntranter.com/reviewed/2004-henry-terminals.html>
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Johnson, Andrew. ‘Surviving Desire: The Poetry of John Tranter’, in Landfall 187, Autumn 1994. pp.45–58.
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———. ‘An Interview with John Tranter’. Southerly volume 61 number 2, 2001. Recorded 20 April 2001. Available at <http://johntranter.com/interviewed/2001lilley.shtml>
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———. Networked Language. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008.
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———. The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage. New Jersey: Princeton Press, 1981.
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———. ‘The poet’s voice dismantled’, Weekend Australian, October 3, 1992. (rev 4). It is also available at <http://johntranter.com/reviewed/floor-pollnitz.shtml>
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———. ‘Flights of the Plain and Fancy’ The Sydney Morning Herald 11–12 May 2002, Spectrum (p.10)
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———. Cities and Sea-Coasts and Islands. Evanston IL: Northwestern University Press, 1998.
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———. ‘Resisting the Mad Professor: Narrative and Metaphor in the Poetry of John Tranter’, in Journal of Narrative Technique, Winter 1991. Ypsilanti, MI, USA: Eastern Michigan University, 1991. Available at <http://johntranter.com/reviewed/1990taylor-a.shtml>
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———. ‘By Blue Ontario’s Shore’ (poem), Jacket magazine number 27 <http://jacketmagazine.com/27/trant-ontario.html>
———. ‘Dan Dactyl and the Mad Jungle Doctor’. Southerly vol 61 no 2, 26–37. Sydney: Halstead Press, 2001. Also in Chain 8 Summer 2001. pp.272–83. Philadelphia: English Department, Temple University, 2001. Also in Poetry Review vol 92 no 2 Summer 2002. London: Poetry Society, 2002. pp.29–40.
———. ‘Desmond’s Coupé’ with a note on homophonic translation. Rhizome magazine: postgraduate research at the University of Wollongong. Number 1. Wollongong University Postgraduate Association, 2006. pp 12–13.
———. ‘Double Six’, six photographs by John Tranter of Australian poet Gig Elizabeth Ryan, poet Bruce Beaver, artist Julie Brown-Rrap, poet John A. Scott, artist Paula Dawson, and poet Susan Hampton, with accompanying short prose poems. Republica magazine Issue 2, ed. George Papaellenis. pp.23–35. Pymble: Angus & Robertson (HarperCollins Publishers), 1995. ‘Double Six’ is available at <http://johntranter.com/double-six/ds1.html>
———. ‘Feints, Apparitions and Mode of Locomotion: The Influence of Anxiety in the Poetry of John Tranter’. A paper prepared for the ‘Poetry and the Trace’ conference held in Melbourne 13–16 July 2008 under the auspices of Monash University. This thesis contains substantial amounts of revised material from this paper. Available (as a PDF file) at
———. ‘Four diversions and a prose-poem on the road to a poetics,’ first published in Meanjin, vol.47 no.4 (Summer 1988), pp. 588–92. Available at < http://john tranter.com/prose/poetics.html>.
———. ‘Mr Rubenking’s Breakdown.’ Melbourne: Meanjin magazine (number 4, 1991). Republished in Virginia: _Postmodern Culture_ v.3 n.1 (September, 1992) at <http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.992/pop-cult.992> PMC was one of the very earliest internet-only magazines. Available at <http://johntranter.com/prose/brekdown.shtml>
———. ‘Neuromancing Miss Stein’. Picador New Writing, 1995. Sydney: Picador, 1995. Republished in Urban Myths, pp.167–73.
———. ‘Notes to poems: Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected.’ Available at <http://johntranter.com/notes/um.shtml>
———. ‘Untitled’. A review of John Berger, Photocopies (London: Bloomsbury) in The Australian, 4 January 1997.
———. ‘Odi et Amo’, review of Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa by Charles Nicholl (London: Jonathan Cape, 1997). Available at <http://johntranter.com/reviewer/nicholl.shtml>.
———. (Reviews twelve books of poetry.) Meanjin magazine, vol.37 no.1, Autumn, 1978. Available at
———. ‘Preface to the Seventies’, on the University of Sydney Library’s SETIS site:
———. ‘Rimbaud and the Pursuit of the Modernist Heresy’. In New Poetryvol.21 no.5–6 1974 (pp.34–39).
———. ‘The Anaglyph’. The Modern Review. Richmond Hill: The Modern Review, Summer 2007 (June 2007). Volume II Issue 4. pp. 120–28.
———. ‘Three John Ashberys’ The Independent, March 1994. (Australia) Available at <http://johntranter.com/prose/3jas.shtml>
———. ‘Yoo Hoo, Fugaces! Some Fugitive Poems by John Tranter, With Notes by the Author’. In A Salt Reader (John Kinsella, ed.). Applecross WA: Folio, 1995. This anthology represents issues 5, 6 and 7 of Salt Literary Journal.Available at <http://johntranter.com/poems/fugitive.shtml>
———. (Editor) Free Grass, undated, no address, no publisher, 1968. The entire five-foolscap-page mimeo issue of Free Grass number one is available on the Internet at the University of Sydney Library SETIS site at < http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ tranter/poems/free-grass/index.html>. Tranter claims that though only the one issue was published, a second issue was printed and was lost.
———. (Editor) Jacket magazine, on the Internet at <http://jacketmagazine.com/> (from October 1997). Archived at the National Library of Australia at <http://pandora.nla.gov.au/>.
———. (Editor) Martin Johnston: Selected Poems and Prose (edited by John Tranter). St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1993.
———. (Editor) The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (co-edited with Philip Mead). Ringwood: Penguin Australia, 1992.
———. (Editor) The Tin Wash Dish: Poems from Today’s Australians. (Selected by John Tranter from entries in the poetry section of the ABC/ABA Literary Awards competition held in 1988). Crow’s Nest : ABC Enterprises, 1989.
———. (Editor) The New Australian Poetry. St Lucia: Makar Press, 1979, reprinted with corrections 1980.
———. (Editor) Poetry Australia. ‘Preface to the Seventies’ issue, February 1970. Five Dock: South Head Press, 1970.
———. (Editor) Transit New Poetry, number 2, January 1969, Camperdown NSW: Transit, 1969.
———. (Editor) Transit New Poetry, number 1, September 1968, Paddington NSW: Transit, 1968.
———. (Interview) ‘Original of his generation.’ John Tranter in conversation with Rosemary Neill. Weekend Australian, 12–13 August 2006, Feature 7. Available at <http://johntranter.com/interviewed/2006-r-neill-australian-iv.html>
———. (Interview) In conversation with John Kinsella, 2005. Unpublished.
———. (Interview) In conversation with Lance Phillips, October 2004. Available at < http://herecomeseverybody.blogspot.com/2004/10/john-tranter-spent-his-youth-on-farm.html>
———. (Interview) In conversation with Robert Hahn, Balmain, 2003. Available in Fusebox (Rattapallax) at <http://www.rattapallax.com/fusebox_04tranter.htm>
———. (Interview) In conversation with C K Tower, ‘Word for Word’, Riding the Meridian, Jennifer Ley, ed., vol.1 no.1 (1999). Available at < http://www.heelstone.com/meridian/word1.html>.
———. (Interview) In conversation with Ted Slade, May 1998. Available at <http://johntranter.com/interviewed/slade-iv.shtml>
———. (Interview) In conversation with Guy Shahar, The Cortland Review (September 1998). Available at <http://www.cortlandreview.com/features/sept98/index.html?ref=jump>
———. (Interview) In conversation with Mr Jan Garrett, July 1980. Introduction by Jan Garrett. Broadcast in Books and Writing, ABC Radio National, 28 July 1980. (Provenance: John Tranter’s transcript of an off-air audio tape copy of the program.)
———. Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected. St. Lucia Queensland: University of Queensland Press, 2006.
———. Studio Moon. Great Wilbraham, Cambridge UK: Salt Publishing, 2003.
———. Trio. Great Wilbraham, Cambridge UK: Salt Publishing, 2003.
———. Borrowed Voices. Nottingham: Shoestring Press, 2002.
———. Heart Print. Great Wilbraham, Cambridge UK: Salt Publishing, 2001.
———. Ultra. Rose Bay (Sydney): Brandl and Schlesinger, 2001.
———. Blackout. Cambridge UK: Barque Press, 2000.
———. Late Night Radio. Edinburgh: Polygon, 1998.
———. Different Hands. Fremantle: Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1998.
———. Gasoline Kisses. Cambridge UK: Equipage, 1997.
———. At The Florida. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1993.
———. The Floor of Heaven. Sydney: Collins/Angus & Robertson, 1992.
———. ‘Gloria’. Southerly number 3, 1991, ‘Memory’ special issue. 80–109. North Ryde: Harper Collins, 1991.
———. Under Berlin. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1988.
———. Gloria. King’s Cross, Sydney: Nicholas Pounder, 1986. 11pp, paperback. ISBN 1862527571.
———. Selected Poems. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1982.
———. Dazed in the Ladies Lounge. Sydney: Island Press, 1979.
———. Crying in Early Infancy: 100 Sonnets. St Lucia: Makar Press, 1977.
———. The Alphabet Murders: Notes from a Work in Progress. Poets of the Month series. Sydney: Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1976.
———. The Blast Area (Gargoyle Poets number 12). St Lucia: Makar Magazine, 1974.
———. Red Movie and other poems. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1972.
———. Parallax and other poems. Sydney: South Head Press, 1970. As Poetry Australia magazine, number 34, June 1970. (Date incorrectly shown on the half-title page as June 1968).
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