'Pokarekare ana, nga wai o Waiapu...'
Skyler's post on last Thursday's book launch got two things wrong.
In the first place, Skyler failed to acknowledge that for the past few weeks she has been the hidden power behind the Titus throne - without her nimble negotiating skills and stern phone calls, lumbering males like messers Hamilton and Cross would have been powerless in the face of recalcitrant printers and editors. A big thankyou, comrade.
Skyler also neglected to remember that one of the coolest parts of the launch party came late in the evening, when the crowd was dispersing and the owner of Alleluya Cafe was trying to shut up shop. A self-described 'fair dinkum guy from the Naki' stormed the PA system, installed a drummer at the kit The Vietnam War were about to dismantle, picked up a Hawaiian guitar and, to the delight of the remaining boozers, proceeded to bang out 'Pokarekare Ana' and half a dozen other classics before he was chased away. Don't you wish you were there?
Skyler posted a few pieces from my book, but I'd like to throw the spotlight onto Will Christie and Richard 'the big man' Taylor. If you want to know why Will paid for the cost of her book with last night's sales alone, check out my discussion of one of the poems that has found a home in Luce Cannon. And if you want to understand how the wildman of old was replaced by the determined teetotaller of Thursday night, then you could do worse that check out a preposterously long interview I did with Richard way back in 2004, when this blog was learning to crawl.