Saturday, October 13, 2007

Publication and evaporation

A few of the usual suspects gathered at Ye Olde Boozer last Thursday night to celebrate the appearance of Jack Ross's chapbook Papyri: Love poems and fragments from Sappho and elsewhere. Papyri is the latest publication from Soapbox Press, an oufit founded earlier this year by Michael Steven. Michael is often described (by my girlfriend, anyway) as the handsomest man on the Auckland literary scene, and the lovingly designed, limited edition volumes the small press in the cellar of his Western Springs home creaks out are fairly handsome, as well. Papyri is dedicated to Jack's lovely fiance Bronwyn, and its poems are a noticeable departure from the dark fare of most of his earlier books:

Some say the finest sight

on this black earth is men on horses

others foot-soldiers others

fleets of ships
I say

it's the one you love

Is it the influence of Bronwyn, or Sappho, or both? You can contact Soapbox Press via Michael's blog.

A darkly comic aspect of the evening was the disappearance of Richard Taylor. Richard had been warned by doctors that if he resumed boozing he would contract soft focus syndrome and that, if he persisted beyond the magical eight pint mark, he might begin to evaporate. As you can see (or not see), the warnings went unheeded. I hope Richard has climbed back on the wagon and recovered his corporeal form. On the other hand, invisibility might help him to slip past that grumpy bouncer at the Panmure Tavern... 'Feel a bit funny...might need another beer eh?'
'Hey, what's happening to my aaaarm?!'
Is this man a pretty boy? (Send answers in red lipstick on a piece of lingerie, please.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hunky boy more like!

And I hear he's looking for some action....might have to track him down in Westmere

10:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll have him anytime

Elizabeth Caffin

10:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear he's quite dangerous.

Paul Amlehn

1:50 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Yes yes yes yes.

The night cost me:

Alcoholic beverage:

1 pint (something) $7.90
1 pint (something) $7.90
1 pint (something) $7.90
1 pint (something) $7.90*

Sub Total: $31.60

Jack's Book 'Papyri' $15.00

Driver: $50.00

Cash total: $96.60

Positives - meeting with great literary giants such as (among other of the accused herein deposited)) NZ's James Joyce - (Jack 'JJ' de Ross), Jean Crawford, Comrade Maps, Brett, Olwyn, Kieran, Micheal (disputably "handsome"), a certain Penelope. (Ulysses was not in evidence).

Some jollity and conviviality (if not wit) in the first stages of alcoholisis.

"His Penelope was Flaubert."

[Ms Crawford - an academic to boot - but also someone who at least and to all reports (none having been described to the contrary) - allegedly - at least dances - has Maps ever danced? - not knowing the above reference - Professor 'Square the Circle' Dr J J Jack Ross instantly resolving crisis by quoting poem's name (blank by me) and some following lines with some hint of contemptuous fluctus round his rictus - author (Pound) known to myself but neither author nor poem or phrase known to Crawford - the line thought of immediately by my dissolving self on being introduced to Olwyn's friend Penelope]

Interesting poems given me by Maps.

Sufficiently sober to think of getting a driver.


Financial ruination.

Darkness - cause - ethyl alcohol invading all living (and some now unliving) organs of said Richard Taylor.

Despair - acceleration towards final extinction as depicted in depictions by Maps.

*Percentage alcohol not known nor size of pints in question.

8:14 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Name omissions - Bronwyn.

And companion (male) of Penelope. (Name extinguished from what is left of my consciousness.)


8:22 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

And - seriously - a positive -

The re-writes (inter alia) of Sappho by Professor Dr 'JJ' Jack Ross are brilliant. A semi return to his more lyrical (and often evilly erotic)- but suitably ironically tinged - poems
of his "City of Strange Brunettes" or his (by now well documented and assessed) "brown period".

The poems by Comrade "Snapps" Maps are more than interesting - the strange and beautiful poem about a church window sits like a kind of enigmatic jewell beside the "realist" stuff - the "realism" pervades all however.

The mind intersects with matter - is matter.

"What is the matter with the matter."

Richard Taylor.

8:36 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Don't beat yourself up too much Richard! I've had far more ruinous nights...and I gather you heard from brother number one that you have a positive review of your book on the way - and in Landfall, to boot..?

9:08 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

Yes - and so have I - had more ruinous nights. C'est la vie!

10:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone posted here using my name, it sure as Hell wasn't me, someone saying: "I hear he's quite dangerous" and then signing my name: Paul Amlehn. Such is the nature of the net and the bogus suckerfish who wrote the post... Looks like it was a fun night, and with Richard Taylor there, worthwhile ...

4:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? You're not Paul either. I am.
Already I sense my own destruction through this love that is beginning to invade me.

5:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My beloved twin, my doppelganger, whom I have yearned for for Aeons -at last we meet! I gotta say I really love your writing!

But most likely you are only Richard taylor, or some jilted ex, alas! Cruel spector of fate ...

10:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Paul

I am an ex of yours but not a "jilted" one. I just wanted to say not to worry about the idiot who is posting under your name, they're clearly jealous of your talent and success and have too much time on their hands. Just ignore them. Kisses.


2:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi A!

Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the kind comments and sage advice.

I've got a screening of my video work and a live performance coming up at the Saint Paul Street Gallery in conjunction with the Sigmar Polke exhibition on November the 23rd, it would be great to see you there.

You can check any updtes on my Myspace page at:

Hope all is going well with you.


7:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

I checked out your Myspace page, you've been working on some very interesting stuff. Albums with Robert Fripp and Mike Garson!!! I'll make sure I come to the show. E-Mail me and let me know what time. Take Care. Love to You and Ariel.


6:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog .If your time is less valuable, then it is probably less worthwhile to labor time tracker.

7:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael stevens is a crap poet, not even a poet at all, just a drunk clown

Richard taylor

12:18 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home