Before the carpet comes up
I'd love to post a report on Paul's film and the debate which followed it, but I have to evacuate this room in a few minutes because Skyler has, out of some instinct which is alien to me (is it a sort of semi-conscious, and therefore misdirected, archaeological curiosity?), decided that the carpets in our house need to be pulled up. Hopefully, order will have been restored to our home and to our relationship by the weekend.
In the meantime, here are a few photographs from the launch of my book and Bronwyn Lloyd's collection of short stories The Second Location. A couple of the images show Paul Janman and me playing a modified form of monopoly with a map of the South Pacific and a few fragments of poetry. Working in the tradition of Jack Ross and the young Bruce Springsteen, Paul and I rolled dice and moved our tokens - he got the racing car, while I had to settle, as usual, for the thimble - over a series of landscapes which appeared in my book, moving from Antarctica, through Pig Island and Outback Australia, to Tongatapu, where the last poem in the volume ends.
As we passed through different landscapes, Paul and I asked a series of 'psychogeographic' questions of the audience, and handed people who bellowed the correct answers copies of books by Titus or, even better, CDs of interviews with such Titus-related luminaries as Ted Jenner, Richard Taylor, and Michael Arnold. I've reproduced some of our questions below.
Question: how many previously unclimbed South Island mountains did the proto-psychogeographic writer and self-confessed 'hillman' John Pascoe ascend on his weekends and holiday breaks in the 1930s?
Question: Which New Zealand Prime Minister was also an enthusiastic member of the British Israelite movement?
a) William Massey
b) Keith Holyoake
c) Geoffrey Palmer Question: how many Portage Roads are there in Auckland?
c) 27 Question: what ancient artefact was found at Muriwai Beach two summers ago?
a) a waka tiwai
b) a flying saucer
c) a Celtic observatory
d) Allen Curnow's pipe
Question: which people introduced the camel to the Australian Outback?
a) the Dutch
b) the Barkindji
c) the Afghans
Question: when asked by Richard Taylor to name the characteristics of West Coast poetry, Leicester Kyle gave which of the following one word answers?
Question: which political activist and archaeologist divided his time between protesting against militarism and cataloguing World War Two-era archaeological phenomena like tank traps around Kawhia Harbour?
Question: why was Jacky Marmon reputed to have asked to be buried on top of one of the high hills overlooking the Hokianga harbour?
Question: when did the ferry service between Auckland and Paeroa end?
Question: what is the Tongan word for Hawai'iki?