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2007 – ‘about must and about must go’

March 2008, no. 299

2007 – ‘about must and about must go’

March 2008, no. 299

January 5:

Planning for the Australian Poetry Centre (APC), thanks to the largesse of CAL; we’ll be in ‘Glenfern’, the handsome Boyd/a’Beckett house in St Kilda. Otherwise I’m feeling fit as a whippet, unlike Peter Costello.

January 17:

Drove to windy Ballarat for Jan Senbergs’s drawings, David Hansen keeping us wittily diverted – the drawings, after 1992, suddenly very good, as Jan’s crowded Middle Park studio had given him cramped interiors, away from surreal cities. Out in the street, I saw someone who resembled Paul Kane, and uttered a tentative ‘Paul?’ – there they were, Paul and Tina, far from New York – so they persuaded us to drive north, coming to side roads that, like Donne’s pursuit of truth, ‘about must and about must go’. It perched on the bald head of an old volcano, in the full tug of wind: ‘The council engineer said we had to chain it to the hill.’

Sign outside a semi-rural house: DECORATED EGGS AND HAND-MADE BEARS.

The next day, sticky. Reading Tolstoy, Marjane Satrapi and Hazel Rowley. Decided to go to Paris in June for the poetry festival. Why not? There’s only one life, or so. Auden once said that Rilke was the best lesbian poet since Sappho. Off to the NGV for How Darkly’s retrospective: early black-and-white works were quite subtle – ditto a quadripartite tattooed man, and the admired suburb-scapes – but his psychedelic heads were a drug addict’s crap. Trout for dinner. Unbelievably witty TLS review by Claude Rawson, of a literary history.

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