Sunday, March 18, 2007

Interview with Jill Jones

Tom Beckett: Where did/does poetry begin for you?

Jill Jones: There are many ways I can answer that and here are some of them.

Poetry begins in a space. Not one I can define. It is often apparent, however, when I’m walking. But even before that, it is in the body’s space, and pace, its energy.

There’s always birds in it, and light.

Often I can begin with the sound of words, a phrase, in the jingle jangle brain. No sentences but in strings. Secretly, I wanted to be a rock star way back when. And I am very influenced. How could I not be? No word is mine anyway. There’s a list of influences I could go on with but they change over time.

Another beginning. I tried to make a book when I was about eight years old. It wasn’t poetry and it was crap, of course. I’m a child of the suburbs, those blank, sunny stretches I remember that held nothing but boredom for certain kids, like myself. In my story I “escaped”, to the supposedly more cosmopolitan, semi-bohemian inner city of Sydney. It was from there I started, eventually, to write. In my mind I was merely writing about “what I knew”. My experiences of “nature”, “environment”, “place” were all metropolitan or suburban and any art that approached these was like a great invitation to me. I got with those lines from Wordsworth that I first learned in early high school: “This city doth, like a garment, wear/ The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,/ Ships towers, domes theatres, and temples lie/ Open unto the fields, and to the sky. …”

Nowadays, of course, you’re not supposed to admit to reading Wordsworth, but it was all part of my experience as a reader and would-be writer at the age of, ooh, fourteen, and I can’t be bothered repudiating it at this late stage.

Of course my reading expanded. What Australian high school kid didn’t read Slessor back then? Well, I did at least, and poems such as “William Street” and “Five Bells” entered my consciousness, and if “Five Bells” isn’t about Sydney, then I don’t know what is. It’s interesting to read Slessor’s own notes on “William Street”, in the preface to his Selected, where he says, “The general reason for the poem remains, since it was intended as a defence of metropolitan fascinations against those who considered the city ‘ugly’ and found beauty only in the outback”. The poem’s first stanza, and its well-known refrain reads: “The red globes of light, the liquor-green,/ The pulsing arrows and the running fire/ Spilt on the stones, go deeper than a stream;/ You find this ugly, I find it lovely.”

OK, it’s not one of the world’s great poems, in hindsight, but I’m talking beginnings here, what a kid embarking on poetry thought might be possible. And despite that, I was a very late beginner, in one sense. I started writing poetry, badly, in my teens, then stopped and didn’t get going till way way later. The poetry of Adrienne Rich helped a lot in that second beginning, now some 25 odd years later. Sort of obvious, I suppose, looking at the changes in my life.

Beginnings are difficult. Poems seemed magical once (still do at times, but I’m talking about “then”). Words were magical. And poetry never ends even when it is difficult. I think it will be difficult to end.

Sometimes I don’t know I’m beginning. Stuff happens with words. One way of beginning is like a tuning in – you hear a dog barking, or someone says something, you see an angle in the street and a word associates itself with it for a moment. It’s associative, or accretive. It goes or it doesn’t. Good old hindsight might do the intellectual grunt on the whys and wherefores afterwards. It’s a little like the problem of how to “exist in language”, to borrow a phrase from Nicole Brossard. Sometimes it seems like too much hard work. And never to forget, writing comes from the body. I’ve thought of it as a complex of physical activity that’s pretty obvious, like the hand typing or pushing the pen or the eye reading the words being written, as well as what’s less easy to document, what someone else I can’t remember called “felt sense”, a bodily awareness of feelings that come out of words, ideas, images. But it all requires energy to generate this activity.

I sometimes have a problem with energy, or I certainly did some years ago. Perhaps it was simply tiredness — not just on the physical level but that of depleted possibilities, a kind of millennial exhaustion. I would turn it around, something like Gerard Genette said (I was reading him a bit some years ago and got stuck on it, so I have the quote to hand), “Perhaps the best thing would be ... never to ‘finish’, which is, in one sense, never to start”.

But these days I often write to order, or use other ways to make poems: reading someone else to kick start, making lists, noodling on the net, using constraints. That can work. I am naturally a last minuter so being ‘made’ to do something is useful. There are, in fact, lots of possibilities.

TB: You mentioned thinking poetry comes out of the body. What's your sense of how bodies figure in your work?

JJ: The body in the poem is, among other things, its rhythm. The other things include the senses, including all forms of sonics, and sound relationships, what I get through my ears as well as the sound felt and heard in my body. And even the feeling of not being able to say, the words I don't have words for, how that feels. There's a famous quote from Mayakovsky, I think, about walking and mumbling, of sounded rhythm getting to the word of the poem. Perhaps it's like chanting.

Walking, and moving is a key for some poets. Didn't Coleridge and Wordworth talk about their different styles of walking as part of their composing a certain kind of poem? Let alone Baudelaire and his flaneurie. I don't drive, so I walk and also use public transport a lot, which has its own rhythms - how you see as things pass, what you hear and don't hear due to noise factors, as well as the actual physical feeling of the train or bus. Buses are much harder to write on (on? in?), or Sydney buses are. I can't write in cars. I don't know why. But you can see that a lot of my writing does start en plein air, so to speak. But not just in observational mode. What you do. Not that hearing and seeing isn't 'doing'. But it may explain why some of my poems have a kind of broken or collaged kind of narrative, Changing trains, changing travel modes, the coming and going of bodies, voices, weathers. You can see a lot of this in the sequence 'Struggle and Radiance' or the snapshot poems I was writing on the poetryetc list for a time.

Poems are made of language, obviously, and language is material, it has a physical presence (including its technological modality - and is it weird to say I sometimes touch my screen to follow something). The material is never static. Then there's words on the page, the look of it as well, the visual rhythm I can get going.

The sounds of words and their 'feel' are important to me. I go sometimes with rhyme and have written the occasional poem with a traditional rhyme and metric scheme. Some of the sonnets in the sequence 'Traverse' approach that. The stresses and rhythms are obvious in metrical verse, of course, but irregular stress is also rhythmic or tends to rhythms that aren't iambic. I don't know how much I get it right but I am conscious of a wish to get a poem to 'swing' somehow. (I realise this is a jazz kind of terminology.) Timing is important (and turning), the swing between the binaries, the alternations, however irregular they may be, how the poem moves, how it becomes. I sometimes write poems to songs or pieces of music, even movements from symphonies. For instance, the poem 'The Skim' from Broken/Open is based on the rhythm of a song 'The Spark' by The Roots. The end result is hardly ever something you'd pick, but I know where it started.

I don't write lot of poems about bodies or the body in the sense that, say, a lot of poems were written out of feminist ideas from around the 1970s and early 80s. It's not a kind of project that ever sat easily with me. I don't think it's a theoretical position, I am just uneasy about it, for me. Of course, I do write love poems, they are about bodies.

I do write about, as well as out of, the senses and the rhythms of the body and people tell me my work is 'sensual'. I mention breath a lot in my poems. As well as obvious connections to 'breath unit' and such, it also connects to my own breathlessness. I'm not an asthmatic but I am very close to its possibility. I am very conscious of my own breathing. I am also seem to be sensitive to sounds at a certain low level. I feel them. I also suffer from a kind of vertigo and feel bodily a kind of state of 'between-ness' when I've experienced an episode of vertigo. It's not necessarily pleasant, mind you. But I am my body and it's what I do, so it is part of my process, a techne of the body, so to speak. It's taken me a while to realise this was something I was doing in my work. There are always these little mysteries about the making, the secrets one keeps from oneself at times.

TB: What do you want from a poem? Why does poetry matter?

JJ: Well, Tom, these look like two very different questions to me, though maybe not. Let's see. I'll answer the second one first. Though I'm not sure it's up to me to say why poetry matters. But, OK, to me, yes, it matters. It's what I do, in a way that defines me, unlike a lot of other things. It's also how I think a lot of the time, in that I experience a poem I make as also a way of thinking. I mean this in the broadest possible sense - emotional thinking, the thinking of skin and nerve.

So - what matters? The power of language. That it's full of possibilities. By that I don't mean the new, necessarily. There's plenty of bad new things. And what's new to me may be old to my neighbour. So, I'm not talking about progress. The power - that it can say the unsayable, the not yet knowable. By me.

There's a lot of poetry around these days, so it matters to a lot of people. The poetry itself may or may not be what presses my or your buttons. But people seem to believe there's a magic there. Poetry does something for them, clearly, as it does for me. It makes up the world, a world. Often it's a world we know, so it shores it up or, at times, embellishes it. But sometimes it makes a different world. Maybe that's the 'new' that's interesting, pleasurable, disruptive. Stepping outside yourself, your construct.

I see poems as landscapes (though I'm not fond of that word), the horizons go on, they are only fixed when you're still (and even then, who is ever still). They have weather, which is unpredictable. One of my favourite quotes, which I've lost the reference for, is something John Ashbery said, along the lines of there being only three great themes of poetry, love, death and the weather. The weather really is the matter at the moment, I think.

At times I do wonder where the necessity of poetry has gone, here, in this place. A little anecdote - and not an ego thing. I was in Shanghai a few years ago and we were "assigned" a Chinese guide (who we managed to dodge out on mostly) ... but when she found out I was "a poet" she became all impressed and a touch deferential. Which I found discomforting and embarrassing, especially as I had nothing to offer or show for it, in the context of a language and culture in which I was a tourist. So it was nothing to do with me, this "poet" thing. Especially as, back home in Sydney, I knew that if I mentioned I was a poet people would move away from me as though I'd farted, or berate me that "it doesn't rhyme" or that I was "a wanker" or an "ay-leet-ist". I don't know if it's the same in your neck of the woods, Tom. And I wonder what this idea of "poet" meant to this Chinese woman, about whom I knew nothing.

I'm not sure I've answered this question at all. So, before I get to grips with "what do I want from a poem?", I need to clarify, is it me as a reader or a writer of "a poem"? Or maybe there's an answer to that in what I've said so far.

I can say that I respond to poems that are locales, a space somewhere. I want change, ground and air, in the form's thingness, it's landscape, as well as the poem's aboutness. I always jib at the "about" word, though it's a useful word if you don't get too hung up on it. I think of it in the sense of "round and about", a sort of peripatetic meaning.

OK, looks as though I'm forging on with an answer. I'm into a poem's ecology, if you will, its own dynamics, its topography (own yr own metaphor, eh). I'm interested in equivalences, correspondences, rather than representations. I want to be moved somewhere rather than smoothed in place. I like it when a poem appears to click onto something, then doesn't because it's headed elsewhere, then maybe it clicks again, and then ... etc. Language as resource, not a program, that's not too stuck in its own devices, either, nor too proud of its meanings and ego investments. Though there's no point in pretending that "I" ain't there but I is only a relation, to others, the othernesses - flowers, dirt, horses, history, robots, clouds, human beings, storms, bugs etc. No I but in the world. And as for desire, then the poem allowing desire, making space for it, not just sucking it up. So, what goes around isn't exactly what comes around at all.

The question also begs the question of poems v. poetry. I'm a poetry kind of person. I see I'm writing poetry, rather than lots of poems. And then there's the other question. What does a poem want from us? And I obviously can't answer for the poem.

TB: Would you take me through one of your poems (your choice which) and speak to the occasion of its making? I'm looking for a concrete example of your compositional process/practice.

JJ: Ah, this one could go anywhere. First of all, my process in general is on the fly, whatever I can do in between a full-time job and a life. I used to be much more social but now I tend to work at poetry on weekends to keep up with writing and associated tasks, including blogging. I am at risk of becoming a boring person. I write on the train, en route essentially, as well as in cafes, even in meetings. There's a poem of mine which partially consists of notes made during a meeting about risk management and data collection, called 'How would you say risk management?'. In fact, the original draft became two poems after a suggestion from someone to break the original down. I'm always open to suggestion. I can be a tad precious at times about my work but not that precious.

I've got notebooks all over the place and I think it'd be fair to say I have a bit of a stationery fetish. I like French and Japanese-made notebooks because the paper seems good enough for all kinds of pens, including roller balls and fountain pens. Artist's visual diaries also work, and those Moleskine thingies, but they're not cheap. Most Australian notebooks allow ink to bleed too much and are mostly spiral-bound which is OK but can be irritating when the poorly-manufactured ones unravel and get caught on things and the paper rips. I can pick up good Japanese-made notebooks reasonably cheaply here in Asian stationery stores - Kokoyu and Maruman are good brands. I got some good things in Hong Kong once, as well, inexpensive and great for what I wanted. And if I'm ever in Paris, which isn't often (as in four times, ever, but the fifth is planned), I will stock up on Rhodia or Clairefontaine, which are cheap there, but exxy or completely unavailable here. I live at the arse-end of the world, you must remember. And I will write on anything, including the back of an envelope, if needs. Mustn't waste things.

But, yes - pulls back from the fetish precipice - notebooks ... which aren't that well-organised, but I take everywhere, that I use and preserve. They get filled up with observations including weather conditions, my own turns of phrase, overheard conversations or things I think I hear, things I see written down, on walls, in someone's newspaper. etc. It can get a bit pervy, but a lot of art practice is like that, I suspect. Sometimes an almost fully-formed poem is formed quickly on the run. I'm sure this isn't news for most poets.

So that's one way I work, from what is written out of a situation, locale, the nonce, through a soup of words, phrases, towards a poem or poems. I may still stick to a pen or pencil in a first rewrite, putting together the notes into something. Then I'll move to the computer and begin the re-drafts. That could take hours, days, months, or years.

Another way I work is more from or with the screen from the start. I may do a bit of flarfing, though I haven't for a while. The poem 'Clouds To Powder' in Broken/Open is based on a Google search on the phrase, 'morning rattles clouds'.

I will pull apart old drafts and move lines and stanzas around arbitrarily, just to see, or sometimes put dead poems through a babel translator and see if the progress of words and phrases through various inversions of languages works a transformation I like. Sometimes, I like.

I use the screen to work more quickly with reformatting, and reformatting can often lead to a different, sometimes better poem. The look of a poem is important.

I may set up restraints. They could be formal, eg setting up line endings/rhymes before the poem is written or determining a poem will contain a certain number of words or lines (sonnets and hay(na)ku fall into that category). Others are conceptual, poems based around or containing a certain idea, or based on some other kind of writing, or another at form (ie, ekphrasis, which I've worked a lot with). That can be done on paper or on screen. I plan better on paper, you know, circles and arrows ... etc.

And a lot of what I do moves in and around all these kinds of writing practice. I'm not sure, again, if it's any great secret. It's work, making. The mysteries are in your head and body and in language, and when the making works out right. I mean, there's magic in the process but the material description of it, I dunno, does it reveal anything? It's why there's relatively few decent films directly about writers and writing. Who wants to watch someone writing?

So, some examples. The final (so far) version of this poem, 'While All This is Going On' is available here. The origins of the poem lie in a poem I wrote quite some years ago, around 2001, which was essentially a disjunctive succession of lines, observations, overheard phrases and happenings in my street, in my house, ending up with 'the poet' working. They were all pretty factual. Some of the lines included 'Drugs pass across the road from hand to hand' and 'no-one on the radio, the door of the nation closed/ and poets make words of little boats'. This was a reference to refugees being excluded from this country, the so-called and shameful Pacific solution. The poem's original title is lost to me but one working title was 'But Who Is My Enemy?'. It began around a time I was re-reading Shelley, the political Shelley, and there's a reference to a portion of 'Ode To the West Wind' in it, "from whose unseen presence the leaves dead/ Are driven". I played around with the poem for some time, maybe a couple of years, on and off. I may have even submitted it somewhere, not sure. It was never right, A bit too much detail not doing a lot, and it looked lumpy on the page. But there were things in it I liked. A couple of years later I wrote a series of lines in a large notebook. It was around the time of the last Australian Federal election in the spring of 2004, that is October (just days before my birthday, as it happened), and I was 'not happy, Jan, not happy'. There are lines such as 'Somehow we're all starting to sound like the shadow', which is the first line in the notebook, or 'It's elbows and interest rates and the beautiful soft furnishing of night programs', or 'Windows blink, murmuring diamonds, cast-off sounds twist into my dreams'. Looking at this now, I think I may have been watching TV as I wrote it. I see from the notes at the bottom of the page that I planned to write something titled many things but including '101 footnotes to a lost text on war'. Somehow, in a move I don't quite recall, I decided these lines and the other poem, and a few other orphan bits and pieces, might work into something. I wrote '101 lines on a spring campaign', I think I called it, mixing up the lines, getting together 101 of them. I was trying to get the poem to move between the very particulars of a place to the over-arching political state of a country. But it was always a bit uncooked, over-reaching or under-reaching, I don't know. I did send it off somewhere but it got the inevitable arse. It became '62 Footnotes For a Lost Text on the Spring Campaign' for a short time. I left it for a bit. Then, one day, playing with it on screen, I ran it all together as a paragraph. It seemed to work with much, much pruning. The currawong in the last line became a raven (an Australian raven) because I suspect that's what it had been all along, a big black raven. I sent it off to nzepc for their FUGACITY 05 anthology and it came out in three paragraphs. I don't know if that was something to do with a coding error or whether someone there re-edited it like that. But I kind of liked it and so it stands. For the moment.

Another other more concise example. Breath, the hours is a text and visual work, essentially ekphrastic, that I wrote 'to' photographs taken by my partner Annette Willis. I had been offered the opportunity to do this by Rebecca Seiferle, editor of The Drunken Boat. I had an idea about 'journey', pretty broad, eh. But Annette and I had been on journeys together. We're both interested in street textures, in shadow and light. We picked out some photographs of hers and I sat with them, and put something together around them, then we talked some more. It was a dialogic process, between the two people involved and the two practices, as well as the dialogue in the work, line by line, including the repetitions. The form is my adaptation of hay(na)ku. I'd originally thought of using that form but the project really required a different movement, an eddy and flow, so I came up with the idea of using a longer line with a shorter line as a lever, in other words, a six word line being a hay(na)ku written in a straight line instead of a stepped stanza, followed by a three word line. I find that 'things of three' can mesh together yet move along. The words of the poem were reworked from a number of existing fragments I'd written over the last few years, most of them had been written during journeys and towards something but had never quite settled.

But the poems are definitely made up of my preoccupations, place and weather.

TB: Who do you see as the poets, peers, contemporaries most affecting you now?

JJ: To some extent whoever is in front me will affect me, one way or another. I don’t have to like something for it to affect or influence me. I’m ornery enough to go in the exactly the opposite direction from whatever may be in front of me. I sometimes make a point of reading poets whose work is nowhere near what I write, is more, say, conservative. So long as they don't greatly irritate me, I can plot my own way by setting a course pushing away from what they do whilst getting some good ideas as well as enjoying the ride. So I don’t have a reading program, ie I don’t just read certain people, or just talk to a certain group. I am aware of 'schools', very much so, we've had our own poetry wars in Australia, but I find that kind of thinking very limiting for my own work. I can't do gangs. That’s largely the kinda gal I am. I’ll read anything, the back of a chip packet or beer can. You’ll always find something of interest.

As for now, my poet friends affect me, of course. If I can have a natter to them over a drink about what they’re reading, or share a bit of gossip, or talk about a good plan for poems or poetry, although they may or may not influence my work, they will affect how I feel about poetry.

I know you’re probably after names. All I can do is pull some books from my shelves and see which of them have meant something to me recently.

OK, so here’s Peter Minter’s Blue Grass sitting atop of Peter Gizzi’s Some Views of Landscape and Weather. In another pile, Ange Mlinko’s Starred Wire, Mary Rising Higgins O’Clock, and Michele Legott’s Milk and Honey and As Far as I can See, all of them very differently shaped books, and containing different poetries. Or Jose Kozer’s Stet: Selected Poems, a bilingual version translated by Mark Weiss, who kindly sent me this copy, and so full of energy and marvels, though I read no Spanish. These are some books that have made an impression on me recently. There are many more.

I could also include the people I've met via blogging and email lists. The internet has made a great difference to me. In the mid to late 1990s I had withdrawn from poetry circles. I got near to giving it away, it was one of those rather twitter and bisted phases a lot of poets seem to go through, though there were other reasons. Then I started exploring the internet and joined a few lists such as the UK-based poetryetc and and US-based wompo. What this did, for a poet sitting pretty much on her Pat Malone here in Sydney, normally reliant on whatever books from overseas you could get your hands on and the very occasional visit by someone fri'fully teddibly important, was to open up a whole new world. What was ACTUALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW in places other than Australia. I know that sounds kind of naff these days but, by golly jingo, back then it made a real difference to me. For a while it allowed me to blow off all that need, to be part of the poetry gang here. I discovered traditions I barely knew about (and still barely know a lot about), I could get access to texts I'd never even dreamed of either free or through the online bookshops. And I could be part of conversations, and be accepted as part of conversations, with people who were typing on a mid-winter evening while snow was falling in the English Midlands or New York or Iceland while I was up getting ready for work in a lather of late summer vile humidity. I was getting dates again, so to speak, people wanted to read my work. For a while I felt a bit disconnected from my own scene. That changed quite some years back, and now I get about with some of the old gang and some of the new gang in real time and space and we have plenty to talk about. But my contacts online are pretty important and central, and they affect my work. Though a preponderance of that would be USAmerican poetries of the kind that get labels such as post-avant or experimental or what have you, mainly due to the sheer weight of numbers online, I also look to the UK, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Asia, anywhere really, if it's available. There are gifts out there every day, and also real exchanges of books, chapbooks, mags between the rest of the world (and the rest of Australia) and a gal in suburban Sydney. Seriously, and I suppose obviously, I wouldn't be doing this now if not for all that. And my poetry book shelves would be a lot less packed as well.

There are the early influences, and the forebears, as it were, but you're not asking me about them. But I do think, even now, there's a lot of dead folks who affect me. Funny, I don't think about them as dead. They are also contemporaries if I am reading the words they wrote right now. That's contemporary.

I'm also affected by music so titles and first lines are important to me, and atmosphere and tone, sonically, like you might get in some funk, nu-jazz (or old jazz) or electronica. I've done mashups of my own work and others. And films and visuals of various kinds. My partner is a photographer and we work together and talk together about light and shadows and words. She taught little kids many years ago, she taught them poetry and that is so, so important. To sound or sing or clap out words and poems. To get the body moving with language. I'm pretty shy but in my room I can move it as well, and no-one needs to know.

TB: I guess that I need to know, Jill. And you told me!
A final question: what do you find most encouraging/discouraging about the current poetry scene(s)?

JJ: What I find most encouraging is partly in the answer above - a kind of loose global community these days, where I find access, feedback, friendship, knowledge. But I do wonder that many of my fellow Australian poets aren’t part of the dialogue out there. There are relatively few Australian poets even with websites, let alone blogs. There’s not huge numbers of them active on email lists. Australian poetry publishers or organisations don’t have a true web presence that much. (A web page that isn’t updated in a month of Sundays let alone a blue moon isn’t worth bothering with. And a badly designed web page, sheesh!) John Tranter’s Jacket magazine is what you might call a benchmark, a real leader in presenting poetry online, but hardly anyone in this country has followed.

In another direction, I am discouraged by writing that is too in love with itself. Or skips over other traditions a bit lightly (you could do it by tripping gaily, I guess). Also, I do wonder why a lot of poets spend so much time trying to make things look “fresh and natural”? I still see a lot of this in my own scene here. I find it unsatisfying. It’s hard for me to respond to this kind of “naturalised” poem anymore. It seems so forced. But so does a lot of experimental work, so-called, by definition, it seems. So, I appear to be arguing against myself.

What is also discouraging are too many quick judgments and opinions. The gold star review instead of biding one's time with work, of judging work based on the worker's supposed stance or tendency rather than the poetry.

That’s related to my own dissatisfaction at being caught between, and it’s why I couldn’t really answer your previous question satisfactorily, Tom. What I find discouraging is that so many people like to put you in a box, a school, a gang, whereas I go in between. But ultimately the poetry wars are boring rather than discouraging. They continue here, sometimes raging, other times as guerrilla skirmishes. The discouraging bit is when someone tries to “get” you in a review. It’s happened to me, and plenty of others. Critique and real discussion of poetry, rather than just reviewing, is almost non-existent in Australia. There have been so few books of poetics published, when compared to the States, for instance. There’s the odd glib newspaper article that purports to summarise what’s currently going on or tries to give a historical perspective but it’s usually mainstream or conservative stuff. Or there’s a “grumpy old poet” type article. I don’t like that kind of negativity, especially when I detect it in myself.

But really, I am much more encouraged than discouraged. Though what really discourages me is my own lack of time and space to stretch out as a poet, what encourages me is that there’s so much going on, so many possibilities. There are many poetries and many ways they keep happening, especially across the wide range of technologies from the old-fashioned DIY to the new. It seems that poets have to keep doing it for themselves, but I don't see that as a bad thing, it's just part of the way.

It is always good to discover new poets everywhere, the up-and-coming as well as to rediscover the neglected or those you ought to have known but never did, the stars of other traditions. It’s good to know that you don’t really know that much.

And what is encouraging is that I can talk like this over oceans and miles and time. So, many thanks Tom for the opportunity.

TB: Jill, it's been a pleasure.


Blogger na said...

What a fine interview -- thanks to you both for sharing your thoughts and & (s)pace -- love that.

I also enjoyed the poem, the hay(na)ku variation, on Drunken Boat. It's true hay(na)ku in taking seriously its non-paradox of disciplined looseness (grin).

7:49 AM  
Blogger Jill Jones said...

'non-paradox of disciplined looseness' - yes, we want some of that. Glad you stopped by to read my thoughts from Sydney and that you enjoyed 'Breath, the hours'. I always seem to hay(na)kuing with things. -- Jill

5:40 PM  
Blogger Anny Ballardini said...

Hi Jill, I loved your "writing en plein air" and your walking around and the music of it all,

2:42 PM  

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