Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mallarme to Brennan

Dear Michael Brennan,
I have a letter from Robert Adamson, who tells me if I come to The Island he will introduce me to Dorothy Hewett, the great red symbolist of the South. I thumbed through my library and found this last night a minute before midnight:  

Back in The Days Before The Red K, written in the margins of a copy of Dorothy Hewett’s ‘Windmill Country’:
A landscape that eats into my belief in sand. Above my desk, just reading these lines of Hewett, I see an oblong of Azure, in the side a little door where Vincent Buckley goes for prayer. The trees are stumps full of 29 parrots, the exposed nerves of James McAuley under the painted flesh of the atmosphere thrumming like a violin’s mournful sound at the extremities of Belief, vibrating into the silos. Bouquets of flowers drift through the lines of Hewett along with the wing feathers of several black swans. The sun, one ray at a time, hits the corner of my desk, bursts into flame, and becomes an incomprehensible beauty. Is it the makeup of stagecraft? Blood? Strange morning sun? Or is this the waterfall of tears lit up by the firecrackers of that great artificer, Satan. He moves behind the scenes. This coming nightmare on The Island will reveal all the tiny fragments, the black vibrations of a Southern Star, the freshness of fowls on a beach at twilight until the very air hurts. The whole ancient mystery of Absolute Power will be contained in this coming drama. The beautiful architecture of Hell will tremble. Attended by the wondrous, devout doves in their cremonas, the dwarf poets and the great tall men from Canada and the North Pole. The practice of magic, the poetry of ‘68: whose origin cannot be elsewhere but here on a southern isle which hasn’t become toxic as yet. And finally the fight, the dizziness bought on by the ‘oriental exaggeration of numbers and the remorse that sets over vague and unknown crimes, the virginal languors of innocence and prayer, blasphemy, meanness and the poetry crowd.’
You cannot abolish Redness,

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