it has been a strange time. It got so that I had to go for a long ride on my Triumph. I left early this morning, and went out into the Hunter Valley. I wore the open-face helmet because I needed to let the scenery in. I was listening to Lucinda Williams on my iPod as I went past the vineyards - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and Sweet Old World. I stopped at Bimbagden Estate for coffee. I tried to feel the spirit of the Cohen concert, but the place had no vibe. Wine-tasters and tourists. Nothing real.
Wilding is causing me real concern. I sense he may sabotage the meeting on the island and throw our plans into disarray. I’m thinking we should invite some of the young women poets. They are fierce and courageous and wouldn’t shy away from the kind of Red Drama that is sure to unfold. I’m thinking Petra White, Elizabeth Campbell and Lucy Holt. That trinity could make a sonnet out of chicken wire and driftwood, and they have x-ray vision. They’d sought Wilding and Nigel Roberts out with a glance, and bring a vital energy to the place. We should also invite Sarah Holland-Batt. She can be incantatory. I once saw her spell a stone curlew into walking backwards by the lake at the University of Queensland just by quoting one line from Bishop! Judith Beveridge phoned a couple of days ago. I asked her if she’d like to join us, and she said she’d love to come. She has questions for Hugo and wants to pin Heaney down on a few things he wrote in Door Into the Dark. Others will surely come. It will be like a ragged literary festival, where the ferryman never gets paid and the punters row themselves into a red, smoking dark.