Saturday, October 15, 2005

Another diversion: August Kleinzahler. Sorry

"We will see. You could get used, I suppose, to this getting taken notice of" said Hackensack-born August Kleinzahler on Australia's Radio National just now. A poet who has gone across to prose, he was marvelling at the attention being paid to his new book. Only a writer would say such a thing in such a way.

It made me think about blogging. It is somewhat incredible that 521 different people have at least glanced at this blog, including folk from (or whose internet servers are in) Mexico, Iraq, UAE, Hungary, Norway, and Slovakia, and I have kept a keen eye on who's looking from where, wondering who you all are. But that I know it's a a forlorn hope I would invite you to leave a comment to this post and let me know.

This is what Kleinzahler was reading on the radio, and I liked it:

"It was the dog who raised me. Oh, the others came and went with their nurturing gestures and concerns, but it was the dog on whose ear I teethed and who watched me through countless hours with the sagacity and hearing of a Ugandan tribal chief.

You can see him straining at the collar as my mother, dressed to the nines, first introduced him to me, freshly home from the hospital, lying across the nurse's lap, almost afloat, like an early Renaissance Christ child. You can see the muscles in his shoulders and neck. Perhaps he would have eaten me right then had I not been smelling of Mother, who I must say looks very pretty there in profile, probably about to head off to her Shakespeare club or into the city to see Paul Scofield in Lear, or something along those lines. Mother was very keen on Shakespeare, you see.

Going through the old photo albums you will find pictures of me in various stages of growing up, surrounded by the family: father, mother, sister, brother. But please notice, it is the dog at my side, seated upright, proudly displaying the musculature of his thick chest and the flame of white fur that ornamented it. I am his charge, the rest of them bit players. Not so much a Romulus-and-Remus situation as my having a guardian, a sort of dog uncle, rearing me in lieu of parents."

You can probably hear the programme again on Thursday night, or listen to it in due course on your computer on the web.


Post a Comment

<< Home