Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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MICHELE LEGGOTT has published four books of poetry, the latest As far as I can see (Auckland University Press, 1999). Co-editor of Big Smoke (Auckland University Press, 2000) with Alan Brunton and Murray Edmond, editor of Robin Hyde’s long poem The Book of Nadath (Auckland University Press, 1999). A recent major project was the establishment in 2001 of the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc) at the University of Auckland.



Leggott comments: This is a still from Sally Rodwell’s 1998 film Heaven’s Cloudy Smile, which follows two poets through a sequence of landscapes in Auckland and Wellington. The poets are Alan Brunton and myself. Some of Alan’s script turned up as the poem ‘Movie’ in his book Ecstasy and then in Best New Zealand Poems 2001; he described it there as a ‘death-trip.’ My script traced a descent through seven gates, of which this is one. Sally has made the Devonport waterfront look like the Bay of Naples in another century, helped along by Nunzio Arabito’s beautiful wrought ironwork. Mr Arabito came to New Zealand from Egypt in 1964 and set up a foundry in Devonport. He and Mrs Arabito lived near the waterfront for many years and kept doves that were released morning and evening to circle over the neighbourhood, a choreography of wings on an invisible string.

Alan Brunton died in Amsterdam in June last year while he and Sally were touring Grooves of Glory and Zarathustra Said with their theatre troupe Red Mole. I took a notice to the papers and stopped at the flower shop in Queen’s Arcade on the way home. There were three white roses left.



dear Alan the night
the gluons went out
you would have played
in Amsterdam
the candles blazed
the saxophone climbed
the words found you
and the wine was drained
to the last red drop

go now, hero
of the poets’ tribe
and soul doctor number one
the next world lies open to you
a lily bud on a stick
dreaming its thousand petals
the moment of your going out
is the moment of your coming in
the grooves, babe
the grooves of Glory Be




‘When you give so much’: some recollections of Alan Brunton


Auckland University Press – As far as I can see

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