Author photo by artist, Walter Bakowski

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October in the railroad earth of Melbourne 2009

Reading Jack Kerouac at the age of eighteen, made me want to hit the road. In the early 1980's I hit the road for seven years. October in the northern hemisphere remains a cherished month. October 15 is my birthdate and also my mother's birthdate.
As a poet I remain enthralled by the duality of the world - between work focus and the equally necessary times when we take a nap, sit on a park bench or "goof off".
Time is part of that duality - when time is a prison guard and we cower under his truncheon or on the other side of the day's mirror when we sit in a green field and are made quiet in watching the wind chess move the clouds.
The way we spend time can not always be called wise. Offering our love to someone who can't reciprocate it is a "waste" of time but only if we don't learn, move out of the dust and our begging clothes.
Earlier this month I sold a copy of my latest volume of poems, "Beneath Our Armour" to Elvis Costello. Have found myself re-listening to his recording "Painted From Memory" and also re-hearing in my head his song "Alison" I think the heightened knockout singing performances are when the singer isn't acting, singing from a persona. Two examples of the singer revealing himself are Bob Dylan's "I Threw It All Away" and his "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." Please note that Elvis Costello has been known to sing "I Threw It All Away" live.
Let's go for the song and the poem that we have to write because our heart has had a match lit underneath it.


  1. A little late, but still sincere - wishing you all good things on many more birthdays.
    I am envisioning EC reading your works to DK.

  2. Dear Ann oDyne,
    You're not the first to imagine EC reading my works to DK. Thank you for your good wishes. Hope to spend some of my future birthdays in China, giant land of 24 provinces. The Adelaide Advertiser recently asked me to name a favourite place in the world - old Macau, I said.
    Kind Regards,
    Peter Bakowski

  3. I think you have to read On The Road when you're eighteen and romantic. I re-read it recently and found myself thinking 'Wow, you really just got stoned and talked lots of bollocks there didn't you Jack.'
    Then again other books are better through more world weary eyes. I re-read Johnno and finally worked out that he was gay - something that completely escaped me when I was seventeen.

    I added Beneath Our Amour to my collection of yours on a recent trip to Melbourne and was hooked from the first mouthful of wolf.

    Looking forward to your reading at Bridgewater.

    Rob Hardy

  4. Dear Rob,
    I haven't re-read "On the Road" for more than a decade.
    Recently re-read "Lord of the flies" and "understood" it, the symbolism, more. Thank you for your kind words about my poem "Instructions to horsemen, Krakow, Poland, 1241" from "Beneath Our Armour". Superstition and what life was like hundreds of years ago, rather than life in the 1800's, interests me, particularly the era of the horse, the Tatar/Mongol "hordes". I've got more Adelaide gigs now, details of which I've uploaded on this blog site.
    Every good wish,
    Peter Bakowski

  5. Dear Peter,

    Always a pleasure dropping in to your news page. Hope to see you soon.