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A Tinker’s Cuss – Jim Wilson’s Blog, 20/11/15

Jim Wilson’s Blog, 20 November 2015


It could be I’m just peeved from restless dreams last night. I was dreaming about Levon Helm again. Levon was a truth teller and we all know that. You get them every so often in the music industry and then everyone grows a beard, gets glasses and boots like they were a graphic designer and follows in behind. The ones who follow make all the cash. The guy in the front gets cancer and a weight on his shoulders. Still, who’d want to be Phil Collins?

Yesterday afternoon a young couple checked into this old Victorian-style boarding house where I am staying in New Jersey. I have the very top garret on the third floor and there is a shoebox room next to me and the young couple got it.

The guy bore a close resemblance to Steve McQueen and he looked like he’d fight anything going and lots of things that weren’t going as well. He must have been 28 and he drove a ’78 Corvette Stingray with plenty of rust and deeply sensuous headlights. This young man had dirty blond hair and wore Peter Fonda sunglasses. His co-offender was a Guatemalan woman, about 19, and she was sultry, beautiful and obviously difficult to please. Like all of them she wore red, which is the colour of her temperament. Jet-black hair tumbled across her face and down her back. She also had black eyes. They all do. I’ve met a few.

The man was a New Jersey hillbilly and she was a free spirit. I’ve seen it before. In the end, no one is happy.

In the middle of the night, I was woken by sounds that were like a Panzer division moving into the forests around Stalingrad in 1942. I could hear the tanks screeching and thrusting and then reversing back for cover as the Red Army retaliated in the snow. Or seemingly so. There was a rhythm, a climb and a crescendo to all of this and it went up and down and it was demonic. I began to hear Shostakovich’s “The Leningrad Symphony”, but I also recognised that Levon Helm was driving one of them tanks. He wanted the ultimate fruition and victory as well. It’s not very often you get that in this make-believe and pretend world. The tank commanders were screaming over their radios to each other and laughing deliriously. Leningrad or Petersburg what does it matter, it’s always the same old story. It’s a wolf pack out there and it’s coming to get you if you stand still.

With all these noises coming from the shoebox, I slowly came to realise that there was also a film crew in the hallway. I had a spiritual awakening when I grasped that all this was all about a remaking of “Debbie Does Dallas”. Yes, all of this was synthetic and none of it was real at all. It seems everyone has a role to play and they more comfortable doing that.

But, I felt very disappointed.

Like everyone, when I am pushed too far I can retaliate and I have certain principles which I will fight for. I have a decent sort of fury, but I have learnt the hard way that it is pointless to fight with the ‘eggs’ of this life. My grandmother had red hair, my mother had flecks of it and I have the temperament as well.

Here are some of the things that slut me to the very bottom of my ball bag and some that I love as well:


  1. Critics who are merely wrecking balls. I despise them. There’s a lot of beauty in this life. These ‘critics’ often have a stab at people who have talent and have worked hard to get where they are. We should respect them for that. These free roaming critics are not Lester Bangs and they ain’t Kenneth Tynan. Mind you, the public does like to see people thrown to the lions. Some people just wake up in the morning looking for something to hate.”A neurosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping.” – K. Tynan.Still, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to Phil Collins and there are some New Zealand bands that deserve to be on a fishing boat off the Chatham Islands.


  1. Political Correctness. This is just one more way of stopping people from expressing themselves. Then the people who can’t have their say vote the way the noisy people don’t like. This silent majority don’t like being screamed at by Internet bullies and so they just make sure they vote. I have some good friends who work in a gas station here in New Jersey and they just say what they think. None of them are on Facebook and I’m sure they carry Glocks. To each man his own.


  1. I don’t like a lot about ‘social welfare’ because I believe it creates dependency and encourages the idea that someone else should pay for your pity party. Further to this I might add that I Love social welfare where it is truly needed. My mum and dad died in Dunedin, New Zealand with mere pennies to their name. If they lived in this day and age they could not afford ‘commercialised rest home care’ as we now have in New Zealand.


  1. I detest the fact that many of our elderly go without because some bike gang is selling amphetamine and is on the dole at the same time.


  1. Now jail and imprisonment: There are some Morts in this life who need to be locked up forever. Then there are some people who feel sorry for these people. They stir up others in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘mercy’. Norman Mailer campaigned to get Jack Henry Abbot out of jail in the 1970s (1980s?) and then he (Jack Henry Abbot) stabbed a waiter a month later. Criminals usually want to wreck everything in their lives because they are afraid of the sunlight. They are there to take and not to give. I’ve been to jail; I know what it’s like. I enjoyed it. We all laughed a lot. We were the kind of people who would take advantage of anything.


  1. If you are going to be a doctor, you should do it for Love and not a Maserati in the driveway. You don’t need the silk shirts and ties, you need to wear a sack and give your expertise away.


  1. If you are in a band or in the Arts, then appreciate that good management will get you to where you want to go whilst you are laying in your bed at 2pm having your toenails painted, taking drugs, and screwing the bass player’s girlfriend. Give thanks and appreciation because you most probably are not the centre of the universe. Your manager might have more talent than you. The guy who owns the venue deserves some respect as well.


  1. I abhor ‘commercial radio’ and commercial media because I believe it is helping to create an ever more unreal environment. I believe a country (and radio and media) that is run by businessmen will have a hefty price to pay in health care because people need a real and genuine culture to dress themselves in. In New Zealand, we have mostly dreadful radio, television and newspapers. New Zealand is just too small to have schlock.


  1. ‘News Shows’ – don’t get me started. And this goes double for Internet ‘posts’. I am sure that someone will tell us all soon that water is bad for us and that we should drink more orange juice.


  1. The business of taking sides is irksome but if I had to take a guess I would say that Russia is a criminal enterprise and that Israel might act the way it does because of the holocaust. I’d say that Isis needs a damn good killing.


  1. Paradoxically, I don’t much like people who stand on the sidelines either, but me? I prefer to build for Beauty.


  1. Methadone Clinics? I don’t like them (though I have met some very good souls within them) because it’s so easy to be having a bad day and to go in and complain and come out dependent on a brand new drug that will do more harm than good.


  1. I can’t say I like people who take three or four pieces of hand luggage on commercial airlines flights. By and large it is not the Americans who do this anymore, it is people from those countries that are going through explosive capitalist growth. These people are also becoming very loud. Rampant capitalism encourages people to not think about how others may feel.


  1. It annoys me that one has to pay to visit Karl Marx’s grave in London. But I’ve also read he was a spendthrift who put his missus through hell. It obviously ain’t what you dance, it’s the way you dance it. People will say what they want to believe.


  1. I despise ‘liberals’ who promise to help and then just never return your telephone calls. The best lessons I have heard in this life are from people who told me to go away and do it myself. I have always found liberals to promise all these things to everyone without any effort required because they like looking gushingly in the mirror at themselves. There is not enough money nor expertise in this world to meet everyone’s desires, wants and ‘needs’.


  1. I can’t say I like the idea of government funds being allocated to people who work off a system and then pay off their mates. That ain’t rock and roll, that’s genocide. It’s just not cool.


  1. I spell and punctuate as I see fit. On my arm is tattooed ” ‘Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry. – Jack Kerouac’ “. Jack was a rolling and tumbling kind of writer and I like that.


  1. I saw a politician complaining about car park charges in Christchurch recently. Is this a job? Liberate the people and give them free car parks? That don’t sound right to me.


  1. Punk Rock Music changed my life. The night I saw The Vauxhalls in the Mt Pleasant Community Centre Hall in Christchurch I was uplifted. That gig gave me strength and impetus.


  1. I don’t see how anyone could write a book after Don Quixote but I’m glad a few people did: Thomas Pynchon, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, W. Faulkner, F. Dostoevsky, L. Tolstoy, Michel Houellebecq and Janet Frame. I can’t say I like any Irish guff, but then, in our consciousness we are all drunken Irish men and women. It’s worms in there baby. Keep coming back, we love you!


  1. However, I like a good Irish beef stew. Don’t tell me about tofu; use your time in a more valuable way.


  1. I wish my dad had stood up. He’s been dead for 35 years or more and I’m still waiting. I use his voice in the meantime.


  1. I admire people who have had to fight for everything they have got. Inherited wealth ruins people and whole countries.


  1. It’s hard to write from the heart. They kill people like that.


  1. I love poets. In New Zealand I can immediately think of four or five who deserve statues in the park. These people are the true heroes. It’s hard to write from the soul, but I’ve already said that. It’s much easier to just give the people what they want and then to climb the pop charts and to pretend it’s art at the same time. They’ll buy you champagne for that.


  1. Graham Brazier was a True Legend as was Daniel Keighley. Both men had huge hearts. They died for it.


  1. Some people make better music drunk than when they are sober. Just being ‘sober’ is not an excuse for having no life. In my books, you can be 35 years sober and in a worse state than a drunk down the street.


  1. If you work for someone else, try and bypass how difficult you find them to be and strive to be patient and grateful. There are times when this is just impossible because psychopaths and sociopaths sometimes rise to the top. But, I often find that people and employees would rather complain about the boss than go and do something for themselves.


Lastly, I saw someone using a squeegee on car windows in the mist here in New Jersey the other morning. This guy was cleaning other peoples’ windscreens up and down the street and no one else would have known. I saw this as an act of Love & Faith. Try it, it works.


And, as John Adams said: “The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born.”


That’s wisdom whereas I am just a fool.



A Tinker’s Cuss – Jim Wilson’s Blog, 05/03/15

Jim Wilson’s Blog, 5 March 2015


It has been a long time since I have written a blog but make no bones about it, I have had plenty to say all along the way.

I am in Thailand as I write this. I am taking a break from the pressure of running a small business (approximately fifty or sixty employees) in New Zealand. To make matters worse, that business centres around the Arts. New Zealand is a small country and once someone ‘makes it’ they hardly ever get to live in the equivalent of Tammy Wynette’s mansion. This is because we just don’t have the population base to support a high standard of living for many of our best creators. In fact, the risk of success in New Zealand is that you may become a household name and get your dole cut off. This doesn’t deter everyone and many people are growing beards and getting tattoos to groom themselves for stardom as we speak. There are endless ‘selfies’ on Facebook in dubious poses and still there are many disappointed people about the place. There are some very fine artists who have gotten thoroughly used to the idea that success is where you sell 50 copies of your vinyl album to your mates. These mates love them and love is the best fuel I know of. I applaud people who take this route and I like people who are able to live on love.

Yet in New Zealand we have untold government subsidies available for hacks to make a living by rehashing the past or by releasing bland and pustular shit, but it’s always a case of being ‘in the know’. If you know someone who knows someone, then there’s a small chance you will get a grant and many people live year in and year out from this source. There are various awards for them and this makes it all makes the ghastly appear seemly.

In my country life for many is to try and follow a bureaucratic process which can be extremely painful. If you can’t navigate that process then you are in the shit and you may be endlessly dismayed and saddened by life itself. But once you have successfully navigated the system just once, you may get to join in with a whole lot of often bland people whose one saving grace may be that they never upset each other. It is like giving a Heroin addict Methadone to keep them quiet and there is money for shit if you know the right people. The best artists I know are never on television and they scarcely ever get grants and subsidies and I am grateful for that. They struggle over every single word and this shows and it is equally beautiful and vulnerable. You know that it is true and it is not ‘manufactured’.

Don’t think that I am unhappy with all this because I am not. Since I was sixteen I have cut my own track and it possibly happened earlier as the result of a great fear of becoming dependent. I am happy in the conviction that Kiwis produce some of the very best literature and music in the world and I have been witness to a lot of it. I have plenty of satisfying memories and they tend to sustain me. Many is the time I have driven over the Kilmog with my mates in a rusted out van in order to play some ratty old gig in Dunedin. Or I’ve stood on the door of the Hotel Ashburton and dealt with 30 drunk farm boys. It’s all beer and skittles until the glass jugs start flying around the room, but that was fun in a way as well. That too was real.

I have seen a lot of powerful statements made in my time through the arts.

On these excursions in the vans, my mates and I would start laughing in Christchurch and we might have ended up in Rattray Street, Dunedin six or eight hours later. The Standard Vanguard van (or Bedford) would break down multiple times and yet we’d arrive at Eddie Chin’s club with someone’s pantyhose being used as a fan belt replacement. They always belonged to the drummer and we always arrived just fifteen minutes before the band was due on stage. Eddie would pay us in what he called ‘cigarette money’ and this did us the world of good. He was a very kind man.

Yes, I have a huge reservoir of good memories and it’s just as well because some of my very best mates couldn’t get liver replacements in time and they got buried along with their Fenders. They were usually unknowns and rank outsiders, all of them. Yes, they were that good. No one ever picked them up when they were poor and starving and they didn’t ask for it either.

Thailand, like many places in the world, is experiencing some sort of boom right now and the economy seems to be taking a shot at the moon. No one can govern this country and so the military must do that job on behalf of the monarchy. At least this cuts down on the politicians usurping each other and nothing good being achieved as a result.

Here you can go into almost any doctor’s surgery and buy a used kidney for about $3 USD and if your body rejects it, then the doctor will give you $6 back in cash money. A new liver is about $5 and you can play these things like an accordion. I am kidding of course, but you get the picture.

Koh Samui (where I am currently) is full of Russian holidaymakers. They are one of the major tourist groups here. The locals tell me they are all as mean as cat’s piss and they don’t give anything away for nothing because everybody has to pay.

The men all seem to have tattoos of Vladimir Putin on their forearms and they universally appear to be about fifty-five – sixty-five years old. They have greying crewcuts atop heads that seem to be about 25 inches wide. Their necks are bigger than the Clutha River and they obviously have more volume as they are continuously throwing back alcohol. There are various gold chains around the necks and their eyes are a piercing psychopathic blue. Their stomachs are large, red and swollen and their scrotums are barely covered by a pair of striped ‘speedos’. Whilst they disgust me, one must always have manners around them. They were the first to make it out of Putin’s new Russia and as such they are greedy and dangerous. The Russian currency has dropped in value by more than half recently and these guys are playing for keeps. They don’t talk, they grunt and it’s like talking to a tree to try and converse with them. I guess Putin purchased their loyalty.

The Russian women, on the other hand, have also had a little too much Borscht and Vodka. They are usually vastly overweight as well and yet they insist on wearing flowery bikinis. They often have wiry blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. It’s difficult for me to imagine a kind word ever going backwards and forwards between them and their husbands – they just don’t seem to have the shape of jaw for any good sentiments. They wear gold earrings and have multiple large rings on each hand. Then there is usually a series of bracelets that go all the way up to their armpits.

You might call these people Vladimir and Olga and they are a stereotype, but whereas it is all synthetic it is also visibly real in a killing kind of way.

No doubt these Russians have close ties to the Yakuza as well because making money these days seems to be related to a political gang of one order or another. It is not what you know, it is who you know. In this sense, Russia is much like China, Japan, France or Italy. Come to think about it there are also many parallels to New Zealand where money revolves around cows, banking, accountancy, and the sale of amphetamines and houses. Then the more you can pay for a lawyer, the better you will do financially in life. If you know a politician then you are set up for a good game. Promise your loyalty away and you will live a prosperous life and the insurance companies will always cover you.

I saw a Russian couple chastise their child this morning at breakfast. The father dragged the little boy of approximately three years of age across the floor whilst he was kicking and screaming. I think he had spilled some orange juice and I felt sure they were conditioning him so he could join Spetnaz at some stage in the future. We’ve all watched these television shows where a Marine sergeant abuses his troops in order to turn them into better soldiers with a higher kill count and I feel these parents were getting in some early conditioning. They say it’s love and so it must be.

The parents were treating the little boy like human rubbish and I feel that he may grow up to treat others the same. I am convinced this is how it all happens. Money is God and expediency seems to be the key in the nurturing or otherwise of the child. Society will pay the bill and it will be rendered time and again. Apparently it costs the US Government $810 million US dollars to buy a B-2 bomber and then $135,000 USD to keep it in the air for an hour. This according to a recent article in ‘The Atlantic’ (a good source).

The ‘culture’ of any country has a tremendous effect on how children grow up and what that country becomes as a result. What any child needs is to be able to express himself or herself in an environment that rewards him or her for what they are doing when it comes from the heart and is genuinely good. Encouragement in the right direction does a lot more than chastisement and brutality. Nurturing is true Gold.

I am very fond of the arts because I think if you encourage and nurture people in that direction and give them plenty of love and bring forward the health in them then I figure that things will eventually get better. There may be some poets flying B-2s, but none that I know of. Most poets I know earn nothing.

It’s been clichéd to all hell and back but I do think love and genuineness are the very best armaments we can ever produce.

I’m going down the beach.


Keep the Faith,



Jim Wilson


Diary of a Billsticker – San Francisco, USA

This was to be my final poster run before leaving the USA on my way back to New Zealand. I’m writing this some months afterwards and so I can’t even remember which poem posters I was carrying, but there would have been about ten different Kiwi poets involved and two or three Americans.

Perhaps the attached photos will show the poets. Maybe I was carrying some Patrick Connors (a Canadian poet) posters as well. Anyway, I’d like to think I was and it always makes for a perfect day to be putting up posters. Besides I do like the Canadians because they were with us at Passchendaele and they do possess a reasonably sensible health care system and government (from the looks of things).  They’re generally not too imperialistic either and that always makes for good neighbours. Canada can’t be bad, because Lindsay Lohan wasn’t born there.

I stayed pretty close to downtown and San Francisco is quite easy to get around. It’s a great place to walk and loaf about and there’s always a lot going on, you could be fully occupied all day by just watching what people are up to. Everyone knows this city is, and always has been, a tremendously energetic place in terms of the great music, literature, theatre, poetry and everything else that it has produced. It is a very expressive centre and has often adopted a lot new ideas before other places. I don’t know, one is always in a ‘holiday mood’ when visiting other places anyway, but San Francisco just seems to me to be a city with a bounce in its step. The people seem colourful and outgoing and opportunity is in the air. I wonder if the prescription rate for anti-depressants is down here compared to other cities?

It is a city for extroverts and there’s plenty of opportunity to get things ‘off your chest’.  It’s probably harder to be self-obsessed in a place like San Francisco where the culture seems to largely about pulling people out of themselves and getting them involved in their surroundings.

The world owes this city a huge debt, as most of us have at one point or another felt a lot better after hearing some of the music that has been recorded or written here. Strangely enough, it is also a centre for many international financial institutions as well and then Silicon Valley is nearby. There are a lot of immigrants and this also makes for colour, expression, and new ideas.  The whole area flows with creativity.

I walked the area known as ‘The Tenderloin’ to put up the posters. This is a kind of well worn in and ‘informal’ neighbourhood that is famous for Miles Davis once having recorded a live album at a local club.  Now, if that album were recorded in Gore, I’m here to tell you it would have sounded completely different.  I think The Tenderloin is also the area where Lenny Bruce was arrested at another nightclub because he used the right word at the wrong time. Bill Graham, the promoter who changed for all time the concert industry in America, was from San Francisco too and the music he promoted changed the culture in a substantial way. Then you have the best bookstore in the world on Columbus Avenue: City Lights Books. Lawrence Ferlenghetti, the owner, published many of the ‘Beat Generation’ writers and went to court several times for obscenity because he dared to print what was on everyone’s minds.

In the harbour is Alcatraz, once the world’s grooviest prison and home to Al Capone and many others. Steve McQueen drove a Ford Mustang in an irreverent fashion around the steep streets of San Francisco in the movie ‘Bullitt’ and Levi Strauss jeans were ‘born’ here.  This is where Janis Joplin got her big break and Owsley Stanley started ‘cooking’ LSD in commercial amounts and turned the world on.  The Grateful Dead played in the parks for free and Carlos Santana saw B.B. King playing a live gig and was himself set on a course.  The Beatles started and ended North American tours in 1964 and 1965 at the Cow Palace, a local venue. Their set was twelve songs long and I bet their entire gig was shorter than some Carlos Santana lead breaks. San Francisco is where ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine was founded…. And the list can go on and on.

So, I was happy to be putting up poetry posters and the people in The Tenderloin will stop and talk to you and it just made for a couple of very nice days for me.  I’ve thought a lot in my life about the difference an environment can make to a person’s creativity and how that creativity can be bought to the fore and nurtured. Obviously one of the problems in creating say, live music in New Zealand, is that the potential audience isn’t really that large and for everything that people say about the internet (and they say plenty), it is usually harder going to make a living out of the Arts in Aotearoa than it is in lots of other places.

When you get to a place as exciting as San Francisco it really makes you ponder these things. I’ve seen world class talent go awry and askew in New Zealand because of the real lack of rewards and then I’ve seen people make some really bland music (and writing) and reap relatively large rewards because they appeal to ‘middle New Zealand’ by being bland and barely moving an inch.  They continually say what the person before them has said. There’s not much room in New Zealand for many ‘niches’ and I don’t reckon that’s good for us and sheep and cattle get boring after a while.

So I guess you could really, really say I enjoyed my time in San Francisco and it’s always a privilege to be putting up poetry posters.

Thank You!


Keep the Faith,



Jim Wilson


51a 51c 51d 51f

Diary of a Billsticker – South Philly, USA

This was a nifty little run with my cobber Brian Howard from the Citypaper again. It used to be that street postering had to have as an element of what Jack London called ‘night-time as an essential condition.’ For many years now I have worked in New Zealand on bringing street postering into the daylight. Street postering is an extremely important form of communication for the arts. It is oftentimes a raw and extremely quick form of communication but usually manages to maintain a very ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ feeling at the same time. I am keen to keep it that way too. Cities need every last bit of that which is real that they can get.

This area of Philadelphia reminds me in some ways of the Sydenham area in Christchurch, but it is less tidy. There are the old brick warehouses which are few and far between in Christchurch now as manufacturing shifts further offshore and the shopping malls set in.

We were carrying poem posters by Janet Frame, Brian Turner and new ones by Stephen Oliver (“The Great Repression”) and Tusiata Avia (“Nafanua, the Samoan war goddess, talks about her friend in Philly”).

We have a new launch of poem posters coming up in Auckland, New Zealand at the end of April. Also we have small events in Seattle, Washington and Lambertville, New Jersey in late March and April.

Stephen Oliver’s fine poem “The Great Repression” is included in this next launch and we are test marketing it here in the USA. Next week I am away to Mississippi to poster and I shall have under my wing poems by Tusiata Avia and Stephen Oliver.

Stephen Oliver is writing about the disintegration of the family unit. He uses very strong words which I very much like. My own personal theory is that every time a city puts in a shopping mall it is doing great damage to its citizens. Don’t get me on to this subject because it splits in every direction, but I will say that marketing as a concept is severely overrated.

Some time ago I asked Tusiata Avia to write me a poem that fitted each individual American city I travelled to. And so she did. Tusiata is another extremely passionate writer. There is a line in this poem where the subject is the notion of ‘peace’. Tusiata says we need a sniffer machine now to find it. Ain’t that the truth? Amen. We are all extremely tired of warfare in its many formats.

This was a boomer of a poster run and as I went back home up I-95 to New Jersey, I listened to the ‘new’ Jimi Hendrix album. Even something that Seattle’s favourite son chose not to release during his lifetime, and something that does not really measure up to other Hendrix material, is still far better than most music released (and marketed) these days. That guy turned a Fender upside down. He did things completely different. That is to be cherished.
Keep the Faith,


Jim Wilson


Diary of a Billsticker – New Jersey, USA

There was a break in the weather after basically a month of snow and rain. We just don’t get snow like that in New Zealand (a foot at a time), and it’s kind of difficult to imagine and to get used to. It would be like trying to drive over the Southern Alps. That way you can imagine it. The streets looked like the Himalayas and after a while, you get crazy to do a poster run. People in New Jersey talk about “weather rage”. Everyone’s cooped up and that’s not good for anyone.

I left from Lambertville, New Jersey, which is my base and travelled up I-95 to Princeton. This road is the interstate that features in the intro to “The Sopranos.” Ah, woke up this morning and got myself a gun. Now there was a TV series and so well written.

The journey to Princeton takes about a half hour. I drive down beside the beautiful Delaware River for about ten or fifteen minutes before getting onto I-95. Driving on I-95 is like playing skittles. Everyone is zooming everywhere. I don’t know if that’s good for everyone, but it’s how America is.

Princeton is a lovely and picturesque spot. The town is ruled by the old university which looms most places you look. I’m sure Robert Smith could come here and write some fine Cure type song about the gargoyles on the towers. They are beautiful. The structure of various buildings reminds me of Otago Boys’ High School. The university really is a beautiful sight. It helps my imagination too when I remember that this is the place (Princeton University) which stirred Jimmy Stewart into becoming an actor. Jimmy joined the theatre groups whilst he was at Princeton and the rest is history. I love it. You don’t get actors like that every five minutes and the arts (of all kinds) must be encouraged. People can do small things to help. That’s what I figure I’m doing.

I was carrying with me poem posters by Sam Hunt, Robert Pinsky, Marcie Sims, Michele Leggott and Janet Frame. It is always a privilege to be taking poetry to the streets.

This run was mostly around the various notice boards at the university. There’s a lot going on at this place and you can tell this by the way the various poster sites are jammed with colour and imagination. People are obviously excited and alive. It’s so easy to put up Sam Hunt poem posters, as it really sticks out to me that Sam is, and has always been a vital force for Kiwi poetry. The Sam Hunt poem, ’11 Runes (for Alf, turning 11)’ has many lines that hit me dead centre. To me, Sam Hunt stands beside any poet anywhere in the world:

“I’ll give you what I’ve got
to see you through,
and if I’m not
there, I’ll be waiting for you”

So all this kind of thing (Sam Hunt’s poetry), is really good to think about as you put up posters. The words bring you back to a real ‘core’ within yourself. Sam talks from the heart.

New Jersey? Well, this is where I saw a whole cafe erupt in cheers last week when a Bruce Springsteen tune (“Mr State Trooper”) came on the in-house stereo. These people are tremendously proud of ‘The Boss.’ And he speaks for them so eloquently. This is all how like New Zealand poets speak for New Zealand in such a clear way. They portray our experience or their experience and we can easily relate.

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. Now there was a dude (a ‘dOOd’) – so much style and charisma and so much a strong voice. Frank put that voice forward with ease.

Yes, New Jersey is a very interesting place. So many influences and so much passion. I’ve never in my life been on a poster run that didn’t make me feel good and this one was no exception.

As I drove back down I-95 to Lambertville, I listened to a tune from ‘The Chairman of the Board’

“When I’m out on a
quiet spree, fighting
vainly the old ennui…”

– “I Get A Kick Out of You” – Francis Albert Sinatra

Well, I get a kick out of postering and certainly for New Zealand (and American poets). It’s 100% Real and I prefer that.

Keep the Faith,

Jim Wilson