new zealand electronic poetry centre


M A R K   Y O U N G  

Tapa Notebooks


Mark Young’s return to New Zealand for the 3 rd Birthday symposium was marked by an appearance on National Radio’s Playing Favourites, readings at the Gus Fisher Gallery, the Odeon Lounge and on Rangitoto Island, live and studio interviews with Martin Edmond and Genevieve McClean, and the presentation of a rare copy of his first book Blues for New Lovers (Auckland: The Poets’ Cooperative, 1969). He was also presented with a Tapa Notebook which was returned to UoA Special Collections as the following post appeared on Pelican Dreaming.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Tapa Notebook 

Some sculptor some-
where, who said:
Chip away at the
block of marble until
you find the form
inside. But this the
prelude, forming
the block of stone
from these white
pages. & then, &
only then. Then I
am not a note-
book person, have
only ever kept one
once before, three
decades back, East
Sydney, a bedsit
with wire on the
windows & whores
on the street outside.
& the book in keep-
ing with the cheap
surroundings, un-
branded cover,
coarse paper,
faint blue lines.


An internal journal. No
mention of the journeys
I sometimes made
in Paul Simon's
footsteps. Nothing
in it but lists of
books to read or
read, synopses
of Bogart movies
found in the supine
black & white ventures
of my nights. Nothing
ever out of it but
part of a poem
that lists the lists.


This book is
diction. The cover
tapa cloth, traditional.
But the paper inside
high-tech, high
gloss. So much
dioxin used. So
white I am
afraid to write
on it. An impediment
to speech. Contra


So frightening
six months to
write a word
in it. & then
a fabric-
ation that
perhaps I
wrote. Or.
Perhaps I
wrote of it
but fore-
words &
someone else
them after. Or.
I did make
use of it. Half
anyway. & only
half of that. One
side of the
page. But
whole poems.


Writing on the
recto, leaving
the verso blank.



Mark Young and Blues for New Lovers,
3rd Birthday symposium, Auckland July 2004

Credit: Hilary Chung


Last updated 8 July, 2011