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Sport 21: Spring 1998



From this height looking down, I watch a ridiculous 21-year-old with far too much luggage struggling along Williams St towards Kings Cross, Sydney, where he will soon be installed, just around the corner from a delicatessen which does a brisk trade selling Lemon & Paeroa and Banana Bikes to homesick New Zealanders, a few metres along from the largest Coca Cola neon in the Southern Hemisphere, or so we were told, or so I am telling you now.

…the vast, shimmering moment.
The contracted, pearl-like year…

page 44

There are threads that one is left holding at the end of every year. In the case of my 22nd year there are a succession of windsocks, a series of meditations on air and aviation. Also, a suitcase full of books—including Teilhard de Chardin's Letters from a Traveller, the Yale Gertrude Stein and the Penguin edition of Blaise Cendrars's Selected Poems—which I am still unpacking. There is also an acquaintance with the New Patron Saint of Aviation, Joseph of Copertino, standing there amongst all the other statues at Saint Canice's, King's Cross. Into his good company I would commend Patrick Hayman, with his strange, airborne society; McCahon, with his flying crucifixes high above Muriwai Beach: Keiji Haino, with his one word of English; and Blaise Cendrars, the poet of youthful intoxication and delirious elevation, whom I would nominate as the patron saint of high-spirited youth; and the patron saint of all of the above.

Black and white image of painting

Patrick Hayman, The dark plane takes off at evening (1988)