Monday, December 22, 2008

Essay on time

In the decade first, in that time marked by the two thousand and's,
by way of, as introduction needs an approximation of time,
a situating of sorts for terms of historical renderings, for the flavour
of particulars and always the timeline moving fast, moving slow.
An introduction, at least knows which and what time is. Resists
any infinite encompassing. Allows that time is, in relation to one,
time is the beginning, time is the middle and time is the end.

As others do, and again, time is framed differently.
Some history only snagged bits,caught in ways similar
to flood drift's entourage of shifted things, caught by a bank,
stuck in the tree fallen near a creek, and time in each.
History always passing or snagged on something.

And time is this thing now aspecting. Time is my breathing and my
right hand, as flotsam drifted from my brain, caught up in.
A small page using lines and time counting is a present right now.
Mostly moving along in the flood drift's momentum.

Time is water, it arrives at some point in an ocean.
The ocean then, where all that history is. Or somewhere,
the bits that history, or an ocean can't claim, still snagged
or loosened and decayed, scattered by the dry banks.

Present, where my hand is this, is one of the many things in time.
A tangible trace here on the page. Later on, so much else,
the other snags, and so many, it's impossible to contain such
multitudes. One solo life, as the multitudes exist, complex as the
books, as the names and the whole is so many things lived.

Stories of you, stories of i, stories of them. In the yard by the fence,
some tree planted before i ever lived - pulling at weeds strayed there,
small mother of millions, growing in the mulch at the tree's base.
This tree decades making its shade, now shades me.

Or swimming in tides - when the low tide starts moving in, reclaiming
with its progress. At the apex between two different flows, on the point
of sand banked where the two tides cross, gently at first - but closer
to the tides high mark, the intersecting tides crash against themselves.
The tides splash up as if they were crashed on rock.

History sand then, and sand banked underneath. And this point
is a place less dangerous when the tide is low. Once in time,
the sand banked here, banked higher. The sand changed, but
here is still a place in time. Swimming in this drag and push,
swimming in this confluence of two tides coming in.

What time is, it is on and on. Is everything as it exists all around
before and ahead. The future is, always almost tomorrow

and before tomorrow comes, time is. And time is now, is already
so much and so much come and gone. And i'm here now in this
flotsam, snagged here in a history larger than one. Here on the
page, i know what time is. Later on, one being and this, for
them who read, where and when, and what time is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dorothy Porter 1954 - 2008

I was very sad to hear the news that Dorothy Porter passed away this week.
I didn't know her, only knew her work. I met her in Brisbane in 2002 at the Queensland poetry festival when she was a headline act on the programme and I was performing there for the first time. In large and generous writing she signed a copy of her book 'other worlds poems 1997-2001' for me.

From the first sequence in that collection, my favourite, an excerpt of three of the ten poems -



What voice of dirty ice
is talking in my head?

I can't watch the sky
without ringing Heaven.

My heart ticking as slowly
as poison
over its hissing dial tone.

Pick up, Heaven.
Please pick up.

It's me.


A comet processed
as a negative
is black.

Space is white
with melanoma spots
for stars.

Let me end in fire
on a night of low smog
bright on the horizon.

Will my lips stream
a black tail?


Stop trying to remember
the swarming pong
off extinct broth.

Stop scuttling obessively
through antique shellgrit.

in the comet's
blue tickling tail.

Snag its fever.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

as a decorating principle

to find its potential you try to learn
what in its impact opens a room
stuffed with the weighted? if you
could start again go the curtain-
less go the clean lines on the wall
why a chair a chest and a pen just
there? in a notebook where it falls
in the dark house you press these
lessons you open it up and you
start again you press light on