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 -


Comets

III

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.



VI

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?



X

Stop trying to remember
the swarming pong
off extinct broth.

Stop scuttling obessively
through antique shellgrit.

Stand
in the comet's
blue tickling tail.

Snag its fever.

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