Monthly Archives: January 2013

 

 

 

Fight or flight

 

Mark Tredinnick

 

 

Hell’s going to be this hot, I’m sure of it

but nowhere near so smartly dressed.

The last day of January: sky the demented

blue of black opal, fire at the back

of its mind, and the leaves of the poplar are thinning.

God’s hair is falling out, and the angels

 

Are up there, those few of them left,

not so much dancing as falling

about laughing. One, suspended like Lucifer,

turns and turns about at the very end

of time’s patience, his green fire almost spent.

nothing anywhere rising to take

 

His narcotic bait. The last day of January:

White moths hedge their bets among

the grass-heads and down drafts. Blackjays

quibble and bitch like mobsters,

co-dependent and jack of it, in the elm

tree’s shady basement. Spider season opens

 

In the cavernous blue tent of summer.

Webs like soft targets stretch across

every flight path and passage—traps

so exquisitely laid you almost wish

you were small enough to spring them,

for the terminal pleasure of being

 

So elegantly caught. Their taut lines

strain elaborately false pretenses

from tree to tree and some of them

steal colours from the morning,

the morning was trying to keep to itself.

The blowflies have taken off

 

 

For the coast in broad-brimmed hats

and flipflops. A butterfly—

a painted lady—flies headlong into a web

in the plumtree. I watch her

bounce, but not high, like a child

on a large trampoline, and stick.

 

She struggles madly, a deranged angel

in Op shop rags; such a rage

for freedom, such a self-destructive will

to live, I reach up and give

her what she wants, what all of us need:

another shot. So much then

 

For my fatal attraction to the intimate

machinery of the trap. So much

for letting nature be. The moth comes

away like a pelican from an oilspill,

but she’s trailing lines. She’s hauling

the ruin of the net, and the spider’s

 

In it. Desire’s fat sinker crashes her

to the gravel, but she rises again,

and I watch her trapeze unsteadily

west, the hunted carrying the hunter

to safety. As they go, the spider climbs

his own wrecked web to claim his own

 

Freed lunch, in-flight. The moth fights

for air—struggles to put distance

between herself and the ground, between

fight and flight, but the spider keeps on

coming. (Hunger’s like that: fabulously

unwilling to let go or let one go.) Until

 

The line snags in the rose bush and the line

breaks, and the moth flies, and the spider crash

lands in a samsara of thorn and petal. Either this play’s

not one where they all die in the end,

or this is not the end. This is the last day of January:

Heat, prey, love: Eros by any other name…

 

 

I prefer

for Wislawa Szymborska

 

Peter Bakowski

 

I prefer

chess to boxing,

solitude to gossiping,

the graves of the elderly to those of the young.

 

I prefer

the bullied to the bullying,

wands to truncheons,

reason to patriotism.

 

I prefer

strolling to fleeing,

buoyancy to gravity,

misplacing my glasses to misplacing my trust.

 

I prefer

self-improvement to nostalgia,

galaxies to ruts.

 

I prefer

the seeker to the know-it-all,

luck to luxuries,

the blushing to the poker-faced.

 

I prefer

winters that are external,

interruptions to loneliness,

when life

increases in value.

 

我喜歡

致辛波絲卡

 

translated by Chris Song Zijiang 宋子江 譯 

 

我喜歡

象棋甚於拳擊,

孤獨甚於八卦,

老人的墓甚於少年的墳。

 

我喜歡

受虐者甚於施虐者

魔杖甚於警棍

理性甚於愛國主義。

 

我喜歡

散步甚於逃跑,

浮力甚於引力,

亂戴眼鏡甚於亂信他人。

 

我喜歡

改善自我甚於緬懷舊日,

星系甚於車轍。

 

我喜歡

探索者甚於百事通,

運氣甚於奢華,

羞紅的臉甚於毫無表情的臉。

 

我喜歡

外在的冬天,

我喜歡間斷甚於孤單,

當生命的價值

有所增長。

 

 

This to the motherless & less privilege

 

Philip Hammial

 

Ten too many relatives around my health status.

Which (health) will come by post, maybe.

Otherwise some preacher woman for healing bring her on.

Maybe she catch a music I never heard.

Maybe add up to a better smart than what I got..

In the meanwhile don’t tinkle at me cause

I drive taxi to the Marne.

When we full up with hurt soldier we drive straight

to house chock-a-block with mediumistic mechanism.

They get better quick. My doing.

For as nurse I’m arsistic.

For it’s my calling to bedpan empty & other.

Praise rude & task with screams, my modus operandi.

Asperger pie for lunch, brunch & supper, no exceptions.

Cuffs (not fleece-lined) to be worn at all times.

In other words: GES (Give ‘em shit).

For I won’t be toyed with.

For I’m not a ball tossed, rolled, sat on.

Grade A Titanic ballroom dancers is how I’ll have them.

If night on a town they’ll do rabbit for five, fox

for ten, maybe eleven if lucky. Where

are we going with this? Wouldn’t it be better

to just hang the whole lot (these lines) from some

attic rafter, let them gather dust, some great

grandson finding them in the year 3000, say, Hey

mom look at this (for example): For as nurse

I’m arsistic. What’s nurse? What’s arsistic? Sounds

like a good idea. Let’s do it. Done.

 

 

 

Yiwon Park, 2012, I was there, mixed media drawing on cotton,120 x 90cm

 

 

 

http://yiwonpark.blogspot.com.au/

 

 

 

Harrison Street
Steve Armstrong 

 

In the sky a cloud exclamation mark —

No perfect gods —

is the short-lived line.

 

Closer to the ground the sun

streaks the sky dirt-yellow.

Here at the western end of Harrison Street,

looking east from a slight rise past weatherboard cottages,

a decommissioned letter box and a Give Way sign,

there’s a rough woodland — a distant tangle of timber

power poles, crosses and wires

and the bright colours of an under-storey

fashioned from parked cars.

 

Closest to the sky, twin shipyard cranes,

hooks hanging heavy and still.

And appearing as if below their synchronous arms,

that point south to the coming weather,

the roof line of a two-storey terrace

blocks the end of the street. A slope

that sings out interior fullness, echoing

other nested spaces; shelter

cultivated with intention or not, recurring

throughout this scrubby arrangement.

 

A magpie sings

its discordant hymn to the morning,

accompanied by birds I cannot name.

Song springing up out of the gaps

between houses and trees, rising

above the obligato barking of dogs,

the staccato cries of children

and the hit and miss of firing engines.

A fresh musical map,

a composition for elusive terrain.

 

Only then a fleeting thought

for the shoals of honeysuckle, the casuarina

and the wide fringe of mangrove

that once was here — there’s no cry from within.

哈里遜街
translated by Chris Song Zijiang 宋子江 譯 

 

天上有一朵感歎號的雲——

沒有完美的天神——

一句短命的詩。

 

離地面更近的是太陽

劃落泥黃的天空。

在哈里遜街西向的盡頭,

在小高地上向東望去,眼光越過木板小屋,

退休的信箱,「讓路」的路標,

更遠處有粗生的樹林,絞成一團的木材

電線柱,十字杆,電線

停泊的汽車使林底

也有了鮮豔的顏色。

 

離天空最近的是雙船台起重機,

大鐵鉤沉重地,靜止地吊著。

彷彿它們同步移動的吊臂

指向南方欲來的風雨,

兩層的屋子一字排開

屋簷連成一條直線

阻斷街道的盡頭。斜坡

唱出內在的豐富,響應

所有築巢的空間;避難所

無論是否未雨綢繆,不斷重現於

在顛簸的格局。

 

一隻喜鵲

向著晨曦唱出它走調的聖詩,

群鳥作伴,我叫不上牠們的名字。

歌聲從屋子和樹木之間的縫隙

泉湧而出,躍過狗吠的伴奏,

孩子哭喊的斷音

和時斷時續的發動機。

一張新鮮的音樂地圖

為捉摸不透的地形譜曲。

 

只有這個時候,腦中才閃現

淺灘上的忍冬,木麻黃,

和紅樹林廣闊的邊緣

曾在這裡的一切——我的心裡卻沒有哭泣。

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Castle in Queensland
The Wedding Photo of José and Margarita, Spain 1925
(José)

 

Jan Dean

 

Marriage is a serious business
so how could I smile? She knows
she wasn’t my first choice.

Although a handshake should be as good
as a signed document

during the eleven years I struggled
to straighten the bottom of the world
my betrothed found someone else.

I’m left with her sister, Margarita
a plump woman, yet take heart

in her wide hips and shoulders
strong as railway sleepers.
She’ll work beside me.

If people paid a pound every time
they say I resemble Valentino

I’d be forever wealthy. Am I
a Latin Lover? He published a volume
of poems called Daydreams

while I work to make my visions real.
Apart from ardent eyes, full lips

and olive skin, we have nothing
in common: One moonless night, dark
waves rolled ashore to become my hair.

My movie hall will feature
a huge reflector ball, slowly turning

snowflakes of colour on the walls.
First, we’ll build a cottage of stones
then use movie trickery for the castle.

Its walls won’t be thick like those in Spain.
They’ll be thin, covered with clay, cemented

with our handprints as a pledge.
I dreamed of her sister and a castle
in Queensland, where Margarita will settle

as my wife. Whose life isn’t leaps
and rebounds? With her veil, tight

above her eyebrows, she is an egg
looking wistful. She’ll work
and dream beside me.

Jan Dean’s version of José and Margarita’s life and their Castle in Paronella Park, Queensland continues out of sequence included in the Mascara Literary Review Issue 7 May 2010, Famous Reporter 44 (Walleah Press) 2012 and Angels on a Shelf , the 2012 Members’ Anthology of Poetry at the Pub, Newcastle.

 

 

 

 

Possessed

Possessed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unstill Life

                  for Karen

by Richard James Allen

 

Your beauty cannot be translated,

but I would fail not to try.

 

It generates a weather

no meteorology can describe.

 

It is most like a flower,

a flower with moods.

 

An unstill life,

in no need

 

of arranging,

it arranges itself.

 

It is not fixed,

so how can I fix it?

 

It doesn’t need fixing,

it is perfect, unbreakable.

 

Even when we both die,

it will still be here.

 

What language can I say this in?

Teach me to translate this.

欲動的生命

        給凱倫

translated by Chris Song Zijiang 宋子江 譯

 

你的美無法被言說,

但不去嘗試,更是失敗。

 

它會產生一種天氣

連氣象學也描述不了。

 

它最像一朵花

一朵有情感的花。

 

它是一次欲動的生命,

並不需要

 

別人替它打算,

它自有打算。

 

它不是固定的,

我怎樣才能固定它呢?

 

它不需要固定,

它是完美的,堅不可破的。

 

即使我倆死去,

它仍在原處。

 

我可以用哪門語言來說它呢?

教我說出你的美吧。

 

 

 

 

 

Martial Sarit Cleans Up Bangkok, 1959

by Adam Aiken

 

At a corner table at the Hoi Tien Lao

a better class of ladies

who use spoon and fork

 

hold court

with a French count flogging US Army

surplus penicillin.

 

In Chinatown

rounded up, the addicts

lead away enchained,

the pipes all burned.

 

Children running through the streets

naked no more.

 

More white space

in the Bangkok

 

 

 

沙立·他那叻肅清曼谷,1959

translated by Chris Song Zijiang 宋子江 譯

 

Hoi Tien Lao高級餐廳的角落

一桌貴婦

舞匙弄叉

 

主持大局

法國伯爵販賣美軍

丟下的盤尼西林。

 

唐人街

癮君子圍成一圈,

被鎖鏈綁了起來,

煙槍都被焚毀。

 

通街跑的孩子們

不再赤身裸體。

 

《曼谷郵報》

出現了更多空白。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oranges: Paterson 1921     

 

Jamie Stern

                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

Esther learned the feel of fruit

before she learned the name.

The smell.  The skin.

Her first job in a small shop.

Bruised apples, grapes and plums

laid carefully in brown paper

behind the oranges she favored.

She warmed her hands on them.

Absorbed their scent.

Carried it home each night

to her mother’s house

crowded with potatoes.

 

Every Friday, the grocer slipped one

in her pocket.  An orange

too small to sell or too old.

For you, he’d whisper. Hide it.

In the pocket of her coat

it would sit until dark

 

when, head down in black wool,

behind a hedge, she would peel

section after section,

holding the juice on her tongue,

pressing

pieces of skin

into the dirt near the curb.

 

 

9780944048313cvr (1)

 

 

JUST OUT!

find the book at —

http://vacpoetry.org/chasing-steam/

 

 

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