Monthly Archives: July 2013

 

 

 

Now in July when the Hardenbergia

wraps the world in its lilac coils

and the sun having turned the darkest corner

more lavishly, wantonly scatters its smiles,

 

I carouse in the hills like a Chinese madman,

drunk not on rice-wine, but the wine

that greens the growth-tips of the old Brush boxes

and crisps the washing on the washing-line.

 

Pardalotes chime in the tree-crowns above me

like the silvery beat of Papageno’s heart

as I roam and I reel, a runaway wheel

far from the motionless wreck of its cart

 

until I have delved so deeply in morning

and journeyed so far through the afternoon

that I no longer know which direction to go

and I plummet to earth like a duck in a swoon.

 

But though it might seem, to an untrained observer,

that I’m pissed as a fart, right out of my tree,

yet I know I’ll contrive to appear, in the evening,

at a house whose door will be opened to me;

 

and when I arrive, I’ll come bearing flowers,

my arms empurpled with serpentine

coils of lilac and green Hardenbergia

sipping the last of their blue sky wine.

 

 

 

High above clouds, dreams
form and swirl, deep valleys
down beyond my wild imagining
a string of winding road appears
disappears appears re-appears, forking
at a knot of rock so far away
it could be a pebble thrown over my
shoulder from the split serrations
looming, interrupting the flow
of sky and fog and somewhere
up there Gaudi’s ghost is drawing
inspiration from it all, to keep
Barcelona singing.

red roots under leaf mould that sings torn sinews late morning dew this is one cold town I swing the pick and it chooses its use target each sentence that’s hammered out has a verb and a noun – I see this now as I swing the pick and hit the roots language is an imaginative tool as roots are reality I’m thinking of the old waves of expression – I swing again and laugh at my fool mind that sings It don’t mean a thing … rhythm of the body always sings if it ain’t got Mayakovsky and Wordsworth walking different paths stepping out that rhythm that swing

I dreamt my dog could speak we understood her bark her tones gave her small lexicon multiple meanings oh I always knew she was wise hours sitting silent under the moon in meditation gave her bark a deep definition she woke me at 6 and I understood her every word as I went to the fridge to dish out her breakfast communication can be a wink a nod a frown a growl or a dog’s tongue hanging out all part of a multidimensional narrative the tree does fall even if we don’t hear it I fill up her water bowl

words are cut to length logs in a woodpile age circle stamped inside we use ‘em or lose ‘em and new ones grow in crowded streets that become pop lyrics that invade everyday language generations generate Mother watched TV as I read Gasoline by Gregory Corso propped on one elbow on my divan bed in the leafy suburb near the Swan River ‘Andrew! Andrew! Come quickly! They’re using your language on TV!’ my bongo beating buddy Maynard G. Krebs talking crazy on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis oh language who shapes reality words brought to life by the light of tongues

– Andrew Burke

 

When god was a rabbit

he celebrated Chinese New Year

with a spring in his step

I celebrated with buns in the oven

 

When God was a rabbit

Fibonnaci discovered nature

a formulae of repeating patterns

I discovered that I had five children

 

When god was a rabbit

Vastyanya scribed the kama sutra

I scribed my children’s names

on the family tree

 

When god was a rabbit

Western Australia built the rabbit proof fence

tonight I am rabbit-proofing my bedroom

 

 

Celan

Kit Kelen

 

 

 

everything that is was spoken

 

no other way to light but these hands

 

I hear the call      ice river running

 

smell the border      smell of it passing

 

all the names are mine

 

 

 

you’re talking to the sky again

 

clouds round on things, on thought

 

dug to get to        somewhere the dark is true

in some head there’s still       anything glints       we see into

 

an edge is always shining, cleaves

 

here’s a cast fishing    flag dredged

 

the sky is well gated       hardly a chink

 

cast off the dice and the venom

 

this thimble’s depth sea

goes up      with one spark

 

 

 

the coffin grows into a tree

 

stars alight at my stop

 

here’s the dream        in which sets sail

love and the springtide      strangers singing

 

see ourselves in the river, the mirror we quaff

nothing our own hands raised

 

it’s the future – far as the blue of frayed edges, paws

the other trying to get in

 

 

 

time returns to the clock’s shell

 

to the sea which bore it

 

time takes the heart in entrails down       the moon in burlap

we swallow all there is of time

 

from where you have fallen still a way to go

and heaven            that vanishing coin, speck

blue as it was all those ages back

 

 

 

the dead whom we’ve loved

 

in the bones of the soul    go with us

they do not require     the silence of prayer

they do not know     which way we carry

 

what is it eyes shine with?

 

 

 

some channel where the static’s true

 

in bitter woods      Pray, Lord.  We are near.

 

a glut of track led        day blind dice to try

 

pray to us God      you might still get through

 

there has to be some free will left         might allow creation

 

 

 

flower and stone

 

as one towards another grown

in nakedness        water between

so the eye must seek out meaning             its prey

 

cliffs beetle brow

so far down in the dream        day will never get there

 

 

 

the animal radiant in motion

 

still as against the page of crossings

 

the grave a sinking      how the heart still speaks

by passage     standing in the stone

 

the open hour stands        seasons in it

voices     the calling of the image home

 

the wheel speaks

neither tracks run round      nor ruts

water lain       its long age deeps

 

does the street ask after?

 

ink drifts      a curlicue to pen

 

the soul is smoke        points up

 

 

 

we had to be inventions of song

 

speak of God      as if there were listening

 

as if there were one     who looks away       till the drone is done

 

and splendid tears      to know we meant

 

truth is the attending body           waits on dying words

this road ahead  mere tendril rise          someone will build a temple

 

 

 

on the one hand

 

stars

on the other    this mist weighing more

a falling    as fruit to ripe earth

eyes each to each     in cups

mist in the hand      and on the other

stars

 

 

 

over we go

 

years fall off the map

which turns out a crust of bread        mouldy still of interest

 

a flowering gun      so self-devouring

 

we’ll dig ourselves out of this wind

 

 

 

perch of wax

 

to be stuttered     to be the rubble owl

 

we’re bigger than death       we of breath

yes – we’re really something

 

 

 

say it

 

swear       take down the tides

bear witness in the branches

take sides      pray for hope      forgiveness comes

but I was not the crime

 

 

 

in a half clock

 

trees go walking      we’re stuck in the ground

green dumb with wonder      sap stilled       tongues stuck

still we have our expectations      won’t believe in fate

 

 

 

be the candle at both ends

 

drown me in the flame

 

in the last breath you’re there      all the still to do    the dusting

and here’s the foot tapping angel      the light

and a struggle     to open the door

 

 

 

assume a shape of sleep

 

little night       be nothing             habitation stone

in grief which hums for ages hence      and wake to the scribble as well

 

recite the breath between us         no one will find us lain so flat

among the godfled stars

策蘭

客遠文作

宋子江譯(Translated by Chris Song Zijiang

 

 

存在的萬物都被言說

 

要接觸光,除了這雙手,別無他法

 

我聽到呼喚     冰河流淌

 

嗅嗅邊界     它的味道飄過

 

所有名字都是我的

 

 

 

你又在和天空說話了

 

雲圍著一切,也圍著思緒

 

挖著挖著     在某處,黑暗是真實

在某人的腦袋裡也一樣     所有東西都反光     我們探見

 

邊緣總是在閃亮,裂開

 

拋撒漁網     撈起旗幟

 

天空被關得死死的     連縫隙也難見

 

擲下骰子與怨毒

 

深若頂針的海

上升     略帶一點星火

 

 

 

樹長成棺材

 

群星落下

 

夢在此     夢裡啟航

愛與春煦     陌生人在歌唱

 

在河面上看到自己,暢飲了鏡子

我們的手甚麼也沒舉起

 

它是未來——遠得像被蹭破的天邊的藍,爪

另一棵正努力擠進來

 

 

 

時間回到時鐘的內殼

 

回到曾把它容納的海

 

時間把心帶進下滑的折痕     月亮在粗麻布袋裡

我們吞下時間裡的一切

 

離你墜落的地方還有一段距離

天堂      那消失的錢幣,微粒

藍藍的,一如拾回萬古

 

 

 

死者,我們曾愛過的人

 

在靈魂的骸骨裡     跟我們走

他們並沒有要求什麽     祈禱的沉默

他們並不知道     我們會把它帶往何方

 

眼睛與何物同輝?

 

 

 

某頻率的靜電是真實的

 

在苦澀的樹林裡     祈禱吧,我的主。   我們就在附近。

 

音軌有餘     猜骰盅的日子

 

向我們祈禱吧,上帝     你或許還能通過

 

那裡必然還剩下一點自由意志      還會允許創造

 

 

 

花與石

 

一個向著另一個生長

赤裸中     中間是水

所以眼睛必須之找出意義     它的獵物

 

懸崖凸額

如此深的夢裡     日光永遠無法抵達

 

 

 

動物在移動時發光

 

仍像反抗書頁上的縱橫

 

墳墓是一種沉沒     過渡中的心

怎樣言說     站在石頭上

 

自由發言時間     當中多少歲月

話聲     把意象帶回家

 

車輪言說

足跡和車轍     都不是圓的

橫躺的水     年歲日深

 

之後街道會問什麽問題?

 

墨汁飄滴     待畫的鋼筆花紋

 

彰現     靈魂是煙雲

 

 

 

我們要被歌曲創造

 

說起上帝     彷彿他在聆聽

 

彷彿他真的存在     把頭轉開     直到嗡嗡聲消停

 

華麗的眼淚     深知我們的真意

 

真相是我在場的身體     盼忘彌留的字詞

前面的路     不過是捲起的藤蔓     有人會建起神廟

 

 

 

一邊

 

是繁星

另一邊     是日漸濕重的霧靄

墜落     就像果實讓大地成熟

對望的眼睛     在杯子裏

霧靄在手心     另一邊

也是繁星

 

 

 

我們過去吧

 

歲月從地圖流走

變成麵包的脆邊     發霉但仍有趣

 

花開似的槍     自我吞噬如是

 

我們會把自己從風中挖掘出來

 

 

 

臘物的棲息地

 

做被結巴地說出     要做碎石貓頭鷹

 

我們比死亡還大     我們要呼吸

是的——我們非比尋常

 

 

 

說出來

 

發誓     把潮水記下

在樹枝間見證

偏袒     祈禱希望     終得原諒

但我不是罪

 

 

 

半點

 

樹長腿走了     我們還被卡在地上

綠色的傻仔總有困惑     樹汁凝注     舌頭打結

我們仍然有所期待     不信命運

 

 

 

做蠟燭的兩頭

 

在火焰中把我淹死

 

你看著我吸最後一口氣     所有要做的事     打掃

天使步步貼近     光

一下掙扎     把門打開

 

 

 

擁有睡覺的形態

 

微小的夜      什麽都不是      石頭居所

悲痛輕吟多少世紀      為潦字守靈

 

背誦我們之間的呼吸      沒有人會發現我們如此平躺

在眾神逃亡的群星

Back01Back02

Back03

 

I’m cycling without a sound on a cement path.

Heaven has fallen into the lake beside me.

I’m gliding like an angel on a pea-green pushbike,

dodging be-helmeted six year olds on be-streamered scooters,

and striding ladies in lycra, and rugged joggers, and even whole familys.

Nowhere is there any meaning.

But everywhere there are children, and love, and lake birds, and trees and

coffee shops and bars and sculpted young men who’d tattoo their brains if they could

only reach them.

But you can’t tattoo your brain.

Nothing you can write there is permanent.

And there’s always room for doubt and questions.

I can’t cycle my way to serenity.

Coffee shop cakes make a crummy communion.

I park the bike and walk the esplanade

until my path is blocked by a fat man fumbling on a phone.

I enter the first open door – the Angel Gallery.

Here are the only pictures of women anywhere that don’t need to be sexy.

Just young.

Here are beautiful slogans on tea cups and posters – tattoos for the mind –

and lady customers at peace and conversing.

I stand amongst them like a white pointer in a pet shop.

Like a commando in a crèche.

Like an undercover Angel, winged and waiting in the wings.

I’m learning what happens when you’ve found your love,

made your love, grown your love, have your love,

and now must find what you do when

you have an eternity left over.

Robert Edmonds

 

loene carolJuly2013

Collaborative postcard by Loene Furler and Carol Archer (July, 2013).

More cards in the series entitled Home: Elsewhere may be found at http://e-l-s-e-w-h-e-r-e.blogspot.com.au/

 

1

What I want back is what I have lost. I can express it only in metaphors and self-proclaimed legend. And by reciting a profane parable: so let us begin with this fiction, subtitled The Sexual Fantasia of the Middle-Aged Man.

Imagine a journey of return, Seattle to Newark on a half-full red eye. Beside me, picture a young woman, perhaps a UWash student. The official punk uniform: purple-streaked cropped black hair, pale skin, black tank top and skirt. She boards the plane with no time to spare, slam-dunks her knapsack into the overhead, flops down beside me, then dozes off as soon as we’re aloft.

Asleep, leaned back, she leaves half-exposed the rise and fall of her left breast. White. Or let’s use the poetographic image: “alabaster,” which is both objectifying and inaccurate, for I cannot exclude my tactile imagination of fondling, of the rounded firmness and the nipple hardened beneath my fingers before we proceed to the range of standard exercises.

She wakes for the meal, Faux Mexicain à la United, and we exchange pleasantries about our reading material, my wife and kids, her boyfriend waiting: then (almost shyly?) how she gets off on attractive older men, and how I (with a Eureka!-rush in the pit of my stomach) like mature young women somewhat beyond the age of consent.

Were this more than the sketch of a fiction, how we get to what happens next might belong to some novel or in the hypothetical movie version where you could see the faces (Alan Rickman and Wynona Ryder) and hear the heavy breathing. A bare recitation of events, then: reading lamps soon are shut, whispers proceed with uneven breath, the seat divider is raised before I suck on her salsa-flavored tongue, slide my hand under her tank top.

“What do you know about fucking in airplane bathrooms?” she whispers. I should tell you candidly that I have been in airplane bathrooms, and for that reason alone fucking in one is something I can barely imagine, let alone describe. (Perhaps those of you who have actually done this can send me a methodology.) But imagination and need, here as well as in the tale, must go where they are led. So in here in this tale, we manage it all the same, a circus contortionist’s act somewhere over North Dakota: not bad for a pair of strangers in the middle of an air pocket.

At Newark she walks on ahead, her boyfriend (also punk hair, lip ring, nothing a surprise) embraces her. She glances back at me, quick, discreetly, waves and grins. I know only her first name, Olivia, as she knows mine: Pablo. We wisely have omitted last names, else I would have to tell her my last name is Neruda, and promise to write a poem to her body. That might strain credibility: she looks Irish, but came in Spanish.

When I get home an hour later it is almost dawn and my wife and kids are still asleep and do not stir. I do not wake them. Instead, I make some strong coffee, chain smoke, and wait out the dawn imagining the taste of salsa on my tongue, fading and finally rejected; and then write a love poem to Olivia’s alabaster left breast.

2

What I want back stands outside presences and persons. In the old world of computers, you might call it device-independent. It is convenient to think of it organically, as flora or a tree, its cuttings transplantable, yes, but needing soil and heat in which to grow. And taken out of Nature, it will behave not like one of Yeats’ golden birds but like a cast-off prom corsage or a wedding bouquet saved long beyond the event or the impulse of love that made it necessary. It will be saved only because it has been forgotten, and it will die.

There was a late summer in Upstate New York when my wife and I tried to plant tomatoes in our yard, along the side of the house, neither of us knowing what we were doing, products of the concrete culture of cities, but knowing only that we wanted to grow something that was ours. We had the stakes, the ties, and when the fruit began to appear we were joyous. This is erroneous: the words after “joyous” really are “too soon.” We almost beat the first frost that comes too early to that part of New York State, but not quite. What came out on the vine was green, only here and there tinged with red, and mostly inedible. Over the winter the vines blackened, curled and fell from the stakes, and when spring came there was only blight, but by then we were gone from that house. The memory of blight and failure remains.

What I want back is my perfect image of that summer, the heat that rises like the vines to curl around the house, to curl inside me so I know the joy of tasting what I have made with labor and trust in the mercies of Nature, Accident, and Time. When I picture it, I see time-lapse: fruit that bursts forth green, then turn red, pungent and scented with earth. Perhaps, then, I have defined Love: wanting to make something grow again, in a deathless place always in time and without frost.

3

Olivia rests quietly in a dream, visiting me with gentle accusation. I admit I lied. I am not Pablo nor ever was. I am the Firebird, wordless prisoner of Kastchei’s Enchanted Garden, set free for one night by a kiss exchanged at 30,000 feet over the Rockies, in the æther where there is no air, and I breathe only on dreams.

 

 

Each night I tend to my wounds
without fail, with equanimity

One new, erasing years
curving along laughter lines
tracking old life, a duelling scar

One old, entrenching years
side-swiped in youth
a ding in the bodywork

It’s a ritual for rejuvenating
against chronos
coming round to kairos,
where the old and the new
are coming around to each other
like old love in a new way

 

 

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