February 15, 2017
I remember the lost skirt of Carlton
Nimble and nineteen, perhaps twenty, I saw you;
velvet A-line, satin belt, and my heart dropped open
knowing how you would swathe me in excellence
hang just right, soft as a crop of Labrador’s dark ears.
Student poor, with a world to change, I stood outside,
longing, mental tongue lapping, dressed in thin dream.
Today, girt in husband’s semi-silken wage,
(and the splendid coin of Poesie)
I could command your like be snipped
to the pattern of sweet memory.
But my waist has grown
along with his pay,
so perfect skirt, in time or space,
will always always
Based on a True Incident, this is a very old, but (I think) unpublished poem. It describes a true first world problem, but both Canberra and Melbourne (of which Carlton is a university infested suburb, or just about) are in the first world, so that’s hardly surprising.
Fashion is interesting in that usually only young people look the best in retro or vintage gear; people assume that middle-aged people have been wearing 50s gear since it was new, and just forgot to change over the intervening decades.
Speaking of change, this seems to mark a difference from the usual socio-political cleverness for which this blog is known by some! And hello to you, dear Some.
October 31, 2016
The home for ancient memes
Where they can haz cheeseburgers all day
Where jokes of nuking each other from space crack
Where everyone fusses over a grumpy cat
Where the cry of Ermahgerd echoes
Where an overly manly man flexes, endlessly
Where sad hipsters say many things
Where planking takes place every evening
Where the X all the Ys, and Y all the Xs
Where ice buckets become challenging
Where smugshrugs shrug smugly
Where seals have awkward moments
Where they debate the colour of a dress
Where they still Netflix and chill
Where…I’d definitely continue, but
Ain’t nobody got time for that
March 28, 2016
Two thousand years (or so)
And so, before this, in Europe,
there were eggs, and celebrations
and the lovely call of Spring?
So what, my dear, so what?
Give me the man
with the steel pierced hands
and the rock rolled back.
Give me blood, and the wine and bread,
the kiss on the cheek
the love of the leper,
and the woman loving too much
he dismissed with equal love.
This is the man;
and always the women
listening and learning (and even teaching),
and mourning, until he came to whisper;
I am faithful and I am here;
always alive and always here.
My Easter, so very old.
My Easter, so very new.
I really don’t know how I managed to post two ginger Jesuses, but I suppose I can pretend that’s one for each thousand years or so.
The poem is based on the type of comment one often reads that points out that Christianity ‘stole’ Easter, and that somehow proves that it has nothing genuine to it. That’s how all human institutions work, through influence and parasitism. Look at the English language, for example! Doesn’t prove or disprove anything about the existence of god, really, the fact that people previously celebrated the arrival of Spring.
I started watching the film The Passion of the Christ recently and found it beyond terrible. I have yet to see a good film about Jesus; perhaps because the words and ideas are the important thing. But a poet would think that, I suppose.
I had a nice time at the coast over Easter, swimming and enjoying the last warmth. Soon Canberra will demand gloves and coats. Which is cool, in terms of being able to flaunt accessories, but miserable in that you actually need them to avoid freezing. The moment where cool meets cold is an unwanted slap of reality.
So there you have it; religion and fashion. Next week: what’s with the outbreak of ugly camel coats and will they squeeze through the eye of a needle?
November 11, 2015
She thought Paris
was a city of couture
modelling thin —
the Place de la République
where McDonald’s fashions fries
The photo has very little to do with the poem. Honestly.
Next week: Exegesis and tea.
We are all working our way up, towards the birds
We are all working our way up, towards the birds.
Outliers like Icarus, 70s pterodactyl hanggliders,
twitchers and breeders of weird coloured parrots:
they have all felt the urge and responded
to the best of their beakless capacities.
But they are not the neo-orno avant-garde.
The egg must come first, before the flight —
putting aside philosophy, that is just true.
So who is nature’s true Anna Wintour?
Where is the next Paris to be found?
The catwalk of the world is spiked by echidna.
Platypus pouts there too. (That is hard with a bill.)
These two are the fashion-forward models,
who will soon sprout wings and launch and fly;
it is happening now, as I type and you read.
Placenta will be ditched, like yesterday’s rags.
Next year, unaided flight will be de rigueur,
and song will erupt, without instruments,
deep from the gape of seven billion throats.
We are all working our way up, towards the birds.
This poem was recently highly commended in the Interstellar Award for Speculative Poetry. Fellow Tuesday Poet (and lovely person/editor) Tim Jones was placed second with a poem that blends the speculative and the political, and Kevin Gillam (who may be lovely, for all I know, but who lives in Western Australia, which is much further away than New Zealand, at least psychologically) was awarded first place with a fascinating work that demands several readings. (A little like that monstrous sub-clausey sentence, but much much better.) You can read their poems and the detailed judge’s report here. This was the second thing I was highly commended/shortlisted/close-but-no-cigared for in the last fortnight! I won’t bore on about the other one though, as I don’t want to publish that poetry here just yet.
If you like humorous, short poetry, I promise that some will be read at Manning Clark House on 24th June at 7.30pm. I hear there will also be some quite angry stuff, and, of course, some speculative poetry. That’s by me; I have no idea if Mark Tredinnick writes any of that sort of thing. (He is the other reader.)
Come along to 11 Tasmania Circle and find out. Also; wine.