Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tuesday Poem - Everything Is For A Very Short Time - by Jennifer Compton

Everything Is For A Very Short Time

The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse
Edited by Ian Wedde and Harvey McQueen

There is no question of regret - I write hastily, in the shadow of my hand –
we left off loving - I'm not good I'm not peaceful I'm not wise – collapsing
out of Heaven – good intentions - other disappointments - such an ecstasy
of bewildered weeping – we had to be terrible news – in these terrible times.
Nothing innocent lasts long – the tragic scent of violets – in a broken vase -
her face moves like the face of a thief at the window – her face unclenches
like a fist – yes, the cold has come again – with a diffident explanation.
Theology and a patchwork absolute – the bare longing of the imagination -
treacherous as an avalanche poised above – and the white snake dead too -
the translucent hyperboles of art – saying Bravo Bravo to the Invisible –
eyes lit up by eager, cruel fires – as the taniwha is raised up from its den -
prodded into stuttering rage – his gnarled his dazzling his stubborn heart -
where the visions start – among immortal things – and all this in fidelity
to death - the iron bells toll – my story comes to its end. But picture me.

Cento from – Mary Ursula Bethell, Michael Harlow, Meg Campbell, Brian Turner,
Ian Wedde, Bill Manhire, Hilaire Kirkland, Allen Curnow, Tuini Ngāwai (Translation
by Kumeroa Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi), Tony Beyer, A.R.D. Fairburn, Christina Beer,
 Elizabeth Nannestad, Sam Hunt, K.O. Arvidson, Denis Glover, Heather McPherson,
Murray Edmond, Alistair Campbell, Fleur Adcock, C.K. Stead, Janet Frame, Keith 
Sinclair, Waikato (Translation by Margaret Orbell), M.K. Joseph, Kevin Ireland,
Charles Brasch, Vincent O'Sullivan, James K. Baxter, David Mitchell, Keri Hulme. 

Above please find one of the three centos (from the Latin for patchwork quilt) 
I have written. Borrowing, appropriation, remixing, sampling, homage, deja dit, 
objets trouves, mash-ups, found poetry and plagiarism have been much on our 
minds these days. There is much to ponder.     

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