Monday, August 17, 2015

Tuesday Poem - '40' by Jennifer Compton


I feel like a piece of steel — maybe
a railway track, laid out, for travelling.

I feel like a well of deep water
dangerously cold — liquid.

I feel as if I could love — someone or something —
like a living arc of burnished gold (or a rainbow).

I could let go and love like the very devil.

I'm a doona stuffed with rose petals —
lightweight, mettlesome and fragrant.

I speak all tongues: I could be of some use.

I am in the very centre of the paradox — I am huge
and without having to think of it — I am minute.

This is a renaissance: this is the beginning of my life.

I am on fire with that first simple flame of birth —
air incinerating skin, helpless limbs and lolling head.

Myths and icons sloughed, orphaned at last,
I have no opinion worth having,

coming into that kingdom of wanting nothing —
waterproofed, created, solidified. 

I'm at that time of life (not 40 any more) when I am starting to think about putting together a Selected. So for the first time for a long time I am going back to old books. Seeing if I still like anything I wrote so long ago. This one, for instance, I wrote 25 years ago! And I do still like it, so hot damn! I was googling to see if I could find an image of the book cover, and it is surprising how many second hand copies are available out on the intertubes. (But pricey, what with postage, very pricey.) I did spot one copy being sold in the UK that has an inscription to the previous owner! Who can that be? Who did I post an inscribed copy to, or who travelled to England and took the book with them? I am consumed with curiosity and if only it was a tiny bit cheaper I would invest in it just to find out whom!


  1. I like it too. it feels like someone is starting on an adventure ...great attitude. Interesting too because turning forty was such an 'oh my god I'm old' time not so long ago.

  2. I love the idea of both your retrospective and a subsequent Jennifer Compton "Selected"--and shall hope to see more of the possible selections of a Tuesday. :)