Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tuesday Poem - Two Short Poems by Janis Freegard

The sound of dropped silverware is, like, really loud.
I think I'll do that gamelan course
next semester. When there's no crowd,
the sound of dropped silverware is, like, really loud.
I've uploaded all my tunes to the cloud.
Did I tell you my parents are getting divorced?
The sound of dropped silverware is, like, really loud.
I think I'll do that gamelan course.

La Fée Verte

I drank all the absinthe
my mind is now a milky jade

I must inform you that I've driven
to the outskirts of Paris

to discuss An Ideal Husband
with Estonian lapdancers

later I intend to watch Catherine Millet
taking in the pleasure of the crowd

I've gone where you'll never find me:
beyond louche

Well, The Glass Rooster (Auckland University Press) is quite a book, and Janis Freegard is quite a poet. What a pleasure to pay attention to this book and this poet. Janis and I met up again at the NZ Poetry Conference recently and did a book swap as we said our goodbyes. So often this is how one comes upon the best books. The best books are revenue neutral LOL.

Re the poems, the first quirky deliciousness is the banner poem for the Cityscape section. And for those of you who don't know, La Fée Verte, the title of the second, means the green fairy, and is the old time nickname for absinthe. And louche is a French word mean cross-eyed or squinting. There is a ceremony involved with watering down your absinthe, called La Louche. Apparently it involves a lot more than, as I thought, watching the colour cloud.

And louche is a word I often use to describe people I know and like. It means - disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way. It does seem as if I know a lot of louche people. But me, I don't like absinthe much. I do like the mystique it has gathered around it.

Oh, and yes, I had to google Catherine Millet – not that it mattered in my apprehension of the poem. And yes, I had heard of her. Quite a louche person, IMHO.

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