Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tuesday Poem - 'You can lead a horse to water' by Ann Vickery

You can lead a horse to water

Because I am not into poetic husbandry,
I don't see the point of a desiccated dedication
to desire; animal allure, the pre-emptive absence
of a heart weighty as a hummingbird. Counting
the hours spent trying to differentiate myself
from want or its dereliction, that four letter word
nobody swears by. On righteous days,
I like to fashion myself as a globe-trotting man-scold.
I've been told to hide jewels in strange places
and sometimes wondered what other stylistic effects
were to be found had I checked the trough.
All my good thoughts expatriated; they write
                                                  to me sometimes,
a little lonely, a little perplexed. Transnational
orphans in a romantic lexicon whispering
sweet annunciations to demotic farmhands dressed
as yogi initiates. The love of a good obscurity,
besting the next beast. Listening to the troubadour
at night-time croon:

o where did my amatory context go?

The last launch of 2015 for me was Ann Vickery's Devious Intimacy (Hunter Publishers) at The Alderman in Lygon Street. Gig Ryan was the launcher, and was trenchant and mischievous, and the book is a bit that way inclined too. Or so it seemed to me, as I sat to read in the slack, slow hours of January. An intriguing work. It was almost beyond my grasp. Almost. I ate up the feminist ambiance, of course, and I appreciated the slippages and coinages. 'Bobbergirls' is such fun. 'Thiefdom' mints new perspective. 'Furlicued fan', hooray. Much enjoyment to be had with the plays on words. It was not an easy book for me to read (for instance, I had to google to place Jack Spicer, who supplies the opening statement for the work). But I so enjoyed the ins and outs of it. I like a good cryptic crossword, and in some ways the poet is teasing us this way, setting us delicious conundrums. And now I will – 'sois belle et tais-toi!'

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