Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tuesday Poem - 'Walking the Undoing' by Anne Walsh

Walking the Undoing

My body is my attempt at graceful healing.
It's the archive of my undoing.
A two-legged word for loss.
And my writing is how I walk the undoing.
And how I walk it is up to the weather.
If it's raining down the inside of my shutters,
if it's torrential and my trees are thrown,
I walk well and my body heals.
It's so graceful in a storm.
But if there's too much sun, and it lights too much who I could've been,
I wilt with my lettuce words and I can't find a place to keep them.
No crisper to keep the secret of them graceful in my body
stumbling in all that un-refrigerated light.
And I have to accomplish more of what is accepted as accomplishment
when the weather is considered fine.
There's washing of clothes and of myself that's expected.
Washing and I hanging with expectation.
So, on fine days, I accomplish a lot and get nothing done.
Because my only doing is my undoing.
My only walk is this body.
These words.
And there's a choir that sings them, I swear it.
It's the loam voices of the dead in barnyard light.
Because adoration is like that. Rafters. A wing.
And the dead sing do nothing; accomplish us.
Walking is not something I do without their choir accompaniment.
It's the symphony of how I do my undoing.
The exquisite opera of inclement weather sung by the diva dead.
Scarlet lipstick. Crimson boots. Curtains. Lost love.
This is the time to act, they sing, so undo yourself, listen.
That's why my body is graceful in storms.
It's lithe with listening to the woodwind Beloveds,
to the strings of everything, to the rain thick as brass.
The chemistry of the lover's brain is un-sound.
I'm a lunatic accomplishing nothing.
The choir singing through this body.
This one answer to everything.
This word of the body, this body of the word.
The walking I do with you now.
This pure love accomplished.

I had an excellent weekend in Newcastle recently, attending the celebrations
circling around the Newcastle Poetry Prize. (Joint winners Debi Hamilton and
Anthony Lawrence, congrats!) And of course I invested in the anthology to
assuage the long, long journey back home to Melbourne by bus. (Fear of flying.)
This mordant yet exultant piece by Anne Walsh was one that really took my eye.
It is true, in the midst of everything else, there is always the washing.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tuesday Poem - 'The Hand' by Jennifer Compton

The Hand

We'd finished shooting, I'd got my glasses back on.
I lit a cigarette, letting the sweet smoke lift me and
I turned my head to stare afar with one eye,
the other one held on to what only I can see.
As the hand swooped up to my lips to deliver the hit
I began to riff. Do you see, how I am about to speak?
When I was a young woman, oh a long long time ago,
my most hideous, heaving nightmare was my mother
laying my hand on the butcher block and with a swift
gesture, lopping it. Night after night, I lost my hand.

Waking in the dark, sweating, feeling for the precious
hand that wrote my stuff. Why would my mother want
to cut it off? My beautiful hand, my sagacious hand.
It arrived as an attachment, the photo he had snatched
after we had finished shooting, that is the way of it, but
with a hand deformed by slow motion, twice life-size,
monstrous, levitating a doppelganger of a cigarette.

I clattered out an impassioned message and pressed Send.
'Can you take out the hand?' So he did. He purged the hand
with her familiar, it was never there. Can you see it, no? 

Check out this most interesting and archival of books by Nicholas Walton-
Healey, released last year.  My picks of the photos are Steve Smart and PiO. 
As for my poem itself - well I am not sure. It could be the initiating poem of my
next book, or it could just get tucked into the archives.