Nothing Is Old
Nothing is old.
Nothing is new.
Is is not
when nothing is.
when is is not,
round and round.
and in hiding
sings a song.
Ah, the notes.
my taxi guy squares out
the suburb hop
winter removes some definition
like a memory
of green-headed hills
(though they're going)
and ever rolling clay roofs
(a century of wide beige song
the lies of the commonwealth)
I ask him 'can we squeeze past this'
but he takes a new turn
past peak hour glue
I must remember that move
amongst it all
someone finds a new twist
through the state's
Sydney 8.45am, Wednesday 20 July 2005
In the Dark
The dark bedroom is shuddering with
the inwardly uttered, outwardly
unspoken words of my dream
now over, already unidentifiable,
still drenched with pain and fear.
Compose yourself, old man -
the dark air will clear,
the past sink back. Stop
trying to see, trying to hear.
North Balwyn, Melbourne
Wednesday 20 July 2005
Walking home from my mechanic's workshop
105 minutes in the warming winter sun
banana and mandarine for breakfast
bottle of water 'with a squeeze of lemon'
so many houses I've never seen
so much individual lacework
newly painted on verandahs
mothers pushing prams walking toddlers
old men with scarves tight
around their necks
by the Phoenix Language Academy
clusters of funloving Asian students
racing across against the traffic
the Redemptorist Monastery
throws a long shadow
next door African Funk Dancing
(I imagine their cassocks
whirling in a Dervish dance)
smells of blood'n'bone from
waft of cooking from Han's Cafe
surly girl at the supermarket
slams my water drink through
disparagingly (huh, only one item)
two ducks waddle up to see me
from the neighbourhood lake
one shits the other
walks in it
my blood pumping my eyes clear
this afternoon 3.15 pm
I'll walk back again
noon 20 July 2005
kissed her frog
and he had
she later on
as her mother
Cameras don't get the smell of place.
a tree, which, at a time of year, opened
with a key of scent long passages of memory,
another side of Lethe, where the backward
immortality of thought's origin became
tangible in its roots' narrowing recesses
smiles and skin aroma
Somewhere in April light, my mother cooks,
a saucepan of hot water bubbling round
vegetables, she in this room, sustained here
by recollection of the tang of
liquid she puts on her hair to make it shine;
though now of course others move and live there,
layered, apart from her, discrete animation.
Now he who makes this recalls, in low fields,
mountain roads he flows along on intermittent
rills of lavender flooding his life
[early morning, Leswidden, West Penwith]
I AM HALF A SHIT-HEAD.
for wanting to raise a finger,
interrupt, and say
quite clearly and unmistakeably,
"[Spoiler] dies at the end",
to a group
of American students discussing
the latest Harry Potter, which
they are still reading, on the bus.
for not doing so.
| peas and potato
at midnight I'm edgy
and scratchy rain
has been through and
night whistles to itself
I am wide-eyed awake
staring at the screen
expecting it to
tell me something
in its own tongue
something is brewing
something is 'up'
something is coming
'around that corner
or whistling down the river
come on, deliver -
to me' I am
crowding in on me
when I'm like this
it's probably a poem
or some other misfit
a lame secular angel
and worth every minute of it
and worth every
minute of it
midnight & shortly thereafter
20 july 2005
After I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day
Gall and heartburn.
Pass on the Gelusil and Prilosec.
Hopkins must've snuck under
the Irish Jebbie radar,
no Freudian shrink to test the aspirant,
they took instead a certified nutcase
insomniac, depressive, squeezed gratitude
glimpsed in only two words at the end: "but worse."
But Worse? Jesus Christ (whom you adored),
Gerry, clunky, clunky, is that how
you taught Greek grammar and translation?
"Young men, translate as though Homer was not blind
but stuttered like an Enfield"
no, not your finest moment,
no "Christ, come quickly!" or meditation
on humility itself, Alphonsus Rodriguez
at the door: but here just "last night
sucked but it could have been worse,
I get my morning parole from Hell."
Not gorgeous but your truest, your truth
truth torn from soaked sheets.
I will not speak of it
though sun speckle the ivy
with yellow light
and foxgloves sway
in the breeze.
I will be silent
through heat and stunning
slices of rain; through
the river's decline
to its grey-pebbled bed.
Though the air
turn orange and thick
with fire, I will say
nothing. I drift like a ghost
through my own life.
My Mother, 89, Observes a Particular Rose:
I continue to do little creative writing exercises
with my Mom. One evening, recently, I cut some
white and pink roses from the garden - one that she
no longer is able to attend and care for anymore.
I placed the flowers in an alabaster vase
and put them on the coffee table in front of the couch
where she routinely sits after dinner. I take my journal
and pen and ask her to tell me what she can say
about what is going inside one of the roses. Without
question, after concentrating her gaze for a moment,
"Before one looks into the heart of a Rose
One sees a very delicate pink, eager to come forth
To come out in public. But, as the days go by
It becomes much larger, almost arrogant.
A central color is precise and ready
To take the Rose on many an experience:
Wouldn't you like to go further in studying
This magnificent piece of budding life -
Now really of much broader experience?"
Similar to an earlier piece, I continue
to find it astonishing the way my Mom may
invite one to look at and value her life without
being at all conscious she may be doing so:
Before the final window of disappearance.
I don't know why that last line came to me. But it seems
important - whether she live one more year or five -
to value the profile and fullness of what can still be given.
And that we, too, as we age, be given the same gift
which is just, perhaps, another way of saying
"Go and be among elders, too."
On Technology and Men:
One Woman to Another at Noe Valley Grill & Bar,
"Shows up and gives me an iPod.
This to buy my love.
I don't know how to fill it up.
Move my whole library ?
Do you use it as your Main Library?
I'm a total pirate.
I download everything:
Shakespeare with this great scholar.
I downloaded Howard Zinn
This great historian.
He's so simple and so straight forward.
I got Windows. I got Real Player.
I think what's happening
Is that I am over the top
I need someone to help me.
I'm on my vacation.
I need the 'tubes'."
"I like to have a partner
Who's a real partner
Where you don't have
Those spiders around
The edges of your consciousness."
All in a day's work!