Friday, April 29, 2005
Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.
Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gieb ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.
Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Lord, it is time. Summer was very long.
Cast your shadows on the sundials
and let the drafts blow through the corridors.
Command the last fruits to ripen;
give them just two more meridionale days,
force them to completion and hunt
the last drop of sweetness in the hardest wines.
He who doesn't have a house yet, may he never build one.
He who is still alone, may it ever be so,
may he wake, read, and write long letters,
and may he wander restlessly along
the avenues when the leaves begin to blow.
The Natural History Museum
I was sketching a wobbegong
with my new
In my bag, a sprig
(a sprog of syllables for a single cell)
I bevelled my face
to a balustrade smoothness.
I combed my canopy
with a few slats of sun.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Desert Song
Her voice is a rustling of branches
as she begins the conversation. Her theme:
the expansion of the deserts and their relation to the receding
glaciation of the planet. "The end of an era!" she sighs. "Like
Charlie “Bird” Parker's last recorded solo (a bone of contention
throughout the ranks of the jazzerati):
dry tones, ironic and cynical, accumulate into ripples
of pentatonic half-shades, building up into
arid wind-blown dunes of languorous sound,
expanding and dissolving,
like mini ice-caps in a Singapore Sling..."
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
from Deng's Last Poems
(Translated from the Chinese)
XII. Is It This Year Already?
Paul came into the kitchen and told us about the egg roll.
"When I ate the egg roll it pinched my skin like an oyster."
"Like an oyster?"
(We see Claudia's blotchy napkin lips)
"That was last year, Paul"
XLIV. Picking Your Target
A green metal fork scratching at a few last peas, the print
on the dishwasher-crazed china
squeegees into view
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
There's a man writing poetry
in the next cubicle. Beside the treadmill,
a quart of Pisco and a single fried chicken
are being chronicled. This
speaks the day's sentence and subsequently
thinks of refinement, like
a chalk cliff to a meteor storm
of surf-bubbles. Relay that
from my spoon! Hisssssss!....Radio
Hawaii - the sizzle of sleep - I'm trying
hard to concentrate
on the pressure
of the increasingly
cantilevered on his typewriter. (Express
regret) - "hold me where it makes me"
and I say
"feels better" - Wait!
till he gets me
out of his hair. He big man breathe
down my collar. He lunch my nape
brother. He grabs the eraser
and strikes it, like a scaly finger
STRIKE! from the
man writing poetry,
slapping the gob-yellow dunes by the bluest
of seas - the burning tanker - the weasel easily
scrambling up a mountain of corn.
Monday, April 11, 2005
At the Repat
I. Burnt-out Diggers
He cracked his bush-ballad back,
dropping dead suddenly
at the drop of a clip. Crack
go the Winchesters in the hazed,
oiled heat. His tin-pot's on top...
This of course means "Krieg"
amongst the private cattled-estates
and pastures speculating green. And a
chop, chop on his metal ring
ringbarking the steam, switches the click
of his spur, surveying the rib,
to his story of Eve. A butt
burnt to the lip, a yellow stain
in his dacks. His flaggy head
hoisted to the tip of his cervix.
He's to the fore of his paddocks. His locks
are breaking on a distant beach.
II. Vietnam Vets
You realise it like
you're a prop in a bad scene
on a rerun of the local
Once you've had
a puff of the pot
you're on the drugs,
and it's a slippery-dip run
to the rung of death;
out of beer in the pub
on a day of bad dreams
and shifting weather. - And the gun?
"It's not for you, son
it's not for you to clean." -
You're a pigeon who preens
on the balcony's slag. Today
you're one thing, tomorrow
the same, crash-coursed
in the mothball-rule of atmosphere,
singing tightly in the lees
praying them far away