Odes to the Things I Love

Hi! It’s been a little while, but I haven’t read or seen anything that merits a review (or rather: I don’t have the time to write a review). So I thought I’d upload a few of my poems — whether that’s good or bad, you can decide! (I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!)

Ode to the Feeling You Get When You’re Going Somewhere with Your Life               [6.5.2014]

The scent of clods of packed earth
—almost mud—hangs in the air, mossy,
mouldy like a cave wall, and although
I’m in the open, outside,
it smells like I’ve crawled somewhere
cold and ancient and safe.

That woollen beanie, black
and scratchy as a witch’s cat, toasts
my ears like a slow kettle,
powered by the pounding of
heartbeats in eardrums,
(Talk about natural thermal energy.)

by the thrum of many motors moving,
some mass exodus towards
God-Knows-Where (everywhere).
But I understand my destination;
feel the power beneath
my feet, and the control squelching
like clotted boredom between
my fingers.

The cold-pressed glass is dotted with
dust, and the glaring sun
thrusts itself, unwanted,
unasking for consent, into
my presence. I change glasses
to cloud, not my judgement, but
the brightness from my vision.
I see clearer for the added dullness.

 —

I Hunger for the Chill of Your Embrace               [6.5.2014]

I treasure your bone-nibbling
insight, that soul-cutting knife
of yours that seesaws through
skin. I cradle your trembling
floorboards, breathe in your
tendrils of wood fire smoke
creeping out of chimneys.
I fall asleep rocking you in numb
limbs, my child, enveloping your
blood-pounding lethargy in
arms I can’t tell apart from yours.

I yearn for you, Winter, but
only when you’re not here.

Technology, eh?                   [6.5.2014]

An ode to you; a grateful nod to Snapchat

You sent me a Snapchat from Engadin St. Moritz,
a phone message from the Swiss Alps, thinking
of me in the midst of there, of all places:

wish u were here xx

The picture was beautiful, but only because
the frame was filled with your face.
Eight seconds wasn’t enough to
take it all in, but afterwards I could still see
you with my eyes clenched closed:
a smile like lime juice—fresh and stinging and sweet—
lips the blood of berries—made that way
by the cold, no doubt—lips I wanted to trace with
my tongue, lips I wanted to pore over like
a map of somewhere I wanted to go—no, somewhere
I needed to go—and a nose long and straight but the kind
of nose that means we don’t have to tilt our heads
when we kiss—it just squishes aside, ever so politely—
smeared with a constellation of freckles like the
pattern you get on your bare calves when you ride
your bike through mud—except they’re the colour
of stovetop toffee the instant it starts to harden, the
instant before it’s too late and it’s gone bitter—your
freckles are the perfect instant, captured frozen in
stained ceramic skin—skin the colour of a polaroid
just as it, too, changes; ceramic not because you’re
fragile, but because I don’t ever want to see you
shatter, no matter the reason, because I couldn’t
bear to see a shard of you lying discarded on
the floor, or worse, swept into a pile of dust and
dead dreams. No, eight seconds wasn’t long
enough to stare into the forest-galaxy depths of
your eyes, the verdant foliage of your mind, the
wind-tousled nature of your psyche. And no, eight
seconds was not enough to run my hand through
your russet hair, feeling the fibres ‘twixt my fingers,
so at odds with the rusty appearance—the first time
I smoothed your hair I half-expected brittle, metallic
strands to crumble away—so how could it be
enough to satiate my sight? Oh, to look at you
for longer than eight seconds. I’ve heard
absence makes the heart grow fonder, but
it’s this teasing technology that makes me crave
you. Why did you not set the timer for ten seconds?

An ode to my backyard (and the wildlife therein)                        [8.5.2014]

When I look at you, I see:
a trio of ducks that rapid-fire-rifle
through muddy water with
a sound like machine guns;
a mother’s meeting of slow-
clucking hens, hunched over
and hands behind backs as
though they’re heavy with
secrets (but really it’s just
eggs, one each, eight a day), and
I wonder if we had four more,
would we need a religious rooster
to lead these apostles to peck
their own sharp-beaked way
to a heaven most fowl;
two dogs, the odd couple,
one large and shaggy, the other
small and wiry, both the colour
of sand; three cats—two black,
each hating the other because
they can see more clearly in
their enemy that which they
hate in themselves, and one
white-and-grey, lounging in the
sun-hugged dirt (white no more).

When I watch you, I feel
as though you could go
on forever, verdant and lush
and slush at times, but yellow
and coarse and crackling at others,
but always full of life—baking snakes,
and splendour-weaving spiders
making constellations that occasionally
tangle in my hair, and chirruping frogs
singing in harmony with the thrumming
crickets, and birds I don’t know the name of
thundering by overhead while fish thunder
by in your dam where it’s cold and murky
but free, and before I know it, it’s
night, and you’re a tiny expanse
underneath the gaze of galaxies,
weathering that nocturnally ancient stare
as easily as you do mine.

Symbols of Aniseed

A Sestina

She gives him kisses of aniseed
like liquorice roses held out,
or thunder cascading in the distance
heralding rain, signifying
the needling downpour to come.
Hungrily, he takes them.

He turns them
in his mouth like aniseed
humbugs, sticking to the inside of his cheeks. “Come
closer,” she thinks out
loud, and so he gives her white wine thoughts signifying
nothing like so many drunken nights spent staring into the distance.

But there is no distance
between them,
which has to be signifying
something, surely, apart from aniseed
breath, pushed out
onto the man who tries to come

closer in degrees of infinity. “Come
here,” he murmurs, afraid that the distance
between them is too much and he will wear out
his welcome in her arms, but she can’t imagine anything but them
and, to show this, she proffers aniseed
lips, hopefully signifying

her undying love, signifying
something more than their inability to come
closer together ever would. And so aniseed
is the scent that steals the distance
from between them,
that untangles them from gradual infinities, gets them out

from under the gaze of impossibilities, out
from symbols signifying
meaninglessness. There is only them.
“Come—”
He presses his finger against her lips, staring into the distance
of her eyes and tasting the remnants of aniseed.

Out of wherever they come,
signifying distance,
for them there will always be love in the taste of aniseed.

Also found on deviantART and tumblr.

Yet Another Reading ‘Slump’

So, I’ve only read one book this year, which is pretty atrocious considering it’s now April. Though I’m forty pages away from finishing three of my uni books, so hopefully I’ll get through those soon(ish).

BUT, to make up for the lack of reviews and general bloggy stuff, here’s a pantoum I attempted to write. Let me know what you think!

ANXIETY

You close your laptop, hungry for
discs of cabanossi and cheddar shavings,
and aching in the throes of indecision.
Yet here you are, shut up completely.

Discs of cabanossi and cheddar shavings
flow in abundance at parties like these
yet here you are, shut up, completely
lost in daydreams and nightmares, which

flow in abundance at parties like these—
well, you should know, except you don’t:
lost in daydreams and nightmares, which
more or less, for better or worse…

well, you should know. Except you don’t.
You close your laptop, hungry for
more or less, for better or worse
and aching in the throes of indecision.

Other than that, I’ve been pretty busy with uni and work (i.e. tutoring kids), but I’ve got a few musicals lined up over the next couple of weeks (Oklahoma!Chicago, and my absolute favourite musical of all time in its Sydney premiere: Next to Normal. So excited!) and plays in the coming months (not least of which is Alan Bennet’s The History Boys.) So much to see, so much to read, so much to DO!

How are you all doing?

Ode to the Novel

You thirst for the completion

That opening this trove of

Treasure can – will – bring.

Beyond rhyme or reason, you

Know only the clots of ink

Will satisfy you.

 

You crack its spine, relishing

In its dusty, primal scent,

Its papery flesh.

The lifeblood of literature

Spills over your hands, congealed

Already. You eat.

 

Gorged on imagination,

You drain the dregs, bittersweet,

Head tilted backwards.

You cry yourself to sleep, scared

This is the only way you’ll

Feel emotion.

 

So you stroke it (bloated, full),

Creativity’s creature,

A drug; side effects

Include nausea, distress,

Sleeplessness and sleepiness.

You are tainted, quenched.

So, my life has been quite hectic during the past few days (if you’re interested, reading this article will help — the children involved in the accident were my brother and two sisters, one of which has a broken rib, contused kidney and had to have an operation on her abdomen), but it’s nice to take some time out and work on a bit of poetry. Plus, it also knocks over some homework for my Creative Writing class. Two birds, one stone…

Any feedback or opinions are greatly appreciated! I’m a tough cookie so don’t be afraid to really tell me what needs fixing, what doesn’t work, etc. Thanks for reading!