mourning of/why. black, eyed peas. remember what i teach re re-formation of a grammatic nonsense a forklift garbling of speech and syntax, either omission or confusion; you occasionally observe people-watched particles (sky the seamless gray is their) inability the to/from inflection of the retail she/tail, paper burr paper bird wisp whisper waver of she-oak, dithery particularities a spelling like has = ha’s her obstinate use of the words ba-silicate and ruttish – so that ended well! problem preferences with uneven ‘all’ bar ‘omnes’, your common-puncture fairytale mobster. wing hum, sintext omission of or confusion with style, a shakespeare quills lackluster fashionable, his short sweet flash trash collaborative, jessica, wings outstetched. prefix-conjunct, monte pseudo, vulture: the polished tomb, emanuela, her favoured fungus pestalotiopsis microspora. one, and a fling of dunlins chirm of finches the downy-coated dinosaur unearthed in china and 245 million tons of plastic per year, parcel of hogs mess of iguanas – be will sweat lonely they. yon exultation of larks, mine.
I’ve decided to treat and tantalize with part of a poem by Mark Tredinnick, the Australian poet who won the $50, 000 2012 Montreal Poetry Prize, with whom we had dinner and a chance to hear him read and talk about the flora and fauna of down under. This website has a good sampling of his poems.
From Fire Diary
The foothills. Down again, the next, she looks out from under her hair
at the wreck she’s made
and cannot think where to go from here. For days she weeps.
Is it possible, he wonders, to mourn like a forest? Like a house
that’s just a tin roof now?
is how he feels in the blue-black morning, but he hasn’t
Earned his sorrow. His is only risk fatigue—the shadow side
of beauty. Fire is the madness
in us all. And with it, periodically, he torches all his dreams
Of safety and starts over. When the future comes, if ever she comes,
she’ll speak, he knows,
a new species of language, in which one word for love will be fire,
And the other will be rain, and he will sleep like silence on the black terrain between.
— Originally published in PAN: Philosophy Activism Nature
A quote from Joseph Campbell:
”Writer’s block results from too much head. Cut off your head. Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa when her head was cut off. You have to be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows.”
from A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
A reprint from Slice of Life, a literary journal of flash nonfiction from Cork, Ireland, that has just published my poem to frobisher and back: the chrome set. I’m so impressed with the images that editor Sandra Jensen uses to illustrate each piece. Perfect. Thank you Sandra!
to frobisher and back: the chrome set
Claudia Coutu Radmore
after Stan Dragland
he is sorry he mentions the possibility of going to frobisher bay. she wants him to go. we need the money she says. he agrees to go to frobisher bay for eighteen months.
she spends some of the money he sends home on a plastic and chrome living room set that she orders from the eaton’s catalogue. when he comes home for a break after six months, he loathes the new furniture. he flies back to frobisher and the family is glad he’s gone. (he will have a brief affair with a nurse.)
she gets to know mr smith from next door very well. mr smith works in the refrigeration department at eaton’s.
in frobisher he feels honoured to meet a gentle but famous oblate missionary who gives him an 8 x 10 photograph of himself meeting pope john paul II.
he gives his sixteen year-old daughter’s photo to a french co-worker in frobisher who is twenty-five. that man writes a letter to her. his daughter answers it briefly for politeness sake.
he misses his daughter’s graduation from teacher’s college. he sends through a friend, an enormous frozen fish called a char. no one knows what to do with it. we do not have a freezer.
she feels lost during the day. dr. b puts her on valium.
his now-best-friend in frobisher sends the daughter a photo of himself sitting on his bed with her high school graduation photo pinned to the wall behind him. he is not attractive and the daughter does not answer the letter.
on his second trip home he invites his frobisher friend to the house. the daughter retaliates by having her boyfriend come over, sits close to him on the plastic sofa.
at the end of his eighteen month contract he asks his daughter why she did not like his frobisher friend. he is not pleased when she says she says the man gives her the creeps.
he has acquired a projector and two movies in frobisher. one is too sexy he says to show his children.
she has done her hair tonight and wears a fresh dress, and evening-in-paris cologne. from the back bedroom the daughter hears the whirr of the projector, the crackle and creak of the couch, their muffled sporadic chuckles.
she’s a bit disappointed in the movie; all it shows is a woman hitch-hiking on a country road. all she does is raise her skirt just above her knee. she thinks, my goodness, those men up north were desperate! still the movie brings back the wild whirl of early days when they went for picnics, the excitement of being deep in the cremazie woods on a blanket, alone with her catholic boy.
Note: That gentle but famous missionary was Father Pierre Henry, missionary Oblate of Mary, who lived on King Williams Island under the same conditions as the native people. The book Kabloona by Gontran de Poncins, has a section about him
Image: Light after the Fog, By Leigh-Anne Fraser
The Poetry Conversation: Comment from a poet who also grew up Catholic:
Your Catholic poem (in the last post) resonates with all that is unspoken about what we learned.
I read something recently about swimming in a sea of nuance. . . all the rules
of Catholicism are meant to serve, but they sure don’t prepare us for what
happens when we leave the books behind. . . or what we feel when we are
reading those books. Maybe that’s why your poem works so well. Leaves
wide open spaces for us to “fill in the blanks” with all of our own uncertainty.