Back From the Moon (and the stars)

Yes, I’ve re-entered the atmosphere.

Last weekend, I read at the Moon Cafe. I scrambled to stitch together some poems that had been lying in pieces for far too long – one a day for the eight days leading up to the reading was my goal, but in the end I managed seven. Which is pretty good, I think. What’s that old saying – “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars?” Lately, I have been feeling rather more like the more recent re-working – “Reach for the stairs; they’re closer” – but either way, I got seven new poems out of it, so I am very happy.

It was a lovely afternoon – stinking hot on the Moon but I like the heat. I like the weather, actually, and do not like the way we seem to increasingly avoid it via the so-called necessities of air-con and so forth. I do like it when the air is moving, though. An oscillating fan will do me most of the time. It was almost tropical at the Moon, with the humidity and the closeness and the overhead fans and the languid couches, and I loved it. And I think there might be a poem in there somewhere – “Give Me Weather”? Perhaps I’ll scratch that down shortly.

For now, seven poems. I teased you last week with a couple of opening lines. One of those openers turned into a more complicated poem than I was able to finish in time and will have to percolate a while longer. But for now, here are the opening lines of the ones I did complete:

They’re renovating in the oncology clinic                                
 
Tonight, the room is thick/with the smell of boy                       
 
It’s how we were raised, on the logic/of gold                            
     
Above all, you must remain/with the vehicle                            
 
You can’t tell/from the outside what the flesh/will reveal

In the waiting room, my daughter plays/with transparent syringes

When I ask for seventy cents/worth of suburbs              

While I was getting these poems ready, I realised many of them have something in common: there are lots of knives, blades, cutting, that sort of thing. And when I think about it, I have more fragments that share similar qualities. It makes sense, if you know me well. Which I do. And I love the way life’s undercurrents sneak into poetry unbidden. I love the way a poem lets you know what it is that’s on your mind, or perhaps just underneath it.

So that was the Moon. And last night was the stars. There were no knives there, at least not that I recall. And no poetry either. I’m fairly sure I would have noticed that. Jon Doust was there, though, and I promised him a Cat in the Hat sock for his fence installation. There’s a kind of poetry in that, I reckon.

That’s all for now. The WIP beckons, and the editing job, and a bunch of other bits and pieces I probably shouldn’t continue to ignore. My next post will be none of your business.

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