Monday, November 30, 2020

for my fifty-first year,


i don’t know what poetry is
or why i’m loyal to it
(if) i want clarity

if i can pursue a different
honesty that way

the thoughts i have
Marion Bell, austerity

          I like that death is plural. Keeps happening.
Anna Gurton-Wachter, Utopia Pipe Dream Memory




When I turned forty, Phil Hall offered: turning forty
is first looking back. What, then, at fifty?

Am I waiting for the ground to shake?



Based on actual events. A science
that sticks in the throat. Fifty years

to the day.



A pantheon of passcodes, gods. A pinch
of salt or a trick with a knife. There

so the colour won’t run.



I call my mother: mum. I call her silence,
dead these past ten years. A stray fact,

impossible to remove.



The cold, from my bones. I am seeking the cold.



Half a century in, I have shirts elder
than youthful contemporaries.

To refine the waves. A guarantee
of creative indecision.

To paraphrase Don McKay: fuck your provocations;

get me a beer.



What the hell are you on about.



Mary Ann Samyn reminds us
that it was Gaston Bachelard who reminded us

that it is we who are the curators

of our own images. The way
my heart stops,

like a country.



A counterclaim
of birds.


This policy is, by no means. Half a lifetime
since my twenty-fifth birthday,

singing loudly in a pub. Three sheets
to the wind. The conceptual language

of presence.



I put my foot down. A sentence
is enough.



The overlay

of language on land. The question
of which came first,

and the imprecisions each leave
across the other.



The great silence

of the poetic line.



In a year that left us




further to the work-in-progress “Snow day,” which also includes the chapbooks snow day (above/ground press, 2018) and Somewhere in-between / cloud (above/ground press, 2019).



1 comment:

M.A.C. Farrant said...

Really like this, rob.