Wednesday, June 11, 2008

stealing from the back catalog: everybody's busy

so – everybody’s busy. everybody’s got a lover (boris, mitzi, derek); or a husband or a wife. everybody’s got themselves into some form of strife (parking tickets, no petrol, no money). everybody’s got a job (mummy, disco dancer, dj), everybody’s got a hobby (macrame, stamps, ant farms), everybody’s joining some political lobby (less work – more pay!). so the excuse of ‘I’m too busy’ doesn’t really stand, because everybody for that one can raise their skinny little hand. if everybody is so busy – then how do friendships ever get made. if everybody’s so busy – everything must surely just get waylaid. i made an oasis in my day to bring you an oasis in your busy-ness.
say no to being too busy.
c h a l k talk
amanda’s painting: les murray
in the painting, i'm seated in a shield,
coming home in it up a shadowy river.
it is a small metal boat lined in eggshell
and my hands grip the gunwale rims. i'm
a composite bow, tensioning the whole boat,
steering it with my gaze. no oars, no engine,
no sails. i'm propelling the little craft with speech.
the faded rings around the loose bulk shirt
are of five lines each, a musical lineation
and the shirt is apple-red, soaking in salt birth-sheen
more liquid than the river. my cap is a teal mask
pushed back so far that i can pretend it is headgear.
in the middle of the river are cobweb cassowary trees
of the south pacific, and on the far shore rise
dark hills of the temperate zone. to these, at this
moment in the painting's growth, my course is slant
but my eye is on them. to relax, to speak european.
teeth sensitive to the sand: matsuo basho
teeth sensitive to the sand
in salad greens--
i'm getting old.
this is a photograph of me: margaret atwood
it was taken some time ago.
at first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper; then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house. in the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills. (the photograph was taken
the day after i drowned. i am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface. it is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small i am:the effect of water
on light is a distortion but if you look long enough,
you will be able to see me.)
if you’re too busy to read this, tell us. if you love to pause a while for the cool air of a poetic oasis, tell us that too.
i’m skeeeping town, moving to mexico so i can say all day long – heeeey gringo, why you look so sad?
morning time and we skip around in the leaves, crunch, kerunch, crunch. the bottoms of our jeans get wet with dew, my little man wears the radiant smile that beams as a sun, run out feed the ducks, run out into the sunshine, pick flowers, eat breakfast in the morning cool, wonder just how long this winter will take before it melts in the heat.

1 comment:

Maven said...

Your poetry is wonderful- I felt like I had received a perfect little quiet gift, a secret treasure deliberately left somewhere for me to find when I opened up your page...
thank you