23 Aug 2013

Excerpts from ‘Salt’ – Mireille Juchau


“What’s essential about your gentleness is the violence at its borders.”

“No end in sight. No end insight. No end. Insight.”

Source:  Juchau, M 1997, ‘Salt’, in Beth Yahp & Nicholas Jose (eds), Picador New Writing 4, Pan Macmillan: Sydney, p. 103.

The Koala Motel Dream – S.K. Kelen

[1956-current, Australian] 

It’s a dog all right the nurse told you 
your wife has just given birth to a beautiful 
bouncing afghan hound you must decide 
either to hand out cigars and carry on 
or tell them at the office fuck something 
burn down your nice house 
starting with the carport so you flew south 
for the winter freer than a dream  
& on the way picked up a hippy girl 
hitching out of Albury if only the 
boys at the office then she feeds 
you blue hallucinogens on the way 
to the Koala Motor Inn at 
Wangaratta, Victoria. 

Source: Kelen, SK 1991, Atomic Ballet, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. 
Retrieved 26 February 2013 from www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kelen-s-k/the-koala-motel-dream-0086031 www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kelen-s-k/ the-koala-motel-dream-0086031

Those Winter Sundays – Robert Hayden

[1913–1980, American]

Sundays too my father got up early 
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
then with cracked hands that ached 
from labor in the weekday weather made 
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 
When the rooms were warm, he’d call, 
and slowly I would rise and dress, 
fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 
who had driven out the cold 
and polished my good shoes as well. 
What did I know, what did I know 
of love’s austere and lonely offices? 

Source: Hayden, R 1966, ‘Those Winter Sundays’, in Frederick Glaysher (ed.), Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, Liveright Publishing Corporation.

22 Aug 2013

Reflections on 22 August, 1991 – Lynn Hard

[1938–current, born America, migrated to Australia in 1977]

the members of the cast
are thinned

old movies
we haven’t seen in years,

we’ve bought since we can remember
are no longer

and life
is a steady downpour.

in the USSR
where there’s hardly enough room in squares
to stand,
to affirm
that the unknown is half-full
that the people have a right to their space
even if it’s shared with tanks,
that disillusion must be preceded
by illusion
and that is our most foreign and precious substance.

Source: Hard, L 1993, Dancing on the Drainboard, Angus & Robertson, Australia, p. 4.