proceeded not from the circumstances of
geography, but from sheer will of one man
plus balloons. The call came electric:
come to a picnic. Because we are no longer
willing to remain imaginary and avatared,
we brought cheese and children.
I arrived first with a boy pre-grubbed into
the shade of an aardwolf, the earth-wolf.
Of South Africa he knows nothing.
For fuck’s sake, of South Melbourne
he knows nothing. We shut and opened
the creak of rotunda gates and I thought
of people I would soon embrace.
This is how space begins: with words only
bright on a screen, with @ and # and
tentative DMs towards IRL. And then ---
They flew in with blankets and arms
and arrayed themselves into points:
this star, is very easy to assemble.
God doesn’t love you, but friends might;
I know which pair of arms I’d choose.
I have settled on this that life was:
weakness, strength. Was the exception
the maelstrom of people I have found?
I asked my boy this question, he answered
me with a handful of almonds. One thing more:
I have missed you today, missed your
quick straight-teeth smile that proclaims:
there was my librarian, stern and infallible.
And silent, your eyes for me across the grass
threading past plates of chicken and bread.
Today's poem is based on suggestions from eight people:
- @timsterne: "proceeded not from the circumstances of geography but from sheer will" (Joan Didion, Sentimental Journeys)
- @kirsty_l: "God doesn't love you" (Katharine Susannah Prichard, The Pioneers)
- @matchtrick: "We are no longer willing to remain imaginary" (Alberto Manguel, Into the Looking Glass Wood)
- @marklawrence: "Life was weakness, strength was the exception." (Peter Temple, The Broken Shore)
- @jayjaycee1: "This star is very easy to assemble" (Frederique Gueret, Magical Window Stars)
- @_esther: "This is how space begins, with words only" (Georges Perec, Species of Spaces)
- @_camer0n: "there was my librarian, stern and infallible and silent" (Charles Bukowski, Ham On Rye)
- @ernmalleyscat: "aardwolf, the earth-wolf of South Africa" (Arthur L Hayward, The Concise English Dictionary)