Quizzical Carlton Blues – Poem
Quizzical Carlton Blues
Somewhere between truth and meaning
among those colourless corners in the sky
can be found piled up like mad
a terrible heap of old descriptions
of god, much like inventing a person
but the bitter converse, in fact,
as though these cold sou’westerly raindrops
crept backwards up my windowpane.
Somewhere under the shifting reefs
of animus-driven, sharkhued cloud
the questions ricochet once again
like a hierarchy of little headaches.
Do presbyopics inhabit the same
Australia as the short-sighted? Or
what lies between gossip and metaphysics?
Why do cockatoos mime our language
without being intelligent?
The sashes rattle, our backyard gum
is tossing its thick head, the gilded spire
on top of red Our Lady’s glints
and I feel chilly in my larger bones,
warming my fingers on the coals of memory:
you can’t make toast over desire.
It must be in spring that one feels worst,
mortality bunched in the fleshpink prunus,
but the mystical survives.
Not bound by my life
nor even dependent on quarks and quanta,
it’s the non-being at the very heart
of all our being. It merely expands
like the unseen, epiphanic ether.
Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Founding Director and Professorial Fellow of the Australian Centre, is a distinguished poet and critic who has won many awards for his work, including The Age Book of the Year in 1996. He gives frequent readings in Australia and overseas, and was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard, 1987-1988.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Fairleigh Dickinson University
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group