No Particular Ending in Mind: on Poetica, 3 September 2011

Published : Monday, August 29, 2011 | Label:

To celebrate National Poetry Week (5 to 11 September), Mike Ladd’s long-running Poetica (on Radio National) is featuring this Saturday (3 September) poems from an interesting bunch of Australian poets, new and old.

I’m pleased to say I’m one of them. Ladd’s chosen—presumably to close the show—"No Particular Ending in Mind”, which appears in (and closes) both Fire Diary and The Lyrebird.

The show airs at 3 pm (it repeats on Thursday 8/09 at 3pm). Listen in. Here’s the link: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/poetica/stories/2011/3286639.htm

Here’s the poem, in case you want to follow the reading, and don’t (yet) have one of my books.

I sit in the night outside my shed, the air as cold as riverstones. Truth
is, the soul will always choose a holy mess above a tidy fraud. So what?
My soul is richer than I am. A star shoots sideways like a speedway car

And hits the rail and explodes. This how it goes. One laps steadily the eight
or nine circuits of heaven a hundred million times or more, slow and
brilliant and doomed. Beautiful even. Then boom. That’s it. Your life to date:

A flash, like a migraine, across the retina of the night. Meanwhile you sit
on the inscrutable step, trying as ever to work it all out. Let your mind rest,
you think; let it belong to the stars. Let it belong, as it does, to the weather,

To the psychopathology of stones. Let it run the way the river ran this
afternoon among the feet of your children, cold and clear and sufficient
unto itself. There’s a bend coming and a fall after that, but they can wait.

Let your mind be like the fox you caught earlier, eating pizza from a box
on the porch in the dark: go hungry, but not too hungry. Know a gift
when you see one. Take it, but leave the box. Turn, but don’t run.

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