Thursday, November 02, 2006


deconstructing my own writing
(and making vows
about it that i won't keep for very long)

By Adam Gibson ©

no more sentimental poems
about past times and fond remembrance
of quiet occasions by beachside
or roadside;

no more fuzzy romances about
fishing towns and
surfing towns and
milkshake mid-mornings
or pebblecrete paths under barefeet
or weeds working their way through footpath cracks
or vegetarian meal stories of cafes long since closed.

no, no more indeterminate mentions of
"the coastal night"
and boy meets girl meets boy meets her cute friend,
no more accounts of the drives of their lives
and name-checking of towns that sound enigmatic
and full of marvel
but in real life are scenes of smashed bottles
and quarrels about roundabouts and
crowded visits to the only doctor in town worth his/her salt.

no more vague hints of rhyme deliberately sprinkled in
from time to time
to tap out a beat, one that keeps the eye moving forward
and the mind as well.

no more repetition of lines
no more repetition of lines
and no more linking lines with "and"
and no more linking lines with "and"

and using short lines
and then following them with long ones about regrets that are rusting in the
metaphoric car doors of our psyche
and no more use of the collective "our" when we mean "we" when i mean "i"
nor accounts of romantic flash meetings that are
characterised more by their loss than their gain.

no more liberal sprinkling of foreign locales
for a wider flavour,
contrasting port macquarie with paris
or san sebastian with sydnenham
just to prove that "we" have been to both.
no more sudden changes of tack
which take the poem off into a sudden new direction:

sails that billow from ship's masts and
the pile of discarded coathangers I saw which looked like
the shipwrecks of 1000 toy aluminium boats, in london,
which reminds me of the featherbed of bondi,
which i shall not mention again either,
nor the pacific highway, ditto,
scratched from the template.

no more bits that
feel like
the quiet after a storm:
where the lines shorten
go quietly,
broken
into segments
so you naturally
speak them
slower.

then a line break for a breath,
then a repeated (in part) line,
then that again as the momentum builds,
then a slight turn now which cranks up the tension,
then further and further onward to some point of something that sounds like a

crescendo

one that just sits and hangs there in open space
followed by the soft landing of a familiar soft-word sentence like this.

no more the sense that the whole thing could end there
but doesn't, but continues on,
as the riffing begins to pick up pace again
and i resume talking and i vow not to mention midnight oil again,
nor say how the lines
"i look out and see those lines and lines of swell and smile /
coolangatta what's the matter"
changed my life,
and no mention of the fact that i listen to the oils almost every day
or that 'wedding cake island'
i believe is the only piece of music i have ever heard
that is completely flawless,
and here is where i will avoid going off
onto other tangents about music
and its influence on me
and touch on the type of song that gets me,
one with a sense of place and/or time,
such as 'been coming here for years' by
weddings parties anything,
where they sing "behind the sanddunes off the road/
we built a tea-tree dynasty/
a fibro shack by a camping ground/
the fishing rod his trinity"…

all this will be avoided in future and now,
as i search for a way to wrap this up,
i will bring it in close,
maybe repeat a line or two
maybe repeat a line or two
consider my options

and suddenly invert
the whole thing
and vow
(in short lines)
to break every vow i have
hereby made,

and finish the whole thing off
with a question
hanging in the air
about
the meaning
of

it all.

1 comment:

KB said...

that really is bloody unreal gibbo; classic stuff! but don't abandon all those things! they're the reason i love your stuff.