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John Kinsella: Four poems

Graphology 676 (December 2007)
Graphology 688
Graphology 698
Graphology 699: Baudelaire

Graphology 676 (December 2007)

The sun has aged these books
prematurely: paper, print, and quiddity.

Interpreting Dreams
is mottled. Partial.

It’s a trade book.
Not subscription.

No pity for the author,
and his palaver, humdingers,

and harrumphing. It’s a large
dream of crossing the Alps:

because it will get so hot, and hotter still.
Any fertile surplus

will travail; passing cell by cell,
molten gold at the centre

of florets: this harvest so bumper here,
to rub drought’s spread.

Graphology 688

Aspirant arrangements of dried flowers
coalesce as memory’s artillery: give up
on weekends
forming any sector
of a working vocabulary,
ask not why you wish to leave
but why you coalesce, a haunting track
through gravel, a marri stunted
with melody, what describes mimesis:
method, méthode, musician,
all grab-bagged and tagged
together: a giant among the shepherds,
an enchanted woodwind gnawing
through the casuarinas,
periodic table an only guide
to New York. New York.

Graphology 698

This jag I’m on: reading Greek
lyric poets: “Stesichorus, Ibycus,
Simonides, and Others”:
what civil strife quails,
what water-imbibing sophists glean,
what law-giving Sphinxes go-get...
it’s the Others who eat at my ear:
dead but weighty lyres.

Graphology 699: Baudelaire

Ah, Le Revenant, like Tim reading off the song titles
of the big-handed gangler, Jacques Brel, Tracy’s hero
and subsumer, he of her complete ode I await
to read: a reading, a hearing, this picture to words:

So, my wife, in our years
of familiarity — warped angels —
staining freshly washed sheets,
blue with home-coming, night-bright;

beneath the rampant moon
snakes coil tight and shots
fracture: roo shooters
just beyond our room;

the morning blackens
skin, white sheen
of night, muzzle-flash,

bled lightning I leave
again, and our presence
affronts, mouth-hearted.

John Kinsella and his son Tim, photo © Tracy Ryan

John Kinsella and his son Tim
photo © Tracy Ryan

John Kinsella’s Disclosed Poetics: beyond landscape and lyricism was published by Manchester University Press in 2007, and his Contrary Rhetoric: Lectures on Landscape and Language, is due out shortly with Fremantle Press. His new volume of poetry Shades of the Sublime and Beautiful is just out with Fremantle Press in Australia and Picador in the UK.

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