Poems I have not yet written
I’d begin with a poem about my mother
she looms at the end of the bed, angry and undelivered
to the world in verse -
then I’d consider an ode to the fallen.
A poem about the dead
leaning on their guns as the sun
leaches out the last vestiges
of life and colour.
A poem that would be worthy
of inclusion in a war poetry anthology;
poems for the fallen en masse.
I’d write a landscape poem which raised
eyebrows as hills, including references to the body:
the visceral, teeth as trees,
woman as landscape, as art, as portrait.
The poem of myself –
veiled with comments of a troubled childhood,
sexual firsts and pains of childbirth.
Incomprehensibly disturb all meaning.
Sit uncomfortably -
and write in perfect metered rhyme
bush poets nodding, keeping time.
The poem I should write would be an epic,
a paradise of the lost:
an annal of seedlings, lost toys and weather charts.
I would find the poem on scraps of paper
& record radio frequencies.
It would be kept as newspaper snippets
and tossed into the air and left to be read as installation.
Perhaps a piece about sex would be good.
I’d commence a sequence of sonnets
and keep solely to iambic pentameter,
try my hand at villanelle, rondel and haiku.
this poem would write itself
in the dark of night
the slow lyric qualities of light.
The poem would be a satire of the poem.
It would whisper jokes about John Howard
and speak volumes about Australian Workplace Agreements.
A poem about the unemployed -
the down & out poet.
There would serious consideration given to music;
witty mentions of jazz musicians
such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
I’d do ‘be bop’ and melody, the poem would hum
while written and kick into Dylan,
with Jethro Tull flute accompaniment.
Isolation, depression and finally suicide
referred to by way of birds.
Black wings covering a woman on a pier,
a eulogy for poets estranged
from each other.
A poem for animals, a catalogue of the deceased
and as yet undiscovered.
Creatures dressed in suits, paraded via chain and shackle
before crowds under the big top.
My imagined animals in the taxidermist’s shop
with some attempt at humour.
I’d finish with a secret
written only for myself.
A poem discovered after the death of the poet
in papers bound for the national library.