Monday, September 13, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Mark


some days
she’d get lost
in the twists
of his gyri

other days
she’d direct
and he’d refuse
to follow

navigation was never
her strong point anyway

but it was worth it
for the days
they both went
in the same direction.


once he could run
for hours
beyond the streets
of Blockhouse Bay

breath rolling
in and out
of the bellows
knees like pistons

but these days he’s
feeling his advanced age

of thirty three
says he’ll marry her
since he can’t run
any more.


in his
there are
four rooms

one for sitting still
one for walking
one for sleeping
one for standing

the pigeons throw
shadows on the walls

he sees the wallpaper
is faded
knows it’s time
to change it


he likes watching
new shoots
unfurl from the earth
feels them moving

spring kicking
as he runs
through puddles

feels as if he holds
the earth in his arms

knows he’ll fight
with his life
to watch her

their new house
there’s a puriri tree
with a broken swing

a letterbox
and two ducks
who may one day
make ducklings

his mother approves
of all these details

he wonders
whether a bunny
would fit
on the lawn.

they don’t agree
about the dog
or the tiles
in their kitchen

he doesn’t agree
with her taste
for the wedding
but he doesn’t say

what matters is the way
she moves her mouth

on his lips
the pigeons perve
through the window
as they strip.

This is one of the sets of sonnets for my project with artist Paul Woodruffe, selected for Metonymy 2010. Our project, called Human Archaeology, investigates the layers of history around each individual, and the stories they tell about themselves and the people close to them. There are ten slipcast ceramic figures in all - two representing myself and Paul, and the rest representing people dear to us - "companion figures", if you like. Mark is my fiance.
People are encouraged to "excavate" the mummies, delving past the surface and into their cavities where they will find these poems. If you're in Auckland, please visit the exhibition at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson - there are 25 works where an artist has worked with a poet or writer to produce a completely new piece - all very different and surprising! And 56 pairs worked together in total - some of the pairs also produced performances which will be showcased in their lovely ex-church, on Saturday 16th Oct.
Please go to Tuesday Poem for more poetic goodness!!

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