* old friends from Australia

* candy of two kinds *
* candy of two kinds *

The above book and treats arrived yesterday from my friend in Australia, Catherine Baab-Muguira – poet/novelist/and overall amazing person.  She has been kind enough to send along the book Poser by Claire Dederer across many miles between continents because a good book should travel far in so many senses of that phrase.

Those are also chocolate bars up there: those only have a day or two left of travel *ahem*.

Cat and I met each other in 2004 during the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.  I was an insufferable young poet in my twenties (mind you, I continue to be insufferable in my thirties, no slacking there) and she was one of a gang of good people with which I had the gift of a month of writing/reading/talking poetry.

The poem below, by Australia’s legendary Les Murray, came to mind as I thought about doing this post in gratitude to my friend who lives in such a faraway and cool place (her beach photos are the best).  The poem came to mind because of the youthful drama of being a young poet that played out during the seminar in 2004 – a drama that still continues today.

Those last two lines:

As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable

pretty much describe me after any particularly productive writing jag.

As a poet, you are never closer to the stuff than in the writing and rewriting.  The before and after, well, that’s the rest of your life.

**

Performance – Les Murray

I starred that night, I shone:
I was footwork and firework in one,

a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants
and a peewee descant on a flung bit;
I was busters of glitter-bombs expanding
to mantle and aurora from a crown,
I was fouettés, falls of blazing paint,
para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,
loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,
a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:
that too was a butt of all right!

As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable.

**

Happy triumphing!

Jose

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