Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Passing of James Gleeson 1915-2008

An Obituary. Here is Australian foremost Surrealist whose work since our arrival has been of great interest and enjoyment. Picture- "The Arrival of Implacable Gifts". Note the self-portrait of the artist on the left of the picture. Last month I saw a performance incorporating some poetry that I was quite taken with. After the performance upon asking I discovered that it was his. We were in the process of hoping to arrange a meeting in the near future. Here are three excerpts that appeared in a 2003 review The Australian of his Selected Poems.

He divides his arm and breast
among the friends of his wound,
bringing to each, a measurement of corrosion.
Under his armpit the spiders twitch
in the fires of a naked bulb
(p. 73)

In the stream of the seismic night-time
when the rage of the soul
screams its trajectory across the naked canyons
where I must make a killing from the centre,
sometimes I say, — that murder,
that murder was actual but in my head.
Who heard, you say, the red voice added to the rain?
None; that formal guard of black hats on my eye
at worst is some thick sickness of my skull
(p. 72)

Having flown so many miles
Through April’s ghost-laden light
Out of the drought’s edge,

Escaping that salty barrier
Between good and bad lands,
Murky water low in farm dams.

Here, shiningly sure-footed,
The effect is turbulence,
Blueness, snowy prescience,

As they land, scavaging visitants,
pin-pointing the mallee red-gum’s
Solitary crimson nebulas

Near the shed.
(p. 32)

No comments:

Post a Comment