oh wait, back to the body

I forgot to mention, that I’ve been sick this week with a horrible chest infection, the very place from which I draw breath, and therefore life, and can then give voice to poetry. Being sick, being literally unable to move/breath/think/talk sick has been awful. Particularly for someone like me who has sometimes hidden desperately from the body, or at least from the things that the body is trying to say. Intellectually, it felt crippling.

For those who missed it, MC Lady Lazarus vs DJ Thought Fox is a conversation between two poets (myself and Doubting Thomas) about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. It started some time ago and isn’t finished yet. On one hand, the outcome feels massive – nine months ago, I felt overawed not only by my collaborator, but also the subjects of our collaboration. I’d never played around with garage band, never proposed visuals to a show, never worked so deeply into other poet’s work. Everything was new, and while that made everything feel possible, it also made it feel rather impossible. I’ve never worked so hard, at having a conversation, nor felt so complex about the outcome.

Now, I feel a weird desire to stretch the conversation further. Even though my every fibre in my body is tired, I feel like I’ve hauled myself up the side of a very large mountain, covered in snow, lugging my toboggan with me, its sharp edges cutting my legs each awkward step and now, if I can just get over the other side, there will be a giant rush of snow and wind and trees and movement and rush.

Sometimes I want to have that conversation in a small, stark room, with two beautiful screens that are playing dual visualisations, then sometimes the same visuals, so that there is always a sense of binary/mirror. I want to ditch the pre-programmed “song” format, and have a live mix of sound bites and snippets, that can be triggered like another voice to the conversation, like two nerdbot laptop junkies. I want to tell a myth of lambs and foxes and to bite the heads of chicklets, then breath life back into their bodies until they flutter up like snowflakes returning to the sky. I want to make a tiny series of zines so I can find a place where this poem goes.

Mirrors vibrate
with her shadow.
She, standing at your shoulder
laying on your nail bed.
More familiar
than a siblings face,
her countenance
your guide.

The tree of life,
divine deck hand,
outlast naive ouija games.

The goddess white,
direct pale hand
remembering arcane sacred names

the machinery of heaven
oiled again
memory ancestral
gears grind
the seeds of sorcery
sprout and root
your mind.

Or this poem.

With blood in my cuticles
I entered your bible.

I boarded your ark
paying admission at the gangplank
and waving goodbye
to wretched America,
its sanitised surburbia,
land without language of
woods and animals and earth.

Sailaway streamers,
tender as spider’s threads
flung out to bootless filagree
from ship to shore.

And all of this I want somewhere in my body, like a headache about to explode to an aneurism, or a wheeze about to obliterate the chest.

*mental note, do tax return.

Categorized as musing

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

1 comment

  1. oh, love this. suddenly i’m filled with the rootless potential of a project that morphs. yes it has form when first performed. yes memorized. but then the project shines light on the next metamorphosis. facing screens. live-mixed soundscape. new or different texts emerging. and it’s alright for the piece to be one way when first performed. but then the next, and the next — it’s part of what draws a person to witness multiple times. to participate in the experiment/experience, the ride, the drive of morph. to have familiarity but to witness the shift. it’s meeting someone, falling completely in love with that spark of friendship, returning for the next to learn more, to feel the conversational shift. the project as friend.

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