Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Clapping Tree

by Matt Dennison

                                    I hope it’s worth it, this dying inside—
                                    whiskey, salt, tobacco and then a moment
                                    of hunger—flour and fat's dour tickle.
                                    My ovaries are crippled, my eggs
                                    no good. I was life! the ball and
                                    feather falling multi-crumbled
                                    in the language of entropy, babies
                                    so terrible they’d suck murder
                                    from the sky, ranchers milking
                                    moon-cows, soldiers reporting
                                    to duty, 
little birds coin-spilled
                                    across the table. I never complained.
                                    I swept them off: clap fears, placentas
                                    eaten raw, Gods’ and fathers’ rabid tongues
                                    wobbling in ecstasy—all cause for exhaustion.     
                                    I am tired. Tired of this house. Tired of this ravening.
t has been so long since I studied life with fire.

* * * * *

A video version of this poem by film maker Jutta Pryor (Aus.) can be found here: https://vimeo.com/388137126?fbclid=IwAR37_rsRqBzzu3o10cotqXzVWRZfa6kTOHqB3lujgoZefB1AIhL74qQMnG4

Jutta Pryor's comments about the video: “The Clapping Tree is a poetry film tribute to mark International Women’s Day, celebrating the strength, vulnerability and spirit of a woman surviving the rigors of life in a remote, male dominated, pioneering settlement. A film collaboration between poet Matt Dennison (Columbus, Mississippi, US), sound artist Mario Lino Stancati (Italy) and film maker Jutta Pryor (Melbourne, Australia). Filmed at the Tyrconnell Historic Goldmine in outback north Queensland, where several original buildings and machines remain testament to a goldrush that took place 120 years ago.”

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