Jill Jones: 3 poems

  Jill Jones

  3 poems

  JPR 08

 My Daylight Savings

It’s that time of year
                                                but gardens continue.
Here I am with a bucket and hose
                                                in the front yard
as another train passes to Seaford or Tonsley.
Even poets and friends sometimes pass here, in various directions:
                                          Peter and Lisa, on bikes,
or today Ken strolls by, walking Pola
                                            and she’s into the hedge
sniffing a dead bird, a bit of one.
Ken looks good, they’ve been
                                                    in Tasmania.
The EAF has some performance art happening:
“You should check it out. They
                                                    paid a lot of money for it.”

A garden is performance art
                              part conceptual, part organic.
You could see STC and Duchamp
                                          arguing over the dying lawn:
“best grass in the best order”, “but grass
                        doesn’t interest me, here’s a suitcase”.
The bees don’t care, flowers are ready-mades always
                                                  for their not-so-secret ministry.

                        “All Nature seems at work.”
But I’m erasing aphids with my thumb
                                          and ants with my boots
or spilling precious water onto the path.
                          I am not a good soul even on Sunday.
Another killer, just like the birds
                            cute and useless like a lot of exotics.

They say it’s cold in Sydney, and raining.
                                                Well, bully for them.
We water by the bucketload
                                      and the dams dry up
                                                    under high blue skies.
But, nope, here’s the clouds again
                that covered up much of the eclipse last night,
                              the plum tree rains down
its mellow fruitfulness
                            its dark red leaves – it’s a turning.

We perform tasks
                          turn back clocks, the wind
                                      moves things around.
We move things around.
Does anyone really know what time it is?

It all sounds like paper
                    mixing language with
                                        sounds of Sunday.
Gábor Szabó mixes his
                            60s gipsy pop jazz through
                                                    my tinny speakers
reminding me of clothes
                                      I could never wear
                                                      attitudes I somehow never believed.

And though it’s Easter, the chocolate’s gone
                  so has the blood moon
                                and the air’s lost its heat.
Yusuf Lateef’s flute sounds as if
                            it’s got it right
                                                airy performance, a kind
of dance, fingers across bamboo
                    conceptual bamboo, but also organic
                                making sounds
improvising but in tune
                                          and in time with
                                                            so many things.

 Impossible Spaces

You arrive with blank prescriptions
loaves, green papers, popcorn

You cling like all colonials
to the enigma of lawns and fences

You crash across salt and pepper shakers
cheesecake, fake wood panelling, bitter crumpled dark

You growl into corridors, into tiny impossible spaces
of sway, of hollows, of souvenirs, you’re in two places at once

You run up against these things, breaking plain truth
harsh, nasty, as tired, hurt as the rest

You contort between flashes of flight
wide awake, shaking

You crunch, you become
you heave, you panic, you start to consider

You start to weep
in the middle of the road

 Everything Hurts

Animals try to hide from the gaze, and the light
People run around with nets and syringes

The voiceovers mean things are hidden
The filming is secretive

It seems important and inhumane
Everything hurts — so, maybe that’s the case

Things are not so much objects
Maybe they will simplify or die

Besides, what breath creates light each day
On what surfaces does the wind blow

There’s mist over the trees
There’s no comfort, as if there ever was

But I still have fur and skin
which seems painful, pretentious and fabulously stupid


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