Australian Sentences

May 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Posted in writing | 20 Comments
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I live at the bottom of a hill across the road from a park and today the sky is unbroken blue. There are roundabouts at either end of my street, two circles. Sentences which unfurl like trees maintaining their momentum through the adjectival breeze. Shorter sentences hiding their pretension to the faux-naive and yes, that is Oscar Peterson out for a stroll. They are happy to have been scrawled in a note book under this ancient fig tree. There are mansions on the hill with libraries containing dusty leather bound volumes in which these sentences will one day reside. In preparation they are on their best behaviour like boys in ceremonial clothes, shuffling uncomfortably and tugging nervously at their adverbs. The fig tree fusses over them, leaves tucking in a dangling participle, branches reminding that the geometry of mansions requires well mannered servants. The sentences would rather be fishing, sitting, waiting for a line break but in this landscape poetry remains inappropriate.

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  1. ‘Sentences which unfurl like trees’ – I wish I had written that. You live in the most wonderful of streets!
    I do, thankyou Selma.

  2. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
    Thankyou, Maxine. So happy to see you have your own bloggedy blog now too.

  3. It is one of my favourite things to think of words as sentient. “Tugging nervously at their adverbs” – exquisite.
    A Jess comment! Thankyou. Your blog is still one of my favourite places on the net, Jess and your writing is beautiful.

  4. May Oscar Peterson conduct the world.
    Absolutely.

  5. They are happy to have been scrawled in a note book under this ancient fig tree. There are mansions on the hill with libraries containing dusty leather bound volumes in which these sentences will one day reside

    I love the words being alive…the way they should be
    The way they are in your beautiful poems, Tina.

  6. it’s delicious, and smooth, and then the way it ends is a puzzle. because it seems as if poetry never remains (stays still) or perhaps never has remains because it occurs in a succinct space, except then it reoccurs in the memory, or every time it’s read, in the mind, it turns into a solid thing sort of, has a shape?. and then how would it be able to be inappropriate? maybe perhaps it mightn’t fit in an australian sentence landscape? perhaps it is built for a more rarified place? like made to stop time? or made to be just the flute, or just the piano while other writing is quartets and bands and orchestras? i need to know. because the piece seems to have all those qualities too. i think there is some secret thingy in here. and poof its gone.
    Poof! Just like that. This one is a magic spell, telling/making the future, Tipota. Your mind is an amazing place.

  7. Beautifull
    Your poem is not self-referential as I first thought.
    Given that it is not saying things about itself. for example I could
    say “this sentence turns blue when you are not looking at it”, is a self-referential one.
    But here you are talking about a poem as if this poem is alive,
    their parts cause things to happen in physical life (like advervs),
    the poem as a hole also has a likes and dislikes, like a sentient being.
    Is like a person impersonated in a poem.
    Ancient civilization thought that inanimate objects had souls and
    many other charactericstics we attribute now only to living creatures.
    This sounds crazy for us now, but I do not think it is, we wouldn’t think a
    rock wants to be near the sea, who says this is imposible?
    And in the case of poem and words happens the same, but it makes even more
    sense to me, I always thought they where alive.

    PS:I love fig trees
    Me too. It is a giant ancient Moreton Bay Fig tree. Your comments are incredible Mariana, thankyou.

  8. I’ve been returning frequently to the question ‘What is the Australian Rhythm?’. I do believe you are capturing it, Paul. By the way, the font type I reckon would be a ‘Gingatao Black’, one font size only. You could even become a licensed taotooist and perform originals. Book me in.
    Ha! Taotooist indeed. I will definitely look into learning the art, Brad.

  9. Sweet and clever. Reminds me of a certain Italian absurdist writer? The older I get the less I remember. You are a poet and I will read this entry to my ninth grade English class tomorrow. They will appreciate it.
    Wow! Cool, let me know what they think, Randall. Great to see you back.

  10. Oh Paul, Damn! This is the most beautiful think you have ever written, combining your love of nature and language. You have outdone yourself. I just love it, I can’t say anything more than that. I did something similar once (in a poem) but not as brilliant as this.
    Thankyou, Harmonie. I spent a lot of time on this little paragraph. Many many tiny tweakings and fiddlings so I’m really glad that people liked it.

  11. When I was a rock chick, all of our ‘gang’ wanted to be buried upright under the old mangled tree in the Butts Centre, on our motorbikes. I think you should be buried under the fig tree, notebook in hand with just one word written on the page… p rfect. (long time since I wrote that!)
    P rfect,

  12. Very nice paragraphic poem.
    ( Or is paragraphy? 🙂 )
    Paragraphy, prosody, proem, haha. Thanks Phil.

  13. And yet, poetry has been achieved, awesome 🙂
    Thankyou, Ms Mist.

  14. I think this is my favorite so far. What fun!
    Cool, thankyou.

  15. I see what you are saying, Mr. Squires. Poetry would rather be sitting and fishing, yes, and I think also catching frogs and wading into rivers barefoot with pant legs rolled up.
    Absolutely, Mr Peterson.

  16. Oh my goodness, what a delectable delight!
    As is your comment, Thomma Lyn.

  17. “like boys in ceremonial clothes, shuffling uncomfortably and tugging nervously at their adverbs” and “waiting for a line break but in this landscape poetry remains inappropriate” make this top of the line for me, Paul. Congratulations on another great piece! You’ll soon be ready for another book!
    Thanks, Bryan. The second book is in the makings at the moment. It should be out by the end of the year.

  18. the mystery of a line break existing in a dusty book, on a dusty shelf in an elusive mansion on a circled culdesac… tempting…

  19. Ah give me more of this grammar poetry!! It is medicine for my soul! I was just pulling out my hair because I am studying for this test that I must take in order to receive my teaching credential. Most of the material on the test is grammar, semantics, linguistics- none of which I am a skilled player at. I detest the rules of grammar and now I am a victim of them. I just took a practice test in which I missed 33 out of 50. Ouch. However, this brief work of yours has re-inspired my relations with the world of grammar and now I am willing to give it another try. Thank you Doctor Paul.

  20. Your mind works in mysterious, genius type ways which us plebs will never understand, bravo!


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