new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robert Creeley

Robert Creeley's NZ


Robert Adamson


We moved out from the stone of Mallarmé’s mind, through the silence of thought
from the start knowing the difference between sex in the head
and sex in bed, the form of women became
a way to hold chaos that singing bird
in an imaginary cage that was projected there
just ahead of where our eyes remembered the look
that kills, our unbelieving bodies listening to the rock’s voice
the sails, the oceans the walks on moonlit beaches rocking the old abyss time
and talking all night with Augustine in Hippo
explaining age and insisting time was a mere projection of the mind
O Africa in a Mustang in 1967
Highway 61 through rivers of prose
ideas slanting sunlight through the monsoon
a world blossoming from a single voice reciting The Garden in an empty room
Facing the mirror, drinking under the volcano
of teenaged lonely boys with Birmingham Rollers tumbling home
the bleak stage with a classic lady repeating a sentence
with a syntax that could loop a memory for her despairing husband in the air
and the crow at every cross roads flashing its hen-bird feathers
the black that’s blue and smudging the examination
the regret we wouldn’t let become more guilt
as we passed mountains in the desert fourth time round. The songs,
delicate music and the flashing savage adjectives employed in anger . The morning after
the manuscripts, great piles shuddering in the light
and relentless questions probing the hearts that loved
saying the word heart over until its meaning multiplied into impossible meanings
The finger a tool and a weapon, splitting the line, the pronoun and the pen
the feather, the father, the children, years belying kindnesses
until redemption was a kitchen filled with light
and Creeley padding across the floor of the poem no shoes no issues
singing inwards dancing out
he’s gliding out from paintings on the gallery walls
this poem's taking us in then out into three dimensional waking dreams
laying the words down walking around the press carrying the lead
type faces, smoke proofs spelling the news the bleak eyed story told again
yes, tell’em it’s fun, let’s go.
We are sitting here Mr Creeley, your maps
spread on the floor of the tent
wings of a thunder bird the breeze the motor purring in flying out
the stars the white moon hanging just like you said
we are living and while you're singing there’s meaning, still no reason to repent.

First published in Australian Book Review (October 2001): 28,
©Robert Adamson

Last updated 27 March, 2002