Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Poetry by Ray Liversidge

Things to (and not to) do

A found poem from a notebook of Edna St Vincent Millay

For Jordie Albiston

Care for nothing except poetry.
Keep everything from mind but this.
Forget that you exist.

Even if suffering torment speak in voice
with no hint of pain. Keep corners
of mouth up. Cry as little as possible.

Disguise feelings when You-Know Who(m)
is in room. Have many lovers.
Remember things to do for Eugen.

Go out of doors every day. Putty
up holes where bees get into garage.
Put panes in several windows.

Exercise will-power in all things.
Have a drink, sometimes.
Never leave the syringe about.

Don’t become sloppy in anything,
in thinking, in dress,
in anything. Don’t fool yourself.

- Ray Liversidge 2008


He woke still lying on top of her, and knew by her breathing that she was asleep. Their lovemaking had been brief and – as she liked to say – sweet; then sleep had quickly overtaken them though neither of them were tired. She was on her back and bore his full weight in her groin as he had fallen at an angle so that his upper body lay lightly across her chest and his head rested sideways on the pillow above her shoulder. This meant that their faces were almost touching and that his view of her profile was from below the level of the lobe of her ear. Rapid eye movement and the occasional twitching of limbs suggested she was dreaming. Her hair had fallen so that the pinna of her ear was covered. In the moonlight the exposed portion of ear looked like the bottom half of a face. With every quiver of eye and limb her ear wriggled ever so slightly so that the auditory canal looked like a mouth attempting to speak. If – as she said – he had been distant of late he hadn’t noticed until now. He lifted his head from the pillow and whispered three words into her ear. She woke.

- Ray Liversidge 2008

Ray Liversidge arrived back in Melbourne in November 2007 after travelling to the UK and Ireland on a reading tour. His first book ‘Obeying the Call’ was published in 2003. His verse novel ‘The Barrier Range’, which draws on the expeditions of early Australian explorers Burke and Wills, and Charles Sturt, appeared in 2006. He is currently working on another manuscript on the work and lives of dead poets.

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