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POETRYETC  October 2008

POETRYETC October 2008

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Subject:

P Blackburn (was Cemetery Road

From:

Max Richards <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Thu, 2 Oct 2008 08:49:35 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (140 lines)

Blackburn died so young!
Is this a fair sample? (from epc buffalo) chosen for its cemetery ref...
Max

Tanks
 
 	
 

Houses three stories high

or block homes of apartments

       both with steep Norman roofs

 


The fish swims in the river

and shares it with other fish

                    The cabbages have a garden

                     to share with the lettuce and radishes,

                                                      the tomatoes


The cow has a small pasture

and grazes it by herself

 

                                                       An old man lies on a sack 
on

                                                       a hillside in the sun

                                                       after lunch .

                                                       watches the train whip by

 

The dead lie in the cemetery near the tracks

share earth with the other dead

and do not look at anything

 

A barge on the river barges past, the wash flying

The fish swim in the river

                   They share it with the barge,

                             the fishermen .

 

                                                                                                            
late Aug  /  1968

                                                                                                                             
[1975]
Quoting Barry Alpert <[log in to unmask]>:

> Max,
> 
> Nicely handled.  I can remember being unexpectedly drawn into Cortland as I
> was driving
> across the state of New York, surprised to find myself researching the house
> in which the
> poet Paul Blackburn lived as he was dying of throat cancer.  A graveyard was
> visible from
> the rear of the house.
> 
> Barry
> 
> 
>  On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 16:08:46 +1000, Max Richards <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
> >
> >Cemetery Road
> >
> >
> >Off Yarra Street, turn right
> >(mind the oncoming traffic)
> >
> >and the first three or four houses,
> >new, on the left all look desirable:
> >
> >fresh, elegant, at home already
> >among the sun-glinting eucalypts.
> >
> >The second is still for sale -
> >couldn't we downsize here?
> >
> >Further from town, fewer rooms,
> >affordable, livable. Roses; quiet.
> >
> >But who wants to live on Cemetery Road?
> >After the houses there's that open space,
> >
> >parcelled out in graves and grave-sites.
> >Not far to go when the time comes.
> >
> >The ultimate in downsizing.
> >Observe the waiting plastic frames:
> >
> >piled, each a little larger than a grave:
> >once the grave is dug you don't want it filling with rain.
> >
> >I sense my pallbearers' black shoes, polished
> >that morning, sinking in soft clay at my grave's edge,
> >
> >the awkwardness with ropes, the tilting
> >and lowering, settling down there, now
> >
> >and forever. The muddied shoes step back
> >discreetly. Rose petals flutter on my lid.
> >
> >  Wednesday 1 October 2008
> >
> >  Max Richards, Doncaster, Victoria
> 






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