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POETRYETC  October 2013

POETRYETC October 2013

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Subject:

Re: Slipping into belonging

From:

Bill Wootton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc: poetry and poetics

Date:

Thu, 31 Oct 2013 15:13:21 +1100

Content-Type:

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Thanks again, Doug. Means a lot.

Bill

On 31/10/2013, at 8:58 AM, Douglas Barbour wrote:

> Ah, I think it's all in that mode & mood neatly now, Bill. A setting, so to speak...
> 
> Doug
> On Oct 30, 2013, at 3:39 PM, Bill Wootton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> Many thanks, John and Doug. Surprises me, John, that you would see universalities. But I suppose we only shift so far in the confines of an institution. Dead right as usual, Doug, I have tinkered below and it felt so right to do it. Macca remains as an exception to all that present participling and only on revising, did I notice the 'doubling' coming up three times which I have left. 
>> 
>> Regards,
>> Bill
>> 
>> Slipping into belonging 
>> 
>> Being on the edge of change;
>> The Moon landing being slipped into British 
>> History as an example of modern colonisation.
>> 
>> Doing Geography projects in small groups,
>> presenting finished product on coloured A3 paper;
>> negotiating up from being responsible for The Heading.
>> 
>> Trimming the bottom isosceles of our tan ties with scissors.
>> Ribbed long socks and pale yellow cotton girls' sports tunics;
>> Annette's wiry red hair and freckled arms clashing with all that paleness.
>> 
>> Opting to sit longer at desks after The Bell for Rock Lunch Club, egg sangos 
>> and fruitcake splayed from brown bags; Cocker Happy jaunting 
>> on the school's stereo, wall-mounted Wharfedale speakers.
>> 
>> Double desking with Felicity in Pure,
>> while chalked formulae accumulated on the smooth blackboard.
>> Waiting for her thigh to shift; the times she allowed nestle.
>> 
>> Slinging my Malvern Star up, on frosty mornings by the front wheel,
>> it latching between spokes on the high hook in the Bike Shelter. 
>> Mouse's bright red 500cc Suzuki squatting below its pedal cousins.
>> 
>> Doubling as a dour Exam zone, Room 32, in its own isolated block, 
>> being used as drama room; pretending to not care when my part 
>> in a play was rotated to Jovan, who later died in a car accident.
>> 
>> Noticing my hand being the only one up, responding
>> to a question about The Merchant of Venice, the penny
>> dropping: the maths/science elites really didn’t know.
>> 
>> Writing maths solutions on the board with both hands at the same 
>> time, Mrs Sikh, because she just found it efficient; casually smoking
>> Mr Bodley, insisting post-PE shower doors remain propped open.
>> 
>> Catching, in The Breezeway, the word 'period', clearly not denoting 
>> subject session, amid muffled laughter from behind cupped hands:
>> knowing there was stuff I didn't know and couldn't ask about.
>> 
>> Tough Macca dropping dead after an inter-school footy game.
>> Guest speaker Danny Spooner singing 'The Famous Flower of Serving Men'
>> a cappella; the hush in the hall at the tale of portents and transformations.
>> 
>> Collecting signatures on a petition for which I wrote the preamble,
>> proposing a Form Six student smoking room in the Physics lab; posting
>> it in the mail in a stamped envelope to squeaky-voiced Principal Perry.
>> 
>> Being summoned to 'Head' office as number one signatory;
>> treated warily, even respectfully, by someone in power
>> for the first time. Permission denied; a watch put on me.
>> 
>> Beatling his straight hair vertically over his forehead, Ned Wilson,
>> running the black comb teeth the full width of his head just above eye 
>> level, never taking eyes off his image in the long mirror in the boys' toilet.
>> 
>> Hearing instructions in French over the PA for a senior class;
>> ignoring other bulletins over the PA, not even knowing that
>> The Pirates of Penzance was a musical, for the whole of 1968.
>> 
>> Failing woodwork in form two and my father a carpenter;
>> Pop Quizzes in Science trotted out by a rotund American;
>> matching terms with precise definitions his brainwave.
>> 
>> Looking down on vulnerable teacher in steeply tiered Room 15, 
>> designed for cooking demonstrations; ascending desks
>> perched on squeaky scaffolding-supported floorboards.
>> 
>> The rumbling of pulled down continuous cloth ‘blackboards’
>> to expose virgin dark green - or remnants of unscrubbed lessons.
>> Yardstick rulers resting on the wall, outsized wooden protractors.
>> 
>> Feeling woozy in metalwork room; each boy at lesson's end, standing
>> to attention by his vice, silent, stared down by grey dust-coated 
>> Mr Mir's chocolate eyes above wiry black-grey moustache.
>> 
>> Coming adrift, the seat of my wooden chair, it thwacking to the floor
>> as we inverted them in unison at day's end in Art, laughter;
>> accepted for the first time on the other side of the Yarra.
>> 
>> bw
>> 31.10.13
> 
> Douglas Barbour
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> http://www.ualberta.ca/~dbarbour/
> http://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/
> 
> Latest books: 
> Continuations & Continuations 2 (with Sheila E Murphy)
> http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/UAP.asp?LID=41&bookID=962
> Recording Dates
> (Rubicon Press)
> 
> Art is always the replacing of indifference by attention.
> 
>                        Guy Davenport
> 
> 		
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 	
> 
> 
> 
> 

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