Friday, February 29, 2008

Gut Feelings

I'm pretty sure the first book I ever made as an edition was Dislocation*. It's an accordion fold with simple pop-up panels for the text, illustrated with line drawings with bit of collaged colour. It was laser printed (I was years away from access to letterpress) and since I had no idea of how to make a decent book cover back then, its the simple folded card cover that makes me cringe when I look at it now. But the content of the book is still as strong as it ever was.

Dislocation is a longish poem about travel and homecoming, in particular it's about jetlag, and the profound effects it can have. I included excerpts from the poem in this post, written almost exactly one year ago. A year ago, six months ago, I was still in my profoundly anti-travel state of mind. I really should know better than to ever say never! With my recent trip to Queensland I have done one of my famous about-face total attitude shifts. My own unpredictability is, as usual, keeping my friends endlessly entertained.

In the first day or two back from my January trip, I wrote this little poem with a very different (to Dislocation's) interpretation of the meaning of my jet lag feelings.

Gut Feeling

I left my juice and my heart behind in the tropics.

Vital fluids trailing my obligations by three hours,

I can see them back there, a languid puddle in the heat

With the sea lapping up warm and salty,

saying belong belong belong


Yes my guts are hardly missing me, this empty shell of self

whithering dry and itchy,

All the moisture in me has been cried out.

I work carelessly, distracted

by my chest aching a hole where my heart should be.

And yet I don’t want to call my heart home.

I want to pack up my shell and return to

my centre, my passion, my guts.

* I still have copies of Dislocation available, discounted to $100 because I don't like the cover. Email me at the address on the right.

The beautiful photographs of Dislocation are by Katrina Ching

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