Monday, January 19, 2009

All The Way Home


Beginnings deteriorate
Even the second knock sounds
an imitation

The scraping of shoes on the mat
the soil trapped in the tread
The space once travelled
which then feels known
arches back like a snare

There is a particular silence
only found under the feet
of a traveller at rest

As windows of hotels sing back
at the motors of aeroplanes


To stretch your arms
around both sides of his body
Pull him close to your chest
rock the squalling flesh
into a curved hush like
a horizon


These soft annunciations
breathed into frontiers
of hard flesh

dewclaw words coiling
beside a tangle of legs
agape in silence
at the look of things

The pigment darkens
as skin covets its own


In summer
made pretty by smell
of frangipanis

There are these mornings
where heat deadens everything
you don’t remember your own name
until you hear it

What if you lay with a stranger?
What if you fell asleep and woke
beside him?
Recognised your shape in the sheets
your colour against the white

Could you coyly
become a sound?


Geometric alphabet
with its sharp edges
offers no security for the memory
It cannot keep the devout
gushing of the mouth

greedily taking in what it can
hold of the voice
what it can retain of what was seen
bristling in the water

This point
which cant be reached
can be called separation
no matter the distance


bruce_dorlova said...

very strong work indeed, aJoy. richly repays many readings.

Graham Nunn said...

There is so much music in this poem Amanda,

'... silence only found under the feet of a traveller at rest'

'soft annunciations breathed into frontiers of hard flesh'

'the devout gushing of the mouth'

and as such, deserves to be on high rotation.


Gabriel Gadfly said...

"The windows of hotels sing back
at the motors of aeroplanes"

I love that line. Beautiful poetry.

Anonymous said...

This poetry is soft, slow and makes me remember for a while some passages from Emily, my Emily, our Emily Dickinson.

Thanks Amanda

Denis Joseph O'Driscoll said...

This is beautifully composed. The way that it works a poem (song) cycle is great. there is a slight alteration in each section that shifts the flow of the narrative and the sound. in the first section there is dominance of soft sounds (the ooh’) and in the next a hard ‘e’ (as in ‘etch’).

The way that this plays as a shift in mood and maintaining the overall flow of the poem cycle works great.

The language itself is superb. It puts me in mind of Welisch without the ‘academia’. the warmth of the poem shines through well: ‘rock the squalling flesh’; ‘as skin covets its own/articulation’; etc. The poem, overall, has a ‘feminine’ feel to it yet the eroticism of it is quite universal.

It is great to come across poetry that is written with such care and treats the reader as intelligent: capable of going beyond the everyday and entering a world of another experience.

bruce_dorlova said...

i come back to this again

and again

and again

Anonymous said...

Rich and compelling.

Anonymous said...

Hello Amanda,

I must second the previous comments.

You don't know me although we have many mutual friends and I have seen you around Fremantle for years. I also own a painting of yours "The Quickening" from 1999.

I attemptd to speak to you at Saturday's concert at the Fremantle Arts Centre, however it seems you have many friends and admirers queuing to bask in your vibrant warmth. It is a rare grace you hold.

You have a strong and distinctive voice Amanda. I have been reading your posts for over a year now, as a subscriber here and at myspace.

You are a brilliant writer. I am wondering why you have not been posting your poems as regularly lately.

I was recently speaking with Stephen McMahon who showed me a copy of a small, exquisitely illustrated book of your poems from some years ago. Are you ever going to print them again?

Many questions, if not answered here and now I will ask you in person one day over those short macs you seem so fond of.

in great admiration,
An Old Literate Man

Amanda Joy said...

Hello Old Literate Man,

Thankyou for your compliments..

I'd like to believe I'm quite approachable :)

It's strange, I was talking about that painting only recently.
I actually have no slides of it at all. So if you'd like to introduce yourself sometime, I'd love to visit it.

see you at Gino's sometime(?)
Also you can email me at


Amanda Joy said...

Denis, Thank you so much for such an engaged and sensitive reading of the poem.
Comments like yours are what makes blogging my poetry worthwhile..

Khoa said...

Nice work of art! Bravo!

vanessa said...

Gorgeousness. I love the way the words tumble...and settle

Oh, and these lines:
"you don't remember your own name
until you hear it"

Ray Sharp said...

This is a beautiful, well wrought poem, amanda j, major admiration from me to you...
Ray Sharp

ken t said...

it is a symphony not just a piece of music, all words co-ordinate and dance with each other-beautiful...ken/down under