'Forensic, all in one breath...' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

For my late mentor,
(Kumantjayi) Uncle Martin Harrison

Be sharply accustomed to the anatomy of your writing; inside and out...Where you have
slivered the bones of your storyline, mark the points of ruin and resurrection ... Count the
gouges ... Here is where you lunged ... Careful! ... There was a finely delivered sentence;
precise and without mess ... Note any self-inflicted scaring ... Always be succinct; never run
verse through a sloppy gauntlet of conception ... Flag the spots of incursion with wonder
and sculpture charisma from your extraction...

(And without pausing he would assume you have interpreted everything he has
mused...)

You know what Gertrude Stein would have said about that, don’t you? Yes, of course you
do...

You were my teacher, my Captain, you were forensic, all in one breath...

Samuel Wagan Watson