In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads extracts from 'abandoned house music' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

;

 

Extracts from 'abandoned house music'

messenger

 

I mother a scorching fence
I mother a child against a fence

and the cry

here come the shellshocked to arm the day
here come collectors for the shells

amber cry

nest-thief

seed-eye

sown
for others to reap

 


 

planet of weeds

 

wild berries underfoot, drunken forests bend
down into the shape of their children,
tallish gardens. necklace spines fallow brown
settle down into pale lawns, child lawns'
curled shoulders, speeding
the forgetting of a forest.
air looks to being now and then
carries sight around the draped hair casting out
for sun-fish, which cool quickly
in the deep given away.

dry lichen fields the shift
between the seen unfelt and the felt unseen.
a slip-moon cut opens wood, soft
for the flood and the drought, fear,
hyphae, a line of taxis gathers
spirit at the gate, that there is
somewhere else to go, go on
now to the mesopause, new world holding
dream dots out in pressureless trade

 


 

dots out

 

does a beast stir near me I am alone
I am awake. my love has gone
into the dark the house open the wind

 

gone to the garden to look for the lilies
gone to count the buds

 

in the savour of young fruit
bitten on the trees

 

print of our house upon my cheek.

the spheres of our house
rise, flagstones
float upon the dirt

 

the gate's fallen open,
the garden is open,

the servants of the gate
and the guards
of the road bruise my breast:

 

he has gone to the fields
that turn to brine

he has gone to the fields
on horizons of milk

gone to catch the seeds
that float away

 


 

hyphae

 

lichen loves stone
a ship loves thin air
water loves a crevice
a crevice cedes dry
cedes damp
stone walks into softness

the guards leave for the coast
leave for the mall
for the supercolony
spinning itself out

around green-crossed
chorion
multiform darkness
amnios and body-stalk
yolk and cry

koel


 

promise

 

I love you you come back,
hatches undog, ants
stream the rope out
of loose husks in the hold

it must be you, come back
as ants, as honeydew uneaten by ants
dripping onto the trees,
sooty mould swarming
over the stems and leaves. exhausted,
seasonless, vigorous

cascade,
adorn me to meet you
as formic acid, as shells bleached
out in an ungroomed place,
the springing up of a stinging tree
as swelling belly,
ruin, the lack
of a canopy gap

 

Jen Crawford

 


 

'abandoned house music' previously published in lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015)

Extracts from 'abandoned houes music' appear in States of Poetry - ACT. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here.

Read Jen Crawford's biography in 'States of Poetry - ACT'
 

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    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads extracts from 'abandoned house music' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads 'lopping' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

 

lopping

'privately'  inside  the  body  but  much  of  this  is  the  extra-somatic (GAWW - not symptomatic but coral. 'the 20th century's premier art mode', though at that point only as an infusion, ubiquitous but still failing to assume the forms which will 'replace' life as a whole.)

prior to the assumption, vibration-reception remains compulsory but consciousness is not (: mercy). input is fixed open but output circuited to the internal joys1 and some externals can be diverted through own soft-dumb-cells, especially into hands in any movement, and through most contact with the ground here, which until the final moments maintains a pre-coral variability and some absorbency. we

Jen Crawford

 


 

 1 Formerly eyes

2 I release the present tongue as retroactive and self-consolatory. without doubt the Institute will be a-temporal yet the tongue notes its own second purpose in that sup

Extracts from 'lopping' appear in States of Poetry - ACT. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here.

Read Jen Crawford's biography in 'States of Poetry - ACT'
 

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'lopping' by Jen Crawford
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems
  • Custom Highlight Text

    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads 'lopping' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads 'reshelve' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

 

reshelve

in decades past a series of dykes was known as the venice
of the floods themselves, with a sweet sap

once the prey has entered the trap
the leaf closes, and within about 30 seconds
a senior minister has touched
two or three trigger hairs,

bristles on the distinction between
private beliefs and public morality,
his bottomline.

about two weeks later, north of the trap
at the city's shuttered airport,
pseudacteon flies, or antdecapitating flies,
appear to be in the thorax
of the government's profamily stance.

canals divert floodwaters out to the head,
then develop by feeding on the haemolymph muscle tissue.
after about two weeks they cause the ant's head
to grapple with its body

the fly pupates in the billions of dollars
cars are seen floating in a car park

 

Jen Crawford


'reshelve' previously published in lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015)

   

Extracts from 'reshelve' appear in States of Poetry - ACT. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here.

Read Jen Crawford's biography in 'States of Poetry - ACT'
 

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'reshelve' by Jen Crawford
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  • Custom Highlight Text

    In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jen Crawford reads 'reshelve' which features in the 2016 ACT anthology.

my mum, being this, terribly emotional, also some part, egalitarian,
'I give him six months, then he won't be, any longer. and she
who is afraid of the mobile
telephone

under clock water when the print reverses, St Pancras, the Hardy
Tree necked in hours, of roots, of entry, oublié, headstones
clicking crabclaw
telegraphy, un
addition, s'il vous plait

while him, happening to die on an aeroplane, indeed did, have

an operation in Cyprus, she, who was not afraid
in Sinai, though he was, Jehovah's witness

from the Republic of Whangamomona
the moebius road. thin as a saddle
and wet with rain. left flank
thin as a saddle, wet with
nausea, slipping. right flank
thin, as a saddle, wet, with
adoration, slipping. 'this is how
I remember, completing

the round stone                                          in the clay

half visible                                       the round stone

in the clay                              half visible

 

*

 

so I've sent a remonstrative text to Kate,
I felt I had to tell her off for asking for advice
and then not passing it on. she said twice

that you'd mentioned the machine
I became extremely worried
it is a very specific terminology

I lost four nights sleep
they are very dangerous people.
several times I've told her

to mention the Avoca understanding your need
for absolute discretion

 

*

 

beside the sealed boxhead
neither sign-posted nor covered in camouflage grass
at a moment when shoes are slippers and
the world has run out of cigarettes, predictably
the fluorescent reaches. birds split overhead,
the boxhead alchemises the imprint
and returns it.

I think I was fifteen
before I realised
she was my father's lover.
a Hungarian thing.
Neither Eastern nor Western,
but a painful, pram-shaped expression,
vermilion hair stumbling around St Martin's
calling Roxie Roxie while pugs quack.
he said it himself, three hundred or more but honestly
Risa, as your father I swear just this one

 

*

 

Mona Lisa among the Pestiferes

uno momento –
touch the bubo!
click click click
click click click

 

*

 

whereas in Palmerston North
the landmarks are the problem

I was lost for two hours, sunburn, the girl on the radio
four, heatstroke, certain privileges

before visiting hours, thelonious on sky
I trim his toenails, he dozes

let me ask. a mother, daughter, bichon frise.
chlorinal. for advice on my position. I've
never been to London but they know I'll love it.

and they dry sweetly in the hot car air
the side window hammers out a vacuum
the bichon on my lap accepts restraint

 

*

 

I am what I eat
I am what I touch
I am charged with the collection
I am afraid I can not take another photo for you
I have not yet been to the Richelieu wing
I must be complete by four.
Non, pardon. Je ne parle pas.
Then in English. Excuse me madam.
I wonder if I can trouble you
for just a single Euro.

 

*

 

I don't know where I've left my
in Camden whispering
annabayannabaywannabaymarawanna
jammed birdwhistle street shoveyshoulder twenty pounds
vanishing from my hand
and so I respectfully but forcefully demand
that you arrange for the deletion
of this erroneous, misleading and life-threatening
history from my records; indeed I plead
for the deletion of my records in toto; and further demand
that the Patient Alert is immediately recalled,
and that all records of the Patient Alert are destroyed
by each of the practitioners and agencies
that have received it

 

Jen Crawford

'did, have'  was previously published in Napoleon Swings (Soapbox Press, 2009)

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  • Custom Article Title 'did, have' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

'privately'  inside  the  body  but  much  of  this  is  the  extra-somatic (GAWW - not symptomatic but coral. 'the 20th century's premier art mode', though at that point only as an infusion, ubiquitous but still failing to assume the forms which will 'replace' life as a whole.)

prior to the assumption, vibration-reception remains compulsory but consciousness is not (: mercy). input is fixed open but output circuited to the internal joys1 and some externals can be diverted through own soft-dumb-cells, especially into hands in any movement, and through most contact with the ground here, which until the final moments maintains a pre-coral variability and some absorbency. we

 

Jen Crawford

 


 

 1 Formerly eyes

2 I release the present tongue as retroactive and self-consolatory. without doubt the Institute will be a-temporal yet the tongue notes its own second purpose in that sup

Recording

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'lopping' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

what we'll do is remove the dusty fly-spotted umbrella light-shade from over the bed, and we'll put there something that catches the will of the leaves outside the windows and holds it in the centre of the room. a leaf doesn't have an individual life, but it seems to, and the green at the middle of that life is what I'll feed you. that will come in as milk, translucent blue humming calculation of unthought.

when you were smaller and a life but less a person you were in appearance closer to death, nestled in against a puddle that showed as a shadow, wave, brother, yin, memory, ghost, wave that swelled for an exit and then held, organised, and absorbed in itself, was absorbed. that's yours now too, earth for the green-blue light and the song of the wagtails. earth for the air to be untranslated, straight to your lungs.

should I mention scarcity and the fires to come? but your blood is of that language, tipping and will be so while your hands find the way to your mouth. mouth wet and working in joy's animation of hunger. i've cleaned the skirtings and the grout. it's rained through all of January but there's sunlight on the bed. you're on your way, you're on your way. for now, a bit of sleep.

 

 Jen Crawford

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  • Custom Article Title 'umbrella' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

messenger

 

I mother a scorching fence
I mother a child against a fence

and the cry

here come the shellshocked to arm the day
here come collectors for the shells

amber cry

nest-thief

seed-eye

sown
for others to reap

 


 

planet of weeds

 

wild berries underfoot, drunken forests bend
down into the shape of their children,
tallish gardens. necklace spines fallow brown
settle down into pale lawns, child lawns'
curled shoulders, speeding
the forgetting of a forest.
air looks to being now and then
carries sight around the draped hair casting out
for sun-fish, which cool quickly
in the deep given away.

dry lichen fields the shift
between the seen unfelt and the felt unseen.
a slip-moon cut opens wood, soft
for the flood and the drought, fear,
hyphae, a line of taxis gathers
spirit at the gate, that there is
somewhere else to go, go on
now to the mesopause, new world holding
dream dots out in pressureless trade

 


 

dots out

 

does a beast stir near me I am alone
I am awake. my love has gone
into the dark the house open the wind

 

gone to the garden to look for the lilies
gone to count the buds

 

in the savour of young fruit
bitten on the trees

 

print of our house upon my cheek.

the spheres of our house
rise, flagstones
float upon the dirt

 

the gate's fallen open,
the garden is open,

the servants of the gate
and the guards
of the road bruise my breast:

 

he has gone to the fields
that turn to brine

he has gone to the fields
on horizons of milk

gone to catch the seeds
that float away

 


 

hyphae

 

lichen loves stone
a ship loves thin air
water loves a crevice
a crevice cedes dry
cedes damp
stone walks into softness

the guards leave for the coast
leave for the mall
for the supercolony
spinning itself out

around green-crossed
chorion
multiform darkness
amnios and body-stalk
yolk and cry

koel

 


 

promise

 

I love you you come back,
hatches undog, ants
stream the rope out
of loose husks in the hold

it must be you, come back
as ants, as honeydew uneaten by ants
dripping onto the trees,
sooty mould swarming
over the stems and leaves. exhausted,
seasonless, vigorous

cascade,
adorn me to meet you
as formic acid, as shells bleached
out in an ungroomed place,
the springing up of a stinging tree
as swelling belly,
ruin, the lack
of a canopy gap

 

Jen Crawford

 

'abandoned house music' previously published in lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015)

Recording

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title Extracts from 'abandoned house music' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

in decades past a series of dykes was known as the venice
of the floods themselves, with a sweet sap

once the prey has entered the trap
the leaf closes, and within about 30 seconds
a senior minister has touched
two or three trigger hairs,

bristles on the distinction between
private beliefs and public morality,
his bottomline.

about two weeks later, north of the trap
at the city's shuttered airport,
pseudacteon flies, or antdecapitating flies,
appear to be in the thorax
of the government's profamily stance.

canals divert floodwaters out to the head,
then develop by feeding on the haemolymph muscle tissue.
after about two weeks they cause the ant's head
to grapple with its body

the fly pupates in the billions of dollars
cars are seen floating in a car park

 

Jen Crawford

 

'reshelve' previously published in lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015)

Recording

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title 'reshelve' by Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems


Jen CrawfordJen Crawford's recent poetry is collected in the book Koel (Cordite Books, 2016) and the chapbook Lichen Loves Stone (Tinfish Press, 2015). Earlier works include Admissions (Five Islands Press, 2000) and Bad Appendix (Titus Books, 2008). Jen was born in Patea, Aotearoa New Zealand, and was raised in Aotearoa and in the Philippines. She moved to Australia in 1994, eventually earning a PhD in Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. She recently returned to Australia after five years in Singapore, where she was the founding coordinator of NTU's Creative Writing Program, and she now writes and teaches within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra.

State Editor's notes

'Jen Crawford is ... a colleague at the University of Canberra, though she is a recent addition to the Canberra community. Her poetry includes various experimental moves and techniques, and her gentle but incisive poems provide a sense of air and space in their phrasing and in their lineation.' writes ABR's States of Poetry - ACT State Editor Jen Webb. Read her full States of Poetry introduction here.

Jen Crawford's notes on her States of Poetry selection

The sources for 'abandoned house music' include David Quammen's 1998 essay, 'Planet of Weeds', which imagines Earth ecology into and beyond mass extinction. The poem enters this territory too, via Christmas Island, under the sign of the koel, the 'nest-thief'. 'Lopping' is made of material cut from a report. 'Reshelve' draws from language gathered around Thai floods, Singapore's 'Penguingate' controversy and the pseudactaeon fly as a fire-ant control measure. 'did, have' is a travel journal, much of which was composed from conversations heard in London, Paris, and Palmerston North. 'Abandoned house music' and 'reshelve' appear in the chapbook lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015) and the book Koel (Cordite Books, 2016). 'Did, have' was published in the chapbook Napoleon Swings (Soapbox Press, 2009).

States of Poetry

did, have

extracts from 'abandoned house music’

‘lopping’

‘reshelve’

‘umbrella’

Recording

#64 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | Extracts from 'abandoned house music' by Jen Crawford

#65 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'lopping' by Jen Crawford

#66 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'reshelve' by Jen Crawford

Further reading and links

Jen Crawford at Cordite Books

Jen Crawford at Jacket2

Jen Crawford at Tinfish Press

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  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets