'statements to forget when remembered' by Nathan Shepherdson | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

01 

no one ha
s ever written
there is no gr
eater poem
than this one

no one ha
s ever written
there is no gr
eater poem
then this one

 

 02

this poem
was complete
until you decide
d to read it

 

03

this is what
australian p
oetry looks like
after the fire bu
t before all the
trees were pu
t back in the
landscape b
efore all the
trees were pu
t back in this p
oem

 

04

i am the
only poet i
have ever kn
own who ne
eded to write
this

 

05 

everythin
g i have ev
er known w
as in this
sentence unt
il i decide
d to remov
e it

 

06

every conceivab
le object not y
et conceived i
n the word o
bject is what
you should ob
ject to tireless
ly until the p
un is entirel
essly defeated

motion carried

 

07 

this poem is t
o show I AM
capable of us
ing imagery
in a poem bu
t not in a pain
ting

 

08

) / l ( \ l (|\
/) ( | ( /l\ )
| \ )|\) | /(
( l | l(|/) / l
))\/|/ ( /)(|
these are n
ot the sam
e trees no
t used in a
different a
ustralian po
em 

 

09 

he should ne
ver be left al
one until he i
s by himsel
f then he is
everyone

 

10 

if there are w
orse poems th
an this one i
would like to r
ead them beca
use i know t
here are no w
orse poems ju
st better read
ers

 

11 

i have never mu
rdered anyone i d
id not know whe
n they were ali
ve knowing this
you are the nex
t victim the ne
w suspect the las
t murderer of all s
elves

 

12

when i was you
ng i used to sit
up the back and
throw full stops a
t all the philosop
hers trying to wa
tch movies abou
t themselves 

 

13

what earnestne
ss i would declin
e when sucking
on the last win
g to brush your
heart into its thin
nest medium

when mirrors chan
ge their shirts we un
button ourselves

 

14

it is importa
nt not to writ
e too much ot
herwise you end
up writing poe
ms like this on
e

less is moor sai
d the boat befo
re it sank

ha ha being t
he first two ha
lves of half

 

15

as jesus ties y
our last breath
to his lips he g
ets to inhale the
albumen from y
our eyes still car
twheeling to the fr
ont gate of all im
ages sent off with
a cut lunch & a fr
esh translation whe
re nothing waits f
or you to open the
same door captiv
e inside a diamo
nd cut light bulb
that never worke
d

 

16 

that was your la
st chance to unde
rstand this

now the world ha
s to wait until i
t can end witho
ut you

 

17

i will note th
is then as a r
efusal to accept
this volatile m
ass of thinkin
g as opposed to
your usual narr
ative in which
one person say
s something to an
other person befor
e they turn awa
y and walk off
in opposite direc
tions 

 

18 

now i will pu
t the word en
d in this poe
m to show thi
s is not the be
ginning

 

Nathan Shepherdson

Nathan Shepherdson

Nathan Shepherdson

Nathan Shepherdson is the author of five books of poetry. He has won a number of awards including the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, The Newcastle Poetry Prize, and the Mary Gilmore Award. He is the son of the painter Gordon Shepherdson.

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