States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Memory Lapses and Clues, or "Don’t Forget to Remember"' by Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry including Breaking the Days (2015), The Beautiful Anxiety

...

Amongst discarded data, twigs,
plastic containers, fingernails –
'The unconscious, at all events,
knows no time limit' –
the shape of an ear, marginal facts
blown about by a northerly,
washed by stiffening rain – something
like symptoms, clues, bird spit,
possum fur, leaf miner, blood and bone,
a story or many of what passes
through here daily – what the drift of oil
or rice grains, the tea leaves (ah!),
might say, though they don't
speak at all. Or the message of
bodies or of precedents, portents,
what maps of rain or a star's passage
lay out before us in our days
and nights in the backyard
signs of the time, literally,
as they spark and spit in the sky
and over these grounds.

As women do we conjecture,
look at the evidence, terrestrial margins,
small movements in our yard,
materials under our feet, that move
through our hands and leave
scrap, pictograms and incisions,
odour and decay, diagnosis and taste,
gnosis and art, spider webs brushed away,
cuts from thorns, feelings (ah!),
shopping lists, flourishes of a gesture,
what is seen or touched, nosed
in all that specific and uncertain
divination of the present,
and what presents in the wind
and fleet shadows of today's weather:
for instance, the way a raven calls
and is answered from across the road
by another, with the same
or similar call, at differing intervals?
It's communication you can guess about,
though you don't really know
if it's a system of messaging,
or a type of presence, a big guess,
such as Holmes and cigarette ash,
Poirot and little grey cells,
the psychopathology of everyday life.

Though sky is always opaque as reality,
it bears clues and trajectories,
various evidences blowing like dust,
in fact, are dust – it all happens
as slowly, as quickly as a thought,
the event you know and forget
as someone writing all this down in evidence
against you – but there's a feeling
that can't be formalised or even spoken
as we pass in and out of and into again
the known, or the known knowns,
and the unknowns, the way things
brush past, or the way you fall
in haste, in love, what trickles onto
a porous path, as traverses of skin.

 

Quote from Freud, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.

 Jill Jones

Recording
('Memory Lapses and Clues, or "Don’t Forget to Remember"' begins at 1:03 and ends at 6:20)