Treatise on Rooms and Windows

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I have eyes in the back of my head. That's okay; at school I was called 'four eyes'. I can see out of the 'north window' of the house at the same time that I can see through the 'south window. This is a large house that stretches east to west, a house of many windows. Facing north there are large feature windows and glass sliding doors, but the 'northern window' I focus through is that of a small room behind a store room. The 'south window' is actually the window of the library. There are a variety of rooms between these north and south windows, and they are not opposite each other in any way. Still, I maintain, I can see out of both simultaneously. Within both I am motionless, I am enclosed within their surface, though what is outside is also timeless, motionless, and includes all other points. I am of a set that contains itself, and this is the poetry I write. It is wheatbelt Western Australia. The farms that surround me - us - are primarily 'wheat and sheep', though some canola and cattle have come into the district over the last decade. The town is the oldest inland town in Western Australia. It is a nexus of dispossession, though that's not how most of the nonindigenous locals see it, of course. I wrote a book a few years ago in collaboration with the American fiction writer and editor David Lynn on 'The House'. The houses I utilised for that book were this one and the one in which I was living with my family in Gambier, Ohio. David wrote very short fictions, I wrote a series of poems. The book remains unpublished; we never really pushed for a publisher. I was interested in 12 SOUTHERLY houses in Australian poetry, and I see I am far from alone in that. From a 'personal poetics' point of view, I am interested in the specific spaces of two rooms, looking out. In vistas and their contractions. I write on an old manual typewriter in the north room, and on a word processor in the south room. I write in pen in both. The house - this house near York - was designed quite mathematically. I am becoming more convinced that, like music, poems are really maths, and that words can be dispensed with. I am looking for a different kind of nomenclature. But it all overlays, and that was always and will always be the case itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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