Friday, 29 July 2022

Starting to redo early works

It’s been a few days since I posted and in the meantime I’ve gone back to identify photos that can be used with a new type-2 paramontage that will be a reworking of an early work, ‘Incipiens’. The sonnet that goes with this selection of photos is, as follows:

The colours of dawn in the countryside
are a delight: lemon sky and black tree,
miasma pink across the hills, these brides
of night with its brilliant blanket of sky.

Then like a fantastic trumpet the sun
disarticulates our nocturnal phase,
so the parakeets and the shadows run
brushing the bush on the blare of its rays.

But how different the time after morning
when the sun quells any urge to escape,
and kangaroos, lifeless as mannequins,
lie hidden in the expectant landscape.

Just like this might a sensation flutter
through the new-waked mind to seed an idea.

Written on 12 January 2014, 19 July 2020 and 15 May 2022, this sonnet’s subject matter is obvious as it’s included in words inside, I’m just adding a vibrant setting with the photos, some of which you can see in the last post I put up.

While most of the poem was written eight years ago I did some edits a couple of years ago in order to improve the rhyme. The edits done this year (two months ago) were done for the same reason, I always want to give good value and for me rhyme is a kind of reward for reading, you’re flattering the person consuming the time needed to give attention to the poem by delivering something unexpected but logical. Something fitting and right. Something that we can all agree is appropriate because of the sounds.

While I was getting up the fortitude needed to tackle remaking this paramontage I also did edits on a range of other sonnets, but ones in a different sequence. ‘Incipiens’ is from ‘Water Creature’ and the following is from the book’s introduction:

I wrote part of this book in February 2013, after tropical Cyclone Oswald formed over the Gulf of Carpentaria in mid-January and made landfall to the southwest of Borroloola, a town in the Northern Territory, early on the 19th of the month. It moved slowly down the east coast of Queensland. A high-pressure system over New Zealand blocked the low-pressure system from moving east, away from the Queensland coast. Oswald ended up on the final days of the month causing authorities to issue flood warnings for northern New South Wales. Minor flooding and road closures were experienced as far south as the Hunter Valley.

I had to add “part of” to this section of text because I decided at a point after that time in early 2013 to add more poems about the countryside, including some poems inspired by driving through the tablelands of New England. That part of the world is where ‘Incipiens’ finds its birth, as the new paramontage will show.

But this is not all I have been busy with. The other sonnets I worked on in recent days are in a sequence titled ‘Salve’ that I began to put together on 1 December 2020 when I was in the process of moving house, so the theme of travel applies in this case as well. These sonnets were written over a period of many years, the earliest in the sequence is from October 2007. The sequence is broken into separate sections, for example there is one section about family, one about domestic affairs, one titled ‘Corporeal’, there is even one titled ‘Night’. The one that’ll go with the photos that are also accompanying ‘Incipiens’ is titled ‘Waiting for the doctor’s report’, and it goes like this:

The sky’s metal and the primary green
of the sward unbend as the rain applauds
above the black cul-de-sac’s glossy sheen,
when it falls from the slow flanks of the clouds.

Parakeets careen loudly across the park
where footy players cry out their routine
while water’s plucked up by the paperbark
that stands tall. Harnessing a force, unseen

in bruit the chambered dawn bevels a hymn
as I contemplate what mortality
provides in an endless moment of time
visiting within this locality.

It is what I see; I dread to confide
what creatures flutter in on the flood tide.

My reason for choosing this poem as a companion to photos taken in late December 2008 is that the trip that resulted in the images took me through New England to the Sunshine Coast. I have a wide selection of subjects to choose from with the photos, but as well I have identified photos from 2010, 2011 and 2012 that deal with similar things: trees, the Maroochy River, and the heavy, cloudy skies of southeast Queensland.

‘Waiting for the doctor’s report’ was written on 16 February 2013, 11 August 2021 and 28 July 2022, so initially in the summer just before Cyclone Oswald made its strenuous way south. ‘Incipiens’ is also from the summer, but a year later. The second edits for both poems were made in winter after a period of years (almost a decade) had gone by, and there was some tidying up done at a later date.

One thing I think is important is to make sure that rhymes aren’t borrowed from other poems. In many cases I won’t be aware of a repetition until a period of years has passed. I might be reading a sonnet and realise with dismay that the rhyme I’ve used at this location is the same as a rhyme in a different poem written another time so I have to go in a change one of the rhymes.

So that there’s no agreement.

With the images I have a similar issue with reusing photos in two or more paramontages, and though I try not to do this sometimes it’s unavoidable. I wonder if the sin of repetition is as egregious with images as it is with words.

I’ve not been doing assemblages in the past week, and in fact when I go to the print shop today to pick up some works I won’t be taking along my USB stick with new files, unusual for me as for the most part since the beginning of May I’ve been picking up completed works at the same time as I drop off new JPGs.

Part of the reason for the change is due to the administrative work associated with setting up the Eastern Suburbs Art Group but it’s also because I hit this snag where I wanted to redo some works using the type-2 method where they’d originally been type-6 works. As I mentioned in the last post type 6s are imperfect because the poem resulting in the final print is too small to read from the room, but summoning up the spiritual wherewithal in order to redo a paramontage is for some reason difficult, I’m not sure why it might be a certain reticence in the matter of admitting that I got it wrong the first time.

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