Terry Jaensch is a poet, playwright and actor. He studied acting for two years
in New York City at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the Herbert Berghof
Studio. His one man show, Kissing Myself, was shortlisted for the Wal Cherry
award and subsequently produced by St Martin's Theatre in Melbourne. As a
poet he has been published both in Australia and overseas, with his work also
broadcast on radio and television. His first volume of poetry, Buoy, was highly
commended in the Anne Elder award, by the Fellowship of Australian Writers.
In 2003 he was commissioned by ABC radio to write and record 15 monologues,
based on his experiences growing up in a catholic orphanage. Previously the
recipient of an Asialink residency to facilitate the creation of a collaborative
work with Cyril Wong, his latest poetry book is Shark from Transit Lounge.
As a family we survived on the assumption that
the foxes would claim you. Who knew your handicaps
would see themselves to maturity; beak barely above
water, wings tucked permanently in their limitations,
the slow walk of your mind prey to its legs suspicions.
Punt of the litter, pulled behind, the abused clarinet
of your throat attempting a spastic fraternity with cobb
and co. Our heads under water, elevating vegetation
as the weight of a lifetime broke upon the surface.
Unrequited Love as Artefact
This one is pre history, yet to bury itself
in anyone's memory or heart; unearthing
no shock of recognition, fear, apprehension
or hope. Running no murmurs round camp,
rocking no-one's world with its tongue's
dumb mythology. Ingot, wrapped with its
host's mummification, strapped to the falling
sepulchral breath of lost language. Freize
fragment giving up its hieroglyph too easily.
Slave, reconfiguring its wall for a new age.
Conjecture digging holes around its relevance,
raiding its tomb before the scholars arrive.
'Hindering the artist is a crime,
it is murdering life in the bud'
- Egon Schiele
The mop the broom sentinels propped
To the left of me. Upturned pails, water
Basin, the corridor bespeaks their propriety.
Domesticity is its own secession. I do not
Feel punished, but cleansed.
My own hand incomprehensibly against
Itself. Body in prohibition, janus head
Inverted, looking both forward and back.
I am my own mirror, self-seer. I love
Antitheses. My face the door into the open:
Escape the only erotic art I know.
At the heart of my cot a single orange,
Abandoned globe. Unearthing itself from
The dark cover. Orphanic sun risen in my
Cell, for whose benefit? Who would make
A parent of these days? For whose benefit
This only-light setting itself down, this
Orange against its nature, for whose benefit
The artist submitting to art's will?
The cocoon into which I am slipped
Produces only the moth's head, time
And again. The mind but not the matter
With which to contort a single wing
From my suffering.
In making the break from my bed,
Organic movement of pitcher and
Chair. I animate the inanimate, daily.
You'd swear the walls were closing in.
Two of my handkerchiefs sat on
A chair; lovers, post the spectacle
Of themselves. Voyeur, I at the
Window of their intimacy, spent,
Flagging. The chair's frame a support,
If not to myself, then to the justness
Combustible stuff, my work, yet the law
Cannot burn that which is already consigned
To fire. Art is primordially eternal! Only
Vanity's hand would aggravate the ashes
Attempting to retrieve the match.
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