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.
The Day and Its Divisions
I have taught today a workshop,
the first in a series of ten, to four
students. Two ex-cons, who until
recently could only be woken by
their families with broomsticks,
and two women: the first recalling
the latest Anne Frank biopic, the
Dutch attic of her own childhood,
the second claiming survival with
no specificity. Both leaving the
larger room we work in for the
smaller kitchen from time to time.
I have purchased today for one fifth
of a dollar my first home: secondhand
ceramic: a series of lines carved into
the base of an ashtray. Door, windows,
weatherboard exterior, chimney,
its stack of bricks against the lip
as if to salute habit. It is the mark
of its maker, his or her disabled
hand and its spasm of hospitality.
Thinly glazed, turquoise seeping
into each recess, its two dimensions
three, in the fourth of my imagining.
One quarter of the lake today cursing
the wind, the product in my hair, its
false promise of 'control'. Searching
for a convenience. A receptacle for
the vessel in my hand. Calculating
and miscalculating what I will earn
from this, the latest in a series of casual
positions that tax me at a higher rate.
I'm not in love, though contemplating
a collaboration with a Singaporean
poet: rushes incline toward each other,
boathouses jut, water laps the floorboards.
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