a cheerio call from inside of the poem in its making here I am back again happening to be in a Norway summer high above the Arctic Circle no chance of sunset at all (see pictures, stay tuned for midnight sun) …. and right now I am making an example out of a poem here I am writing a poem in the form of a poem about the poem I’m shaping (you could get a reputation for this kind of thing … writing about the writing of it being in the process… telling the ways and means) anyway, I do hope can you see me in here some sign of life? requires imagination… and if I fall into prose, then I’m gone (a million, dad would say) but you don’t get to make the poem without first being in a poem (that’s because poems are the most important of the many places poems are from) and all along, in this process I am discovering the rules I test them till they break break them again and here I am once more breaking whatever rules had to be guessed in its making [the poem’s, that is] (and that’s a noun or that’s a verb depending on apostrophe) you have to keep up… it’s steep but the views! and midst of them here I am I make a little spectacle of myself making the poem (and need the spectacles too at this stage to see the poem at all [let these serve as the ‘objective conditions’]) the words here? almost all inherited I make up a few but mainly make us of those provided …this is all by way of introduction to the poem in the poem under construction (always as ever) first on paper (see the picture!) and then I’ll type up (like climbing some stairs high into the text that had to be) here is one from where I am far (I know you’re waving but I can’t see … must adjust reception) this piece was going to be part of immensity and wonder (now I’m not so sure) motto first when you’ve gone too far, go further (would be an epigraph but it’s mine … I could dilate upon this later) enough blather, this is the poem I was working on then (couple of days ago)… it was on Day 1285 since the beginning of Project 366 (that was on the 1st of January, 2016, so now is July 2019… above the Arctic Circle, remember … in other words, it was the 1285th draft in the series) 1285 one day opened the door and summer came in just a little shy first stood at the door to be beckoning must have been hanging about outside was as if it had been waiting considering the curtains I took a deckchair hung out with the world there were great swathes of big yellow hung the world out to dry summer stood like a statue then still in the air not quite a shimmer not all there nevertheless there were insects for proof unidentified (each with the air of the just invented) and still I remember those terrible eyes and how this world is other-ended but that is another story for now the south on all its stiff wings had arrived to say day the sky stood off clouds forgot themselves entirely all glowed and cherished this moment we each of us knew would never and never would come again * back again here I am can you feel the rhythm in the repetition (here and gone － fort! da!… there’s good repetition and bad) and here though that draft endeth I will over time go back and fiddle (a kind of Nietzschean ‘eternal return’ except that you’ll forget, go on far and away absorbed in new text new adventures boys own in my case… because I can’t be in words twice the same that’s not how language ever worked or will it’s a kind of Australian Norway I suppose I’m cooking up here but is that the right thing to do? especially when Norway’s so much more like New Zealand (though without the earthquakes) often I overwhelm myself with this sort of thing (and it happens every day) have to hold on to steady because you know see feel touch tell in deep of the mirror wading this is where the poem must be all my own far ahead of the game I need never have doubted myself it’s a shallow swim through own muck such as gods give but the water’s too cold here [I did though manage a whole minute in a fjord but that was below the circle] … so much ellipsis… and back to the breach you simply have to believe keep brackets open here
Christopher (Kit) Kelen (客遠文) is a well-known Australian poet, scholar and visual artist, and Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Macau, where he taught Creative Writing and Literature for many years. Kit Kelen’s poetry has been published and broadcast widely since the seventies, and he has won a number of prestigious awards over the years, including an ABA/ABC Bicentennial Prize in 1988; and in 1992 an Anne Elder award for his first volume of poems The Naming of the Harbour and the Trees. He has also won Westerly‘s Patricia Hackett Prize and placed second in Island’s Gwen Harwood Prize. In 2012, his poem ‘Time with the Sky’ was runner up in the Newcastle Poetry Prize, an award for which he has been frequently shortlisted. In 2017, Kit was shortlisted twice for the Montreal Poetry Prize and, for the second time, won the Local Award in the Newcastle Poetry Prize. In 2018, he was longlisted for the ACU and University of Canberra’s Vice Chancellors’ prizes. Volumes of Kit Kelen’s poetry have been published in Chinese, Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Indonesian and Filipino and Norwegian. The most recent of Kelen’s dozen English language volumes is Poor Man’s Coat － Hardanger Poems, published by UWAP in 2018.