Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 17 • Spring 2006 • Poetry

The Day and its Divisions

Terry Jaensch


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,
weather-board 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 am not in love, though contemplating

a collaboration with a Singaporean poet.
Still this now -- the body's boathouse jutting
into distance, water lapping the floorboards.

Terry Jaensch is a an Australian poet based in Melbourne. His first book of poetry, Buoy, was highly commended in the Anne Elder Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. He has worked as a writer-in-community, artist-in-residence and artistic director of the 2005 Melbourne Emerging Writers' Festival. In May 2004 he was the recipient of an Asialink residency in Singapore where he collaborated, with Singaporean poet Cyril Wong, on a volume of poetry that referenced the lives of Castrati opera singers.

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