Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s latest collection is My Feet Are Hungry (Pitt Street Poetry). His American volume, Afternoon in the Central Nervous System, is due from George Braziller, New York, early in the new year.
Taking No Prisoners
How do you write about the condition of joy? In present
participles, I guess. Not fun, nor merriment, nor a state of
optimism: simple joy, persisting through an afternoon. It
is as though a dusty world has been suddenly cleansed
of all worry, all shadow of pain or loss. In a moment of
benignity or absentmindedness, St Mike has thrown the gates of
Eden wide open. The naughty verbs have no direct objects.
Windows give onto sheer pastoral, onto that soothing excess
of green pigmentation and fretwork foliage. Cumulus and
drizzle cease to be part of our company. Over the dark wine
we laugh like immortals. This tale is Olympus; it has become
the Great Good Place. A condition like this could now be
described as erotic, yet it utterly transcends the sexual. As
an impression, everybody near at hand is suddenly, quietly
laughing. Our smiles are solar. The shiraz winks at us. So
this is joy, nor am I out of it. Even the clock appears to have
forgotten us. And now the sun surveys everything from its
low, picturesque angle. Time out.