Sestinas (Pete Spence)

Posted on October 3, 2017 by in Heightened Talk

Image credit: Pete Spence

Variations on a Theme

a serpentine trail through the day
no straight lines between the dots
clotting up the veneer and pageantry
and hoops of thickening sound
like varnished shadows of purpose
roosting among the flags and waste

watching the growth of waste
overbalancing the day
as if time had purpose
is there room to join the dots
or a place to beckon sound
awash in a fury of pageantry

clouds in a flutter of pageantry
scoot with the wind across the waste
and centuries of eroded sound
reflecting shadows as the day
falls between the gathered dots
juggling arbitrary purpose

slyly the stealth of purpose
shadows the epigram of pageantry
too busy joining the dots
to notice the forecast of waste
accumulating and coveting the day
in a feverish plethora of sound

heavily blanketed by sound
the faceted stains of purpose
greet again another day
afloat and filled with a pageantry
caustic and ebbing waste
on an assemblage of dots

in vitriolic disdain dots
carve monuments of sound
out of a plateau of din and waste
impersonating purpose
cloaked in the frayed pageantry
clogging the estuary of day

a line of dots lift the stucco day
above the waste of certain purpose
gripped by sound and passing pageantry

 

Neatly Beyond the Articulate

are clouds articulate
are grooves? the neatly
folded air nods warily
as a hem runs past aclutter
muttering in technicolour
with a full range of gestures

collecting the outlines of gestures
is easier than collecting the articulate
where everything is in technicolour
slowly gathered and neatly
compiled and stacked in a clutter
of daybreak jogging by warily

filaments of light fall warily
on the shadows of gestures
dissolving into a clutter
beyond the articulate
recently fallen neatly
into dreams in technicolour

though scheming in technicolour
should be taken warily
with a grain of salt and neatly
in a little water that gestures
as if  articulate
exclaiming in the mess ah! clutter

is sound soluble? O clutter
of densely packed technicolour
are dreams articulate
or inclined to gather warily
a variety of gestures
to violate fiction neatly?

remnants of sunshine are neatly
stowed away among a clutter
of disused gestures
pale and drained of technicolour
amid the mess the air is warily
amused at a cloud that seems articulate

now being neatly beyond the articulate
a frown gestures explaining in technicolour
the use of a clutter scattered warily

 

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Image credit: Norma Pearse

Pete Spence was born in Ringwood in 1946, into a poor and struggling family. He survived Pink’s Disease to have a childhood that dreams are made of. Pete started writing in his early teens, destroying such novice work years later, now to his regret. He was first published in Makar magazine in the early 70’s, then for ten years did no writing whilst attending to numerous adventures (e.g. sapphire mining in Queensland and New South Wales). In the early 80s he was published in Meanjin with a poem written during a New Year’s Eve party (as-it-was-happening, à la Frank O’Hara, who in Pete’s view then was top dog!).

In 1984 Pete began Post Neo Publications, a fiasco that produced a handful of good books by Australians and an American (Hannah Weiner). Three main areas in his work developed at this time: visual poetry, mail art, and traditional writing. The writing split into three different styles, one inspired by the New York School, one by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E School, and an odd group of things that don’t fit into any school. His first published book was FIVE Poems (Nosukomo 1986).

Through 1989 to 1996 Pete made a number of films, some screened internationally at Oberhausen (Germany), Viper (Switzerland, in a programme with Stan Brahkage) and festivals in Australia, with screenings in the UK and Melbourne in 2011. His recent adventures include learning to paint (very Rothko!) and making small three-dimensional works with wood à la Louise Nevelson and Ben Nicholson. He lives in Kyneton, Victoria with his partner of many years Norma Pearse and their son Perren.

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