“Here again, not well, likely a turnspit, jiggered … whose trajectory scours my sleep? What worriment forths mildewed landsend?”
A captain, out on the high seas, on commission from his king, heading to the colonies, reliant on rigging and caulk and the charade of polite society to keep afloat … Is there a prick of conscience? An element of doubt? When duty calls, how much is lost?
Most of the footage for this poetry video was recorded on my iPhone on a series of boat trips taken in Sweden during May 2019. The audio includes recordings from inside an old wooden windmill on the island of Öland. The concluding wave action was recorded at Moana, South Australia, in the summer of 2019.
A slightly different version of the text was originally published in Transnational Literature 8.1 (2015). Many of the captain’s unusual words are my inventions.
Ian Gibbins is a widely-published poet, video artist and electronic musician with four collections of poetry: Urban Biology (2012); The Microscope Project: How Things Work (2014); Floribunda (2015) and A Skeleton of Desire (2019). Ian’s videos have been shown regularly at international festivals, having won or been short-listed for multiple awards. His audio and video work has been commissioned for public art programs, and has featured in several gallery shows and installations. In his former life, Ian was an internationally recognised neuroscientist and Professor of Anatomy at Flinders University, South Australia. For details of Ian’s creative work, visit his website.