Poem: Chaconne

Today’s poem is by Australian poet Michael Dransfield (1948-1973):

The most significant fact about this room is that nothing else
exists. Beyond the walls, nothing. Outer space, perhaps, infinite
and invisible. The windows are mirrors. Why look out when one
can look in?
There is no furniture. It is more amusing to imagine new, different
fittings each day, than it would be to wake to the same shapes,
colours, textures. Today, next year,
yesterday, it is one. On a wall – or is it the floor – is a clock
I built once, or shall build, or am building. Its hands are
identical / their mute semaphore. Opposite, a pool of green,
blue, sometimes colourless liquid, sometimes reflects and
sometimes invents.
I think of this room as a filing-cabinet, a memory bank where the
history of fantasy is stored. The fantasy is history. Dreams are
sculptures, names are poems, nobody comes for there is no-one else,
and nowhere from which to come. Proust, de Vigny, Owen Aherne,
my identities are interchangeable. The mind is an entertainment,
a circus where philosophers perform. I inhabit the drawing room
Rimbaud imagined at the
bottom of a lake, purple tincture of opium. And identical self
represents me on the previous planet, they will not
notice I have gone. It is difficult sometimes
for me to remember that I too am imaginary. The world has
neither ended nor begun / creativity and hallucination /
perhaps a huge joke gone awry,
a lysergic acid rave, Robinson Crusoe on the wrong island.
But still an island, bounded by seas I shall never sail.
Solitudes. Pacing impatiently
the cage of body, of self. An exit glitters brightly in my hand.

Thomas W. Shapcott (Editor) [1970]: Australian Poetry Now. Melbourne, Australia: Sun Books, p. 206.

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