Poetry: Mark Young

Mark Young
Defending the thesis

Pertinence. Soft words
hold little of it. Better
to pick up stones to
make your points &
leave the exegesis to
bricklayers. That’s what
they do after all, their
regular lines, offset a-
gainst each other, in 
natural cadence, with a 
start & a finish to it all.

All the way through

The talk circles, moves from
photo-chemical smog in Mexico
City & on to the University of
Basle where Paracelsus spent
some time. Between & in-be-
tween is the orbit of non-linear
conversation —mainstreet drags
on a Saturday night, the cars
caught in some sort of time warp;
memories of rivers in the South

Island of New Zealand that are a
meter wide in Summer, confined
by a kilometer of gravel, but come
the fresh roll boulders down big
enough to break bridges. That is
the nature of evenings such as this.
Seemingly random, if we touch only
those points that might describe the
circle, but perfectly logical & straight-
line if we follow it all the way through.


A bird, a pool 
of water. Walks
around it. Defines 
the periphery.

Measures depth. 
Maybe flies up to
a nearby branch 
to gain perspective.

Then one flight to 
gather insects. A 
second, lower,
washes them down.


After seeing it 
through others' 
eyes, we go back
& see it again 
for the first time. 
The acidity, the sweetness

Even though we physically can't see 
it, we feel that energy, with its rituals 
of masculinity & femininity, should 
be easy to understand. I've been trying 
to make some money recently out of
this vexing topic of gender inscription
in order to support translation of log-
ging messages into different languages, 
but the noise has been relentless. I've 
now sealed off the water source, & can 
only say to those that have importuned 
me into requesting that the packages be 
returned, it doesn't have to be this way.

Bio: Mark Young was born in Aotearoa / New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. He has been publishing poetry for over sixty years, & is the author of over sixty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, non-fiction, & art history. His most recent books are Songs to Come for the Salamander: Poems 2013-2021, selected & with an introduction by Thomas Fink (Meritage Press & Sandy Press); Your order is now equipped for shipping (Sandy Press); & The Advantages of Cable (Luna Bisonte Prods).

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