ditch,

the poetry that matters

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) is a poet living in Perth, Western Australia. His poetry has appeared in such journals as dotdotdash, Island, Westerly, Creatix, Cordite, and Cleaves plus anthologies including banQuet 2012, Cottonmouth: An Anthology of New Australian Writing and forthcoming US collection of contemporary Australian poets being published through University of Louisiana at Monroe. In 2009 he won the PressPress Chapbook Award for his experimental work songs for the ordinary mass, which fused samples from Northbridge streets with the artistic technicality of Gregorian neumes. He went on to win the Perth Poetry Slam in 2010. Fremantle Press published his breakthrough collection {where N equals} a determinancy of poetry in New Poets 1 (2010) and most recently he has been published by Black Rider Press (.the tricking post., 2011) and WA chapbook publisher Mulla Mulla Press (the rutting season, 2012). His involvement in Perth’s creative community includes Cottonmouth, dotdotdash and Fremantle Press, for whom is editing the forthcoming title Fremantle Poets 3: Performance Poets (2013). He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he is completing a PhD in performance poetry. www.outrageous-adventures.com

author photo by Jackson Eaton

 

grammatical instances // instant grammar

 

hope is a good place

to start so start. walk

heart high, proud sign

. a street brings 2wo

points to map to get as

1ne. this what they do

, these 2wo. think a w

-hole thought from p

-arts. add a dress. post

 post codes, or zips. go

& go with it in roads

.

 

crane, make. shape life

sky high. mast steel to

stone, melt sand & dog

man. a noun you know

is there: be low, find it

. verb all men. build up

from dust & wind. sun

sets to rise: use as guide

for life & live. sigh each

time you give. lean. verb

: a good place to star art

.

 

a cup holds a

gram. ahhhhh

, quench wet

, tongue. when

they leak a cup

is not a cup at

all. to half fill

, it must 1irst

be half full. an

art i call the, the

h in cup sigh lent

.

 

for tunes car the

road as luck, as

luck would have

it, they are here

. wish they were

. that they are

here it is. it is

. much luck this

be to find them

, old shop, surf

rush, milk choc

.

 

it is very difficult to grow

blue hyacinths from stone

. iron, instead, has known

to bloomest best from bed

wet with cement & mortar

set. foundations are the gar

-den from which cities go

up. seed steel this season

to achieve skyscrapers &

arenas ahead of their time

. comparison greens poem

.

 

keep semantics pedantic

in pace & narrative. make

certain names don’t vie

for attention; semi-colons

mediate meaning best. a

clause which fulfils their

having come together can

do so without conflict’s

resolution. with hands, re

-member. emote knowing

, weak; smile as grin. grin

.

 

inflect the verb & let

words time travel. be

tense: shifts occur at

regular intervals but

yield insight & poten

-tial. the neighbours

hear you: chant loud

-er. in morning, & at

noon, & after noon

, they read, kneel &

said our sons will set

.

 

speeches are in answer

but the questions are

many, clattering against

coffee machine’s hiss &

purr & orders of danish

or baguette. compliment

-ary carafes reflect the

blue clouds relinquish

to bluer the sky, who

isn’t sad at all, is quite

the opposite: homotone

.

 

the scene opens &

they have a cafe be

-fore them. outside

that eat, plates dine

guests, more so oft

-en than not sweat

-en from summer

. hot cakes. anyone

will listen if you

speak loud enough

our business every

.

 

devise words at

their most clever

-est point. cleft

nouns & verbs

where syllables

bounce. from he

-re to here, add

an obey. do not

stray from the

path: beyond

bitumen, play

.

 

verges sidewalk

& pedestrian. ho

-ward is a hurry

, is not finding

his funny. howie

, slow down. oct

-agon duck. bum

-pering bumper’s

luck. 2econd the

skirting. collision

for hurting . curb

.

 

metal make bloody

grate, elates at tear

-ing when in con

-tact with itself

. frown. slow down

. obey balustrades

here to hear howard

crash his car. words

decide not to describe

the sound he makes

; leave; break; bound

.

 

giants exist. a storm

boy urban’s derelict

walls with all sorts

of sadness. some are

winged. others dress

up: magpies or as the                                         

rabbits. all are lost

.they have crossed

from the irrealis &

know sentences can

lack logic; faultlines

.

 

such counter factual

claims name them

with precise sound

. storm me, mills are

for the olde world of

the unreal imagining

. be still as night &

hound across the

clock’s frown. rattle

& hiss: come, exist

, function across this

.

 

yo, summon, so by

morning new gods

walk along walls &

path’s stoned from

peering. can you

hear gertrude being

remixed back into

this? a sentence is

not made or found

but the shapes shape

a painter paints

.

 

unreal

, congeal

. feel

chrome

lick

stranger

yet

from

their

night

sweat

.

 

just plan their use

& know why why

is never final. bus

-iness defies the

merciless & defy

. forensics find the

story dead grammar

trails behind itself

, dragging remnants

rotting with a com

-post language aches

.

 

in dares. in unison

. in an empty man

is the flâneur & his

walking foot plan

. play johnny cash

. follow the line

. relinquish possess

-ion. become va

-cant. buying. de

-laying. 30tyish

. final y finishing

.

 

the final y does

not finish if pre

-ceded by a con

-sonant. change

suffix. condole

. console for a

thirsty gold. for

-ensics piece to

-gether the state

-ment said to end

this line: inquire

.

 

will, be overheard by

everyone. avoid topics

like what happened in

new york. the interact

-ion everybody begins

in this small space is

already akin to gang

fate, so there’s no poi

-nt covering what you

forsake with a napkin

. cutlery exclaim ate

.

 

significantly we sig

-nify, follow into the

distance & inner

: baudelaire

: stein’s glamour

: cash

: the mitchell bro

-thers

: maggie shertzer

’s seminal text the el

-ements of grammar

.

 

how to write

: this is you

is how you

how to write

. this is you

how to, how

to. how is to

this you to

you to write

. how. to write

, you write

.

 

 

 

 

circumference

 

a celestial sextant burns retinal braille across

the quantum. topography of this cartography

 

, track the shaping of the unknown. inky

 

soup, crouton a commentary of where stars

float. skin across the surface solidifies into

 

being, a thickening that catalogues all the

 

deities murdered with modern thought. we

have no new gods to add to the ingredients 

 

: primitive heart, depart. with you, let us

elope

 

.

 

 

corporeality

 

heaven is aglow. in the dark art of dots connecting

we kilter akimbo. planets wobble, sequentially skew

 

, tear threads which lead me sub-orbital along the

trajectory undo. space is frozen like a slow motion

 

explosion. event the horizon. the setting is begetting

 

.there in its inner sanctum, science tinkers to

shake the big bang, beating up blood to bleed

 

gaseous into formation. a shock wave of

first love star maps & stampa the point that

 

heralds the start. northern star magnetically

cracks north alive, centers universe around 

 

human sight, teaches them to draw maps 

charting the sky. they learn the length of

 

existence as finite, but still they aspire toward

flight

 

.

 

 

bolting for certainty

 

equivalence is ambivalence. an approximate

knowledge only allows for knowing approx

 

-imately what might exist. we crave the

clarity certainty can carry & claim. but, in

 

the half-light of being half-bright & with it

, we cannot grip the solid facts day throws

 

our way. night swallows them intact. an

owling flits with prowling

 

      . it is at this cusp

, of being hunted & huntering, that thunder

 

arrives, a peal to tantalise horizon, rip &

streak, give light hiding. to be struck by

 

it is to be smitten with certain: we pray

to be struck, hard, across the cheek

 

. we even wish for its spit, electric & depraved

, all over our face. tough love should frighten

 

, enlighten…make us quake & break, fork

ourselves up out of this lichtenberg shadow

 

play, make glass our veins & supplication

 

.

 

 

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                                                                                                             March 15, 2013