Little Mumbles

thoughts, poems and ramblings of an Oxford creative writing student

Born of the sun
Raised on water
Under bridges
Over laughter.

Barbara Kruger in Oxford!!! WHAT!?! Wish I’d seen her speak at the launch. Amazing to finally experience her work after so many years referencing it in life and essays. She’s been such a big influence on my thinking. Incredible to stand on all those words, to read the letters warping under your feet and over your head as you struggle to take in their enormity. So much more powerful than I imagined! Like seeing Guernica for the first time.

Frowning at badly written feminist criticism in The Taylorian, Oxford. 

Frowning at badly written feminist criticism in The Taylorian, Oxford. 

Successful shopping: my very own tent and bedroll. Eeeeeeeee!!! Summer festivals here I come!!!

Successful shopping: my very own tent and bedroll. Eeeeeeeee!!! Summer festivals here I come!!!

A dirty day planting my overgrown seedlings with homemade compost.

A dirty day planting my overgrown seedlings with homemade compost.

Pillow Face

Recently I watched my housemate say

goodbye to her mother, visiting from France.

There was a well of tears and I wondered why

and how I didn’t cry when mine went

back to Australia. I couldn’t face that distance

couldn’t let it take me into the gap of it.

Pillow faced, I held a part of her to me,

couldn’t let any escape, saving it 

for later, alone, watching Frozen.

Can I buy a pair of

plain black Nike high-tops?

What will happen if

this one decision is made?

How will I go on with it?

Shorty

I go to this amazing zumba class

in the old Oxford fire station.

The instructor is a shorty

fire bombing red curls—

booty shaking a mad one.

Always full of teeny tiny crowded 

bopping college girls in tight

spandex jumping round and side.

Today was extra packed with

elbow-knocking Spanish teens

on a language excursion.

Boys at the door

hiding behind their hands:

a triangle of heads together

at the top—not moving,

just watching all those girls’ bums

go round and round and round

and wondering what they’ve got

themselves into. A dream gone

wrong—a Dali spiral of limbs

heads and elbows.

There’s a problem with an “i”
Can you fix it

bobholman:

In Australia, when someone says they speak “language,” they mean an Aboriginal language. It’s very common when asking in English, “How many languages do you speak?” for an Aboriginal in North Arnhem Land to take a minute, count them up (usually seven or eight), and then realize that they’ve left out English. “The Endangered Language Crisis” is unwieldy, stiff, doomsday. Call it the “Language Movement” — like the Aboriginals use it: when you speak a bully language (English, Mandarin, Spanish, et al.) you are speaking “a language.” But when speaking an indigenous language, you are simply speaking “language,” without the “a.”

bobholman:

In Australia, when someone says they speak “language,” they mean an Aboriginal language. It’s very common when asking in English, “How many languages do you speak?” for an Aboriginal in North Arnhem Land to take a minute, count them up (usually seven or eight), and then realize that they’ve left out English. “The Endangered Language Crisis” is unwieldy, stiff, doomsday. Call it the “Language Movement” — like the Aboriginals use it: when you speak a bully language (English, Mandarin, Spanish, et al.) you are speaking “a language.” But when speaking an indigenous language, you are simply speaking “language,” without the “a.”

Dreaming

I miss the smell
of the dirt;

the feel of the earth,
dusted, salty;

the shape of the eucalyptus
bending skyward

to catch the wind; 
the largeness of every

rock, tree, hill
expanse of river;

the sound of the cockatoo
splashing to sea

Arbitrator of maturity
Singer of justice
Gremlin of anger
Flora of joy

Joy of summer
Wisher of well
Well of gander
Justice of joy

Mother

A woman to hold up
The heavens

Stretched
‘Cross a mudslicked sky

Trembling
at nothing

A membraned
Madness

forever
On her side

in beauty’s briar
Of silent sounds

How to say goodbye

Grief of a momentary lapse

turning away at the footpath.

Bus pass inspected while putting down a bag.

Glass slips between us,

fingers to mouth raised,

eyes watering to the window

past the world question

of how to say goodbye.

Deus ex machina