Looking for Queensland: the poetry and magic of ephemeral evidence II

Siganto Foundation Fellow Clyde McGill continues his journey, seeking to define Queensland poetically using ephemeral evidence.


With water slopping over the stern I realise that aow and i are viewing something other than Timor leste, we haven’t emulated Ian Fairweather’s voyage, even if our raft is similar, we collected coal floating near Mackay, fallen from the conveyor loader on the harbour prior to going through the Reef the outer reef, needed something that floats, we stacked them into our bamboo frame tied together with old typewriter ribbons, a barge, a coracle, it has many names they said, setting off unable to contact googlemaps, though with Torres’ mapmaker in our minds and with the EPIRB gone, we set it off on our previous debacle and gave it to the onlookers, here we are, dawn, looking along the beach at Amity Point of the Quandamooka people, across the bay, not even Bribie Island, we can’t visit Ian, maybe I can convince alloneword to listen for our favourite poet here by the beach, by the jetty, between the rising wave curl and the obliterating crash, washes around my ankles as my toes descend, and the bubbles.





Outside, it has an outside, architecturally it is a delightful mixup of inner and outer, veranda he that’s are inside the outer perimeter, inside the periphery, though closer up existing somewhere between, neither hanging out nor closing in on the enclosed. It occurs to me that libraries and their collections emulate literature, words though also meanings, text existing over there, clearly outside of me, inside books while outside, in my head, in my talk, enmeshed in my emotions. The collections, holding the goods so to speak, distributing, conveying, sashaying about out in the world. My project, me, I, the subject and the object, person, wanders now around the space of text, information, codices, and then, without notice, it bursts through the wall (is that the fourth wall?), the boundary of sensibility, into the everyday, no contingencies for survival, just enthusiastic for the journey, across the between and into the conversations, musings, off we go.
I say I’m looking in the ‘look in the library box’ for who said that, a meta look, a look that looks at … Or is it a library, a collection of looks at our surroundings, an agglomeration, beautiful in its tiny flakes, layered, strata upon strata, ribbons of time wrapped rewrapped, to be considered, examined at a distance, up close, from a way, until the code begins to unravel, show it’s real self, bring its basket of lookings to the party, so to speak, and we see and we see, look we see, it shows the architecture of searching, building bridges from question to answer, across my unknowing.


Amorphous. Everywhere. John Kinsella writes a word, a descriptive, more a noun than an adjective, though everything is an adjective (or a noun) in this postworld isn’t it? is everything everythingelse? Polysituatedness, writes poet John Kinsella (I ask is this a remnant word, a composite, a compressed phrase, a desperate bid at enunciating an hypothesis, or a feeling, a sensation, almost an experience to counter this polymorphism of contemporaneity in which, at least for the moment, I reside), I search for it, archivedive, it is here and over here, listed, described, perhaps it’s because I’m reading Karl Ove Knausgaard, Book Two, My Struggle, page after page, back a page, another, three lives forward, one life back, a life place, polysituated. What I started to say before Susan Sontag intervenes quoting Cocteau “the only work that succeeds is that which fails”, during her extraordinary critical sojourn through Antonin Artaud’s life and writings, saying “it’s authority lies in the parts that yield nothing for the reader except intense discomfort of the imagination”, what I started upon is the sudden realisation this morning that my project is mostly not in the places that I thought it was, rather it is in all the other places, it exists out the window maybe even in the river, in the air, in the ambient sounds, hmmm.

Clyde_MangroveSo I go. So I go. As in roll, so I roll, he actually said, so I roll this way, gave it dimensions and a conclusion of sorts. So I roll. So I go.

Clyde_teaHolding the ‘w’ in my left hand, sorting ‘a’s and ‘A’s (is that plural or are those plural, shouldn’t really need to ask in this pluralistic world?), pay attention Clyde, then lining them upsidedown into the tray, clack and slide, trying to regain their rightwayup, I carry them around the room, backwards so I don’t lose track, onto the press, which is the top? where will the bound edge be?, glorious, gorgeous process, cradling the letters, talking to the press, singing to the paper.

Clyde McGill