poetry

Felled

 

Someone ripped out all the trees

between my house and next door

and

although we never did gardening together

or talked horticulture

it must be for you

because

the uprooted mess

of destroyed earth and leaves

is like how my heart feels

it makes no sense

why

won’t we ever talk again?

or laugh about

unsolicited plant-vandalism

there was so much more

I wanted to say

I need your input

on this thing

and what about a new tattoo

of a dead tree with roots akimbo

just won’t be the same

it’s all broken

there’s a hole

in my ground

without you

 

Photo: Claire Doble

 

Unfinished

I’m hoarding hairdye

don’t trust the supply chain

waiting to be

renewed again

it’s on the to-do list

but never

gets

done

 

I think, think, think, think

I can think my way out

of this

I’m wrong

but who’s to say

if the error is me

or the other

one?

 

I use you like an addict

taste it

all the next day

and unfinished sentences

don’t make

you safe, no

not on this

run

 

 

Photo: Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Nightclubs in Russia – poem published

My new poem Nightclubs in Russia and accompanying spoken-word (also by me) was published this month in the awesome Canada-based Galaxy Brain magazine.

Head over and take a look, as well as my own piece, there’s loads of fantastic content there.

Link to Nightclubs in Russia by Claire Doble

Claire Doble

it’s happening now

sometimes think I’m going to die

I mean, of course

I am going to die

but that’s nebulous and

post-menopause

post-cancer, post-covid, post-relapse, post-deathofparents, post-divorce

post-pleasenothingawfulwiththekids

post-life

I’ll die

and

it’s ok

because

I will have done it all by then

right?

But sometimes

there’s a fizz in my chest

and I think

what if I’m dying now

I mean, of course

I am

 

 

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

unshed

scaggy bits of behind-fences

scan past, scad by

on the side of the train track

and I see the torso of

a dead deer or kangaroo that had

too many ribs too close together

and some of the skin was still there

my unuttered scream

is trapped somewhere in my chest

or at the base of my neck

an anxious vapour, a cloying veil

I am so afraid I can’t cut through

and share the poignancy of the world

beside the railway or

the pink clouds over the ocean

that are the colour of a ribbon for a girl

a pink ribbon that would show a spatter of blood

bright red at first then fading to brown,

rusty like dirt like old wounds like

dusk of the golden hour like

Sunday on the shortest day of the year

as evening closes down like

unshed tears, a stain

somewhere near my heart

a red-brown patch that

will never be washed away

do you know this feeling. Do you? Do you

do you unweep, unscream

and hold that feeling, yes that one

in your body

on a train?

 

Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash

Writing news – Poem published & novel progressing

Hello! How’s everyone been doing in Covid times?

We’re coming out of lockdown here in Australia and, because I’m not in a big city, things were relatively mild here. I didn’t enjoy homeschooling but I’ve never really taken to the Hausfrau stuff anyway. (I’m sure I’m not alone in that!) I feel lucky that we got off so lightly. But it has been a testing time.

Anyway, to happier news.

This week INVICTUS was published, an online mag dedicated to works produced during lockdown. They were kind enough to include one of my poems (and my recording of it) so please take a look / listen / read here: https://invictus-spark.org/claire-doble-virus/

I’m also racing to the finish line for the first draft of my novel. Wow, this has been a long time coming! It has happened via a six-month Write Your Novel course at the Australian Writers Centre. I don’t know if I would have got there without it (well, I did write a rough draft of this same book in 2016-17). The course has been great because I’ve learnt so much. Possibly the biggest shift has been in my expectations.

When I completed the rough draft of this work back in 2016, I had no idea what to do with it. It started well, I liked the world I created and the characters. But it went badly off-tangent around the three-quarter mark and therefore I thought it was a ‘failed’ attempt at a novel. Yeah, I’m not exactly easy on myself! I’ve spent a bit of time processing that recently. If I’m honest, I felt some real grief and sadness that I didn’t fully appreciate what I’d achieved back then. I thought because it was only 80% ‘there’ that it was not good enough and I discounted the whole thing. Wow. Perfectionism is a bitch.

Now, through this course, I’ve realised that’s pretty normal. Very few people are going to write a 100% killer first-draft. That’s the whole point of a first draft! So I’m back. Slow process. But I feel way more equipped now to see this through. Unfortunately for you though, this is all academic as you won’t get to see or read anything for a while!

But I like to do these semi-regular updates. It helps me to keep track of what I’m doing. For now, I’m feeling pretty good, like I’m on the right path with it all. (Even if still miles to go before I sleep.)

So yeah… watch this space!

 

PS: Totally forgot to say it’s a year since I left Switzerland! That was the other reason to write this!

Dr. Irvine

I had a job in a Sydney shoe shop

with Irvine Welsh in 95

he was a small 23yo Scottish woman

I was a noodle goth, 18

Trainspotting had just come out at the cinema

my friends did heroin

got arrested stealing mobile phones from cars

while I

did time in the storeroom

avoiding customers

Irvine and I took bellydancing lessons

drank Irn Bru in a Glebe café and

dossed in Bondi Junction

with the latest blue-bottled wine

it was before Facebook so

he will never find me now

 

Photo: John Broks on Unsplash