Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bogong Moth by Joe Dolce

A Bogong moth
darts out of darkness
to seize fire -
it’s burned away its tarsi,
yet continues to swoop,
kiss, careen, sizzle,
fluttering and candle-banging
like fawn-crazed Nijinski.

I look up from my book
accepting the immortal,
fatal dance
of life and light,
like Icarus’s father
resigned to watch
his flying boy
hurl against brilliance.

When you were a baby
night crying,
often the only way
to pacify you
was to bundle you
in your satin blanket
and walk along
Seventh Avenue.

The percussion of traffic noise,
street lamps, flashing head
and tail lights,
opened your brown eyes wide.
You were intoxicated
and I soon lost you to sleep . . .

O my little son, cocooned there
in that middle-aged man
who hasn’t spoken to me
for years –

what flickering galaxies
do you fling yourself against now
for sleep,
far beyond my reach?

posted with permission from Joe Dolce
editor: Jennifer Compton

Now Joe Dolce is probably most well known for 'that song': Shaddap You Face! And I do play a game of Joe Dolce sightings around the place — a bus driver in Kingsville singing the refrain —and in a UK cop show! Amazing. But now Joe, who lives in Melbourne, has turned his hand to poetry and essays, with frequent appearances at readings and festivals, and in respected literary journals. Anything more you want to know about him, check out his website. The link is below.  


P.S. I am not absolutely sure what a tarsi is but I can guess.

A bogong moth is a big old night flying creature that arrives in hordes when the weather is right. It is supposed to be good eating.

This week's editor is Jennifer Compton, a poet and playwright who also writes prose. She was born in New Zealand but, like Joe, is now a resident of Melbourne. Most recently she won the Newcastle Poetry Prize for her poem Now You Shall Know. In this pic she is open miking in Westword — at the Dancing Dog in Footscray. Pic taken by Michael Reynolds (thanks Michael) who has stolen all the local poets' souls and keeps them in his machine LOL. 

When you've got to grips with Joe Dolce and Bogong moths, do check out the other Tuesday Poets in the sidebar. Great to have you drop by! 


deaconkane87 said...

I have no idea what tarsi or najinski are but I am in awe of this poem. It was wonderfully written.

Kathleen Jones said...

I love this, though it's very sad. Always wondered what happened to Joe Dolce!

woodpecker said...

thank you for your generous comments>
A tarsi is basically a leg segment.
A 'najinski' is a famous Russian ballerino. (male version of ballerina - why not?) :)

katarzynak said...

Love this! Thanks :D

Ben Hur said...

My kids love "wassa matter you?" I used to sing it to them and they love that line "Ah shaddapa yer face!"

Great poem too.

Michelle Elvy said...

Fantastic poem! This poet is new to me. Glad to see this. I love the sounds and the images here. And the balance between the movement in the opening stanza and the uncertainty of the last. Really admire the way he's done that.