in the idea for a story i take the car off the paved roads & venture down one of those unsigned tracks in the mountain country. it winds & winds, but eventually i confront an explorer, aged almost 200 (looking much like the last knight of the holy grail in that indiana jones movie), still exploring.
we discuss the idea of physicality. driving a car, i claim, is the last truly physical action we learn. we learn to eat, to walk, to control our bowels, to write, to engage in various sporting activities… but then we learn to drive. it’s difficult because we’ve already mastered so much & feel complete. once we’ve learnt the skill though, we shut the door on bodily learning.
the explorer disagrees. he thinks sex is the last thing. but i win because he doesn’t really know what a car is, mine being the first he’s ever seen, & therefore doesn’t have the knowledge to argue for too long.
needless to say, the explorer imparts various secrets to me. then we develop a furious feud, wrestle furiously, & both fall to furious deaths at the bottom of a cliff. luckily we realise we are not dead after thinking for a while that we were.
i will be in newcastle soon, part of the critical animals program under TINA. i will be doing things – writing in a collaborative space, reading stein aloud, & talking about experimental poetics. the explorer is coming with me (i don’t let him do anything without me – the world is a scary place).
in the experimental poetics discussion i will be talking about a poem of mine that is soon to be published in black inc’s Best Australian Poems 09. i will discuss how i used the experimental method of ‘plagiarism’ (to which i will give the more academic term of ‘trace’) to generate this particular poem.
my poem ‘learning about explorers’ is in this journal ecopoetics. i haven’t seen the journal yet. i wonder if anyone has a copy… my explorer is no help with this matter. he’s actually been quite gloomy since i brought him into modern society / my house. & he keeps bitching on about how he’s an idea stolen from a coetzee essay, has no real identity as such, blah blah blah…