Author Archives: Claire Gaskin

About Claire Gaskin

Claire Gaskin is a Melbourne-based Poet & Creative Writing Teacher.

walking away down the bluestone lane

 

walking away down the bluestone lane
I saw him wipe my mouth from his kiss
windows watched from Rodin’s I
the keeper wolf said to the

I saw him wipe my kiss from his mouth
when I the first colour I heard thought I’d get up
the keeper said to the wolf
you don’t need to hunt now you are now being fed

I thought I’d get up when I heard the first colour
reflux like my childhood
you  need a mate now you are being fed
her weapon is safety to scare me with her

my childhood like reflux
exist, addict I I
her weapon is to scare me with her safety
I dreamt I was the wolf keeper and the wolf

I exist, I addict
the wolf had eaten its mate’s legs
I dreamt I was the wolf keeper and the wolf
I was the wolf and the wolf’s mate

the wolf had eaten its mate’s legs
the wolf couple had an offspring
I was the wolf and the wolf’s offspring
the wolf couple had a human offspring

the wolf couple had an offspring
I watched from Rodin’s windows
the wolf couple had a human offspring
walking away down the bluestone lane

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, Paperweight.

Hippocampus

after Sacks’ The man who Mistook his wife for a Hat

 

she made a mosaic out of all the cups she threw at the wall
I saw an opening
at a party in her garden
it was yellow and soft petalled
there is always an element of surprise in delight
I had never watched one open before

the brain has no pain receptors
with the skull open like a cup
the patient awake and answering questions

(the neuronal memory effectively regulates the implicit reduction)

the rain is awake
down your back from the tip of your plait
down between the cheeks of your buttocks
awake to the earth of you

—–man does not consist of memory alone

(the molecular ability intracellularly records the cellular reflexes)

—–Sacks said Nietzsche said:
—–Only great pain is the ultimate liberator of the spirit

(motor synthesis allows electrochemical habituation)

—–it animates the prosthesis

I am rent free
I have been living in the house of my body
all the windows and doors open
curtains wet with rain billow and whip
I sit
to remember is to put back together the dismembered
I close your hand around the open eye of the torch

—-Sacks said Freud said:
—-neurosis is reminiscence

(central interneurons close short-term amnesiac connections)

—–a phantom limb is essential if an artificial limb is to be used

the sky is so blue it has forgotten
every window is a ghost

—–disease as seduction
—–the vagueness before vision
—–a wellness can be genuine even if caused by an illness

and don’t let affirmation be an excuse to hold on
extinction blue
the cloudless sky
is opinionless

(lasting phosphorylates regulate behavioral transmitters)

extinction is not the same as forgetting
you replace one habit that holds up a beam
with another

—–you can only spot a deviation if you can identify a norm.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, Paperweight.

 

If I hadn’t

 

If I hadn’t texted him I would not be caught up in the thingness of being rejected and of should not be doing. I would be dwelling in the infinite possibilities of the openness of this night alone and my cows and sheep would have a large paddock. The aboutness of my Friday night is now waiting and reaction to rejection instead of the spaciousness of reading Zen and Heidegger. My thinking and writing appears as the phenomenon of diversion instead of the thing in itself. My present is should not haveness. The jug is this house and it is a vacuum that pulls in longing to spill. It wants to be filled, held and poured. Being is containmentless. Being is relationshipless. A jug filled with water immersed in water. Break the house. This is being. Things are manifestations of two opposing parts, like self and other. Meditation destroys thingness. My little suicides are manifestations of the duality of killer and killed. The silence is being with the presence of the absence of the phone ring. He not ringing and inviting me over and after hours of intersubjectivity me going to leave and him not pulling me down on the orange couch beside him. Him not saying we should not do this, it only ends in tears, there is no aboutness about this and entering me. He not dwelling in me with the intentionality of itself in itself sometimes not even moving. Only a receptacle  however can empty itself. I shape the void into the thingness of his penis. Holding needs the void as that which tightens. The climax gathers what belongs to extinction of division. The two parts the receiving, the receptacle, the void and the outpouring as giving. We don’t come apart and the room doesn’t fill with leaving and receding. It empties

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, Paperweight.

Freedom from André Breton

a response to André Breton’s poem ‘Freedom of Love’

 

My wife with the hair that tells the history of the hunt
My wife with a waist where the two planets that orbit in
——different directions meet
My wife with lips that flower the pain of the landscape
with thoughts to extinguish all thought
with the teeth of crumbling churches
with the tongue she swallows souls
with the tongue of hibernating snakes
My wife with the tongue of an empty bed
with brows of the shade and damp of a cave by the sulphur sea
My wife with eyelashes with ashes in them
with the forehead of a frozen lake
My wife with shoulders of melting snow and the sun that
—–melts it
My wife with switchblade wrists
My wife with fingers of rain that break windows
with fingers that pick up threads
My wife with armpits of bursting eucalypt pods
and of bushfire nights
with arms on fire around the baby of herself
My wife with legs of a plough and field of turned earth
with the movements of a slow mountain climb, thinning air
My wife with calves of vein in rock
My wife with feet of saffron
with feet of details and birdbath containment
My wife with a neck of salt
My wife with the throat of a vase
with breasts of vertigo
My wife with breasts of breath
with breasts of a continuous curve from her arm to under bone
with a belly of undulations
My wife with a back of scaffolding where bird people walk
——unafraid at great heights
with a back of sand
with a nape of forgotten invitations
My wife of all is not well
My wife of a well of light with no doors into it only windows
My wife whose dreams burn her sleep and I wake on a pillow
——of ash
Whose history burns with the smell of hair
Her chair burns absence into patience
Her arms burn around the baby of herself
Her travel burns the saris of skies into my eyes
Her birds burn her freedom with my flight
Her sex a cat’s purr that burns meditation into the walls
My wife is time, the distance between the beats of a heart, the
——rings of a phone

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Let all fall from him

 

My face a wet painting

She turns her blue face to him in marriage
He has a ladder
He looks at her with a withdrawn chin

The birds peel the paint with song

I was born in the ruins of his life
Every word artefact
In the centre of the wheel the heart unfolding the road like
——a love letter petals fall from

Let all fall from him

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

White-tail

 

Mistress of arrows, Arachne
Give me rivers of reason
Form a back water
The pillow spiked with spiders.

I turn from the smell of dreams
sweated on sheets
lay my head down on the pillow that bit me.
Meticulous thinking left a scar in the middle of my forehead.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Soon

 

Lying on a hot
rock by black water with a
friend soon to be dead

Children jump on a
trailer load of leaves, adults
scratch the earth with rakes

A bird call
a crack high
in the closing sky

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

Lineage

 

Like half eaten apples
naked mothers pose for their well-dressed daughters.

Wind in a glass drowning in its own voice.
In the throat of a rose language is strangled.

The world is a hollow humming and
the limits are lace.
A thousand tiny fingers make beautiful mistakes.

The traffic is a ripping seam.

A wound to the back of the heart.
An axe in wood.

Prayers on my fingertips.

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

just

 

light arrives before the car drives past and is gone

just placed in pebbles the words amore mio in the cemetery

headache cicadas deafening the river fast

breath is happening the rain is happening here there is no better

every seventeen syllables cicadas leave this shell on a blade

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.

The evening is loud with life

 

Leaning on the language of leaving
and the road a line from a song,
the door smiles open

After the crescendo
the tick of the clock
and a car driving past

Headlights behind her
she is approaching me
moon walk with my daughter

 

 


From Claire Gaskin’s collection, a bud.