Live Encounters Poetry & Writing May 2021
Special edition featuring poets from Australia & New Zealand.
Amanda Anastasi is a Melbourne poet whose work has been published in unexpected places, ranging from the Artists’ Lane walls in Windsor to The Massachusetts Review. She is a two-time winner of the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize and a recipient of the Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, where she wrote a series of poems set in the year 2042. She is currently Poet in Residence at the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, and her new poetry collection, ‘The Inheritors’, will be released in late 2021.
It was the instant crease at the centre of your brow that latched me.
The way you clipped your vowels. Your unequivocal consonants
online messages and live streams could never manage to capture.
How your eyes darted to register a passer-by and how those pools,
indefinite in tone, upon the mention of Yeats would lift their veil,
the irises lightening. How your voice sailed in and out of my ear
with Mozartian ease, without muffle or electronic interruption;
no vacant or misplaced silences. How your hands, animated
and in full agreement with your face, punctuated the vivid
points of your stories. The stories that tell of the many
pavements you paced before you paused at my door.
How there is a dignity in you lingering here.
Your brow crease softening here.
It is a gentle shift forward:
foetal, fixated, aggrieved.
A question extends itself,
built on the back of proof.
Inquiry is a barefaced beast
surrounded by unrest.
A bristling understanding
will terrify upon arrival;
spur an unexpected notion.
A singular, incisive pause
will precede and point to it.
It is the hour of clamour before
the curious pull of originality;
a startling modulation sounding,
born of history’s muddy cage.
A way forward will form. Discomfort
will be essential though fleeting.
More questions will come.
At the lectern, a man without a speech.
The fall is longer from the penthouse.
The hand rests easily on the unquestioning child.
In a soundless room, the cat’s ear shifts.
Your face will show itself when the wind changes.
Upon entry of the imposter, a gasp of recognition.
© Amanda Anastasi