A Million Bright Things – feat. Jane Williams

The brand spanking, A Million Bright Things CD is literally bursting with stars… and here is another one of them, Tasmanian based poet, Jane Williams.

Jane Williams was born in England 1964. Her first poetry collection ‘Outside Temple Boundaries’ (Five Islands Press 1998) received the Anne Elder Award. In 2006 her second book ‘The Last Tourist’ (Five Islands Press) was published and she was awarded the D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship. Her most recent poetry collection is ‘Begging the Question’ (Ginninderra Press 2008). Her short story collection ‘Other Lives’ was published by Ginninderra Press in 2007. She lives in Tasmania. For more information visit: www.janewilliams.wordpress.com

Jane’s poem Attention to Detail is featured on A Million Bright Things.

 

Attention to Detail

you ask me if I am a lover of books and I say yes you ask me back
to your place to look at your collection and I’m hoping
this is a ploy but once inside I see by lover you mean keeper
the walls are lined with shiny spines in alphabetical order
of subject and author you stand at attention before them
and I don’t know if I’m supposed to salute or genuflect
I don’t do either I just concentrate on moving my eyes
back and forth as if this is a tennis match as if I am a tennis fan
suddenly you say go on then they won’t bite that’s what I’m afraid
of I think reaching with the tips of my fingers only sliding a slim
volume of poetry from its holding you tell me it’s the one
you must have read a hundred times but as I fan its pages
I smell only ink where I would hope to smell blood sweat and
tears the pages are crisp unmarked and clean as false identification
papers the book does not automatically fall open
at a well thumbed well loved favourite all poems here are equal
in perpetuity I think of my own collection mostly second hand
dog eared and as I’m an early morning reader occasionally faintly
vegemite smeared I think of my favourites held together
by a different kind of attention to detail I think of that time
I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World how it lived
bruised and battered at the bottom of my school bag for months
reminding me what it was to choose to be human I imagine
for the first time us making love but I can’t get past this vision
of you reaching for the surgical gloves this vision of me
still waiting when it’s all over aching cold on a cold slab
I’m sure you know all the right moves but I don’t I’m still learning

 

A Million Bright Things will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at www.riverbendbooks.com.au

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9 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

9 responses to “A Million Bright Things – feat. Jane Williams

  1. i don’t know if this is a poem or a story. but i love it very much. the missing blood sweat and tears bit is wonderful.

  2. It’s interesting to see how the story is fleshed out in the poem. I never would have thought of this form, but I feel the speaker so completely.

    • gnunn

      Jane’s voice is so clear in this poem… I will make sure I let you know when the CD is available as hearing the poem drives it even further into the body.

  3. Fantastic, Jane – one of my all time favourite poems of yours!

    “but once inside I see by lover you mean keeper” is such a stand out line (and observation!)

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