a building site

Here, because so little of my work gets sent out, because I’m working on three books at once, and because what we have here is at least a little of the surface of our building project, I’ve released another few thoughts on this place, driven by Cathy’s need for a shed and my own increasing despair at the vast and growing concrete slab of Melbourne.

I have to say it smells consistently sweet here.

Shed: exhortation

(because we live here only nominally)

Each beam every
Noggin complicates our space:
Word by phrase populate this
Address number: lose fingerprint gain
Split nail and puzzle order
And reward and nature and
Material layer and temperature and flow
Walk me through in dreams: nobody
Told you to do it except vision of
Vista-filled clearing
Insisted like a dog nose, eye
Singular and no question once
Four o’clock spreadsheet found
End and first line:
Cliché by mangled conjunction
Clad in stone and steel and soft sheet
Insulated glassily, questions
Delayed for their time their
Own population in town mind
Rented and full anyway of
Blithe new furniture
Build by kingfisher
Puddle and fur
Finch and eagle glancing
Drip and feather
Path of koala unalterable
Treeward certainly change,
I shall little by minor sprain
Cheek by stumble in sweet
Repeated ignorance build
This field is my ocean and I
Bloody fisherman
Dwell until closing time paddocky—
Until next mishap—proud fashioning
Love severally large
As usual as foolishly as due by
Law and preparation and fate
Soft turned in the way of water
Away from a street holding fast
Something next in mind never
Far away.

Grey violence of first magpie
Permit me to pray
One more day.

Paul Voermans 2022

Chipping Away

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like anything is happening. Until it does. We are living in South Gippsland now, without a house for two years. Slowly, things have improved: composting toilet; worm farm septic (without a house we just dump the “solids” into the land of wormies); hot water (a Victorian clawfoot bath with a shower soon to have Cathy’s tiles); woodfired oven+heater. So we are not completely without amenities any more, but it’s taken many months. We have internet, just, by virtue of an directional antenna I put up on the shed. We have a TV my mate Tim lent us, and of course we have the coffee roaster and machine we had in Reservoir.

So we are not destitute, though we’re existing on Cathy’s pottery and my super only. Can’t get the dole because the we have the money to pay for the house, technically. I have applied for some jobs, but none successfully so far. An irrational reaction was to start a fantasy novel. Written on the Golden Page. This is now in first draft!

Encountering Two Friends, also in first draft, after a year’s resting, I am pleased and surprised to say it’s a novel I’m drawn to read, unlike many I come across these days! Surely that’s not simply my conceit, never having read it, and a year’s setting aside…. I know already what to do with it, but I’ll go through it in the way I’ve taught myself, doing synopses as a story told, as a series of scenes, as what it might be, as a text I’m digging in for meaning, then a synopsis of it as it should be, and another of each chapter as they ought to be. Finally a retype and a third pass, plus whatever obsessive tinkering I get up to, with another pass or two after comment and hopefully editorial suggestions. Five drafts, I suppose. A lot of fact checking.

I am settled into writing in the morning and building in the afternoon. Roughly. Today a poem called, “Parma with Chilli Chorizo Before Bed” about lighting a fire and a cat dream. No building due to website rebuilding.

Cathy is finished the house tiles. They are so beautiful. (More later.)

All of a sudden, after frustration of planning and the universal pandemic delays, we get a house delivered in three weeks! I hope to keep this site up-to-date a bit more. So you’ll get a shot of the delivery, perhaps. Wish us luck. We may be living in it in November. inshallah, as my old dad used to say.

The modesty shield reads: “Manufactured in the United States of Australia Coburg.”