Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Census - On the night of Tuesday 5 March 2013

On the night of Tuesday 5 March 2013
were you dutifully filling in your census?
did you?
mark as many spaces as you need
knowing this bold exploration
could lead to strange new worlds locked in dusty old boxes
if you are 15 or older
which questions gave you pause?
the burning need to discover the not so private world of
your current legally registered marital/civil union status?
the reverse solidus almost blushing with awkwardness
or the truly brutal
if you are female, answer this question...
phrasing is everything
this might not be a question you want to read
number born alive?
so do you object? Surely every woman does
even when they see the numbers ticking behind
mark as many spaces as you need
in this five year mission to discover
New Zealand in numbers
I declare the information I have given is true and complete as far as I know
A J Ponder 

Is there such a thing as a "partially found poem"?  If so, then that is what this is.  Looking around for things to write the poem on - and knowing the lateness of the hour - I happened to spy the census forms on the dresser - perfect - because tonight is census night in NZ.  Everyone is being asked to supply personal information that is geared for running a country, and track how New Zealand is changing as a population.  When viewed on this level it is perfectly straightforward and the questions make perfect sense, but on a more emotional level, for many people some of these questions must cut to the quick.

 Cheery, damn - the idea when I started was meant to be cheery.... but there are some fantastic poems up on the Tuesday blog - enjoy, below are some, not all, of my highlights.

 First off I enjoyed Zireaus's choice of poem "At Melville's Tomb" by Hart Crane (even though it made my head hurt).  Ben Hurr's - "The Unheralded" - was lovely, sweet and poignant - whcih was odd given it started witha  blaze of infamy, Tim Jones' Jump in the Fire, such fun, but not nearly half so hilarious as Helen McKinlay's Careless Love, and then there's Hermit in Winter by Eileen D. Moeller - such a  strong finish, I had to stop, think and read it all over again - and finally why not visit the Tuesday Poets with Kathleen and put faces to all the poets you have been following? (except me, I didn't quite make it)  But whatever you do - have a great week :)


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.

1 comment:

  1. I like it a lot Alicia - 2013 meets 1984, the squeezing us into boxes, the intrusion into life and lives, the othering, the questions you want to answer missing