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A Hundred Gourds 2:4 September 2013
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page 10  

Patricia Prime - NZ


Improvisations*


He decided to write something every day, without missing a day, for one year. Nothing was planned. He’d take up pencil and paper, and write anything that entered his head. Whether it was nine in the morning, or nine at night, whether or not he’d just delivered a baby, or had been for a swim. The seasons of the imagination were his inspiration. There was neither spring nor summer. Scenes were extrapolated, heightened, transformed from his life during this, his thirty-fifth year. There are glimpses of him as husband, father and doctor,

feeling her tummy—
a tiny foot kicks

of his wife cleaning house, or of him chasing after children. There is the corpse in the morgue, the woman in labour, the newborn child, the squinting at cheap prints in the houses of his poorer patients. Some of the writing is obscure, partial, disguised – a way of making the reader slow down and engage the writer in the act of seeing what might be called the “common” freshly, discovering it for the first time.

beneath a redwood
turning to Leviticus

* Kora in Hell: Improvisations by William Carlos Williams



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