What ‘faith’ means in the modern age
is getting up and going about your business
day after day after day after day
without asking for a miracle.
A miracle – two eyes and a face
witnessing your witnessing,
and the weird relaxation that comes
from realising we’re all the same.
An act of creativity is always an act
of optimism, and the willingness to love
is always brave. Yet there is godliness
in solitude, and pleasure in waiting.
The hopeful suspense, the anticipation.
It’s the reason why we cover the eyes
of the person who is to be given a surprise –
it’s the juxtaposition of darkness and light
that jolts the dreamer alert to the fact
they’re alive. Suffering, like everything,
exists in the mind. You can change it –
that’s what faith is. You need it to survive.
In July 2015 I travelled to California to attend a poetry conference. It was actually just a coincidence that Luke Davies (the poet whose work I am studying) happened to be at his home in LA while I was there, but it was a blessed week, and (after some serious prodding from my supervisor) I arranged to meet him for an interview.
I am not a journalist, and I am also not an excessively confident person, but despite these impediments I managed to do it without having a seizure or vomiting on myself. Even better, I was able to cobble together enough material from the ‘interview’ to pitch it to Meanjin, and (gods be praised!) they accepted it.
It’s out now!
Note: ‘Poets on Porches Drinking Tea’ is a nod to ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee‘. I’m an enormous fan of Jerry Seinfeld, and I actually think there are many parallels between poetry and comedy.
Anyway. I’m so happy to see it in print. Cheers Luke, you are the coolest poet to do a doctorate on; all my PhD buddies are jealous.