These next contributions to the Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect. project are from poet Max Ryan. The first piece is a selection from his poem Jim, which Max says are the ‘last lines of a poem about a friend of mine who died at twenty-one… it ended up somewhat autobiographical, spiralling to this avowal of life itself.’ The second is from Fragment. Says Max: ‘death again, and another poem about my father who was fairly absent in my life but is a commanding presence in many of my poems. I was taken by how child-like he became towards the end.’ The third piece takes a different turn in the form of his tanka mulled wine. Max discusses the poem: ‘I’ve written many tanka; it’s a lovely form for matters of the heart and erotic love. Here I get to use one of my favourite words, cinnamon.’
Max’s second collection, Before the Sky, is available through Picaro Press and his CD with Where Were You At Lunch, Before we lose each other again, is available through Obei Gong. Graham Nunn has some extensive interviews with Max over at Another Lost Shark and there is a lovely interview with Max on Joy and Sorrow at the Queensland Poetry Festival site.
from Jim by Max Ryan
Later, I cried for his gravy-smeared bib,
his sudden innocence.
she adds herbs
to the mulled wine . . .
all night on her lips
cinnamon, orange and cloves