“what breaks without changing doesn't signify”— Alice Fulton, Fables from the Random.
“inspiration” first appeared in Sidewalk
For more poetry from Australia
Anatomy of My Hysterical Womb
If you were to peel open one by one the balled fingers of my fist (like taking a dangerous object from the clench of a toddler) a trickle of red down the wrist too / and if the palms of some poets hide knives / torn hearts / others still the juiciest of figs / if you could unlock my tight curled fist
You would find a near-perfect specimen of hysterical womb syndrome (a common nineteenth century female complaint occasionally cured by creative therapies such as the application of “intravaginal insufflations of tobacco smoke” and clitoridectomy. The uterus was thought to be a little wombat-like animal that had the liberty of wandering throughout the female body and causing neuralgic disturbances. . .)
Bald-animal loosed from its connections to pelvic bone / nerves / cervix / blood branches and coiled itself in a knot, travelling up the thorax, ejecting via the mouth as in a disgorged pip or bean. Caught in the palms it's as hard as stone / flexible as rubber. And sticky inside my fingers like ruptured figs or segments of heart.
My errant uterus shrinking after birth like oven-roasted capsicum (another artist's representation of the organ, which included a densely-packed wad of seed, flush right.) While years ago in Borneo witchdoctors strapped foetus-size stones to their waists and scrunched up their faces mimicking birth pain
Executed sympathy dances for first-time mothers. And further back in time Caesarian sections were performed without anaesthetic and the suture poulticed with a decoction of artemesia agrimony betony mallow flowers of pomegranate dried roses sedge and sweet smelling bulrushes steeped in sour black wine
Tracing developmental rock-nubs of the foetal spine; red leaf veins of the circulatory system which ravels and spreads like time-lapse photography or plashing rain a priori to lightning. And the woman shoeless, thrusting her uterine-stone into clouds. Waiting for the strike
Waiting for the flash of quickening; the coagulation of the light of life that soon attaches itself — clinging — to the walls of her thunder-egg womb; concealed in her outstretched fist like a felt-soft jewellery pouch jiggling ruby flesh / diamond bone. Remembering that the shaman's organs became quartz in the dark extremity of his dreaming
The container of her womb as petrii dish incubating the life-producing agent - semen – as it congeals into the child. States the Qur'an for example, human life is created out of a small quantity of sperm that has been poured out. Which can be read as half the world's oldest (Aristotle, Upanishads) and most arrogant error.
Overlooking our ovaries honeycombed with eggs. Drawing our wombs with horns. Telling us it was a small animal that could be called back to its rightful place by balancing on our navels a nutshell containing tincture of horehound honey muscat the cat's fat the warmth of a lit candle