Sport 13 Spring 1994
David Eggleton — Death of the Author
Death of the Author
Rumours of the death of the author are greatly exaggerated.
There’s time to drive round the writer’s block once more,
to re-visit sacred inkwells, to download a library of human bookends,
to retun to sender flaming letterbombs posted by hotshot critics.
In the earnest vowels of the Shaky Isles plots bloom.
A handkerchief scrap of native bush folds into a hip pocket,
clouds twink out mountains, rain crosshatches hills,
waterspouts rise over the sea like twisting signatures.
Novels groan under the weight of their purple prose,
plays are rarefied body chemistry, poems astronomical physics.
Short stories beach on an agent’s desk, fetching up without purpose,
naming a ballpark figure next to an hourglass.
A finishing school of novelists, educated to excellence
by a prescription of award judges pronouncing sentences
with distinction, thumbs the edges of a parallel text.
Enlightenment’s the glow-worm glimmer of a far-off town.
Static ghostwriters howl in the transmission frequencies.
Reincarnations of Katherine Mansfield, figments of ambition,
write at will, aiming for the pupis of our eyes.
In the Canterbury dustbowl, dust coalesces into a society of authors.