Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dorothy Porter

Australian poet Dorothy Porter died a couple of days ago. She was 54 years old. This is not very old and is especially sad for someone so talented and, it would seem, so loved.

I was at the Sydney Writers Festival a few years ago, being very self-conscious because I had a story out in a thing and I didn't really know how to act or how to be.

At one point I looked up and saw Dorothy looking at me. You ever get that thing when you catch someone really looking at you and you wonder what they are seeing? Look at her face. That's a face that sees stuff.

Anyway. I felt a pull, a gravity. I wanted to go over to her and say hello. But I hesitated and I didn't do it. She was successful poet and I was just me. And I guess I thought maybe there will be another time. I didn't go over and say hello, and now there will never be another time because she is gone.

She was probably a very beautiful human.


Kathryn said...

But it is nice to know that you once caught this lovely poet's interest in some way. I wouldn't worry too much about what you could've done or how you would have interacted with her. This fleeting glimpse of a person is almost enough.

meva said...

I'd be very proud to be in the same community, Lee. How awful if she disappointed, though. I'm sure she wouldn't have, but sometimes the mystery is more memorable and important.

Having said that, if she could write this, I don't believe she could ever disappoint:

I came for the quiet
I don't mind the cold

but thick mists
thick neighbours

and involuntary celibacy

are as inducive to hard drinking
as diesel fumes, high rent
and corrupt cops

I can't remember what adrenalin
tastes like

I need Sydney
I need a new job.

And this speaks to me:

I'm not tough
droll or stoical.

I droop
after wine, sex
or intense conversation.

The streets coil around me
when they are empty
I'm female
I get scared.

I'm very sad she's gone. How dreadful for those that love her that she died so young.

Lee said...

Yeah I caught her interest all right. She was probably thinking "Who is that nervous looking male and what's he doing amongst all these academic types?"

Her expression was exactly like it was in the photo... like she was a little bit amused by things.

I don't think it's right to say I'm part of the writing community, Meva. I've stumbled into it from time to time, but I'm not a permanent part of it.

She made good words, indeed.