Walking on the Moon, in Moulay Ibrahim

Check out the Arc Magazine/Cordite Poetry Review collaboration up now on http://cordite.org.au/content/poetry/ohcanada/.

Great company, great collection. “For both Canada and Australia, there have been very few occasions when such an amazing collection of poets has been brought together under one project [that] thrives on multiplicity, difference, and propinquity. It is with the indefatigable nature – in whatever drives us to write – of the authors and artists involved that will see this project both lasting and notable in both countries for some time to come.”

Here’s my poem:

Walking on the Moon, in Moulay Ibrahim

We have landed they tell us
in the centre for all Morocco
of magic & the old ways
high in the Atlas mountains….

We have heard this.

What we have not heard or seen
happens for the first time
today via the one TV in the one cafe:

Apollo astronauts land on the moon
& high-step in slow motion, gawky
in grey scale.

“Ha!” says Omar. “What a stunt.
Those Americans are so clever.

But we know. Moroccans
are not easily tricked. This
is a fiction to entertain the people.

Quelle blague.” He pretends to toss
a rock off the dusty floor at the screen.

The crowd in the cafe laugh
at the outlandish gear, the preposterous
instrument & helmet gimmicks
clumsier than any cartoon.

Still scoffing, the moon men jostle outside
& hidden in hooded dun djellabas
melt into the lunar dusk of their grey plateau.

Penn Kemp

1 December 2014

From a sequence of 48 new poems selected by Zenobia Frost and Kent MacCarter 

Cordite 48.1: CANADA is now live! Featuring work from Lisa Robertson, Tim Bowling, Sina Queras, Derek Beaulieu, Jeramy Dodds, Aisha Sasha John, Nora Gould, Sonnet L’Abbé, Christian Bök, Penn Kemp, Paul Vermeersch, Nick Thran, Sandy Pool, Jordan Abel, Larissa Lai, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Katherina Vermette, Shane Rhodes, Helen Guri, Garry Thomas Morse, Priscila Uppal, Stuart Ross, Jenny Sampirisi, Sue Sinclair, Colin Fulton, Jacqueline Turner, Jason Christie, Stephen Collis, Susan Iaonnou, Rachel Zolf, Stephanie Bolster, Sachiko Murakami, Susan Glickman, Clea Roberts, Ken Babstock, Lydia Kwa, Tanya Evanson, Jenny Haysom, Jordan Scott, Kate Fagan, John Barton, Adeena Karasick, Ray Hsu, Karen Solie, C R Avery, Garry Gottfriedson, Margaret Christakos, David Seymour, Sharon Thesen, Anita Lahey, Kevin Matthews, Lucy Van, Kelly Richardson, Kim Adams, Ian Friend, Matthew Hall, John Charles Ryan, Ann Vickery and Bonny Cassidy.

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