Here are the inky footprints
of my research, academic name dropping
on the treasure map of my resources,
in citations and publishers and authors.
References that don’t mention the time
I wrote them, wine-dazed at three
in the morning, book in one hand,
toast or remote or lover in the other.
Citations pepper the text, season
it with the magnitude of the published,
the security of peer reviewed words.
My ideas smothered by a patchwork of texts.
Me (2010) locked into the half truths
and slant rhymes of writers who loom, heavy
tomes shadow me; lose me in their pages,
pressed, library scented until released
in a deluge of post its, fine pencilled notes.
I would rather reference the other
way, through coffees sipped, poems
fallen into, music that drew lines
under thoughts, italicised words, coloured.
Rather, I would send the reader on a journey
to stand in galleries and walk under trees,
stand knee deep, as I did, in spring tides
or row onto the lake, fingers trailing in snowmelt.
Or make them sit by the Aga, with a notebook
full of poems; tear out the least desired
and leave them on the hotplate to singe
and curl; fold into ash by morning.
Or I'll reference the shopping list or recipe,
or words whispered into my ear;
or the lies I tell in-laws—or out-laws.
Blog, unblog, quote friends on Facebook,
pin down praise from my mother
in instructive citations. Draw in lipstick,
cartoons on the mirror, reference the scent
of the t-shirt I wore to mow the lawn.
Write in cardamom scented ink.
References, citations and bibliographies are used in a piece of academic writing to enable a reader to identify and locate the sources which have been consulted by the writer.