The Genius Of Human Imperfection

This is Jack’s second volume of poetry (1998), the title being a quotation from Jonathan Swift, with a cover that enjoys a copy of a plate by George Grosz.

“Jack Hibberd has produced a distinctly original and enjoyable collection of poems – his poetic is to do with rhythm, sharp-edged language, proverbial utterance, oracle. His humour is wry and sensual, a form of the intellect in its wooing shape. The raunchy side of the collection gets broader as it progresses, especially in “Camperdown Dichotomies”, a scabrous sequence which imagines from moral Melbourne a Sydney bequeathed by Cavafy. I recommend all into whose hands pass to read The Genius of Human Imperfection with care.”

- Peter Porter


When you lose your mother, your father,
Existence can never quite be the same.
It’s not that life becomes incorrigibly starker,
more you find yourself standing out in the rain,
counting the drips, absorbed,
feeling the earth mass beneath prehensile feet.
It’s not that life becomes a Rousseaunian breeze,
more you find yourself looking up at the sky,
feeling the holes, absorbed,
feeling the air insufflate your barbaric brain.
It’s no that life becomes lonely
more you find yourself gazing out to sea,
counting the rafts, absorbed,
feeling the water consume amphibian cells.
It’s not that life becomes deathly,
more you find yourself staring, staring, the sun,
counting rays, absorbed,
feeling the flames torment recoiling genes.

Death of a Father

He didn’t know what had struck him,
poleaxed on my bed:
Moira my mother calling out Jim,
half of his heart half-dead.

Then he knew what had struck home;
I’ve done it this time he said
sorry, his last words an apologizing groan,
half of his heart not dead.

The Genius of Imperfection is published by Black Pepper, Melbourne.
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