When I first visited my father J in Berkeley in the 70s, Jerry Brown was governor, and he gave a state address, in which he said “I was thinking about the problems we are facing so I decided to listen to whale sounds, which I will play you now.” I laughed with J and his second wife, but was uneasy. A Northeastern teenager surrounded by palm trees and a whale-sound-playing governor. Continue reading “Memoriam by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton”
Each eyelash severs me. One of them blinks and I am undone. I, whose mind leaps daily, o disciplined masochist, to the grief of parents who’ve lost children. I think of all those young eyes that will forever remain closed, never see their parents again, or be seen again, looked in the eye again by those who loved them. Continue reading “Shield by Matthew Jakubowski”
I would like to acknowledge the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people here today.
I acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded and send a plea to you to continue to work within your communities to decolonise our political and educational systems, the media, the arts and our society at large. I urge you to move together towards establishing recognition, treaty, self-determination and rightful representation in the governance of this land. Continue reading “Charlotte Olayinka’s launch speech for Tony Messenger’s “Poems to be found in the desert””
I probably shouldn’t write this.
Reading Faulkner on a balcony in Melbourne. A cold morning, as they usually are. Yesterday read Joyce by the bay, feet bare, the sand chilly and soft as snow, thinking that maybe we will have kidney. We? Who is we? You are not here and, last I heard, you are afraid I will find someone else in these small days.
I sit on the balcony with a hot coffee and a story about a funeral. Baudelaire in the suitcase. In pain and I can’t concentrate, let me tell you why. I am on street level, rocking back in a dirty weatherproof chair. Messy empty bed in the room behind me. A woman stands in the sun across the road, hoody on, smoking a cigarette fussily and checking her phone. I shouldn’t write this because these are secrets I wouldn’t tell anyone. Continue reading “Faulkner on the Balcony by Tristan Foster”