- 94: EARTHSUBMIT to M Takolander 93: PEACHCOMING SOONwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
I am always struck by the immense variability of human experience; the little and big differences that amount to the conditions of our individual and collective identities. The task of poetry is to write this nebulous, subjective humanity, while also probing the inefficiencies of the language we have to create and understand something so frustratingly out of grasp.
In 1966 John Ashbery published Rivers and Mountains. The departure from the fractures of The Tennis Court Oath (1962) are immediately apparent: it is a return to a language still distinctly marked by Ashbery’s usual probing and misdirection, but without the direct dislocations committed to denotative meaning, form and syntax in the earlier book.
The arrangement of the title on the front of Edric Mesmer’s Of Monodies and Homoph-ony gives the reader an early opportunity to judge (or, at least, predict) the develop-ment of the text:
dies & homo
Mesmer takes two words that essentially indicate a single, dominant – or closely related – voice or sound, and breaks them down into their constituents. At the very level of the word itself this undoes any such notion of an isolated predominant melody.
I should be working I’m reading in the State Library instead it’s close enough though distant like the skylight in the State Library & decibels heard but barely the author would rather drink (as I would if Sydney was a …
‘Glitching,’ sharp and immediate, is a – word that sounds like it belongs to this modern internet and computer age: moments of fracture as a website struggles to load, fragmented by popups, weird demands of your exact location and the failure of Flash to connect properly. It suggests twitching and distorting monitors, the crackle of an old modem and illogical videogame surrealism, frustrations and interruptions ‘Not of substance but of form’ (‘entheogen’).
Ken Bolton and B.R. Dionysius emerge from different traditions, respectively: a New York School sense of everyday occasion punctuated by the presence and shaping forces of contemporary art (Frank O’Hara and James Schuyler are clearly present in Bolton’s diction); and a modernised kind of Romantic pastoral, littered with juxtaposed objects of the natural and contemporary world. Yet, at admitted risk of over-generalising, both of their recent books can be seen to be dealing with notions of how to write memory in poetry: how to write a poem to be honest to the process, even the implication itself, of remembering. How can language be used in the service of this retrospective vision, they ask; how does language, shaped by differing poetic forms, illuminate, distort or neutralise it?