David Dick

David Dick is a Melbourne based writer, critic and poet. He has been published in Cordite Poetry Review and otoliths.

David Dick Reviews Emily Crocker, Allison Gallagher and Aisyah Shah Idil

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.

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‘a serpentine | Gesture’: The Synthetic Reconstruction of Ashbery’s Poetic Voice

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.

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David Dick Reviews Edric Mesmer

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:

of mono
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.

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state library

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 …

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Review Short: Stu Hatton’s Glitching

‘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’).

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David Dick Reviews Ken Bolton and B. R. Dionysius

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?

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