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Jo Langdon

Jo Langdon

About Jo Langdon

Jo Langdon is the author of a chapbook of poetry, Snowline (2012), which was co-winner of the 2011 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize. Her second collection, Glass Life, is forthcoming with Five Islands Press.

‘Geelong checks its modernist warranty’

In 1890, an American aeronaut named Millie Viola departs the Geelong showgrounds in a hot air balloon, in order to give an assembled crowd of onlookers a parachute jump display. Her ascension followed foiled attempts earlier in the week, but, according to the Geelong Advertiser’s archives, ‘Mademoiselle Viola’ at last ascends – to the gratification of ‘an increasingly dubious crowd’ – to around 5000 feet (1540 metres), and comes close to being swept into Corio Bay.

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Apropos

At the wedding he says I took my wife off the pill, it wasn’t easy. I say, Oh that’s terrible. (Imagine being a wife, being taken, taking off somehow, what kind of weight I don’t know— The men at work …

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Landing

Hour of bright & dim; such stillness you could skate, crack to beneath – Circling out, not yet dark enough to watch traces of universe, blinking down. Only the glimmer & still. One last swerve & you are returned, the …

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Review Short: MTC Cronin’s The Law of Poetry

MTC Cronin’s ‘The Flower, the Thing’ is a favourite poem; one to which I often return. What strikes me immediately – and what stays with me – is its first word: ‘urgently’. That word sucks its reader in; it says that what comes after is ‘urgent’, is going to pull at you. It says, read on.

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Tree kit (for Zoe)

‘A few almond trees / had a few flowers, like a few snowflakes / out of the blue looking pink in the light’ —James Schuyler We sleep through its becoming, the growth a mimicry of ice & bud – Do …

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Review Short: Angela Meyer’s Captives

CaptivesFittingly tiny by way of physical size, Captives is a beautifully produced collection of micro-fiction by the Melbourne author and critic Angela Meyer (known also as the blog writer, Literary Minded). While in a poetry-dedicated journal such as Cordite Poetry Review, it may seem odd to be reviewing a book that makes no explicit claims to being poetry – or, more specifically, the difficult-to-define mode of prose poetry – Meyer’s micro-fictions do seem to invite comparisons with contemporary prose poetry.

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Review Short: Jill Jones’s The Beautiful Anxiety

The Beautiful AnxietyFrank O’Hara has a poem unambiguously and humorously titled ‘You Are Gorgeous and I’m Coming’. As pastiche or homage – even incidentally – the first two poems from the six-part sequence that opens Jill Jones’s stunning new collection The Beautiful Anxiety are titled: ‘1. Hold On’, and ‘2. I’m Coming’ (‘My Ruined Lyrics’). The present continuous tense of the verb ‘to come’ is thematically apt everywhere in this collection. Not only are poems throughout The Beautiful Anxiety sensual and frequented by moments of desire or quiet ecstasy, they are constantly ‘coming’ in the sense that they are arriving.

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Review Short: Rebecca Law’s Lilies and Stars

Lilies and StarsIt is often interesting to read a poet’s work in relation to comments they’ve made about their own poetry (with whatever cautions you may wish to place upon such self-readings). Rebecca Law’s poem ‘Mirror and Girl’ was commended for the 2011 Overland Judith Wright Prize for New and Emerging Poets, and in an interview with the prize’s judge – poet, scholar and Overland’s poetry editor, Peter Minter – Law commented on her writing more generally: “I am reading Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Victor Hugo and Paul Eluard because I am interested in the surreal, the symbolic and the sublime as romantic concepts that displace and liberate the word from a human preoccupation with living and dying. Contemporary French authors such as Michel Deguy, Philippe Beck and Jude Stefan transcend these concepts a little further and ‘follow’ language, allowing the word to ‘say’ rather than be ‘said’.”

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Making Love & Omelettes

After a line by Veronica Forrest-Thomson Slight kitchen views from white sheets —warmth of breath and skin— there are tile shapes in the lino, just enough window sun to mistake for a lit globe, a yellowing of day taking shape …

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Ellipsis

Rain streaks the window. Somehow her hair holds the smell of matches struck. The wind is loose around walls outside, tying itself up in trees (birch leaves soft as ash). She watches: breath showing and fading on glass. He said …

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