In Search of Living Rooms Filled With Laughter: On Belonging as a British-Lebanese in a Time of Revolution
I had my first panic attack somewhere on the Central Line between Marble Arch and Bond Street. Sitting in an empty, well-lit carriage the world darkened and tightened around me. I thought I might disappear.
In 1960, the Syrian Lebanese poet Adonis published his prose poem manifesto and the Lebanese poet Unsi al-Hajj published his collection Lan (Won’t) with its seminal introduction theorising for the possibilities of poetry in prose.
Up until I was nine years old, my favourite film was Blood Sport. Frank Dux, who was played by Van Damme in the prime of his career, competed against the world’s best fighters in the underground martial arts tournament called the Kumite.
On 23 April 1979, Blair Peach, a teacher from New Zealand, was killed by a blow to the head delivered by an officer of the Metropolitan Police Force Special Patrol Group (SPG).
Christmas Eve on the unit. The nurses’ station is in the middle of a long corridor, consisting of a low counter about ten feet long. A couple of psychiatric nurses are seated at laptops on wheeled stands, looking through medication orders, writing notes.
You would not like Melbourne, for it is full of handsomes [sic] cabs. I adore it, for I love this form of locomotion. I have already used the candle-powered heater, for it is winter here; during the first part of the crossing, I think they would have melted without my lighting them.
‘write prose and cut your margins,’ a friend and editor advised — Brian Castro (22) Blindness The blindness presented here is metaphorical, if not phantasmagorical, for Castro calls his verse novel a ‘Phantasmagoria […] in thirty-four cantos’. For me, actual …
As the Hong Kong riots reach their sixth consecutive week, I’m emailing a friend at Hong Kong University who writes about liberty and subjection.
Nothing makes me feel my fallibility more than editing a literary journal, marking papers or judging a literary competition. I can be wrong. I can be unclear. I can miss things.
Shipwrecks in Modern European Painting and Poetry: Radical Mobilisation of the Motif as Political Protest
Shipwreck is also the synecdoche of all that shadows imperial expansion – navigational misadventure, piracy, cyclonic assault – tracking like sharks on the blood trail imperialism’s would-be glamorous advance.
When S. and I started to talk, the directions were endless, and sympathetic. What passed between us, over coffee and chai, in emails, in text messages, were the names of authors, books, artists.
I’m writing this after news that W S Merwin has died. His Selected Poems still sits on my bedside table, never far away in case of a spare moment.
William Blake pinches himself. Yes! He is alive, not in heaven or hell for all eternity, but on earth, for just as long as I need him for the purposes of this essay. In the almost two hundred years since William Blake died many things have changed.
One Sunday, when I was an art student in London, I got on my bicycle and left my parents’ vicarage in Surrey for my room in Murray Mews, going along the River Thames and through London’s parks: Bushy Park, Richmond Park, Hyde Park and Regents Park.
The poem is from page 37 of Michael Farrell’s latest collection, I Love Poetry. The poem on page 37 has no title, so I will refer to it from here on out as ‘37’. Not only is 37 untitled, but it is also without words.
I can’t think I am living large if the home we live in is a mess while my own room is spotless. I want a beautiful mansion for all of us. Yes, I realise this is not a seamless nor an especially artful allegory.
While these pre-federation tropes of settler colonial Australia’s multifaceted and at times contradictory pastoral modes seem to recognise something of their incompatibility with Aboriginal land, they seek their resolution from burial, rather than reciprocal encounter with Aboriginal presence.
I invited you to lean into this DOMESTIC sphere in all its homely undoing; to rupture the masquerading shape of cosy bliss; to plant seeds and haunt with your words; to unsettle and shape what survival looks and feels like – and you did.
The last time I saw Kathy Acker was in London, in July 1997. I wasn’t sure how she felt about me at that point. I had failed to drop everything to be with her in San Francisco the year before, and I had failed to make a job materialise that would have brought her to Sydney, as she wanted.
Dispatch from the Future Fish is a visual poem that is deliberately referential, opening up conversations and foregrounding the notion of writing into certain traditions: those that are given to us and those that we choose.
An indelible part of the Brontë mythology is their symbiotic development as young artists in an isolated environment.
I was radicalised in my youth. I came back from a year in Paris in ’68-69 with my parents, and went to Monash University, a ‘radical’ campus when it was new. I was not a leader; I was still too young for that, but being radical was a trend.
Taking cues from the Call and Response, an interactive polyvocal model used in antiphonal music traditions such as gospels, hymns, and sea shanties, where audiences respond to the ‘call(s)’ of a speaker, Happy Angels Revisited pursues a modality of swaying.
‘I came to think of translating,’ you write in Nox ‘… as a room, not exactly an unknown room, where one gropes for the light switch.’ I read your words and imagine you standing in a dark room, your hand thrust forward for a handshake with Catullus’s Poem 101.