Residence: Dwelling with The Shards (an essay)

By and | 16 August 2019


‘We house the dead before we housed ourselves’: This phrase comes from Robert Pogue Harrison’s Dominion of the Dead, where he writes “they living housed the dead before they housed themselves’, noting that ‘to inhabit the world humanly one must be a creature of legacy’ (39). Likewise he makes the link between ‘humus’ and ‘humanitas’.

‘since the ruminants packed down the soil’: Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is a touchstone for all of my considerations of how European settlement affected the Australian land.

Break a vase/ and the love that reassembles the fragments…: This phrase is taken from Derek Walcott’s Nobel Prize address. The full quote is ‘Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than the love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole’.

‘Extraction is the only logic’: in considering ‘extractive logic’ I owe thanks to Kate Wright, who, in general discussion, used the phrase the ‘extractivist, imperial logic’ of colonialism at the ASLEC-ANZ conference ‘Grounding Story’ in February 2019.

‘The graves the poet dug’: The poet-gravedigger was Robert Harris.

‘string: too short to use’: I have heard multiple accounts of this label, primarily used by friends’ great grandparents who had lived through the depression. This phrasing comes via a friend. The poet Donald Hall used the phrase ‘String too short to be saved’ as the title of a collection of essays.

‘the rag-and-bottle merchant’: this refers to the figure of Krook in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House.

‘The artist/ who proclaims her medium/ context’ is Jenny Odell.

‘Garbage is spiritual’: is a phrase from A R Ammons’s poem Garbage.

‘Take only photographs’ is the second half of a phrase used in US National Parks: ‘leave only footprints, take only photographs’.

‘Someone used the word/ abandonarium’: this word is from Lucie Brock-Broido’s Stay, Illusion.

‘I read about US landfill laws’ in Heather Rogers’s Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage.

‘An artist/ found decrepit baseballs’: the artist is the American photographer Don Hamerman.

This entry was posted in ESSAYS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.