Raven Malley’s Statement

26 November 2005
It's all incomplete. The seasons win that battle, but these poems, published for the first time here, are the wild surprise of women, of Malley girls. The Malley man was true as he was taken, still is. He is our furious empty protagonist. And Ethel is our compleat Croydon lyricist!

Don't believe what you're told. The woman forced to take the fall is not the woman who wrote these words below. I have returned her to him and to you.

Ethel lived and fought for the words taken from her by shysters and flim-flammers when uncle Ern died and her servitude was shattered. No longer need Ethel hide behind the suburban myth. So much depends on kitchen tables and desperate midnights, when children look over the shoulders of the moon. I can see her still, my mother the loyal sister crying over the paper and secretly pulling words through the screen door of life, remembering how Ern lay sick and weary in the back room beyond. So often she would cry out: O Vegemite! O crapola!

The Malley poems resolved to give us a new literature and these brief psalms of where and how that rising future would happen are more than formal spasms or gustatory flushes. They live on, making no distinction between akam and puram but instead stride forward into their own transmigratory pact with the new, giving rhythm to their action. They are multitudes.

My mother is now flown. I still sing, not worrying about interpretative gaps. The half-eaten pizza of theory is now less cogent than its sodden crust. I present myself as ongoing research, a new bird of transgression, getting the bite back on reality, not as an echo, or a sign but unknown to unknown, the surprise of existence.

These are our wilder Hebrides. Now is the hour of the novachord!

Raven Malley is the daughter of Ethel Malley. She lived for most of the 1970s in a commune on the North Coast, Woomynlaynd, but after finally learning how to spell she moved back to Croydon and has devoted herself to re-inventing the lost works of her mother, who she believes was wrongly characterised as a suburban philistine due to a forged letter. Raven is writing a potentially explosive expose of the true Malley behind the ectoplasm, which asks “who really wrote Ern's poems?”.

As reported on Cordite News Explosion, we are humbled and disappointed to announce that this statement was in fact written by Jill Jones.

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About Jill Jones

Jill Jones was born in Sydney and has lived in Adelaide since 2008. Her latest book is Acrobat Music: New and Selected Poems, published in 2023. Other recent books include Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, A History Of What I’ll Become, shortlisted for the 2021 Kenneth Slessor Award and the 2022 John Bray Award, and Viva the Real, shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work is widely published in Australia and internationally and has been translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, French, Italian, Czech, Macedonian and Spanish. She currently writes and teaches freelance, and previously has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.

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