David McCooey

Bathroom Abstraction

1. You once wrote the following in an essay in a book: ‘His poetry, ambivalent as a bathroom, acknowledges both the body’s pleasures and its incompetencies’. In response, a critic wrote that he only kind of knew what you meant. …

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Review Short: Judith Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems

Judith Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems begins with the eponymous poem of her debut collection, The Domesticity of Giraffes (1987), concerning a giraffe in a zoo.

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Questions of Travel

Elizabeth Bishop packs for Seattle, December 1965 Thus, liminality is frequently likened to death, to being in the womb, to invisibility, to darkness, to bisexuality, to the wilderness, and to an eclipse of the sun or moon. Victor Turner, The …

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But Why Am I Telling You this? You Are Not Even Here: Against Defining the Suburb

When I was 17 and finishing my high school exams the petrol station around the corner from our house exploded. I didn’t hear it but my twin brother did: he jingled the keys and we drove in his Subaru ute to check out the damage.

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Posing Cards

found poems i) Mom + Dad Hug Have the couple half hug with their arms crossing in the front. Tell Mom to slightly lean her head into Dad. ii) Family of 5 Standing Have Mom and Dad stand together and …

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Chloe Wilson Reviews David McCooey

At first, David McCooey’s Star Struck appears to be a collection comprising four sections, each self-contained and corralled from the others. These sections range from a series of lyric poems meditating on a ‘cardiac event’, to poems investigating light and dark, a sequence of eighteen ‘pastorals’ on pop stardom (and fandom) and, finally, two longer narrative poems.

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Paul Munden Reviews The Best Australian Poems 2016

In her introduction to this anthology, editor Sarah Holland-Batt claims for the work ‘a colloquialism, contrarianism and playfulness that separates it from its counterparts in the northern hemisphere’. Being hitherto more familiar with that northern hemisphere, this reviewer’s critical interest was immediately aroused.

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Is Contemporary Australian Poetry Contemporary Australian Poetry?

Poet, if you’re looking for your name in this essay, jump ahead a couple of pages. There I begin talking about poets collected in this anthology. Those of you interested in a review about contemporary Australian poetry, let’s begin here.

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Playing with Light and Dark: Amy Hilhorst Interviews David McCooey

I first became interested in David McCooey’s work while studying an Honours unit at the University of Western Australia, where for an assessment I responded to his essay on Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s poetry, only to learn that he too had taken the same unit some years before.

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Intensive Care (ii)

There had been an earlier waking, though, in the ICU, a time you have deeply forgotten, when you had the worst of it—the pain, the detubation, the harrowing scenes of your return to life. Your wife witnessed it, graphically laying …

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Jim Morrison’s Aubade

You grab my morning hard-on, and we are borne to the immortal motel where we will lodge a brief lifetime, sheltering from an Egyptian sun that burns down upon the illegible gravestones in the withered cemetery. The feathered Indian chants …

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Review Short: John Tranter’s Heart Starter

What is more old-fashioned than modernity? New York in the 1960s; Paris in the 1920s; Edwardian England: how entranced we are by the bygone milieu of modernity. John Tranter has long appreciated the poetic potential of the almost-new, almost-old, as seen in his poems on movies, jazz, the New York School, and so on. But as seen in his latest book, Heart Starter, his interest in such things is not merely nostalgic. Rather, his work is obsessed with remixing the magic pudding of modernity. The past, in other words, is there to be used, not revered or sentimentalised. Tranter’s poetic revisionism treats source texts and forms as transitional objects (to use Winnicott’s term) that offer open-ended play and creativity, rather than demand compliance.

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