James Stuart

Creek Gully Dreaming

Fan-tailed, a brown cuckoo dove swoops across the highway, settling on verge.  You could it take it as a sign there’s undercurrent to asphalt, that it’s the world flowing beneath us. A vinyl-clad demountable demurs  roadside. Blurred country flips through vignettes …

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LAND Editorial

When we chose to edit an issue of Cordite Poetry Review around the theme of ‘Land’, it was with an interest in the inherent openness of the word.

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Submission to Cordite 82: LAND

LandDisturbed land. Conserved land.

Whose land? Yours, mine, the landlady’s?


Land unlocked.

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After Fu Baoshi

Something so immediate like a heart attack requires decades of preparation: the artist hovers outside the frame & in front of Prague Castle waiting for a gesture to mark the times. Above the games, further east, a bomber pilot absently …

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Review Short: James Stuart’s Anonymous Folk Songs

Anonymous Folk SongsOn the cover of James Stuart’s debut collection Anonymous Folk Songs is an image of a series of kites strung together; tethered to a darkened cityscape, they stretch away from it, curving upwards into the sky above. In any scene where the light falling upon subjects differs, the photographer must choose which part of the image to correctly expose – and therefore to highlight – the earth or sky, the kites or clouds. The photograph is Stuart’s own, and it is the sky that takes up most of the frame, that retains depth and a complexity of colour and tone. And yet the unbroken black silhouette of an urban skyline anchors the sky, just as a barely visible line of string anchors the desiring kites to ground. The same impulse that animates this image on the cover is embedded in the poems within.

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Review Short: Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land

Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of landAs I write this review, sunlight filtered through a pall of smoke casts a dull orange glow over my kitchen bench. The Blue Mountains are burning. Sydney’s haze resembles downtown Beijing’s and it’s only October. Such an apocalyptic scene – part of the ‘Australian experience’ I am assured by our Prime Minister – provides context for the world into which Outcrop and its ‘radical poetry of land’ emerges. This is not to suggest that the anthology’s outlook is primarily environmental, but that alternative ways of examining land are sorely needed.

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Asian Australian Diasporic Poets: A Commentary

This essay provides a survey of the poetry of some Asian Australian poets, and does not attempt to be definitive. Diasporic poetics raise more questions than they answer and are just as much about dis-placement as about place, just as much about a ‘poetics of uncertainty’ as about certainties of style/nation/identity.

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Fall in love. Do it now. (사랑에 빠져 버려라. 지금 당장.)

Nutritionists. Openly 9 out of 10 recommend a lifestyle & know the thick-shakes in all tastes & sizes are coming so recommend the following: (with the exception of the following because the following cause: Barbecued food Deep fried food Food …

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Sudden Rain, Tilba Tilba (갑작스런 비, 틸바 틸바*)

We no longer go out to paint, unless the object to be represented is such that it cannot be transported. – Lang Shi Ning (Giuseppe Castiglione, Qing Dynasty court painter) The fly-screen door has only just banged shut & already …

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The Fire Ants Variation

Invariably described as an ecological disaster, fire ants are the evolved antithesis of market garden poets. Recently, a lyrebird's corpse was found littered with crimson pustules in bushland adjoining a continental herb patch. The ants infiltrated this land obscured in …

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The Lyrebird Variation

What is branding? The lyrebird has created this system & preaches it like a benevolent ruler, emphasising freedom of choice, speech, expression. Its plumage is made of melody, a jingle of colour shifting through all the seasons of the bush. …

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Constant Haze (Notes From Chengdu)

Five weeks and I have still not visited Mao's statue, which stands at the heart of Chengdu's First Ring Road. On the map in one of the city's English language magazines his presence has been reduced to a vector-based outline, …

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