Justin Clemens



MATHEMATICS Editorial

MathematicsI was already quite a few years into a creative writing PhD titled ‘Generic Engineering’ and flailing around quite spectacularly in a galaxy of words when an academic friend, perhaps hoping to spare me the indignity of a completed thesis and potential employment, flipped to the middle of the 526-page book he was reading and wordlessly pointed to a single sentence. ‘Due to a predilection whose origin I will leave it up to the reader to determine,’ he read, ‘I will choose the symbol ♀ for this inscription.’

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The Idea Takes Place As Place Itself, Expanded and Revised Edition with a New Foreword by the Author

“From where did topos theory come?” that is the question. Usually God Alone poses rhetorical questions that answer themselves unlike logic. Also: self-answer, self-slaughter. It came from an unblessed contingent confluence of algebraic geometry and category theory given further decisive …

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Review Short: Writing to the Wire, Dan Disney and Kit Kelen, eds.

Hannah Arendt clearly noted it: a dog with a name-tag has a better chance of surviving than an anonymous dog. She also noted that the alleged protections offered by legal and moral rights – human or otherwise – would only be made available to those who did not need them. The right to have rights would be stripped from the rest; they would be consigned to the worst.

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Cordite Book Launch: Loney, Gibson, Hawke, Harkin

Collected Works Bookstore, Wednesday 6 May, 2015 I will begin with a bit of spontaneous resentful metaphysics. I am sorry to do so, for a number of reasons, but there we are. If it can be justified at all, it …

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Against Colony Collapse Disorder; or, Settler Mess in the Cells of Contemporary Australian Poetry

Colony collapse disorder describes a phenomenon whereby worker bees suddenly and inexplicably disappear from a hive. It has recently been identified as a syndrome following the rapid vanishing of Western honeybee colonies across North America and Europe. Justin Clemens also uses the term to describe an aesthetic collapse, whereby poets can only demonstrate their existence as ‘being caught dead’ given the fragile conditions of poetry and the inevitable, deadly effects of the past.

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madam, i’m adam: noah’s nose knows no gnosis: physis machine: …

madam, i’m adam: noah’s nose knows no gnosis: physis machine: i, cassandra: romano umano: ++: (black out): ares & aphrodite: renaissance: cc: evo-revo: wah wah wah: clones, drones, loans & moans: the drowned world Trace nit up yap at start, …

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Justin Clemens Reviews Poetry and the Trace

Poetry and the TraceSometimes irritating, often informative, occasionally incisive and sporadically genuinely interrogatory, the thoughtfulness evinced by (many of) the writings collected in Poetry and the Trace triggers further chains of association and dissociation. This is a genuinely critical collection in various senses of that word: at once analytic, hortatory, and urgent.

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Review Short: Paul Magee’s Stone Postcard

Stone PostcardUnlike the recent Australian governmental fervour for signs of title (British, monarchist, hierarchical) and their accompanying anathemas contra entitlement (Australian, social democratic, welfarist), poetry titles struggle with self-authorization and singularisation.

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me n me trumpet set the controls

me n me trumpt have unccontably misplacd our new grindr so we take to the streets clutchin our big bouncy baglettes of beans we bought in bulk from a boutique boutique in brunswick extracted from the rectum of a nut-mental …

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Mathew Abbott Reviews Justin Clemens

MundiadWhat was mock epic? I use the past tense because the genre is thought to have died in the nineteenth century. According to a recent study by Professor Ritchie Robertson, a Queen’s College fellow and Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at Oxford University, mock epic died because epic lost its authoritative status: it was only possible to write a real mock epic in a time ‘when serious epics were being written and read in large numbers, manag[ing] to attain a position of cultural authority remotely comparable to that of Homer, Virgil, or Milton.’ Mock epic needed something prestigious to mock; when the epic lost its prestige mock epic lost its reason for being.

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Justin Clemens Reviews Pam Brown

Home by DarkWhat does it mean to be ‘Home by Dark’? Is it a parental instruction to a potentially wayward child? Is it an expression of relief after a day of threat and uncertainty? Is it a navigational expression, a crepuscular refiguration of ‘North by North-West’? Is it a simple description of an accomplished movement, or another possibility altogether? To open this book is not to find such questions answered; it is rather to move and be moved with and by somebody who, as the epigraph from Kevin Davies has it, is prepared to ‘just keep staring into that English-language night sky.’

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Justin Clemens Reviews Pam Brown and Ken Bolton

Brown and BoltonIf there is one true love in the history of Australian verse, it’s perhaps the love of Pam Brown and Ken Bolton. As you should expect, it’s not a normal kind of love at all – or maybe it’s the only normal love, depending on how you’re predisposed to taking the word or the thing (‘normal,’ I mean), and depending whether you think you can tell the difference between the two (‘word’ and ‘thing,’ I mean).

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