Justin Clemens

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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Brief Treatise on Molecular Logology

I told, ah, I, de tale. Tops pun in order to span pin, a rack limned, dim nib spool spins — artist in pot, smirk, cab. But wend or walk, come home, line won, wash all, I’d well lack cack …

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Wandering through the Universal Archive

One of the sequences produced by the collaborative entity, A Constructed World, renders the phrases ‘No need to be great’ and ‘Stay in Groups’ in a range of media – silk-stitch, screen print, photography and painting. One of the painted versions of the image shows a naked woman covered in yellow post-it notes overseen by a hulking, shadowy male. These figures represent the artists Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe. The image appears again in the form of a photograph and the installation was staged in various places around the world – as if the only way to get the message across would be to subject it to constant repetition in as many different formats as possible. Indeed, a number of the collective’s performances and installations attest to the impossibility of communication – even as these take the form of images that can’t fail to deliver. Avant Spectacle A Micro Medicine Show, 2011, features skeleton-costumed performers inexpertly singing and playing instruments while six knee-high wooden letters – S, P, E, E, C and H – burn like small condemned buildings at front of stage.

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A disjoint, truncated tale of a war between war and peace, comprising diverse developments of sexual perversion and environmental military hardware, which culminates or concludes, rather more calumniatory than acclamatory, in a veritable orgy of elite tourism, boutique comestibles, property investment portfolios, and marketing sallies, all those grandiloquent techniques directed towards the incitation, inculcation, inflection and enhancement of primordial polymorphous psychophysical pleasures

No end if fits tail a swarm. Ra stops to house heat, lines rap across IP loco, torpedo, teargas. A ‘Parc de Nord’ spilled Om. Reeled inset ibis eats — flee it nude! Lite-sabre laser spots play about. Teats ahoy! …

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Enter Cordite Scholarly

Cordite Scholarly is a new section of Cordite Poetry Review devoted to peer-reviewed research on Australian and international poetry and poetics. Essays published in Cordite Scholarly are reviewed by at least two members of Cordite’s Academic Advisory Board (or see …

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The Mundiad Book V

The Argument: Having found ourselves unable to fulfill the promises pretentiously pronounced in The Argument of Book the Fourth of The Mundiad, we return once more unto the aforesaid breach of promise in order to essay its repair, an essay …

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Michael Farrell reviews 10,000 Monkeys

My apologies to the musicians: this won't be a music review. The music's purpose – from the point of view of the words, or lyrics, is serious, not ironic, though several of the tracks are happy-sounding, almost jaunty, emphasising that Clemens is enjoying himself. He's doing a fragment at least of what he wants – being a few monkeys. For the time being, we'll have to make do with anecdotes of ten thousand monkeys till Clemens works out how to be them, for that I think is his vision of freedom.

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