Les Wicks

Taking Liberties

Another heatwave, the plumber pauses for prayer then (like us all) back to roots & excrement. Three canny Buddhists next door wave their golden cat, as if it was astronomy. Deities should never be an inconvenience, the bell-ringers & muezzins …

Posted in 83: MATHEMATICS | Tagged

Review Short: Les Wicks’s Getting By Not Fitting In

Is Les Wicks afraid of love? Yes, Les Wicks is afraid of love. I start this review with a swift homage to Charles Simic (1975) because of the feelings, affects and question marks I was left with after first reading Les Wicks’s Getting By Not Fitting In (2016).

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A nonexistent element. The theory of phlogiston was devised as an explanation as to why some things burned. Materials which had lots of phlogiston were supposed to burn well, releasing the element during combustion. Disproved with the discovery of oxygen. …

Posted in 77: EXPLODE | Tagged


The 75 year old ladies’ man is all cut up in the hospital bed beside mine. He loves his dog, brags he once slept with a woman & her 30-year-old daughter at the same time… some kind of summit for …

Posted in 70: UMAMI | Tagged

The Redactions

2014 intercepted electronic communications, DOD… aphorism identified as a threat to national security. The aphorism envies the novel, the novel, of course, envies the haiku and the haiku envies the brief life of the leaf. – Gen PJ Burke, U.S. …

Posted in 63: COLLABORATION | Tagged ,

Notes from Medellín, Colombia

Since it began 23 years ago, the Internacional de Poesía de Medellín has grown to become a major poetry festival in the world, in a country riven by 50 years of civil war. This year’s Festival (6-13 July) coincided with a new round of peace talks in Havana between the Colombian Government and FARC, and FARC rebels reportedly fighting security forces in the mountains. The Festival featured Australian poet Les Wicks, who reports on his experience below. The Festival has also ‘grown’ up alongside seismic changes for the city of Medellín, Colombian’s second-largest and once described as the ‘most violent city in the world’ (Time, 1988), due to its brutal cocaine drug-cartel culture.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged ,

Review Short: Terry Jaensch’s Shark

You stare into the water, starkly aware of the ambiguous shadows there. So many of us are anglers in the Australian poetry scene; looking for something new, something fresh. Having landed this fish on my desk I will confess to a certain hesitancy to come too close. It’s not a large shark, some 60 odd pages generously spaced. There is more than a little empathy for this distressed, vibrant life. But I’m careful of the teeth.

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The Code

In untidy light criminals bud on manky branches Singapore, London. Ayn Rand’s underpants smoulder as the stolid farm workers are buried with their wills. Healing via austerity, Orchard Rd (bypass pity). Five tattoos. Those summer clothes pass this merry chaos …

Posted in 56: NO THEME II | Tagged

Falling Angels: A Chapbook Curated by Anna Couani

In curating this collection, I asked the writers to provide pieces that are short, edgy, and I’m happy that they have fulfilled that very loose brief. The disrupted texts they’ve produced – whilst having interesting formal qualities – also have poignant emotive qualities. The term I use for what others refer to as prose-poetry is experimental prose because I find that term broader and more inclusive. I asked several visual artists to suggest works that I could take or requested particular works I had already seen.

Posted in CHAPBOOKS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

5th Intergenerational Report – Betterment All Round

Got the job zombie, corporal us seniors are the new forever we shuffle through the operating rooms, parliaments our breathmints snipple in the hungry dawn our eating, the fibre, those mellow sauces dance dangerously close to the chilli snuggle down …

Posted in FALLING ANGELS | Tagged

Matthew Hall Reviews Les Wicks

In Les Wicks' The Ambrosiacs visual and tonal senses, shown through a series of relentless escapes and endscapes, create a striking depiction of the poet's perceptions and observations. The fundamental basis of Wicks' collection, and the manner in which the reader is encouraged to approach them, is as an elegy: a series of memories and dedications aiming for the preservation of the instant, even if the instants are acknowledged as fleeting.

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Observe the crescent curve of his back – cockroaches are the hieroglyphs. When our eyes touch, is it night or is it day? Stitching sinners into dishonest possessions Crazy dumsaint and Barthes' kleenex box intricately constant as they eject cometary …

Posted in 36: MADE | Tagged


We write beneath the noise of men in our choice of cell. Wrath and keyboards perpetuity and fashions of cruelty. Lies are by nature brittle (I hope this thing) written on your lips. white paint is medicine. Welfare on wheels …

Posted in 35: CUSTOM | Tagged


1. BIRTHDAY DAY Pollock lipstick vagabond slippers, the snug imprisonment of tracksuits smeared with 11:30 soft-diet lunch. Begin to hope the progress behind pharmacological ramparts. The real medicine is touch all other expertise unnecessary. I am now a fixture here …

Posted in 25: COMMON WEALTH | Tagged


An almost accidental smear of yellow beside the strident gold of our more important streets, almost like a break in colour lines, the street directory derailed. Between Port Botany and the Gateway to Australia pedestrians are by definition suspicious no …

Posted in 25: COMMON WEALTH | Tagged

Frank Malley: Cheese Roll & Living

FRANK MALLEY was born suffering from an affliction of money. He was a self-made major figure in the Australian literary scene mainly through self-publishing. His self-written obituary describes him as working selflessly for the common man.

Posted in 24: CHILDREN OF MALLEY | Tagged

Rob Walker Reviews Les Wicks

Iconic Japanese film-maker Akira Kurosawa (director of The Seven Samurai (1954), remade by Hollywood as The Magnificent Seven; and Yojimbo (1961), remade (or is that ripped off?) as A Fistful of Dollars) is frequently feted as an artist who elevates the common man to hero status in his phenomenal catalogue of work. Reading the work in Stories of the feet made me wonder if Les Wicks is an Australian poetic equivalent of Kurosawa.

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Set Free

Les Wicks' latest collection is Appetities of Light (PressPress, 2002)

Posted in 12: TEST MATCH | Tagged

Give It a Try

Les Wicks' most recent collection is Appetites of Light (PressPress, 2002)

Posted in 12: TEST MATCH | Tagged