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 …

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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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Phlogiston

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. …

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Ward

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 …

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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. …

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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.

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Review Short: Terry Jaensch’s Shark

SharkYou 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 …

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Falling Angels: A Chapbook Curated by Anna Couani

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.

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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 …

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Matthew Hall reviews Les Wicks

The Ambrosiacs by Les Wicks
Island Press, 2009

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. The elegiac is not only the thematic directive, but plays out an effect of the visual, referenced from the first glance at the obscured palm trees packed densely on the book's cover. The ambiguity produced by the image on the cover references a loss to see clearly, and elides the demarcations between the trees and the sere, as the temporal space between them vanishes into the depths.

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WOMEN RISE ABOVE THE NOISE OF MEN

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 …

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