I like the way a backyard door opens ‘parting sooty / veils of flies,’ in the first poem of Selina Tusitala Marsh’s Tightrope. Outside are Max V, Lima and Ono (‘knotted fur, nettling bones / fat eyes, fat hunger’).
I am reminded of Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth. For the work Salcedo broke a hairline crack into the floor of the Tate Gallery’s Turbine Hall. Running the sheer length of the hall, the crack broadened out to a crevasse of some feet. You walked alongside and gaped in. The floor was later repaired the cracks remain.
I interviewed him in July 2013, in Petaluma, California, as part of the Australian Research Council project ‘Understanding Creative Excellence: A Case Study in Poetry’. The interview was revisited and revised by us both in May 2014.
Unlike 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.
I was out drunk with friends one night in Perth, Western Australia. My father had just died. We were walking home, so to speak, and our path took us past the Church of Christ. At that, I launched myself at the wall of the church, found a toehold and lunged up into the air. I grasped the ‘t’ decal and with all my weight managed to prise it from the wall. The Church of Chris looked down upon us all. I continued on my way home, or rather to here, but not without the occasional somewhat gratified memory of the incident. I cannot help thinking of the sudden appearance of the Church of Chris as a sort of revelation, with something to say about the truth of something. That is what reading Finnegans Wake is like.
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 …
Paul Magee is a poet, essayist and logician. His first book, From Here to Tierra del Fuego, a work of surrealist anthropology, was published in 2000. As well as poetry and short stories, he has also published on Filipino liberation theology, the poetry of Octavio Paz, Marxist theory and psychoanalytic logic.