Simon Eales

The Ocean’s Tide: Parentheses in Kamau Brathwaite’s and Nathaniel Mackey’s Decolonial Poetics

Rather than rehash reasons why mathematics and poetry are closely linked fields of intellectual practice, this essay assumes their relationship is the case and focuses on one of mathematics’s and grammar’s many functional figures, the parenthesis.

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Simon Eales Reviews On Violence in the Work of J.H. Prynne

Violence and poetics are the key poles in Canadian-Australian critic and poet Matthew Hall’s new scholarly release. Hall charts how the British late-modernist poet, Prynne, responds to violent events of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries – from the Holocaust, through apartheid, Chernobyl, and Australian colonialism, to Abu Ghraib. These affective sites of violence are linguistic, too: chapter two takes its subject as the ‘the sociolinguistic war’ which takes place under ‘the strain of economic factions and the reach of the multinational resource sector’.

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The Huntsman of the Rubáiyat: J H Prynne and Peter Henry Lepus Go to Abu Ghraib

Minor cultures are not only represented by poetry written in response to state violence. With each such poetic utterance, they are maintained as agential entities. Michael Richardson, in his forthcoming book, Gestures of Testimony: Torture, Trauma, and Affect in Literature (Bloomsbury, 2016) tracks various examples of these linguistic productions, investigating in part ‘how poetry can resist power even from within almost complete subjection.’

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Simon Eales Reviews Jennifer Maiden and Stefanie Bennett

Stefanie Bennett woke up alongside Jennifer Maiden one morning, remarking, ‘An enemy is nothing to sneeze at: / Often his eau-de-Cologne’s / All embracing’ (‘Stratum’). This might be the too-cute, not-clever start to an amalgamating take on these two books from two poets with similar concerns and different styles.

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Simon Eales Reviews John Kinsella

In the first rabbit poems by the late J S Harry, her rabbit-character, Peter Henry Lepus, is thrown into a number of desolate or alien environments. Peter is ‘dumped … on the Desert of Sense’, ‘comes to … FORTY-THREE BLENDS / OF DUSTED-OFF & SUNDRIED RATIONALISM’, and ‘gets lost in “Calcutta” / on his way to visit Farmer McGruber’s vegetable patch.’ He is displaced most comprehensively in the middle of Iraq, 2003, a warzone that amplifies his naïve and interlopic perspective. Such meaning-deprived contexts let Harry explore belonging, identity, and the stability of concepts themselves. In the poem, ‘Small & Rural’, for example:

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Simon Eales Reviews A J Carruthers and Jessica L Wilkinson

In 2013, Jessica L. Wilkinson and A J Carruthers collaborated directly on The On-Going March Box (Stale Objects dePress), a poetic object collection consisting of words and alphabet arrangements printed on oddly shaped sight cards contained in an aged box. Startlingly bold affirmations like ‘HORNS’ or ‘SHORN’ or ‘S-HORN-S’ in black and white, and ‘TO THE FORE,’ quivering with seismic formatting, behave as unapologetic provocations to the reader. Their affect is confirmed by the project’s extension of craft beyond the word: to the physical object and to the website documenting their existence.

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Walking through Camberwell while the Bushfires

There is a something; orange orb; a fluro zorb blood orange’n blurry. corpuscles, violent yellow’n red like smorg, eye of smorg, smorg ablaze like a pink pink hot pink nike pink … run fast, 13-minute-lap, pink and a question: What …

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