Brook Emery’s opening poem in Collusion is addressed to ‘Dear K’, an address reprised in the last, movingly lyrical poem in this his fourth collection. We might read the intervening poems as a correspondence with ‘K’, this other who halfway through the collection is referred to as ‘my interlocutor, my conscience’. Emery cleverly anticipates and plays with the possible relation to that other famous literary K: ‘Someone finding this will think I’m corresponding / with Franz Kafka ... / I’m not that mad ...’ Nor is he as relentlessly claustrophobic or as obsessed with mysterious judicial proceedings. Emery’s subject is ‘the thousand flickering things / the mind lights on and tries to hold’. The poet lives near the sea in Sydney, and images associated with the littoral, and the liminal, recur throughout the book: water, currents, shorelines, horizon lines, the shift from light to dark. A Romantic note is often struck, sometimes cloyingly, though his lists of sights, sounds, objects, and ideas evoke, as with the best poetic listings, more than the sum of their parts.
Brook Emery: Collusion
by Brook Emery
John Leonard Press, $24.95 pb, 58 pp, 9780980852363
Anthony Lynch lives on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, where he writes poetry, fiction, and reviews. His work has appeared in...
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.