Facing the first poem in Graeme Kinross-Smith’s new book Available Light is a quote from Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead (2002): ‘The mere act of writing splits the self in two.’ When you write, not only are you a writer, but you are your own first and very present reader. Suddenly, all alone at your desk, you have company. The first section of Kinross-Smith’s book focuses not so much on the act of writing as on the split self. In poems such as ‘In my wheat-bag hood’, ‘Commas’, ‘if I be not I …’ he observes possible past selves and his future. ‘Commas’ uses the metaphor of a man skimming stones across a pool:
Diving with sharks
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Mike Ladd lives and writes in Adelaide. He produces Poetica each week on ABC Radio National. His most recent book is Karrawirra Parri: Walking the Torrens from Source to Sea (Wakefield Press, 2012).
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