Geoff Page

Flags

January 26

The honours list has been announced,
recipients are ‘humbled’.
Three jet fighters, adolescent,

fly past proving nothing.
Fireworks later on are promised.
None of this requires

my serious attention.
How many million barbecues?
Our tall ships and our

sixty thousand years
attempt a sort of ba ...

Judgement

If all we’re told is right
how wearisome He’ll find it;
all those fine gradations,

those mitigating factors.
Psychopaths are easy
but who are we to say?

The virtuous are harder,
their sin of subtle pride,
their svelte self-satisfaction.

The normal are the worst,
one day a fine donation,
next day a little nip ...

The Notebooks

Thirty years of dreams are stored
in notebooks, written down on waking.

Her daughter’s kept them all,
imagining her mother moves

among those shimmering and scribbled
layers on a bedside table.

Those narratives live on, she’s sure,
in all their raw hallucinations,

their sudden runs of ecstasy,
their weird humili ...

Geoff Page has published twenty-two collections of poetry, as well as two novels and five verse novels. His recent books include ...

... (read more)

A small town in the 1940s. We're paused here, slightly sweating, on a route march from the future. The houses are all wearing down, decrepit from a failed decade, and yet their window glass is polished. I recognise each house in detail, can almost name the families, but know too what the years have wrought. This one, that one. Weatherboard or brick or fibro, torn do ...

Babel Fish by Jillian Pattinson

by
November 2015, no. 376

Halfway through her first full-length collection, Babel Fish, Jillian Pattinson quotes Borges's famous argument: 'Myth is at the beginning of literature, and also at its end.' Her whole book does its best to embody this idea.

As its title 'Waterline' implies, the first group of poems here is loosely unified by water references, from the semi-scienti ...

Kevin Hart was born in London in 1954, grew up in Brisbane, and worked in Melbourne before moving to the United States, where he still teaches (currently at the University of Virginia). Although he has won extravagant praise from Americans such as Charles Simić and Harold Bloom, he remains, to Australian readers, ...

Writers who move in mid-career from one literary genre to another often encounter resistance. Some turfs are well guarded. They can also misapprehend the new form they are planning to join. John Upton, who for almost thirty years has been a successful playwright and screenwriter, has made the difficult move seamlessly in this first collection of poems.

...

Seeing people who remind you
just a little of the dead
is always mildly disconcerting –

something in the face, the gait,
the shoulders from behind,
those likenesses that don’t surprise

...

Evan Jones’s Selected Poems is more than timely: its author was born in 1931. In an introduction (or ‘Personal Appreciation’), fellow Melbourne poet Alex Skovroncomplains that ‘Evan’s work has not always received the attention it deserves, especially in recent years’. It is worth pausing a moment to consider why this should be so.

Jones is ...

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