A few pages into this collection we read the line: ‘all of it is lies’. ‘It’ signals the irritation that motivates much of Pam Brown’s writing in click here for what we do. Memory, in these poems, is a problem. Brown’s is very much a poetry of movement: she desires to stay light and mobile, not to be detained by memory (in this way she sometimes brings to mind a serious hiker, weighing the items in her pack by the gram). And yet, she cannot help but take on that extra weight of the past; her present is perforated by it. This dialectic of memory and forgetting runs through the collection. For Brown especially, there is no satisfactory point of rest or synthesis: it is not only memory’s burden that she has to contend with but also the particular ways that the memories of her own generation of sixty-eighters have been imagined and historicised.
Tim Wright reviews 'click here for what we do' by Pam Brown
click here for what we do
by Pam Brown
Vagabond Press, $24.95 pb, 147 pp, 9781922181343
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Tim Wright is a reader, scribbler, and occasional university tutor. He completed a thesis in 2015 on the poetry of Ken Bolton, Pam Brown, and Laurie Duggan. He is the author of The night’s live changes (Rabbit, 2014). His collection Suns will be published by Puncher and Wattmann in 2018.
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 email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.