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

Tim Wright

Tim Wright

Tim Wright is a reader, scribbler, and occasional university tutor. He completed a thesis in 2015 on the poetry of Ken Bolton, Pam

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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.

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Published in August 2018, no. 403