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

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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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 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.

Published in August 2018, no. 403