Category: 77.3

Chris Lynch: “The Philosophy of Mangoes”

The Philosophy of Mangoes Mangoes do not fully domesticate. They are lush, a little louche; no amount of slicing or dicing can disguise their inherent wantonness. Mangoes are green only so that when the time comes they can flaunt their ripeness, sprawling shamelessly on backyard concrete like voluptuous nudists. If you’re not going to eat us, mangoes seem to say, we’re still going to make a mess. A mango, with its thick branches, dense foliage, and pendulous abundance, is a kind of nightmarish tropical grape, tempting us with Dionysian abandon, threatening us with malarial fever dreams. It is always pouring…

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Chris Lynch: “Fox Dreaming”

Fox Dreaming One morning, delivering Quest News to the suburbs, I saw a red fox Crossing the road. At least, I think So. The animal trots quick And furtive through morning Mist, leaves a memory as blurry As bunyip. I didn’t know It was to be hated. I was new here, Took it for a native, a messenger Of the wild. Later, I learned better: The fox is feral, an aristocratic Killer from the old country, best Poisoned or shot, forgotten. It Kills the small marsupials Of the land on which our cities Foundered. The fox must go home, Or…

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Rosemary Drescher: “What is the Apricot Saying”

What is the apricot saying? “What is the apricot saying? In what language?”  Yoko Tawada, from ‘The last break at a poetry festival’ Brimming over the tarmac, winding with the bends and creaking to a halt at every  traffic light the bus runs commentary on the shape of the road. Passengers talk silently to themselves, or in a language I don’t understand to each other, while the driver is using hands and feet, to which the motor replies with wheels. I’m listening to the sight of a picket fence. Between the panels my eyes can hear glimpses of a sounding…

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Kristen Lang: “The Turning”

The turning How the dawn does not end but travels ever westward, always arriving. How the dusk sails forward, and the float of midday, the stroke of midnight cannot dissolve – here, and here around the world. The woman waking, the man soothing the child who is afraid of the dark, the goatherd under the baobab, the florist in his van of flowers… And the morning, like the sun itself, stitching us all.      

Kristen Lang: “The View from Chhampi”

The view from Chhampi (Nepal) The air has been sung so many times the cicadas, skins drawn thin on their hollow drums and the thrum compounding, feel it is they who are played – the sky’s long fingers in their cellophane wings winding them into the tune. They cannot choose to be silent – without them, the hour cannot turn. They are full, now, of tremor and their song trills above me, here, in the hill-top pines that rise on this crease of crumpled land, long needles and heavy bark giving all of us shelter. Like nets made of air,…

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Jack Cameron Stanton: Of Jennifer Mills, Dyschronia

Jennifer Mills, Dyschronia Picador, 2018, 354 pp, pb $29.99 A tail-swallowing, symmetrical place, where anything can be hallucination: a review of Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills Reading this book transported me to the days when I read fiction before studying it, under tables at school, in the library, on the porch smoking cigarettes while my parents were sleeping, wondering how surreal yet possible all these fictional worlds seemed. I thought about this moment in my life while reading Dyschronia (2018) simply because devoting one’s life to learning how to write inevitably jeopardises the sense of mystery that one initially found alluring.…

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Hannah Ianniello: Of Michael Sala, The Restorer

Michael Sala, The Restorer Text, February 2017, 342pp RRP: $29.99   Since the earthquake, the whole town felt as if it were being dismantled rather than put back together – like their house, like everything – (298) Michael Sala’s The Restorer weaves together the experiences of a family attempting to restore its balance following a year of separation from Roy: the husband, father, and threatening patriarch of the household. The novel is full of doublings – layers of attempted restorations and new beginnings, patterns of relationships and the potential for repeated violence and tremors. Set in 1989 in Newcastle, the…

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Bernard Cohen: “In the Time it Takes to Finish a Sandwich, We Could Build Worlds”

You and I, my dear sister, you and I, just as we have always been: with my vision and your pragmatism, your receptiveness and my intensity, your catering and my generosity of spirit, my artistry and your critique. I have the sandwich in hand and, with it, trace out my words in the air … … and if the idea about the furniture rental system doesn’t work out – and unfortunately it’s not for the moment in my control but is in the purview of those without the expansive, entrepreneurial outlook you and I share, that is, those who follow…

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Michael Mohammed Ahmed: Excerpt from The Lebs

Excerpted from The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad, published by Hachette Australia, RRP $27.99 When Abu and X return, all six of us sit in a circle in the centre of the rehearsal studio, surrounded by the graffiti quotes on the walls. I try to forget that the quote about Muhammad is up there too, but to me it sticks out and throbs like a cold sore. Jo stands and slips her hands into her pockets. She’s put her casual voice back on, the one that makes her sound like a Black boy from Redfern, and she says, ‘So, yeah,…

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