Today, injustice goes with a certain stride, The oppressors move in for ten thousand years. Force sounds certain: it will stay the way it is. No voice resounds except the voice of the rulers And on the markets, exploitation says…
‘Some people will tell you that none of these things happened. They’ll say they were just a dream that the three of us shared. But they did happen.’
– Heaven Eyes, David Almond
I have two vivid childhood memories of things that can’t be true. They both date from before I was four years old.
Ever shall my fame increase,
renewed by the praises of posterity.
According to Bob Dylan, ‘death is not the end’. Although the line comes from a terrible song, there’s no better summation of the age-old gamble of art – that you can survive your own death.
Forty years ago, Simone de Beauvoir wrote controversially about the ‘conspiracy of silence’ that afflicts old age. In her view, the old were ‘outcasts’, nursing homes were ‘houses of death’ and ageing a ‘disagreeable’ subject. Today, not much has changed – despite new technology, complex knowledge and a growing population base to consult, many elders are still viewed (and treated with) contempt.
‘Are you interested in being involved with a courageous project to reform every political system on earth – and through that reform move the world to a more humane state?’ Sometime in December 2006, a former Melbourne University maths student, still hanging around the common room, posted the question to the students’ society network. His rather alarming message explained that the organisers proposed to launch their campaign in two months but were being overwhelmed by a media cascade with more than 51 000 (!) page hits on Google and stories in the Washington Post and so on.
What’s the story? No, really. Here we are, eating pizza, drinking Heineken, watching The Matrix. Adam with that look on his face. That look is the reason I don’t bother to talk much any more.
I can’t drink coffee. Thomas is drinking his black, taking small swallows and then breathing out suddenly as if imbibing shots of something much stronger.
Minch didn’t want Over in his head but she rattled on. Last-Night’s eyes were closed in concentration.
It’s been too hot during the day to survey
stripping by the river’s old-
gum language we lick the ash
of brie from abysses
out, running to stand still,
Where they once ate camel grease (and before
And I said to him as he opened the front door –
Do you remember what day it is tomorrow?
you begin here: part of a distant beach
missing its home, a doll’s saucerful
We ran as fast and far as we could without stopping for rest or water.
What is the use of poetry? One of its most crucial and historically valued functions has been the revitalisation of language, the renovation, at times even the resuscitation, of the imagination’s linguistic engagement with the social and material cosmos.
When she saw Top Camp
(humpies made of corrugated iron/slabs of bark
people and dogs living together