Happy news this week! I have a few publications to talk about — and add to my nifty new Publications page, the existence of which wasn’t warranted until recently — starting with my electronic poem, ‘Definitions’, over at Overland Journal. I wrote this poem several months ago and honestly had forgotten it was out in the ether until I received the acceptance notice a few days ago. It’s a digital poem which, through Telescopic Text, invites you to explore the definition of love.
I wrote it in Canberra, while visiting a poet-friend to collaborate on a project, knowing from the outset that I had no idea what ‘love’ actually means, only that I had a multitude of ideas of what it could be. In thinking about it again today, I remembered what it was that drew me to using Telescopic Text in the first place — the idea that at any one definition, you can stop. You can end the poem when and where you choose to, you can say, ‘this is my love’, even knowing another definition may lie around the corner…or not. The same way you can and do decide on relationships, that this one is the one, even if another might be lying around the corner should you only have the courage to look…
When do you stop? When do you know? When, if ever, does love kill curiousity? Obviously, the stakes are removed when the question can be answered by the click of a button and not the destruction of a relationship, the dismissal of a love loved in full or even in part, but that is the effect I was trying to simulate, the question I was poking at. I’m happy to say the poem has a new lease on life and excellent home in Overland, among a great and eclectic company in this second Electronic Issue.
I also have a poem in publisher If:Book Australia’s recent book ‘Lost in Track Changes’, another project with digital origins, in which writers and artists were invited to remix each other’s words into new prompts, new stories, poems, art, in an effort to track the evolution of creativity. You can read more about the project here.
Lastly, but in no way least, my flash fiction piece, ‘The Horns of Christmas’, has been published by Tiny Owl Workshop in their Krampus Cracker project, wherein writers were invited to submit their take on the Krampus mythos and the winning submissions were paired with great illustrators. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get my hands on the final product and if you’re lucky enough to be in Brisbane, you can do so now!
I hope you’ll forgive the ramble spruiking my small successes — as a writer and poet both, they’re just too rare not to celebrate. Hell, even this week as I hold up these three wins, I had to deal with three rejections which all came on the same day. That’s the nature of this particular path I’ve put myself on: constant hardship, with some lucky reprieves along the way. That’s what these are – just reprieves – small moments when I can take a full breath and remind myself I’m not totally insane for committing myself wholly to a fiscally unviable career. I say that like there was much of a choice. Of course, there wasn’t.
In any case, I can move on now to talking about things written by other people. Firstly, I want to take a moment to mention the book I’m reading: H Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald is an absolutely gorgeous book. I don’t usually read non-fiction, but this book is something else entirely. The writing is sentence-by-sentence stunning. It is never not good, and almost always excellent. This book blends memoir, biography, and nature writing in a way I’ve never quite seen before, but even if I had, I’m sure it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as this poetic take on a woman’s grief. It is far and away the best book I’ve read this year, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Lastly, because this is a day I usually reserve for poetry or stories discoverable online, there is this important poetic take on the recent CIA torture report, Redaction by Brian Turner, an Iraq combat vet turned poet. Composed entirely with words taken from the report itself, it’s a small but potent cut through all the noise and headlines surrounding this report, and well worth reading. I’d be lying if I didn’t also say it’s just nice to see a poem take centre stage alongside the usual slew of think-pieces.
Here’s hoping your week has gone as well, if not better, than mine.