Bourgeois P(l)easantry

Carefully pinched between forefinger and thumb, the girl holds and drops his shirt like a used condom. She treads over his trousers and her gummy thong to the bottom of the stairs, then tilts her head to hear better. There is nothing other than the grunts of the slut and the tosser, trying to become the glove and the hand, or the costume and the actor, or the host and it’s parasite. The girl imagines him climbing into her, scooping all of her away, and her becoming a vessel full of him.
She tries not to acknowledge the edge of fear in her mother’s pained groans.
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A Defence of Poetry – Swinging the pendulum too far?

I think we’ve all come up against someone who, when you say you write / read / study literature, smirks and kindly indicates your uselessness in society. Not many of us write an essay about it. The anecdote goes that Shelley was told by a ‘friend’ that poetry is dead, and got rather agitated – underlying tensions in the essay may relate back to this.

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Les Murray, ‘The Quality of Sprawl’

Les Murray’s ‘The Quality of Sprawl’, from The People’s Otherworld (1983), is a poem that merely works to describe the intangible concept of ‘sprawl’ Murray presents. There’s no clear definition, synonyms, concise meaning, or obvious answer; instead, it’s formed one example at a time, gradually creating a satirical and sprawling sort of definition.  Continue reading