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Topic: writing
On drawing David Malouf

On drawing David Malouf

Insomnia, writing a blog post, ABR philantropy, and making a picture with a lens, and then a pencil. . How to write a blog post I had an itch to write a post that would tie a knot in the thread connecting Thick of It, Modern Family, MasterChef, Jason Akermanis and ex-Minister David Campbell. But […]

David Foster Wallace’s all-over-the-paginalia (+ Mulcher break)

David Foster Wallace’s all-over-the-paginalia (+ Mulcher break)

+++ Away note: The Mulcher is away for a week, unplugged, off grid and off piste, up in the bright tropics, beneath umbrella clouds and the burning sun. Back Friday 21 May. Aloha la vista. +++ The late David Foster Wallace used to scrawl in (annotate) his books. We know because his library and papers […]

Peter Porter and the Tub of Poetry (II)

Peter Porter and the Tub of Poetry (II)

. I.M. Peter Porter 1929 – 2010 . I was flicking through Porter’s Afterburner (2004), his penultimate collection of poetry, and on the back page I came across this sketch above – he had read from the book at the State Library. (He had aged since I last drew him in 1990, blockier somehow, and […]

Peter Porter and the Trap of Words (I)

Peter Porter and the Trap of Words (I)

. I.M. Peter Porter 1929 – 2010 . Poetry is the art of constructing a trap of words – when tripped by its prey, a curious human, it triggers a rush of thought and feeling. Peter Porter was a master trapmaker. It was as a witless youth in the ’80s that I stumbled upon one […]

Gum leaves sickling… (a list for John)

Gum leaves sickling… (a list for John)

A list for John Gum leaves sickling to the ground, dry as piles of paper. The clock at Greenwich strikes. The mobile phone is chirruping. A picture file is opening. Silver aircraft – the stillness inside a journey. Between the covers, black swans on the wing. A long Guinness. Whites on the green. Numbers glowing, […]

Les Murray’s tongue

Les Murray’s tongue

. Apparently someone said Isn’t he right wing? when Les Murray’s name was mentioned. Oforgoodnesssakes! His politics are that of a Country Party (defunct) small c conservative mystic. Les Murray is a great poet. His poetry transcends all the rah rah boo hah of partisan reading. Last night Murray read some poems from his new […]

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Better to have hearted and lost, than never to have hearted

Inserting heart into the chill of a Venn diagram: mathematical, bureaucratic Venn becomes a Zen perception; lap dances slide into overlap chances; two bright notes coalesce into one dark tone. I heart this graphic. It’s by the designer Aaron Krauss from a little corner of his website. +++ Here is a musical co-relative, Everytime We […]

Brief lessons in history from the man in the wheelchair, Tony Judt

Brief lessons in history from the man in the wheelchair, Tony Judt

I have every intention of filling the vast empty spaces of my brain with useful stuff, like practical recipes and plant names. And pre-19th century music. And history. Esp history. But there is something about History as a subject that prompts the term ‘eye-glazing.’ Blame the teachers, of course. (As a writer remarked, she avoided […]

Your direct personal fate

Your direct personal fate

Something for the last week of Lent: ___ ‘This world as you experience it is your direct personal fate.’ ___ The Dean’s December, Saul Bellow

Wordwatch: gay, or ssam and ssaf?

Wordwatch: gay, or ssam and ssaf?

Terms of engagement: ssam & ssaf: On a youth radio station the other day a woman being interviewed explained how her department did surveys among young folk about sexuality and homophobia – they never use the word “gay.” She didn’t say why but the clear implication was that it was too loaded. What they use […]