Winter 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2000 |

The Road to Brookton: On the Nature of Memory

    On the nature of memory          For John Kerrigan   Back from England and fenland we drive into the wheatbelt— warm weather with the possibility of a storm late in the day. Or maybe it is cool, but warm when compared with where we've come from. Breaching the Hills reservoirs and quarries that feed the city, the excursion reconstructs itself: everlastings thick on roadsides broadcast ethnographies and genealogies, preparing for their seed-drop— a dried persistent thought withering and flaking like insect wings, blown into the cautiously drying crop, awaiting reconstitution. Movement plays like a home video. The crops and road-killed animals compile as data—memory a webcrawler hyperventilating references: the yield looks okay from here, that roo is still alive, gasping for its last breath on the road's gravel shoulder. There's gelatin in this Kodak film, the sky's too bright—glistens and gleams like a cibachrome print. They imported

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John Kinsella
John Kinsella's recent books of poetry include Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016), Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012) which won the Australian Prime Minister's Award for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and Sack (Picador, UK, 2014). He is an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University.

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The Way of the Red Flag

By John Kinsella

    On the nature of memory          For John Kerrigan   Back from England and fenland we drive into the wheatbelt— warm weather with the possibility of a storm late in […]

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