a quarter-life crisis outstaying its welcome seeping like cask wine through a carpet i can’t write anything honest i’m always imagining someone reading and loving/hating me you are supposed to write first and edit last but you can’t live like that always surging forward guns blazing and then sweeping up the mess of the past no you no you have to carry it with you rolling in it like a slug in a dustpan encased in grime Continue reading
Australia is a shadow, at best, immaterial, a wraith. It plays out like an in-joke; no-one is quite sure when to laugh, the heart of it known only to those who utterly believe in it. It takes material form in the exercise of power. Indeed, the nation is the fulfilment of power. But in the sepulchre where the faithful bow down is a broken mirror. Continue reading Read this Week
The colonial encounter invariably produces two kinds of responses, approval or disapproval, depending on whether we present as assimilated or whether we are refractory. This lies at the heart of colonial ambivalence towards the Other: the ‘no, yes, no’ response to the alien is restricted and binary. The migrant is expected to forget entire lives and histories left in another country; the colonised subject, the migrant subject, the refugee has been fragmented by geographies but also by historical time. Continue reading Read this week
How, despite such distinctions, to gather together? And how to imagine oneself, and one’s community, into being?
This poem —maps all manners of boundaries: not just linguistic but also domestic, cultural, and personal. Continue reading Read this week
“Asian American” is a fabrication, a blinkered prayer for something like solidarity. We have always imagined our cultural landscapes and broken diasporic supply chains and bomb-shelter ethnic enclaves into being, again and again Continue reading Read This Week
Every child of colour in Australia attempts, at some stage in their life, to assimilate. It is a cultural affliction, one tied deeply to racialised xenophobia and the widespread valorisation of white Australia. Now, when I look back at my early efforts to champion literary theory, I realise that I was always fighting a losing battle. Continue reading Read this Month
There’s an autobiography in the gaze, in the sight.
My big project is to ask, “What happens if we took language into our own hands or own mouths?” And asked an idiosyncratic question, instead of, “‘How are you?’ ‘Good, good, good.’ ‘Bye.’” The danger is that we go through our whole life talking, but never finding out who we are to one another. Continue reading Read this week