by Michelle

Photograph Nicola Bailey

Photograph by Nicola Bailey


Mise en abîme

It’s been necessary having some time to myself; to prepare for travelling, to try and write often despairingly through distractions, overwriting, bewilderment, false beginnings. Virginia Woolf once spoke of the wildness of words being to blame, how words belong to themselves. I think my fiction manuscript is taking shape. Soon it will be time to select a cover and I have one in mind. A “Letter to John Coetzee” has been received, and accepted for The Lakeview Journal. As a #fangirl this delights me.

My “Loss”, an otter poem, has appeared in Meanjin, the last to be edited by the lovely Judith Beveridge. I’ve had another, ‘Museum of Natural History’ accepted for The Kenyon Review (It was fun to make an iPhone audio file for that.) And in the new issue of Island, I have a poem, ‘The Castle’ after a castle and Kafka’s Amalia. It might seem impressive, but this isn’t recent writing. I’m pretty sure that when these poems and the collection I’m preparing with the wonderful team at Arc are published, I would like to restore myself and renew my poetic sensibilities. I would like to have time to process the impact of technology, environmental contingencies and globalisation on the lyric.

The ghettoisation of some poetry, itself a marginalised genre, forces many of us to be reactive, defensive and that kind of noise is not a space for creative balance. Maybe I’ll take a long recess. I don’t want to repeat myself or force language into an exclusively theoretical frame.