(Steller)

Poems for Summer

(Journal)
Published – 05.01.2020
(Writing)

Manifesto of the Lyric Selfie by Becca Klaver

Our “I”s.
They are multiple.
We shuffle them
often as we like.
They can tag us.
We can untag ourselves.
We’ve got our
to-be-looked-at-ness
oh we have
got it.
We peer and cross.
Go lazy.
We’re all girly.
We’re pretty selfie.
We write our poems.
We write our manifestos.
While sitting in the photo booth.
While skipping down the street.
We think: if only my camera
could see me now.
There is a tranquil lyric
but we recollect emotion
with the speed of the feed.
We pose to show
the spontaneous overflow
of powerful feelings.
There are no more countrysides.
There are no more churchyards.
We smudge our vistas.
We flip the cam around.
What is burning in our little hearts?
Hashtags of interiority
licking like flames.
We had been reflective.
We have been reflected.

My Life in Brutalist Architecture #1 by John Gallaher

My neighbor to the left had a stroke a couple years ago. It didn’t look
like he was going to make it, and then he made it. I’m watching him
now from my window as he makes his slow way across his yard
with some tree branches that fell in last night’s storm. Three steps.
Wait. Three steps. It’s a hard slog. Watching, I want to pitch in.
And we do, at such times, wanting to help. But on the other hand,
it’s good to be as physical as possible in recovery. Maybe this is part
of his rehab. Maybe this is doctor’s orders: DO YARDWORK.
And here comes his wife across the yard anyway, to give a hand
with a large branch. She’s able to quickly overtake him, and she folds
into the process smoothly, no words between them that I can make out.
It’s another part of what makes us human, weighing the theory of mind,
watching each other struggle or perform, anticipating each other’s
thoughts, as the abject hovers uncannily in the background, threatening
to break through the fragile borders of the self. “What’s it like to be
a bat?” we ask. The bats don’t respond. How usually, our lives
unfold at the periphery of catastrophes happening to others. I’m
reading, while my neighbor struggles, that the squirrel population
in New England is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. A recent
abundance of acorns is the reason for this surge in squirrel populations,
most particularly in New Hampshire. They’re everywhere, being
squirrely, squirreling acorns away. We call it “Squirrelnado” because
it’s all around us, circling, and dangerous, and kind of funny. Language
springs from the land, and through our imagination we become
human. They’re back in the house now. We name the things we see,
or they name themselves into our experience, whichever, and then
we use those names for things we don’t understand, what we can’t
express. Wind becomes spirit becomes ghost. Mountain becomes
god. The land springs up before us. It shakes us and pushes us over.

Will You? by Carrie Fountain

When, at the end, the children wanted
to add glitter to their valentines, I said no.
I said nope, no, no glitter, and then,
when they started to fuss, I found myself
saying something my brother’s football coach
used to bark from the sidelines when one
of his players showed signs of being
human: oh come on now, suck it up.
That’s what I said to my children.
Suck what up? my daughter asked,
and, because she is so young, I told her
I didn’t know and never mind, and she took
that for an answer. My children are so young
when I turn off the radio as the news turns
to counting the dead or naming the act,
they aren’t even suspicious. My children
are so young they cannot imagine a world
like the one they live in. Their God is still
a real God, a whole God, a God made wholly
of actions. And I think they think I work
for that God. And I know they will someday soon
see everything and they will know about
everything and they will no longer take
never mind for an answer. The valentines
would’ve been better with glitter, and my son
hurt himself on an envelope, and then, much
later, when we were eating dinner, my daughter
realized she’d forgotten one of the three
Henrys in her class. How can there be three Henrys
in one class? I said, and she said, Because there are.
And so, before bed we took everything out
again—paper and pens and stamps and scissors—
and she sat at the table with her freshly washed hair
parted smartly down the middle and wrote
WILL YOU BE MINE, HENRY T.? and she did it
so carefully, I could hardly stand to watch.

Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Perhaps the World Ends Here by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Good Bones by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

(Articles)
Recent Reviews: August/September,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 07.09.2022

(Journal)

Air Mail’s 66 Questions
Published – 07.09.2022

(Journal)

Recent Reviews: June/July,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 15.07.2022

(Journal)

On Kunstkamer
Published – 16.06.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

An Update
Published – 09.06.2022

(Journal)

Recent Reviews: April/May,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 23.05.2022

(Journal)

I Vespri Siciliani,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

Verdi & Prokofiev,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

A Collection
Published – 23.03.2022

(Journal)

Crying at Night
Published – 27.08.2021

(Journal)

Jam Tomorrow
Published – 18.07.2021

(Journal)

Rumaan Alam’s Current Enthusiasms
Published – 18.06.2021

(Journal)

A Musician’s Day
Published – 23.05.2021

(Journal)

Creating the Dream Team,
Musica Viva

Published – 20.05.2021

(Interviews)

There are Fairies,
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Published – 26.04.2021

(Articles & Program Notes)

Konstantin Shamray,
Musica Viva

Published – 14.04.2021

(Interviews)

The Meaning of Alleluja,
Bach Akademie Australia

Published – 26.03.2021

(Articles & Program Notes)

Doing The Work
Published – 07.03.2021

(Journal)

Diana Doherty and Emma Jardine,
Musica Viva

Published – 20.02.2021

(Interviews)

Welcoming the New Year
Published – 07.01.2021

(Journal)

On hard times, for my friends.
Published – 10.08.2020

(Journal)

Luisa Miller,
Intermusica

Published – 22.07.2020

(Interviews)

Singing Violetta,
Intermusica

Published – 22.07.2020

(Interviews)

On Wondering
Published – 29.04.2020

(Journal)

A Couple Quick Things
Published – 05.04.2020

(Journal)

Staying Hopeful
Published – 24.03.2020

(Journal)

Hard Time Reminders
Published – 16.03.2020

(Journal)

Noted, Recently
Published – 05.03.2020

(Journal)

Through Winter, To Spring
Published – 04.03.2020

(Journal)

Poems for Summer
Published – 05.01.2020

(Journal)

Nevermind Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Seraphim Trio Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Stalin’s Piano Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Horsely & Williams Duo Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Lina Andonovska Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Brian Cox & MSO,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Arcadia Winds Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Nevermind Pre-Concert Talk,
Musica Viva

Published – 22.10.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Nicole Car in Recital,
Melbourne Recital Centre

Published – 09.08.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 03.07.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Verdi’s Requiem,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Requiem Blog,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 20.03.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

New Year, New Words
Published – 20.01.2019

(Journal)

How To Be Perfect
Published – 06.01.2019

(Journal)

The Year, Gone
Published – 30.12.2018

(Journal)

Relationship to Work
Published – 03.12.2018

(Journal)

French Classics,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 28.11.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Everything is Waiting
Published – 15.11.2018

(Journal)

In September, Things That Are New
Published – 29.09.2018

(Journal)

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Published – 03.09.2018

(Journal)

New Music,
Darmstädter Ferienkurse

Published – 12.08.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Notes on Love
Published – 06.07.2018

(Journal)

Remember This Feeling
Published – 05.06.2018

(Journal)

Words in Mind
Published – 18.05.2018

(Journal)

Away From Home
Published – 16.05.2018

(Journal)

The Blank Page
Published – 14.05.2018

(Journal)

On Music and Friendship,
Orchestra Victoria

Published – 03.05.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Musical Directions
Published – 24.12.2017

(Journal)

Learning to Sing,
Rehearsal Magazine

Published – 17.12.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Behind-the-scenes of The Merry Widow,
Senza Sord

Published – 03.12.2017

(Interviews)

Musical Quirks,
Musica Viva

Published – 06.10.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Beauty and Tragedy,
Orchestra Victoria

Published – 24.07.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Eighth Blackbird,
The Music

Published – 23.02.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Schubert’s Swan Song
Published – 23.09.2016

(Articles & Program Notes)

Songmakers Australia,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 12.04.2016

(Interviews)

On Women in Music,
Ensemble Goldentree

Published – 05.03.2016

(Articles & Program Notes)

Grandma’s Hands,
Hundreds and Thousands

Published – 29.11.2014

(Articles & Program Notes)