in lieu of an intro...

truth be told, in the past i've been less than sanguine in trying to get published. usually i've been approached one way or another. it's only been in the last couple of months that i've had access to a computer/typewriter that i've seriously hit the hastings. the first time i sent stuff off, the magazine folded between the post office and delivery. i've carried that sense of doom ever since.

i'm hesitant in writing an introduction. where would it end. i can see that certain phrases might be incomprehensible to the american language. that old saying... Onebygamba is the aboriginal for carrington; meaning big island - it's small. full kick - a pocket full of cash. 'turned to knocked off' aussie seamen's slang for starting and ending a watch. jackson's my father. Dr Every (what a name) was president of australia's biggest company (B.H.P.) when it announced the closure of the steel plant. 5,000 jobs were lost. somehow i think this is all in the poem.

i wrote the poem wanting to do several things. first, slowly reveal a sense of paradoxical carrington the place (a violent island with a strong sense community); second, get a bit of myself into the poem; third, pack as much in as i know. all the rest is 'alchemy of the word' and just how i think. driving it all however is Hegel's thought that all art risks sentimentality. as carver says, something has got to be at stake.

i'm 37 left the country once to visit vietnam. never knew richard hugo. read an article about richard ford and it mentioned hugo. took me awhile but i found him. the collected poems and his two non fiction books. he was just the man i had been looking for. a way to get it all in... rilke hugo and pound ringing in my head... after it seemed i'd written myself into an abstract dead end.

John Brennen