Now they're done and away, I can say I'm hugely proud of this collection of poems. They are varied in form/structure, look good on the page and tackle varying themes/issues/topics/things such as father-son relationships, the importance of family, layers to the Australian male, divergent people, fear of indigenous peoples, dawn and how we approach the day, our obsession with Ikea, Belanglo State Forest, the Strathfield Massacre of 1991, Barcelona, apostrophe misuse, dogs, echidnas, birds, nature's spells, the minutia we overlook, Newtown parties... Most of the poems are drawn from reality. There is some embellishment.
The poem focussing on the Strathfield Massacre, is written from an objective mindset, even though I was there at the time, standing on a train platform overlooking people running from gunfire (I read later that the gunman was taking potshots at commuters standing at the train station). I didn't totally realise that there were bullets in the air, until I got to a mate's house at Wiley Park, turned on the news and found out what had happened. It was surreal, distressing. I think 8 or 9 people died that Saturday afternoon. The gunman shot himself on the roof of Strathfield Plaza. For this poem, I could've gone into personal experience, recounting my reactions to the day, but I found it more interesting to write the poem in a more detached style, where questions about (and stemming from) the Massacre are proposed and left dangling in the ether for the responder to consider.
Anyway, my fingers are crossed. I've wanted a little collection of my work out for a long time. I'm sure the competition will be leopard-in-a-trap fierce. Regardless, I'll give the other poets a run for their money.
LJ, February 28 2012