Adam Aitken, In One House

Angus & Robertson/ Paperbark

& it's all on

Pressr 1996

ISBN

fixes
imagination's artifice
to art
what bob
as adam

reading a set of poems
is easier & usually

more pleasurable
than talking about one,
for instance,
about how,
adam, in his book, shifts
between realms of identity, between
the record
itinerant childhood-

&,

as an

-an
adult,
a reconstitution

the poet's

first

naming the influence,
reminds me more of dawe
breaking away

from his mentor, forbes,
(this poetry's less eccentric)
into, for example,
a

mission, declared

tv airport

findly

eco

-

tiger charms.
"Sailing to Byzantium'

Strangers to each
To a layer cake

other-Jrom

offn

de

a hJe oJ action

necle, a comtpted game

this dark-ish humour
doesn't joke

big-

everywhere
oasian'

in Bondi

exotica-

on highwaysfu dying on; they'il live again

Byzantium: east meets west in search oJJame

history-

gone
lands

who sold theJarms,

chicken

&

kind of analpical
umberto-

playd

as dashboard

tourisms-

africa leichardt gilligan's island
cambodia burma uluru thailand
enmore saigon surry hills,
from bruce lee to barthes,
james bond, & mr & mrs

rcjurlxboy,

gavebinh

who

the first poem's tide:2ost-colonial".
via various

rhyming formalismin
'Indochine'

She

(mission impossible?)

&

adamson's blurb calls
john forbes''trip technique,"

off,

in a quote
from "Arts and Lies",
is to recover
past, home Ey place.

a

writing-

the

O2O7 189943, $17.95

SBS

("the woild is an a-ma-zing ploce")

monkeys

angkor wat's bats karma tantra
buffalo buddha tiger balmrendered quotidianeven the shopkeeperJrom Saigon spohe Greek

to sell his cheeses-

the exotic, the "oriental"
charted, examined, lamented
dismissed, embracedthe spectacle is integrated

and love?

every poet's gnawed old bonecool love appears
but the tone is mostly
temPerate, serious & sensualNv*s oJ jungle honey you'il agree
thick enough to sweeten bitter herts
so deepened empathy

becomes a protest poem
"The Bail Women oJBangkok"
the cynical exces$-

sex without

eros-

and the girls disguiseil as monks
smuggle into clubland
where

90s

you can

HE,
lambaila with a snahe or smile in a cage
oJ di si

llusiond

cr ocodil es,

or edit their lives

and tahe them back to the hills oJtheir youth
riding whotever tiger you choose,
and call

it a sajori.

adam edits

life upfront & stretches application
as he calls

his Enghsh language home,
the referents
comfortable at last
in the title poembut here to sto)l like a generution
tagged on

b the last,

bemused by

the next,

some still writing
poems to theirJriends.

-Pam

Brown