Before you disappeared my aloneness was the vibrations of a coastline, I could feel the pitches of the waves beneath my feet. Now the soles of my feet sink into the sand. And it sticks. (“The Disappeared”)
Smith's The Writing Experiment is one of the best writing manuals available for teaching writers the techniques of experimentation (I use it regularly), and it’s fascinating to see some of those principles in play in Smith’s own poetry as she explores topical issues include the refugee crisis, climate change, political and social abuses, aging, grief, and the nature of privilege and power.
The poems I’ve read so far maintain a lovely delicacy, drawing the reader into worlds which are often dystopian (all too real at times), but also playful, experimental, enlivened by sound and an awareness of the space on the page, exploring the nature of language, semantics, referentiality, and genre, without ever losing their immediacy, contextual relevancy, or coherence. Here’s another little sample:
Every conversation is a gentle misfiringI’ll be reading more deeply over the next week or so and will follow with a full review at Compulsive Reader. In the meantime, you can found out more about Hazel Smith here: http://www.australysis.com
An abacus points beyond method or counting
An exchange derails, eyes averted, glancing (“Encounter”)