Men Gotta Tell Their Stories. "Near-Life Experience" by Mark Mahemoff and "Music and Women's Bodies" by Craig Powell. [review]
In one of the characteristically taut poems that make up Mark Mahemoff's second collection, "Near-life Experience", the speaker describes the bleak reality of imminent separation, and wonders: 'How to expose / the workings of this moment?' Vital and urgent, the question lies at the heart of this poet's practice. Mahemoff's poems are concerned, principally, with transience, with things that are 'here and then / gone'. Constructed, in a majority of cases, from the 'salvaged details' of life, they operate as personal histories, recording everyday experience and observation in the face of death. Craig Powell is never more grounded than when telling family stories, what at one point in "Music and Women's Bodies" he calls 'family talk'. Two long poems are based on his late father’s sometimes questionable memories of growing up in a New South Wales country town.