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It's the end of the world as we know it



Selected poems


Corflute essay

It started with the corflute wars, two-dimensional politics, the roadside photos larger than life. In the first week they were clustered together in prime eye-line sites, blue and red and green.

And, then the wars revved up. The corflutes were turned to face away from the road, hidden behind opposition posters, uprooted, flung facedown, driven through and over, piled in heaps, disfigured with horns, pointed teeth, strangely shaped ears. Annotated with lezzo, poofter scrawled across the portraits.

Public exorcisms for being gay didn’t work. The newly minted lezzo pollie (why would you do that to yourself?) stays in the race. Sonnets of revenge from the pollie’s ‘community’ turn into an uneasy-living-in-this-world kind of feeling for all of us.

The entirety of the social needs to take a moment. Start with a question. How does it matter?

The primary prism, the lens is politics. This matters because the act of witnessing, following the gaze of those who look in a different way lets you see in a different way. Can the pain of seeing something clearly, without ambiguity, create something? Even though we’ve always been the barbarians, uncomfortable with difference, the social fabric finds an opiniated dyke difficult to pigeonhole. The process of overlaying gender and politics gives us a crosscut of fragments; no logic to it, no reason; the lezzo and dyke take nothing from the straight and narrow.

How to stop the misogyny of the patriarchy? Jam a stick in the spokes. Stone in the path. Spill from the poison cup. Shout lalala over a woman’s unwelcome voice. Ask twelve people to hear the evidence. Stop talking. Start talking. Require the whole citizenry to have an opinion. And to mark a paper to demonstrate the opinion.

The corflutes have it. She’s there, larger than life, three dimensional.




on the day of the millionth case and half million deaths I drink coffee in a warm, morning living room, walk a small dog at our national arboretum, eat lunch of seafood and avocado at a local outdoor café, buy two likely looking books on amazon, tune into a zoom poetry reading and listen to podcasts from america.

realise it’s the end of the world, as we know it.

on this evening, as the dark of 2020’s longest night seeps in, I peel a bright, loose skinned mandarin, the pith and tart of the skin causing a poodle to sneeze.

sweet, sweet juice in my mouth flooding, flooding…



Sandra RenewSandra Renew's recent collections are It’s the sugar, Sugar, Recent Work Press, 2021; Acting Like a Girl, Recent Work Press, 2019; and The Orlando Files, Ginninderra Press, 2018. Acting Like a Girl was the winner of the 2020 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Poetry.

Topic tags: Sandra Renew



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Existing comments

millions - may be the most apropos words i've read for a year. And I've discovered (via google) that corflute was the Oxford word of the month in March 2017. Time flies.

Pam | 25 May 2021  

Is that distant rumble the sound of poets turning in their graves?

A Rhymer | 25 May 2021  

Lucky countries can chew gum and tie their shoelaces at the same time. Corflute concerns can stay on the frontburner no matter what else is happening because no matter what else is happening is happening elsewhere. The question is whether a corflute concern is a discretionary spending because the country is lucky or a debt because the country is lucky.

roy chen yee | 28 May 2021  

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