By Andy Jackson
Image for Andy Jackson poem on Right Now

damp patches
began to appear I thought it was

just me dropping drinks
legally blind I only felt them with my feet

sanctuary house the effin
irony of it soon every room puddled
stinking blooms

of mildew I have problems
with my sweat glands because of my condition so
my skin would blister if I

tried to dry the place with heaters where
is all this water coming from?
the management is trying
to strike the right balance between keeping

disruption to an absolute minimum
and screwing me over now this
is a disability seriously
if I had money I’d be off before you could say

b. 1977

This poem is from Andy Jackson’s most recent full-length collection, Music Our Bodies Can’t Hold (2017). Each poem in the collection is a portrait of someone with or reputed to have had Marfan Syndrome. Many of the poems emerge out of personal interviews, while others are portraits of public figures: Abraham Lincoln, Akhenaten, Mary Queen of Scots , Edith Sitwell, Niccolo Paganini, John Tavener, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Robert Johnson, among others. The collection is available through Hunter Publishers.


Review – Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia

By Georgia Cerni

Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.