soi 3 modern poets,
an imprint of Papertiger Media, presents -


a new collection of poetry by Pam Brown

Pam Brown’s poetry attends to the soundbites and transitoriness of contemporary Australian life. Her dazzling wordplay gives us glistening souvenirs of overblown politik-speak, uncontrolled Western consumption, and the daze of the habitual and housetrained. Rather than timeshare the modernist experiment, Brown moves beyond its heroics and fashions a commentary that is understated, down to earth, and unsettling. While questioning its own title, what remains marvelled at in ‘Authentic Local’ is the colloquial and its uncanniness, the utopic harbour glimpse of a home language. - Ann Vickery

This book complements the collection True Thoughts, published by Salt Modern Poets in 2008. Authentic Local collects around fifty poems written in the years between 2002 and 2005, most of which were put aside whilst compiling the selection for True Thoughts. To read Ken Bolton and Carl Harrison-Ford on True Thoughts click here. Read Tim Wright on the same collection here. A number of recent poems are included in Authentic Local alongside the earlier material.

The title reflects a consistent irony that is threaded throughout the poems. An ‘authentic local’, like a Benjaminesque restless cosmopolitan, can inhabit any place at any time and for any period of time. So these poems are variously located.

These deceptively minimalist poems are layered in a kind of eclectic tumble. They are only seemingly autobiographical as they cruise through sharply delineated street-scapes, food courts, imagined havens, distant places, through encounters with friends, through lost and ordinary cities, through wit, boredom, disillusion, nostalgia, paranoia, irony. Always irony, and perhaps also a sense of the ludicrous, as they attempt to fathom the question ‘how to live?’ alongside the larger one ‘how to live now?’

The pastiche of this group of poems addresses (among other things) the concept that the ‘self’ is never fixed, that it is a slippery notion and that it is perhaps nothing much more than a daily work of bricolage. The poems are energised by dualities : self-deprecating wit coupled with associated knowledge and depth, the mundane and the illuminated morphing together textually, the local (Australian) and the international quizzically extemporized via things and moods, and via moments of brief existential measuring. The energy in the use of dualities together with an avoidance of placing judgement enables a discovery of beauty in the various contrasting ideas in this manuscript. Encompassing opposing ideals of academic and domestic, foreign and familiar, the poems are always at odds with the ‘lyrical’ and yet they are lyrically engaged.

What else can you do in the face of dark times (permanent war, floundering science, haywire climate), and your experience of this as unspectacular, utilitarian and silencing, but disrupt that silence and search for and imagine a role. One thing you can do as a poet is turn irony back on yourself and write poems made as if from particles that offer a range of trajectories arcing off into open space, that might evoke in a reader action and reaction.
These poems hope to never fail to give – and to give generously with humour and acuity from a tempered, critical and ultimately optimistic delight in the oddness of the world.

For more information, or to buy a copy of the book
contact Pam Brown.

Three poems from Authentic Local -


by the radio:
I mishear the news and sports presenter
say ‘the latest in nuisance sports’,
outside the light is green,
the lightning frightening stay away
from windows but the storm
takes no notice of me and my black Bic biro
here at the kitchen table
with a new biography of Dante – ‘Dante;
The Poet, The Political Thinker, The Man’ –
I’d just begun reading twenty minutes ago,
the cover image, a detail from a portrait of him,
one book open as he turns
to consult another, open and propped
up against two others, leather-bound,
he has the poet’s leafy laurel twig
tucked into his familiar red headscarf.
poetry is like
tv’s live coverage and if you change
a particle you can arrive at an elegant result
via electronic properties and, probably,
high conductivity in an electrical storm,
but the computer is down and so am I –
my bad handwriting taxes my energy,
how does my brain put up with it ?
(who am I to ask?)
this almost illegible notation driven into
the empty moments between a book
and a book, a poem ‘made in situ’,
the phrase imagined
as a t-shirt slogan or a label
but handwritten


excipient ties, like ell oh vee ee,
nothing to chance

I always
to plagiarise you

sleeping, you were ill,
and smelt like a mineral,
but different

at the start
your subwoofer
shook me to my microbes,
emergency exits
opened in my night

I loved to you a woman
as I returned your sounds
from phone to morph

slippery gleams
slithered into darkness,
your fermented prosody
ripe for traffic


very busy here
finishing up a 900 page epic poem I've been working on off
& on for
25 years!


I am
kind of continental

I want to come back as
a false witness

your gifts of cheap software
cannot compensate

what is
what is

frowsty hairdo

it worked for the chimp

good to be young, indiscriminate, finding out,
with time to

after the libidinal,
twenty years of scooping

a happy go lucky cunt, a lookalike

now, there’s
your fillip

this is the stich

picking at the price sticker,
everything must go !


Jill Jones said...

Everything must go - in all directions! Looking forward to this one. Who did the cover? JJ

pb said...

Jon Cattapan - a detail from a carbon drawing.

Carolyn Cordon said...

This reads like a very interesting collection. I must check it out further.