Thursday, October 20, 2016

'Guns for Votes'

The Australian Broadcasting Commission has been under pressure to 'convert' to the right-wing paradigm that has consumed Australian political discourse over the last decades. Despite extreme cuts and constant political verballing, vestiges of independence have remained. However, reading this pathetic piece of political journalism on the ABC's website regarding the (in my opinion) intellectually and politically self-serving and hubristic David Leyonhjelm's love of guns, I fear that those last vestiges have finally been eroded.

This article is without an opposing view, does not even follow the basic tenets of fair journalism, and functions as an almost light-hearted romp with the senator as he goes in to bat for gun 'fun'. As the American election has taken the right into its fascist soul-lands and found it both ripe and willing, so has Australia lurched further and further into a far right inhabited by racist apologists, exploitative industrial-military 'libertarians' and religious bigots. This is the worst Australia of the many Australias I have experienced in my lifetime.

The weapons that have destroyed liberty in the United States for so many victims will also completely destroy liberty for many in Australia. These bastards who trade in 'talk' and 'votes' and 'opinions' care only for themselves, not for you. Yes, 'people kill', but guns make it a whole lot easier for them to do so.

I grew up with an understanding and familiarity with guns, and turned away from them in my youth in a very literal and specific way. My poetry is opposed to violence in all forms, though it often 'illustrates' it. Guns are not fun — we are only taught that they are fun. And when they become semantic ploys of right-wing libertarians, they are distributed as tools of ideological conflict. Tools that maim and kill.

John Kinsella

Monday, September 5, 2016

Elegy: Kalgoorlie 2016

Elegy: Kalgoorlie 2016
The distance between a Facebook page
and a mineshaft, where vigilantes threaten

to drop the murdered, is so very small.
Behind screens is only part of the damage,

it’s when bigots emerge from self-
illumination, self-images in their eyes,

that it all comes together: the running down,
the killing, the justifications. In a mining town

the burrowing down to what might be at the core
of belief is also an attempt at erasure: to mine

away souls. But desecrators unearth
their own demons, digging deep to find

the white goods they desire: as Dr Plot
conjectured in 1667: ‘lapides sui generis,

naturally produced by some extraordinary
plastic virtue, latent in the earth...’ this fossil

record we turn ourselves inside out for,
reaching too low. And so, frontiers

are made on the field of the screen,
and Kalgoorlie — out there — epicentre

of the goldfields, cutting edge of race riots,
Superpit-proud of the venal seams in the Aussie flag,

flexes its Midas touch on God’s Own Country
while a dead boy’s family grieve and grieve and grieve.

            John Kinsella

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Graphology Chronotype 38: holding hands - a poem by John Kinsella on Chevron in schools

Graphology Chronotype 38: holding hands

The Western Australian School Curriculum
recognises the course run by Chevron — ‘fossil fuel company’ —
for high school kids to study ‘energy’. The zenith
of the unit is a camp at which students
tune futures and burn the midnight oil.
Global partnership. Local inflections. Prosperity.

            John Kinsella

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Australia Attempts to Thwart Nuclear Weapons Ban

By John

So, the world at least makes a gesture towards a complete ban on nuclear weapons, and Australia, reactionary state par excellence, opposes it.

Beneath the dissembling, the reality is that Australia acts as an American stooge to retain a 'nuclear deterrent', wanting the US to maintain its nuclear weapons in order to protect its sphere of influence, of which Australia is a major component (like a jigsaw puzzle). This is an obscenity.

As further uranium mines are opened in Western Australia, the jigsaw puzzle becomes paradoxically more simple and more elaborate at once. The ouroboros of the nuclear cycle at its most vicious and absurd. The land is stolen, the land is appropriated and remade in the image of power. Some indigenous groups do deals (many struggle against this) because they fear losing all control and all sustenance from their land if they don't.

The state and mining companies peddle lies about the nuclear cycle being healthy for the biosphere.

The basis of the modern state's power comes through direct control of or vicarious participation in the atomic cycle. Humanity and all other life is threatened by the farce of the nuclear industry. And Australia, in attempting to block and frustrate a move towards a nuclear weapons-free planet, however small the first steps, is a disgrace to humanity and life itself.

This is the tyranny of the so-called majority in Australia. It is a bullying state using the big bully to carry the weapon while it serves in as many ways as it can. Micro-aggressions of an aspiring bully that has a lot of experience in its 'own' backyard. Australia positions itself for the knockdown round. Disgraceful.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Graphology Chronotype 34: Parking Refugees -- a poem by John Kinsella

by John

Graphology Chronotype 34: Parking Refugees

Wilson’s parking — ‘Expensive,
don’t you think?’ Yes, close kin
of Wilson’s of Nauru. Security.
You know, where victims
are guilty and sex crimes
are as the case may be
and the Minister says
what’s what about self-
immolation. Security. Private.
And privacy of a sort.
They have many locations
in the city. Each lot
a kingdom. Your cars
in their care. Security.
Underwriting the Island
where no man, woman
or child can be entire of itself.
Impoverished, bought off
by the Australian
Government, sub-let
to Wilson’s. Fire sale.
Big island little island
what begins with I?
But don’t worry,
Wilson’s is watching out
for the silent majority
right here where cars
need somewhere to park.
Security. Your cars
in their care. And anyway,
how many cars could they
fit on Nauru? Diversify.
Security. Living space.

            John Kinsella

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Vegan 30th-anniversary poem by John Kinsella (Graphology sequence)

by John Kinsella

Graphology Chronotype 24: Fantasias on Veganism (on the thirtieth anniversary of my veganism)


I lift the word cadence but improvisation is Bottesini’s

            different calenture, differing application
            of eating utensils: one model
            serves all

this interview with materials used in making an instrument
            the tip of a pool cue

all of it concrete

remember those ballet shoes you had made? — non-leather
            to dance with the troupe in & out of the wings

or gut of that doubling
I hear and integrate

what to do with, where to go

this Fantastic Voyage via
philosophies adapted to the way
they want to live    ‘They’
belonging to philosophies,
not the life story


Not mentioning the craft of insectivore weebills
            so small
staying on track between wattles
in a high wind — you’d think they’d be tossed
and buffeted and dashed on the granites
knuckling through this fast-eroding hillside

but no, they are intact   complete   and don’t need me
and my inherited subjectivity, my wilfulness as they pinpoint

Not mentioning their craft, their particularised
strength to make landfall, line-of-sight
flight to branch on neighbouring wattle

would be to close out web of myth and facts
that might or might not catch all

            as full disclosure

and though no person you know eats weebills
there’s autonomy beyond your ken
and walking into the wind —
            shirt a tattered flag
without denomination —
is cross-referencing, an experientialism

hunkering down against
the ripping sou’westerlies

(iii) Ontologies Dreamed like the Benzene Molecule — an Address, of Sorts...

So, my ethical veganism becomes your ontological
categorisation to offset your own convenience store
of locality to qualify the ecology you know is right?
            Property settlements. Pay-slips.
Factory farm of belief as if it needs to fit your system?
These human dualists drawing animals into the realm
of human compassion, the imposition of separateness!

Flexible templates of locality. The beautiful
hypocrisies of text. Friends and loved ones
will always believe up to a point, or stage
their compassionate interventions. Agency
of each cell is beyond the networks of agriculture,
the grain plains of the Western Australian wheatbelt,
the utility of kangaroo-farming? The factories
of agronomy? See, I can oppose the out-of-kilter
of the plant-based — as much as you can oppose the factories
of animal production and still excuse the use of animals.

Delineating consumerism’s many faces. Threat of nirvana.
            Fetish of communication.
The interweaving of predators to tell a story,
to sinew experience as declaration.

No ecology is above what makes it sounds like an instruction.
Am I suggesting this? Am I ecology as definition,
an ontology of pantheism in which animals walk their way
because humans moved away, told stories
of human and animal selves separating and morphing
            and separating? Our rhizomes?
Kernels and husks, germs and ears of grain. The plains.
This tree arm, the rings of my tender body shedding.

The space about ‘food’ in the mouth:
light trapped in darkness, pockets and cavities
of air and darkness, the watery universality.
            Pure as the driven –ism. Re-
framed as signature terminology. Reference
in any contemporary discussion of veganism.
This infiltration of self. Of self-justification.
            Wholly holy ouroboros —
snake eating itself a dream invented to fit
the new mode of living. Here in the West.


The choice
is made
and was made
outside product — each fad that means
fewer animals exploited and killed
is good; but we must
be wary of the product
that brings down
the ecosystem, feeds the state
which will eat animal and plant,
vegetable and mineral,
with an insatiable appetite,
shit out the planet.

An example? Palm oil?
Jungles are cleared
for the sake. These vegan snacks
can mean the death of so many individuals
that the term ‘species’ (as in extinction)
is the only collective noun
that is translatable

So ‘product’
packaging of planet
will salve only desire:
ontologically or otherwise.
And all product is local
at this point, and that.
A mirror.

            John Kinsella

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Land-clearing in Queensland: resist the exploiters

By John Kinsella

It’s not adequate to be aware of environmental horrors; we must act.

There’s a report in today’s Guardian newspaper on land-clearing by farmers and pastoralists in the light of legislation brought in by the last conservative Queensland government. This clearing is so extreme that it should be considered as a crime against humanity (which it is).

These rapacious land manipulators are even violating the destructive laws in place, and going further. And for a land owner and vested interest to claim,

‘Firstly, I state that this country’s greatest environmentalists are our farmers and our graziers’ 

is mockery.

I don’t need to draw analogies; its absurdity speaks for itself. True, you can get some farmers who are more land-care conscious, and, say, crop with a mind to the ecosystem in which they operate. But by and large, anyone engaged in land-clearing in a country already cleared to bare bones has no environmental credentials at all.

When we read this, we are getting closer to the truth: it’s a business...

‘What we are doing on our properties is taking proactive expensive measurement steps to protect the long-term health of our environment and the viability of our business. We are doing this through the practice of thinning using the current vegetation laws to restore our land back to its original open woodland condition, as much as we are allowed.’

They see the land as theirs to abuse. A tyranny of occupation, a state of war against anything living that doesn’t serve their business model, has been openly declared.

These acts of violence are part of the matrix of terror we silently endure, keeping our heads close to screens and gadgets, engaging with the outside world through Pokémon Go. We are part of an absurdist play of our own writing.

Will we act? Maybe this time — how about it?

Step outside, embrace the earth, resist the exploiters, show that non-violent resistance can bring positive change. (Can poems stop bulldozers?)

Write about it. Tell others. This is no incitement: the evidence is there for you to come to your own conclusions. But take a look, consider, respond.