Congratulations America

obama wins

Congratulations America, what a week! And while I’m in a congratulating mood, this is pretty fantastic too, as is this. I felt my idealist self grinning this week. I don’t envy Obama, with the kind of work he has ahead of him, but I can safely say I’m really pleased that diversity and human rights won out in these elections. What happens in America affects us all in the rest of the world, and I hope that our own Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will take the hint that a world leader who proclaims his support for marriage equality is also supported by the public. Also, some pertinent advice for Republicans wishing to move to Australia.

My article in Underscore magazine, issue 4

In much (much, much) smaller news, I’ve been meaning to show you another peek at my article for issue four of Underscore magazine, which I received in the mail from the editors (click on the above image). I finally got the chance to read the other contributions, and also to read my work in print. Whenever I read my own writing in print, I try to do so from a distanced perspective, to evaluate what I wrote honestly, and figure out what weaknesses in my writing I need to work on. It sounds a bit masochistic, but it’s actually quite a useful personal exercise. I hear so much talk about ‘being a writer’, and creating a persona of the writer, when really, more attention and energy needs to be put into the actual practice and craft of writing itself. I’ve been doing so much writing lately, particularly poetry. It’s my hope that if I continue to write, and write, and write, one day, my poems won’t suck.

Speaking of poetry, I’ve been enjoying this poem all week, and I thought you might enjoy it too:

Waiting for the Train

By Craig Billingham

I have thought myself
inside a painting by Jeffrey Smart
where I am richer

and infinitely more
composed. Calm
in the stillness of bad weather—

a storm
captured at the point of passing,
a foreboding sky

cracked open by the sun.
I do not know
what will happen—

I feel uncommonly small
yet hopeful.
My cohabitants

are tightly packed
within themselves—
they hum

a prayer of their containment,
a dampened music.
I close my eyes

and silence comes,
as though from deep

within a bed of sandstone—
it seeks to claim me.

forever imminent,
and the world
on my lips
feels massive.

EDIT: My friend Marina just sent me Rachel Maddow’s election overview video via Twitter, and you absolutely must view it (and make sure to watch it till the end).