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Saturday, April 22, 2023

'Love in the Library' By Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Illustrated by Yas Imamura


From the BLURB: 

Set in an incarceration camp where the United States cruelly detained Japanese Americans during WWII and based on true events, this moving love story finds hope in heartbreak. 

To fall in love is already a gift. But to fall in love in a place like Minidoka, a place built to make people feel like they weren’t human—that was miraculous. 

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tama is sent to live in a War Relocation Center in the desert. All Japanese Americans from the West Coast—elderly people, children, babies—now live in prison camps like Minidoka. To be who she is has become a crime, it seems, and Tama doesn’t know when or if she will ever leave. Trying not to think of the life she once had, she works in the camp’s tiny library, taking solace in pages bursting with color and light, love and fairness. And she isn’t the only one. George waits each morning by the door, his arms piled with books checked out the day before. As their friendship grows, Tama wonders: Can anyone possibly read so much? Is she the reason George comes to the library every day? Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s beautifully illustrated, elegant love story features a photo of the real Tama and George—the author’s grandparents—along with an afterword and other back matter for readers to learn more about a time in our history that continues to resonate.


Probably surprising nobody, I picked this book up (in Australia) when I saw that Booktopia had copies in-stock and after ready author Maggie Tokuda-Hall's brave blog post Scholastic, and a Faustian Bargain . In that post, she detailed US publisher Scholastic's attempt at censoring this book by asking Tokuda-Hall to edit her author's note at the end, removing mentions of and the word "racism" in her description about how 'Love in the Library' is based on the true story of how her maternal grandparents met; while both were in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho, during WWII.

Scholastic is not the original publisher of this book (that would be Candlewick Press, and kudos to them) but Scholastic wanted to license the book for sale in their catalogue and at the infamous Scholastic Book Fairs that they run in schools the world over. However, their condition on this licensing was for Tokuda-Hall to remove much of her 'Letter to the Reader' at the end, in which she provides the true-history context to the Internment of Japanese Americans (including her grandparents) - she refused, and Scholastic rescinded their offer (making abundantly clear that it was contingent on her whitewashing and silencing of this aspect in the book).

I am happy to see that Tokuda-Hall being brave enough to detail this publisher interaction has garnered her a lot of support, and the story has been shared widely (and Scholastic, rightly, shamed);

⦿ Got Values? Then Live Them. It’s time for publishers to operationalize their ideals

⦿ Bay Area author refuses Scholastic's suggested revision to cut 'racism' references in book

⦿ Scholastic wanted to license her children's book — if she cut a part about 'racism'

What this has thrown a light on, however, is the insidious idea with far-reaching ramifications that publishers are acquiring books (or, not) and being led by book-ban and censorship pushes that are sweeping across America;

⦿ New Report: 28% Rise in School Book Bans Over First Half of 2022-23 School Year

We know of Tokuda-Hall's brush with censorship because she was brave enough to talk openly about it - and the editor had laid out the publisher's thinking behind requesting it ... but how much censorship is happening behind closed doors and in acquisitions meetings, and taking the form of no offers coming in for a book that is seen to be too "risky" for a publisher? How much is it manifesting as books that won't ever see the light of day, authors going unpublished? Tokuda-Hall's shining a light on this one manifestation is highlighting the potential ramifications the world-over (New York is the centre of publishing, given that the North American is the biggest English-language market ... they choose the trends and blockbuster titles, they have Hollywood and Silicon Valley to help make a book go truly viral. Americans are the ones who have the most control over the future of book-publishing, and in light of this that thought is more worrying than ever).

I loved 'Love in the Library,' and I'm frustrated at the thought that it could have reached an even bigger audience in the country that would most benefit from reading it, if only a children's publisher had been braver.

The story of Tokuda-Hall's maternal grandparents is a tender and tough one; to have met and started their family in the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho is a testament to love conquering so much, in the face of xenophobia that still exists and persists to this day. Artist Yas Imamura's almost art-deco illustrations are gorgeous; muted tones, and always with the guard-tower looming (out a window, the corner of the page) they've done a brilliant job of balancing the soft with the hard visually, the same way Tokuda-Hall has done in the uplifting tone but serious-subject matter.

This book is marvellous and I highly-recommend everyone invest in a copy. For a local classroom, school library, personal collection - anything.


Saturday, April 15, 2023

'The Garden at the End of the World' by Cassy Polimeni, illustrated by Briony Stewart


Full-disclosure; Briony Stewart is repped by my agency, Jacinta di Mase Management. However, my colleague oversaw Briony's hiring to illustrate this book - not me.

'The Garden at the End of the World' is written by Cassy Polimeni, illustrated by Briony Stewart and has just been released by University of Queensland Press (UQP). It's about; Isla and her mother going on an enchanting journey to the Global Seed Vault in Norway to discover a garden waiting at the end of the world.

The Global Seed Vault opened in 2008, and is apparently opened three times a year to visitors - which is what kicks this story off, when young girl Isla finds a special seed to donate from her home in Australia. It's such a complex and important backstory presented really harmoniously and brilliantly. Like when Isla's mother explains; 'They're ordinary seeds that can live for hundreds of years and turn into food. I suppose that is magical. The mountain protects them so children who haven't even been born yet will be able to grow and eat the foods we love.'

This is a really fascinating and important humanitarian endeavour, and I love that Polimeni and Stewart have found such a loving and wonderful way to present it so that kids (and grown-ups reading to them!) understand what's at stake, and what is being achieved.

A note on the Global Seed Vault at the end lays out exactly what an important topics this is;

The first withdrawal was made in 2015 to replace seeds lost when a gene bank near Aleppo, Syria, was destroyed by civil war.

In a rapidly changing world, the vault helps promote food security and crop diversity by providing protection for the earth's most important natural resources. So there will always be a garden at the end of the world, waiting to be planted.

And the illustrations are absolutely beautiful; cool-toned and magnificent, and on some pages (like the gorgeous end-papers) Stewart has used a combo of ink and printmaking to lay gauzy hints of leaves, ferns, and twigs as an overlay to the solid illustrations, and it gives certain pages a real sense of growth and germination. A silent, text-less spread showing the green shimmer of the Northern Lights is particularly impressive. But the whole book truly is, and a must-read for classrooms to kick-off what I'm sure will be important and fascinating discussions.

I'd so love it if Polimeni and Stewart made a little series of these topics - looking at the ways humanity is preserving nature for future generations (the gentle foreshadowing here is of course; climate change, but not presented in a scary way for too-young kids to feel that worry too soon).

I'd love, for instance, a book about Canberra's National Arboretum; '... designed to be a place of peace, beauty, recreation, research, and education. With 44,000 rare, endangered, and culturally significant trees from Australia and around the world, it is a living seedbank of international significance.'


'I'm Glad My Mom Died' audiobook by Jennette McCurdy


From the BLURB: 

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life. 

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income. 

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants. 

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

I listened to the audiobook of 'I'm Glad My Mom Died,' read by McCurdy herself. 

I went into this totally none the wiser about who Jennette McCurdy was. I was 20 when 'iCarly' premiered, so I totally missed the boat on this being my childhood. But when I was in New York in August last year, *this* book had just come out and was ~the~ talk of the town. I took pictures of it in bookstore window displays - kinda amused by the title, and very intrigued by the throwback Babysitters Club bubblegum cover - and was assured by booksellers in Australia that it was likewise launching here, and was (based on preorders) already a hit.

And indeed, hit it is. It won a Goodreads Choice award, according to Wikipedia has sold 200K copies (but I'd say that's now an outdated estimate, and was probably US-only. Based on buzz, I'd expect this to have reached 1-million sales worldwide).

What compelled me to finally listen to the audiobook was word of mouth amongst my friends, and seeing snippets of McCurdy appearing on the Drew Barrymore show. If Drew endorses, I do too.

I was therefore though, totally unprepared for what a WALLOP this book is.

Yes, it's about the toxicity of child-stardom (and a must-read for all those parents currently running social-media family accounts), but it's also detailing McCurdy's mental health fight and war through various eating disorders. It's also about her years of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her mother, which I was really not expecting and took me completely off-guard.

Listening to this in audiobook - hearing McCurdy's voice crack through certain chapters - was such an emotionally wringing experience. Hearing her bring a certain charisma to chapters in which she presents events back in her childish innocence stage, of defending her mother's horrendously weighted and projected child-star expectation on her was really disarming. Even more so when McCurdy details that sexual abuse, but again presents it in the child-like way she used to reason her mother's actions to herself. And the chapters in which McCurdy's mother teacher her daughter how to calorie-count, and gives her a blueprint for eating disorders ... again; it's McCurdy tapping back into her old mindset when she very matter-of-factly recounts these moments - and that makes them all the more confronting and terrifying.

This book was brilliant. I am so glad I listened to the audiobook though, because I think without McCurdy's warm, humorous voice carrying through the dark and sinister moments, I would probably have put this book down and decided 'too hard, not in the right mood,' - and I'd have really been missing out on what has become a truly important moment for celebrity memoir, and a deeply cathartic and honest read in its own right.


Sunday, April 9, 2023

'Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation' by Anne Frank, adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated David Polonsky


From the BLURB:

The graphic adaptation of one of the world's most-loved books

'June, 1942: I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.' 

In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary. The Diary of a Young Girl is an inspiring and tragic account of an ordinary life lived in extraordinary circumstances that has enthralled readers for generations. Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Novel is a stunning new adaptation of one of the greatest books of the last century.

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation’ by Anne Frank, adapted by Air Folman and illustrated by David Polonsky, came out with Penguin Random House in 2018. As of this month – the book is removed and banned from some Florida schools. Because a group of parents linked to the Republican Party, who complained over its ‘sexually explicit’ material, and a suggestion that it minimizes the events of the Holocaust. 

I’ve owned this edition for a long time, as someone who read Anne Frank’s diary when I was about the same age Anne was – 13 – when she started writing it. It’s one of those books that I think fundamentally changed me, and opened up the history of World War II in such a way as to hammer home the horrors of it, for regular people. I’ve seen most of the film and TV adaptations, and can vividly remember being shown the Elizabeth Taylor 1959 film in school. Anne Frank’s Diary, her story, remains one of those that remade me as a human-being, and set my moral compass from an early age. I have deep wells of joy, respect and grief for this book and its author, and I always will. 

I even visited the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam in 2008, a truly remarkable experience I’m privileged and grateful to have marked – because it had been something I’d longed to do since I was a young girl reading this other young girl’s thoughts, feelings, and memories for the first time. While there, I replaced my battered childhood copy with the 60th anniversary edition.  

When I heard that there was a graphic novel coming out, I thought it was a wonderful idea. A way to bring Anne Frank’s story to a new generation – and in vivid, visual colour. Yes, it would be interpreting Anne’s words with images she herself did not draw – but it would add new dimensions to her very personal diary, and make it accessible in an entirely new way and for even more readers; something I think Anne (a great lover of movies and magazines, who cut out images and posters and stuck them to her annexe wall) would have delighted in. 

And this graphic novel is – it must be said – stunning. I should really stop being surprised at how the graphic format elevates and opens up a text; the way it makes for a deeper, more critical intertextual reading because it’s asking you to marry text with images (something we all do on the daily) but the ways your brain has to fire up to connect what you’re reading and seeing, to sometimes realise that the images bely the text … that’s especially true here, and done masterfully. 

For one; David Polonsky is illustrating a great deal of rumour, imagination, and heady cocktails of fear informed by fantasy on behalf of Anne, both before she goes into hiding with her family and after. For instance; when her uncle arrives in Amsterdam from Hamburg, bringing word of how horrific life is for Jews in Germany now. Because this scene and its panels are Anne listening to her uncle recounting his first-person and firsthand experiences of the night of Kristallnacht, and the mass book-burnings; the drawings do reflect what we’ve seen in history books, and from photographs of the time. But very cleverly when the same uncle mentions rumours of a labor camp in Dachau (which he hasn’t seen, only heard about) and where people who are “not German enough,” are being sent - Anne says she can only imagine. And here Polonsky draws on and interprets that imagination – he uses Anne’s Jewish background to fill in the aspects of this horrific rumour that her mind can barely comprehend; and we see a call back to time before the Biblical story of Exodus, with modern-day Jews building a pyramid in the image of The Reichsadler ("Imperial Eagle") being overseen in their slavery by an SS guard. It’s a clever encapsulating of Anne’s currently childlike understanding of the bounds of human cruelty … looking at it with our modern knowledge though; of how truly barbaric Dachau was, part of a Nazi plan to solve ‘the Jewish question’ – this image is also working to signal that people in Amsterdam, upon the German invasion in 1940, really had no idea what was coming. 

This happens again, when one of the ‘annexe angels’ – Miep Gies – who helped the families in their hiding, recounts seeing one of her Jewish neighbours being taken away by soldiers. She also says that she met someone who’d managed to escape from a concentration camp – who tells her that the neighbour has probably been herded into one of the cattle trains to Westerbork … again; at this point, Anne and her family have no knowledge of what happens once these Jews go to the transit and concentration camps. She writes in her diary of them getting little food and water, of the poor lavatory conditions – alongside these musings, Polonsky has drawn an image of people snaking off one of these cattle trains, and lining up for food being served by white-hat chefs – this is as far as Anne’s knowledge and imagination can go, conceiving of terrible conditions. And to see this page is a gut-punch, because it’s so clearly the imagination of a girl who has no idea how bad things can get, will get. Polonsky has put a small dent in Anne’s too-innocent interpretation of what these “camps” can be – by placing gas tanks in the corner, with hoses running to the innocuous bunk houses. But it’s just off the page – in the corner – a creeping sense of dread and foreshadowing. 

Ari Folman and Polonsky has done a brilliant job of condensing Anne’s diary into the quicker pace necessary for a graphic novel – for instance, Anne’s many passages and pages feeling inadequate in comparison to her older, kinder, smarter, more beautiful (to her mind) sister Margot, are eloquently and silently rendered in a page of comedic comparisons between the two – the silence, the absence of text, here also works for the annexe setting, where Anne says they spend much of their day paranoid about not making a noise (and even her pen scratching in her diary sets the other residents on-edge, for fear that they’ll be found out because of it – and even worse, that the diary exists as tangible proof and account of their subterfuge, and that of their co-conspirators and saviours). 

Something else that Folman and Polonsky do exceedingly well here is mapping Anne’s evolution of girlhood and womanhood. Yes, they’ve edited the original diary text and they haven’t included *everything* (because to do so would equate from a text-only of 400 or so pages, to roughly double that becoming 800 pages if they had to diligently interpret all of that and transpose text plus images …)  but they’ve kept in what is most crucial. And Anne’s maturing and explorations of her body, her feelings, and her mind are incredibly intrinsic to the spirit of the Diary, and Anne herself. So they have kept in the passages of her recounting asking her friend Jacque if they could show each other their breasts, and her desire to kiss her – of her saying that she finds statues of female nudes, throw her into ecstasy … they also include her developing a close friendship and romance with fellow annexe-dweller, Peter – while also pining for the boys she used to flirt and go with before the war. 

Why? Why is Anne’s budding sexuality and this sense of self so important to the story? 

the same text, from the 60th Anniversary edition of the Diary

I’d argue because it makes her human. Not some out-of-reach martyr but a regular girl with perfectly normal and relatable thoughts and feelings – who desired to spend a year in London and Paris one day, more than she yearned to settle down and get married … but who died in February or March of 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, at the age of 15.

And this is the true beauty and tragedy of Anne Frank’s Diary. What I first discovered it as a teenage girl, roughly the same age Anne was when she wrote it – the knowledge that a girl who sounded like me; who had the same thoughts, fears, frustrations, curiosities, worries, and desires as me, despite us living decades apart – that that same girl could be vilified and died, all because of her faith … it hits so much harder. She was one person amongst the six million European Jews, and at least five million prisoners of war, Romany, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and other victims of the Holocaust – and to get to know her via the diary, was to lose her. To feel the loss of someone so vibrant and funny, bratty and capricious, talented and brave. It’s almost too much to think of what – and who – was lost in the Holocaust, who was brutally taken and what the world would look like today if this travesty had been avoided. We compartmentalise, to a degree, and think of Anne Frank – one among millions – taken too soon, and what a loss to humanity that is. ‘Anne’s diary ends here,’ are among some of the most tragic words in modern literature. 

Otto and Anne Frank knew the power of her own words too. He knew that his daughter’s diary was one way to put a human face on the tragedy of the Holocaust – because that became Anne’s intention too. In my 60th anniversary edition, the foreword mentions that one night in the annexe and using their secret radio – the families heard Gerrit Bolkestein (a member of the Dutch government-in-exile, broadcasting from London) spoke about wanting to gather eyewitness accounts of the suffering of the Dutch people under German occupation. All eyes turned to Anne (and she recounts this in her diary) – to which she starts going back and adding in passages to what she’s already written, tidying up certain sections, and crossing-out more mundane entries. This creates a second diary, effectively, so we have Diary A and Diary B. 

When Otto Frank returns to Amsterdam – the sole survivor of the annexe – he discovers that Miep Gies has saved Anne’s diaries, never having read them. Otto decides to honour Anne’s wishes, and edits the diaries with the intention of sending them to a Dutch publisher – he particularly edits out real names of people who don’t wish to be included, he doesn’t transpose certain pages about Anne’s mother (whom she had a fraught relationship with) and the more vicious takes she had on the likes of Mrs Van Daan and Albert Dussel (a combination of Anne’s signature quick-wit and quicker temper, made more volatile by living in close-quarters). And because this was a conservative time still, Otto edits out the more sexually-charged passages – since it’s really not the fashion to mention sex at all (don’t be shocked by this – there’s literally a British obscenity trial held in 1960, over the publication of ‘Lady Chatterley's Lover’ by D. H. Lawrence). The version that Otto collates becomes ‘version C’ of the diary. 

The Dutch version is published in 1947, but it’s not translated into English until 1952 (if you want some idea of what a slow-sensation it was, it definitely had a slow-burn, word-of-mouth and rose in popularity). But it absolutely made an impact once it was translated more widely – again in my 60th anniversary edition, a quote from Martin Gilbert (one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust); ‘Her story came to symbolize not only the travails of the Holocaust, but the struggle of the human spirit in adversity … Bergen-Belsen was liberated by British troops in April 1945. One of them wrote to me recently: “I was too late to save Anne Frank.” That shows the impact that her story has made, and will continue to make.’ 

And make no mistake; there was power in releasing the Diary, not least because antisemitism and post-war propaganda abounded, and this somewhat combatted it. As much antisemitism as existed in the years leading up to, and during World War II, it didn’t just evaporate with VE Day. And post-war lies started as soon as Germany fell; the idea that regular Germans didn’t know what was happening to Jews and other minorities and intellectuals targeted by the Nazis? A post-war lie. Heck, even upon publication, rumours began that Anne Frank’s diary was a hoax; to the point that when he died in 1980, Otto Frank willed his daughter’s manuscripts – the diaries – to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, who ordered a thorough investigation into their authenticity … and found them to be the real deal. And in fact from the versions a, b and c a new edition – ‘The Critical Edition’ was released, which also contains biographies of the annexe families and the Frank’s in particular. And it has become a legacy of both the Anne Frank Foundation, and Anne Frank Museum to spread the word of Anne Frank’s life and Diary, to ensure the text is as widely accessible as possible, for all time. 

So imagine my horror when I hear that Jennifer Pippin, the chair of the Indian River chapter of "Moms for Liberty," opposed the graphic novel in Florida school libraries for ‘sexually explicit,’ material and – my blood boiling at this point – an accusation that it “minimizes” the Holocaust. 

Such accusations are baseless and cowardice. It suggests a lack of literacy and common-sense that could only be course-corrected by listening more, and speaking less. But to be clear; Moms for Liberty is a conservative nonprofit that portrays itself as a grassroots parent organisation, but in reality has numerous ties to the Republican Party – and ulterior motives galore. 

This banning and the accusations heaped on the text are not about preserving young, innocent minds or ensuring a robust education about the horrors of the Holocaust. You know how I know it’s not about that? Because after ‘Adolf Hitler,’ Anne Frank’s name is probably the most-associated with the true horrors of WWII and the human travesty and shame of the Holocaust. Anne Frank and her diary have done more to spread awareness about antisemitism (that still rages to this day) and put a human face to the unfathomable grief and horror of that war, than anyone else in human history … It’s not about this graphic novel. There is nothing shameful or sinister in Ari Folman and David Polonsky’s version. 

Moms for Liberty – when that word means; ‘the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behaviour, or political views.’ What a noxious and pathetic lot they are. The only shame here exists for Jennifer Pippin and “Moms for Liberty,” who have more in common with Anne Frank’s captors and tormentors, than with Anne herself. 

The graphic novel is a glorious read that delights in showing the funny, robust, capricious and captivating life of Anne Frank during the darkest of times in human history – bringing her to life for a whole new generation, and in a newly accessible, visual format. ‘Anne’s diary ends here,’ but the lessons of it continue and will reach far and wide – if we fight for it. 


Sunday, April 2, 2023

'how to make a basket' by Jazz Money


From the BLURB: 

Simmering with protest and boundless love, Jazz Money’s David Unaipon Award-winning collection, how to make a basket, examines the tensions of living in the Australian colony today. By turns scathing, funny and lyrical, Money uses her poetry as an extension of protest against the violence of the colonial state, and as a celebration of Blak and queer love. Deeply personal and fiercely political, these poems attempt to remember, reimagine and re-voice history. 

Writing in both Wiradjuri and English language, Money explores how places and bodies hold memories, and the ways our ancestors walk with us, speak through us and wait for us.

it starts with smoke, it always starts with smoke ... 

I was in the city the other day and knew I'd have time to burn, so I took Jazz Money's 2021 University of Queensland Press poetry collection with me, and went to the Fitzroy Gardens to read. 

I am long-overdue in coming to the page here, though I bought the book when it first came out. But I am glad that I waited for the right time and feeling to be open to this remarkable collection - and it did indeed feel cathartic and prophetic to read it when I did, on a bright Melbourne day in the Fitzroy Gardens ... 

And how accurate in a collection about "the tensions of living in the Australian colony today," that I did read it in those Gardens - near where Cooks' Cottage (a house where the parents of James Cook lived, brought from England in the 1930s) presides, in tribute to the coloniser. In the gardens where blue gums were removed to make way for sweeping lawns and ornamental flowerbeds (to look like some place other than here, it seems). Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful but - it's colony. 

And just as Money's collection opens with smoke and the Djab Wurrung sacred birthing trees in Victoria (mother burred at the belly swollen as the great trees come to this place) which the Andrews government bulldozed to make way for a new highway in 2020, ... they - we - lost something, to the colony. To progress and control. Infrastructure and destruction. Money is exploring this constantly in beauty and horror throughout the collection, and it's an absolute powerful and masterful gut-punch. 

Lilac sky swollen 

lights. A slick black car 

on slick black roads. 


Stars don't shine in this town 

only satellites 

humankind's wandering wonders. 

I'd rather wish on circuits

than lost black stars 


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