How Decent Folk Behave – A vibrant, thought-provoking poetry collection
‘One of the most compelling voices in Australian poetry this decade’ Overland Literary Journal
How Decent Folk Behave is a vibrant, thought-provoking collection from the ABIA and Indie award-winning author of The Hate Race and Carrying the World.
we are all just one small disaster
away from sinking,
and sometimes you only realise
when you’re gasping for air
On a daylight street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Black man is asphyxiated – by callous knee of an officer, by cruel might of state, and under crushing weight of colony. In Melbourne the body of another woman has been found – this time, after catching a late tram home.
The Atlantic has run out of the English alphabet, when christening hurricanes this season. The earth is on fire – from the redwoods of California, to Australia’s east coast. The sea draws back, and tsunamis lash out in Samoa and Sumatra. Water rises in Sulawesi and Nagasaki. Bloated cod are surfacing, all along the Murray Darling.
The virus arrives, and the virus thrives. Authorities seal the public housing towers up, and truck in one cop to every five residents. Notre Dame is ablaze – the cathedral spire blackened, and teetering.
Out in Biloela, the deportation vans have arrived. Every Friday, in cities all across the world, children are walking out of school. The wolves are circling. The wolves are circling.
These poems speak of the world that is and sing for a world that may one day be.
Duffy’s Thoughts On How Decent Folk Behave
I’m not usually one for poetry, I have no idea why, I’ve just found it never floated my boat. On rare occasions though a poem, or poet does garner my attention. One of those talented poets is Maxine Beneba Clarke.
How Decent Folk Behave is a collection of very poignant and topical poems which reflect our world today. Every word is carefully curated and chosen or left out to deliver maximum impact.
Clarke’s poems hit home hard, triggering emotions and thoughts about how far we have come, yet in so many ways, we are rolling backwards. The Monsters Are Out is a particular masterpiece, shining a light on the tragic murders and attacks of women. How we are conditioned to leave events early, text each other and ensure we all get home safe, knowing that not all of us will.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Amazing Australian writing talent, and I look forward to reading her future works.
Head over to my blog and discover more poetry and amazing writing talent.