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My writing, Uncategorized

Vincent O’Sullivan

Reading Vincent O’Sullivan’s Let the River Stand and loving every word. It’s amazing the intensity he can inject into everyday scenes. He focuses right down on the smallest details; the sound of teeth; the white dent a wire fence leaves pressed into someone’s palm, the colours inside their wrist. His writing is polished yet somehow so raw.

I was luck enough to hear him read some of his poetry recently. Some it is really elegant, some of it is just as raw. Blame  Vermeer is one his more famous poems (and the title of one of his anthologies) which has been reproduced quite a bit, but actually it doesn’t move me that much. I like his darker,naughty, more raw stuff, like Small Talk:

The problem with ‘total freedom’ is to note

in  the reeking pragmatism of this or that o’clock

on a corner and weather we know exactly,

how an adjective turns on a noun like a psycho

with a blow torch, and the noun, with surer

footing, has its chain saw on full rev.

The colour of blood too is a question of grammar.


About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at


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