Author(s): Jennifer Maiden
The title brookings: the noun has different levels of significance: venturing into a brook's safe appearance when it will turn to a threatening river, and, in extension, a noun to signify the misuse of something politically safe and sure as a distraction to conceal something politically dangerous. The poems observe how political decisions are concealed by ideas of rescue, protection, safety.Jennifer Maiden describes brookings: the noun as 'a collection to do with disarming (both as an adjective and verb) deception which falsely identifies a target or cause of indignation, or deception which identifies causes as being left wing when they are safe and acceptable but ignores other profound and dangerous problems, or deception which accepts a cause as benign when it is misleading and possibly malign.'Here, on an otherworldly edge of Lake Geneva, Borges speaks of things kept from him and questions conservative manipulation of experimental literature; in a room, a safe-seeming animal - gentle but entrancing - sleeps to deceptive music; in a golden White House, President Trump and his mother decipher the words around them; in a constructed Nirvana, Princess Diana addresses veiled aspects of murder freely with Mother Teresa; watching Sydney Harbour, Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton speak of safe appearances; Maiden's renowned characters Clare and George rescue a child from lethally deceptive White Helmets in Syria; in a 'luminous' Sydney dust storm, Tanya Plibersek can speak with Jane Austen about discouraging Asylum seekers; the archetypal Critic can be an aspect of anyone he addresses; and the historical CIA policy of media influence, Operation Mockingbird, perches echoing soft and lyrical in the night. This collection creates a surface over unsure tides, ripples and opaque currents, in constant, clear reflection.The title poem quotes Longfellow's 'standing with uncertain feet, where the brook and river meet'. brookings: the noun navigates unknown depths to stand fast, to gauge shifting water.