With Gaza on my mind, the bombing, the deaths of children and the mainstream media’s silence, I’ve come close to writing again. Horrors such as this always bring forth new words, but I can hardly say I’m thankful for it. I’ve got some disturbing images floating around inside my head. But I think these are important things to write about, it’s why I write in the first place, without some overblown expectation that my words will change masses or do as much as real action can, but I think writing is at its best when it engages with the real world.
On that note, Jessica Wilkinson and Ali Alizadeh’s manifesto, The Realpoetik Manifesto, speaks to me and how I approach writing, especially poetry. The manifesto is “an unavoidable and necessary code for the art of non-fiction poetry.” Manifestos haven’t really been in for a while so I love to see its return. There’s this old manifesto by these bearded guys called Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that’s worth reading too.
In the manifesto, which has been posted around various literary and poetic websites it states: “The Realpoetik recognises the unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey a deeper experience of reality and ‘real life’ accounts than may be possible through conventional non-fiction prose.” And so on it goes. Well worth reading.
I would like to publicly state my intention to join The Realpoetik. Perhaps it will guide me to write something about Gaza after all. Writing about something from home in Melbourne feels hard though, because it seems not as powerful or real as if someone had written a poem by Gaza. I found that when writing about the Egyptian revolution last year, when I wrote this poem, Egypt. It comments on the process of writing from where I was.