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What Can Be Proven
Mark O'Flynn

Winner, IP Picks 2007: Best Poetry

A strange and compelling world is revealed in
What Can Be Proven, and yet reading it is like returning to familiar things that we have forgotten. O’Flynn has an elevated poetic voice, but also the capacity for revealing familiar things in a strange new light. From the first poem, we are introduced to poetry with an almost physical presence because each word leaves a weight like the ‘imprint of the iron ladder hard against shins’.




Mark O'Flynn

Mark O’Flynn began writing for the theatre after graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts. He has had seven plays professionally produced and as a playwright he has worked for numerous community theatre companies. He has also published a novella, Captain Cook (1987) and two books of poetry, The Too Bright Sun (1996) and The Good Oil (2000). His fiction, reviews, essays and poetry have been published in a wide variety of journals and magazines. A novel, Grassdogs, was published by HarperCollins in 2006. In 2007 he is due to travel to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland to work on a new novel.

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ISBN 9781876819668
PB 72 pp

AUD $24 USD $18 NZD $26 GBP £12 EUR €14

The book is full of contrasts, there is poetry of great sadness and poetry with great humour. This is what I like about O’Flynn’s work, though it makes it a difficult book to write about. If he says one thing, then something else applies too. It is not like Heaney or Muldoon. It is Australian, informed by many voices.

Tony Curtis, winner, Irish National Poetry Prize


eNews 33: Commentary by Assistant Editor Mary Trabucco

eNews 35: Interview by Assistant Editor Casey Hutton



Wake in Booligal

for John Bennett

for as far as the blind eye can see
the horizon has collapsed
into an alcoholic coma.

there is only outside.
A Ridgeback-Rottweiller-Pitbull
cross waits for you to play
with the slobbered shell
of an eviscerated tennis ball.
In fact it rather insists.
Your persona has a strange smell.

In the great, wide, empty distance
past the Sunset Viewing Area,
that blue shadow grows
into a river where trees
are no longer mythical.

Driving home
(if you happen to live there)
the landscape—flattened
by the weight of the sky —
extends to the myopic horizon
level as stagnant water.

When you arrive you are compelled
to stop at the Booligal Hotel,
(which Paterson rebuked),
where they shake you ten times by the hand
before they’ll let you go to bed.

if you happen to live there
when the mountains shrink to weeds
and the aberrations of trees
remove themselves from view
you see the river’s simulacrum
tracing the road: ‘That’s my
river,’ you say at last, ‘I’m home.’

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