I raise the axe, it’s high above my head
My shoulders tense, my eye locks in a sight-line
I sigh, and slowly lower it instead
Chopping wood’s a task I’ve come to dread
I only do it when relationships decline
These poems move freely in time from the 1950s to the present day, from the contemporary to memoir, from gender politics to bushfires and floods. They show you jeeps, trucks, girlfriends and cane-cutters, widgies, Singer sewing machines, tattoos and rats and class grudges.
Sandra Renew uses a range of traditional poetry forms to lay bare some of the gaping fault-lines of gender relations especially as they are experienced by LGBTIQ communities.
‘In her often dry and straight-talking, forward-facing style, Renew’s poetry encapsulates the far stretches of experience as a marginalised identity from the small and specific to much grander philosophies.’
Julia Clark reviews Acting Like a Girl in Plumwood Mountain (August 2020).