Skin Painting

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Univ. of Queensland Press, Apr 1, 2009 - Poetry - 60 pages
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Brave, haunting, and evocative, this powerful volume presents its poetry in the form of a memoir. From the poet's early experiences in an institution and the effect of this on her family to the illustration of her strength and independence as an adult, this biographical collection helps make the Aboriginal experience accessible and resonant. Exploring themes of art, identity, sexuality, and loneliness, this compendium is both universal and intimate.
 

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Contents

I am sitting in an exhibition room alone
1
Somewhere beyond this room is the soundof children
2
At school I spent my time staring out ofthe window
3
Two girls linger by a triptych
4
The room is quiet again
5
This is my memory of my life
6
Bindawalla binda bindi bindii
8
Little twoyearold in yellow plasticsandals
9
The treelined street where my guardians lover lived
35
Sometimes we would knock and knock but the door stayed shut
37
Father gained custody of me and my siblings
39
Now I am fifteen I am living with my father
40
My father is waltzing me around the lounge room
41
At seventeen I moved into the anonymity and solitude of Sydney
42
Revered in her church community the stepgrandmother
43
Have you ever stood on the edge of your country and wondered where you belong
44

Mr Cage can you imagine
10
I am in a room it is day but the roomis dark
11
Sometimes the man and his wife go away
13
These people give me a religionI do not want
14
They change my name I am no longerElizabeth
16
Little fouryearold with bells on herslippers
17
Every weekday porridge
18
When I dont eat my porridge
19
Drip by precious drip my life rebegins
21
I have a toy stroller filled with dolls
22
One day my guardian comes to visit
23
I know many places well some I can still smell
24
This place that I know well
26
My best friend Vicky and I were invited tothe ministers place for tea
27
Some memory paintings are suitable for public display
28
Before Lutanda my father taught us about bushtucker
29
Sometimes Id buff my shoes until I was mesmerised
30
My father gave me a camera
32
The adults at Lutanda ran our little lives
33
My mother knitted herself a yellow jumper
34
I am twenty homeless and restless
45
Husband number one tells me
46
My culture and my place were things I didnot know how to reach
48
I have an obsession with polished boots
49
Once I became a Christian
50
There is so much I have lost there are things Ive never known about my people
51
When you walk this land do you notice the tracks of my people?
53
I am a Wiradjuri woman
54
Ive heard it said Im now at the invisibility age
55
What is your yardstick your benchmark?
56
I am sitting in an exhibition room in anart gallery
57
These words are my phoenix
58
I will not deliberately hurt you
59
Acknowledgments
61
About the David Unaipon Award
63
SWALLOW THE AIR Tara June Winch Winner of the David Unaipon Award
65
SMOKE ENCRYPTED WHISPERS Samuel Wagan Watson
67
HOME Larissa Behrendt Winner of the 2002 David Unaipon Award
68
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