Like many poets, Martin Langford has long been intrigued by the genre of aphorism. The neat snakes collected here have been compiled over many decades. An alternative way of articulating what might otherwise be explored in poems, they nevertheless retain the poem’s elegance, and its characteristic tension between emotion and idea. Neat Snakes is a very different addition to Australian writing.
The beautiful are not exempt from the need to be brave. But we treat them as if they are: it is how we destroy them.
The weigher of hearts keeps a list of the things we have laughed at.
We find relief in sport precisely because it has no meaning: its drama is expressed in numbers, and numbers contain no moral burden.
Interiority withdraws the body from the moment like a first step towards sorrow.