BROTHERS

written by Philip Hammial

BROTHERS

— Philip Hammial

Home alone, late at night, doing what I always do. I'm rowing. Sitting on my kitchen chair, chained to an oar, I'm one of a hundred slaves making sure that the galley keeps moving forward through a sea that is sometimes calm, sometimes raging. Forward, to that distant port where, so rumour has it, we'll be set free, at long last, after all these years. The others, my brothers in chains, sitting in chairs in their own kitchens in this huge sprawl of public housing, rowing ceaselessly, with a strength they didn't know they possessed.

How much further? How many more days? It can't be far. But what if I'm the only one who's still rowing (the galley seems to have slowed down), the others simply sitting at their kitchen tables guzzling beer, munching on pretzels? Those lazy bloated pigs, of course they've stopped rowing. They've left it up to me. Some unspoken agreement among them to stop rowing. That fool in 108, he's still flogging himself; he's insatiable.

About the poet


Philip Hammial

Philip Roby Hammial (born 1937) is an Australian poet, publisher, editor, artist and art curator. He has a long list of achievements in writing, publishing and sculpting. His achievements include twenty-four collections of poetry, thirty solo sculpture exhibitions and, acting as the director/curator of The Australian Collection of Outsider Art, twenty-six exhibitions of Australian Outsider Art in five countries. Hammial's significance to Australian poetry has been recognised by the Australia Council, which awarded him a Senior Writer’s Fellowship in 1996, an Established Writer’s Fellowship in 2004 and the Nancy Keesing Studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2009. Life Hammial (born 1937) grew up in and around Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Farmington High School in 1954. After three years...

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