I wasn’t going to respond, no, I cannot respond, though I shall respond, yet there can be no response. I was not prepared to dignify these letters, my time could be spent doing something worthy, something for the betterment of the entire planet. And yet, here I am compelled to address what I assume is your joint politically incorrect ‘humour’ at my expense. I have given up computers and the internet to shorten my footprint. And this email is being keyed in by my brother, a highly-literate wool-classer. Because I cannot travel, my brother is willing to travel on my behalf to The Island to defend my name and reputation. Don’t take him lightly, he is willing to go to any length to stop this assassination of my character.
When my brother read The Rowley Shoals letter my entire body shook to its core. This bizarre portrayal is demeaning in the extreme. I can’t understand for the life of me why you have decided to target me in this way. After all the work I have done for your poetry, the overseas lectures, the nights writing emails to highly regarded scholars of Post Modern Poetry, the endless publication opportunities offered to you. Don’t think you can bring the dead back to life, even if they are the immortal poets, the Common Ones by loose associations. No it can’t be done, you can’t do this, it’s quite insane. Suspension of disbelief is one thing but this effort is a cheap trip, you have simply keel-hauled the imagination. Hung it out to dry. You are bringing Australian poetry into disrepute. I have spent my entire career in the pursuit of lyricism, strived to maintain quality with each line I write, unlike those who publish every word without a stroke of editing.
I have sixty different publishers. My poems have been translated into ninety seven languages. I am a professor at thirty five universities and have friends in every country in the world. My reputation has been built on original, hard-won thinking and writing. And now this. If you don’t stop writing these letters I will use my vast influence to bring things to a head. This is a warning,
Take your cutting-room floor detritus and throw a match on it. Or I’ll arrange to have it done for you.