O settlement! What do we mean when
we say ‘love’? The least kills the greatest
with ease, one stone does it. What do we
mean when we talk about distance? The
flames kindled, the figures leap and dance,
but only in the corner of your eye when
your gaze isn’t towards that stone wall.
What do we mean by self? Shift, and shift
again. What air comes between ‘me’ and
‘you’, and how is it charged? There is an
urgency in morning runners, but if they’re
not running to or from they might as well
mark time. Why is there more conversation
between late-autumn trees and those of full
summer? “Last night I saw a street full of
people, faces down but illuminated.” Why
do you push? O vitality! Why make such
an apostrophe, when there are children
dying? A career, even that of the Jagannath
cart, has an inevitable end. Why go to the
ends of the earth seeking a whole number?
There are still some copies left of my T.S. Eliot Prize-nominated poetry collection I am not a fish, direct from the publisher, though I suspect that they might not keep it in stock for much longer. So now would be a good time to buy a copy. How I hate running a commercial here!
Please visit and read Daniel Paul Marshall’s response to my short article on difficult poetry.
As it is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia, I have made available a short story of mine – ‘The Bodyguard’ – in which a woman relates a tale, to two Soviet officials, about the days before the Revolution, when she travelled to London with the Bolsheviks. Read it here.
In other news, a 31-strong group known as ‘Poets Collective’ has just published its latest anthology, The Four Elements: effects and influences, dealing with earth, water, air, and fire in all their realistic and metaphorical aspects. I am one of the 31, and something of mine is included in the anthology. There are some fine poets amongst the other thirty, and the book is available here.
The old drowsy day-cat opens
one eye. When we look at the
reflet, the shimmer, we forget
the river underneath, the depth
of water, the banality of drinking,
we are nine-parts river ourselves,
and we see only a dawn ritual,
the bell-and-pomegranate of a
robe. There’s a woman who
knows the zigzag nature of her
life, a succession of readings
pulling her on minute tackings,
that make a larger dogleg, that
turns into a crack on the face of
the world, that she gives in to
these and goes through them as
another kind of ceremony, “Let
me be this,” seized from thin air.
I almost forgot – the Autumn 2017 Showcase at the zen space is now published.
We shoal like fry in the warm shore-wash, moved this way and that by what we already know, we’re fry and that’s our métier; but each anxious moment of observation changes the whole world, and the next, and the next. It’s like feeding bread to a dog. An island rises from the greater sea; the fry head for it, but find themselves mature, too big for the next shore-wash, and the next, and the next. Each observation proves the last a lie, and oh what joy that brings! A word is a coin stamped for a king, debased by a forger, clipped by a villain, slapped down on hard wood by a bargainer, worth no more that what it’ll buy; worthy is she who flips it heads or tails, and “You didn’t call ‘edge’!” says she…