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Showing posts from June, 2022

Review - "Remarks of Uncertain Consequence" by Alan Halsey

Steven Waling "Remarks of Uncertain Consequence" by Alan Halsey, pub. Five Seasons Press. £14 Sometimes, one reads books that on the surface seem easy, even easy-going and yet there is an underlying oddness to the writing that makes one want to read on. This is that kind of book. On the one hand, these poems can be beguilingly personal – the prose poems about his absence from family photographs, for instance – on the other hand, they can be intriguingly bookish or learned, as in the poem that starts ‘A postcard I bought at John Ryland’s…’ (p31). Because this book is so wide-ranging in subject matter, going from notions of heritage, family dynamics and memory to George the 3 rd , the Restoration Court, dystopias to psychology with a breathless energy, it’s hard to say exactly what ‘theme’ this book has. What unites this book, though, is a sardonic wit and energy that is both restless and often micro-focused. To get a flavour of the book, here is a whole (untitled) (short

Review - Alan Halsey's Selected Poems

Steve Waling “Selected Poems” by Alan Halsey, pub. Shearsman. 260pp. £12.95 There are two ways of reading a poem, both of which can run concurrently alongside each other. Poems have meanings and subjects, themes and are able to be interpreted, often in more than one way. The other way of reading is to pay attention to the words: to the sound and appearance of them, to the syntax and sentence construction, the mix of verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs etc., alongside the puns and anagrams and tongue-twisters that language can throw at the reader. One of the features of Halsey’s poems is the attention to language as a performance in itself. Take this passage:           Finding chocolate by echolocation           a pipistrelle would call mere trompe-l’orielle.           ‘I always knew Roman spelt trouble’           remarks Ahab in rehab while proving           that his prophecies for 1999 were really           only grasping the wrong end of the compositor’s stick.          

Lucia Daramus - Poem

Lucia Daramus Another Voice The sky is above our minds with closed veil of dark clouds. Far off the window of Exeter Cedar Hospital a green dead field with some alive trees and a house with a white bird on the top. I'm asking myself what's inside the house. What kind of man? And a possible woman? On that window’s pleasant instantaneous light. Bright light, a light in green colours is there from their souls? I'm hearing a voice it is a pleasant voice having a shadow blue, blue, harmonica blue. My voice is settled in that house With blue nuances in my mind's voice the house, house near Cedar Hospital In Exeter ...and yes... there is a woman I can hear! A woman with long hair and brown yellow pattern like a rapeseed field reading Perfume by Suskind yes, yes, ...a murder and ...and ...the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning of a taste of coffee and French croissants Perfume – the perfume of the century of the city, of the streets , and a woman . M

Rupert Loydell - Three Poems

Rupert Loydell From Various Sources: Three Poems RUBBER STAMPING OPERATIONS From a letter to the LRB by Michael Horovitz Poets and publications favoured? Not that many poets and writers are looking beyond prerequisites. We are looking for back-stabbing, the body and soul of the living word in Britain today and tomorrow. We serve to protect and promote a narrow uniformity of transactions by and for the ruling classes, keep down almost every aspiration to the original, adventuresome, radical, heterodox, experimental and imaginative. We flaunt tomorrow and insult makers of poetry who preserve the power. Poetry is made of irrational words: the most fastidious word-musicians alive keep people apart, promote ignorance as well as laughably sparse verse. We’ve managed to cast judgment on an incomparably banal output as well as the nation’s Literature, are definable as survivors of state-registered junkie imprints, the Beat generation, censorship, and a sel