Saturday, April 30, 2016

Simon Perchik...

Currently reviewing 'The D Poems,' a book of 183 (!) sort-of-ekphrastic poems by Simon Perchik, for the Triggerfish Critical Review. Hoping to interview him too if he's available. Watch this (or rather that) space... Will post links here.


Samboo's grave at Sunderland Point (revisited)

I knew I was right to leave
my washing out all this time
in the rain and snow
like a miracle
the sun just came out
now a gentle breeze doth blow

you can reasonably meet two assholes a day
one in the morning and one in the afternoon
but if you meet them all day long
you need to check yourself out—Anon


Friday, April 29, 2016

"... and of those tenne, one doth signifie nothing, which is made like an O, and is privately called a Cypher.” (Robert Recorde, The Grounde of Arte, 1543)
"now thou art an O / without a figure. I am better than thou art now. I / am a Fool, thou art nothing" (Shakespeare, King Lear, 1605/6)
"Nothing can come of nothing" (Socrates)
"Nothing will come of nothing" (Shakespeare, King Lear)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Fighting childhood abuse, and the resulting brain damage, one fucking idiot at a time"—Diana Cryder, 2016.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

once you've seen it you
can't unsee it
your apeface


Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Doherty Threshold

Damned American rhotacism: I just misheard "hit the Doherty Threshold" as "hit the Dorrity threshold," and assumed someone had tripped on a Dickensian doorstep into some tragic and sooty apotheosis.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Must-watch TV ...

This is about the most disturbing and addictive thing I've watched for some time:

I wanted to be a spy before I saw this, but now I think it's probably incompatible with credible parenthood.

More seriously, it reminded me of how we are all running cover stories and living double lives all the time, mostly beyond our recognition. Other things than ourselves drive us, and we don't usually operate with our own voices, whatever they are, assuming they exist... Perhaps there is a way to discover them, but generally we are already given over to some monstrous, overriding agenda before we even become aware of ourselves and start gasping about it. It's not really me speaking, and it's not really you responding; the entities engaged in what Bakhtin calls a 'dialogue' here are others, positioned further back, instilled through pain and urgency. They are survival functions and responses to the imposed scripts of others, often to others whose scripts we would least wish to internalise.

Watch this weird series with some self-reflection to feel the deep dislocation of yourself, and perhaps to recognise that really, however clichéd, the best shot we may ever have at decoding our own hermeneutics might just be to accept some versions of our ancient, most primitive narratives of love. Already that concept backs itself up into philosophical emetics, of course, but keep following the wheel, and just perhaps us humans really don't have much else with which to calibrate our compasses. Or we just keep recycling the same self-deceptions forever. It feels like the drive to address Global Warming: even if the entire theory was wrong, it would still be the right thing to do...

the night's travel (2009)

in and now out the same door
like all knives whirling
our utter politics in collisions
of limestone pavements

across all this she travailed
with sepia sandbags
of County Clare

all sailroads to traverse
and only 8 O-clock
by the whale's chime

this big hand by the night's wild travel
points to 12
the little hand
flickers and stops

iris of heart attack hope
—love of small things
and wild places

be certain now be sure

it's that time
in between
where the hands don't count

it's okay to be scared here
to lie down and breathe
to lie a little
before waking

(Published in PoetrySZ 2009)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

sex squalls

the TV people always have sex rapidly
without foreplay, sweeping the papers
off desks, breaking things, tearing
clothing, thrusting against walls. grunt
they say and uh uh, then gone. i guess
they want it over quick, the TV people
with everyone watching. i would too.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Alice Aforethought

a little tremor shook the house
and all she had ever written
meant something slightly new

but before she could even wonder
if the words might all change back
her eyes were adjusting too ...


Saturday, April 16, 2016

fairies of light
along the beck
green morning



18 straight hours
of binge TV
as primal screen-out


Sunday, April 10, 2016

she left her tail
in the outskirts

we all listened
the river stopped


Saturday, April 09, 2016

the motor of this
moment is a vote started
in the heart

leaping out in front
of a car like Canute
no, he says, no


Thursday, April 07, 2016

"Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry"—Auden on Yeats
man with failed parachute
has this decision
looking down
5 seconds to impact
should I hate this
or enjoy the rush?


falling in the air
a drop
stopped and thought

not over
not quite


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

just a-walking in the rain

sorry about the timing
;this isn't my fucking clock—Madeleine Shine

this Papua New Guinean thing of wearing
the thighbone of one's grandfather
I embrace the concept even for more recent ancestors
though one might usefully hasten the moment
of availability