At the last of this season’s Shearsman readings at Swedenborg Hall Paul A. Green and Laurie Duggan read from their recently published volumes, The Gestaltbunker (Selected Poems 1965-2010) and The Pursuit of Happiness. Paul’s reading was edgy and exciting and promoted the aptness of the blurb comment about his briefings on nuclear apocalypse, global meltdown and ‘intensifying torsion of language.’ Gesticulating and shouting ‘Horus Promo’ Paul made words jump: this boy with a nose job keeps rapping / swing into hi-fi with hot wire-tapping / We heard it through the grapevine
Laurie Duggan took us along ‘The London Road’: westward, / hands pull rope around a sheaf of / what? / wheat? asparagus? / Lamb’s Conduit / FOUNDED 1843 / old hinges of a / former door /painted over
Laurie’s dry wit, delivered as though the words had taken him by surprise, was caught in his short ‘Bin ends’:
A salute to the Cambridge Marxists
If you’re not at the High Table / you’re not in the room
Robert Vas Dias was in the audience and I reminded him of the review of Paul Blackburn’s Journals he wrote for Peter Hodgkiss’s Poetry Information 17, 1977, in which he had commented on the American poet’s method of taking a road ( ‘a direction and follow it where it leads’) where details are accumulated not for their own sake but ‘to reveal the state of mind’.
Both these books are available on the Shearsman website www.shearsman.com