Chris McCabe & Jeremy Reed’s Whitehall Jackals: A London Collaboration published by Nine Arches Press is a significant addition to the poetry of London. Their wide-eyed, X-rayed Cubist vision of London is more than a cultural mapping. Written between January and April 2011 it is partly a response to war atrocities in Iraq and the ‘oligarchical political regime of czars, spin, deception and pathological lies’ all left unopposed by mainstream British poetry.
Their poetry interacts and revolves around the underlying instabilities, historical and pyschogeographical interplay of the city. Horizontal and vertical layers of story are contextualized and abstracted to reveal multifarious states of being, control and flux.
The past and present of London’s streets, pubs, clubs are worked on and over so that the reader penetrates deeper into the experience of lived London. The near past echoing in the present and time-cut back and forth to embody an attitude that invokes subversive play:
Peckham Rye (Hymn For Blake)
February 8 : Levi banshee with cheek-scarf & iPod. No.63.
7.48 am. NO VISION.
February 13 : dreadnought Sunday, chalk-flecks of commuters.
No. 63. 7.32 am. NO VISION.
February 18 : white Mac motherboard reboot, joggers like
Data-strings. No. 12. 7.02 am. NO VISION
February 19 : concentrics of rain in puddles as if Scientologists’
Little gods are sticklebacks. No. 63. 8.12 am. NO VISION
Responding to each other’s obsessions, they use found and localized materials to anchor their edgy scripts. Their writing makes you smile, laugh, wonder and leave you wanting more.