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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Wrecked by Simon Howard

Wrecked by Simon Howard

 

New from Oystercatcher: Wrecked, a series of poems by Simon Howard.

 

The epigraph from Herakleitos, itself a fragment, tells us ‘The most beautiful order of the world is still a random gathering of things insignificant in themselves.’

 

Reading these poems I found myself taken back to those comments made by Roger Langley when he was interviewed by R.F. Walker, published in the Salt collection Don’t Start Me Talking. Remembering a time when he stood under a tree for an hour and a half having walked out of the village at dusk ‘it occurred to me that I ought to stand without moving at all for that length of time and see what happened. Not even turning my head. A lot of rabbits came up and sat on my feet. And moths whipping about within inches of me. A feeling that you might get through to what was really there if you stripped off enough. I thought that was an interesting experience: to be alone and perfectly still. As soon as you move things take on meaning, don’t they? Because things become things that you’ve got to step round or walk over or something. They instantly become part of your map, as it were. Whereas if you stand absolutely still, then they might not be part of any map at all. You ‘see’ the place when you haven’t got any designs on it.’

Langley had been reading Thomas Nagel’s The View from Nowhere with its contemplation of objective understanding and attempts to transcend our particular viewpoint.

 

Simon Howard’s accumulation of fragments, ‘These roaring cupboard / these whispering chair’, takes us to ‘The edge / at the edge // of every narrative’. We are in a world of William Carlos Williams and surreal order, a unity of sounds and solidity, a chronicle of damage

 

Nail notch

null

 

a lane alien

a line align

 

nervous

 

autobiography of a location

something obscures their heads

 

I try to be objective

I’ve become an object

 

Buy this book from Oystercatcher Press, www.oystercatcherpress.com

 

Ian Brinton

 

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Ian Heames’ Out Of Villon

Ian Heames’ Out Of Villon

Last Saturday at the Free Verse poetry book fair in Conway Hall I ran into Ian Heames who was manning a stall alongside Justin Katko. Katko’s press, Critical Documents (http://plantarchy.us), has published some very important material over the past couple of years including J.H. Prynne’s Kazoo Dreamboats, Josh Stanley’s Contra Night Escha Black, Ryan Dobran’s Ding Ding as well as work by Ian Heames such as Gloss To Carriers.

 

There is a lyrical energy weaving its way through Ian Heames’s poems and I was much struck by small pamphlet poem Out Of Villon which has been published by cucpress (cucpress.tumblr.com). Here I found myself reading echoes of Robert Browning filtered through Basil Bunting and Stephen Rodefer:

 

This evening, select, extant

Dictating these discrepant lays

All day by the bell of Sorbonne

 

That predicted angel who has none hour sounds

 

At the time, I felt Lady Memory

To begin again in the metro

 

By doing this I’m drinking wine

By force

 

My asperity is a lyre.

 

This poem is dated December 1st 2009 and was published in 2011. Look out for it; it is a haunting poem which won’t quite leave you alone. Ian Heames has also edited an interesting little magazine, No Prizes, issue 2 of which appeared earlier this year. It contains work by Bill Fuller and Sean Bonney as well as Jeremy Prynne’s thoughts on Peter Larkin which had been delivered at the inaugural event of the un-American Activities reading series in May of this year in Cambridge.

 

Ian Brinton

 

 

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