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
a lane alien
a line align
autobiography of a location
something obscures their heads
I try to be objective
I’ve become an object
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