This Book Is Not on the Internet
I am a genuine fan of internet poetry. By this I mean firstly, as a reader, to have so many online magazines and journals where good poetry can be easily accessed and read. It will seem a little contradictory because of what I am going to say soon, but one can also skim through or pass on with writing that doesn’t engage, and no commitment to keep has been made [though this is a little problematic so I will leave for now but pick up later]. That access is colossal – sometimes too much, too easy – but it is there, often brilliantly presented, often with sharing opportunities, and it is a richly diverse source. Secondly, online poetry magazines and journals are rich and varied resources for getting writing published/posted. Again, there is an ease in attempting this [not necessarily achieving this] – perhaps too much, too much access sometimes – but nonetheless the outlets are also colossal, growing all the time, with online information on what and how to access. Twitter is in this case, it seems to me, quite positive for promoting, facilitating, marketing and celebrating poetry – it is all in the Following.
The editors of these sites take on significant tasks/commitments in promoting and receiving and reading and, if you are lucky, publishing. That goes for all editors and publishers, hard copy and digital – before, now and after. But the online poetry phenomena is staggering in its scope.
I say this because there is still nothing quite as special as receiving an actual real book, the artifact of the writing. This goes for any collection of poetry that one wants and values, and the physical reading process [sorry that sounds clinical] is special and, to deal with that ‘problematic’ thread above, probably facilitates the ability but also occasional need to re-read and persevere and trace back having read on and to come back days weeks months years later which isn’t something you do with online material. Indeed, I have of late been finding and looking at poetry books and the writing inside from years ago – enjoying immensely – and you wouldn’t do this with online material.
Which leads me to Rupert Loydell’s latest physical collection of poems White Noise, published by zimZalla, described as ‘a bundle of hand-stamped pamphlets with visual wraparound’ and when I received my red-ribboned copy yesterday it was a genuine, palpable pleasure – to unwrap, to see, the physically handle, and to read.
Even removing the red ribbon is a process one has to think about. To untie? To cut? I slipped mine off and have kept as is. Or as what it has become no longer wrapped around. The three chapbooks once released are superbly simple: neatly white and uncluttered and highlighting through that simplicity the poems inside. The wraparound is a bonus, with information printed on the inside.
I am not going to review the contents. Naturally, I would recommend this book to anyone new to the work of Rupert Loydell. It is certainly worth reading, and these poems are both accessible and challenging – easy to read but demanding in whatever thinking response is prompted. My other reason for not reviewing is that being realistic, most people wanting and obtaining this set know the work of Loydell, know the focus [the questioning/the observing/the processing/the visualising/the eluding] and, especially in this case, the taut poetry that journeys along this.
For anyone not that familiar, I have written a fair amount about Loydell’s work in various postings that are chronicled here.
White Noise listens to the modern world and responds in either laughter or lamenting. There are many other L-words too – yes, even Love gets mentioned – so you need to get a set so that you can listen and hear as well. Go here.
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