Bleeding Seeds

the seed
is a weed

flower too
we know

to grow

but also
a sword

for those
who saw

a bloom

into soil

or not
as who

and then

they will
fall upon

or should

been that
sure of

its slice
this way

or that
now when

their seed
will make

others cut
and bleed


‘Distances’ by Ian Seed, The Red Ceilings Press


Questions and Observations

At the end of reading an Ian Seed prose poetry piece you will very likely want to ask a question. Very often you will need to ask a question. At other times you are quite simply learning: that you can swat flies dead with a Russian novel, probably Crime and Punishment or Dead Souls – and probably paperbacks if they have been pulled from a rucksack – but you mustn’t use insect spray without first anticipating its trajectory and destination.

Other times at the end of reading an Ian Seed prose poetry piece you can be surprised by the sudden tenderness shown or taken in by a sense of fear that you have been told is ridiculous but gets you scared all the same. It is the crying and what happened at childhood.

The joy of an account like Tunnel.

And who would have thought that being free would cause so much anxiety?

Shining shining a light on melancholy and karma.

One question I have to ask about another train journey is should I feel bad when I smiled at that first joke about dementia – I’m sure it was a joke – especially when later on I was taken to her more painful reality?

I once had a girlfriend called Jane and she walked right past me in Ipswich when she was my girlfriend.

Is poet P. a real person and would I know her/him if they sat next to me having a haircut too this Friday?

Wir haben deinen Ring gefunden.

And how Abuse resonates beyond those borders of real and unreal, imagined and experienced: how storytelling is magical and disturbing in these talented hands.

The first two sentences of Translator is a great joke.

The German football team was dumped out of the World Cup this evening and didn’t show any of the defiance that man at the cinema did in Verboten.

Was it Peggy Mitchell?

Bad Breath is brilliant.

I am assuming the poet P. is not the Scottish poet Alan Jackson who may or may not have had a first collection Underwater Wedding.

And at the end I think distances is a good way of summing up all those uncertainties we as readers might want to reduce to knowns with our questions when we realise that they stretch out into both lament – by our being on the other side of them – but also into Ian Seed’s trademark intrigue – by our being on the other side of them.

I am a big fan and highly recommend you get it here at this excellent press.


Unseen but Understood

these young people
understand the elderly

aware of their defiance
and the fragility of bone

how a skull was
once covered in thicker hair

and how vernacular
could be seen as singsong

or sassy or
the voice of stubbornness

and though they sift
through nouns and verbs and

they also empathise

and never mention autumn
or other old allusions

Top Fifty 32: The Isley Brothers – Harvest For The World, 1976

[Originally posted August 2013]


Sweetest Mantra

The Isley Brothers sing on this album the sweetest of sweet soul music, Ronald Isley’s falsetto at the heart of all vocals, solo and in harmony. The title song is as beautiful as any beautiful soul sound can be, here at the smooth and soft prettiness point of that pretty spectrum – handclaps providing what funk there is, especially as it rises within the closing chorus that repeats the title. This of course has been set up by the gorgeous Prelude that begins the album, the melodrama of piano strains and crashing symbols beneath the thumping drums with Ronald’s plaintive plea for a harvest for the world, a harvest for the people, gather all together, a harvest for the children.

But if you want some funk, you’ve got it with third People of Today, oh yeah yeah. And then fourth Who Loves You Better is psychedelicised into the mix with Ernie Isley’s signature guitar sound, wah-wahing in that beautiful tone he makes his own. Suitably funked, we are returned to the loved-up caress of fifth At Your Best [You Are Love] where Ronald’s vocal and Ernie’s guitar coalesce in the height of their honeyed sensuousness. This is as perfect as such soulful sonorousness can be, before next Let Me Down Easy usurps with its deeper groove of soft resonance as Ronald sings with a melancholy that soothes in its despair, but only in the loving paradox and mantra of anticipation, if ever you were to leave me.



It is clear. This is it.
This feature. This fashion.
Overly taught. Over-taught.
[That was echo and repetition and tautology and cleverclogsness. Also it.]
But this is really it. This caesura.
Is it medial? Terminal!