And Three Brieflys
The Rink – Aaron Kent
In a world of uncertainties, it is reassuring to feel reasonably confident that Kent’s own poetry publishing press is named after the closing two words of this chapbook’s opening poem Ice Skating, Garden of Eden, 1998.
That the ‘Eden’ of the poem’s title is ironic and apt within a set of poems about being anxious and finding ways to express aspects of this is also reassuringly certain.
In a blurb-stated anxiety about nuclear war, lines like
‘We are three bombs away from night time pressing
halos into the rearview mirror.’
[I Have Eaten The Moths And Now My Mouth Is Soot]
convey a lyrical paradox in the poetic expression of beauty and destruction which is potent.
In the sonnet Moving My Family Into A Den In The Corner Of The House, Kent is playful with language echoes like
‘It is there we can cower less, coward less, courage
and then finds the killer lines [pun intended]
‘…Our daughter’s too fresh to fully
understand the difference between a soul set aside
for the ripening and nuclear devastation.’
These poems address a range of apprehensions in a personal world of trying to find stability in the old traditions of home and family, but disruptions from the other dangerous ones interrupt. New poems placed on old ones and other found reminders of others’ [a magic three of intended puns] different realities make this a fresh and at many times haunting reminder of what does not change,
‘We forget we are working class / We are disposable.’
[Amnesty International Workers]
Poem, A Chapbook – Timmy Reed
Do you want to feel love? Then this chapbook is for you.
But first we hear about ‘dudes’ and an absence of punctuation – ‘This book contains no periods’ – and I like that surprise.
The fact a question mark is in the next poem could be another surprise, but to be fair, Reed didn’t say punctuation, just ‘periods’. Be careful what you extrapolate, I always say.
However, Reed’s playfulness is more engaging than mine. Of the question mark, he writes,
‘That last one was a question mark
It looks like a period on fire
A lump of coal
Releasing a plume of black smoke
Like a flag above it
But it isn’t
It only denotes an interrogative
Something that needs an answer’
This is as intense as it gets, by the way, and I am making a point about an intentional lack of intensity.
There is counting in these poems – if you want – and dudes that come and go. Reading newspapers is the art of setting them on fire first to make this ‘urgent’, and exclamation marks are
‘A period with a knife in it!’
The narrative thread is playful, like having an ice cream [I mean in the enjoying sense], and the manifesto is about writing in ‘the realist mode’ but with a healthy caveat of reserving ‘the right to take liberties’.
With Reed as we read we are poeming, and that is entertainment, especially in approaching the poem’s simple but bold declaration of ‘LOVE’.
Lou Ham: Racing Anthropocene Statement – Paul Hawkins
This world tour of cut-ups appropriated from what is found, actually, or in computer searches,
‘but as you see
from my posteriors
how this is web experienced’
is a narrative as disjointed as it is connected in the sheer amount of information we can all access and understand/not understand.
It deserves being seen as it is on the page, so here it is,
Climate change and globalisation and ferrari worship are all proverbial snapshots in this collection.
There are also the occasional verb appropriations that engage for their surprises within other linguistic surprises,
this is not even eyewash yet’.
There is a discourse here about conferences and management and advertising and car racing and computing and calculating and purchasing and gymkhanas and lou
to name a few.
I will call this baited poems.
Enjoy the catch.
These three with free p&p for just over a tenner. C’mon. To find with others, visit here.