It is a double pleasure to have a collection of my found prose poems forthcoming with Knives Forks and Spoons Press, and to have a poem from this included in the KFS Blackpool Illuminations which are apparently positioned just south of Bispham Tram Stop. I will be going to see just where that is at some stage! A further delight is to be with the other writers there. With huge thanks to Alec Newman.
I haven’t struggled to read these poems in their dancing and/or jaywalking across and over ordinary direct lines, but have in feeling confident to be meaningful about what to say on them other than encourage the surprises of that reading outside the common pathways.
That said, I will write some early impressions, and these are more honest and real than waiting to shape a surer if probably anathema summary/gist. Before this I will just make a leap of some confidence that the following whole poem [which is wonderful] alludes perfectly to my current circuit with these poems:
In this, ‘only or another means’ and ‘pale light slipping through’ and ‘not to be/Shaken off’ seem to suggest my journey so far.
But to those first impressions – I like the celebration of chance and unknowing in these poems – as I see/read it – rooted in unexpected contexts [there you go] like a chance encounter with a ‘4 X 4’ in THE UNREADABLE RIDER that prompts [from ‘chance is…’]
A contextualisation note with the poem, as is the case with many, refers us to ‘Hotel Responsibility legislation linked to ‘fire raising’.
It is the caveat against preparing for the ‘hereafter’ which suggests the celebration in the here and now.
This sense of looking out for the unlookoutable is suggested in the book’s opening poem THE DRAGONFLY HAD NO BUSINESS
Maybe I mean/Dent means uncertainty and ambiguity rather than chance – for example, there is in ONCE REMOVED the line [from ‘only/By…’]
and in ANOTHER MIGRAINE there is the lyricism of expressing how the uncertainty is a kind of existential effect [from ‘a story…’]
To set out on your own jaywalking, get it here.
I have completed my erasure of The Yellow Book – An Illustrated Quarterly, Volume 1 April 1894. This was the first edition of the literary journal that ran for 3 years and was edited by Henry Harland. I have had this original text for around 50 years though I was able to use an online copy for the erasure process.
I haven’t attempted to compile an entirely new narrative across all the texts, nor to fashion lengthy narratives within texts; indeed, my approach was to find at least one erasure from each written text, including poems, and to tackle some of the illustrations, choosing three for this. New meanings are discrete, and some present contemporary reflections; others not. There is no technical flamboyance because I wasn’t looking to create this and do not have the skills for doing so!
It is available to read and/or download here:
I wanted you sitting next to me
driving home with the top down
on a balmy, August early evening,
warmed also by the night’s jazz –
that one about survival and surrender
with a trumpeter’s lyrical shift to the
squeal of how a struggle for freedom
is spiritual, without our believing in it.