Tuesday 30 June 2009

Jennifer Moxley's Imagination Verses (Tender Buttons, 1996; Salt, 2003)

I could have grown tall,
but I awoke to no words and wonder left.

"Home World"

...equal measures
of air and earth
came to me
precious enough,
I wore them
well knowing
my thoughts
would think me
hollow, exiled
to the abandoning
of all
my illusory 

last lines of "Ode on the End"
(double spaced in the original)

down that rabbit hole my liege
I'm a camera gathering brightness

"Bi-coastal Fleshings"

Were we the land's
before we were landed?

"The Winged Words"

Where is my field of wheat,
my flock, my ocean,
my arsenal, my knight errant.

"Ode on the Son"

I dreamt
a petal's depth of hatred
            hovered at my ear
while vagaries worked
            to rough me up.


                  A girl,
I have seen tragedy
      consider being
such as we are.

"Ten Still Petals"

and know again
there's a place for us, and such
a country.

end of "Underlying Assumptions"
(double spaced in the original)

Come along, you can join us 
if you lose that proclivity 
for worship--any medium size
planet will do. Just think,
four walls and a microwave
could really keep us busy.

end of "Studio Life"
(doubled spaced in the original)

I grow phallic
with each dissemination

"The Removal of Enlightenment Safeguards"

It's as if to be real
you and I must garner backers
without a rib to call our own.
We make ripples
with daily effort and then suddenly
flood the place with anger.

opening lines of "Ode to Protest"
(double spaced in the original)

to fell unclouded truth, truth
like a tunnel to the heart


punished dreamer
failed redeemer
man, or country

"The Ballad of Her rePossession"
(double spaced in the original)

...in the frozen field of aim, beside the gift of all intention
            perhaps I'll cry away the day
            perhaps I'll choose a different wreck
perhaps I'll live this appalling destiny
                  in the economy of night.

the end of "Wake"
(double spaced in the original)

I suspect the water's edge is enamored of the water,
a quiver on the surface tells me not the wind
but the wish to drift will devastate the sand.
It is the future's focal infection, this insistence on death, 
like when my mother and father cradled me
as the answer to each other's desperate tread towards union.
For this is a universe where things are not apparent
in their cruelty, but continual, and the sweetness of order
is increasingly evanescent. If I could hide this day forever
from the pleasure of renewal and banish all contingency
from happening I would, but I have never seen planet X
or the wooden ships on the Eastern horizon.
Up until now my life has faced West, sequestered
reason reaching for an injudicious kiss.

second and final stanza of
"The Waver in the Orbit of Uranus Becomes Unexplainable"

...we have built what we imagine
others building. Behind other
summer-lit windows 
there must be wall paper
worth waking up to....


                                    It was
the year the phones went dead
on Mother's Day, though most mothers
preferred fully realized human potential
to letters home or regular calls.

"Lucky So and So"

Saturday 27 June 2009

Claire Crowther's The Clockwork Gift

A sample poem--

Petra Genetrix

I won't replace lost wedding cutlery,
its broad straight limbs,
with new shallow spoons,
their writhing shoulderless handles--

Lines get broken.
All I see in museums
is the frozen watchfulness of a previous home.
Ancient knives found under Eden Walk are flints

polished in an age defined by how it ate.
There's no matching greenstone and dolomite
though I could still buy old patterns,
shell, feather, rat tail.

'Granny, did you throw away your silver?'
'The table of the moon is laid with it.'

Claire Crowther
The Clockwork Gift (Shearsman, 2009)

It can be purchased directly from Shearsman Books or from The Book Depository.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Peter Gizzi's Periplum and Other Poems 1987-1992 (Salt, 2004; originally Avec, 1992)


The arc of my nerve alive with your salt.


If you
want me, you will find me in
the garden of vestiges, next to

the sweet water cistern.

"Blue Peter"

The day is down and I dismount.


...outside my hamlet. This
little sandbox for a clumsy

"Song: I Lost My Pail"

This is my poem. The one I tuck under my eyelids when looking inhibits the distinctions of what can be seen.


Sad nothing can be held so thoroughly we might assimilate it.


Having left me to dinners, movies, books and with this incredible sickness you call enthusiasm.

"Despite Your Notices"

The morning you woke up and for a moment forgot
to call them "dead," it was the morning
of the poem.


...streets with cadences of wind.


Time is our only subject
and the mutability of forms. Time compact
and out of sight. I want the whole essay.


...so much emotion
goes into learning to make these letters.
A spell against time.


...wanting to walk
blankly off into a grove where all punctuation
lists, like you, brilliant in its particularity
and distinction.


It's getting hard to say now, this
exploded present, doubling back moebius
style on your gaze and the air thick
with tongues. You'll say it's too discursive.
But I have learned more from chicken soup
than all the bright contests.

"Hard as Ash"

empty of speech
empty of wind
in the dimming
or time after time
my own
of form


how else the inexorable
small and alive


an overturned word
silence in the emblem
of rain


all day some trees
some trees
and slow water

as the grey was mistaken
for a sparrow


the resolve
of unmoving duration

or an open field


small talk issued from a wind splint

"Music for Films"

Here elaborations come
to play a surface into rapture.

"Facades for Theron Ware"

Thursday 18 June 2009

Forty-three years ago today

my parents married. That is, this would be their anniversary if not for my father's unexpected death 13 March. I wish I could be in Illinois with her, to make her laugh with stories and put my arm around her shoulders when she cries. 

Monday 15 June 2009

Bath Launch of The Tethers, 11 June 2009

I'm unsure whether this picture really conveys how packed it was, perhaps because some people had left for a cigarette, etc. In the foreground, Lee Harwood, Kelvin Corcoran, and I.

At the book table, dutiful MA poet James Evans.
Facing away from him is former MA poet Dikra Ridha.

Lee Harwood

Friday 12 June 2009

London launch of The Tethers, 9 June 2009

the view from the podium

Anne-Marie Fyfe, Siobhan Campbell, and Rosemary Campbell

Moniza Alvi introduced me.

Simon Reynolds as barman, I his happy customer. 
In front of the bar, from left to right, Rachel Karn, Lynn Corr, and Frenchi Francoli. 

the crowd

the Australian contingent, Laurie Duggan and Jaya Savige

In spite of the tube strike, the launch was attended by over 50 people and over 40 books were sold. Special thanks go to Simon Avery, senior lecturer at the University of Westminster, for securing the venue (at much hassle to himself, unfortunately).

Monday 8 June 2009

My London launch

is tomorrow. I'm so excited and hopeful. Yet there's also been some bad news: it looks like the tube strike's going ahead, so while people can reach the venue, they will have to find a way home that doesn't use the Underground. I hope it doesn't keep people away....

Thursday 4 June 2009

Blog tour stop 2: Ben Wilkinson's Deconstructive Wasteland

For a kind introduction to The Tethers and the poem, "The Review," see the latest post on Ben Wilkinson's website, Deconstructive Wasteland.

Monday 1 June 2009

Two-poem reading from The Tethers now on YouTube

Seren had me do a recording of my reading of two poems from The Tethers, "Magnum Opus" and "The Honeymoon of Our Attraction" (I thought they were pretty representative), and as the book arrives at their offices tomorrow, they've now posted the video to YouTube. I'd be glad to know what you think!