Sunday 8 April 2012

Roy Fisher's Standard Midland (Bloodaxe, 2010)

The afterlife back then
was fairly long:
nothing demented like for ever,

nothing military.

from "The Afterlife"

Pass by the threat and it goes back nearer Nature: the three old horses that always amble in the boggy roadside fields have criss-crossed the bluff, growing bigger all the while. They've arranged themselves on the naked steps of the summit and stand there asleep as a single conjoined thing against the sky waiting for the enormous moon to land and take them up.


of shellfish and salmon rising from marble
counters in the pomp of the market
defer to the palms ranged above. Masque
in the Aquarium tank breasting the view
floor up to roof where the skirts
swish through the murk and sharks
ride up and pass

'Sunday 6.30 Rev. Handel Broadbent

Indeed. If so he be. The phut and fall
of a late firework.

from "On the Wellingtonias at Pilleth"

[Here you will have to long for the exquisite 6-line elegy, "On Hearing I'd Outlived My Son the Linguist," or buy the book.]

My mood,
my garden: outline and ooze.

from "Shocking Pink"

Quite possibly I love the old cat
more than I love my thoughts. A private matter.

from "Of the Qualities"

It's plain. The rule
and the example.
In from the world and all its directions
the rule must fall and there lie
shining alone.


But there's a force that starts to curve as it gathers and says
War and energy. Peace with revolutions
under the floorboards. Go looking.

from "Hole, Horse and Hellbox:
the Tabernacle Poems"

[More whole short poems would go here if I was going to fly in the face of copyright: "Plot," "A Damp Night," "The Skyline in the Wall Mirror"....]

It's as if some sunny splendour has not long since passed through this room and the passage beyond with the power to life the air and move, while the cartons and packing cases maintain an oppressive inertia bordering on menace.

from "Stops and Stations"

Peeling the present off the past
the better to show the wiring


rattling a cart of knocked-up planks

its bottom littered with research papers
on land use in the Fertile Crescent,

pamphlets, a Herodotus:
news of the stolen world.

from "Rattle a Cart"

Standard Midland is, as of this posting, available from Foyle's Books for 30% off.

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