Friday 30 May 2008

Long Poems are the New Beige

There is a very interesting discussion going on in David Morley's blog about long poems, which follows on from a debate at The Troubadour a few weeks ago.

And I picked up wind of a conference on Long Poems at Sussex University via Carrie Etter's blog. Wish I'd heard about it before it happened... If anyone reading this was there, would be great to hear how it went. Any further recommendations of long poems much appreciated.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

"autonomous gold"

Four poems by Rupert Loydell

Her Flesh Speaks True
after/from Helene Cixous

I want to allude
to a binary system
to similarities
to the couple
to domination

I want to be indebted
to language
to childhood
to the unknown
to a voice that doesn't know itself

I want to write
to the other
to question
to know why
toward song


Whatever one selects
there are repercussions.

Purity is only a dream
of uncentred discourse,

a strange object that
speaks in the masculine.


Because there is no longer
an object to interpret
I would suggest the wise
give way to delirium.

Between the object
and the subject
the unknown:
booby-trapped silence.


We need questioning.
We like uneasiness,
and uselessness.

There is always (more
or less) a force that
consists of delights
and violences.


There are repercussions:
the divided look
the mirror economy
the sea's churning
the frantic descent


Begin to speak.

© Rupert M Loydell

The Greenhouse in Winter

residual subsidy
shaggy arrogate
chicory terminal

kosher cistern
inactive literacy
baldpate dogma

sedition elapse
glaucoma swordtail
adoptive trustee

hillcrest transduction
fallible costume
dihedral arcade

arcane reversion
personal fault

atlantic electorate
hidden bucolic
anthracite pain

orthicon stricture
diagram culture
penultimate glass

glossolalia hobby
mimetic envoy
autonomous gold

electoral purgation
crematory hideout
wanting to kiss your neck

© Rupert M Loydell

Running Away From the Clock
for Alan West
"You wouldn't
like it here. Go elsewhere. One person's
Torrola is another's Sadness-by-the-Sea."
-- Stephen Dunn, 'Postcard from Torrola'
Diaries of forgotten happiness,
photographs of the past,
offer presences and dimensions.

Strange world. Because of me
rivers burn and run backwards
shaping our unconscious.

My body is a landscape
of social realities and carbon footprints.
Breathe in the beautiful smog.

Distant relations are my inheritance,
tomorrow's forecast is strikingly clear:
a collaborative elegy until we meet again.

Hundred-year-old trees are in bloom.
Don't give up the ghost, the life or work,
try and stay under the influence.

New galaxies form like droplets,
mirror universe pulls back the shade
(enjambment from heat to sub-zero).

Nomad words, spiral lands:
an oath between trees & rocks,
empires and environments,

a bottleneck of evolution
sewn together with sinew and string,
a project of total fiction.

The many-voiced powers of song
toe the line between irony and piety,
an intimation of divine retribution

at the point where ice meets water.
The machine version of death
is the forgotten language of light.

The opposite of the body is the world.
Here come the young and digital;
sleep is running away from the clock.

© Rupert M Loydell

The Hard Sell
for & from Peter Dent

Narrative is made from melted moments,
broken glass from forgotten windows.
If you join today, confusion and striation
will be the mind's snowstorm. More cursing
and you will render time null and void,
without story or semblance of a future;
it will be difficult to set off down the road.

If you associate misconduct with discovery,
we will include a ready reckoner with
the chance to leap from a high place
of our choice. Your life may depend on it,
so tell us if you have a nomadic tendency
or ever go out looking for intensity.
Don't forget to let the reader imagine

and forget about total system failure.
Just stay in touch and try to remember
how great the boom in nostalgia was.
The last time grace erupted, it was
only a draft version, so make sure
you always have a drink in hand
and send us all your money now.

© Rupert M Loydell

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Self-promotion: the 8th deadly sin...

which I, Simon Turner, hereby commit: you can read a review by me of Peter Stanford's new biography of Cecil Day-Lewis at EYEWEAR. The rather dashing photo is of a young Day-Lewis, I should add, and not of me.

Thursday 15 May 2008

"Walk into this World of Choice" - Poems by Gloria Dawson

New Tactics for Old Wars


Out from the station
armed by glass and reflection
at the same pace as political eruptions
(but not to scale)
over power lines of language
one two, they come
together, open legs through light and naked trees.
Open, close, open again.

I notice houses in much the same way
that an army might, translate again
E-W-S into the compass, not 1707

plotted along lines like these, signed in
black loops like dropped
cables, expostulated
against daily, to these approaching, opening skies.


Policemen pregnant
with danger –
several walkie-talkies, one
for each language, cuffs, other
measures that can be made rectangular.
Maybe even books.


Walk into this world of choice,
where you can have a ‘gait assessment’ for ten pounds,
so that you do not incline any more,
either to the right, or
to the left – you can buy this for politics –
and you do not overpronate, or underpronate
(meaning lean into yourself
too far, or bend too far out).
Only so many
middle grounds you can occupy


Distinctly not a photograph, then. Not
the rosehips falling
in ways, or the configuration
of fallen fence planks; not
the platinum face of early
morning through the late gaps,
grinning its way into memory, and
another layer,
the circling shutter,

but working up slow by slowly, to imperfection,
like words and hardworked sentences
do. Not simulacra. Not ‘as it was’.

Not you
in the gap,
a blank among planks, a plant
in platinum, waiting to be decayed like gardens.
Not this.


The tartan at cross-purpose but good purpose to the paving
is the moon tracking the scaffolding – no, its tracking of the moon,
and a ruler to measure steps home;
unintended consequence of building,
like the way words fall out

as new tactics for old wars,
the bitter ones we chew at
and fight with ourselves, wanking and spurning
anything else, wrestling the old known enemy
to be occasionally
surprised by a left hook when you were expecting a right,
the right taken
away, and loving that
surprise, wanting, no, needing, no, it.

Interlude (II)

(We) forgot to give each other
pronouns. It was like that then;
[‘yesterday’, too, is a weapon; detention
of the ‘moment’, which, too, is a weapon. You
are hit so often].

(We) spoke in tongues, disentangled
tautology to lie, equal and opposite, in parallel lines,
passing each current through (our) arms,
modelled on each other
yet distinct. Two models. And pretended
(we) weren’t thinking about other things.
Tomorrow, lying sharpened on the floor.
Politics. Particles. Which (we)
were, of course. Doing.
Those, and phrasal verbs. Doing those.
Saying things.

Transatlantic fibre-optic cables
were subsumed by compounds, running
like the many little suppositions
(we) had about each other;

Change makes (us)
give up conceits. What appears to be sand
at low tide is the lamp-spill
from the embankment’s edge, predicting
new densities, saying not marking
where sand, too, will fall, and rise.
And this, you know, has nothing to do with our,
we buried cables. Nor, dear, with us.


Gloria Dawson is 23 and lives in Oxford. She won the Ledbury Poetry Prize 2001, Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2004, and was shortlisted for a Gregory Award in 2005. Upcoming appearances include supporting Jackie Kay at the Soho Theatre in June. Having suffered a degree in English literature, she is trying to escape the box, discovering instead that the box has a lot of corners and a lot of common ground.