Thursday 5 November 2009

Melanie Leong - One Poem

A Linear Narrative of a Situation

There’s an on-going exhibition inside the fridge,
        "The well-preserved
against the decaying process."
I close the door.
At dawn, you undress me.
Carefully, slowly,
perhaps even with a tint of affect(at)ion.
You shed my skin, layer after layer.
The bra is always the trickiest part,
rebelling against your dumb fingers.
I asked you to recite the alphabets,
from a to z.
Halt -
I miss the obtrusive silence.
I think, you’re too logocentric for my liking.
A malicious quality encircles your letters.
-- Excuse me; what?
The truth comes out -
the notion of having sex with you
is equivalent to ingesting that
uncooked, rotten potato,
covered with a patch of mould, greeny-ugly.
I close my eyes, for telekinesis.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Recent News...

- Tonight is unofficially London poetry night: Carcanet are hosting a triple launch with poets Jeremy Over, Richard Price and Matthew Welton, 18.30-20.30 at The Horse Hospital, Collonade, Bloomsbury.

- Also, the Shearsman Reading Series continues with two fantastic poets, Giles Goodland and Frances Presley, 19.30, Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2TH. Other stuff happening tonight, but didn't look quite as exciting. If anyone gets down there and wants to do us a write up, would be most kind.

(These notices have gone up late partly because of incompetence, partly out of bitterness that neither of the Editors can attend. London, bring a piece of yourself to the Midlands, we have poetry fans here too.)

- Salt have gone mad, in the nicest way possible. They've started offering their Facebook Fanclub and blog readers massive discounts on a range of titles, rotating on a weekly basis from now up to Christmas. Details of the first two are on their blog. First one has expired already, but I've picked up Montejo and Gelman. Fortunately nothing I want on the second list that I don't already have, else I'll be bankrupt in six weeks.

- A reminder of discounts on the Popescu Prize 2009 Shortlisted titles (it's not linked too obviously from the main competition page). We like muchly.

- Oystercatcher have just published a new pamphlet by Carrie Etter, The Son. I was lucky enough to catch her launch, with Janet Sutherland (wonderful also, reading from her new collection from Shearsman, Hangman's Acre and some samples over at peony moon), which was incredibly moving. The sequence, even without the context (you'll have to ask Carrie about that, when she's back from Prague) is extremely powerful, beautifully crafted. Genuinely brought me close to tears listening to her read. She'll be following that up next year with a full length Shearsman collection, Imagined Sons [NB: See Carrie's comment below for correct info]. Well worth keeping an eye out.

- Seeing how this is turning into a Shearsman press release, I should mention the fantastic latest issue of Shearsman Magazine #81 & 82, including new poetry by Christopher Middleton, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Lee Harwood, Linda Black, Kenny Knight, translations of Gunter Eich by Siroul Troup, etc. etc. Oh yeah, and one of the Editors. (Sorry, 8th Sin, I know, but I'm a glutton for your wrath, Si.)

N.B.: I can't avoid pointing out how much I love the fact that the image thumbnail for Ken Edwards' Red & Green is a picture of a Cartman doll. Legendary.

- And speaking of legendary, the November issue of The Believer has a fantastic interview with the Legend that is Peter Blegvad. Here's a link to 'Daughter' on youtube, with a random abstract painting.

Monday 2 November 2009

Sharlene Teo - One Poem

“That summer, at home I had become the invisible boy"

That year I could stay
in my room for hours.
I would lie in bed
staring at the ceiling,
shell-shocked by a kind of
elegant blankness.

I’d seen this brand of
blankness in movies
before, curled around
the barrel of a long
shot. Leading man takes
lady’s hands.
Clinically tender, he turns them
over like old coins,
as if searching for the rareness,
the responding warmth which
should rise like a clear note,
a sigh, soft steam from a
broth. Outside the diner,
bombs go off.

My father forgot to go home
in the late light. Search party
of one; maybe he left
a message. I comb the coast
shaking starfish, throttling
seagulls. For lack of envoys,
I scour the sand for slow cursive,
beer-bottle, sea-mail.
No sign.

This is what I tell myself.
I tell myself I’m giving up
on people. Moving up to
the mountains, away from every
mouth. I am tired of how people chew
and cluck and crinkle. I want things
to be inchoate, simple.

Always wondered what it would
be, my totem animal. A stag,
perhaps, slow canter, bright
eyes — nothing so noble. It would
probably be a hedgehog; stray
dollop, far from doubting whole.
As a child I watched this cartoon
on television, the Hedgehog in the
Fog. Wild and scratchy, it flickered
through four o’clock and
left me speechless — I had never felt
so cleanly alone. And it keeps on
recurring — bright like blindness,

blip-sized world.