Sunday 29 December 2013

"a fineness of relations"

"It is a new relation to syntax (normal syntax equal straight line which, continued not nearly so far as infinity, gets lost in social wastes . . .) but it also has a new relation to sound - abstract in a much more real way than 'sound' poetry, since it is heard by the mind and CANNOT be spoken.  Of course one could add a third type of concrete which is not heard at all.  I wonder if Augusto [de Campos]'s idea that the content of the poem is its own structure could not be reworded to mean that the poem is not about the beauty of this or that but simply, beauty - the content is a fineness of relations, which IS meaning . . ."
Ian Hamilton Finlay on concrete poetry, in a letter to Edwin Morgan, from Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selections (University of California Press, 2012) 

Friday 27 December 2013

"between us & ink"

Rotunda: after derek beaulieu


birds & fish
water & ink
signs & monuments
us & this
plain & simple

embarks birds & monuments on
intimate signs & fish extremely
in water & this volume
between us & ink a
plain & simple

diction embarks birds & monuments on the
relations between us & ink a shifter
analyzes intimate signs & fish extremely pleased
pleased in water & this volume a
plain & simple

speech analyzes intimate signs & ink a shifter among
extremely pleased in water & this volume a tauter
clearest diction embarks birds & monuments on the words
noble relations between us & fish extremely pleased in
plain & simple

ordinary speech analyzes intimate signs & ink a shifter among neighbours
as noble relations between us & monuments on the word’s perfection
fish extremely pleased in water & fish extremely pleased in water
the clearest diction embarks birds & this volume a tauter sense
plain & simple

Monday 23 December 2013

"the shadow of a bird / gone elsewhere"

Purple is fashionable twice
at this season (of lifting our heads)
- it is November, and I am with
the shadow of a bird
gone elsewhere now like a shield
across my own hollowed self
a red barn
where the hayropes hang like webs
and the starving sparrows sit
in the lofts
not chirping
for the new wings coming
up to roost.

Ed Dorn, from 'The Sparrow Sky', in Collected Poems, edited by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn (Carcanet, 2013)

Saturday 21 December 2013

"the thread / of the vowels"

To the sparrows high on tree tops
fly on sparrows through the hedge stops
bristle up and fly away
black crest heads point this way gay

What to do for you is write you
into this a word for word zoo
I and you inside the thread
of the vowels sad and red"

Lisa Jarnot, from 'Harpersfield Song', in Joie De Vivre: Selected Poems 1992-2012 (City Lights: 2013)

Thursday 19 December 2013

"all the way to Vienna's aid"

Lend me a pen and I'll deal the same
I'll deal the sun I do.
She wears a pale bra singing la la la
salting a comb through her hair.
Hailing a cab with a hello lo lo
all the way to Vienna's aid,
and the nun with a comb over rents her a villa
a free zoo a lone den with no chains.

Hannah Silva, from 'Translations', in Forms of Protest (Penned in the Margins, 2013)

Tuesday 17 December 2013

"a call to stone"

The poem wants to call the apples
orphaned but the call of art alone
is a call to stone.  There is still,
mister marble, a love for apples
and some will be gathered,
and some will fall to earth.

Andrew Bailey, from 'Stone Guitar', in Zeal (Enitharmon, 2012)

Sunday 15 December 2013

"thoughts that don't know they're thoughts"

                                                                 And yet recesses
continue to appear in the schucked resemblances of earlier hours, their
own kind of numb learning, continuously filled with fragrant
and explosive fluids, as sunlight is pulled down into a building.  These
become thoughts that don't know they're thoughts.  Later, bridges
that hunt their own breaking.  When it comes, it is like seeing
a memory for the first time.

Oli Hazzard, from 'As Necessity Requires', in Between Two Windows (Carcanet, 2012)

Friday 13 December 2013

"open the window"

"Sweetie Pie?"
                       Cath says.  "Would you
open the window?"
                              & I do.  A lovely park
is just outside
                         & fills the window with
green green leaves
                              the trees of the square below.
We are 3 stories up
                                & look down on a square
- the noise of birds, wind
                                       in the leaves, motor scooters
& distant cries
                        & now a bell.  It rings for me
& rings for you, here.

Ken Bolton, from 'Florence to Lorraine Lee', from Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2012)