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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Leigh Harlett


Partners in Crime


POETICS

Start with a single line / a phrase / a concept / a sequence. Ruminate on this beginning, on this initial thought, while travelling: walking, ambling, train-riding, bus-sitting. And begin. Minimalise capital letters and punctuation - this is stream-of-consciousness writing. No line breaks nor stanzas; let it flow as a paragraph of strung-together notions. Once done, align: justify. Now experiment with the page margins, centimetre by centimetre - compress the words, until it's small and neat and regular. Clear-cut, the breaks are created unnaturally, simply because the words are forced to spill over onto the next line. And so, a 'Thoughtbox' is created.

Leigh Harlett

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Robert Sheppard and Patricia Farrell: a book each published today; some thoughts and some reading

First, copies of my autrebiographies Words Out of Time arrived from Knives Forks and Spoons in time for my reading in Brighton, which will now become my hometown launch for it - and I hope to see Lee Harwood and Adrian Clarke and other friends there (and visit my mother in Southwick); then copies of Patricia's Space Completely Filled with Matter arrived from Veer. That looks very professional with fine reproduction values. That will be launched at the next Storm and Golden Sky on 29th May. So a double pleasure. I will blog about both books when I've more time after the Brighton trip. (That reading, my book, Patricia's folder, and Storm and Golden Sky are all featured on Pages.) Details of both books and how to obtain them soon! (Read my peice on writing part one, The Given, here.)

This comes on the back of much chatter about Salt publications slimming down its list. My Companion to Lee Harwood has disappeared, which is a shame, as has Tin Pan Arcadia, although that is republished in Complete Twentieth Century Blues, which is still on the catalogue (though I am not), but described as 'out of stock'. I am wondering whether the three paperback copies I have are the complete run of the paperback edition I mentioned some posts ago.(No: it can be bought second hand through booksellers associated with Amazon.)

Also in the post (I mean the mail) was the latest book by Derek Attridge which re-visits his The Singularity of Literature. I can see already that, however minimally I can do it, I will have to acknowedge it in my critical book, The Meaning of Form, which I think of as finished. Again, this is well-blogged about here, as is its debt to that essential book. There are a number of outtakes and thoughts on that to come.

It is also good to see (even an hour ago, here: http://tomraworth.com/notes/?p=5051) South Coast resident Tom Raworth blogging again.

The only thing these things have in common is that they incompletely change everything.

Monday, April 27, 2015

EUOIA: Zoe Skoulding and Robert Sheppard's Gurkan Aranut now published in Shearsman

The collaborative translations of the Cypriot fictional poet that I wrote with Zoe Skoulding, which set the whole thing off, the second stage of fictional poetry (the first being A Translated Man in which he invents the EUOIA: the European Union of Imaginary Authors), are now published in the latest Shearsman (103 & 104). See here for more on the EUOIA (and, scrolling down, the video of Zoe reading both of the poems, which can also be viewed directly on YouTube here). I write about that first collaboratioin here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Four Poems in 'English'

I have four poems in English, the magazine of the English Association (of which I am a Fellow). The introduction to this issue, Volume 64, 244, Spring 2015, a special one, 'Chaucer Reconsidered', includes the following: ‘Chaucer was an innovative poet who often considered the nature of poetry within his writing. This issue contains new work by Robert Sheppard, Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University. Sheppard has been central to innovative poetry in the UK, and its academic reception. His four poems in this issue probe relationships between perception and the fragmentary world of the poem, inviting the reader to remake experience: “Every poem is a new beginning,/ but then so are you”,’ the quote being for ‘Poem’ for poet Marianne Morris (on the ocassion of her PhD). I am mindful of the need to enjoy the applause but never to completely believe it, as a wise actor (who?) once said.

The other poems are for poet Scott Thurston, painter and print-maker Pete Clarke (see three prints which contain phrases from the poem here) and jazz impressario Ian Perry. The latter poem ends with the lines: ‘Now/ let’s watch Serge and Jane swerving along the Elysée’. Let’s:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Steven Fletcher


 
As a mature student, 47 years old at enrolment, I have found the BA Creative Writing course to be a life enriching experience. It gives students the opportunity to hone writing technique, to develop drafting and editing skills, to understand the creative industry and the writer’s relationship with it. It has been three years well spent.

The course focuses on the main genres of writing. In the first year narrative theory supplements the three core workshop modules of poetry, scriptwriting, and the short story. The workshopping discipline of drafting and editing is always at the forefront of study. The student is continually encouraged towards writing fitness, through practice and discussion. Work is processed in a positive environment.

 The tutors are all established, published writers, experts in their own genres and disciplines. They offer practical support, as well as directing students towards texts that advance and help develop understanding of all aspects of the work. This balance sustains and nourishes the student throughout the year; not only when meeting assignment deadlines.

The emphasis in all the modules is on independent learning and reading. This is developed through tutorials, workshops and peer appraisal: around twelve hours a week contact time is added to regular development meetings with personal tutors. Research and preparation for each session is demanding but garners best results from workshop discussions.

Furthermore, I was delighted, but not surprised, that Edge Hill was awarded the tenth Times Higher Education Awards University of the Year, 2014. It has been a joy to study there and be instructed by an enthusiastic and vibrant team of writers. It is a great university to study.

 

Waterloo: Midnight Vista

 

Barrel it back from Blundellsands,

breeze over the Seaforth span with

 sodium arcs, straff beam guides. Flash

passed a familiar vision: 

Bootle (most bombed British borough).

Who knew? Who knows, Who cares? Coded

freight containers, steel box mountain

fabrications, never fails to a

maze: colossal toy blocks, fairy

decking lights, skeletal structures

crane. Not gnomic but simple: roll-

on, roll-off. Turbine guards twist winds

power, translates kinetic to stored.

 

Hospice, October, 2013.

 

Wasteland, edge land, liminal place

 
An atrium entrance, temporary, cramped

filled with flat pack, chopped chip office furniture.

 

Visitors sign in, sign out, regulated. 

Spend time condemned, celled in comfort able

oblivion. Angers well deep pop observed silences.

 

Where, today or yesterday, I spoke to a childhood

giant, that life valued times mine equals half this measure.

Exits stance, weight for cellular replicative immortality

sustained proliferative signals wait for space and the line...

 
 
No body comes here to die,

the palliative stroke care team like to say.

Accumulated mutations, carried by control protein P53,

strain relations, causing love’s loss, and end scene.

Void, filled by smells of absence, disinfects and sickening, body functions fail.

 

Reminds me of metastasis: bowel, to belly, to brain. Meditate

watch opiate bliss drip in. Activated invasions beat back

blasts of radiation, induce angiogenesis growth factors.

Corrupted structures multiply, triumph, evading growth suppressors.

Wall-tacked, religious iconographies smile down benignly

eye red read The Yagé letter’s, appendix six: cathartic, euphoric vision, vibrant

                                                                                    energy unites all...pop! {:-(

 

Through a glazed view note

grey bibbed squirrelous creature

stripping sapling bark         

 


Poetics

As a writer I am interested in the paradox of poetry. My poetry has an inherent conflict between self expression and the egotistical ‘I’. I am not interested in the ‘genius-of-poets’ concept.

I am more interested in the tension between the line and the sentence; less in meter, or rhyme scheme. I am more interested in the line break, its relationship to the clause, the sentence, the rhythms it creates and the pattern possibilities. I am more interested in the turn of the line; more conspicuous line tension. Rhythmic qualities excite me.

I am quite interested in challenging formal, received and accepted wisdom. It is difficult for me to battle a tendency towards declamation and epiphany. I am less interested in messages.

I am more interested in investigation into the use of language to confuse and obfuscate; language as a refusal to communicate or to deliberately misinform.

I am really interested in poetry as ventriloquism. Utterances conjuring, voicing the voiceless, offering polyphony. I am more or less interested in figurative language like the mist on the glass or the sun rising. I am more interested in metonymy and juxtaposing binary opposites: smashing bits of language together.

Poetry as performance is interesting except when it is not. I am interested in avant garde as kitch. That is enough already, more or less. 

I am more interested in poetry as response to other cultural artifacts, literature, visual art and music. I more interested in reference to the artifice than to the illusion of it.

I am interested in slips, accidents and mistakes. Poetry that makes no sense, poetry  of sound and concrete is interesting.

To clarify my interest in ambiguity: I am.   

 I am more interested in language appropriation (transgressive), re-frame and montage; less interested in making it up as I go along. All poetry is more or less interesting to me. Why restrict oneself to a writing ghetto, when there is so much of interest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Anthony Arnott




My time at Edge Hill was an enjoyable time, in which I was able to learn and apply the techniques of a variety of writers. The MA, particularly, allowed me to craft my work and, alongside the theoretical  side of my studies, guided me into finding my ‘voice’ as a writer. Had it not been for the MA, I would not be a published poet today.


That night at the speakeasy


The last word I can remember

is willow,

as we pass beer through

our lips and into, onto

the chamber of our tongues.


Heat is bearable as

two people

I have never

and will never

meet wrestle – no, battle for my

affection.

And, I brought them here.



Details of the MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill may be read here. Anthony's Barcode is published by Erbacce (a fine press run by two former students of the MA: Andrew Taylor and Alan Corkish).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: a bonus post: Three and A Half Point Nine

One of the 25 Poets, Luke Thorogood, publishes poets like Steven Fowler and Sonya Groves in the latest, fourth, edition of his magazine Three and a Half Point Nine , but he also has publishes work by others, well-known and less-known, from the Edge Hill nexus, all of them featured on this blog. They are:

Natasha Borton is an English language Welsh writer, currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. She has been published in The Sublime, Midwinter Anthology, Voicebox and Erbacce. Her non-fiction articles have been published in For Books Sake and Altfashion Magazine and performs regularly in North Wales and the North West. Natasha has performed at the Bluecoat, Harris Museum and The Lowry; she had a short play produced at The Lowry as part of Edge Hill Exclaim! She was senior fiction editor for the Black Market Review for two years and currently writes for her own blog.

Scott Thurston’s most recent book is Figure Detached Figure Impermanent (Oystercatcher, 2014). He co-organises The Other Room reading series in Manchester and co-edits the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. Scott lectures at the University of Salford and has published widely on innovative poetry, including a book of interviews entitled Talking Poetics (Shearsman, 2011). See his pages at www.archiveofthenow.com/

Adam Hampton is a student of English Language and Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. His poems have been published by Ikleftiko and Robert Sheppard. A former Royal Marine, much of his poetry tackles the theme of conflict. He lives with his wife and daughter in Southport, England.

Tom Jenks has published nine books of poetry, the most recent being The Tome of Commencement, a spreadsheet translation of the Book of Genesis on Stranger Press and 1000 Proverbs, a collaboration with SJ Fowler on Knives Forks and Spoons. He co-organises The Other Room reading series and website, administers the avant objects imprint zimZalla and is a Ph.D. student at Edge Hill University.

Elio Lomas is a writer, musician and amateur caricaturist. His work has been published byerbacce, Poetry Pacific and has appeared upon Robert Sheppard's poetry blog Pages.

Access the magazine here. And access the list of 25 Edge Hill Poets, including these five here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Bill Bulloch


The manifesto is tentatively named 'Pausa' and basically reflects my desire to enjoy and experience the moment, recording my perceptions in poetry.


PAUSA

Stop the world, I need to get off

In the rush to get there,
I’ll miss the weeds on the railway
The spider on the wing mirror
The bird in the chimney
Fluttering, clamouring
Gasping for space
Avoid the gaps in the pavement
Walk around ladders
Never look up.
Stop. Rewind.
Carpe Diem
Step into the gaps between the moments
Attune the ear
Refocus the eye
Synaesthetic: taste the colours, feel the sound.
Watch for the texture
Of time, passing -
Invisible starfall
-telegraphed in strokes and flecks
Etched into the soul


Most of my current poetry is on my blog, Nights Full Nine, here.

 
SAVE THE WALES
 
The joneses having been left behind
As the industrial estuary bloats
A concrete stent forced through the head
Neatly trepanning the prominence
commerce’s darning suture drawn tight
all the way to the Druids Isle.
Channelling traffic along the coast
past the empty beaches and shuttered shops
vacant castles and the rusty rides
Eire beckons coyly from the sleek flanks
Of seacats ferrying tourists away from this
Once mystic land, to a new Celtic frontier
waiting to be diluted and tamed by a commodifying tide.
Wales has withdrawn to the hills
treasures stowed in caves of slate
as her borders and byways are blurred and absorbed
Not by covetous kings or expanding nations
But at the hand of bannered modernity
With conquering flags branded across the land like sheep.
Longbowmen raise fingers in defiance
Yew hewn and gut strung
Shouldered aside by the concrete crennelations
Dry stoned and graffiti decorated
As the expressway glides by,
services one mile.




 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Poems in Blazevox's 15th Anniversary Edition (for Ern Malley and Philip Jeck)

I’m pleased to say I have work in the latest Blazevox here. This is the first time I have appeared in this long running webzine, and I’m delighted to find I’m in the 15th anniversary edition. Read about that here in a piece by editor Geoffrey Gatza. 

The main link takes you to all the work, but my two contributions are special (to me, anyway). Here.

One is my ‘Ern Malley Suite’, my writing-through of the collages one of the hoaxers made during the 1940s hoax in Australia. I make much play of the fact that 'Ern' was meant to have been born in Liverpool. It is due to re-appear as my contribution to the EUOIA anthology in which I appear as a fictional poet (or imaginary author).See here.

The second is a piece I wrote for the musician Philip Jeck, 'Spectres of Breath'. It is a response to the strange language we find in music reviews. It is a verbal vinyl album (sides A and B), it is in ‘tracks’, but it is NOT an attempted approximation of Phil’s own music. See and hear material on Phil here. Or even here:


 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier: Minnie Minerva's Four Acts



You can read about the fictional poet Sophie Poppmeier as a poet of the EUOIA here, and about her fictional alter ego the burlesque dancer Minnie Minerva, and there is a post on her burlesque acts here, with links and videos pertinent to this post. Since she has yet to publish her account of the art, Minnie Minerva’s Book of Marvels, we have only the barest of descriptions to go on, largely relating to the music used for each piece we know of (that I have bothered to invent, perhaps I should say; she might well write some poems based on them).
Là, là, jet e ferai la honte!
Et jet e demanderai compte
De ce corset cambrant tes reins,
De ta tournure et des frisures
Achalandant contre-nature
Ton front et ton arrière-train.

                        Laforgue

ACT ONE Her best early work includes the ‘Ute Lemper Trilogy’, using the music from her Punishing Kiss album, a 15 minute piece combining the swirling silk sea waves and bejewelled seashell bodice of ‘Little Water Song’; ‘Streets of Berlin’, a mimed drag-king boylesque; and ‘You Were Meant for Me’, in which she confronted the audience with ‘unbridled displays of female desire’ to quote a programme of the time. Here's a video on Lemper's project, her first excursion into art pop music:


 Here's 'Little Water Song' (by Nick Cave):

'Streets of Berlin' is a Philip Glass piece (live): 


'You Were Meant for Me':





ACT TWO ‘Narcotango’ used the hypnotic grooves of Carlos Libedinsky’s new tango (‘Luz y Subi’, ‘Otra Luna’ and ‘Doble o nada’) for her neo-burlesque exploration of intoxication and trance.

 ‘Otra Luna’:


‘Luz y Subi’:


 

ACT THREE ‘Neveen’s Levee’, which featured the music of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band, involved a reverse dressing routine and Oriental dance (and Oulipean play on the letter ‘e’ as a reverse lipogram). Hear this incredible music that so inspired Sun Ra ('cos this was the real thing, recorded in - how could he resist it? - Heliopolis!).




Mimi Amore’s Egyptian Act probably influenced this piece, but it was good to find out the little more there is to know about Salah Ragab. Here's the Egyptian burlesque by Miss Mimi Amore:



ACT FOUR ‘Madame Mallarmé’s Fan Dance’, featuring Debussy’s ‘Poisson d’or’ from Images (Set Two), was the most literary (and least appreciated) of her acts. Here's the sounds; imagine the dance. After all, if Sophie Poppmeier is a Euopean Imaginary Author she is also an Imaginary Burlesque Performance Artist.


Poppmeier's other translator, Jason Argleton, is featured here. An early poem of Sophie's may be read here. See the actual EUOIA poet-translators performing here, with only their language as music.

If you think I'm bonkers with the EUOIA, try Jennifer Walshe's invention of an Irish musical avant-garde with Aisteach (here).

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier/Minnie Minerva and Burlesque

Burlesque is big in Vienna, where SophiePoppmeier, the EUOIA poet was based, as may be seen here, here, here and here. Her early 'Book One, Poem Three' may be read here.

This is background information for Sophie Poppmeier’s involvement in neo-Burlesque (2000-05, if not later) which was in Vienna and in Berlin (see here), where she reportedly lives.

Neo-burlesque picks up on fin-de-siecle and Weimer Republic vibes. (Probably why I had recourse to Ute Lemper when looking for music for a fictional act for Sophie as Minnie.) Watch Monica di Montebello performing an absinthe-green fairy inspired piece in Vienna.



The nearer burlesque gets to Las Vagas the closer it becomes a mode of strip tease. (See Blaze: here)

The nearer it gets to Britain the closer it gets to the ubiquitous hen parties that clog the pathways and thoroughfares of Liverpool (or Riga) on a Saturday night. But there are exceptions, in both instances, such as the School of Burlesque in New York (see here) which – for example – works with people with disabilities (and ran workshops at the Liverpool DadaFest a few years ago, apparently). 

Here’s the Flamenco piece, Spanish Rose:

 



Her Egyptian Dance probably influenced my invention of ‘Neveen’s Levee’ for Poppmeier. (See here for videos of this music.)

Lady Lou has a good website with many of her acts on it (here). The ‘Parisian Parasol’ is rather ornate and splendid, seen here and here twice, the first time in Vienna, as it happens,






but her piece, ‘Broken Mirror’ about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features, is of another order of work, though the audience don't seem to be getting it here (which is probably why Sophie renounces this art for poetry):




Pepper Sparkles (here) breaks one of Lady Lou’s published golden rules of performance (about exiting in style and with attitude) when she has to endure a round of ‘Happy Birthday’, but her performance as Matti Hari is rather bizarre (in a good way) and probably influenced my made up ‘Mrs Mallarmé’s Fan’ for Sophie Poppmeier, who I see more in this mode of operation.  



Here are some tips on how to become a dancer, if you are interested.


See here for the music for Minnie Minerva’s four acts. And here for less exposing EUOIA performances.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier

Sophie Poppmeier’s poetry publications are Book One (2002), Book Two (2003), Book Three (2013) and Book Four (2015). Her theoretical ‘memoir’ of her years as a burlesque artiste in Vienna, Minnie Minerva’s Book of Marvels is forthcoming.

Poppmeier was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1981, and has lived in Vienna (below) and Bratislava, but currently resides in Berlin, where she runs performance and writing workshops.She is a member of the EUOIA: The European Union of Imaginary Authors, an invention of Rene Van Valckenborch. Her 'Book Poem 3' may be read here.


Nearly all of her poems are in her famous four line stanza, in which she plays off regularity against irregularity, long against short, a poesis that she sometimes jokingly compares to the balance and teasing poise of the burlesque artiste, and sometimes to the bodily constraint and ironic performative freedom of corsetry. Masks, disguises and partial disclosures abound in her work. But she has quoted Freiderike Mayröcker:  ‘flesh of the poem, the/ torments severe, I vanish in the/ line-break’; the world ‘snuggles gently up to the/ line-knee’. Poppmeier’s habit of nearly always entitling her poems Book X Poem Y is another trademark. Critics have called this a gimmick, but the presentational austerity is an answer to the ‘problem’ of titles (a problem she does not seem to have encountered as a performance artist, but it may well be in reaction to the need to define, fix and advertise an ‘act’ for a ‘show’ to dispense with such ‘labels’ as she calls them).

Book Two, published very soon (too soon, critics aver) after Book One, is the exception. Here she (temporarily) abandoned her titling system and the four line stanza. The book was largely an exploration of her work in burlesque (coming from the years of her first period of work in 2001-2006) and was slated, particularly by feminist critics, who dubbed her the ‘Whore of Babelfish’. A cooler look at the poems will indeed judge them to be inferior to the rest of her work, but the free-ranging and personal style (owing somewhat to the poems that Mayröcker was writing at the time) does have its defenders.

As a burlesque dancer she performed as Minnie Minerva (but occasionally as Polly or Poppy Polidori or – in Berlin – Angela Merkin). (See here.) Tall, with long black hair, her long nose, her heavily made-up eyes used to dramatic effect, she was an immediate and authoritative success (particularly with women). Her best early work includes the ‘Ute Lemper Trilogy’, a 15 minute piece combining the swirling silk sea waves and bejewelled seashell bodice of ‘Little Water Song’; ‘Streets of Berlin’, a mimed drag-king boylesque; and ‘You Were Meant for Me’, in which she confronted the audience with ‘unbridled displays of female desire’ to quote a programme of the time. Her ‘Narcotango’ used the hypnotic grooves of Carlos Libedinsky’s new tango (‘Luz y Subi’, ‘Otra Luna’ and ‘Doble o nada’) for her neo-burlesque exploration of intoxication and trance. In contrast, the energetic, almost athletic, ‘Neveen’s Levee’, which featured the music of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band, involved a reverse dressing routine and Oriental dance (and play on the letter ‘e’). ‘Madame Mallarmé’s Fan Dance’, featuring Debussy’s ‘Poisson d’or’ from Images (Set Two), was the most literary (and least appreciated) of her acts. (See videos of these musics here.)

Perhaps in reaction to the criticism of the second book, she gave up poetry and burlesque (on the brink of considerable success following her performance at the Berlin Burlesque Festival), but the truth may be less dramatic, since these were the years she studied Art History in Vienna, gaining a PhD in 2010 – she herself has talked of ‘collecting experiences’ in those years – and it is not clear that she didn’t continue writing (while not publishing) and teaching and theorising burlesque (but not performing, although she is rumoured to have ventured out under cover of several of her alter-egos when impecunious). Her book, despite its engaging title, is reputedly a theoretical defence of the art of neo-burlesque, and has been compared, by Jason Argleton, as analogous to, yet superior to, de Campos’ work on bossa nova. In it, she reportedly argues that neo-burlesque is an enabling and safe but public way of exploring and asserting various conflicting models of female body-awareness (not just beauty) and female fantasy and sexuality (auto-, homo-, hetero- and trans-), and draws on her experience of facilitating workshops for differently-abled and neurologically atypical people and running the annual pan-European Ugly Bug’s Burlesque in Bratislava. As she explained on the Feathers and Glitter website: ‘This is what we have to do, those of us with nineteenth century bodies in the twenty-first, to turn the ordinary mousy split-end prose of life into the extraordinary shiny jet fringed poetry of power!’

Book Three was judged a mature book when it appeared in 2013. The earlier wide-eyed excitement (remember the febrile desire for ‘my chants to change my life’ in her first poem) has given way to an aesthetic and political sensibility reacting to a more disordered political reality, more desperate to be sure, but more exciting perhaps for the reader. In some ways she turns to the political side of Bachman rather than to Mayröcker, her first love in contemporary Austrian poetry. The German poet Karla Schaffer, nine years her senior, has had some influence upon her work and life.

Book Four (due later this year) is widely anticipated [not least of all by me, because I’ll have to write it]. Minnie Minerva’s Book of Marvels remains ‘forthcoming’ as it has for 5 years. So does her much-anticipated return to the stage.

At the age of 34, in 2015, her work began to be translated into English by the young British poet Jason Argleton, although René Van Valckenborch seems to have presented her first, claiming even to have invented her, at the end of 'his' book A Translated Man, which is still available.  

January 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Jason Argleton


dip


                                    mist we called it

fog would have done as well a haze

            in the dip of the road


a gauze over the eye      it hung there

fading as we approached only

                                   

                                                to see it then across

            the playingfields a filigree

for moonlight to filter through


                                                            the house by

the road seemed to wipe it free

                        for its length

as though sheltering

clear air the spotlights

                                                                        of the school

            picked out motes of watercrystal

                        in a shaft across the darkness     


I was a student at Edge Hill and this poem was written for the second year Land and Landscape module a year or so back. My final dissertation was a comparative study of the poetry of Ern Malley and Bob McCorkle, and I am currently pursuing a practice-led PhD on Osianism. Poems have appeared in the Journal of Pierre Menard, and I've translated some of the less controversial parts of Sophie Poppmeier's notorious Book Two into English, the poems 'stickman' and 'stickman inside and out', for example, rather than 'Stretched and Split by the Goat Men of Bremen'. (Read more about her, here and here and here.) The prosody of Book Two influenced 'dip'.  Read more about Edge Hill here.