So many of my poems are concerned with the past that I sometimes wonder whether I will ever be able to write well about the present, about contemporary life. But then I say to myself that the past refracts upon the present, and the future, so I needn’t fret. I do fixate on how the… Continue reading Writing the Past
Below are the last reviews I wrote in my stint as Reviews Editor (and Co-Editor) for Presence. Stuart Quine, Sour Pickle Alba Publishing, PO Box 266, Uxbridge, UB9 5NX, UK; £12/€14/$16; ISBN 9781910185957; http://www.albapublishing.com Hamish Ironside, Three Blue Beans in a Blue Bladder Iron Press, 5 Marden Terrace, Cullercoats, North Shields, NE30 4PD, UK; £6;… Continue reading Reviews in Presence #62
HALF-TIME, BOXING DAY While the not-so-super Superhoops are tucking into Lucozade and oranges, the crush in the gents’ is the usual bastard. Nominally banned, language and smoking give it large behind the stand. On the pitch, some wrapped-up kid – ‘our matchday mascot’ – loves his really crap kickabout with Jude the Cat. Next is… Continue reading Christmas poem #4
MANTRA The number 213 and the redness of its rear are all I see of the disappearing bus, before another one slips the ropes of the hill, heaving with posh kids from a different school, with stripier blazers and caps. I find half a seat upstairs, right at the back in the smokiest part, next… Continue reading Christmas poem #3
SIX ITEMS OR FEWER The bloke at the check-out tells the listening cashier he’s the last of his family-line; talks about his sweet tooth, how he really mustn’t buy a Christmas pud this year, as there will only be him to slather it in whisky, smear on clotted cream and all too slowly eat it.… Continue reading Christmas poem #2
CHRISTMAS KISSES AT ST PANCRAS They lean like emperor penguins over their summer-sky-hoodied son and the whole windwhirled concourse looks, because the zeal of every au revoir kiss demands double-takes from all of us travellers, whose thoughts progress to the boy’s exclusion, and memories of wondering whether and when that love-thing between your parents might… Continue reading Christmas poem #1
I have two poems in the winter issue of the excellent journal, The High Window, edited by David Cooke and Anthony Costello.
Almost a month ago I popped along to the Rugby Tavern in London to see and hear the inaugural Rogue Strands reading, an event organised by Matthew Stewart and named after his long-running poetry blog of the same name. Before Matthew himself read some of the trademark short but excellent poems in his terrific collection… Continue reading Recent happenings
I have a new poem up on the Mary Evans Picture Library Poems and Pictures blog.
It seems incredible to me that Wing Beats, the book of haiku about British birds which I co-wrote and edited with John Barlow is now 10 years old. It began as a dual collection between the pair of us, but we opened it up to submissions, so that we could include haiku by most of… Continue reading Wing Beats