Category: poetry

thing 49 and a quarter: ‘for the poet, what behaviour is meet?’: shades of blue

A tree falling in a forest. A book launched during a pandemic. Does either of them make any sound?

As far as I can tell, if answer there be to this question, it’s “yes and no”. There is the basic excitation of the surrounding medium/particles which, if there are receptors, would be translated into sound. But in the absence of receptors, there is no such translation. Ergo, yes and no. Aaargh. I remember now how much philosophy has always really pissed me off. I just don’t have the right kind of brain or temperament for it. As Frank or Pat Butcher might (more…)

thing 46: ‘this, too, was myself’: reading from a book with my name on the cover

At moments of crisis Bertie Wooster often tells Jeeves that he could a tale unfold whose lightest word would harrow up the soul and cause the old knotted and combined locks to do the fretful porpentine thing (or some Woosterish version of that). For Bertie, the problem might involve an accidental engagement with some droopy girl who thinks that raindrops are God’s tears at our unkindness; or (more…)

oyez, oyez, oyez!

This isn’t a thing, but feels like a culmination of an awful lot of things.

It’s a quick post to unveil my new website, which is dedicated to poetry. The new site has come about because an actual press is going to be publishing two actual pamphlets of my poems, one of which will have an actual ISBN number (more…)

not really a Thing… but exciting

Some definitions:

Poetry: ‘what makes the invisible appear’ (according to Nathalie Sarraute); ‘the revelation of the self to the self’ (Ted Hughes).

Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

Ambivalence: the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

And… (more…)

thing 30: ‘we are the wood drake’: reading together

‘… and then you’d think aha! something interesting is going to happen and then someone would mention Derrida and it would all be over…’

Thus my friend Simon, speaking about his time reading English at Oxford and the death-by-theory thing which can so often happen during formal study. I know what he means. In my very first group supervision at Cambridge we were issued copies of a poem—I have repressed the knowledge of what it was, if I ever knew—and the Director of Studies’ opening gambit (more…)