Friday, 23 September 2011

Two dreams

At the intersection of concrete platforms
where pedestrian flyovers converged
and plate-glass windows drew blanks
on the sun’s insistence, you emerged
from the campus-loving crowd
and said ‘This door’.

We made it through to somewhere
almost recognised: book stacks
flashed like so many blank spaces
in a Zoetrope. You insisted
that I hadn’t seen it all.

Around what looked like a lift shaft,
tentative borrowers pulled out
hard spines, hopeful cases.
Below us, contending zealots stood,
uttering the codices
of their various religions.
We heard their whispers
in the silences left behind
by the books whose titles we withdrew.

A grey wood. Predictable.
The First World War.
I might be either of my grandfathers.
At this point, I am about to tell
my comrades that I’m going
for a stroll. The elms
define the horizon
like lost opportunities.
I walk. When I return,
my bed’s been made:
not a sign of trouble.
The sergeant lumbers up
blocks out what's left of the light:
‘And where the fuck have you been?’

September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Czech mate

Apologies for the hideous titular pun but if you're at all curious about Prague and the Czech Republic, then I heartily recommend these three websites: for the architecture for variegated views of this Prague district

and for poetry (in English).

Friday, 16 September 2011

Views from over the bridge

From Jozef Tischner: ‘An encounter marks the beginning of a drama. The drama has a time and place of its own, as well as its own major and minor heroes. This implies that a drama has a hierarchy. Every encounter is threatened by separation, and in every separation lives the muted memory of the encounter. The impossibility of radically cutting ourselves off from one another is one of the sources of the tragedy that permeates human relations. This accounts for our tendency toward repeated encounters and repeated separations. There is nothing in an encounter as such, however, that requires it to end tragically. The horizon of the drama, even if it is open to the phenomenon of the tragic, contains many other possibilities as well, such as the possibility of the triumph of the good, the possibility of the ennoblement of the person, and also the possibility of comedy and farce. All the variations of the drama are possible, however, only where the interpersonal sphere has taken on a hierarchical character and preferentiality has penetrated to the very core of human thinking.’

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Now and forthcoming

A new (very short) poem of mine is posted amongst those marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11 on Todd Swift's blogsite Eyewear -

This coming Wednesday (14 Sept), I am doing a poetry reading at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution as part of an event called 'Four Voices Of Freedom', a commemoration of the centenary of American anarchist Paul Goodman. Dinal Livingstone and two other poets are on the bill. It starts at 7.30pm.