:: Maintenant archive ( 2000-2005, click for articles pre-2006)

Maintenant: celebrating the avant garde published 05/04/2012

The Maintenant series continues to promote innovation in British and European poetry. Footage from the Maintenant: a celebration of avant garde poetry held on March 31st 11th 2012 at the Rich Mix centre in London. Performances from sound poets and sonic artists including Ben Morris & Fiona Kennedy & Jon Marshall, Hannah Silva & Holly Pester, Gabriele Labanauskaite, Tamarin Norwood & Patrick Coyle & Julia Calver, Marton Koppany, Mark Jackson, Ollie Evans & Lisa Jeschke & Lucy Beynon, David Berridge & Nick-e Melville.

Curated by SJ Fowler.

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Maintenant #89 – Eric Suchère published 27/03/2012

I do not know if I distort what I describe. Let’s say I try to show that seemingly insignificant things are meaningful. I think I try to report things as accurately as possible, but writing and its problems (sounds and rhythms) can definitely hinder the transparency one expects, for example, in a description. I try to give an account of the world in its complexity and if the result seems distorted it is because the world is complex – even in what is apparently the simplest.

In the 89th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the French poet Eric Suchère.

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Set, Winterwreck published

Again see, a chance, in a supermarket, recognize her next by identification and misplace her picture, at this place erase all possible projections established by the picture or project well within.

35.Set gaze to next, on the terrace, from clouds or narrow slit, exhaled, to the circumscribed colours
sunset passes to, inscribes, which a young woman draws, observes, looks at I, is a project, terrace, endless, doesn’t begin, if not I looks at the view, alters what the exchange transforms.

By Eric Suchère.

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Maintenant #88 – Sylva Fischerová published 19/03/2012

If you were to ask me how, or why I decide to write a poem either this or that way, I would have to reply with: “I don’t know.” My sister Viola, who was also a poet (precisely, we were step sisters having a common father, the Czech structuralist philosopher and Roman Jakobson’s colleague and friend), used to say that you have to feel it in the belly – which she always commented with a saying that some African tribes believe that man’s soul is situated in the belly and that is the reason why it works this way.

In the 88th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Czech poet Sylva Fischerová.

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Six Poems published

Memories: a palace trap leading you into a landscape, which won’t exist anymore,
which never was, we always do remember things wrong. It’s a land of Féerie, where you pass stiff sculptures on the green grass.
The land’s encircled by the Oceanos of Time. A time loop you can’t get out of.
One day, all that milled sugar-tit of looks, sounds, smells will create
amber, a creature trapped in luminous matter, a luminous
jail: there’re hot and cold
memories, all of them cooling down
in the amber,
dry sperm
injected into white sheets,
a reconciliation?

By Sylva Fischerová.

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Maintenant #87 – Eugene Ostashevsky published 04/03/2012

Look, Kharms and his friends are the first Russian poetry group to take something akin to a linguistic turn. They are not after the Logos, as the Futurists and Mandelstam are. They distance themselves from language—by “language” they mean all cognitive frameworks, not just linguistic ones—emphasize its alterity, conventionality. Yes, their position is historically contingent. The Russian around them is Stalinizing, words move further and further away from their referents. But despite their historicity, Kharms and Vvedensky match our concerns very closely, infinitely more closely than the attitudes of their predecessors.

In the 87th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Russian poet Eugene Ostashevsky.

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The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi published

And as he hung over the railings losing his insides like some kind of piñata,
The pirate didn’t know whether to curse or laugh and so was suddenly struck by a stupendous stutter,

And thereafter—like the old man of Alma-Ata who fell into a gutter after eating panna cotta while sexually molesting Harry Potter,
That Harry Potter who, with his spook tackles off, looked like an Eros—without errata

To the old man of Alma-Ata who, later lying in the gutter, got an urging to utter, “I feel so ashamed cause my wife, whose motto was Nothing in excess, has just died and I already forgot her!”

By Eugene Ostashevsky.

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Maintenant #86 – András Gerevich published 21/02/2012

All forms of “decoration,” be it verbal, intellectual or emotional can work as a distraction or a digression, it distances the reader from the essence of the poem. It is often superfluous. Some poets create work of aesthetic value with little or clichéd content. I prefer clarity to confusion, while so much contemporary poetry tries to make an effect on the reader by being vague and obscure, or even incomprehensible.

In the 86th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Hungarian poet András Gerevich.

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Five Poems published

I was up to my knees in dead leaves,
The mulsh thick with ants, almost heaving
And crackling, as if the skulls of a whole flock
Of dead birds were crushed under the foliage –
I threw myself headlong although I was frightened.

Let darkness cover me, I could feel the damp earth
Beneath it, knew its raw stench. I was cold
And stood up, snow melted on my face and ran
Under my clothes. As it froze to my skin
It compressed me, snow covered me, my body was snow.

By András Gerevich.

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Maintenant #85 – Gonca Özmen published 22/01/2012

We have nothing apart from the words. There are still some words which do not stand side by side in a line. In the attic of language, there are still different facilities which are not used. I am trying to expand these facilities of Turkish by writing poetry. I also believe that poetry has an important capacity to alter, convert and beautify the daily reality that I do not like. The outer physical world is something to be written for me. The world is always waiting for a new meaning, a new perspective, a new connection. In other words, poetry has the power to change the world.

In the 85th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Turkish poet Gonca Özmen.

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