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

Maintenant #96 – George Szirtes published 07/05/2013

The poet is personal: the language is impersonal. Language is not a stable or static entity – it moves and crumbles and grows at the same time. The poet’s art lies in listening intently to the micro-movements of language while never forgetting the sense of the world as the pre-language – as instinct, apprehension, desire – that drove him or her to the threshold of language in the first place. Of course there are subjects and themes but that’s about as far as intention can go. As I see it is not a matter of wanting to say something, then finding the words to say it. You discover what you and the language have to say by entering the process of saying. The ethical power of poetry lies in its precise tension with language not in any broadly stated programme of doing good. The programme is advertisement. Technique, suggested Pound, is the test of sincerity. I think he was on to something.

In the 96th of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler interviews the Hungarian poet George Szirtes.

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48 & other poems published

on the ground, the black hand flapping
the brown hand spread as if to grasp
grasp what?    a paving slab   a street   a sweep
of air    then some cruddy music    and leaf
leaf flattens, is pressed    is what?   is the body
as flat as this as brittle as surrendered   to what?
and some you burn and watch fly   and this
is    what?  an analogy as the mind makes it
of war perhaps    which war? dare we answer? dare
the body be its own dialogue? dare the
long, shall we say? rain beat down on us
and our music    is that the music? that cruddy
music you make in your bones and teeth?

By George Szirtes.

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And you know how they can let you down, these people & Other poems published 01/05/2013

take the flower and place it in your mouth
place as many flowers as you want in your mouth
you do not want to eat a dry flower
eat the flower before the morning dew dries
you do not need the whole stem or any leaves
choose the flower and eat it in the early budding stages
eating flowers from national parks is illegal, so eat carefully
you can eat many flowers at a time
any flower will do
eat flowers

By Penny Goring.

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New York Poems published 26/04/2013

v.

What do I think will happen?
I don’t know.

Black curlicues reach out into
the glutinous ocean.

Wade into it, I suppose.

By Alex Niven.

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The Bot Fly & other poems published 19/04/2013

I made $400 on in one day
I have great success following this
just PLEASE view this
bad stuff going around about you
have you read it yet? wanna see me naked
& have a dirty chat?
come chat on this thingy here
find out to see who’s been stalking you here
hey this person is writing
offensive things that are about you
just wat r u doin in this
wow disturbing lol
lol u didn’t see them tapin u
how did u not see them tapping u

By Stephen Connolly.

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There is no library for what i know of books published 01/04/2013

I only ever see Dave’s face by mail;
his geography is that far from mine.
Our geographies once crossed in Syracuse
where our adult maps were made
and cooling lava shaped the land.
And like that we have cooled.
Now, we lie on sediment and silt.
Dave’s book had me in a Syracuse
when I lost it in the men’s room and then
it was gone and goodbye to all that
and this missing became important to me.
For the next few months it was an omen
and if I stumbled and fell, if I cut my thumb
I would think of Dave’s book and how
it was a sandcastle collapsed in a wave.

By Ryan Van Winkle.

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Argument against Brevity & other poems published 21/03/2013

If the condition of our relations
is less gratifying, know the temporary
reserves abound. This unusual
agitation. We have attempted no
propagandism, acknowledged no
revolution. Our struggle has been,
of course, ours. Nevertheless,
complaint, even if it were just,
would certainly be unwise.
The proposition has been made,
especially to XXXXX XXXXXXX.
It has been kindly received, yet
they fail to penetrate
and soften even the heart.

By Dustin Luke Nelson.

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Forms of Divination published 14/03/2013

Don’t pick me up I’ll be okay leave me down here
with your broken keyboard
never tell them what we did in the attic and throw
my impossible gadgets away from the playground
long story short I don’t believe
this is breakfast

By Bobby Parker.

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Long Distance & other poems published 09/03/2013

He found love (at last)
at the end
of the hyperlink. It was
in her pixel
pale complexion. It was
in the quiet
clicking mouse. It was
in his glass
wrist wasn’t it?

By Adam Napier.

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The Story of the Pocho published 02/03/2013

Charía interrupts with
news of his enemy’s
brother He asks about
Chos Malal

and liking on Facebook

The carrier
pigeons if
they are to return

By Christopher Rey Pérez.

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