:: Poetry

Poem Brut #80 – my dear woods published 19/01/2020

For some years now I have been hand-writing poems, or fragments of, into or onto(logically) the grain of wood. The lines of grain being guides for my letter-shapes … and reminding me of being a child, being sat on a small wooden chair at a small wooden table holding a little – often sawn-off – wooden wand and making with it marks on a clean white sliver of dried tree pulp. More recently I wrote a letter, and signed it Ant. Could be that’s the name of a man, or that of a creature. Me or Ant or whatever or who wrote to-with-and-through some tree-sensitive parts of a dead poet called Frost. I wrote by tapping plastic pebbles. I saw virtual paper take shapes. I then felt the urge to ingrain these words – on/in real solid wood. So I took a piece of pine panel wood from our wood-basket … I followed the steady growth lines … I wrote … or rather I copied out my poem. The woman I live with then took a photo of this wooden letter. I then chopped it into sticks. She arranged the sticks and took another shot. We then used the sticks to make flames in our boat’s stove.

In the 80th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Mark Goodwin.

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Poem Brut #79 – Wren published 22/12/2019


In the 79th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Stuart Westerby.

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Poem Brut #78 – Taxidermy Owls published 07/12/2019

I’m attaching a fairly random selection of images that I think may be poetry. The taxidermy owls are in the depot of the Nijmegen museum of natural history, which is across the road from my flat. The organisation of the owls makes this, in my eyes, perfect verse. The Life Is Life billboard was the first thing I saw coming off a ferry in Riga, Latvia. I’m attaching a collage poem made by one Hans, a parent of one of the participants in a collage poetry workshop I gave for a group of 6-to-10-year-olds. Not my own idea, this one, but it’s quite brilliant. The archival material is from a range of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Irish and Irish diaspora magazines and books.

In the 78th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Chris Cusack.

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Poem Brut #77 – Artaud / Rimbaud published

…What particularly interests me about this artist is the way in which he transmits a conceptual message by means of his immediate iconic translation. The “word-image” even becomes the comprehensive visual vehicle for art history. Art culture meets pictorial passion head-on. I think Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s vision anticipates a future aesthetic sensibility based on a new mix of the intellect and the visual. In the reading of certain works, I have the impression of being transported to the ultimate in conceptual plenitude, embodied by the idea. In addition to “word-image”, one could also refer to “word-idea” and “word-colour”, and I feel a sense of intense satisfaction at this challenge to my own perceptive structure. Perhaps this should be seen then as a safeguard for the painted image when faced with the hegemonic onslaught of televised images.

Antonio Claudio Carvalho, poet-historian of global art, proves himself to be a protagonist in the great debate on the current destiny of the image.”

In the 76th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Antonio Claudio Carvalho.

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Poem Brut #76 – Disrupted Blue on Sepia published 24/10/2019

These Polaroids were taken by my mother, who died unexpectedly at the age of 52 back in 2003. There is nothing written on them to indicate where they were taken. I have deduced that they are either from her travels around Europe or her time living in Canada, in the early 1970s. These snapshots (there were around 20 in total) got separated from a bag of family photos, perhaps as they had no people in them and were more focussed on the structural. Whatever the reason, they were put to one side. The family photos were later lost, whilst under my care, during a turbulent family time and a hedonistic period in my early 20s. So these cast-offs, of sorts, are all that remain. I recently came across them again in my belongings and started to think about texts that might work well with them. I thought about travel writing and novels about journeys etc. Then the lyrics of one of my mother’s favourite albums, Joni Mitchell, Blue, sprang to mind, for multiple reasons, themes of travel, tragedy, love and loss being some of them. So I started to experiment with words used in the lyrics of the album, defamiliarising and disrupting these songs I know so well, to fit the unfamiliar places in the pictures, that, in some way, at this time, represent my mother.

In the 76th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Vik Shirley.

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Poem Brut #75 – untitled (ill poems) published 03/10/2019

‘I wrote these on a day where I was ill and too tired to walk down the stairs. I felt vulnerable and empty. Writing helped to comfort myself a little. What I write, comes from the inside. I do not really think I just write down what I feel. I listen to my belly. These things would never come out of my mouth, but they do come from my body.’

In the 75th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Ika Schwander.

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Poem Brut #74 – Two published

Two looks to the many maps published in recent years by a plethora of news outlets of Syria/Iraq, which show the shifts of geographic territory controlled by various governments, militias, and coalitions over time. It aims to combine the experience of reading these maps with fragments of individual story to create a multi-level portrait of the chaos, fear, boredom, and longing for stability that accompany armed conflict.

In the 74th of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by C Harrison

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Poem Brut #73 – Bank of bitterness published 26/09/2019

Bank of bitterness
If tomorrow
has to stop
L` aube se rendort

In the 73rd of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Landa wo

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Poem Brut #72 – Earth published

Lionel’s Star is a tiny, pink Planet that had been under the rule of Earth from 1948 until last year, in 2018, when they won a great war and overthrew their colonisers for good. There are six different languages spoken on the Planet and the texts above are translations into some of these languages. Some of the rules for translating this language to English are as follows.

1. If two words (in a row) begin with the same letter, omit that letter from the second word (and third and fourth etc). For example, “it is” becomes “it s”
2. A word cannot end in the same letter another begins with, so “she is sleeping” becomes ” she is leeping”
3. Definite articles indicate predictions, so the sentence “when the war comes” becomes ” when war comes” because we don’t actually want a war.

In the 72nd of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Radha Patel.

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Poem Brut #71 – Suicide Notes published 15/09/2019

This suicide note was typed feverishly on my grandmother’s typewriter. I’m not suicidal, just to be clear. I only wondered what I’d say if I had to say something before offing myself. Turns out, not too much.

In the 71st of the Poem Brut series, new poetry by Medha Singh.

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