Horse logic

       What is it about horses? They’re everywhere, it seems. What set it off for me was Paul Muldoon’s latest poetry collection Horse Latitudes. Then came Bat for Lashes’ haunting song ‘Horse and I’, from her Mercury Prize nominated album Fur and Gold. Next, I was hosting a reading in Whitechapel and introducedContinue reading “Horse logic”

End of the beginning

London Word Festival ended on Thursday night with our lively discussion event, Book Futures, followed by a session at the appropriately-named Water Poet on Folgate Street. Three weeks, eight venues, fifteen shows, one hundred artists (including the staggeringly brilliant Saul Williams, above) and total audiences of over two thousand have left me feeling totally shattered.Continue reading “End of the beginning”

The Hill Fort

Its only defences now, a ring of gorse, cat snake in strange fruit tangling the land with vine, its lights diminished like clothes sewn onto the body. Beyond, the mossy gums and their barrackyard laughter; Augustus, chasing gateways that open to the view and a stone pile. High pitched calypso exfoliates my horse, grinning stillContinue reading “The Hill Fort”

Landless space

  In a discussion event I organised as part of London Word Festival, Melanie Challenger advocated a poetry that is intimately tied to landscape. We need to anchor everything back to the real, to the physical world, to the landscape […] The urgent task of everybody is to tie together land and word and worldContinue reading “Landless space”

Vomage and other neologisms

Vomage n. a tribute to the night before Just one of the coinages featured on ‘The Wall of Neology’ at last night’s launch party for London Word Festival. Sam, Marie and myself are very pleased with how it went. The Gramaphone was packed with over 100 VIPs, journalists and supporters of the Festival. I know they were partlyContinue reading “Vomage and other neologisms”

Paternoster vs Babelfish

Thanks to George Ttouli for translating some work in progress that I’d posted up here using various Oulipian techniques. I think it was Joe Dunthorne who introduced me to The Oulipo via his brilliant univocalisms. The following is a version of The Lord’s Prayer which has been put through Altavista’s Babelfish software about fifteen times.Continue reading “Paternoster vs Babelfish”

Various Poetastings

I’ve been out and about a fair bit this last week, handing out flyers for London Word Festival of course. A promoter’s job is never done. Firstly, The Poetry Society’s annual lecture at The Bishopsgate Institute on 31st January. This is where I organised London Lip with Iain Sinclair et al. and I’ll be seeingContinue reading “Various Poetastings”

Brahmodya

Whole books are written in the quest to define the art of poetry. Not a definition as such, but I rather like this, which I came across in Karen Armstrong’s The Great Transformation. She’s talking about the rituals of the Aryan people of the late Vedic period (c. 500 BCE). When the king arrived back safelyContinue reading “Brahmodya”