My Curious Reading: A book report from the zero income front

My impression is that, when the average browsing consumer considers the self-published novel, quality is not her concern. By this I mean the question of whether she expects to find quality. We might (it’s been done) correlate types of publishing to shopping venues—take brick and mortar stores as the equivalent of traditional presses and agents; […]


All these ordinary things are giving way Times of late, like the dead wrapped in their winding sheets Familiar in outline still But disintegrating into melt and worm beneath He feels infected with the guest’s unhappy mood Uses the word, not having spoken with de Clieux He thinks the time is now to broach disturbance […]

The Lay of the Land

“I imagine…I will not say admit…the possibility of cordial relations— You see what he’s done here.” The tenant of Wisham’s Hill Cottage has got the field gate closed to traffic For good, more or less…for the time being Put a sinister trip-wire run through a boundary stone “He ought not to have made that hole,” […]

A Little Joy

The young gather near old Timeworn The age of him lies like a bundle Poor yellow tom The stink of an open toilet and the menace of a grinning man He knows they’re like that A little joy in the killing The back steps concrete crumbling This fault they’d ticked This needed no entering No […]

Hammersmith (thirteen)

“Doesn’t seem so long ago.” Mack, unable to do anything about Aimee’s arm hooked through Hogben’s, though it pleased him to see Hogben once or twice give a mild tug, ill-at-ease…had got next to Shaw behind them (he ignored Shaw), and was throwing out chatty com-ments, in a louder than natural voice. “Curach, the man […]

Essay: The Insular I

 People don’t like poetry. That, of course, is not universally true. True enough, a lot of poetry you read (or glance over) launches like the voice of someone you’re stuck with in an elevator. I write poetry, and I too get that twisty feeling when I’m afraid of being trapped by it. Poetry is a […]

My Curious Reading: Character Logic

 Let’s begin by splitting a hair. E. M. Forster, in Aspects of the Novel (Harcourt, 1927), gives his seventh lecture on the theme of Prophecy. He introduces a metaphor: “song” to represent the voice of the prophet; “the furniture of common sense”, to represent verisimilitude. Towards the end of the this section, Forster says, referencing […]

A Conduit

On this day when fire could not be thought of A sooty pall stains stucco shaded by the mantelpiece But under this Winks a brilliant blue and does persistently …this Morse Code going on since yesterday Refusing glances dart away And none feels safe to read the message Three men chew and meet each other’s […]

Hammersmith (twelve)

Her father hadn’t seen the host of faults, communicated in his offhand errand, the one he’d promised Mossbunker he would do himself. “Stage name, that’s the phrase you want. Ask her if it’s one.” Minnie Leybourne, Mossbunker the patriot would like to know whether you’re Jewish or Catholic…Lebanese or Sicilian, possibly. She’d said this to herself. […]

Petal and Perfume

At their tables, they waited She had made them see, by knotted strings That flared white, and danced, and left their Interweavings on the eye’s lens Against the contrast of brown limbs A bower of surpassing craft Decked in petal and perfume All that was prelude The trespasser spoke at length *** They were sleeping, […]