Sunday, 10 December 2017

The High Window, PS Review

I'm very grateful to Joanna for her review of Pilgrim Station and to the editors of High Window for including the piece in their winter issue. It is a pretty good recommendation. 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

CITN December 17

Caught in the Net, December 17, me. These are not augurs of the future, these are the good times!
Poetry Kit CITN 168: it's a comprehensive list.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Voronezh Notebooks

Mandelshtam again,
from book III, translated by Andrew Davis:

I'll sketch this out, I'll say this quietly -
Because its moment is still not evident:
The game of the unconscious sky will be
Accomplished later, with experience...

And beneath the time-soaked sky
Of Purgatory, we frequently forget
That  the blessed storehouse of the heavens
Is our home, limitless and present.

That last phrase may have heaven as "the lifelong house" of our consciousness, in David McDuff's translations. 

It is difficult to get the form from the translations, I'd gather the writing, rich in technique, is peppered with alliteration, thickened by rhymes and assonance, probably with its social reference too, even if Mandelstam never got the tone in trying to atone for his attacks on Stalin. 

All that aside, without Russian we can still enjoy the high points of  his translated verse in their un-apparelled meaning.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chops II

Less chops than scraps, and scraps of thought at that, the least part of reactions this last day or two to my haul of books – in any bookshop's poetry section I'll snap up Mandelstam – the series does not work. 
Notebooks keep the random lines one wouldn’t want to throw away in case they turn to something more, and if they did exceed their start then still they fail to be word exercise equivalent to the musician’s daily chops, even wishing to suggest it, suggests too much. There will be no trays of snacks in rhyme for this perpetually hungry blog.  Comments…  ach.

The plash and Walkman
                   of the perennial Redgrove
                                      groping with lingam and yonii
in ancient, undoubtedly beautiful caverns
                   wet in the ever so slow movements
                                      of his latest book was penned in
somewhere near Kingston on Thames
                   where I also lived sometimes
                                      fifteen years ago.

In English twice translated, more,
from initial thought, completed
to conversations with his wife;
the resultant verse on paper
was inevitably half opaque
but Osip shines, he shines.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Writers' Room

The Writers Room,  with Dom, Kim and Eley recorded last Thursday. The programmes will be broadcast on Corinium Radio website for two weeks commencing 23.10.17 Mon, Wed, Fri. 2pm on the first week and 2.30pm the second week.  CORINIUM RADIO 
Two poems uploaded on Facebook page, and YouTube: "A Kiss" and "Landing" all a bit gravelly, but okay!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Chops I

Self Portrait as Philologist Imbiber

Plunged again into the heart of the matter, into the heart’s red core,
by Liardet, his Self Portrait as Shamdeo – which I read as Shenandoah –

Talking to his Future Self, with sorrow and ferocity, once more, the old
antagonists. I have put waterlily and jasmine in my hair, recall 

from ancient texts, we’re shaped by demons of the earth and air,
image of a god removed far from the natural order of the world, 

far from oblivion and, old or young, demons to the last resent our
kindling of opposites to stoke a flame, to reignite the spark within

and rise above the salty realm of Yaldabaoth, Sophia’s vain dream.
Dust devils of our whirring words emerge from every source,

spoken funnels of an arid wind have turned among Rome’s garden,
ruined, patrol the broken Parthenon; with genius of purpose

skim across or stagger on the path, lifting all beneath them,
dust or flame raised up and held apart, in centrifugal strain

like thought’s internal conflict, as we live and breathe, step by,
avoid their minor, blinding squalls which scribble in the wind

and recognised the generations’ words run deep, listen to them.
Ghosts of every age conclude the same: ragged old men, be cautious.

I doubt Tim Liardet would bat an eyelid at my using a poem from his recent volume The World Before Snow as a kicking off point for this  practice piece – Chops: good for a blog that needs feeding. I was struck by Liardet’s earlier collection, The Storm House: serious and disturbing. He is an examplar of the craft.  The lines above may gradually become a kind of shallow imitation - which suits the subject matter rather well.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Sigurd and the nuthatch

Sigurd and the nuthatch, an extravagant take on the Norse Myths, wins second place in the annual competition at the Festival of Firsts  in the Wirral – prize giving on Sunday afternoon, 09 July. I am pleased to have an affirmation of this poem, besides stretching the limits, it also includes everything it can from the original tale.  Perhaps there is a bent for the old stories at the Festival, I hope so. Anyway, I'll be reading, one kenning included.  
Also this week:  a poem included in the Ver Poets Comp. Anthology 2017, out in July
AND a poem on the theme of shoes, to be included in the inaugural edition of the Northampton Poetry Review to be launched this summer by poet, Tom Harding.   The day's so hot right now.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Illustrated man

First of three illustrations of poems from Pilgrim Station in ink, by Dan Jackson.
There is a man in the tub
    the taps are running
    the tears are running

he's pouring water on his head
like an animal that burrows,
like a savage in the dirt
escaping from the world,
crouched, rocking back and forth,
scooping soil loose enough
to pull the earth above him
or like the flightless, desert bird,
    burying his head

    wishing he were dead.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Interview with Rosie

Paxos - Dom & Geranium

Sentinel Quarterly have printed my recent interview with Rosie Johnston.  It doesn’t include several of Rosie’s more searching questions, generally in the form, “& what does that mean, exactly?” those have all been ironed out: the piece is, in fact, coherent.  Please give it a go online or the magazine is now available in print from the SPM Shop. 

Home yesterday, kittens in the cupboard and England green.  May is lush after a week away. Here's a photo of the poet banging on: making a din in splendid surroundings. I think, more poetry in these posts, endless self-promotion is not my first order of business.  Comments welcome.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

in the courtyard of the vic

Words and music.  This composite photo from our last outing at Black Book Café.  A lot of fun, everyone welcome to Sunday's event, 23 April 7.30 Start, further info here.  I drew up this photo from the video, and now recognised, enjoy its entirely misleading, choral quality.  Still, words & music.

Black Book Café, February 2017.  Dom, Clare and Nick

Saturday, 15 April 2017

WOL Review

Pilgrim Station Review, by Neil Leadbeater. Write Out Loud is generous with its resources and always supportive, still, this amiable, appreciative review is more than I would have asked for: & for the first time we hear of,  James's gift!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Words & Music II, Sunday 23 April

Round Two of Cas and Dom’s Words and Music, this time on Sunday April the 23rd at 19:30 in The Little Vic, at the foot of Gloucester Street in Stroud, in the courtyard of The Queen Victoria pub. And we are all stringing our instruments, if that's the term.

Danica is coming over from Newbury and we look forward to welcoming Mandy, Ely and Kim.  Cas has definitely put the word out: Stroud News & Journal, PrLog – and I will see about hanging a few posters, don't they look great?? I must overhaul the blurb on the blog.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Lake Review

My first review appears in ezine, The Lake, April 17. I think it's okay. It is a bit alarming to be quoted back at myself from the blog, and with no fit way to react to this or that observation which seems not-properly observed;  but plenty were, and it is a good thing to have the poems in Pilgrim Station singled out and weighed differently as they are passed from hand to hand. Okay, there maybe an error or two, I know, I know. But, my first review. The grin of cheese!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Words & Music, Saturday 25 February, Stroud

Come to the Black Book in Stroud for an evening of wine, cake, acoustic sets and song interspersed with raconteuring and poetic celebration.  Casimir and Sandra bring Mike and Nick, highly recommended, and we have visiting poets Paul, whose stock is rising and Clare, who carries the fire. 

More information on facebook page, wordsandmusicstroud and soon to be posted on black book site and generally around.  There will be corkage at the café, bring a bottle by all means, bring your effervescent self.

Maybe pick up a copy of Pilgrim Station. music from Cas and Paul's poetry  also available.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

PS Arrivals

Watch out world.
Wed 25 January Little Theatre, Sheringham, Norwich
Poetry Library  Write Out Loud
Thur, 16 February Radio Corinium, recording – not live broadcast
Sat 25 February
Black Book Café, Stroud, Glos, “Words & Music” with Cas Greenfield
Tues, 25 April Writers in the Brewery, Cirencester, Glos

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Little Theatre

Poetry at the Hub: January 25th, 7.30 p.m: Andrea Holland and Dominic James
Entry fee: £5
Our first reading of the New Year is a real adventure: we welcome two poets who rejoice in the twists and turns of language at the same time as bearing sharp witness to the weight of experience.

There will be an opportunity to read your own work, a maximum of three poems: please talk to Peter Pegnall before the reading begins.
This is the first outing for Pilgrim Station so, a launch party. And it is right it should be with Peter playing host And it is a piece of luck to share the stage  - if any -  with Andrea Holland. Further venues will be posted in due course, there will certainly be celebrations and performances to come across the Midlands and the South: 2017 hits the road at a run.