Constrained Radio Show on Mixcloud

The Constrained Radio Show series I have made for Soundart Radio is now archived for future / later / repeat listening on my Mixcloud page. The shows have been broadcast weekly on Wednesdays since mid-May. They began as a response to restrictions, limits and confinement during COVID lockdown. The Mixcloud page includes tracklistings and other information.

review of Christodoulos Makris ‘this is no longer entertainment’

On May 29th my review of Christodoulos Makris’ this is no longer entertainment from Dostoyevsky Wannabe will be published on the Stride magazine site. Makris’ book gathers material from online comment threads on media and news websites across several years and edits these into a poem sequence of seventy-one sections.

The text is organised, shaped, to offer an obviously self-conscious curating of the material, opinions, ideas encountered there. ‘The word curate is not a synonym for “chosen” or “collected”. (119) This is a reading, that is open to other and others’ readings, it frames a view without determining what another will see there.

you could say you are parasitical on their labour (78)

it doesn’t include labels nor pity

it just floats quietly

and serves to begin conversations such as this (103)

new poems for The Remix Project

Two new poems of mine have just been published by Rupert Loydell on the Stride Magazine site as part of his The Remix Project. The series, of which mine is no. 13, is a response to Rupert’s invitation “to submit a (preferably new and unpublished) short poem plus a remix of said poem” for publication. My contribution consists of two ‘square poems’, ‘A Quare Meal for a Square Dealer’, developed while working on material for the 9×9: a set of poems under constraint, and a remix of the two 81-word blocks into a set of lineated stanzas, ‘The Other Side of Money’.

9×9 – a set of poems under constraint

As my response to the hyperlocal commission from Arts&CultureExeter I made a set of 9 square visual poems, using the first 9 square numbers, and found images in square format as the initial constraints. These are hosted on the Arts and Culture website, and will also be uploaded my social media.

Words were drawn from texts I encountered over the weeks of ‘lockdown’, and the images selected from my stack of collage materials. These were edited by erasure, translation, and recombination. The texts respond to their sources, but transpose associations to novel social and political behaviour. The impulse to respond creatively finds itself faced with arguments in favour of action, and a counter rationale for inaction. The poems emerged despite this. Contexts include the work of Louis Zukofsky, Hannah Weiner, OuLiPo, and Bernadette Mayer.

review of new books by James Davies

I have reviewed two recent publications by James Davies for Stride magazine. Published by Ma Bibliothèque in their Good Reader series, The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton, performs a series of ten variations on the opening page of Philip K. Dick’s 1965 novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. The sequence Forty-Four Poems and a Volta, published by Red Ceilings Press, is composed of forty-five short texts, each centered on its page, each of two parts, the second of which is in parentheses.

Both of Davies’ sequences work at the business of language, at its use in naming or making distinctions, separating same from different, the operation of the word as label, the functioning of a textual instance as example or test. Here Wittgenstein’s language games, language as function and operation, meet scanning errors and search results, language as sortable or reordered matter. Two books to read both for the (fragmentary) narratives they tell, and for the (novel) ways they deploy the stuff of writing.