Monday, March 1, 2010

I subscribed to the Arthur Shilling Press series recently, and it turned out to be a very good move. Apart from anything else, the sub comes wth a nostalgic free gift (for those of us of a certain age). So far I've received:

X by Stephen Emerson

ZooAxeImplode by Simon Howard

I Love You by Joseph Mack Stohlman

The Flaming Man by Mark Cobley

These publications are fab. They are - presumably - designed and printed by Arthur Shilling himself (aka Harry Godwin), and they have a samizdat, hand-cranked feel, lively and colourful, in both design and content. The poetry has a strong visual element, and is spiky and irreverent; influenced I think, by the fact that these young poets are performers, and see, I guess, performance as a big part of what they do. This weekend the latest arrived, 'tristanundisolde' by Posie Rider. I loved this one.

Here's a sample:

Some love

My chapoplexic heart is hereby yours
I channel you to the charnel house
I'll make a cottage for your bones & with your lips
I'll brightly snip & bind and strip &
clip your limbs to totem stack
or pile as logs to burn & make the keepsake hot
invoke a shush & ash my blush
& heap in fronds a fossil calm
for dreary dregs of sod & loam
to battery charge & distribute
to light callipered hours
of wastrels
horn-eared cuckolds
& the lost-at-sea
call me

The whole pamphlet's a delight, reminding me of the work of the wonderful Catherine Wagner, and, in some ways, of Geraldine Monk. But comparison are odious... it is what it is, and it's good stuff. It's a shame these pamphlets are produced in such small editions, but at least my batch will become collectors' items one day.

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