Leafe Press pamphlet

Leafe Press, a good small underground modernist press, are publishing a pamphlet of my poems, 1/, tests. I am pleased with it: don’t steal this (non) book!



I won’t write up the series of blogged moves I’ve made to get here, though I don’t think any of them are inconsistent; it would be junk.

However, I would have thought that the absence of the world’s existence from a poem that it is in shows the poem is false: not the world. Then a nomadic suspension of the grotesque in a poem might grant the poem an everyday status that actually only exists outside it, so that any collage – as appropriation of the everyday – is ironic and only gives the appearance of life.

So I’d end up with a sort of inorganic and false fragment, though probably not in an interesting way.




I was trying to smooth the ghost of meter, based on the the following motivations a) it is nomadic (deconstructive of its artlessness) by postponing the grotesque (uptodate), and so possibly sublime, world b) it removes noise from the equation so that poem is meaningful c) it relates to projective verse.

All well and good or not, but perhaps one should neither postpone the world, nor make/write the world as a grotesque thing, unless narrative is fragmented. So I will go on with collage: smoothing the grotesque to open an ontological hole in the life of a poem that is ontically the fragmented world that leaks in.


Complete trail with
rope of bright blue loop;
throw it into dirt. On a
shelf by a window there’s dust,
to peculiar tobacco scent.
An oak bends visible
to my contrition.

Test results

If you smooth out the interplay of ictus with beat, meter with rhythm, and then collage the fragments a) if unstressed syllables are equally timed, then the verse is doggerel, has no life to it, and b) it creates a mood per the relaxed tonal rhythms of The Waste Land.


Writing fragments at distance might be work.


Konig ‘Species’

Lovely 22 page 20 poem collection on Bad Betty Press. What struck me quickest was the visual nature of its flirtation with light verse, despite circumventing imagism (the language is more compressed than it is concise)

The purple sea urchins are not to blame

first line of the first poem, ‘Orphans’

and how they and the language foreshadow the poetess and her art

We had everything:
water, honey, each other.
Some glaciers were left,

‘Letter from the Past’

which seems to me just as visual, just as the species foreshadow human concerns. Those four points work out for me extremely satisfactorily, even while a line or triangulation from them might seem rudimentary.

I would want to know that Konig is a biologist (there is no mention of this in the 5 line biography); the only long poem is a found poem titled ‘Potter’s Field, Hart Island Archive’:

Plot 175
Female Unknown, age 25, buried for 33 years.

There is a depth to its simplicity that belies the obvious allusion to Reznikoff. I am intrigued how a more careful reading might wind these deaths into the rest of the poems.

I think the shadow is music, which I personally feel may be too thickly textured in the wrong places (IMPERSONALITY), but is far from displeasing otherwise, if only due to the sense of content disappearing (into Konig?). The last line, like the movement of the collection as a whole, is difficult to place: perhaps Gluck

The waves blinked
a last invitation.

So I Could, So I Did

and the title of the closing poem sits well, both its playful inversion of expectation and its person.


tears in the fence

3 new short poems in the next edition


litter again

not doing much



I was trying to smooth the ghost of meter, but think I’ve done so to the linebreak instead; maybe that’s just the difference between process and result. With my better tests in verse, I have a sense of meaning being created when that, in its interaction, fades or disappears, whatever exists in its place

At least…

I have almost plastic
artificial gin and
rank morning alone
having vomitted twice
and wasted neither time,
then conspire to again.


grotesque (tread softly)

I’m unsure, but maybe the best way to smooth my writing is using the quantative/qualitative components of stess to soften the poem; that’s where I figured that my peoms might be grotesque, and it might be a good nomadic/artless point to use. Worth trying


For you, the disgust
I bear, I have only plastic
pinned to a table,
smoothly wiped off,
just 3 minutes later,
quite pitiful.

to make the interplay of feet and beats smoother, even-though neither really exist in free verse! I’d read the last line as two immediate stresses or two iambs, and hope that the two combine smoothly, that ‘quite’ is a beat but not an ictus and this makes the poem, here its tone, softer.

Or perhaps I can think of it in process, shaping the poem into and out of metrical ghosts, and using the moment to do so smoothly

With you,
for the disgust I bear,
I have a plastic
pinned to tables,
being wiped off smoothly,
just three minutes late,
quite pitiful.

I don’t know…


The Waste Land again

I have a strange sense of formication, of bugs under my skin, looking at it again.

So, let’s suppose that The Waste Land is a prosaic collage that combines its tonal fragments into a sensation of fear and absent authority, that The Black Mountain then introduces ‘speech’, but it is too peculiar to the individual person/poet, that this tension is then written into the grammar of language and unavoidable (will is always waiting for the arrival of the future), even signalling the end of a completely up-to-date poetic.

I’ll probably finish my MFA with poems that smooth out incohrence and restlessness, hoping to reframe the world into something less fearsome but, due to the world’s narrative and its postponement, only momentarily so.


Review of Tim Allen