Early Edition

Early Edition They stand on the pavement waiting.   Up before everyone, larks and all, they stroll down the road ever slower struggling not to beat the first bus from the depot and failing because they must get out.   Today they are too early again.   Unlocking a grill-protected door paint-flaked from too many … Continue reading Early Edition

As I went out one morning…

When I was out jogging this morning - early, in the rain - I saw something that my mind immediately translated into words: Green. Round. Spikey. On the black roughness of a pavement improperly made the first horse chestnut. I love it when that happens. It's something I have no control over. Luckily I only … Continue reading As I went out one morning…

What’s in a number?

I now have the grand total of six ratings on Goodreads.com for "Losing Moby Dick". Not many, I know, but you've got to start somewhere. I had hoped - after a 'Goodreads Giveaway' - more of the 100 people who'd received the e-version of the book would have read and rated it, but beggars, choosers … Continue reading What’s in a number?

“The Road”

They should make Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" compulsory reading for every politician of every hue in every country. Right now. For all their protests, groups like Greenpeace would do well to buy a few copies and mail them out to Presidents, Prime Ministers and Dictators with a simple instruction: 'Read this!'. It is the most … Continue reading “The Road”

“Darke”

Let's keep it simple to begin with: Rick Gekoski's "Darke" is a good book. It deals with some big issues honestly, sensitively, as well as starkly and unrelentingly. Is there a 'but'..? Sort of. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but feel boundaries blurring between author and character - especially perhaps in the … Continue reading “Darke”

“The Displaced Children…”

The strongest attributes of Failsal Mohyuddin's "The Displaced Children of Displaced Children" combine to create a kind of calm, reflective tone; one which suits his excursions into history and place. The poems are, in part, political, familial, intensely personal; and some of their imagery is almost casually excellent. Having said that, some of the poems … Continue reading “The Displaced Children…”

“Silent House”

I was immediately unsettled during the early pages of Orhan Pamuk's "Silent House" (translated by Robert Finn) with the consistent use of the first person - but where the 'who' that first person represents changes from chapter to chapter. It's initially very disorienting! But once you get used to it - and recognise that in … Continue reading “Silent House”

“Venus as a Bear”

This may seem a little harsh, but for me there's little of merit in Vahni Capildeo's collection "Venus as a Bear". Some of the 'poems' in here are, frankly, nonsense. For example, here's the first half of a whole piece: I.        the voice of the seed II.      you said III. … Continue reading “Venus as a Bear”

the myth of you

look for an inauspicious door left hand-width ajar and push gently do not knock gauge with that sixth sense you never knew you had the potential of the space  beyond weigh its dimensions draft the atmosphere in charcoal dark and finger-smudged sketch the tension  air-clashed by the bow-wave of your coming your intrusion replaces the unseen … Continue reading the myth of you

“Ricantations”

The Spanish names and phrases that are woven into Loretta Collins Klobah's "Ricantations" endow it with a certain charm, even for the non-Spanish speaker like me. The poems have a lilt to them, and are clearly rooted in the Puerto Rico that is laid bare and celebrated in this volume. The sense of place and … Continue reading “Ricantations”