Video reading: “Figure with Pressurized Hose,” “Ascension,” and “Last Bastion”

Another video, this time from the June 3rd edition (and season closer) of the London Poetry Open Mic Night. My thanks again to the organizers and to videographer Sebastian Rydzewski.

At the beginning, I’m responding to an earlier reader who mentioned a line famously misattributed to Valéry: “A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned.” Open mic host Joan Clayton polled the crowd on whether they finish or abandon poems. I ‘think too much,’ so I abstained and then, in this video, point out that the line is a gloss of Valéry from Auden’s Collected Poems foreword.

Valéry wrote roughly this: “A work is never completed except by some accident such as weariness, satisfaction, the need to deliver, or death: for, in relation to who or what is making it, it can only be one stage in a series of inner transformations.” Valéry’s examples of “accident” do suggest abandonment, but I prefer the ambiguity of “accident” itself. I like to think my poems exile me for causes beyond my control.

Here’s also Kelly Creighton reading “Day One” and, hilariously, refusing to parse it afterward. Unfortunately, this video’s audio dampens the hypnotism (which is Creighton’s forté), so have a drink first, I suppose, then watch it with your eyes closed.


A Poem in Hart House Review: “Counting Half The World”

After far too long writing PhD qualifying exams, paving my favourite neurons to put up a dissertating lot, I’m back to writing poetry. (But see how bad things have gotten?)

Perhaps I’ll begin a very delayed Shark Week Poemarathon 2014, though by my calculations I’ve already missed what would be the half-birthday/Xmas-in-July of Shark Week, January 11-17. I’ll just back-date the posts and no one will notice. You can keep our secret, can’t you, dear reader?

Speaking of reading, you should try it sometime. I have a very old poem newly published in the Hart House Review’s Winter Supplement 2015, “Counting Half The World.”

It has all the newsiest things: exotic locales! nipples! war tremors! (two kinds of) puddles! grandmother(‘)s! mules! (We all know how au courant mules are these days.)