This seemed to
me like two very different books, so:
Those keen on the loose grouping of Scottish writers known as 'the
Informationists' will be interested in this collection of mostly quite small
fragments and poems. Readers au fait with this term will know that these
writers aim to interrogate the power-structures of language by mixing and
mingling different registers in their work.
In practice, this means some quite jokey free-verse pieces, short-lined and
often quite Imagistic in content - the three-line 'That Passing Place' is a
case in point:
brave at the
Some will find themselves near the Paris Metro with Pound at this point,
except there is a difference: the perception of the faces in the Pound poem
transforms and makes new the ghostlike sheen of the natural image. In the
Price poem (which I have quoted in full) there is no sense of transformation
- this is just an example of pathetic fallacy - with a limited shelf-life,
given the proximity of the road. Lots of the smaller pieces tend to begin
with bald statements, like this one.
Perhaps you prefer your poems with emoticons? If so, then 'Jewellery' with a
sad emoticon face in the title is the one for you. In case you're confused, '
'I am sad', the very circular face can be taken to say./It has a perfect
upside-down smile.' Get the picture now?
Elsewhere, different type-faces like this
fragments of nursery-rhymes are used.
It's all quite surprising and if you haven't read much experimental poetry,
then you might like it. Having lived long enough to realise that
power-bearing structures can't be very easily defused and are usually there
for reasons of comprehensibility, I preferred the longer pieces that look and
read quite like poems. Often, in fact, I read poems not to get
....but there's also:
The two long 'Small World' sequences in this collection, effectively explore
what it means to be caught in the ripples of a catastrophic illness. Several
of Richard Price's poems here bravely evoke the grey world of hospital
waiting-rooms and bedside vigils, relearning, rethinking - a situation that
lends itself to the informationist project to mix tones and registers, the
blunt nomenclature of care rubbing painfully up against the raw emotions near
the surface. These are painful, urgent poems borne out of life-changing
© M. C. Caseley 2013