A bit of existentialist farting


Ghost Town Music, Bobby Parker (7, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press)
Mass Graves,
Daniele Pantano (5, The Knives Forks and Spoons Press)


There is a bit of farting going on here:

     Get up fart piss
     make tea
     consider the eggs
     come back all moody

And further on (can't give page numbers as there are none)

     I ask the doctor why I am
     Farting so much at night...

And further on - nearer the back -no pun intended - there's the associated farting idea of having a shit:

     One of the things I really detest, I mean it really wind me up, is going for a shit.
     It's more than an inconvenience; it reminds me what a dirty ape I really am.
     Dropping my jeans. Sitting on the seat. Shitting. Pissy water splashing
     back up onto my ass while I stare at the back of the door, barely able to
     contain my irritation

     But what I really hate is the last part, snatching some toilet paper and wiping
     all that shit off myself

At this point I'm wondering how my little old dears in the writers' group would handle Bobby's work, if I showed it to them. I might need to take along the brandy and smelling salts to revive them from all the farting and shitting that oozes delicately from these pages. I'm not sure if my little old dears might appreciate being confronted with the rawer edges of post-modernist conscripts set against the duality of the self. Bobby is out to tell us how it is in his world - farts and all (wow this is good Jim).

I love the textures in this work, particularly the take it or leave it scribbles, photocopies, cartoons and so on. I love the roughness of it, it's like a work of abstract art done on the better side of rough -and rough it is - and I love it. Bobby is saying feck convention, feck daffodils, feck lakes, feck beneath the fecking trees - and he has my vote. That personally I like to take the fecking daffodils and the fecking trees and fecking lakes out of fecking a poetry and resign these romantic constipating dreamscapes to the fecking bin. That today mainstream poetry is dominated by this farting and shitting bollocks and IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE. That if one of my old dears gives another daffodilly recital that there will be consequences... I have a knife fork and spoon ready. Baaaaaad I know...

Where's me feckin pills...

A must read.


Daniele Pantano's Mass Graves from the same press is a different animal, more regimented and perhaps less stunning - but craft non-the-less. Consider this, from page 11:

     We wear

                    The poet's uniform

            Because our mothers

                             Are dead


                         Fishermen on classic

                                       Thin ice...

Daniele Pantano arrived in Britain carrying Swiss papers (it says at the back) which are crumpled by history and stained by broken traditions. At the centre of this writing there is vitality. This is writing in the margins that's can't be trusted. A water-damaged review stands in front of the writing, its lines more like erasures than inventions, barbed wire with tatters of words upon it. Enigmas are small but Pantano suspects the crimes are great.

I'd go along with this and add that there is an examination of the aspect of invention, or if you like a curiosity as regards structure and form. Perhaps signs of deviant imagination based on a malevolent existentialism - or a would be core to the unknown - the not seen in all of us. Something just at the margins or contained literally in the chthonic discourses of time.

      James McLaughlin 2011