Fred Frith writes music with titles such as ‘No Birds’ and ‘The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Flight to What is Not’. He prepares and plays guitars with drum sticks, ping pong balls, ribbons, anything. He is an expert with delay. Fred Frith is an experiment. Are there rules? What are the rules? Need there be rules?
I wrote a poem about him. It’s to be found in Pomes Flixus.
Correspondence between poet, publisher and City Lights bookshop owner Laurence Ferlinghetti, who has just died, and the poet Frank O’Hara.
“We remain apprentice robots. I certainly hope that you have not become robots, but on the contrary that you have become very humanised. That’s my hope.”
The Lonely Crowd Issue 12 is published today and I’m delighted to have three poems in it – ‘Found Poem for Philip Glass’, ‘David, Again’ and ‘Music of the Woods’. At 325 pages it’s a whopper of an issue, with prose, essays and interviews as well as poems, and it’s a smart-looking thing, too.
Thanks to editor John Lavin, for putting it all together and featuring some of my writing. A real pleasure to be included.
So into December we go. A really gloomy day here in the wilds of north Essex today. But that’s only right for this time of year, yeah?
It feels like a blink since we were publishing Pomes Flixus six months ago. Yet how bright and green the late days of May seem now.
Did you get hold of a copy of the book yourself? Did you mean to? Well, if you order one from Dunlin Press any time before the end of the year I’ll personally throw in something extra for Christmas. Think of it as an advent calendar surprise.
Here’s a poem from the collection:
‘Here’s That Rainy Day’
As we look out to a little street
all the parked commuter cars
the houses there beyond the river
the feeling that summer never quite got going
but here with a view after all
of our occasional need for ease and quiet
content in a kind of neutral mid-tempo
but also finding reason
in a quickness unfolding around us
where the drains fill with a thirst of ages
the hydrangeas by the corner
almost insanely thankful
the birds instantly much quieter
heading for the birches and false acacias
things that know best how to handle these moments
all round the ringed roads of the estate
like coaxial thoughts that desired being straightened
or vertical like rain
forgetting that rain has its inflections
or that sometimes there’s little
between rain and drenched air
all deep-wet for something
that needs us without regret
and feels effortless
as a soft voice falling in a shower of notes.
Okay then. Want to see a bit more? Go here. Want to make an oldish writer smile by placing an order? Go here.
Stay safe everyone.
Here’s an hour’s watch on the New York School of poets, featuring John Ashbery, Charles Bernstein, Jordan Davis, Jane Freilicher, Hettie Jones, Kenneth Koch, David Lehman, Alfred Leslie, Bill Morgan and Larry Rivers. Yep, this 2001 documentary film by Lars Movin, Niels Plenge and Thomas Thurah has only 362 views at the time of writing – and very good value it is too.
Does something wonderful happen? Well, what’s wonderful?