Reading from The Zircon Ferries

Poems featured:

‘What is to be Done?’
‘A Partition of Times’
‘The Shudder of the New’

Referencing: Lenin, Beeching, cosmists, Rancière, common time, OOO, Graham Harman, Harman, Hegel, Deleuze, cheese sandwiches, Heidegger, Warhol, James Kelman, Wivenhoe, and more.


The Zircon Ferries is out now

My latest bunch o’ poems, The Zircon Ferries, is out now with Beir Bua Press. Thanks so much to Michelle Moloney King and the press for publishing it, and to Ella Johnston for the artwork on the cover and the vispo elements inside.

Here’s some nice stuff people have said about the poems:

And here’s a poem as a taster:

Some History Revision

Perhaps towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars
and the early years of EastEnders,
with Pat Butcher sailing back to Cannes from Elba
where she’d exiled alone in a replica edition of
The Queen Vic,
and the call to arms was simply to
pour some pints, wave some flags,
and the bends in the river went on and on.

Even then we felt something needed to give
as Prussia was restored to its former borders,
Britain sized up its economic power and
Bono considered a cowboy hat.
The Congress of Vienna,
delivered by Walls or Lyons Maid
sustained us through a decade of hot summers
foreign films on Channel 4
and European football bans.

Let’s not forget
in the analogue of days,
that hayfever found us in any green room.
It meant a day off books, revision time
for abdications at Rochefort,
Murat confused with Marat,
Wicksy merging with Curly Watts,
channel-hopping again
as we lived through deconstruction.

We never knew enough. Still don’t.
It would be easy to cry about it, and maybe tempting,
all of us waiting for plot twists, following
the narrative arcs of characters
who now seem little more than clichés.
Don’t start, some facts persist
and somewhere some new coalition is polishing the optics,
seeking its brief period of costly domination,
waiting for the drums to kick things off.

Elsewhere there’s Immanuel Kant and Steve McQueen (or not), and painter Agnes Martin and a lizard caught in a thesaurus as it tries to cross the road, and philosopher Jacques Ranciere, and the meaning of an ‘oppolin’, and business meetings, and Andy Warhol, and a cheese sandwich, and trends in crisps, and a hoopoe, and Blackfriars Bridge, and object-oriented theory and, well, more. Etc.

You can get it here, and it doesn’t cost a lot (prices are shown in dollars but it prints regionally), so please support this marvellous experimental press in Co. Tipperary if you can – it’ll help keep the interesting stuff happening. And I’ll love you forever and more..


The Zircon Ferries, a new pamphlet by MW Bewick

Cover artwork by Ella johnston

Totally excited to announce that I have a new longish-pamphlet of poems, The Zircon Ferries, coming out at the end of August 2021 with the incredible Beir Bua Press. The press, based in Co. Tipperary, is run by award-winning poet Michelle Moloney King. It’s the publishing press of sister site Beir Bua Journal and publishes experimental, avant-garde and vispo poetry pamphlets – and there’s a bit of all of that in The Zircon Ferries. Beir Bua is the perfect place for it, so I’m delighted to be there.

I know, it’s been just over a year since Pomes Flixus was published, but I’ve somehow been writing at pace, which I like, and making quick and brutal edits, rather than procrastinating over decisions and making ponderous revisions. I think that the process has kept them vivid and fresh and packed with ideas. To quote from the intro:

‘The poems, writings, texts – I’m not too concerned with definitions – in this short collection of recent work is purposely heteroglossic. Or maybe that’s polyphonous, or dialogic, in its multifarious registers of language. It encompasses instances of office jargon, marketing strategy terminology, symbols lifted from popular culture, references to continental philosophy, Marxist theory, art theory and critical studies, old documentary footage, movie-star biographies, science texts, Elizabethan drama, nature writing, local observation, memoir, dreams, overheard conversations, below-the-line comment from websites, phrases altered sequentially through an online thesaurus, the occasional neologism, slang… and more.”

Here’s a taster:

So, you get three philosophers for the price of one. The Third? Henri Lefebvre provides the title and something of the narrative. It’s that kind of collection.

I have an author page at Beir Bua here, or you could just go and buy The Zircon Ferries at the shop here.

But what are the Zircon Ferries? Well. Well well. We’ll see.


Some Comments on Fred Frith

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.

The Lonely Crowd – Issue 12

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.