// A meta-text for the book of poetry and pictures by MW Bewick //
Pomes Flixus is available to buy here.
Section I // Encounters
In the salon
Beth Chattos’s Garden
From the study
p11 Itiner-y of a Pilgrimage
An old saying, obviously. Like going ‘via Barrow (in Furness)’.
Circuity. Dismissing the prospect of linearity, or straightforward chronology via C18 ‘strip’ road maps.
The aim of travel / desire for endings.
Mediation and subjectivity of viewpoints.
Derrida and the possibility of a signified that transcends all signifiers.
Discovery to imagine the unimaginable, but make the imaginable fantastic.
p13 A Lime Hawk-Moth, Briefly Considered
Mimas tiliae, the lime hawk-moth of the family Sphingidae. Found on a fence at the back of the garden in Wivenhoe.
The birch next door.
Self-camouflage / disappearance.
Courage to persist/insist, esp. in creative endeavours.
How to be heard. Acts of disruption, sometime unintentional.
Chairs at Woolverstone Marina
At Colchester Town station
Herdwicks at Nether Wasdale
p15 The Force of a Leaf
In the direction of the Hythe lagoons, or perhaps White House Beach / Alresford Creek, Essex.
Meanings of ‘force’.
The need to dis-cover / hold / own / have.
Nature resisting narrative.
p16 The Motorway Services
A Hillman Avenger, for example; an annual trip along the M6.
A fallacy of common language.
Subjective readings of now vs then.
Performative text – a swerve, into the past.
The threat of change; efforts to stay middle-of-the-road.
p18 A Viewfinder
Single Lens Reflex camera, an OM10 or OM2N in mind.
A view from a childhood home re-seen/encountered via video footage on YouTube; east to the Fells, west to the Irish sea, wind farms, Isle of Man; Sellafield and farmland central.
Power station becomes reprocessing plant enters decommissioning phase.
Multiplier effect of large industry on local employment.
Out to the early morning commuter platforms. The hoot of trains as they pull away and approach the places where paths cross the tracks.
Like seeing houses at Christmas and wondering about how people have their Christmases.
p21 In a Downbeat Afternoon, Wivenhoe
A second window.
In theory heading back down from the Co-up, along the High Street, Quay/Station Road.
Generally one of those hot summer days where it’s already been hot for a week or so and everything/one has wilted, somewhat. The sound is of a quietude, of a creeping pace, of lives slightly altered for a short period of time, everyone making adjustments.
Silences and what breaks them.
Thoughts and how they move on.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
Buddleia, Admiral’s Walk, Wivenhoe
King Edward Quay, Hythe, Colchester
Photo of Ella for a Student Union card, mid-1990s
p23 Open Fields
Ipswich, Needham Market, Stowmarket, Elmswell, Thurston, Bury St Edmunds, Kennett, Newmarket, Dullingham, Cambridge.
Views interior and exterior, plus overheard conversation and associated interruptions, diversions, pauses.
All slightly too fleeting, slightly too close-up, cramped.
p24 The Central Reservation
The presumption is more flats, luxury apartments, 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, full-height glass doors from living/dining area or master bedroom with a view towards the historic city, but no balcony, just a railing to keep you from falling. Doors for air, but not leading to space, not that kind of space. The regulation square grey windows. Beyond the city, the A45, the A14.
Initially ‘Passing Trains’ or ‘At a Junction’ but becoming more expansive, gradually unravelling from its original tight metaphors (etc), to take on board noise, process, intermedia, greater fluidities, intersects and overlaps.
The familiar, homely is swept up into sales messaging of the Out-Of-Home moment.
Liverpool Street Station, London
Platform 5, Cambridge
In the hallway; memories of Vence
Northwards, from a train (unspecified)
Early for the collection, written late afternoon at home, between errands.
p28 Request Stop
Carlisle, Dalston, Wigton, Aspatria, Maryport, Flimby, Workington, Harrington, Parton, Whitehaven.
Written for Words By the Water festival (Keswick).
p29 Some Sediment
Because sometimes it is impossible to write words about a river.
Section II // Voices
The (rumour has it) millionaire’s Roller at Islington Green
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr postcard, at Fiona and Briony’s
Two broken secateurs
One of Hilary’s trees
Beckermet, Cumbria, circa 1986
Tyson’s field, down to the Kirk beck, and the trees where everyone played as kids.
p34 The Division Bells
See, for example, James Kelman’s Some Recent Attacks or And the Judges Said.
p35 Arguing the Comps and Bens
Alternative expressions for the word ‘economy’.
Compensation and benefits.
Financial technical services (modelling).
Natural capital commodities markets.
p36 At the Private View
Written while sitting at a group art show / art fair / art market while Ella took a break.
Im-mediate points of view.
A general sense of WTF concerning the disparaging attitudes of those ‘in the club’ to those ‘not in the club’.
p37 Out in the Yard
In the garden.
It is next door’s birch (see p13).
Deciding to stay home and be happy.
p38 No Telling
Sometimes there is no telling people.
p39 The Subtribe Malinae
An apple is a pome fruit.
Pomes are types of fruit produced by flowering plants in the subtribe malinae of the family rosaceae (rose).
Amelanchier, pyracantha, quince, medlar, pear and crab apple are all plants within the subtribe Malinae.
Bletting is the softening of some fleshy fruits after ripening.
“No sooner ripe but rotten,” Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore.
Crab Fair, Egremont, Cumbria, dates to 1267, making it one of the oldest fairs in the world. It is held every year on the third Saturday in September.
Gledhill Boilermate PCB
Somewhere in The City
Russets, Holly House, Beckermet
The Lookout, Aldeburgh
p41 Gamma Trap
The relativity of value.
The value(s) of language.
In financial engineering, extended periods of low volatility are known as a gamma trap because they often followed by large spikes in volatility, making it difficult to predict if market prices accurately reflect a current situation.
Delta is a ratio that compares the change in the price of an asset/security to a corresponding change in the price of its derivative.
Phases of market cycle: accumulation, markup, distribution, and markdown, in which the location of price can be identified within uptrends, downtrends and sideways markets.
In an earlier iteration of this poetry collection, the working title was Counterperformativity – unpredictability, things not performing as they should or to (canonical) expectation.
Modelling that escapes socio-economic and finance models into literature, possibility of representation, etc.
See also Judith Butler, Michel Callon.
p42 In Sequence
Overheard and generally unmediated speech and views, somewhere near Dullingham.
Emergent, merging, fading.
Secion III // Names
Lost bike by the Colne, White House beach.
Frinton, via Instagram stories
At Carlisle station
p49 Some Comments on Fred Frith
Collected, curated and condensed BTL YouTube comments.
Words found in essays.
p51 David, Out of Nowhere
A conjunction of a stranger, a seating arrangement on public transport, overheard conversation and a memory.
At Muncaster Castle
Back from the second-hand bookshop
Shoreditch, from a hotel bedroom
p53 Found Words for Philip Glass
Collected, curated and condensed BTL YouTube (and elsewhere) comments.
In the study
Near Dalston, Cumbria, from a train
From Red Lion Square, London, at the Small Publishers Fair 2019
Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, France
p55 Super Modern Engagement
Clash of contemporary marketing vernacular/tropes and keyword analysis of the most used words in popular hip-hop and rap lyrics (and specifically those of Kanye West).
Gartner, global research.
Big rock, long tail marketing.
Automation / mobile / Google micro-moments / Uber / Unicorn companies valued at over $1bn / Gen Z and post-demographic trends and futures.
p56 Stood with Micheal O’Siadhail
Thinking back to brief meetings, current bookshelves – the British Academy, London, at the launch of O’Siadhail’s Collected Poems. Me in the guise of a journalist-writer, not a poet-writer.
p57 ‘Snowflake Over Sequoia’
The much-travelled Josef Muench – and his photograph, which is featured on the Golden Record, aboard the two Voyager spacecraft, each of which has reached the edges of the solar system and entered interstellar space.
p58 ‘Variations for Winds’
…Strings and Keyboards.
Found words. Various collected, curated and condensed BTL YouTube comments, from this and other similar destinations.
p59 The Sonic Meditations of Pauline’s Accordion
Pauline Oliveros, Sonic Meditations.
Teach Yourself to Fly.
Found words. BTL comments, condensed.
p60 James Kelman at Bellhaven Terrace and also Now, Now
I first met James Kelman at the Bellhaven Hotel, Glasgow, in 1999. My lengthy interview with him, recorded in an empty lounge-function room at the hotel, formed an appendix to my doctoral research.
Some words stick.
p62 Old Items
In some ways a translated account. Words from a poem put many times through Google Translate and then rearranged slightly but upholding the new vocabulary that Google provided.
p63 An Anniversary
For absent friends. Thoughts in transit.
Section IV // Propositions
From Wivenhoe trail across to Rowhedge
The American Radiator Building, 40 West 40th Street. Empire State Building behind
Brutalism, Lavenham, Suffolk
Dining room studio
p67 ‘The Heavens are Telling’
Abridged afternoon conversation on BBC Radio 3 regarding Haydn’s music of the same name.
p68 The Other Humanities
Collected thoughts after reading an article on the chronological variations in language usage in film, in New Left Review.
p71 Here’s That Rainy Day
Summer, after a long, long spell of hot dry weather.
Admiral’s Walk / Old Ferry Road / Spindrift Way / Valonia Drive / Meredith’s Close, with a soundtrack of Wes Montgomery.
Wim Wenders: The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick / The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty
Paper cuts for a book of poems
Battersea cranes on the way to Esher
p73 Like an Overcoat
Perhaps the hook for the book.
Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, Nottinghamshire.
Galerie Casa D’Amor, St Paul de Vence, France
Around the corner
Somewhere, from a train
p75 Outward, Bound
Waiting at a station.
p76 Once More, with Persistence
The night sky and yoga poses.
p78 Just the Man
Now, in my head – my head – I have a precise idea of where this man is standing, and what he might look like. You will have your version. That’s just as it should be. What we need to remember is that for each of us this man is very real and full of potential, or potentially very real.
p79 What Follows the Scherzo?
I suppose I would be thinking of Mahler, but that isn’t the only option.
The kitchen is probably a kitchen in Cambridge, but it’s your kitchen of choice, too.
p80 A Commuted Thought
The journey home, and attempting to un-riddle the experience of the day.
Of telling it.
p81 You Can Edit Your Responses After Submitting
It turns out one of my colleagues accompanied this horse to the British Museum.
Words from the radio.
Words from the first stories I looked at on news sites open in my browser.
The cruelty-free puffer coat made from flowers is real. So is space-waste yarn.
Everything is documented.
Waiting to be picked up. January in a car park in Whitehaven
Printer’s Proof 2/2. Robyn Denny, Graffiti 4, 1977
Scribbling in a Leuchtturm1917 notebook
p83 At the Customs Check
That sense that things pass us by, that we can’t or won’t keep up.
Interrupted by some thoughts on the everyday and of Wivenhoe Park (University of Essex).
p84 A Wedding
A poem after Vence, early summer 2019.