Archive for September, 2011

Three new songs from Mr Dupret Factory

Mr Dupret Factory is one of my very favourite songwriters, and he happens to have just put three new songs up on the ‘net. Listen now – they’re incredible.

The Venus of Willendorf

Dog Walker

Anthropocene Man

More on his Myspace site here

Two poems from Christine Webb’s Catching Your Breath

Catching Your BreathChristine Webb’s new collection, Catching Your Breath, is out from Cinnamon Press, and has its launch on the 20th of September as part of the Lumen Poetry Series. It’s also available from Cinnamon’s site. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Christine read some of the poems from the collection in the past year or two, and as the two below – taken from the book’s main, elegaic, sequence – demonstrate they’re deeply affecting, full of heart and craft. I’m excited to see them between covers and thrilled to post them here also.



Knowledge

That moment suspended in the dull room
above the streets of the January town

(a branch pecked on the window, but the curtains
shut out the garden of dead chrysanthemums)

– undressing for each other the first time
all I saw was lit up by your body,

its gold and ivory. Such knowledge to bring away,
to carry wrapped through the streets, past naked trees,

into the school where heating pipes clanked and gossiped,
where blackboards expressed decorous equations,

where at the corners of corridors we might breathe in
to pass each other, but did not speak or glance

in case the doorways should break into leaf,
in case the books we carried should burst into flame.


Inside the Mirror

Inside the mirror you’re settled for the night,
your head tucked into the dip of the pillow,

your hands drawn up, just touching your face.
The light that’s kept on for you all night, now,

falls on the curve of your shoulder, smoothing
its green cotton. I take off my shoes, lean

towards the mirror, achieve the exact angle
to hide your cannula, your oxygen tank,

the tackle of your survival. My fingers,
which are practised in touching your skin,

your sleeves – tender even towards your buttons –
undress me quickly: I don’t need to break

my gaze from that framed world where your breath
comes and goes, easy, as strong as mine.


Catching Your Breath launch: Tues September 20, Lumen, 88 Tavistock Place, London WC1, 6.30pm. Read more from Christine here, including her Poetry London Competition winner, Seven Weeks.

Three poems from Joseph Horgan

Joseph was born in Birmingham and lives in Cork. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2004 and published his first collection, Slipping Letters Beneath The Sea, in 2008 from Doghouse and The Song At Your Backdoor with Collins Press in 2010.  He recently completed a residency in Achill, Mayo. I’ve been a fan of Joseph since hearing him read last year, and I’m delighted to post three poems from him today.



Notices

People in the city die
in complete silence.
A notice appears overnight,
the bare details
of an unimagined life.
House numbers go into the hundreds,
As and Bs and Cs.
An address that does not exist.
In the loving care

of the long streets.
Passing away again and again.
Not many left now
and in the end,
after all that,
their photographs come home.
A notice appears overnight.
People in the city die
near perfect deaths.



A Private Matter

This silent society,
a country, a fogbound airport;
for all our shouting on screen
a landscape
of private memories.
The faraway shifting of trains
and high walls topped with broken glass,
as if definition only exists
in the damp kitchens of the past.
In the new country there is no recognisable face.
A raised hand from a car,
putting a key to the front door.

Say small things often.
Shape silence
in order to break it.
We are who we are
when we put our colours on
and then we take them off again.
We wear our sponsors close to our heart.
So down in the woodshed,
a chisel;
in the disregarded air,
with no one looking,
we do our work.



When The Dancehalls Closed

It wasn’t those that stayed that built a country. It was those that left.
It wasn’t the calling. It was the silence.
It wasn’t the getting on a country bus. It was the boat.
It wasn’t the unformed queue. It was the line.
It wasn’t the perfidious. It was the faithful.

And if you are lucky, your way back with a shopping bag
along the streets, the widow or widowed,
the sideburned days and Sunday afternoon drinking gone;
a newspaper notice brings you home.
It wasn’t the country. It was the city.