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Merry Christmas To All

I would like to offer a very special Christmas poem to all my readers this year. It was written Christmas, 2005, which was the last I would spend with my father. We spent Christmas in Richmond, Quebec, at my grandparents' home, across the river from Melbourne. An Eastern Townships Christmas is about as idyllic as one can get. Snow is half-a-man deep, and the fir tree boughs are laden with it. Days we'd ski or walk in the woods, nights sit by a roaring fire, and read Robert Frost. This poem is set in this territory, which is where my mother grew up. I've found a most appropriate image, a painting set within a mile or less of where it was written (though a hundred years before) by Frederick Simpson Coburn, the painter and illustrator who was born in Melbourne, Quebec, before moving to study in Berlin and Paris. Curiously enough, he became an illustrator for some of the stories of Edgar Poe, in New York in the early 1900s, which perhaps also ties in with the slightly macabre …

The Swift Report 2006

Each year I write a report to my friends, summing up the year that has been, and looking forward to the next. 2006 was the saddest year of my life, although in some other, lesser ways a good and important one. Three close family members as well as four friends died this year. Most significantly, my wonderful father, Thomas Edward Swift, died of brain cancer, on September 9, at the age of 66. I had spent weeks with him in hospital in Montreal. It has been a very difficult time, and I miss him so much (he is pictured here). His memorial service was very moving, and many friends and colleagues of his (and mine) attended, to celebrate the kind and exceptionally generous man he was. I am quite concerned for my mother, for the other two relations who died this year were her father and brother (my grand-father and uncle Ian and Edward Hume). As well, my good friend, the poet Rob Allen, died of cancer, start of November.


*

In 2006 I turned 40. In the spring, I moved to Maida Vale with my wife. …

Dear Santa,

I know you are very busy this year bringing all kinds of electronic games to all the good boys and girls of the rich world, but if you have any time, could you send a red-nosed reindeer to help the International Red Cross in their campaign to ban cluster bombs. Those toys only hurt people don't they? Lots of people ask for peace, but from what I have seen, peace can't happen yet. So all I want this year is a few small things. Next year I'll ask you for a miracle,



sincerely,


Todd

http://www.icrc.org/eng



http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/06/europe/EU_GEN_Red_Cross_Cluster_Bombs.php

Tis The Season To Buy My Poetry Pamphlet

Crimbo is here. That's Christmas to those not currently based in the United Kingdom. Christmas is a time for giving and, especially, for ordering that hard-to-get rare (yet still in stock) poetry pamphlet. Say, Natural Curve.

Order while supplies last! And support a poet.

http://www.rubiconpress.org/chapbooks.htm

No Time To Lose

The Winter 2006/07 issue (volume 96:4) of Poetry Review, edited by poet Fiona Sampson, is now out, with the theme "A la recherche".

North American (and other non-UK) readers wishing to follow the contemporary poetry world as it unfolds on these isles should subscribe to PR - it is, to paraphrase Ms. Turner, simply the best.

That being said, I am honoured to have a review published in this issue, on the new collection by Paul Farley, Tramp in Flames. Other contributors include Michael Longley (specially featured), Eavan Boland, John Fuller, Ruth Padel, Alan Brownjohn, Jackie Kay, Glyn Maxwell, Jay Parini, Patrick Crotty and Frank Dullaghan.

Order from www.poetrysociety.org.uk

Poem by Joe Dunthorne

Eyewear is very glad to welcome rising literary star Joe Dunthorne (pictured) to these pages, especially as the holiday season approaches, for now is a good time to be festive and celebrate this exciting writer's work.

Dunthorne, who graduated from the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia the same year as me, is both a fine prose writer and poet. At UEA he did the Prose strand and was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. In 2005, Dunthorne traveled to Bangladesh with the British Council as part of an exchange project with young Bangladeshi writers.

His poetry has been published in magazines and featured on Channel 4 in the UK. His novel, Submarine, is forthcoming from Hamish Hamilton in early 2008.


Eating Out

There are dumpsters simply brimming
with left overs and send backs,
black sacks full of nummy slop:
coconut pannacotta
truffle honey mozzarella
California bouillabaisse
and even if you mush
the food together
I’ll bet it still tastes pretty good
but then, you see,
there are these…

December Poetry At nth position

Oxfam Bloomsbury Reading Last Night

Beloved authors Jeanette Winterson and Ali Smith (both pictured) read last night at the Oxfam Bloomsbury shop - December 14, 2006. I hosted. Around 70 people were in attendance, filling the intimate shop. Wine and mince pies were served. The writers were captivating, giving, full of fun, each reading two Christmas stories they'd written - in one instance, Smith giving her new story to Winterson as a gift. Winterson read half a story from a power book. Sitting atop the Oxfam counter, legs dangling. It was the first time the friends had read together. The audience was deeply appreciative and the entire event seemed dusted with joy. Oxfam raised approximately £1,000 on the night for those in need.

Top Ten Albums of 2006

Eyewear is not immune to the worthless desire to tell total strangers what the best of the year (in any number of categories) was, and has one advantage in not trying to sell anything (well, except perhaps for some poetry from time to time) - so, 'tis the season to launch the lists. Today, we shall have naming of albums - the top popular music that, while maybe not the best, most tickled the fancy of mine ears (and so on); all albums listed have been reviewed here previously, except for the first place winner, and all quotes are from Eyewear reviews:

1. Ys by Joanna Newsom
Newsom's masterwork has the advantage of being produced in consort with Steve Albini and Van Dyke Parks but it sounds more like Walt Disney teamed up with Bernard Hermann - the enchanting, off-kilter harp and string arrangements do what is so often promised but rarely delivered - transport. The listener of this album is taken in hand to a different world, one vastly more imaginative and whimsical. Spelunking a…

Upstairs At Duroc

Upstairs at Duroc is one of the best English-language literary magazines to come out of France. Its editor in chief is Barbara Beck, herself a good poet. It's a publication of WICE, based at 20, Boulevard du Montparnasse, 75015 Paris.

Issue 8, 2006, is now out, looks great, and features poets such as Mark Leech, Rufo Quintavalle, Lisa Robertson, Mark Terrill and Cecilia Woloch. I'm also in it.

To order copies, send a French cheque for 11 Euros to the address above, payable to WICE.

If you would like to see more details about the magazine, have a look here:
http://www.wice-paris.org/courses/creative/upstairs-duroc.html

Deadline for submissions for the next issue is 31 January 2007. More details here:
http://www.wice-paris.org/courses/creative/submit.html

Poem by John Welch

John Welch is a good, complex, sometimes very moving and thoughtful poet whose work deserves attention. He is very welcome at Eyewear this Friday. I include a brief biographical note below:

As well as editing an anthology, Stories from South Asia (OUP 1988), Welch has contributed articles to Poets on writing (Macmillan 1992) and more recently to journals including the London Review of Books, fragmente and Scintilla. A new poetry collection is The Eastern Boroughs (Shearsman Books). I included a poem of his on the Oxfam audio CD Life Lines, released this summer.

Approaching
Constable's Painting "Weymouth Sands"

It's these spaces you are beginning to find
Opening up behind you, these gaps in memory,
Bits that fly out of your head like birds
And then disappear as if overwhelmed by sky.
The sensation is not altogether unpleasing.
This trying to remember, will it feel more and more
Like reconstructing an accident,
As if you had been living in its aftershock?
The thing is, as you get …

Review: Casino Royale

Eyewear was wrong to carp.

The new James Bond film, number 21, Casino Royale, is the best in the series since Sean Connery tossed his to Miss Moneypenny for the last time.

[Spoiler alert]

First, let it be admitted that the Bond films are not precisely works of moral genius. Paul Virilio would no doubt argue they instead form part of the continuum in art and science that, in the 20th century, saw a "pitiless art" destroy the human form, if not the very idea of the humane (and so the scene in Miami, set among the plasticized skeletons of that bizarre recent exhibition is entirely apt). Indeed, what is James Bond if not the avatar of a pitiless man, arrogantly prepared to take life ("00") with an ice-cool modern instrumentality for a heart?

This is where the new film ricochets off the genre canon established in the first 20 features. By taking this very issue to heart, we are presented with something very much like the origin of Darth Vader that was seen in the Star Wars

Good News for Canadians

The Guardian finally chooses to write about Canada and Canadian politics, and ends up mentioning our former PM, Brian [sic] Martin. Hilarious, and a little sad:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,,1963076,00.html

Meanwhile, the good news - Dion not Ignatieff as Liberal Party leader.

Dr. Ignatieff was hubristic, seemingly pro-Iraq war and generally out of touch with Canadian sentiment.

Dr. Dion is French-Canadian, an expert in intergovernmental affairs, passionate about unity, and interested in environmental issues. He's the right leader at this time.

http://www.theglobeandmail.ca/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061204.wlibsvote04/BNStory/National

Poem by Anne Waldman

Eyewear is very proud to showcase a poem by the great Anne Waldman (pictured) this first day of December, 2006.

Ms. Waldman - poet, editor, performer, professor, curator, cultural activist- carries in her genetics the lineages of the New American Poetry, and is a considered an inheritor of the Beat (Allen Ginsberg called her his "spiritual wife") and New York School (Frank O'Hara told her to "work for inspiration, not money") mantles.

Directing the Poetry Project at St Mark's Poetry Project over a decade, she co-founded the Jack Keroauc School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg at the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University in 1974. She is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of Naropa's celebrated Summer Writing Program and is working with the Study Abroad on the Bowery project in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Author and editor of over 40 books and small press editons of poetry, some of her latest books inlcude In The Room Of Never Grieve: New &…

Life Lines

Six poets read last night for Oxfam, Tuesday, November 28th, in support of the Life Lines project, at Oxfam's flagship bookshop in London, at 91 Marylebone High Street, from 7.30 pm to around 11 pm.

They were:

Tobias Hill is one of the leading British writers of his generation. Selected as one of the country's Next Generation poets, shortlisted for the 2004 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and named by the TLS as one of the best young writers in the country. Byatt has observed that "There is no other voice today quite like this."

NYC-born Eva Salzman trained as a dancer/choreographer. At Columbia University, she studied with Joseph Brodsky, Derek Walcott Stanley Kunitz, Jorie Graham, C.K. Williams and Elizabeth Hardwick. Awards include a Cholmondeley from the Society of Authors. Her writing has been widely published and broadcast on the BBC. Double Crossing: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Ruth Fainlight was born in New …

Allen Carr has died

Sad news. BBC is reporting that anti-smoking hero Allen Carr has died.

Of lung cancer.

Mr. Carr helped me quit smoking (though I sometimes lapse).

His method was simple and profound - to suggest that life without smoking was better (and less anxiety-prone) than with it (since most smokers feel they need the crutch of a cigarette) and celebrated every smoke free day as liberation from a terrible disease.

Meanwhile the legal sale of tobacco products by major corporations, resulting in millions of preventable (and often painful) deaths each year, is one of the world's enduring evils, and in a hundred years will be viewed with the same moral disgust as the slave trade.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6194670.stm

My father's 67th birthday

Had my father (pictured here with my mother) not died two months ago, he would have turned 67 today.

Here is what was written in his memorial booklet.

----

Thomas Edward Stanley Swift
November 26, 1939-September 9, 2006

-----
The poet Larkin wrote: "What survives of us is love". Tom Swift survives in that he has left each of us - family, friends and colleagues - with a great sense of love: both for him, and radiating from him. Tom's signature character traits were gentleness, a sense of humour, modesty, protectiveness and tremendous empathy, especially for the disadvantaged (both animal and human). The defining element of Tom's life was his family, for whom he would do anything. And, at the heart of his family stands an extraordinary love story - the 41-year marriage that he shared with Mary Margaret Hume, his beautiful soul-mate, who stood by him through health and sickness and gave Tom his greatest gift of all: love like a flame that never once swerved or threatened to …

Most favoured nation?

In order to get votes in Quebec, the governing Tory party has made a gesture that will satisfy only seccesionists and nationalists, by putting forrward a parliamentary motion that the Quebecois form a nation within Canada.

Nationalism has a long history, and it has rarely been a good one; pandering to nationalists is a bad idea.

Quebec is not a nation, for several reasons - chief among them the fact that Quebec is instead a province of a federation. It was founded by the English and the French, after being violently removed from its indigenous first peoples. The land now called Quebec is not by some kind of mystical union strictly identical to the aspirations of its "Quebecois" (that is French-speaking) people. Quebec belongs equally to its native and multicultural inhabitants, including the large Anglophone minority, none of whom wishes to see Quebec as a separate nation outside of Canada.

Canada has but one nation, which is Canada. It is subdivided into various provinces, whic…

Poem by Kimberly Burwick

Eyewear is very glad to welcome Kimberly Burwick (pictured) to this feature.

Burwick obtained her B.A in literature from the University of Wisconsin, and her M.F.A. in poetry from Antioch University- Los Angeles. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Indiana Review, The Literary Review, Fence, Conjunctions and others.

Her first book of poems Has No Kinsmen was recently published by California-based Red Hen Press.

She currently teaches at the University of Connecticut, and lives on a farm in northwestern Massachusetts.

I first met her in New York at the panel discussion on politics and poetry I was chairing, which featured Paul Muldoon, Pascale Petit,Mimi Khalvati, Glyn Maxwell and Simon Armitage, during the week-long series of events celebrating the launch of Short Fuse, an anthology I co-edited a few years back for Rattapallax.

Since then, I've been following her work with much interest, and have been glad to publish her at Nthposition. She strikes me as being one of the …

My favourite museum

Last week-end was one of the happiest in my life. I spent it with my wife in Berlin, as I was there for a poetry festival.

I was last there 19 0r 20 years ago. I have many memories of that time, but one of the best was when a painter friend of mine brought me to see the works of the artists kept in the Bruecke (The Bridge) museum - the earliest Expressionists, all of whom were later described by the Nazis as "degenerate".

One of the smallest museums in the world, it was designed to house just these artists, and its modern style, set among trees, makes it both beautiful and solemn.

Even the chairs were designed to be exactly where they are. I love sitting in them, quietly meditating on the work of Fritz-Rotloff. I hope to return again. Few places on the planet make me so glad. I think it is the passionate use of colour in these troubled painters that, in such thoughtfully-controlled surroundings, is so moving. Order and chaos together are always lovely when in tangible equipoise…

Robert Altman Has Died

Robert Altman (pictured) was one of America's greatest film directors, and his death is very sad news.

The Player is arguably the best anti-Hollywood film ever made. The Long Goodbye remains a marvellous revisionist take on Chandler and film noir. Gosford Park would be nearly note-perfect, were it not for the miscue that is the Fry character's silliness near the end.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6170376.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5217038.stm

Poetry Hearings 2006

I am just back from Berlin where I was reading as part of POETRY HEARINGS 2006, the Berlin Poetry Festival run by poet and emcee Alistair Noon.

All readings took place at Salon Rosa, a remarkable anarchist style squat in the East of Berlin; audiences were small (40-50) but attentive. Poetry sales were low. There was a film crew on hand and the poets were interviewed. The mood was very warm, and the readers soon bonded over the three days, creating a genuine sense of creative dialogue and sometimes exchange. The hosts were friendly and expert, and the emceeing spot on. I had a great time.

Friday 17th November

Todd Swift
John Hartley Williams
Giles Goodland
Cralan Kelder

Saturday 18th November

Chris Jones
MC Jabber
Michelle Noteboom
Leo Mellor

Sunday 19th November

Mark Terrill
Jeremy Hilton
Jennifer K Dick
Rod Mengham


Salon Rosa
Sophienstr. 18
Entrance H (same entrance as the Sophiensaele theatre)
10178 Berlin-MitteU-Bahn Weinmeisterstr., S-Bahn Hackescher Markt

Poem by Philip Fried

Philip Fried (pictured here) is a New York-based poet, little magazine editor, and poetry advocate. Eyewear is very glad to welcome him as this week's featured poet.

Fried’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets. His three books of poetry are Mutual Trespasses (1988); Quantum Genesis (1997), which A.R. Ammons called “a major new testament”; and Big Men Speaking to Little Men (Salmon Poetry, 2006).

In addition to being a poet, Fried is the founding editor of The Manhattan Review, an international poetry journal that critics have called “excellent” and “lively.” And he collaborated with his wife, the fine-art photographer Lynn Saville, on a volume combining her nocturnal photographs with poetry from around the world: Acquainted with the Night (Rizzoli, 1997).

As a poetry advocate, Fried organized a successful nationwide campaign to increase the number and quality of poetry reviews in The New York Times. I f…

Review: An Other Cup

The idea that Cat Stevens would convert to Islam, disappear for ages, and then suddenly reappear years later with a popular folk-rock album, now calling himself Yusuf, seems faintly absurd. There is something decidedly naff about the idea of Cat Stevens / Yusuf and no doubt many Eyewear readers, and others, will not explore this new album with the respect it actually deserves. Others will have been waiting for this with great eagerness.

This is Yusuf's moment, at least in Britain. Surely no album's release could be more relevant in the week that Al-Jazeera English launches its world-wide television broadcasting news service, that Bush reels from his Iraq-induced losses at home, or that debate continues to rage about the role of the Muslim community in the UK and, indeed, everywhere. Yusuf is no apologist for his faith, but this grave, solemn, and at times preposterously upbeat recording, with its 12 songs (only nine original to the artist, and two brief spoken word poems, r…

Review: Depeche Mode, The Best Of, Volume 1

The new Bond film premiered last night in London. More on that later. What was missing on the red carpet was a band: Depeche Mode. Somehow, the Bond producers never got it - there has never been a group whose music so perfectly meets the special needs of their franchise - whose every song has always fused sex, violence, technical precision and strange passion - in short, pop songs for the age of everyday psychopathology.

Perhaps what makes almost every one from critic to mogul to man in the street, in the UK, somehow underestimate DM is that, in a secular climate, their heat is partially generated by the frisson of Deep South Bible Belt spanking.

"Personal Jesus" is a good place to start. It opens their best of (18 tracks, only one new, "Martyr). The song broke DM in America in a way that has never happened, say, for Robbie Williams (a blessing). It became the template for later Depeche Mode songs, even albums, and remains their most striking and frankly disturbing work -…

Prisons and Prizes

The superb Irish poet Sinead Morrissey (who has read for the London Oxfam series in Marylebone and is pictured here) wrote one of the finest poetry collections of 2005, The State of the Prisons.

It is now short-listed for a major UK prize for the best book by an author under the age of 35. Several of the poems in the collection are among the handful of the very best written in English since 2000 and one or two at least will endure. May she win.


http://www.booktrust.org.uk/prizes/jlr/jlr.php

Review: Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid

Simon Armitage, pictured here, has a new collection of poems out from Faber & Faber, with the intriguing title Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid.

Armitage is one of the most popular and widely-imitated poets among some of the better poets of my generation and those slightly younger; and is becoming an iconic figure of his generation, much as Auden or Hughes were, for theirs.

I have heard Armitage read several of the poems from it, firstly at Ledbury last year (where I read as well), and then again more recently at the launch of the Oxfam CD, Life Lines, where he kindly volunteered to read.

These new poems are some of his best, and also take him in a different direction - one similar, in tone and emphasis, to the lyrics on Thom Yorke's recent The Eraser. So I was somewhat surprised to read, in the Guardian, Robert Potts write that: "He still writes as well as anyone, in his particular vein. But the limits of his language really are the limits of his world; and there a…

Poem by Cath Vidler

Eyewear marches on, like time, or a newsreel from an Orson Welles film. Each Friday it features a poet worth reading, based somewhere in the English-speaking world. So it is that I am very glad to welcome to these storied flat-screen pages, this particular Friday, the one and only Cath Vidler.

Vidler (pictured above) is an Australian poet I think particularly intriguing for her wit and innovative practice. She is also editor of online journal Snorkel (www.snorkel.org.au). Vidler founded Snorkel in 2004 after returning to Sydney from New Zealand, where she spent three years immersing herself in the literary culture of Wellington. Snorkel aims to bring together the creative writings of Australians and New Zealanders, while also featuring contributions from the wider international community.

Her poems have appeared in Sport, Turbine, Trout, Tinfish, Cordite, Alba, Otoliths and, most recently, Nthposition.


10 Domestic Alternatives

1. The succulents are entirely underwater or completely dried …

Palgrave Omissions

Sarah Broom now gives the world her study, Contemporary British and Irish Poetry.

Eyewear welcomes her broad church attention to both mainstream and experimental (as well as performance-oriented) poetries and poetics, and the inclusion of Don Paterson, Denise Riley, Simon Armitage and Jackie Kay for serious study is all good news.

However, to say "future books of this kind will no doubt include the likes of" or "there are many I would have loved to include but could not" followed by names like: Pascale Petit, Paul Farley, Alice Oswald, Caroline Bergvall, John Burnside, Derek Mahon, J.H. Prynne, Tom Paulin W.N. Herbert, Lavinia Greenlaw, etc, is to be slightly too limited in scope; and George Szirtes, Roddy Lumsden, Polly Clark, David Harsent, Michael Donaghy and Sinead Morrissey are not even regrettably excluded.

According to the author: "this book has been written, for the most part, in New Zealand". Indeed, this would have been a fine manuscript in 1999, b…

Review: Blasted (in German)

The Barbican was last night bursting with writers, film-makers and actors (such as the couple Natalie Portman and Gael Garcia Bernal) drawn to the intriguing spectacle that is Blasted, as interpreted by Germany's most infamous, if not preeminent, theatre company Schaub├╝hne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin, under the direction of wunderkind Thomas Ostermeier.

Eyewear was not hugely impressed by one of Ostermeier's productions shown in Budapest several years ago - a typical instance of Ordeal Theatre - blaring industrial noise, a shaven-headed man in a wheelchair shoving rotting sausage into the faces of the bourgeois audience, and a real writhing snake, all set in a pit; sometimes it seems that in Europe to be a respected auteur one just has to do angry, sexual, loud and nihilistic.

Which leads to Sarah Kane.

Kane is the Cobain Slash Plath of contemporary British Slash European drama. Famous by 23 for Blasted, which was pilloried in the philistine UK press as being essentially the most …

Good Riddance

Now For Some Good News...

From Jimmie Walker Swamp

from Thirty-Eight Sonnets from Jimmie Walker Swamp

1

The declined summer seemed to call for white wine,
then the sun sank and I was lost in time. Night takes
half my hours, lately, and the reading light burns

the page until I am insensible. What seemed light
is dark, the dark a riot of burning. The ferris wheel
in town blares its incandescence; the stage show

can be heard for two kilometres. I can't know
much of the world beyond. Land stretches to the limits
of morning, much as, when I was a child,

the map went to the edge, then kept going, to the wild,
unlettered future, as shadowed as the past. Half
my life has been knowing the dark earth of here,

and not the promised secrets of the universe. I have it
all here in my head. I don't know what it's worth.

poem by Robert Allen (pictured above) first published in Standing Wave (Signal Editions, 2005)

http://www.vehiculepress.com/robert_allen.html

Robert Allen Has Died

One of Canada's greatest contemporary writers, Quebec-based, Bristol-born Robert Allen, has died suddenly of cancer, peacefully, at Jimmie Walker Swamp (his home in the Eastern Townships) with many who loved him at his side.

Rob Allen (pictured) was many things - cult novelist with a linguistic turn that was Joycean in its word-play, but Nabokovian in its themes (Napoleon's Retreat); lyric poet with many collections (such as Wintergarden and Ricky Ricardo Suites) who wrote both of nature and zany pop culture icons with equal brilliance; and, throughout his career, a poetic natural scientist, who, encouraged by his teacher A.R. Ammons at Cornell, in the '60s, began possibly his greatest work, The Encantadas - a long poem inspired by Darwin and Melville, two of his heroes.

This last poem, which I think is one of the finest ever produced in Canada, and certainly in the last 40 years, was recently republished in a beautiful new edition by Conundrum press.

Rob Allen was also the e…

November Poetry At nth position

No More Fish

I found this rather more apocalyptic than even the news is wont to be these days....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6108414.stm

Drive Time

Eyewear has long enjoyed the cinematic worlds of David Lynch. Even Dune.

Good to see poetry trying to explore them with pleasure, intelligence, oddity.
See the call for poems below:
http://zoo.f2s.com/privatepress/callforpoems.html

Lady or Tiger

Eyewear has always loved Sylvia Plath's poetry. Therefore, it considers the discovery and online publication of a new poem by her cause for some celebration, even at such a solemn time as on All Soul's Day. For Plath, in her way, was great-souled, and open. The link to the poem is below.
As an aside, "Ennui" (a title that harks back to decadent French poetry of the 19th century) is also a title of one of my poems, published in the collection Rue du Regard (Montreal, 2004). It is below.
http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v5n2/poetry/plath_s/index.htm Ennui

These narrow proud hours, afternoon’s,
imprisoned in the footnotes of the day: three
to evening’s commencement, want so much
out of themselves, and me: their ambition

aches, the heart knowing its bored mistress
has selected a finer suitor for enjoyments.
In this period: august, terminal, promising
all, desiring more, I refuse royal decrees,

the slow time’s purple writs, its arrogance
of minutes, illuminated spring, and hot
summer, bui…

In Search of God

John Humphrys, the BBC broadcaster, is in search of the elusive laurels of ultra-gravitas that descended on David Frost, the greatest media figure from the British isles (along with Malcolm Muggeridge and maybe Alistair Cooke). Last week he broadcast his morning radio reports from Iraq (the safer British zone) and this week his BBC recordings include in-depth discussion with religious leaders from various faiths, on the question of God.

I am always glad to hear intelligent debate on the issue of faith, especially as the UK is a startlingly atheistic (and perhaps not coincidentally often very selfish and materialist) society. However, Humphrys, who entered into dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury this morning, is the pouting answer to his own question.

Rowan Williams, the Anglican who speaks with the media man, is tentative, light of touch, profound, agile, and above all, immensely patient. Humphrys wades in like a ten-ton baby grand crashing down some spiral staircase into a hote…