As promised in my last post, I said I would share some great poetry with you. I've been sitting on this for months because I can't bear to rush a poetry review knowing the effort and tears that go into putting a pamphlet together. This collection is like a journey through someone's most painful memories, juxtaposed in apparently no order, the dating and timing of the poems showing how our triggered minds work. One minute we are sitting in 2007, the next 2013, and both will have some relevance to each other, fluidity in relationships that become timeless yet need marking.
The collection starts with 'Comfort':
"Comfort comes from hidden sources
such as light in a window at night,
the soft blur of the curtain's colour
soothing something in you
you weren't aware was hurting."
Monday 23rd of July 2012
This collection of memories, anniversaries, good and difficult, weave together an intensity of feeling that I'm sure must sit close to the poet's heart. It never feels he is writing from outside of himself, maybe I'm wrong, and it's all fictions, in which case how very clever when it feels so raw.
I was captured by the dating of the poems. Anything to do with memories and dates will always do that. Just one page in, there's an untitled poem, a poem of such longing, maybe no title would do it justice, yet still there's a date, "warm and asleep in bed, your naked body a world away from mine."
It is followed by 'Summer 1984':
"Two am and the allotments slumber
under a sweaty summer overcast
the bonfires smouldering long into the night
producing a smoke that is more taste than smell"
Saturday 15 of October 2011
More 'untitled' poems hint at what's to come. An insomniac level of numbing, tired loneliness put into words of mixed, terrifying emotion.
"More tired than when I went to sleep last night'. the 'empty silence' of a day left speechless 'in a town I no longer recognize' leads heart heavily on to a poem called 'Emptiness'. The pain of this depression almost impressed by a time 18:46
You think the times are recorded in some kind of homage to the difficult years of 2007/9 and then one is noted in 'Downer' much later:
"On Sunderland RD, just past the library,
a young boy and girl, both on the brink of their teenage
kick high on the swings of the rundown playground.
The sight of them fills me with sadness."
13:10 Thursday 17th of April 2014
It was here I realised I'd been distracted by the times and dates and re-read the words without trying to put a structure on it, thinking more how memories meander back and forth on a chaotic timeline with varying sharpness depending on your happiness, frustration, misery, excitement and the way words form around that elegant disorder in your mind.
'Pre-Coital' and 'Wedding Poem' see a shift to a political yet still personal:
"And I must thank this
shallow and evil government
we've been saddled with
for waking me from my isolation
and giving me
a sense of my position in the world" to
"That we were joined together
not as an office worker
or self-employed man.
But as an Artist and a Poet.
That this is a small victory
no one can ever take away from us."
'The Cold Outer Edge of the Day' through to 'Timeless' are my favourites in this collection. The longing to be with someone, the torture you put yourself through, the fragility of seeing that person and your 'want' in the every day, the "steam rising from the coffee by my side" to the "uncertain blue of the sky":
"As slow and as painful as this crush I'm enduring" (here) to the
"the thud of feet past my door that are never yours". (silence)
It's with a relief that you read (from one breath to the next)
"It's never easy to fall out of love with someone,
but I've fallen out of love with you" the sheer breath of freedom as you wake and have no hunger to see or think of that person again.
The collection ends on the title poem 'Gorged On Light':
"...words rush like a river from his pen, filling the page" which feels like a completion on so many levels with this work. I highly recommend it you like to read about the tormented human condition; Morbid's words are dark, haunting and poignant.
Buy from Red Squirrel Press: £6.00
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