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                                  Fawn
                                             for Redell Olsen
        
                                   between stares
                                    & stars
                                    racing towards nervousness

                                    baroque masquers
                                    kite-flying
                                    mannequin brides

                                    swerves of
                                    artifice
                                    reshape the possibilities

 

                                    Biscuit
                                             for Will Rowe
                                   
                                    caught in the battlezone
                                    forced to speak even
                                    in the attempt to deny

                                    hooded to prevent seeing
                                    blockades & food shortages
                                    the immobilised dream

                                    dislodges its hold
                                    jams the circuits
                                    in determined negation

 

                                    Stone White
                                             for Ken Edwards

                                    wakes from a dream
                                    sensitive to the light
                                    & the terror of annihilation

                                    the hidden byways
                                    of the plural world
                                    Epstein’s Rima in Hyde Park

                                    the cargoes of wrecked ships
                                    or maybe a broken paving slab
                                    suddenly catches fire

 

                                    Powder Blue
                                             for Frank O’Hara

                                    tossed overboard
                                    in some giddy ‘acting out’
                                    full of reversals & sly

                                    surprises that traces back to
                                    smears across the canvas
                                    unpredictable & brutal breakdowns

                                    aligned to the margin
                                    with a slight twist of
                                    blue thread every few inches

 

                                    Pale Powder
                                             for Fiona Templeton

                                    boundaries shift across
                                    the writing process
                                    to the end of the block

                                    & all the gaps
                                    project possible futures
                                    that didn’t happen

                                    transgressive marks & sutures
                                    before the wall finally turns
                                    & loses its past

 

                                    Skylight
                                             for Kristen Kreider

                                    institutional colours
                                    morph & change
                                    with each connection

                                    the visible action of
                                    hand-drawn lines
                                    like spies

                                    a glare of light
                                    on flaking paintwork
                                    in some larger economy

 

 

[Robert Hampson is Professor of Modern Literature in the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. During the 70s he co-edited (with Ken Edwards and Peter Barry) the magazine Alembic which, among other things, was instrumental in introducing North American LANGUAGE poetry to England. More recently, he has edited another poetry magazine, purge. He also co-edited (with Peter Barry) New British Poetries: The Scope of the Possible.His collections of poetry include: Degrees of Addiction, A Necessary Displacement, A City at War, Seaport, and C for Security. His selected poems, Assembled Fugitives, was published by Stride in 2000.]

Copyright © 2009 by Robert Hampson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.