I don’t have the patience or digital dexterity to mend my watch let alone produce the beautiful, handmade little magazines that Jon and Kirsten at Fuselit stitch together on a regular basis.
Last night Fuselit put on a night called ‘Mixtape’ – seven writers, including Tim Wells, Simon Barraclough, Amy Key and Barnaby Tidman, read their favourite poems by other poets (and one of their own). I particularly enjoyed Barnaby’s reading of Prynne and Simon’s reading of Spenser’s Faerie Queen. Jon, co-hosting the night, gave a fun, participatory reading of a poem by Michael Ondaajte. Jody Porter played some choons. The Betsey Trotwood, as ever, a welcoming venue for poetry.
The latest issue of the magazine itself is called ‘Aquarium’ and is being launched properly in December, though I got an early copy (they’re all handmade so it takes some time to produce). The mag is in two parts and comes with some delightful magnets and a CD. It also has a three-verse poem by me in it. It’s part of a project called The Chimaerium, which is hard to explain, but it’s basically like a game of Exquisite Corpse, where stanzas by different poets can be swapped around to create thousands of possible poems. Some of the other poets are Roddy Lumsden, Luke Kennard, Bill Herbert and Heather Phillipson. It’s really fun and I spent a good hour fiddling around with it last night to produce weird combinations.
Maybe this is kinda defeating the point, but here’s my contribution in totality.
Inside, tattered youth call above the wind,
bounded by wood and men with horses’ heads.
Somewhere in here, something is buried.
The forest is alive with electricity, brambled
currents. We pass through a kind of door:
damp throne and a mess of leaves and soil.
In the fields of alternative medicine,
bio-energy and macrobiotics, I am preeminent!
I pick herbs in the green pastures of Kopaonik mountain!
My beard I tie to my shoelaces!
Birds build their nests in my hair!
I am available for private consultations!
Fuck you very much, ham sandwich, lamb shank.
There are two graves for the one who gives up his own.
Am I hallucinating? Whole-grain bread? Yoghurt?
The internal drone of a comet? A Chinese lantern
released, which we later discover is three men,
weightless, slung in a low Earth orbit at 65 degrees.