The roadside diners glimmered like bookshelves, little glowing bookshelves. (‘The Solex Brothers’, The Solex Brothers)
I’ll hawk him like a watch. Like a watch. (‘The Esplanade’, The Solex Brothers)
There are horrible opinions everywhere:/Like oil slicks (‘Halatnost’, The Harbour Beyond the Movie)
The prison sits on the horizon like a great ash-tray (‘The Murderer’, The Harbour Beyond the Movie)
‘Look,’ he said, shaking it out like a pigeon. (‘Baltimore Orioles’, The Harbour Beyond the Movie)
thoughts are expressed and then repudiated — revisionary, impulsive (and sometimes repulsive), suggesting, like its title, that — lived through desire’s pangs and that language is not so much the container or medium for pre-ordered subjectivity but its waste product, — known by the whistle of its passing rather than its form or shape as it goes
not that a poem follows the creation and curation of a self, but rather McLean’s poems are that self in the act of revision
Despite then being interesting in theory, the book itself is boring. You flick through the ~70 pages of ‘waste material’ — the book is bound like a flipbook — and stop here and there, you put it down and pick it up again, you read some lines at random:
Fond bends of the bob and tug of love giving over as if an illegal fireworks display. Swans
are the best friends of a shoe seller’s ghost. I told her she’s the coldest witch of any winter.
This restless phrase-turning goes on and on.
The Best British Poetry 2015 was edited by Emily Berry, and, at 71 poems, is the most generous in the series so far. For the third year running (2013 and 2014), here is the distribution of poems in the anthology by original source magazine:
Mark Rutter’s Bashō in Acadia; Siegfried Baber’s When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid
(First appeared in Under the Radar 16.)
Between 2003 and 2015, Arts Council England awarded £13,229,179 for poetry projects under the Grants for the Arts scheme.
My pamphlet RETURNS is published by If a Leaf Falls Press, in a run of 30. Apparently now sold out, copies are available from me if you want one: charleswhalley at gmail dot com.