I’m doing a reading in the Fly in the Loaf on Feb 18th. It’s for an event James Byrne has organised connected to Steven Fowler’s Camarade readings. It’s also for the launch of Steven Fowler’s and Tom Jenk’s 1000 Proverbs. http://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/1000proverbs.html
I’ve always wanted to get to one of the Camarades but never quite made it so it’ll be really good to both attend one and read at one. It’s also another fantastic poetry night happening in Liverpool at the moment and shows that when you have poets who are active in the city things happen and get done.
I’m reading with Steve van Hagen. We’ve been working on the idea of abandoned places like the ones on this twitter account https://twitter.com/abandonedpiaces
It’s a really interesting way of writing poems, looking at those lost and forgotten places and trying to connect/reconnect with them through language. I’ve taken a found poetry route to my writing (a sort of reverse of the lost) and tried to write loose and abstract pieces using google and certain google searches connected to the images.
Here’s one of my poems based on Mirny Diamond Mine in Eastern Siberia, Russia. I’ll be reading it on the night.
Locate us on the outskirts of Mirny, a small town in eastern Siberia.
Larissa in the snow beside the hollow
and the echo of impact, the scar of the fall.
She abandoned me in Mirny, in Eastern Siberia, in Russia.
She had a crucial hand in making Russia what it is today,
sucked in by downward air flow.
We become a Landsat 8 image of a diamond mining city, frozen, forgotten, unloved.
As my world turns I meet a young Russian geologist named Larissa for the second time.
We drink ice and snow, she is cold.
She whispers ‘and the Anabar, Mirny, Mirna, Jubilee, Arctic circle’.
All of this was constructed by Stalin to satisfy lust or Larissa.
Don Julian thought he had become haunted by her spirit. He began to collect dolls.
Hell gave its name to the area, known as East Raynham, reported to be haunted.
Hell gave its name to Larissa.
She whispers ‘and Yakutsk, Neryungri, Mirny, Jubilee, Aldan’.
The airspace above the mine is closed now.
The airspace above her eyes is closed because she sees too much.
It takes one hour to reach her and two hours to leave her.
I wrote earlier about a diamond mine located in Mirny,
a city in the Sakha beyond the main rivers, leading from inland eastern Siberia.
I write now about industrial diamonds and whispers.
Tramping through the taiga along a trail of volcanic bread crumbs,
she is ice like to be dead is to be as cold as ice.
She whispers ‘and Alrosa, River Lena, Mirny, Jubilee, Lake Baikal’.
Larissa believes if we misplace something valuable
that momentary lapse will come back to haunt us.
Sometimes I find myself wondering if I have the courage to visit her.
Sometimes I find myself wondering how long the sun has been setting.
Here are the details for the event. You can get tickets at eventbrite here – https://liverpoolcamarade.eventbrite.com/
LIVERPOOL CAMARADE 7.30pm, Wednesday 18th February
Upstairs at the Fly in the Loaf
13 Hardman Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 9AS
Tom Jenks & SJ Fowler (launching their KFS Proverbs)
Robert Sheppard & The European Union of Imaginary Authors
Scott Thurston & Steve Boyland
James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar
Patricia Farrell & Joanne Ashcroft
Steve Van Hagen & Michael Egan
Lindsey Holland & Andrew Oldham
Elio Lomas & Luke Thurogood