This simple little book has been a while in the making. Its contents are taken from notebooks and photos from the past ten years, and its first draft was considerably longer, including short poems, mesostics, prose extracts, lists and made-up definitions. I whittled it down, removing the longer and ‘composed’ texts, and re-sequenced everything, before sending it to Barrie Tullett at The Caseroom Press. He made a couple of dummies – first a Z-book with two front covers, then one the same size as the finished book, but portrait-format. We flipped that to landscape so all the texts worked as single-line pieces, and finally we had this simple little book.
Rather than equivocating about their status, debatable though it is, I decided to call all the texts simply ‘found poems’.
The book opens and closes with sentences (three at the start and three at the end), each given a double-page spread.
The main part of the book consists of short texts of between one and seven words long, each given its own page, and sequenced first by number of words, and then alphabetically.
There are some nicer photos of the book here; and some of the material in its original settings below.
I like the way the poems rub up against each other: formal signage and graffiti, newspaper headlines and children’s speech, aspiration and deflation. For me, each one of them has a particular context, calls up a memory, but I’ve tried to make these irrelevant to the reader, so the poems spark off against each other, and shine with whatever associative light switches on in the reader’s mind.
You can order the book for £2.50 (inc. P&P) from The Caseroom Press, or by e-mailing me via the ‘Contact’ page.
149 x 104 mm