Youth – It’s a riot

What could enhance the sweet purity of Springtime more than an old bloke reading a poem? Well it does reflect the eternal cycle from wrinkled babbling all the way back and forward to wrinkled babbling. Therefore I decided to use a few more seconds of my digital fame allowance by putting the furrowed fizog on You tube.

You just gotta get the poetry out there. If you’re a poet (and I know that you are) why not join me at the Virtual Book Café. All I need is a short video clip and you’ll be joining the hum of twitching caffeinated minds amidst the clatter of cups and the accidental collisions of conversation. Contact details are on the website.

Find the Virtual Book Café:

Website: htp://www.virtualbookcafe.club

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VirtualBookCafe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virtualbookcafe/

 

 

 

 

 

Trouble at the barricades

I thought up a poem. It’s just that time of year I guess.

 

 

Riot Season

Rioting in primrose costume

bashing on the shields of equinox.

Looting fields of nesting fleece

from barbed wire frontier cops,

stamping territory on private keep out land.

Cuckoos scam my password secrets every time.

Mug – I click your link.

So hold it there.

Summer tempts you in with dreams

of permanence and power.

Hold it there

rock and youth in hand.

 

Poet in Reticence

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Oscar’s back!

Last time I was here was November 2014. Since then I’ve been holding it all in like the south heading entrails of my lifetime’s vanity. Guys – poetry and gravity never relent. In the end you have to breathe out, express the urgent bulge of the soul. It’s only poetry so it’s only us who’re gonna notice. You can wear the same waist size – just lower with more over the top honesty. Only the true poets will spot the inversion of dispersion.

And, I’ve got a job. I’m a poet in residence. I’m dressing up and pushing it out on the wham bam instagram at the Virtual Book Café. It’s a run-down-up-town kinda place where the glitzy-glam-slam’s just walking by but the perfume tempts just long enough to hit the membranes of the poetic underclass. And you know who you are. And I’ll sure know who you are.

I need your lips to frame your clips. I’ve put up some footage in mouthage to give you a steer if not quite a bulletin. Sit with an accomplice in your current  café venue or capture the moment itselfie  or just one off the shelf behind the counter. I’m looking for that left bank feel of ristretto  incision or smooth latte reflection.

Do you wanna hang out?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virtualbookcafe/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VirtualBookCafe/

Twitter: @VirtualBookCafe

Dark Dark Friday Of The Soul

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30241459OK – I’d given up blogging. Then I re-discovered my joy in poetry. Then came Black Friday. I can’t hide from it. This is what we are. This is what I am.

I was a cop in riots. I lashed at hated unknown people. A mob pulled me to the ground and tried to gouge out my hated unknown eyes. The rewind button adds no gloss or control or retrospective courage or nobility of conflict.

Once I was a revolutionary. Then I saw a raging mob and felt the heat of fire. I learned my own terror. I learned other people’s terror. I got the close up breaking news sensational interview on rape. Her lip dripped blood onto the statement form.  I became a Christian Democrat but without the ballot box or Christ.

Then I saw Black Friday. Without something outside or within ourselves – we are ourselves. This is what we are. This is what I am. I can’t dress it up. Do you have some better clothes? Should I have snatched a bargain TV to channel hop for better news?

Let’s not be too harsh. The trampling mob are the powerless schmucks. How the ruling class love to see the consumer frenzy. The holders of true wealth and power have no need to dive for coins thrown in the mud. A gentle push on the one arm bandit button pays out every time when you’ve built the odds into the machine yourself.

I can’t avoid it. This is what we are. This is what I am.

Flash Words – A New Collection From Paul Tobin

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Nothing flash. Nothing but the poetry, the whole poetry and nothing but the poetry

It’s been nearly two years since I felt I had anything to add to the mania of colliding digitalia we have created for ourselves. Single issue mobs of panic stricken petitioners charge up and down the decks of our suffering steamboat shrieking their shallow formulated brands of SOS messages. A million tweeters rocket celebrity tinsel and cute kittens into an ever accelerating particle belt of orbital noise, superficial synthetic outrage or nano second joy. And it never pauses or stands back from itself. If it did; it would stop. It won’t.

Imagine then the joy of picking up a book of poetry conveying the commanding calmness of a poet reaching an important maturity. Now, come on – no poet thinks he/she is important. What an odd word to choose. Yet, for me “Flash words”,  the new collection by Paul Tobin is important in that it defines where we are and hammers down a marker of sincerity. Paul’s work isn’t showy. His style is flat like a plate of steel. His words slot in like rivets – the right degree of hardness, a tight push fit. It is a poetry made with hand tools, some worn eccentrically to impart the hand that holds it, the mind that knows the feel and balance of its task. There is no machine welding – some seams are left un-filed. There are no nods at fashion. Each poem gets the shape it has arrived at so far. In twenty years he might go back to it. Poems finish off poets. No poet ever finished off a poem.

I read Paul’s first collection “Blessed By Magpies” some time ago and invited him to join a group of international poets in “Freeze Frame“, a text and audio anthology I was editing with a view to promoting the spoken realm of poetry. Since then I have read his contribution to “Juncture 25” which show cases the work of a group of West Country poets.  Unlike me, he exposes his work in progress for critique on his blog “Magpie Bridge“. Brave man indeed.

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Paul has a thing about magpies and all things black and white

Yet I was not prepared for “Flash Words”. His work has overflowed the previous vessels. Added to his blunt observation of unvarnished life in such poems as “Man Shaves The Head Of His Monkey” there is now a deep sensuality. In “Cherry Picking” we arrive at a “dark sweetness that longs to tear its skin”.  Time and time again his poems feel for a metaphysical pattern such as in “End Of The Line” and in “The Birds Return”. In the latter migrating birds arrive. The poet says “You have no say”. It is a thought to fill at least a day unless of course one had already thought it. In my 65 summers, I had not. Many of his poems mature in the mind overnight and I suspect many 4.am contemplations. Referring again to “End Of The Line” it was only now as I write that I saw the continuum from the process and vocabulary of production to the process of the “end”.

In “Tipping Point” the pasting up of a poster becomes a metaphor for the failure of our materialism to adhere properly to our souls. How delicious to contemplate this issue in terms of “friction of the paste”, and “cumulative capillary power of the water”. I won’t say anything more about this poem because I want you to read it.

Only Paul Tobin could conceive a poem about “1979: A Typical Friday On Top Of The K Unit Dechlorinator.”  Working men’s hands are on tools and equipment. Human minds populate an industrial landscape. A “bursting disc”, “a deluge valve” and others form the proud esoteric jargon of unfashionable forgotten men, bleached out by the clean glamour of  digital wealth and un-scarred hands.

“Flash Words” contains a body of poetry only possible from the mind of a lifelong poet. The range and scope are those of an accomplished thinker. Poem after poem convey a preparedness to hide nothing – not the meaning when it would seem cleverer, nor the emotion when it would be easier to pull out of the dive.  I know poetry does not sell so I urge you to buy this book and savour it. If no one buys it, it will matter only to those who miss the chance. To quote the poet himself, the “Ice has been scribbled on the inside of your window”.

I am so happy to have this book here on my desk. It won’t be going anywhere else. All of us held in the gravity of poetry may sometimes dream of weightless flight or migration to some richer planet with paved roads and rules of law. Then we read a poet and know we can never escape. Paul Tobin is that very thing that no man can call himself without some doubt in his heart. It is the gift of others to call a man a poet. All other prizes are baubles and mortality.

Paperback Writer. Freeze Frame Gets Ink.

017The proof of the pudding is in the reading. Yes, the paperback proof copy of Freeze Frame” arrived on Monday. Of course, there were a few issues but I think we are on top of them and all the corrections have been made.

In order to authenticate the existence of an actual new book in the universe, you will see a photo of editor Sparrow in the act of reading it. You may wonder about the figure peering over the chair. I would like to say that it is the bust of a Faber and Faber poetry editor that I had immortalised in concrete. Come to think of it – why not say that? It is not true but if anyone wants to know the truth please leave a comment. Does it remind you of anyone?

Freeze Frame has now been submitted to Smashwords, may I say, not without a lot of geek-squeak. Poor old Jill at Gallo-Romano has been rooted to the keyboard with formatting issues. As a platform, Smashwords is not for the faint-hearted. Watch this space – it won’t be long.

I have been working today on the road. All I have heard on cab radio is excited media persons talking about David Bowie releasing a new single to mark his 66th birthday. It is being billed as a significant retrospective by a frail old geezer. I must admit to having been very cheered by the whole circus. Here I am, only a little younger and still looking for a start. When you think about it, that’s a good place to be. If you’ve missed the bowie-wow in the window today,(Obvious reference to death of Patti Page) here is a link.