Saturday, 20 March 2010

Concrete Poetry

Concrete poetry is a difficult beastie to describe.

But I'll try.

It's poetry which is concerned with layout, appearance of words, space, etc., perhaps somewhat more than the meaning of the words. It usually has very few different words in it.

That's a terrible description.

But it's all you're getting, scumbag.

Here are a couple of examples of my own concrete poetry. Enjoy them or perish.

Russell Jones


I realised just this morning as the vodka-fog lifted and I prepared my armpits for a day at the zoo that I haven't posted any poetry on this site for quite some time.

As a site presumably 1/3 about poetry, this seems odd.

I also realised that I've never put any of my portraits up, so there's one above for all to worship. Below is a poem inspired by a quote from Edwin Morgan's poem, "Second Life". It's unusually and obviously theoretical. DO AS I SAY AND BELIEVE WHAT I THINK. The end.

Is it true that we become alive
not once, but many times?
- Edwin Morgan

As your body proves its shift
in a dust of hair, a grain of skin,
in the once-only visitation
to the coffin
you might be new,
not human, not sleek velvet lining,
not dirt and footsteps
on your eternal lawn
but a bright amalgamation.

Before that, however you went:
part haemorrhage, part lung disease,
part broken heart, part syringe;
that contract, the final musics of hearing,
those last minute considerations,
the ultimate reminisce of brain activity
leave you altered.

How people speak about you –
how you speak about you –
how you are known –
are sands and metal filings,
separate but inseparable.

On the way to school
your soul bends.
On the road to work
your head bends.
On love you bend.

Awhile since you were conceived
a life worth living, since cock and heat:
a playground song, rasped knuckles,
conkers cracked, a gentle touch,
a stark word or kind hush -
the repeatedly repeated and the new
are your jigsaw on the carpet.

Quick dash – spermatozoa quick, hormonal quick,
love quick - chances are you’ll be one
in six hundred million (though half decided);
this is where life ends and begins,
where we join and become alive
not once, but many times.

Russell Jones

Monday, 15 March 2010

Visual Prowess

Imagine, if you can, me, bent double, trousers down, teeth gritted, hands clasped pathetically and desperately on a stair banister as I attempt to push fecal gerbils from my raw, unwashed rectum, whining like a pig in a sausage factory...

Now stop. I said STOP.

Imagine, if you can, Edinburgh University's majestic McEwan's Hall in all its finery, the sunlight pouring rainbows through its high stain windows, the pleasant tweet of poets' voices flying through the air, a sense of peace, excitement (I said excitement, not excrement) and ultimate inner fulfilment.

One or more of these will be happening on Thursday Friday 26th March between 7 and 9pm. Details of the latter possible event are given below:

this collection March McEwan Hall showcase: Thursday 25th March 10am – 5pm / Friday 26th March 7pm – 9pm . FREE, all welcome.

See some of our films here:

Poets who'll be reading on Friday 26th from 7-9pm are:

Tom Bristow
Christine de Luca
Hayley Shields
Russell Jones
Andrew C Fergusson
Morgan Downie
Anita John
Andy Philip
Rob A Mackenzie
Aileen Ballantyne
Jane McKie
Chris Lindores
Claire Askew

Russell Jones

Monday, 8 March 2010

Conference Frenzy!

It's conference fever at Jones HQ with another one coming up in my old slightly-dull-(suicide hotspot)-but-nice town, Lancaster.

"Off Concrete Stars: Edwin Morgan, Science Fiction and Concrete Poetry"

That be the topic for discussion so if you've any passion for poetic fashions then follow me to the land of canal boats and tin whistles.

More details to come.

(yes, a completely uninsulting promo, you gimp)

Russell Jones