John Evans Review for ‘Waiting’.
This poem is a symphony of words, tones and colours. “In a moment vast landscape…”. A language poem. A dance with words. Words being used as language rather than rhetoric. Words for words sake. Art for arts sake. Part chant, part spell and incantation, the natural imagery drawing language back to it’s more primitive and visceral origins. “Marbled stained mud grades curtained chomping bones tendons…”. You don’t need to “get it”. The poem drifts in and out of meaning; that poetic space between sense and non sense where true thought and emotion exist without constraint. New syntactic relationships emerge. Sometimes the combinations of unexpected words create a sensation of newly created, forever permutating sense, “squeaked heart ravaged like an old rag”. The writer pays careful attention to the musical qualities of the poem – the rhythmic weight, the alliterative connections, the sound, tone and texture. A fragmented narrative appears here and there, somewhere just under the surface, “Still here Still Waking”, until, at the last gasp a voice emerges for a moment, “You’ve lost And freed me / To love / Continue”. Inventive, challenging and very well written, another worthy winner.
John Evans, July 2010
Photograph by Andrew Davies