Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

"We needed coffee but ..." by Matthew Welton (Carcanet, 2009)

The full title's 101 words long, more words than are on several of the pages. Page 10 for example has this - "The cups of weak coffee and nylon-colour lighting, the noisy rows we go through and the drifting, hollow music" - which is section 2 of the 23-section "Virtual Airport". In section 1 "The colour of the light is like new aluminium". Subsequent sections have "The light from the windows is like a kind of weariness", "the colour of the sun ... swims over the floor", "The light is like a gesture not everybody is going to understand", "steel-color light", "colourness light", "light like something that needn't be explained", "light like something only dimly understood", etc. Other poems have more explicit repetition with minor variation. "Six poems by themselves" minimalizes even further - each section is twelve horizontal lines, the only differences being the stanza breaks. Chapter 3 has "Measure" (a one-liner) and "Home economics" (which ends "The habit of warming a lightbulb in your hands seriously inflates your heart"), both of which I liked.

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