Rupert M Loydell
Shadowtrain books
Index to Poets
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A Glance Is Enough: a Guide to Help Visitors

for Bob Garlitz


Begin with a good long look. Silence is the means to worship, so open this notebook and write down half a page at the very least. Have fun with a variety of activities, then stop and look ahead.


What do you see? An interview, a semi-realist form, a tremendous amount of dark power. Blunt guesses at truth.


What do these colours make you think of? A child who sits under tables and in cupboards, annoyed by everything it fails to understand.


What keeps the stripe fascinating? How rare and outwardly uniform they are. Reading them, we understand the effort of will involved in sustaining the still surface.


How would you describe these stripes? A noisy rhetoric receiving widespread recognition, a scar left on water, air and earth. They burn like stars and draw people like a magnet.


What is different about these stripes? Something has been opened up, let in. They oscillate between language and flesh, are centred around detailed observation.


Do you feel a connection? No. Elm or maple offers better shade. I sit still, trying not to move. The eyes’ rapid movement fixes objects in vision, and the mind eschews the pre-existing form. Prayer has a similar effect.


A door into what? Floating thoughts and dreams, the silencing of self and will. I like the idea of mirroring feeling. The sphere resembles a pumpkin in the chaos of the world.


What surrounds the door? A strange mixture of cultural homogeneity and exuberant invention, a developed field of workshop techniques involving meditation, repetition and self-discipline.


What kind of dialogue is happening? Texts confront our inner desire to interpret head on; the unspoken life must be made to speak up, like the spaces between slabs and blocks.


Is there a search for something? There is. The story that is always almost but not quite present has become its own cultural mediator.


If so, what? Ultimately, revelation: how does one’s voice become bigger than oneself? How does one’s vision come to be representative in a world of momentary engagement?


Explore the drama, but stare love down. Stay out of my way, and close the door behind you when you leave. Observe art from a safe distance.





Fugitive Scripting

for Iain Sinclair


A transient passage through night haunts

and unstable information networks, dreaming

of thrown-away guidebooks and multiple selves.

The world is water, gobbets of autobiography

multi-channelled through the new century.


Trauma narratives are often politics

from another angle. Few hanker after

property investment or hold out for culture;

many inhabit discordant imagination,

ice-age architecture of their own design.


My favourite animal is full of despair

and unacknowledged magnetism. Conspiracy

is problematic in terms of truth: consider

the play of shadow and light at the margins

as the finished book enters the bloodstream




Questions On Form

for Luke


You are offered a drink by a good looking man in a bar.

Do you

(a) take the dog for a walk?

(b) join alcoholics anonymous?

(c) start again from the beginning?


You are a good looking man in a bar, offering a drink to a stranger.

Do you

(a) weave an allegory out of the word ‘offer’?

(b) get lost in the beard of wisdom?

(c) adopt a different attitude?


You are drinking heavily at the bar.

Do you

(a) bear your pain and misery?

(b) run for cover?

(c) recognise ambiguity as another form of meaning?


You are unable to get home from the pub as you have spent all your money.

Do you

(a) emphasise lines, spaces, constructions?

(b) turn the volume up?

(c) cut shapes out of time?


You are hungover in a deserted ballroom.

Do you

(a) obsess about the music of the past?

(b) hark back to the misty moonlight?

(c) stir your pot of words?


You are dogged by the photographic visual.

Do you

(a) go among words?

(b) look for a bare room?

(c) continue to probe the aesthetic?


You are indifferent to good and evil.

Do you

(a) offer a slap to the face of moral hypocrisy?

(b) celebrate the power of documentary?

(c) formulate a credo ?


You rebuff the conventions of ordinary knowledge.

Do you

(a) take a pessimistic view of the future?

(b) contaminate meaning?

(c) go out for a drink?


You cannot be trusted, can you?

In the final scene, imagination

plays fast and loose with itself,

uncertainty pervades the text,

and everything else vanishes.



Copyright   Rupert M Loydell, 2008


Notes on Contributors