Taking a Walk

Mark Goodwin’s Steps is a collection to be envious of. If you’ve ever tried to write about a walk you have been on that really captures the sense of narrative you feel while on it, and failed, you will also share this feeling.
 The collection is one of purposeful walking in Wales, England, Spain, Ethiopia. What Mark captures in these poems is the sense of the sublime as Burke wrote about it. The land is not an inert thing, just moving slowly, like giant slow waves walking as you are walking on their backs.
 
 To have this, the walk must have threat; it must have a pressing sense of coming pain, for you, if there is a misstep. Mark brings this sense of looming threat in through sets of images of things being consumed by other things, like sinking fruit, or a sudden change of scale from that of a coffee bean to a bird in flight. Nature takes from you here; nature reminds you that you are part of it on these walks.


The layout of the poems is interesting too — with notational mention of location, of adding greyed-out foot-note (no pun intended).


These extra images sit alongside poems, with the direction of travel, locations (such as being in the graveyard, then the church) and provide the kind of narrative placement you need to know the poem is going somewhere. And they always do. The body is in opposition with the beautiful world surrounding it. The body’s want to exist within it is never about domination of the earth and stone, only the acceptable trespass. Later there is a desire to be blow away like fog, with the ground beneath, as if by obfuscation the body and the earth are the same thing.



Here you see the poem fade out, the dream of not existing happily becoming radio static, being everywhere, and being transmitted.
 
 Pick up Steps from Mark Goodwin and Longbarrow Press here.


Really enjoyed the foxing here:

in a dream, I chewed my way free
 from the borough, to swallow the light,
 but all I know is the wolf he raised
 from the dead.
 I ask for a shovel to dig us out
 & he calls me fox, sly bitch,
 says I am trying to trade him for the sun.

from Portrait of the poet as her ex lovers grin by Chestina Craig in Moonchild Mag.
 
 And these crows by our Sammy:

can you come to bed?
 because the bad dreams are gathering
 and I’m not even asleep yet.
 like crows on a line
 or crowds of gulls eyeing up
 sandwiches by the sand
 human hands no match for their beaks
 these dreams watch and wait.

from Can you come to bed? In Cabildo Quarterly.
 
 Oh and these horses, by Rosebud Ben-Oni

but you don’t own one a horse, how do you know anything

— & to that no I’m not really

Asking
 Who wants to own when you can love
 Who wants anything but love
 Who but my dear spacehorse
 The only
 In which I can breathe & not worry about rent or hang-ups or titles
 Or deed just spacehorse & me
 Fucking up your Sundays & your gentle seas

from {Horse! Love! Never! Dies!} in Electric Literature.


This week’s song is Solo by Getter Feat. Party Nails — which continues my streak of listening to squeaky sweet pop music.


And actually, also this which I’ve also had on repeat: Say something loving by The XX


I hope to see an 800 year old tree, that has been conserved in some way since 1908 — the same year modernism landed in England inside Ezra Pound’s head. I know I’ve done that one before, but it means that people were thinking about old romantic trees that need looking after at the same time as new things were springing. I don’t know what and why this is and I hate it. Tell me about love. Actually, don’t, there’s this twitter thread that has it covered. I feel that I am full of all the good words, but that I am too tired to use them. I hope I have been writing them down as they come. I know I wrote some down like this today, rushing room to room looking for a pen, then for something to write on. I could feel the good words slipping away like sand in hourglasses as I did. Enjoy your bank holiday if you’re having one, the best thing to do is to be happy with how little there is to be done.

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