Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Tonguefire Night"

Tonguefire is the title of my first pamphlet of poems. Published in June 2005, it was the second pamphlet from Helena Nelson's HappenStance Press. (The first was Helena's own hilarious Unsuitable Poems.)

The image on the cover, which you can see to the left, was designed by Gillian Beaton.

The title poem, "Tonguefire Night", is an attempt to explore language, faith, Scottishness and maleness in six sections of slightly surreal, dreamlike narrative verse. To whet your appetite, here's the first part:

MacAdam rakes up the tongues
of men, women and a handful

of angels from where they’ve fallen
their coppers and golds layered

on his path, lawn, borders
and vegetable patch

he knows that if
he cowps them on the compost heap

they might in time reveal
his father’s speechgifted voice

he buys firelighters and matches
cheap beer and lifestyle magazines

smoke and crackle drift
over the garden wall

the scent of baking apples
mouthwaters from the kitchen:

If you liked that, you can buy the pamphlet from HappenStance here and read the rest of the poem.

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