Skip to main content

Poem by Peter Finch

Eyewear is pleased to welcome Peter Finch (pictured) this first Friday of the new year.

Finch is, to my mind, one of the most significant (and witty and experimental) Welsh poets of the second half of the 20th century, into this the 21st. He is also a key cultural activist: organizing, editing, publishing and writing about, poetry - in its many guises.

He is a superb performer of his work, as I've witnessed on several occasions, once in Hungary on a very humid summer day that felt like Alabama, then again in Cardiff, which was much colder, and at the London Life Lines launch, in 2006.

I've been happy to include his work in several of my anthologies, including In The Criminal's Cabinet. He is openly and optimistically aligned with poetry that both innovates and reaches out to audiences - in short, almost singlehandedly defining the kind of poet I thought represented the future development of the art, when I wrote about fusion poetry.

Club

When my father turned our house
into a club it cost ten and six to get
in. People were aghast. A few
got the wrong idea when
Joan invited a Caribbean
to play boogie in the upstairs
parlour. But they needn't have
shown concern. Uncle Jim used a huge
mallet to knock a tap into a beer
barrel, first I'd ever seen, while
Pop reluctantly showed them all
his desk full of two pole wire
and rolled-up string. Bored
by this adult fantasy I slid into
Miss Winton the lodger's room
where I tried on the contents of her
knickers drawer. I can tell you now there
was little excitement. They were old,
yellowed and large. I'd read somewhere
that this is what adults did to pass
the winter nights. No TV just darkness.
Such disappointment.

I've spent my life since in a struggle
with passion; what is it, where is it,
how does it go?
Joan and Jim I could
understand but Miss Winton?

God only knows.

poem by Peter Finch
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!