Pondskater

From the bridge I see teams of rowers
arcross the delilium, cracks
in the eye wave-weave the nameslake.
In flagellar schememes
of diatomic cross-selling
they waterclot concentricity
unsentensing waverlengths of twisight.
This is my longtomb partnerve agile,
fragile sky is hinge to
the parallel dark, foreverending
camerangel. The river commissions
a new meadow where the last heat
in a star burns (the phantom photon
enlarges on this) as moons
are rowed and sent thithaway
trireming intimotions or slap
dashadows in noded disjointment
their mittens petaling the sandbeds.
Presisting the intelligence is
furtile when clouds are falling in.
In this way our passage through
days conjugates a lifelung
seismiotic in distorts and
waterlilt semisphere. The pond
quake cruxes into inscensible
nameslicks, tinetingles and waterrings,
as in the skyline is awrighted what
is writ on water: your name, where.

by Giles Goodland

News from the Poetry Centre: join us tonight at 7pm in the Chapel of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford for ‘A Crack of Light: Poems of Commemoration, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation’. This event features poetry produced by the poets-in-residence of the Post-War international seminar series, co-organized by Oxford and Oxford Brookes. The poets reading will be Mariah Whelan, Sue Zatland, Patrick Toland, and Susie Campbell. There are only a few tickets remaining and they are free, but do sign up here!

The Poetry Centre is also collaborating on a one-day symposium for a second time with the University of Reading and the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI), based at the University of Canberra. The symposium, entitled ‘Contemporary Lyric: Absent Presences, the Secret & the Unsayable’, will take place on Tuesday 26 June from 9.30-5pm at the Museum of Early Rural Life at the University of Reading. All are welcome but places are limited. Find out more and sign up to attend via our website.

Finally,the Poetry Centre recently launched our 2018 International Poetry Competition! Open until 6 August, the competition has two categories – Open and English as an Additional Language – and this year is judged by the highly-acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi. You can find full details and enter here. 

‘Pondskater’ is copyright © Giles Goodland, 2018. It is reprinted from The Masses (Shearsman Books, 2018) by permission of Shearsman Books.

Notes from Shearsman:

‘Pondskater’ comes from Giles Goodland’s new book, The Masses. It is a collection in which, as Richard Price writes, ‘the creepy-crawlies visibly teem. Adapting the sound-mutating technique Goodland perfected in Gloss, where well-known phrases are minutely changed to sly and comic effect, here the creatures which are usually only glimpsed, only imagined with a flinch, are foregrounded in phonic mutation. Amid the rich density of these playful and sometimes frightening poems are cut-back lyrics, often about fatherhood in a diminished world, and these give the book overall a sense not just of the strangeness of the fauna around us but of the strangeness of our own language nests, of the fragility of the world an older generation has ruined and is now bequeathing to the young.’ You can read more about the book and find further sample poems on the Shearsman website.

Giles Goodland was born in Taunton, was educated at universities in Wales and California, and completed a D.Phil at Oxford. He has published several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001) Capital (Salt, 2006) and Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012). He works in Oxford as a lexicographer and lives in West London.

Shearsman Books is a very active publisher of new poetry, mostly from Britain and the USA, but also with a very active translation list. Founded in 1981 as a magazine, with some occasional chapbooks, the press – now based in Bristol – has grown rapidly in recent years, and is now one of the most active poetry publishers in the U.K. You can find out more about Shearsman’s work from the publisher’s website.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.