Troy Town
1. A turf labyrinth, constructed for unknown, possibly ritual, purposes
2. A state of pleasant confusion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Michael Haslam in Troytown

I've been reading Michael Haslam's Mid Life, Shearsman's fine collection of all the poet's works between 1980 and 2000. It's one of those books that, while undoubtedly coming from the non-mainstream end of the poetry spectrum, is far from being difficult or inaccessible. Much of Haslam's work has a song-like quality, which combined the persona he uses (a variation on the 'holy fool') makes it, above all, a lot of fun. The non-mainstream angle, more than anything, comes from the fact that every poem works off every other poem - it's not necessarily a book to dip into.

Anyway, no time to write anything like a proper appraisal, but getting close to the end today (and thinking I''ll have to order the collections he's published since 2000), I came across a not entirely typical passage in Singleton's 10p Recital mentioning Troytown. I thought I'd share it...

The crashing in of banks to flood.
The what we did.
The river bed of weeds and mud.
The hollow cove of grass.
The green and grey.
The silver dale.
Another mudbank crashes.

Flock bleeps out on mussel bed.
The what we said.
A ton of feathers on my head.
A ton of lead.

A single seagull and a simple tune.
The fall of Troytown
on the Banks of Lune
whence all the indigenes are flown.

No comments: