Archive for March, 2021

Short

March 14, 2021

I’ve recently been sent two volumes of short poetry. Both enjoyable, but very unlike.

Max Gutmann’s Rewriting History collects a large number of vigorous short pieces written in two forms associated with the comically biographical – the clerihew and the double dactyl. If you don’t know what a clerihew is, Max explains:

A clerihew
Makes you aware o’ who
Humphrey Davy was. Or Sir Christopher Wren. Or anyone else you might be hazy about.
Usually in a way Davy or Wren wouldn’t be too crazy about.

He illustrates the Double Dactyl (sometimes known as a Higgledy-Piggledy) thus:

Jokery Folkery
Higgledy Piggledies
Called Double Dactyls by scholars, I think –

Offer biography
Pseudo-historical
(Meaning the data
Are likely to stink).

If you like Max’s explanations, you’ll like his collection (for details contact him at: info.maxgutmann@gmail.com ).

Mark Rutter’s poems belong to a different short poem tradition. That of minimal modernism, with nods to the concrete poetry of that remarkable creator Ian Hamilton Finlay. He offers Finlay an epitaph:

LAY
FIN

Some of his poems are shorter than that, and sometimes I don’t get the point. The word ‘mouseleaks’ by itself on a page perhaps means more to him than it does to me. Sometimes there is clever wordplay:

when philosophers fight
sophisticuffs

or

the anti-christ
turns wine into water

Sometimes they are not jokey. I liked this one:

an open space
of gorse and heather

A pink orchid
with spotted leaves
Once seen
reveals another.

You can get Mark’s collection from Amazon for £5

.

May Snakeskin: BREATHE

March 3, 2021

Rosie Miles will be the guest editor of the May issue. She explains:

Topic for May 2021 Snakeskin: BREATHE

Guest edited by Rosie Miles

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

I can’t breathe!”

Allow yourself to breathe. Let the wine breathe. Take time to breathe. Breathe a sigh of relief.

Who has breathed their last? Who can barely breathe? Who is still struggling to breathe?

What is it like to breathe again? What (new) spirit breathes among us?

Breathe energy, breathe fear, breathe courage, breathe air, breathe hope, breathe peace, breathe deeply, breathe freely.

What are you/we breathing new life into?

Breathe it all in.

Please respond to the theme as imaginatively and expansively and arrestingly as only poets can!

  1. Send up to four poems to Rosie Miles (info@rosiemilespoet.com) in one single word.docx or pdf attachment.
  2. Please start each poem on a new page.
  3. Your document should be named ‘BREATHE_Yourname’.
  4. Likewise please put ‘BREATHE Yourname’ in the Subject Line of your email.
  5. A brief “Hello”/introductory note in your email is welcome.
  6. Deadline Monday 5th April 2021.
  7. Poets whose poems are being included in the May 2021 edition of Snakeskin will be notified at the end of the month.

Another Snakeskin Zoom meeting

March 3, 2021

The January meeting was most enjoyable, and there will be a new one on Thursday March 18th, at 7.00 p.m. (London time).

Six or seven Snakeskin poets will be reading from their work, so that we can all put faces and voices to the names we see on our screens.

I have sent an email to my list of attendees from the previous meeting. The list may not be complete, though, and maybe others would like to attend. If you have not received an email, and would like to join in, please send a note to simmersgeorge@yahoo.co.uk.