Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 26 January 2015

  • Into This Suspended Vacuum

    for John Wieners

    Whatever militates against our dreamier pleasures I have
    Become the same meaning utopia’s crude petroleum jolts
    Coded rubber heat singing things that turn blind eyes to waste
    Erasing worlds being serial resolves my fate in theory I think

    I want to love and loving kiss yr many addled hallucinations
    Hunger fulfillment’s no longer a glamour hangs dependence
    On feeding the thing eternally expressing selves in public
    Johns voices saying before you decide to leave me leave

    Me a rag some hair a duct or mass producing anything external
    Can’t arouse thus corrodes the tongue with news I can’t be
    Warm or think my own repression cause it’s too hot inside this
    War to dream communications a soiled body nobody wants


    To express can’t be itself in goods another total embracing
    Wants to believe belief enough to become the world we can’t

    cause the cops can’t fucking fathom.


    by Rob Halpern

    Welcome back to the Weekly Poem series! Look out for the next instalment of the Next Generation Poets 2014 tour. There are 11 more stops coming up across the country, including readings by Brookes’ own Hannah Lowe and Patience Agbabi (Next Generation Poet in 2004). For the full schedule, visit the Next Generation Poets 2014 website.

    ‘Into This Suspended Vacuum’ is copyright © Rob Halpern, 2015. It will be published in [––––––––]: Placeholder on 30 January 2015, and is reprinted here by permission of Enitharmon Press.

    Rob Halpern is the author of the Common Place tetralogy, published in the USA over the last eight years, and co-author (with Taylor Brady) of Snow Sensitive Skin. Recent essays and translations by Halpern have appeared in Chicago Review, Journal of Narrative Theory, and The Claudius App, and an essay by Sam Ladkin on the Common Place series can be found online in World Picture Journal 8. You can read more about [––––––––]: Placeholder on the Enitharmon website, hear Halpern read on PennSound, and find out more about his work from his page on the Eastern Michigan University website.

    The Boston Globe, selecting Halpern’s book Music for Porn as one its Poetry Books of 2012, commented that: ‘Halpern was as fearless as they came in 2012. His stunning third collection was both statement and experiment - a gruesome, erotic, studied, unflinching dissection of the ways that violence, sex, and social order tear at each other. Halpern uses the body as a battleground, and the soldier as a stand-in for a range of repressed (and fulfilled) desires. Light reading, it is not; enlightening, challenging, and upsetting, it will be for years to come.’

    'William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-artist, printer-publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-­five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony, this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.' (Marina Warner.)

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