in memory of Dusty Springfield
Mimosas, dear, forcing lemony scentinto a cold reactionary March wind,I bought them on the day you diedto raise a yellow torch in memory of how your voice addressed our needsin every shade of love that’s blueand shared with us its aching entreatyto find a little sunshine after rain,a sanctuary from bruises dealtinvisibly across the soul.Today, your death-day, you are on the airposthumously, your husky R&B slow-burners building in their rise and fallsmokily pitched delivery. Your life returns with every anguished catchin phrasing, you the bouffant blonde,the patron saint of mascara
wreathed in a boa, lending signatureto how the song hinged on a frantic sobto make the pain definitive…I keep on hearing retros of your voiceas though you’re still singing familiar hitssix hours after your death. Big purple cloudsarrive, dispensing hints of flashy showers.You’ve gone away, like someone takes the trainwith no-one knowing, no address,no destination, no reporting backabout pure music on the other side.We listen to you in Freedom, First Out,and hold you near this way and celebratea torchy diva’s dramas, feel the hurtin your vocal authority,and hope you’re healed in passing, wish you wherethe light in its entirety shines through.
from This Is How You Disappear (2007)
This Is How You Disappear is Jeremy Reed's most
autobiographical book to date, and one in which he celebrates the dead
and missing friends who were the formative and enduring influences on
his life as a poet. Using the elegy to imaginatively recreate the often
extraordinary individual characteristics of his subjects, Reed's
personal book of the dead is one that burns with his customary dynamic
for dazzling imagery, glows with compassion for the suffering, and
sparkles with a visual retrieval of detail so acute it hurts. With the
title taken from the first line of a Scott Walker song, 'Rawhide', This Is How You Disappear is elegiac poetry at its most brilliant.
Jeremy Reed was born in Jersey, Channel Islands, and read for his PhD
at the University of Essex. He is widely acknowledged as the most
imaginatively gifted British poet of his generation, praised by Seamus
Heaney for his 'rich and careful writing' and by David Lodge for his
'remarkable lyric gift'. His Selected Poems were published by Penguin in 1987. Subsequent collections have been Nineties (Cape, 1990), Dicing for Pearls (1990), Pop Stars (1994), Sweet Sister Lyric (1996), Saint Billie (2001) and Duck and Sally Inside (2004), all from Enitharmon Press. He has also published Heartbreak Hotel (Orion, 2002), a verse biography of Elvis Presley.
Founded in 1967, Enitharmon Press
publishes fine quality literary editions. While specialising in poetry,
we also publish fiction, essays, memoirs, translations, and an
extensive list of artists’ books.