TLM Issue

Poetry by Matthew Francis, James Simpson, Will Vigar, Christopher Reid, Eoghan Walls, Angela Kirby, John Greening and Niall McDevitt Short Fiction by John Kinsella, Jennifer Breen and Steven O’ Brien Featuring: Leonard Quart on the Difficulties of Writing a Eulogy Frank Armstrong on the October Revolution Malise Ruthven on Crossness Pumping Station Horatio Morpurgo with Our Ecompassing of this Neather Globe Chris McCabe and the 50th Anniversary of Poetry International Jeffrey Meyers on Andre Malraux Charles Spencer on The London Road Reviews by Erik Martiny, Rebecca Watson, Houman Barekat, Will Stone, Isabel Galleymore, Michael Nott, Ian Brinton, Matthew Scott and Lana Asfour

Articles

Posthuman Poetics

  Fast, Jorie Graham, Carcanet, June 2017, pp. 96, £12.99 (Paperback) ‘I was very lucky. The end of the world had already occurred […] You have to keep living. You have to make it not become waiting’. Graham’s Fast occupies a different space – temporally and emotionally – to her previous collections. Writing nearly a decade ago, in Sea Change, Graham considered ‘where we are headed’ a…

By Isabel Galleymore

The London Road

The summer and autumn of 1651 was make-or-break time for the future Charles II. These were two seasons when his life was at stake, first in military service, and then when on the run with Parliament’s New Model Army in swift pursuit, a £1,000 reward on his head. Aged 21, Charles had already endured five years of excruciating exile, being forced from the English mainland to the Isles of Scilly…

By Charles Spencer

‘Each takes a turn, as one does, south of Market’

Selected Poems, Thom Gunn, Faber and Faber, July 2017, pp.336, £18.99 (hardcover) Proprietary, Randall Mann, Persea, July 2017, pp.80, £12.99 (paperback) Thom Gunn’s Selected Poems, introduced and edited by Clive Wilmer, significantly expands the slim volume of Gunn’s work selected by August Kleinzahler for Faber’s ‘poet-to-poet’ series in 2007. (Kleinzahler’s edition is still worth your m…

By Michael Nott

Tree Surgeons on the Aberdeen Line

You woke one night to railway tree surgeons giving the trees by the track their yearly trim with their hybrid carriage of mechanical limbs. It was half like Megatron of the Decepticons and half a visitation of the archangel Metatron wailing sawdust with jazzy chainsaw hymns whimsically besetting the trees around him just as it was all kicking off in your abdomen. You watched the surgeo…

By Eoghan Walls

The Leprechaun

And so it all began with my grandad and the Leprechaun. He was a great man for singing and stories. His generation were happy to turn the television off on a Sunday evening and fill the silence with word-conjure. As I look back now, I see him in his mustard cardigan and suede shoes. His dentures gleam and his hair is Brylcreemed back, as slick as an otter’s pelt. The false teeth give his spe…

By Steven O' Brien

Wingscape

The path grinds itself into the feet. A grayling skitters from under the boot toe, and settles a stone’s kick ahead. A few wings of summer left: a chalkhill blue, like a stemless harebell, flailing around the ankles, a holly blue dulled to lavender, a small blue dusted with brown, a silver-studded blue vanishing into the sky. Sun zings off the scrapheap. A cranesbill has taken root, …

By Matthew Francis

Crossness Pumping Station

In the summer of 1858, after an exceptional spell of hot weather, with temperatures averaging the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit) , the Illustrated London News ruminated with imperial chutzpah: ‘We can colonize the remotest ends of the earth; we can conquer India; we can pay the interest of the most enormous debt ever contracted; we can spread our name, and our fame, and our fructifying wea…

By Malise Ruthven

Excitement, Heart in Mouth, to Listen: 50 Years of Poetry International

Amongst the audience for the first Poetry International gathering, which took place in July 1967, was London writer Iain Sinclair. He’d come along to see Charles Olson, all six foot eight of him, but due to the American poet’s decision to sit in the aisle rather than taking a seat on stage, Sinclair got much closer to him than he expected. Amongst the other poets reading that evening were W.H. A…

By Chris McCabe

Night Train to Athens

He was nineteen and she was twenty and they’d ‘met’ ten minutes earlier, seated opposite each other on the Patras-Athens train which was taking passengers such as themselves just off the Brindisi ferry. If they’d seen each other on the boat, they hadn’t realised it — it had been a rough passage from Italy and people were either vomiting over the side, ensconced in a self-induced darkness below, …

By John Kinsella

Scottish music in 1983

This is Memorial Device, David Keenan, Faber and Faber, February 2017, pp.304, £14.99 (paperback) News of the death, back in June, of Bogdan Dochev, the Bulgarian linesman who failed to flag up Diego Maradona’s handball in Argentina’s win over England at the 1986 World Cup, prompted me to revisit some stills of that infamous goal: the diminutive forward implausibly out-jumping the English goa…

By Houman Barekat

Clock

The poet Dafydd ap Gwilym is disturbed in his sleep, c. 1350   Once more he’s walking through the streets of sleep beside a grey wall with flowers growing out of it running his right hand along its nubbly flank, ..........warm from the day’s sun He’s with a woman whose face he can never remember, but she’s wearing it now, because this is a dream. She walks half-dancing, as a pony …

By Matthew Francis

André Malraux and the Transformation of History

André Malraux’s The Walnut Trees of Altenburg (Lausanne, 1943), an underrated masterpiece of the twentieth century, is a difficult and elusive book, full of art analogies, brilliant aphorisms, lyrical descriptions, philosophical ideas and military battles. Written during the German occupation of France, the novel tells the story of the heroic but disillusioned Vincent Berger, narrated by his Fre…

By Jeffrey Meyers

The Pity of It

Dad boasted he’d ‘read all of Shakespeare’s plays’. He asked Mum if she’d read any of Shakespeare’s plays, but she didn’t answer. ‘Bugger all, I reckon,’ he said. Often we’d hear him—as if to support his claim—reciting a few lines from Shakespeare’s dramas. ‘All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players’, he’d begin to enunciate in a loud voice. These lines, tak…

By Jennifer Breen

Dancing Waves and Midnight Light

Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter, Petit Palais, Paris, 15 September 2017 to 17 December 2017 It’s been exactly 111 years since Anders Zorn’s last major exhibition in Paris. Although nowadays Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is generally forgotten outside Scandinavia because of museum over-focus on French Impressionism, the Swedish artist was once one of the hottest items on the art market in Londo…

By Erik Martiny

The Visible Collection

The Leicester German Expressionist Collection, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. When it comes to rare collections of modernist art, most people do not immediately think of the city of Leicester. This busy university city in the East Midlands, still vital despite its industrial gloaming and apparent dearth of aesthetic qualities, seems an unlikely place to find a treasure trove of German Expre…

By Will Stone

Our Encompassing of this Neather Globe

Folktales about Drake flourished in the West Country even during his own life-time. He was widely thought of as an enchanter. Once he did make it into the Pacific, and then got home, his having ‘shot the gulf’ was proof of occult powers. He was thought to possess a mirror which allowed him to see over the horizon and Spanish prisoners were told by their English guards that he was a sorcerer. In …

By Horatio Morpurgo

Heyshott Harvest

Three gold headed children bent in prayer, sun through the west window on the copper ear of barley, marking Cobden’s seat, which we keep free. Loaves on the altar, a sermon of worlds in a hazel nut; and the new vicar said she would not bless the bread, as it was inanimate. Well up ‘till now, we have blessed a loaf each year which was kneaded with love, to remember the harvests when t…

By James Simpson

Unseen London

London is one of the world’s most photographed cities, so you might think there’s nothing left to see. But you’d be wrong. Through the eyes of 24 contemporary photographers Unseen London takes you along hidden canals, around notorious housing estates, through surreal street scenes and deep underground. It shows you London as it is today, and as you’ve never seen it before. ‘Eternal London’ by…

By Hoxton Mini Press

An Overflow of Violent Bacchanalia

Accounts of the storming of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on 25 October 1917 read more like those of a party being violently gate-crashed than the single most shocking event of the twentieth century: the emergence of the Bolsheviks as leaders of the first Communist regime in history, in the world’s largest country. The old European order would soon lie in tatters, but outrageous indulgence…

By Frank Armstrong

The Last Connection

The way I came, to get my next connection meant me hoofing it through central Glasgow on a night the city was populated by ghosts. Pale waifs in heels used fliers for protection from the rain. Blue couples held conversations in pizza-parlour windows. I stormed the road head-down, collar-up, trying to light a smoke and nearly tripped into my mother at the station. I hugged her, damp; th…

By Eoghan Walls

The Difficulties of Writing a Eulogy

Having entered my late seventies, I continually receive the painful news of friends dying. This fills me with complex and painful feelings and memories, but I am at the same time often called upon to write a eulogy to read at the memorial service where I try to convey, in a few carefully chosen words, some approximation of who my friends were. The eulogies tend to recall my friends’ varied ac…

By Leonard Quart

Moving Energies

Raking Light, Eric Langley, Carcanet,April 2017, pp. 136, £9.99(hardcover) Cavalcanty, Peter Hughes, Carcanet, May 2017, pp.72, £9.99 (paperback) Farm by the Shore, Thomas A. Clarke, Carcanet, August 2017, pp.104, £9.99, (paperback) A sense of light crackles across the pages of these three new Carcanet publications and one might be forgiven for thinking that each of the poets had been r…

By Ian Brinton

Blokeball

The old boys pitching boules on the dusty patch of ground outside the café – round- shouldered, measuring, pauseful – play a subtler game than the lithe lads booting their ball against the petrol-station wall, but it means much the same: territory, whether marked out in ponderous lobs, or held like the fire-crossed corner of a battlefield, is what it’s all about. Christophe…

By Christopher Reid

A Permanent Home

Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Summer 2017 George Frideric Handel, Semele Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro Gioachino Rossini, Il turco in Italia There was much to celebrate about Garsington 2017 and, despite a few areas where the direction fell flat, the festival more than fulfilled the high expectations we have come to have for it. Two productions were revivals, Il turco in It…

By Lana Asfour and Matthew Scott

Anxious Essayists

Essayism, Brian Dillon, Fitzcaraldo Editions, June 2017, pp. 228, £10.99 (paperback) I begin by making a list: Style – Hybrid – Woolf!! – Essay on Essay – (is my response to this an essay on essay on essay?) – part biography – fragments – essay as support vehicle The list, I confess, is arbitrary – initial thoughts boiled down into general terms. I don’t know what ideas will make it int…

By Rebecca Watson

Woden

Masked and mounted on an F-15 from Lakenheath, he is cutting edge circling again and now again Grime’s Graves where the spear began its flight towards flintlock, towards no-man’s-land and moonscape. How to clear the forest and all its fears? Dig pits with seven antler picks to the flickering of a chalk lamp in the shadows with a phallus and a white goddess heaving…

By John Greening

The Jerusalem Envelope (2)

encircled by, not the star called the snake-tamer, but by silwanic pools, by Reuven Rivlin and Jeremiah, trapped in Anathoth without a permit, what birds, sky prisons, walking hardscrabble for miles to get to, chained into surveilled nooks, I transform into a dog or a camel as if by black magic, I a father, me a son of culpa, the scenario Israel needs to protect itself from, listening du…

By Niall McDevitt

Essays

The London Road

The summer and autumn of 1651 was make-or-break time for the future Charles II. These were two seasons when his life was at stake, first in military service, and then when on the run with Parliament’s New Model Army in swift pursuit, a £1,000 reward on his head. Aged 21, Charles had already endured five years of excruciating exile, being forced from the English mainland to the Isles of Scilly…

By Charles Spencer

Crossness Pumping Station

In the summer of 1858, after an exceptional spell of hot weather, with temperatures averaging the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit) , the Illustrated London News ruminated with imperial chutzpah: ‘We can colonize the remotest ends of the earth; we can conquer India; we can pay the interest of the most enormous debt ever contracted; we can spread our name, and our fame, and our fructifying wea…

By Malise Ruthven

Excitement, Heart in Mouth, to Listen: 50 Years of Poetry International

Amongst the audience for the first Poetry International gathering, which took place in July 1967, was London writer Iain Sinclair. He’d come along to see Charles Olson, all six foot eight of him, but due to the American poet’s decision to sit in the aisle rather than taking a seat on stage, Sinclair got much closer to him than he expected. Amongst the other poets reading that evening were W.H. A…

By Chris McCabe

André Malraux and the Transformation of History

André Malraux’s The Walnut Trees of Altenburg (Lausanne, 1943), an underrated masterpiece of the twentieth century, is a difficult and elusive book, full of art analogies, brilliant aphorisms, lyrical descriptions, philosophical ideas and military battles. Written during the German occupation of France, the novel tells the story of the heroic but disillusioned Vincent Berger, narrated by his Fre…

By Jeffrey Meyers

Our Encompassing of this Neather Globe

Folktales about Drake flourished in the West Country even during his own life-time. He was widely thought of as an enchanter. Once he did make it into the Pacific, and then got home, his having ‘shot the gulf’ was proof of occult powers. He was thought to possess a mirror which allowed him to see over the horizon and Spanish prisoners were told by their English guards that he was a sorcerer. In …

By Horatio Morpurgo

Unseen London

London is one of the world’s most photographed cities, so you might think there’s nothing left to see. But you’d be wrong. Through the eyes of 24 contemporary photographers Unseen London takes you along hidden canals, around notorious housing estates, through surreal street scenes and deep underground. It shows you London as it is today, and as you’ve never seen it before. ‘Eternal London’ by…

By Hoxton Mini Press

An Overflow of Violent Bacchanalia

Accounts of the storming of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on 25 October 1917 read more like those of a party being violently gate-crashed than the single most shocking event of the twentieth century: the emergence of the Bolsheviks as leaders of the first Communist regime in history, in the world’s largest country. The old European order would soon lie in tatters, but outrageous indulgence…

By Frank Armstrong

The Difficulties of Writing a Eulogy

Having entered my late seventies, I continually receive the painful news of friends dying. This fills me with complex and painful feelings and memories, but I am at the same time often called upon to write a eulogy to read at the memorial service where I try to convey, in a few carefully chosen words, some approximation of who my friends were. The eulogies tend to recall my friends’ varied ac…

By Leonard Quart

Fiction

The Leprechaun

And so it all began with my grandad and the Leprechaun. He was a great man for singing and stories. His generation were happy to turn the television off on a Sunday evening and fill the silence with word-conjure. As I look back now, I see him in his mustard cardigan and suede shoes. His dentures gleam and his hair is Brylcreemed back, as slick as an otter’s pelt. The false teeth give his spe…

By Steven O' Brien

Night Train to Athens

He was nineteen and she was twenty and they’d ‘met’ ten minutes earlier, seated opposite each other on the Patras-Athens train which was taking passengers such as themselves just off the Brindisi ferry. If they’d seen each other on the boat, they hadn’t realised it — it had been a rough passage from Italy and people were either vomiting over the side, ensconced in a self-induced darkness below, …

By John Kinsella

The Pity of It

Dad boasted he’d ‘read all of Shakespeare’s plays’. He asked Mum if she’d read any of Shakespeare’s plays, but she didn’t answer. ‘Bugger all, I reckon,’ he said. Often we’d hear him—as if to support his claim—reciting a few lines from Shakespeare’s dramas. ‘All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players’, he’d begin to enunciate in a loud voice. These lines, tak…

By Jennifer Breen

Poetry

Tree Surgeons on the Aberdeen Line

You woke one night to railway tree surgeons giving the trees by the track their…

By Eoghan Walls

Wingscape

The path grinds itself into the feet. A grayling skitters from under the boot t…

By Matthew Francis

Clock

The poet Dafydd ap Gwilym is disturbed in his sleep, c. 1350   Once mor…

By Matthew Francis

Heyshott Harvest

Three gold headed children bent in prayer, sun through the west window on the c…

By James Simpson

The Last Connection

The way I came, to get my next connection meant me hoofing it through central G…

By Eoghan Walls

Blokeball

The old boys pitching boules on the dusty patch of ground outside the café – r…

By Christopher Reid

Woden

Masked and mounted on an F-15 from Lakenheath, he is cutting edge circling…

By John Greening

The Jerusalem Envelope (2)

encircled by, not the star called the snake-tamer, but by silwanic pools, by Re…

By Niall McDevitt

Reviews

Posthuman Poetics

  Fast, Jorie Graham, Carcanet, June 2017, pp. 96, £12.99 (Paperback) ‘I was very lucky. The end of the world had already occurred […] You have to keep living. You have to make it not become waiting’. Graham’s Fast occupies a different space – temporally and emotionally – to her previous collections. Writing nearly a decade ago, in Sea Change, Graham considered ‘where we are headed’ a…

By Isabel Galleymore

‘Each takes a turn, as one does, south of Market’

Selected Poems, Thom Gunn, Faber and Faber, July 2017, pp.336, £18.99 (hardcover) Proprietary, Randall Mann, Persea, July 2017, pp.80, £12.99 (paperback) Thom Gunn’s Selected Poems, introduced and edited by Clive Wilmer, significantly expands the slim volume of Gunn’s work selected by August Kleinzahler for Faber’s ‘poet-to-poet’ series in 2007. (Kleinzahler’s edition is still worth your m…

By Michael Nott

Scottish music in 1983

This is Memorial Device, David Keenan, Faber and Faber, February 2017, pp.304, £14.99 (paperback) News of the death, back in June, of Bogdan Dochev, the Bulgarian linesman who failed to flag up Diego Maradona’s handball in Argentina’s win over England at the 1986 World Cup, prompted me to revisit some stills of that infamous goal: the diminutive forward implausibly out-jumping the English goa…

By Houman Barekat

Dancing Waves and Midnight Light

Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter, Petit Palais, Paris, 15 September 2017 to 17 December 2017 It’s been exactly 111 years since Anders Zorn’s last major exhibition in Paris. Although nowadays Anders Zorn (1860–1920) is generally forgotten outside Scandinavia because of museum over-focus on French Impressionism, the Swedish artist was once one of the hottest items on the art market in Londo…

By Erik Martiny

The Visible Collection

The Leicester German Expressionist Collection, New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. When it comes to rare collections of modernist art, most people do not immediately think of the city of Leicester. This busy university city in the East Midlands, still vital despite its industrial gloaming and apparent dearth of aesthetic qualities, seems an unlikely place to find a treasure trove of German Expre…

By Will Stone

Moving Energies

Raking Light, Eric Langley, Carcanet,April 2017, pp. 136, £9.99(hardcover) Cavalcanty, Peter Hughes, Carcanet, May 2017, pp.72, £9.99 (paperback) Farm by the Shore, Thomas A. Clarke, Carcanet, August 2017, pp.104, £9.99, (paperback) A sense of light crackles across the pages of these three new Carcanet publications and one might be forgiven for thinking that each of the poets had been r…

By Ian Brinton

A Permanent Home

Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Summer 2017 George Frideric Handel, Semele Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro Gioachino Rossini, Il turco in Italia There was much to celebrate about Garsington 2017 and, despite a few areas where the direction fell flat, the festival more than fulfilled the high expectations we have come to have for it. Two productions were revivals, Il turco in It…

By Lana Asfour and Matthew Scott

Anxious Essayists

Essayism, Brian Dillon, Fitzcaraldo Editions, June 2017, pp. 228, £10.99 (paperback) I begin by making a list: Style – Hybrid – Woolf!! – Essay on Essay – (is my response to this an essay on essay on essay?) – part biography – fragments – essay as support vehicle The list, I confess, is arbitrary – initial thoughts boiled down into general terms. I don’t know what ideas will make it int…

By Rebecca Watson