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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Marly at Porter Street

Big thanks to Chris Phillips for featuring "The Wrexham Coverlet" and "At the Fall in Borderlands" (published in the current issue of John Wilson's new Education and Culture) on his podcast, Word from Porter Street (#4 new series.) I'm at 2:45, but listen to the whole thing; it's a quick 15 minutes. Jump just HERE. 


  1. I liked (I may not have the exact wording) "all the world is brothers - more or less." It is, of course that terminal qualification that makes it for me. Best not to be too optimistic; journalism taught me that.

    And might willow-pattern have been for you, as it was for me, the first art form to which you responded? We had a chipped dinner-plate off which we ate (or was it a fruit bowl?) and - at an impossibly early age - I remember tracing a route that took in the little bridge. Knowing, somehow, that this was not a realistic depiction but real enough for my mind (these days I'd say imagination) to wander there. At the time I would not have been old enough to have been aware of an outside world, so willow-pattern would have been a first - virtual, we'd say now - step through the front door.

    Wrexham I know. It's off the beaten track thus all the more important that you should know it too.

    I wondered about variations in reading speed. I've just written a rather snarky bit of verse. Your friend has encouraged me to experiment.

    1. Yes, well, the news teaches us about human nature, even if we are too dense to know it from our own flaws.

      I do remember liking willow-pattern china as a child, though we had none. This weekend I was looking at some extravagant hard-paste Sèvres cups and tiny teapots, and they were so complex and so decked in tiny scenes that I had that childlike feeling of wanting to get inside their worlds.

      So many places to go! I may never get to Wrexham....

      I just met him at AAS (though he had friended me earlier on twitter), and I had no idea he would do such a thing. But am glad he did. It's always interesting to hear someone else read a poem of mine. Because they never read it in quite the way I would.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.