Over the Fields in The Countryman magazine


I am delighted to report that Over the Fields, my new poetry map, was featured in the February edition of The Countryman magazine, as part of the Editor’s Diary: “…a fascinating ‘poetry map’, Over the Fields, containing evocative poems and prose fragments, which can also be read in situ, allowing people to read and respond to the poems…”

Alongside the feature they have published a poem from the map, Hogsmill Tiddlers.

If you would like a map click here.


Sheer Zed’s Glossolalic Evocations

Sheer Zed’s Glossolalic Evocations


One of the lovely things about this year has been meeting and working with some wonderful, talented people. Sheer Zed and I met on Twitter a few years back and so it was a major treat to finally meet him. Especially as the first time we met ‘IRL’ was at the Hesterglock Press launch of my pamphlet clew in April this year, and he was providing ambient soundtracks to my, Sarer Scotthorne and Paul Hawkins’s readings.


He also sampled my reading of a long poem A Summoning, and turned it into a sweeping soundscape- one of my highlights of the year to have someone use my words in their music. We hope to work together at some point again in the future- which is a very happy-making thought!

This track is available as part of Sheer Zed’s new release Glossolalic Evocations, which is released today. More information on how to get it here.

I was very lucky to receive this as a gift from Sheer Zed and have been enjoying listening to it- it is mind-bending – body- moving – immersive electronic music in all the best possible ways, and is an utter pleasure to soak up. I recommend it.

Sheer Zed has described Glossolalic Evocations as:

“…engorged with various sonic elements such as Bristolized bass, noise, glossolalic utterances, recorded ambience, rugged mechanized beats and a garnish of just a slither of acid.

Here are my, in places, vaguely glossolalic responses to some of the tracks…

Hevvy hypnotic metallic phasing iconoclastic future beats pummelling drop dub sound of dead London stretched out time blip dance loops held in glistening spectral sheets of sonic dance macabre
Clockwork ticking cog turning melodic organic mechanic blocks of reverberating dissonant rhythmic spaces gripped by claws of cubic creaking dub bird swooping through pines surveying silence time breeze on and on and on on on on strike
Deep house depth charge techno funk > Lost in Brixton in the 90s, Derrick May, Carl Craig and dancing next to a tank draped in khaki camo for four quid when Brixton was still like that move your hands in robot blip shapes and no chill out shroom shaking space robot bez haunts loose lose losing your ..it
………………………………….1.27 drop and accumulate repetitive beats Load your quiver……………………..
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Watch the Skies. 3.36
Dark mornings in Bristol walking the cut captured by rust, decay trees. Disappearing tube train to the underworld. Pennies on eyes for the journey.
tell it like Stri ell of sulp hur un der a brid ke mat ches ge sul phur dr it is c o n j u r e a d e v i l hur str ike mat ches un der a brid aw a cir cle ge sm ell of sul phur und er a brid ge sm str ike mat ches sm ell of echo drip

The Blood House, Sarer Scotthorne















This is Sarer Scotthorne’s first collection, published by Hesterglock Press in January, a ruby which dropped into my palms at the Bristol launch of Boscombe Revolution 3.
These poems demand to be read in one go; the pages are bursting with movement, quaking with emotion and physicality, fighting to break free of their constraints.
They wrangle with the stuff of life, of our closest relationships: grief and anguish; disappointment and despair; longing and desire. There is no holding back – the language is forceful, honest to the point of brutality, making for a challenging but visceral one-sitting read.
Scotthorne negotiates the loss of her father, the shock of the grief, invoking the myth of Oedipus in in her sequence, Poison
“down the lead pipes, rattling the fragments left in shattered windows.
A token from his once industrial; I bound a shard of glass and searched
The urine-scented halls until found his sleeping body on a shock of Ragwort.”
From Scene 1. Alone
Imagery juxtaposes machinery and corporeality, combined with inner city landscape; the decay of industry, concrete images of the mix of human detritus from sweat to beer cans, with perennial weeds- nature’s creeping into the liminal spaces we barely notice but recognise as part of our environment in contemporary urban life. Places of transformation.
Saraswati Murmurs, which is beautifully scored on the page, offers respite from the aftershocks of grief and seems to be a point of letting go:
“step                        onto soft mud
and slipped        under the water         I wanted         turned
water     my      body…”
Blood runs through this collection as the red thread of life. Cold metal and warm blood. Blood as a signifier for wounding and loss, of fear; blood as a threat; blood as heat; blood as contamination; blood as life; blood as acknowledgment of a beating heart, of reawakened desire; as life giver and as revival.
The Blood House is a courageous journey, pulsing with truth. Read it.

“London: City of Surveillance” Iain Sinclair in conversation

“Surveillance abuses the past while fragmenting the present.” 150,000 cameras watch London, at all heights, all angles. “The city is eyes, the city is an organic identity watching itself”, according to Iain Sinclair. Sinclair, psychogeographer, poet and writer is in conversation with Sebastian Groes at Roehampton University, discussing the poetics of surveillance culture, March 2011.

Sinclair jokes that he started to plan what he would talk about during this conversation the night before on the bus, to laughs of recognition from the audience. He decided to start by counting the number of CCTV cameras he could see from the window he was looking out of on the top deck of the bus which was travelling from Hoxton to The Strand. Approximately 50-60 yards down the road he counted camera number 17 by the sign of a pub, ‘The William Blake’, close to Bunhill Fields where the infamous triumvirate of non-conformists Blake, Defoe and Bunyan are buried, outsiders, outside of the City. By the time he reached The Strand he had counted 76 cameras, which he says are “redundant – like mantraps in a museum”.

Surveillance did not begin with CCTV cameras – the City had its reliable surveillance as far back as Elizabethan times in the form of the Church, where one could be fined for not attending. Sinclair investigated the old Eastern Bloc card index file technology, the everyone-watching-everyone-else surveillance culture in one of his lesser known novels, Radon Daughters. Sinclair says this was the first book of his that William Gibson read, Gibson being the writer credited with coining the term “cyberspace”.

He was also involved in the Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation conference held in 1967 at the Roundhouse in Camden, London. He says that two of the main strands of discussion at the time were the eco catastrophe of the melting polar ice caps, and surveillance, public versus private and in the context at the time of suspicion about the American military spying on the general public. Sinclair describes this as a “meeting of the tribes”, where these strands of thought, then groundbreaking, were taken to heart by the counterculture, as expressed in the work of Charles Olson in poems such as Polis is Eyes and in the work of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, amongst others.

Ginsberg thought that this idea of everything being pushed out into the open, no more secrets, would give rise to a more compassionate and tolerant civilisation, forced to acknowledge and accept everything normally swept under the carpet in polite society.  In a world of reality TV, Facebook and Twitter has this been achieved? Or have we ended up with something different instead?

Sinclair is no doubt where this is going and what is going to happen next: “London ceases to exist…it becomes virtual”. We are now living in a “post-surveillance age with no obvious CCTV cameras”. This is the age of intelligent buildings, with one building in particular singled out as an example of this in his book London Orbital, the Siebel building in Egham: “Siebel, recognised at once, was the future. Post-surveillance. A discretion so absolute, so understated, that criminality and vandalism were impossible concepts. Siebel was the visible manifestation of Ballard’s coming Mediparc psychopathology: intelligent buildings for soberly dressed, quiet, indecently healthy people…Siebel immortals float through a chlorine-glass tank. Doing nothing.”

Iain Sinclair’s latest book, “Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project” is published by Penguin in July 2011