Issue 3: Robert Hampson


            for Redell Olsen        

between stares

& stars

racing towards nervousness

baroque masquers


mannequin brides

swerves of


reshape the possibilities


           for Will Rowe

caught in the battlezone

forced to speak even

in the attempt to deny

hooded to prevent seeing

blockades & food shortages

the immobilised dream

dislodges its hold

jams the circuits

in determined negation

Stone White

              for Ken Edwards

wakes from a dream

sensitive to the light

& the terror of annihilation

the hidden byways

of the plural world

Epstein’s Rima in Hyde Park

the cargoes of wrecked ships

or maybe a broken paving slab

suddenly catches fire

Powder Blue

          for Frank O’Hara

tossed overboard

in some giddy ‘acting out’

full of reversals & sly

surprises that traces back to

smears across the canvas

unpredictable & brutal breakdowns

aligned to the margin

with a slight twist of

blue thread every few inches

Pale Powder

           for Fiona Templeton

boundaries shift across

the writing process

to the end of the block

all the gaps

project possible futures

that didn’t happen

transgressive marks & sutures

before the wall finally turns

& loses its past


           for Kristen Kreider

institutional colours

morph & change

with each connection

the visible action of

hand-drawn lines

like spies

a glare of light

on flaking paintwork

in some larger economy

[Robert Hampson is Professor of Modern Literature in the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. During the 70s he co-edited (with Ken Edwards and Peter Barry) the magazine Alembic which, among other things, was instrumental in introducing North American LANGUAGE poetry to England. More recently, he has edited another poetry magazine, purge. He also co-edited (with Peter Barry) New British Poetries: The Scope of the Possible.His collections of poetry include: Degrees of Addiction, A Necessary Displacement, A City at War, Seaport, and C for Security. His selected poems, Assembled Fugitives, was published by Stride in 2000.]

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