The three poems captured on this recording are from very different collections, but all explore various hostile work-environments. The first is the opening section from a poem called Orcs, which attempts to develop a mythology for the industrial West Midlands through the subversion of what is perhaps the most famous literary artefact to emerge from this city, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The second poem is loosely modelled on the very earliest Korean literature, the hyangga or folk-songs; but is also a meditation on the Cold War machine-translation technologies used to produce the raw material from which the poems were developed. The third poem, Barbary, is a loose mistranslation of late-Roman material; and a satirical exploration of the inner-life of the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
'As a visual artist, Marc Atkins fills his work with hints and clues to a world of hidden spaces and scenarios. Here, in his writing, that world is disclosed in meticulous detail. It amounts to a reserve collection of the felt unknown, a whole new dimension that lies just beyond the familiar, on the edges of the utterly strange.' — Rod Mengham
One minute I am sitting in Spud-U-Like
Intoxicated with abnegation
In the village of cats
But there I am one morning waking up to find myself in bed with both
Great compassion & the six classes of beings
The stiffness of winter
Followed by the amputation of a leg dust a shadow
And naked shingles of the world
If you are interested in performing spatially, somehow you will change your work; that will change your work. Similarly, if I have to struggle to read certain texts live, then that becomes part of the struggle of the piece itself. That was part of my work on language at that point. That struggle between text and performance was a sort of process of language acquisition. It was the acquisition of a voicing — I had to adapt or stretch or seek out my mouth, my reading, my breath, in relation to the event, to the space, to the acoustics, as much as to the work of my collaborators or my own texts, and not the other way round.
They quote quote are exposed to the deterioration of character, arising from their loss of self-respect unquote unquote. Strength of language varies directly with deterioration of character in that as one's bodily commitment increases, as you spend more blood on keeping someone else's private pension wet with it, the language which is summoned to stem and then counter that blood loss must strengthen.
it is a breaking apart which is like a ceiling that the floor cannot reach, to find the space as a speechless and inept concern, a laughable misery about cold concerns, coming from where we come, from the heave in the dark, the fire of the heart, where we'll go with whoever goes first, what goes on inside the space, a fear for myself, I have seen what you are, we know who we are, we know who we are with impotence, an anguish at the point of facing what I give myself to do, you have good enough reason to stand firm, it's a will to know and to be anguished, lasting, but if abandoned, are you more easily moved
What animal? Does it learn like a child at night, listening to its own screaming?
What animal? Does it wait for a bowl of milk, or stalk off, toothed and self-feeding?
What animal? Can it know itself owned by those animals smaller than itself?
What animal? Can it own those animals when it is smaller than anything else?
overboard is an example of literal art in digital media that demonstrates an 'ambient' time-based poetics. There is a stable text underlying its continuously changing display and this text may occasionally rise to the surface of normal legibility in its entirety. However, overboard is installed as a dynamic linguistic 'wall-hanging,' an ever-moving 'language painting.' As time passes, the text drifts continually in and out of familiar legibility - sinking, rising, and sometimes in part, 'going under' or drowning, then rising to the surface once again.
in the Cafe Graffitti to chat about what he calls the ‘pooblic’ — to get
it you have to hear him say it really, or else say it with due syllabic
emphases. Without labouring the point his stress is on
this particular day there is a young woman with red tousled hair stood out
on the other side of the road from where we’re sat, wearing a sandwich
board reading ‘Temporary Closure — why waste either one’s own or
another’s time and paper on
Instruction Manual — Implementation Mechanical — Disembodied Information
I have been working 56 years, committed to ‘extending the forms of poetry.’ This reading shows you a range of techniques I use. I believe that poetry is a communal art, so from the outset when I began performing in 1969, I have invited all present to join in vocally either with ‘responsive voices’ or ‘interactive voices.’ With ‘responsive voices’ I indicate when I would like everyone to repeat a key phrase or word after me; with ‘interactive voices’ each person is given the text/score and works in various groups or improvises individually with words or sounds of the poem. The poems work for solo voice, but I invite participation whenever feasible. My first poem is recent: 2016 – from my hour-long programme Yet More War… and PEACE . It focusses on a single ancient word and involves simple gestures.
She’ll be grasping light, she’ll be eating it
He’ll swill great gulps of cold air, of warm air
They are undefined by metastatic mutations
proliferations of prostheses
preferring not to, playing at betraying
spreading and threading through
an immense shifting labyrinth of concrete
brick steel and glass desire
finite and endless
Here's a jar of honey for you;
we stand the beehives in the fields of borage,
the pollen's rich, the yields are high
from the bright blue flowers you knew.
Morning light spreads across the floor
despite liars in public places,
lapis miners get to work in Badakhshan
and wind lifts the ivy on the wall.
Like I've been searching suddenly all over
for justification. Dicing through bends in the time.
It's suddenly a wall of laughter - warping occasion
on a determined faultline. Or, we are all attached
anyway. Not the same as attack. Bent on understanding,
see? And it will curve us as we lean it out.