Showing posts from 2010

3 poems by Matthew Stewart


Ten years on and perfection’s lost
its distant lustre. My accent

seeps away. Every few minutes
I let some vowels tug me back home,

back towards the cadence of who
I am or was or was or am.

Dad On The M25 After Midnight

Even before the front door’s shut,
I’m in first gear – up past Tesco,
third exit from the roundabout
and onto the slip road at last.
I overtake a Polish truck;
it wobbles as the driver shaves.
Tarmac reassuringly growls.

This is where the housework and kids
recede, junction after junction.
I could head west, then north, then east
- all with a millimetric nudge
of the wheel - but I hold a lane,
perfecting this nightly circle.
It closes back in on my name.

San Fairy Ann

Wit amid blood and Belgian mud,
Nan invoked you daily. Your time
on our tongues and in dictionaries
might be running out, but I’ve passed
your syllables on to my son
in return for his slang from school.

Matthew Stewart works in the Spanish wine trade and lives between Extremadura, Spain, and West Sussex, England. His poet…

5 poems by Todd Swift

Paddington Recreation Grounds

Boys on their field lit like an aquarium
sad to not be alight, like them, with goals
that a foot or hand can win; poetry’s rules
no less old than theirs, but poets
are not only players on green grass, night
and day, also the old-eyed others
edged in the park, who nod at each leap in air,
each attained yelp and elbowed throw,
the muscular panoply of bodied action
folded into hours with an end; slow to
leave, friendless, they once stood on the line,
or blew as referee, their bones now cold
and all trophies pawned. So poems both play

and hold, gravely, as if a mourner stood,
one self under the hood of the ground, the other,
above, head bowed, to pray. We stand and lie,
this way, to make the words hit home.
So ball and word fly untrue until a hand undoes
the flight by taking it down from abstract
to real motion, feeling out the meaning of its gut,
impacted with the lob’s sorrow-start,
the needing thrower’s heart, which is to gain
the art’s accolades, not be cheered in dismal

2 poems by Michelle McGrane

Lunar Postcards

I. Moondust

Two hours ago, we docked
at Crater Plaskett's northern rim.
Plumes of spent gunpowder
eructed from the landing strip
spinning into galaxies and starfields.
It clings to our helmet visors,
sifts into our spacesuits,
fine jagged particles
infiltrating hinges and joints,
scratching equipment,
shrouding instrument dials
with an electrostatic film.

II. Hadley Rille
I am writing from a lava tube
at Hadley Rille, near the Sea of Rains.
We spent the day gathering
silica-rich soil, shattered rocks,
glassy fist-sized specimens
sampled from the basalt crust.
The Lunar Roving Vehicle
has exceeded all expectations.
Jack and his crew will be pleased.
I look forward to your news.

III. Space Gourmet

We season freeze-dried macaroni
with liquid salt and pepper.
Water is distilled, recycled
from our breath and sweat.
After a week of granola bars,
nuts and bitter orange juice,
the Commander's arm
begins to look tasty.

IV. Counting Clusters

At night,
the lunar module
ticks and hums.
I shift restlessly
in my …

4 poems from Helen Ivory's 'The Breakfast Machine'

The Dolls House

The trees that grow
from the nursery walls
do not rustle in the breeze
of an open window.

The jaws of the wardrobe
do not snap shut
when a crane-fly bumbles
into their waiting smile.

But there is a shifting of furniture
in the dolls house tonight,
a slow dragging of objects
across candle-lit rooms.

The kitchen windows steam up
and the unmistakable smell
of melting plastic
drifts from the chimney.

You will notice tomorrow
your new doll is gone.
You will find her blonde hair
lines a mouse nest in spring.

The Reckless Sleeper

All night he has been inventing a vocabulary –
a mythology of cities built like a circuit board;
a skeletal picture of where he’d like to belong.

He is wrapped in a blanket of grey paint,
and sometimes an apple will roll to the surface,
sometimes a mirror, or an apple in the mirror.

Sometimes a lion will lift a lazy paw
and pull the blanket from the other side of the bed;
leaving him exposed to the dark of the room.

He walks on the surface of heaven,
he holds his own heart in …

3 poems by Maureen Jivani

Open Heart

I had a heart in my hands once.
It shivered like an injured bird.
I had to stop those fibrillations
to steady that pale heart,
cooled, in its cage of bone.
Such an enormous task,
it took all the long afternoon.

But we had opera, laughter
and a tunnel of light
in that dungeon-cold room.
And sometimes it leapt,
that insensible heart, like a flying fish
or one left behind when the tide
goes out. Poor heart to be stranded
like this, a fist of blubber, in my small hands.

Going Under

Here, waiters are tall and carry silver salvers:
the dead on a plate, cabinet doors open and close
of their own accord. Venetian crystal sparkles
like a new love. The hostess grins while flaming Sambucas.

Faces float
masks accumulating dust.
A woman breezes past
wearing gold shoes and a d├ęcolletage to die for.

In the mirror, an elderly man
removes his gloves; one slips in silence to the floor.
The grandfather clock chimes the hour.

I sigh in an effort of remembrance.

An upstairs bedroom, a drab light spools through shutters,

More Paris Review Interviews: Murray and Simic


Ted Hughes Poem

“Last Letter” by Ted Hughes

What happened that night? Your final night.
Double, treble exposure
Over everything. Late afternoon, Friday,
My last sight of you alive.
Burning your letter to me, in the ashtray,
With that strange smile. Had I bungled your plan?
Had it surprised me sooner than you purposed?
Had I rushed it back to you too promptly?
One hour later—-you would have been gone
Where I could not have traced you.
I would have turned from your locked red door
That nobody would open
Still holding your letter,
A thunderbolt that could not earth itself.
That would have been electric shock treatment
For me.
Repeated over and over, all weekend,
As often as I read it, or thought of it.
That would have remade my brains, and my life.
The treatment that you planned needed some time.
I cannot imagine
How I would have got through that weekend.
I cannot imagine. Had you plotted it all?

Your note reached me too soon—-that same day,
Friday afternoon, posted in the morning.
The prevalent devils expedited it.
That was one …

Hilary Menos

Congratulations to Hilary Menos whose collection 'Berg' has been awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Here are 3 of Hilary's poems to wet your appetite.


After the Larsen breakout of ninety-five,
when a mound the size of Rutland calved with a howl
into the Amundsen sea, and bergy bits and growlers
surrounded Cape Longing, we were on standby.

Glaciologists from Colorado to London
argued over fracture mechanics and bed forms.
Every satellite map looked like a storm
breaking. We put a watch on the ice tongue

Now everything mattered; melt water ponding,
the crystallography of frazil ice, the hole in the ozone layer
the thermodynamics of polar-bear hair.
We sandbagged East Anglia, Holland

They came like brides, majestic over Barking Reach,
queued to check-in at the Barrier, their tabular tops
reflecting weak sun, waltzed towards Wapping
and Wandsworth, cold and hooded, each one

like an inmate from some asylum holding the flowered
hem of her ancient slip too high up her pal…

Paris Review Interviews

Here are three links to fascinating Paris Review interviews with Thom Gunn, John Ashbery and Raymond Carver.

Charles Wright Poem and Interview

Charles Wright showed up on my reading radar only four or five years ago.

Since then I have sometimes wondered why I persist in reading anyone else.

His publisher in the States is Farrar, and as far as I know, only Stride has published his work over here. Laudable though that is, the Stride books are of poor quality and scattered with misprints - particularly damaging to a poet like Wright who uses the line so creatively.

Wouldn't it be good if Bloodaxe furthered there reputation for bringing eminent U.S. poets to these shores by publishing a nice big selected? Or is that more up Carcanet's street?

Anyway, here's a short one I pulled off the net.

Clear Night

Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys.
Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls.

I want to be bruised by God.
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out.
I want to be stretched, lik…

Carl Rogers: A Theory of Therapy


University of Wisconsin

Introduction 2
The soil of the theory 2
Some basic attitudes 4
The General Structure of Our Systematic Thinking 7
Definitions of constructs 9
A digression on the case history of a construct 14
I. A Theory of Therapy and Personality Change 22
Conditions of the therapeutic process. 22
The process of therapy 25
Outcomes in personality and behavior 27
Comments on the theory of therapy 28
Specification of functional relationships 29
Some conclusions regarding the nature of the individual 29
II. A Theory of Personality 30
Postulated characteristics of the human infant 30
The development of the self 31
The need for positive regard 31
The development of the need for self-regard 32
The development of conditions of worth 32
The development of incongruence between self and experience 33
The development…