Monday, 22 March 2010

Linda Marshall's Half-Moon Glasses

Richard Wilcocks writes:
"Linda Marshall's poems whether funny or sad, have the cathartic, uplifting effect that stems from genuine truth to feelings we share with her." Thus speaks K. E. Smith (who was once the editor of the long-established Yorkshire poetry magazine Pennine Platform) on the back cover of Linda Marshall's new collection Half-Moon Glasses. At the launch, held on Saturday evening in the long wedge of space driven into the Edwardian housing in Midland Road known as The Flux Gallery, the audience was well and truly uplifted. It was difficult to move sideways anyway, people were that close. It was a tricky operation just to get inside the door, and necessary to breathe carefully, because Linda's beautifully distinctive voice had to be heard.

In the introduction to the collection (ISBN 978-0-9560688-3-5), which is printed by Flux Gallery Press and nicely illustrated by its owner Dan Lyons, K.E. writes about the fact that Linda is a "rare thing"...."a genuinely modern poet who is also a real page turner."

Here's one I like from the collection. I heard her read it in the Café Lento a few half moons ago:


The music ripped through me, orange and purple,
leaving tattered shreds of soul; sweet aromas
of dark chocolate and vanilla filled the hazy air,
as I sipped the snowiness, topping a cappuccino,
those syncopated rhythms bashing a brassy vibrancy
into me. I was lolling in the corner of my chair,
opposite you, my melancholic friend, both of us
haunted by nostalgia, too many years behind us,
making us sick for each passing moment - how I yearn
for those long, lazy conversations we had in
bars and cafés, "no strings attached," you would say,
only the music and a shared loneliness melding us,
we became the blazing bursts of percussion, the huge
electric bubbles of jazz that dissolves into dizziness.
As long as our fluted coffee cups are steaming,
as long as that band of music men are cooking up
their breezy blues, we are marooned, you and I,
on a desert island of steel and leather with no hope
of rescue, yet with hope in our wrecked heads.

Below, pics from the launch:

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