Complete Twentieth Century Blues

Complete Twentieth Century Blues is the definitive edition of a long network of interrelated texts that the author wrote and assembled as a time-based project between 1989 and the end of the last century. Many of the texts have appeared before, in both pamphlets and in critically acclaimed full-length volumes, but this edition has been revised throughout. It also includes a previously unpublished book-length text on the paintings of Jack B. Yeats, as well as a number of shorter pieces. All now appear in their intended order, and with their connections to other poems made apparent via an index. At the centre of the book is the sequence The Lores, written according to a strict word count and introducing the politics and poetics of ‘creative linkage’ demonstrated throughout. It focuses upon fascism and resistances to it. Running through the volume are the ‘Empty Diaires’ which offer an alternative history of the twentieth century, told through a series of female narrators. Woven between these are poems on blues music, the first Gulf War, Stalin’s poems, failed utopias, the Earl of Rochester, a sci-fi elegy for the human, a translation from Horace, the ideology of Thatcherism, atheist hymns, a hilarious romp with a very rude Robinson Crusoe, homages to various other artists, and an elegy to Frank Sinatra. The hilarious Wayne Pratt spoofs find their final resting place here too. The prose-poem essay, ‘The End of the Twentieth Century’, brings the project to rest with a celebration of the complexity of our powers of human connection.

Table of contents

Introductory Note
Preface: Melting Borders
1: Smokestack Lightning
2: Sharp Talk and Amended Signatures
3: Codes and Diodes are both Odes
5: Killing Boxes
6: The Flashlight Sonata
1 Histories of Sensation Mesopotamia
Schräge Musik
The Materialisation of Soap 1947
2 Utopian Tales
3 Internal Exile
4 Letter from the Blackstock Road
5 Coda
8: Slipping the Mind
9: Weightless Witnesses
10: Soleà for Lorca
11: Improvisation Upon a Remark of Gil Evans, for Miles Davis
15: Fucking Time: six songs for the Earl of Rochester
16: Logos on Kimonos
18: Poetic Sequencing and the New Untitled [net/(k)not-work(s)])
20: The Overseas Blues (an Allusion to Horace)
21: Shutters
24: Empty Diaries 1901-1990
23: Empty Diaries 1901-1912
7: Empty Diaries 1913-1945
17: Empty Diaries 1946-1966
22: Empty Diaries 1967-1990
19: Empty Diary 1990
25: Flesh Mates on Dirty Errands
26: Living Daylights (Traversed by Swift Nudes)
27: Magdalene in the Wilderness
28: The Book of British Soil
The Lores
30: The Lores and Jungle Nights in Pimlico
31: History or Sleep
33: “The Crimson Word We Sang”
32: For Scott Thurston
34: Entries
35: Ripping through Business
37: Neutral Drums
36: Small Voice
38: Report on Seaport
39: Small Voice 2
40: Variation and Themes
41: Private Numbers from the Drowning Years 1985-1989
42: The Collected Works of Josef Stalin
43: Ten
44: Beginning with a line from a Chinese poem in an English dream
45: Sonoluminescence for All
46: Armchair Adoption
47: In Good Voice
48: Dialogue between Created Pleasure and the Resolvèd Soul
49: Tin Pan Arcadia
50: Towards a Neo-Diagonalist Manifesto
51: In the Room of a Thousand Mute Salutes
52: Re:Entries
53: Freeze It
54: A Hundred and Eight Robinson Crusoes
55: Downing the Ante
56: Abjective Babble Expectorates Laugh of the Human
57: Angel at the Junk Box
58: Retitles: Three Overlaps for Jack B Yeats
1 Ocean Green-another homage to Jack B. Yeats
2 Bruised Ground
3 And Where Shall We Be Then?
59: A Dirty Poem and a Clean Poem for Roy Fisher
60: A Dark Study for Lee Harwood
61: For the Continuity Terminator
Wayne Pratt: Watering the Cactus
62: Watering the Cactus
29: Strange Meetings with Justin Sidebottom
67: On the Death of Wayne Pratt by Justin Sidebottom
63: The End of the Twentieth Century: A Text for Readers and Writers
64: 31 Basalt Wind-Chimes for the Window-Box of Earthly Pleasures
65: From the English
66: The Sacred Tanks of Dagenham
69: In an Unknown Tongue
73: Catacaustic for Tom Raworth
75: The Push Up Combat Bikini
Notes and Resources
74: Links in Ink: Index to Twentieth Century Blues

Nøkkelord: Prosa