P O R E S   4
An Avant-Gardist Journal
of Poetics Research
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Tony Trehy
Questions of Ideology and Ideological Apparatus

Gallery of work from contributors to the Forum on Women Writers:
Elizabeth Jane Burnett
Marianne Morris
Susan Johanknechtarmour
Emmanuelle Waeckerle
Carol Watts

Alan Halsey
An Open Letter to Will Rower

Allen Fisher
Minimaus: in response...

Will Rowe
Invisible Power

Frances Presley
Piano Trio by Nicola le Fanu

Frances Presley
two flames

Frances Presley
Frances Van Goor

Philip Davenport
Vogue Divine

Tony Lopez
What Can Be Done

Ceri Buckmaster
Contemporary Poetics and the Re-inscription of Urban Subjectivities

Dell Olsen
Interview



In Audience

A long low basement SOAS, London years since maybe they still have performances the story of Hanuman people wonder about - dark very elaborate cut-out puppets shadowed on a white screen mobile in a jerky fashion character speaking to character to complex dialogue from the puppeteer or action engagement change of scene no fixed seating the script and the music and lots of talk in the audience who are more mobile than the action on-screen

The game was called 'Newmarket' and you bet on four random cards in the center, all of us grouped round the large dining table. A second pack was dealt out, and you laid a card down according to opportunity. It's possible there are ways to halt the play, change suit, etc. (It was a long time ago.) There was silent play, except for an occasional check on the rules, and notably when you laid a card that matched one in the centre. Then you scooped the pool for that card and there was general glee or astonishment.

A vast pointless church, specially chilled for the commemoration service. A biographical summation, followed by a mumbled poem tribute from a grandson. Fondly I reword it in my own terms:

Biscuit was his name.
His wife was called Rice Cake.
His children were Soap Pod, Boulder, Pointed-as-Mouse.
He was a warm friend.
There is nothing else to do.

There are set rituals for joining in. You can jump up and down. You can wave your arms in the air. You can shout out key words at key moments. You can all blow on whistles. The music is long and thrumming and loud and sustains the action. A few curiosities can dance on their own podiums. The generous srpay canned water. At the climax, Geordie Daren said, a photo of the Dalai Lama was flashed on screen and everyone cheered.

For a course in drama I prepared about sixteen texts in rough abridged translation, covering a thousand years in 6 sessions. Seminal texts like Christopher Smart, Seneca, Jack Vance. For each playlet there was 4 or 5 parts, which were handed out. Seldom more than that turned up. And so we read through. Each script had a part for a unison chorus, Greek style, so that if more turned up, still everyone had a part.

Intimate moments are conducted largely by role-play. There is a murmured explanation, and you sense encouragement or rejection. It is important to nominate a leader, and the fantasia or folk-tale can be safely initiated. Unscripted comments are best inserted adjectives of encouragement. Despite the intensity, it is not unusual for the audience to fall asleep.

It is hard to devise any structure less mobile than a television set. Except perhaps a dull statue lost deep underwater. Or an angel, pin-head or atom, hovering out-of-sight high. Or a colony of drowned ants. Or the wait for a manuscript to be served at a particularly understaffed archive. Or walking around when all the fish-and-chip shops are shut. You can imagine a TV on the sacrificial altar at Stonehenge. Settees angled to view. Domestic collapse.

Elijah competing with the Sons of Baal would be worth watching. Lightning would flash, people would skrike and run about, Jonathan Martin style. You would be on the winning side of course. No point otherwise. Rich Mendelssohnian chord in the background. Invocations and miraculous actions. I have never attended a poetry reading of similar verve, but am hopeful.