Fred Carter - Outages

Veer2 Publication 035 [ISBN: 978-1-911567-64-6] 12.8 x 18.2cm size, 40 pages. March 2024.
£6.00 (+ postage and packing)

Fred Carter - Outages

‘Poets who have learned to say yes even though they don’t believe it have a lot to answer for. The reinflation of dead hopes and diminished expectancies has become the definition of a lot of ‘political poetry’ and perhaps simply politics altogether. Poets who say no both to what they do believe (to exist) and to what they don’t seem by contrast to put themselves into an impossible position, to make their poems into a ‘clutch game’ of residual possibility, in which they attempt, with the most minimal means (musical, cognitive, conceptual), to make the exhaustion they both believe in and feel into something other than itself. When they come, the ascents are themselves minimal, almost imperceptible. But why ascend? What we want is poems that fight for everything in a new form, on the diminished material basis that we both exist in and are: when it comes, it won’t go over anyone’s heads. OUTAGES describes it like this: ‘a flightless bird spewing love into the mouth of another bird, as clear as any way / I know to describe poetry as work.’ Poems to encounter at eye-level: alongside and with.'

— Danny Hayward

'These poems make we want to write too; a proud thief also, an exasperated user of words that sometimes feel useless as dead leaves. But I want to compost, decompose. I sympathise in sweaty clarity — poems clenched one hand over the mucky other; Jacob's ladders where every rusted hinge sings a particular and unexpected song.'

— Gloria Dawson

'Salty in syntax circuitry, we wade knee-deep through the siloes of labour, testing our pH for presenteeism. If the very flow of blood to and from the heart is grown over with errant value, pleading by the beat of shelf life, what grasses us to the boss but life itself? I am that wilting shrub. Refusal is the power cut as praxis. All rise from moulding tenements; love your friends; invoice for the rest you are owed: ‘hard / relate.’'

— Maria Sledmere

This is part of a series of works organised by Robert Kiely for Veer2, produced and published jointly in the University of Surrey and the CPRC, Birkbeck College.