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Collection

HEAT Series 1

Buxtehude’s Daughter

HEAT 6
1997

She was a strong young woman with a clear sense of her place in the world and she let the candidates, or contestants or suitors, know it, amusing herself by looking on the affair as one of those folk-tales in which a penniless beggar or soldier of fortune tries for the hand of a princess, for a kingdom too, but at the risk of his head.

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‘No Such Thing As A Bad Hair Day In Cyberspace’

HEAT 13
2000

Much of the language of cyberspace…seems strung out on an axis between opposing desires, for both embodiment and disembodiment. Margaret Wertheim uses that most physically explicit phrase, ‘surfing the net’, as an example. We have ‘visiting a site’ and ‘hit’. The body is ‘meat’, or ‘wetware’. Having your persona destroyed in some interactive games is called being ‘gutted’.

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On Tomaž Šalamun

HEAT 7
1998

Yellow is my favourite colour. If red is fire and passion, and blue is calm water, yellow is a flower. Yellow is very few things? Famously: sunflowers, cheese, taxis, bees, rubber ducks. The child’s sun is yellow. As is what I used to call, as a child, ‘normal yellow butter’ (margarine). ‘Yellow’ is fun to […]

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Requiem for a Heavyweight

HEAT 5
1997

My impression of Murray’s critical reception is that it is partly based on laziness: critics don’t want to deal with him. They don’t want to argue, don’t want the bad light the poems put them in as adversaries: politically correct (how unsexy) and less mobile verbally than the poet himself.

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On Reticence

HEAT 5
1997

Would you knowingly invite a reticent person to dinner, someone like my Oxford supervisor, or my friend who believed in sealing her lips? If you had no choice, how would you deal with such people? Sit them next to Chatty Carl or Commandeering Cathy in hope that their quiet attentiveness would mop up the attention-seeking of the other. The voluble need vessels, after all, into which to pour their words.

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Four Poems

HEAT 2
1996

my understanding of a nation is not abstract/ if america did not let off Ezra Pound/ it would not tolerate me/ no! I am not satisfied with my own country/ but that does not mean that I shall love america

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Claiming the Colossus

HEAT 2
1996

In 1958 when I was eight years old my parents took me to New York. I fell in love with its powers of abstraction. It became the city of my mind. In 1988 we took our son to New York. He was eight, and the same thing happened. Now, the door to his room is covered with a large map of midtown Manhattan in detailed axonometric projection. He reads books about places and technologies and is thinking of becoming an architect.

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Aquaeductus

HEAT 5
1997

Running in a sequence of dismembered sections, the Roman aqueduct of Nîmes can be read as a kind of fragmented text. Its choked tunnels, collapsed archways, brief truncated arcades can be seen as the scattered passages, say, of some early ontological discourse.

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Ark

HEAT 11
1999

I was writing a long and labyrinthine poem in which I opened up / and at the same time stepped into that openness, stillness, with a white voice

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Trading Stories

HEAT 15: Out-back
2000

On the seventh dune we stopped, searched, and found the plant. It was almost anticlimactic to see it extending out of the red crest of dune. A pale, unremarkable-looking shrub with small bell-shaped flowers.

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