Smith, Pete

Pete Smith - Bindings with Discords



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Pete Smith - Bindings with Discords

Published February 2015. Paperback, 116pp, 9x6ins
ISBN 978184861-116 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
A first full-length collection in the UK for Pete Smith, a Canadian poet born in Coventry but resident in Kamloops, BC, since 1974. In the UK and Canada he worked as a psychiatric nurse with intellectually challenged people in institutional and community settings. His poems, reviews and essays have been published widely in the UK, the USA and Canada.
The author says of the book:
"Epigraphs to the book & its various sections may serve as stepping stones. Begin at Thomas Morley's 16th Century definition of a "fancie" or fantasia, defined by the New Grove Dictionary as a "play of imaginative invention... [whose] ... form and style... range from the freely improvisatory to the strictly contrapuntal, and ... more or less standard sectional forms." Prefacing One-Eye-Saw is a mishearing of the Anglican Burial Service: "in the sure uncertain hope". Jean-Luc Godard states ahead of 20/20 Vision that "...words are one thing reality is another thing and between them is No Thing...” Evacuation Procedures saves its epigraph, as suits the sequence's fancy, for the end of its first poem where its St Thomas says "If I'd've been a split stick,/ I'd have savioured everyone." Accidental spirits spill out of lines while various, mostly British, unemployed "60's" poets drift through rooms in Part One. 
Part Two improvises on the works of three differently-marginalized British Columbian Artists. The late Fred Douglas, photographer, writer, kicks off Strum of Unseen with "The lucky ones are the ones who can see the Emperor’s clothes” & shares the page with Wordsworth's childhood dreamers, those play-fellows of fancy who at last find themselves in "the very world which is the world/ Of all of us". A building on Hamilton Street in downtown Vancouver straddles the entrance to 48 Out-Takes... with Unlimited Growth Increases the Divide & the set riffs on the works of, presently, a self-exile from poetry, Deanna Ferguson, some of whose words flense me every time I call on them. Mother Tongue: Father Silence comes in sans epigraph but bows out gracefully with a morning belly startle from the late painter, poet, photographer, song-whisperer Roy Kiyooka. It may not be so far from an Anglican burial to a morning belly startle: that's this book's trip west anyway. Step lightly or as you will, but do enjoy."
"Just to second Nate Dorward's appreciation for Pete Smith's remarkable poem "20/20 vision". It's a very exciting work, full of sharp lines, memorable phrasing and narrative verve, though I'd be hard put to paraphrase an all-encompassing narrative. For all its technical brio, its humanity was what really got under my defences. So rather than discuss its undeservedly low position on the usual big-o-meters, I'll just say that this is a book I've grown to value and, indeed, love." (Randolph Healy)

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