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Three Stems 
Rowan Evans





1.  

THERE IS THE CULTURE OF GESTURES
        O erasure, cloud hackle
        forced over head. Is it
        valid to be temporary
       in a drop, carving
        sound from here.
        Who says ‘opal green’
        still hating so many?
EFFIGIES YARDS HIGH, SUDDEN CHANGES OF LIGHT
        Total non-engagement
        now not possible, and
        how to write. Beauty is
        a warrant for constriction
        and word ‘ours’. White
        gravel, little rabbit bone,
        the sun today is shattering.
MODULATIONS OF TENSION, LEVEL BY LEVEL
        Into damaged fields
        before acquaintance we are
        directly aware, in the
        hour of vision. A blast
        steals the light and dark
        pattern of a bank in
      this refulgent summer.
ARRESTED IN FLIGHT AT SOME POINT
        Our cities with glowing
       hand kept safe, no rain
        that’s nice. Heat delivered

        rapidly to surrounding areas,
        transparent garments.
       So far as experience extends
        there are no exceptions.
A SERIES OF COMPRESSIONS, SCENIC FRICTIONS
        Shudder in the next room
        as if this could make peace
        comissioned by the blaze.
        On foot and noun-heavy
        they are lit this afternoon,

        interminable. At corners
        pillars stand gold, empty.
OTHER SIMPLE DIRECT MOVEMENTS    





2.

First appeal of linkages
signed onto absence
        where
        bright-lit
flower in lowland purely
human & now haunted
        revolves
        each way.
Errors are frequent &
embedded in the idiom
        serve to
        account
for periods of activity
pro-rosea, stalks of red
        become
        glad mesh.
Limbs falter on clearest
channels (one word won’t)
        car of
        amaryllis
that machine translation
striking anti-pose with
        arms or
        embers.
Project to fall from,
heavenly disc is useless
        hung in
        view &
fronds from the white
stone make no allowance,
        the cast
        basilica.






3.

        (i)


From rail it makes rail
An invariant language

Century tenderness until ridge
the help examined

A-

long

                        Nightingale glanced universe
as gas energy

Sunlight uncertain to Nightingale-
             light,   its glanced halting the


        (ii)


bill in limbs!
                        glass hooks talk

            spirit-cars
                                unlike positions


        (iii)


Midway and come headlights.
Indefinite needs

Rocks are everywhere in the world
and if you find one please let me have it


        (iv)


stuck here in a ’mobile
with a species of motion
alpine machines to
upper sky         dross
                no false shrine
cirm cirm
                purple haze
all in my brain






Notes


Stems’ is an ongoing sequence that seeks a point at which found text, quotation and personally motivated writing become muddied by one another. The poems bear some relation to the collage-form of the cento, and to the procedural ‘Asymmetry’ poems of Jackson MacLow, but also follow lyrics by Denise Riley, Allen Fisher and Tom Raworth where multiple borrowed or assumed dictions become heavily compounded. Major sources for these poems are listed below; in addition, each also contains material repurposed from my notebooks, abandoned poem docs and phone notes.


1. 

The lines in capitals are phrases from Antonin Artaud’s The Theatre and its Double (1938), translated by Mary Caroline Richards (Grove Press, 1994); some further words and phrases are from Isaac Asimov’s Robot Visions (Roc Books, 1990). This poem was written at the time of the 2016 EU Referendum.



2

Words and phrases are quoted from Ezra Pound, The Classic Anthology Defined by Confucius (Harvard University Press, 1954) and Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound, The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan (New Directions, 1959).



3. 

This sequence uses processed text from several poems and remembered conversations, as well as misheard lyrics by Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. “Cirm cirm” was an Anglo-Saxon onomatopoeic transcription of the goldfinch’s song, thought to be an origin of the modern collective noun ‘a charm.’






Rowan Evans is a poet, composer and sound artist who studied at Cambridge University and is the author of freak red (Projective Industries, 2015), cante jondo mixtape (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2017), ODE RHIZOME MOUNTAIN SONG (Moot Press, 2016) and returnsongs (Wide Range, 2012). He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2015 and a selection of his work appears in Penguin Modern Poets 7: These Hard and Shining Things (Penguin, 2018) with Geoffrey Hill and Toby Martinez de las Rivas. Rowan is co-editor of Moot Press, where he co-curates the Anathema reading series, and artistic co-director of the interdisciplinary performance company Fen. Rowan begins practice-based PhD research into modern poetry and ancient language at Royal Holloway this Autumn.






2018



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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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2018
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