Monday, 7 November 2011

Reading David Tait

A selection of David Tait's poems were featured in An Elastic Sky, Flax022 last year, so I was thrilled to hear he'd won the Poetry Business's pamphlet competition this year. His pamphlet, Love's Loose Ends, was published last month and I got my mitts on a copy a wee while ago.

So, what did I think? Well, I am biased.

As the pamphlet title suggests, the thread throughout is love: tender love, locked love, quiet love, obsessive love, silly love, sexy love... I have to come clean and say it's not my favourite subject (what a grumpy mug, I know, I know) so I'm baised again(st); however, the lightness of touch gives a sense of almost carelessness rather than intensity, which drew me in. Not to make his poems sound insincere, because they don't. Their genuineness and compulsion is evident.

And then there are all those fabulous images used. David's been very reserved with images; the language is more literal than metaphorical, so when they do come they enrich the poems, and, by default, the sequence: a neck rippling like an accordion; another neck sprouting hands; a cello playing the wind; a herd of pylons; breathy headlights; words like poppy seeds. The pamphlet progresses between moorlands, restaurants, home, the DLR, bed, a computer screen, skies and the cinema, so by the time I reach the end cover, I've been taken through a huge spread of life and experiences. Leaving me with a sense of new friendship, a declaration of trust and honesty from this voice and its tender heart.

So I'm especially looking forward to the April Poets event this Thursday, cos he's reading at it and I've not actually heard him read (he couldn 't make the Elastic Sky launch). Plus Alan Dent, of Penniless Press, who is also a new one for me - always a treat. And however they both turn out, old fave Jenny Copley (the 'domestic gothic') is reading. It's a win win.

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