A Book of Spilt Cities

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Etruscan Books, Jan 1, 1999 - Poetry - 93 pages
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Poetry. Now, (1999), confronting this heroic Legend, pitching his voice(s) against an increasingly dystopian terrain, Griffiths finds that London has been cleaved, divided against herself, split like the hemispheres of the cerebellum. 'Something organic has snapped.' Griffiths projects privileged versions of urban experience (courtly pageants) against a system that is evidently in terminal decline: 'the norm is wrong'. High-angle surveillance sweeps reveal the extent of the carnage. The poet exploits a system of hyphens, derived from earlier models, praise songs, to bond together warring elements: 'burnt bananna-eyed fruit groups', 'finger-suburbs', 'sleep-owl faces'. He works his apostrophes like dockers' hooks, hacking out unnecessary vowels, scoring the text, straining for optimum pace and expression. Through momentum, he achieves prophetic instability -- Iain Sinclair.

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Contents

The trauma of the city
5
The deeper analysis
13
The aftershock
19
Family and blood
29
The magic of the five words
35
At home
45
The horse whisperer
55
The literal answer
66
Proem
75
Interstice 3
84
Copyright

About the author (1999)

Bill Griffiths was a poet, Anglo-Saxon scholar, book designer, small press publisher, biker, houseboat owner, pianist, archivist and social historian who late in his career moved from London to North East England where he reinvigorated the study of the region's dialect. He died in 2007 at the age of 59.

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