A Book of Chinese Whispers
These prose pieces develop areas and images encountered elsewhere in Smith's poetry. Some are fictions, some fables, some prose poems, some ill-tempered jokes, some existential romances with mundane reality. As in the game of Chinese Whispers, messages are passed, repeated, misheard, misremembered, delicately tampered with, and fiddled with in the interests of politics, commerce and the pursuit of power. Even the language is suspect, as are our perceptions. Our hero struggles to survive against all the odds, invited apparently to forget all he knows and begin again at the beginning. Or at the end. Smith writes in the radical tradition of Borges, Brautigan, Burroughs, and Buster Keaton.
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amongst atmospheric railway Attila the Hun barn baskets beach birds blue boat Bognor Regis Budleigh Salterton Buster Keaton centuries CHINESE WHISPERS comes County Clare cross dark dead door dragonflies dream drink everything eyes face falling foreman forever frame gathered glass gone hands head Henry the Navigator hill horses invented Jack John Speke Ken Smith kill knew knives labour Lakota language later leave light live look Lord Clifton Lord Rally Misericorde mouth movie moving neutron bomb never night perhaps pick pickers plane pocket poems poet Potato Mother Ravensbruck river road rocks round says secret side silence singing sleep smoke someone standing stare stone tell there's things town train travelling trees turned voice walk wandering wife wind woman women words young