Out now from Pamenar press. Started around 2017 and finished in 2021 it is like toys but also like video taped in a mall consists of 201 minimalist poems that come in pairs of lines. The lines play against each other – there’s a push and pull between bliss and bathos creating a magical fuzziness. Individual lines slip in and out of single and specific meaning, like Necker cubes and duck-rabbits; bisociation is constructed by the rub of plurals against possessives, and the distortion of verbs and articles. I've made many of the poems into one-off book objects (see below), and a list of influences on the poems features at the end of the collection and gives an indication of potential themes.
Here's what others have to say -
‘The poems in this book share something with the tiny artworks and suggestions for performances which Robert Filliou exhibited some years ago on his head in a paper hat-cum-gallery. It’s a playful DIY sort of something engaged in ‘daily research into everything’ and full of possibilities: ‘first ideas for box for cupboard / (how a new spoon when)’. With Filliou (and Yoko Ono) there’s often a whiff of Zen and it’s here in Davies’ work too: ‘(because no matter how protective a grapefruit husk / you come back down the mountain)’. As in the final picture of the Zen Oxherder series, Davies comes back down and enters the city and the marketplace with a broad smile on his face: ‘two gins later / (a swede turned up)’. He has said in interview that he writes in ‘an extreme state of bliss’ and the invitation, as with Gertrude Stein’s ‘if you enjoy it you understand it’, is to read him that way.’
'James Davies’ multi-layered minimalist poems create a textual city of motels, traffic, golf courses, and beachscapes through which we, the readers, are invited to wander. Here, filmic textual fragments are cleverly paired with bracketed context to produce an echo of twists & turns. Davies’ poems span time and space, giving a depth and liveliness that stir the senses!'
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