'We needed coffee but we'd got ourselves convinced that the later we left it the better it would taste, and, as the country grew flatter and the roads became quiet and dusk began to colour the sky, you could guess from the way we returned the radio and unfolded the map or commented on the view that the tang of determination had overtaken our thoughts, and when, fidgety and untalkative but almost home, we drew up outside the all-night restaurant, it felt like we might just stay in the car, listening to the engine and the gentle sound of the wind'.
From its title, which runs to 101 words in full, to its wordless concrete poems; from its World Cup fixture list to its transformations of four-letter words, "We needed coffee but..." is audacious, mischievous, even outrageous.
As in his award-winning first collection "The Book of Matthew", the poet attends precisely to each detail: the rhythms are musical but unexpected; the brightness control on imagery is turned up high.
New in this book is the emphasis on collaboration. Some of this work began in text pieces for art exhibitions or as song-cycle lyrics.Other poems respond to the influences of Gertrude Stein, Raymond Queneau, Inger Christensen, dom silvester houedard, Yoko Ono and Gyorgy Ligeti. Matthew Welton turns rigorous control into a dancing display of wit: we become his collaborators in the shared delight that inventive poetry can contrive.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 96 pages
- Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 28/07/2009
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9781847770028
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