By Matt Robinson
This booklet is set reminiscence -- reminiscence as a poetic shape by which refractions of loss, restoration, discovery and identification shape an creative reshaping of the prior. In uncooked brushstrokes, Robinson documents the gradual cascade of occasions and characters slipping during the skinny membrane of expertise, shaping our histories. even as, he experiments with kind and shape in a perfectly sinuous writing. With this, his first e-book, Robinson makes a amazing debut at the North American literary level.
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Extra resources for A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking
51- kicking away at it as a child, it was my soccer coach who let me in on the secret; showed me the trick to it. standing there, each of us, with a leg held back and bird-like hopping, he came up behind me and simply said: foots on one thing, one spot on the grass, and training my eye to a piece of clover, i was steadied — assured, from that point on, through each of our field-held rituals, i stared: at bare patches of earth; at longish blades of grass fortunate or wily enough to have escaped the mower; at scraps of paper; and, at times, even at a shining dime that in the midday sun would signal to me from just across the pitch, it was a foolish sort of looking — we laughed at its simple efficacy, did not see the use of it beyond summer's shin-guarded play but now, it is early winter, and i am 5-2 a in another fielkd the frass having here slightly wilted, faded in the grip of frost, and now, as they lower you down — past the bare pilings of earth here poorly covered by the green, but artificial, trappings of ceremony — i find myself staring at the stones, and even as i struggle to maintain my balance, i am slowly moving back: from this cool October now to the warmer Junes and Julys when staring at the scarring of a field was steadying, then the wind picks up and sneaks underneath my collar — and i am back here again, craning slightly, awkwardly, to find a spot beyond the crumbling edge of the hole, i am peering again for that trick, the secret that will allow me balance, allow me to stand through this later, straining ritual; through the sudden tension and precariousness of my pose.
Between your flesh and this dusting of snow (which makes this, your winter, real) lies a name, a stone. when, on Christmas eve, these flakes fell around and on us as we walk (cold dust upon our flesh) you again become concrete, •48- (heavy on my flesh, heavy as a stone), completed: flesh and dust, not name alone. 49 burial It was not meant to hurt. It had been made for happy remembering By people who were still too young To have learned about memory. —from "A Short Film" by Ted Hughes it was not meant to hurt, as such, that ritual departure, no, it was instead a release: a place for tears and words and suits; a cause for dressing up the ties and cuffs an awkwardness become physical.
And now as my mug, my egg-shaped mug your sister gave me, grows emptier (and colder) in my hand, i drink this coffee and think of tea, of coronation street silences; i remember the afternoons. so in the yellowgrey of early morning, in the winter-furnace hum, i observe the state of water as it dies in piles along the street, and in this light try to convince myself that the chemistry of memory is permanent. minutes pass, snow falls, my shoulders ache in anticipation, something in me below the clavicle seems to say it's better to let storms blow, let walks disappear.
A Ruckus of Awkward Stacking by Matt Robinson