With a number of exciting publishing projects on the go – Brisbane New Voices IV, First Words vol. 2 – Same Sky by Cindy Keong, my new chapbook, I, land and Nathan Shepherdson’s fifth collection, the day the artists stood still (vol. 1) – it is great to see some of the Another Lost Shark Publications back catalogue getting some positive attention.
Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke has written a wonderful review of Stolen Moments by Andy White for the Queensland Poetry Festival site, and with their permission, I reprint it here:
Listen, Don’t Merely Hear: A review of Stolen Moments by Andy White
by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke
There is beat, beatific beat, and rhythm in this book. Its refrains sing of Brisbane; of Bono; of life shared on a planet where popular culture is a common language. Andy White speaks a language of Now; mindful, though, as a good bluesman does, to pay its dues to Then:
ginsberg with a mandolin and a
strangely-stringed eastern instrument
in ginsberg beard and
talking about iron john
bob dylan &
new york city in the fifties
The 1950s matter to White, we feel its jazz in the way his lines swing and syncopate. To quote from the conclusion of the same poem:
now once more
I can encounter
The poet is squeezing the very juice of the real, shaking it, mixing it, and serving it alive, and cool.
Foundations of popular culture all are on display. Music: notably in a series of poems featuring pop culture icons. Literature: with its casual paeans to the Beats and Bukowski. And cinema, with two delightful poems about French films:
cut to the next day and a different old man in a sweaty t-shirt hangs
his enormous beer belly over the balcony, listening as the young french
woman moans in ecstasy, she’s busy making love in the apartment below.
he looks over to the chinese man. they nod. they sigh, both expressionless.
the music swells, the moaning increases. the scene fades to black.
“french film #1”
(Noting that this poem’s structure is not typical of the book; but its quietly sharp humour surely is.)
Yes, there is smarts, wit, contemporary cool to be had, but there is a depth of emotion, expressed in a pellucid way through image, that broadens and enriches the book:
the love we had
not left out
in the rain
but scorched in
baked too long
White’s sky, his experience, is ours—it runs deeper than the sheen of culture into the eternal verities of love. I am left with a feeling that White has done much living, and has come out of it into the Now not unscarred, but less willing to be naive:
time takes its
“mall thoughts 2/3”
I will answer for myself White’s open question: he is; and he is part of a tradition of lyric poets that offer to us, give to us, gently wrought bon mots, that are easily digestible yet linger on the palate. Check this book out: I’m glad I have.
Stolen Moments is now available from