There Are No Small Moments, my first chapbook, has just been published by THE RASP AND THE WINE.
You can order it here by following this link. Or if you wish, drop me a note (stephen AT growmercy.org)—I’ll be delighted and most eager to send you an autographed copy (which I’m sure, in the years to come…will be older).
And at the cost of a little over two cappuccinos—a splendid beverage to read poetry by—I’d say it’s a stimulating deal. (If you live in Zurich it’s the cost of one cappuccino. I checked.)
Okay, that’s the weird-hard part. Because, well, I prefer to talk poetry before marketing (numbing word).
So I will: Patrick Kavanagh said that he “dabbled in verses” until they became his life. Suggesting, that at some point his splashing along the shore of words pulled him in until he was swimming in verse. I’d hardly compare myself to Kavanagh, in any context, least of all in verse, but I know something of this “dabbling” and consuming experience.
Over the years, poetry has become a way of approaching life. A kind of coastal horizon where one can come to terms with both the density and porous nature of experience. It’s a means of living in life’s hollow places, life’s pain and sorrow, its sense of prevailing absence; and too, it’s a way of responding to the ruptures and raptures of delight, beauty and joy.
Poetry, for me, hounds the surface of concrete things, until, almost by accident, ultimate concerns appear. That’s why for all the frogs and cows, lakes and Scottish crags of someone like Norman McCaig, it’s accurate to say he’s never written a nature poem. Poetry, then, is a way of discovering and being discovered by a larger presence: call it absence, call it mystery, call it love, call it God. Of course I hope There Are No Small Moments has a touch of this presence.
Some of these poems have appeared here in growmercy in nascent form. Maybe a blog is good for this, I mean as a way of rearing certain poems. Like other poets, I often wonder when a poem is finished; but now, having taken these out back and reworked the lot of them, I’m prepared to say, ‘You’re on your own little poems. Get out there and earn a living, and if not, at least be respectable vagrants.’
One more thing, and important: it was pure pleasure to be published by Edmonton’s, The Rasp and The Wine. Working with thoughtful, compelling poets, Amy Willans, Kerry Mulholland, and particularly with Michael Gravel, the engine behind Rasp and Wine, was an inspiring experience. So do check out the site, as well as the other books and poets. Oh my, there I go, “marketing” again!