leaf o little leaf by Ralph Hawkins (Oystercatcher Press)

Tears in the Fence

I’ve not read much of Ralph Hawkins’ poetry before despite first coming across his work inAVarious Artsome years back but this is something I need to remedy. This little chapbook is wonderful. In his poem ‘Max Jacob – Some of the butchers had binocularswe get the following line, a reference to both Max Jacob and Ted Berrigan – ‘Both poets being playful, humorous and serious and full of fraught connectives.’ It’s that ‘fraught connectives’ that does it, a phrase that could well be applied to Hawkins’ own poetry as beautifully exemplified in the following:

Corn from Delf is good for Elves

Bernadette Meyer

you can get a coach

transport yourself

Scarlett Johannson

an alien in Glasgow

the girl at the psalter

palmistry soap

all those overburdened

with the clothes they wore

the abandoned, the outcast, what future

they ‘fished’ them out of the sea


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