Not Here – There by Andrew Taylor (Shearsman Books)

Tears in the Fence

The poems inNot There – Hereare somewhat more relaxed and conversational in tone than Taylor’s earlier books, but are still in the vein of minimalist, compressed writing typical of his work, in which close observation of the external world is mixed with a collage of texts and discourses. For this short review I want to focus on a single poem which I think is representative of many of the poems in the book. Here’s the poem in full:

Larch

The larch has been felled

Phytophthera ramorum

let’s drive the different route 17 miles

cattle grids

empty feedbags

strung like scarecrows

Railway at times runs parallel

ballast plumb line straight

Our single track

Passing place

Signal stagnant

inactivity

signpost navigation GPS

unnamed road

follow the quietness

valley emptyit looks like a bomb’s gone off

toward the estate there is cover

thirty five years ago

we took this drivetracks remain

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