Atoms by Clive Gresswell (erbacce press)

Tears in the Fence

Atomsis a free flowing pamphlet-length prose poem, a sinuous sweep through the first quarter of the 21stcentury as it lurches into and out of lockdown. I’m reminded of Carl Jung’s essay on James Joyce’sUlyssesin which he refers to the work as a cosmic tapeworm. Jung initially wants us to see this as an insult, characterising writing he saw produced as much by an autonomic nervous system as by an aesthetic intelligence. But something in Jung’s writing feels conflicted. It’s as if he almost admiresUlyssesfor its parasitic processing power. And as it turns out, he does. He says of the book:

There is life in it, and life in never exclusively evil and destructive…it wants to be an

eye of the moon, a consciousness detached from the object, in thrall neither to the

gods, nor to sensuality, and bound neither by love nor hate…

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