A Census of Preconceptions by Oz Hardwick (Survision Books)

Tears in the Fence

Oz Hardwick prose poems are short moments captured from what the author, in ‘Out of Town’, says is ‘Beyond the range of church bells’, where ‘time follows its own instincts’. These gently surreal poems slur time, jump time, and revel in experiential time, where action ceases or slows, allowing the poet time to breathe, take note, follow trains and trails of thought and share them with his readers.

In ‘The Coming of the Comet’, for instance, the original observation of the comet’s trails as ‘fragmented nursery rhymes’ (sky writing) allows the author to imagine reaching up to touch them, although he fears getting his fingers burnt, metaphorically and literally. Then the text undertakes a sideways move towards the ducks who have already flown away from the winter, which allows a digression about other creatures, before the poem swerves into myth and nursery rhymes, with a dying dragon returning us to…

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