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Matthew Andrews :: Hetrombiopen: I

‘What gets me is, how man refuses to acknowledge the consequences of his disposing of himself at his own entrance — as though a kiss were a cheap thing, as though he were.’                           — Charles Olson, The Human Universe

This like everything and everything else starts elsewhere than about itself but not necessarily at the heart of it all or indeed anywhere which, for now, we can give a name (or at least I could if, and if only, you were something able to be reduced/aligned/forced into such a space other than the event of your own eventual whatever) —

a poetry of deliberate indelicacy will do none avoiding the impulse, a Derek Bailey sort of distance  with a ‘photographic memory’ masking the sort of resentment only a P.E. teacher could love, day in day out, within and without, grotesque and glorious exterior lasting long after the rotting of the core

save unable the /
                     crack fingered lilies despoiling /
never and ever under meat find posh bitch drinks /
                     a fifth meme weekday evening cunt of a bike healthily /
extinction becomes checkout love heaven and /
          fucked side concrete moment hybrid fucker made /
honour and empty the retired bright syntax inside /
                     bad grammar incest dialectic. //

The need to make the moment run. The unfounded, completely and forever. The distraction I never said. Avoiding her in passing and his self-aware splitting. Turning from some labyrinth or lasagne recipe not out of fear or pride but simply to make the faces quiet. Mao and Edmond Jabès. Adolescence is a notebook and I put things in it. Finding the name of a long poem. The simple and the repetitive. A Beatrice I talk to everyday.

You ask me to write about lived experience so you won’t mind receiving this nest of lies in a found form, a lost form excluding any other surface which, and which only, takes something beyond your conception and my command, the grand general or global transcendence of the declarative ‘we’ where (and where so ever, out of your mind/out of space and time such as it is when, and you better know when) the moment of imagining arrives just as they’re putting whatever they find to the first use it demands —

there are more than the sort of lives whose eulogies read like UCAS applications and the sort who never read anything to be worth reading at all, a Jeffrey Bernard sort of musing, a forgotten father of pragmatism, taught me how to love, now wishing in terse reconciliation it never happened at all

purse extraction more /
                     enviable perineal realm with /
          fortune if straightened fictive equine typecast /
fuckwit inspection delegate each and every fuck /
          a theory of fuck give twice and repeat /
entirety wholesome spastic at least /
                     countdown to outward presentation of meat /
          moves if direction if found time around. //

Sitting opposite but not beside. It’s all made up. There’s nothing betrayed by this rhythm. Stop it becoming a conscience. Yesterday’s gestures are today’s aversions. Keep it arbitrary. The imperative is to never appreciate. The long game. The barriers necessarily between us. Her hair. There must be a hope but I’ll resign before I’m fired. Harold Bloom making a broccoli-centric quiche and being upset at how light it is. The things that dreams are made of. Imagined postings about alcoholism.

The moment of the extended present given when and when indeed there is no other form or need or further need of form to or from the incessant but not unreasonable demand to (and you guessed it/could see it coming) conformity to whatever has gone before not to make it cohere but to give the illusion that the form of whichever point of reference preceded was (and is/and will be) entirely contingent to nothing but itself instead of the inconceivable possibility that this apparently spontaneous descent can be (or should be/or hope to be) anything other than its own premeditation and enjoying it —

a choice to write what is known to be only of the now and will be entirely of the past even when presented, doing it for a laugh, Angela Davis with gingivitis, ‘says more about κ than it does about γ’, gestures that may be misinterpreted but at least circle their object, as you like it, so there


          place whatever tradition two /
metric four if postcard perhaps /
                     slackjawed slattern if given made /
sex is and only circumlocution /
          misrecognition as torture domestic /
memory has and there been malleability /
          liquid presence sacrifice to freeze /
home find here for knowing not else. //

The new in the old, calumny in its quiet prevalence. A conference on The Fall. ‘Poetry and Abstract Thought’. Getting stuck in the worst of too few ruts. Ripping off Peter Manson. The man beside has a girlfriend but I have no dust on my double bass anymore. There’s a moon in the sky but fuck me if that’s what whatever’s on the other side would call it. Promiscuity. Looking busy on laptops. Trying to find it all then settling in the comfort that this, this little nuisance, is only ours.

Here is knowing a past definition of there and if now, some then, making certain or a measure of certainty in a mutually appreciable unit to say, or at least, it is all as given unless interpretation distends the poverty of the moment into reflexive and selfish return-loop discourse, seeing, in its way, and if, to what, the end of the necessary feedback leaving an impression of these quote-unquote figurative gymnastics and whether it lands/flies/or not, leaving love in a bad place and hence just love, justly (this could have made use of better form or better things or a better form of things but to consider this is to ignore the pressing possibility it should have appeared outside/jumped in the opposite direction to this freefall between fucking and fracking) —

when starting again is so very much a question of why it is starting again, drunk enough to have strength to cry, Kurt Gödel making the best of a Dutch prog band and loving every minute of it, here are the little things barely held together but together enough to know exactly what they are for


          love elevator reject advancing /
wet passage middle when optic shit /
                               crunch up joist when glass yolk /
                     dark planar sweat on each when /
cum former disc now made career /
                               is and to from shower misé boys /
disgrace flick beard for holes above /
                     time and again peat quarks. //

Lesbians I thought about fucking once. Looking into tenebrosity. Recommending Sophie Robinson to strangers then sitting quietly through arguments about the relative merits of sitcoms. An overuse of the word cunt. Too much talk about the wrong thing in the library. Helping friends research dissertations I’d never think of writing myself. The radical nature of love is that it demands doing what you don’t want then you end up wanting it. An ex-girlfriend’s screen-printing acquaintance making me a Peter Kowald t-shirt, somehow.

The possibility that this will never be repeated or the moment will be just that and the body politic a misleading title (we shall not use name/orientation/description) and a better sort of violence may likewise be imminent, and if, and only, and then, the interrogation of your desires/feelings/on-the-blink intuition on and towards the matter (for it is thought and not object that ails us now/and here/and wherever) may well, very maybe, with a good fucking chance prove fruitless and tell you that you were indeed living in the moment but it was your definition of living that failed/contradicted/problematised the moment as the moment was not wrong nor were you out of it —

a singing while constantly scrubbing the surface of the matter, ‘forever trying to recuperate and reclaim’, the pain barrier after which everything is as easy as a vaccine but never too early always too late, Kayne West as the most noble voice out of the seminary and oblivious to it, these nameless lists of the moment distracting all attention from the sky


agitprop tableware sold /
          tartan nonce getting kinetic /
overboard time waste on horse /
          victory of object orient /
theft up bovine displacement /
                     replace facing unfuckable adversary /
          winning the history true and black /
rolling their bloody own. //

The overbearing imposition to apologise for Wyndham Lewis. Looking back and thinking, missing and signing. Dungeons & Dragons as a means of avoiding work. The Sartrean ‘no-thing’. Rarity. Dull boys and the women who dream of being ignored by them. All it takes is a car. Finding rhymes in my memorial detritus, instruments we no longer know how to play. Among the same cunts in different positions. The satisfaction of minimalism and contactless payment. A bunch of grapes.

Matthew Andrews is a writer and musician from Norwich, UK. He has poetry forthcoming in Mineral and his work has otherwise appeared in Rockland, Caliper, and pamphlets from his own Soviet District Press. He can be found at and is notional editor of upcoming print-journal Pragma (@PragmaJournal on Twitter).

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where is the river :: a poetry experiment is a bi-monthly poetry journal open to a variety of aesthetics, forms and experiences, with a preference towards showcasing work by emerging writers. There is no single path, nor any single way. Founded in September 2017. Edited by Kiefer JD Logan.