about A Second Life

This is the second of what may be three poem sequences, each of just over 100 individual texts. This sequence was begun May 1, 2013, and the first draft completed October 31, 2014, and was written mainly in Bishops Stortford, but a little also in London, Broadstairs, and travel between.
I’ll repeat what I put when giving a tagline to the first sequence, Within These Latter Days’, online publication, at < http://withinthese.blogspot.co.uk/ >: “The basic pattern of the sequence is given in the blog’s subtitle: (a poem committed against purity, precision, perfection) (a sequence of 100+ poems, following stochastically governed sequences of widely varied forms/ constraints/recipes, with various repetitions of vocabulary, and varying openness to external language events) (a poem by Peter Philpott)”. It’s, in other words, an impossible balancing act between an exercise in constructing a complexly structured poem sequence, in which heterogeneous formal variety is assured by the dice-throw determined choice of forms, and internal cohesion by repetitions of poetic lexis – while at the same time attempting an openness to external events that impinge upon the poem, either at deep levels of motivation and impulse, social/cultural levels of encountering poets, poems, poetics & attendant institutions, or just the continual sweep & inrush of language (heard, read, mistaken, whatever) which is the medium we all inhabit. The poem is trying to give its?/my? response to various things encountered, from the ever-deepening crisis in our society (in global society indeed), which I see as the formation of what archaeologists refer to as a new high status elite, and which to me the 2011 Riots marked the beginning (inchoately) of resistance against, to episodes within the little world of innovative poetry, and various bits of language encountered, whether overheard at the time of writing or encountered in reading. There are moments of open & explicit address; there are moments of utter linguistic or verbal centredness.
This is my rephrasing of what I wrote on withinthese.blogspot.co.uk. There’s I think more reflection on the nature of the writing itself in this sequence, and engagement with defining this, including a strong response to the rejection email from the Veer Collective over Within These Latter Days. Hey! I’m a poet, rejection is perpetual and unbearable! But as a poet it is the wording of the rejection that gets fed into the textual process. There are minor differences in the rules I set myself, which rules themselves are explained in #30, “A Recipe for a Long Semi-Structured Poetic Sequence”. You can either wait until that gets posted, or find an earlier draft on withinthese.blogspot.co.uk. Or pick up a copy at a reading. There are some verbal echoes in the initial poems of the final poems from the earlier sequence; but the only real information lacking to the innocent reader is the significance of “Karla and Darrel”, two names used for a couple who appear to have fled London after the Riots. And a certain obsession with severed heads as subject to cult worship – one of the root motifs of British culture, if you’re foolish enough to want to search out alleged origins.
And you need to brace yourself for both footnotes as components (towards the end taking over) of the text, and also reference notes which I will put in the Comments for some poems, and which pick up on quotations or references you may be excused for not knowing (eg the history of the Chapel Bar in Broadstairs, formerly Albion Bookshop). Do, please, please, dear gentle reader, add any comment you wish to make!
A final introductory point is that I will attempt a daily posting of the individual texts (numbered 1 100, but in fact going over 100), which I managed pretty well with withinthese.blogspot.co.uk. I have switched however from Blogger to WordPress – I discovered after I had embarked on Blogger that Firefox quite understandably refuses to follow all the sheer shite code Blogger produces, so it wasn’t appearing as I wished. WordPress is more of a pig than I thought to work with, though, (or at least the theme I am using), and some individual poems will require a fair amount of processing to make them appear as they should online. So, not guaranteed daily. I will, as I did with withinthese.blogspot.co.uk, use an email list to inform my actual or potential dear gentle readers when Good Bits are coming up. You may have better things to do than read every day every bloody bit of it – but you’d regret missing the Good Bits, now wouldn’t you? Please drop a line to peter@greatworks.org.uk if you’re not on but would want to be on this list. Oh, and I’ll tweet at such points as well (@philpott_peter), and use Facebook (search: withinthese). I’m working on personalised microdrones delivering messages as well.

Leave a Reply