LUKE DAVIS -- POEMS

Benny B

Well-known member
Just read The Last Resort. Absolutely brilliant, like a mix of the Waste Land, a Ballard novel and the Matrix, the contemporary world as a depthless simulation of 'real' life.

Quite a different style to the previous two fragmented mini epics, it's much shorter, more subdued, and even nostalgic in tone where the speaker struggles to remember what life was like before all this.

As with the previous two poems, loads of great images, phrases and funny bits. Loved the summer simulation booth, Pinky's Pedicure Parlour and that bit about the 'nice cold ice cold glass of Coca-Cola'

I reckon it would make a good point of entry for reading this stuff, it's more accessible and easier to understand - seems like a later, more mature (that's not a value judgement btw) work than the two previous poems.

Sorry if that reads a bit like some lame Goodreads review, but there you go. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Been reading it alongside Woops' book. Very, very different obviously but there's also quite a bit of shared ground, and they complement each other really quite well. I'm reading Lights more as an extended prose poem rather than a novel anyway.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Yeah, I mean I am reading it in order from beginning to end obviously, but it quickly became apparent it's nothing like a traditional novel. Plus the thing with the map and the alphabetical index at the back suggests it could be picked up and read in a different order and it wouldn't really matter.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Carrying on with this down in the bar. Just read The Book of What Cannot Be Spoken out loud to myself, (I always read poetry out loud anyway) this time in the rhythm and cadence of how I was reading the Cantos, seemed to really suit it - lines like 'Flesh slack and soft with seawater' seemed to demand it.

Would need to read again to figure out more what it's 'about' (city boy has bad acid trip in the country, among nature?) but it's clear this is a deep one, and totally unlike the others in the book, so showing good range and variety, and a real pleasure to read out.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Imo, this is how the stresses should sound, very Poundian sounding to me.

Flesh slack and soft with seawater

That's how I read it anyway, no idea if this was the intention. And I wouldn't wanna harp on about pound, cos there's a lot more going on apart from that but yeah, it's good stuff
 
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woops

is not like other people
I read the whole lot in a couple of days in proof and I think on the scrapheap was my favourite
 

luka

Well-known member
i do like scrapheap but it wasnt composed as a thing really, it's made out of scraps i wrote on the river on various days and in various modes. it doesnt have the same drive that the others have but its got good lines, simply becasue its made out of good lines.
 

luka

Well-known member
Carrying on with this down in the bar. Just read The Book of What Cannot Be Spoken out loud to myself, (I always read poetry out loud anyway) this time in the rhythm and cadence of how I was reading the Cantos, seemed to really suit it - lines like 'Flesh slack and soft with seawater' seemed to demand it.

Would need to read again to figure out more what it's 'about' (city boy has bad acid trip in the country, among nature?) but it's clear this is a deep one, and totally unlike the others in the book, so showing good range and variety, and a real pleasure to read out.
the genesis of the feed is city boy has bad trip in nature. i was very pleased when someone told me the feed arrived on their doormat while they were having a psychotic episode and that it described it perfectly. those poems were all designed to work with time and actual events in that way.

the the book of etc is more aftermath, a year or two down the track and under heavy psychic assault, writing to survive, evoking all allies, trying to force The Enemy to come out in the open etc.
 

luka

Well-known member
the book of is more old fashioned in diction and rhythm partly because i was reading childrens books with mythic themes and story arcs;
the box of delights, the earthsea trilogy and lord of the rings and i wanted that tone and scope for the poem.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Finished now, read the the feed this weekend on a camping trip, so good. I honestly think this book gets better and better as it goes on. In the last couple you really get the sense of some great psychic struggle taking place, more personal and therefore more affecting than the earlier ones. I'll definitely be reading them all again in the not too distant future, blown away by how good they all are tbh.
 
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Benny B

Well-known member
The Book of...and the Feed are more (might sound corny but fuck it) brave than the others, more revealing of weaknesses and admitting to the dark side of the psyche, facing up to the heavy price you have to pay to break on through to the other side, as it were - that bit in the feed about family and friends holding you back, tying you down, (I dunno I don't have the book in front of me right now to quote) those bits were really really powerful.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Prediction tablet and Scrapheap sort of bombard you with all these images of everything that's fucked up and false about the world we're in, and all the poems after that are a progressively more human reckoning of all of that, trying to find a way through it all and break on through. I think that's the trajectory of the book, assuming they're presented in chronological order.
 

luka

Well-known member
really it should have vegetable empire in it too, it would balance the book in some ways, but a) we were too lazy and b) it belongs to an earlier period of development
 
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