Today is World Book Day, and I have challenged the twittersphere to celebrate by either buying a book, borrowing one from a library, or writing a review of a book.
So here, finally, is my review of a book of poetry that came out last year - Tearing At Thoughts by Andy Harrod, whom you can find at decodingstatic.blogspot.co.uk. Tearing At Thoughts was nominated for the 2013 Guardian First Book Award.
Poetry book is perhaps a misnomer, because this is not so much a book as a work of art (and I'm lucky enough to have one of the 25 limited edition hard copies that were published by 79 rat press). The book is wonderfully presented, but what's really innovative is the content. This is a mixture of poems, short prose pieces, photos, bullet points of thought. It's a book to read by dipping into it, or by reading the chaos of emotion and living all in one go. It's a book to stuff in your pocket and to pull out when you need a thought outside you to cling to.
The words and pictures are not of one single orientation. You need to turn the book this way and that, which makes you appreciate even more what a precious gift it is to hold a book full of words in your hands, to be able to feel its weight, its texture, its presence, just as much as you feel the weight and presence of those words.
The sun shines and she only feels her aches.
Different thoughts in different typefaces. Different typefaces in different sizes. Photos of postcards. Photos of collages of words. Photos of photos. Streams of consciousness. And yet this is organised, beautiful chaos.
I remember a chipped purple bench. I remember standing alone.
This book is on one of my easy-to-reach book shelves. For me to dip into. Next to T. S. Eliot. When I don't want to read Prufrock any more. Go read it.