Peter Finch: Useful

Peter Finch - does he really glow like this?

try some samples:

The Versions

Meeting Her Lover

Stuck

Truth

All I Need Is
Three Plums

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Peter Finch's collection, Useful, is marked by all the restless energy, humour and angst that is so characteristic of this compulsively entertaining poet. Among the varied subjects to come under the poet's subversive scrutiny are Modern Art, the Blues, computers, automobiles, ex-wives, recalcitrant children, aged parents, bleak Welsh landscapes, factory workers, writing classes, old shirts and beach stones. His continuing fascination with technique is highlighted in the second half of the collection which includes a short section of visual pieces as well as the elaborate code of 'One of Our Presidents: Six Variations for Tony Conran.' Also here are poems written for particular performances or directly inspired by works of art. A tireless innovator, an astute and frequently very funny observer of culture and society, Peter Finch will win yet more readers over with Useful.

 

Useful is published by Seren
paperback. isbn 1 85411 176 0 6.95
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Versions

In one version the edges
were like Hokusai waves
and no one ever listened. In
another there was no periphery
just a vast spreading with
everything getting ever thinner.
In this one things bloom so
fast the hands go dizzy. Standing
in the back looking for coloured
stars, pushing the truth till
it talks, making the eyes do
everything. Flowers are suddenly
so significant - bent by
heat - like animals. You paint
these things by smoothing,
wiping, pressing, touching. You
give them spirit - they
cease being - still so slowly.
Outside other versions wait
no one's looking.

Peter Finch

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Meeting Her Lover

I cannot talk to him about football
because I don't know enough. The game
roars on the television like a floundering
ship. I try books but he doesn't respond.
With his fat eyes he looks so dumb.
We try weather it's as exciting as
tyre pressures and motorway routes.
Outside the sun is enormous.
He car is shit fast he tells me I
couldn't give a damn. On the
screen the goals mount like fever,
men embracing on the green sward.
You take her then, I say, as
if this woman is still something I
have a hold on. But he's not looking,
the game's being played again,
on and on.

Peter Finch

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Stuck

QUICK BROWN FOX QWERTY
thus user's mouse dropped in the
butter - pink-smear on screen
from nail varnish - 'A' sticks
from bashing - lost temper when
file crashed - cnt unslot sloppy
drive full of fg ush - printer
out of ink - spryed ribbon with
WD40 top tip Cyber Bodger's Monthly
slime on roller - sod blck hnds
$%&8*-)9(?@<'<) - - - - unplug

Peter Finch

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Truth

I am having trouble with the
truth when I started out the truth
I had a mission truth is I believed
truth a passion but the zealous
relax fingers tarnish I am on a bus
not often now but this time
a parent speaking imperfectly to a downs child
trees at high speed - tone smiling heart full
iaith so fractured child can't manage - bachgen
bach bugger all we do is stick up the
culture with blutak truth too
irrelevant - child smiles amid
a pat of anifeilaidd mutter
iaith y nefoedd never ours or
our fault ever got off
she tried that woman by her
own lights truth's a bastard.

Peter Finch

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All I Need Is Three Plums

apologies to William Carlos Williams

I have sold your jewellery collection,
which you kept in a box, forgive me.
I am sorry, but it came upon me
and the money was so inviting, so sweet
and so cold.

I have failed to increase my chest measurements
despite bar bells
and my t-shirt is not full of ripples.
I am sweet but that is no consolation.
Your hand is cold.

I did not get the job, your brother did.
He is a bastard I told him, forgive me.
The world is full of wankers, my sweet.

I have lost the dog, I am sorry.
He never liked me, I am hardly inviting.
I took him off the lead in the park and
the swine chased a cat I couldn't
be bothered to run after him.
Forgive me, I will fail less in the
future.

I have collected all the furniture I could find
and dismembered it in the grate, I am sorry
but I have these aberrations.
The weather is inclement. You have run out of
firelighters.
It's bloody cold.

Please forgive me, I have taken the money
you have been saving in the ceramic pig
and spent it on drink, so sweet and inviting.
This is just to say I am in the pub
where I have purchased the fat guy from
Merthyr's entire collection of scratch and win.
All I need now is three delicious plums.

Forgive me, sweetie,
these things just happen.

Peter Finch

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Peter Finch Useful cover