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Lost Republics
November 2008


Click here
Black State Cars
May 2004


Click here
Strasbourg
October 2010


Zinger

Alan Jude Moore

ISBN: 978-1-908836-35-9

Page Count: 98

Publication Date: Friday, November 01, 2013

Cover Artwork: Alan Jude Moore


About this Book

From rows of umbrellas on an Italian beach to lines of commuters in the rain in Dublin, from the ghost of Apollinaire in the Moscow underground to a snow bound truck-stop in Pennsylvania, Alan Jude Moore’s fourth collection, is marked by a vision of the world as a cosmopolitan place and not just a globalized one. 'Zinger' takes the reader through landscapes pockmarked by crisis and loss but ultimately resilient and alive with the hope people keep in each other.

zing ·er noun \ˈziŋ-ər\

n. Informal

1. A witty, often caustic remark or comeback.
2. A sudden shock, revelation, or turn of events.


Author Biography

Alan Jude Moore is from Dublin. His work has been widely published in Ireland, UK and USA as well as in translation in French, Italian, Russian & Turkish. His three previous collections of poetry, Black State Cars (2004), Lost Republics (2008) & Strasbourg (2010) are also published by Salmon Poetry. His website is www.alanjudemoore.com


Read a sample from this book

We Spend Our Time in Georgian Rooms Dreaming of the Future

We spend our time in Georgian rooms dreaming of the future 
The river roams narcotics rising through the systems & the streets
We pass these statues all our lives: we do not need their names

The sound of the sky is black with thunder & sheets of cawing gulls
Searching the surf for their purpose & carrion to feed the young
They hover their bulk above the wires of our tiny electric trains

Then drift to outposts & new construction built of dereliction
Into the plain livid always leave behind imaginations – 
Fishing boats tilt from side to side dredging bones from the shale

We are past the point of reclamation now we are embedded
Tearing our limbs from the concrete we think it has not set
We drag our bodies from place to place until we find a grave

A worm pit or a scattering that suits our aspiration:
We spend our time in Georgian rooms dreaming of the future
The sound of the sky is black with thunder & sheets of cawing gulls

We telephone   we email      we transmit some feelings
We mark time with photographs of sunshine and kittens
Or Sisyphus a smile singeing his lips 
                                                  set for the last great push 



The Futurist

Somewhere          there is your love
Lying in wait like an escalator

The apple trees shaped like a crucifix
There is no-one here to say otherwise

Trams meet in the centre of town
Like metal tongues sliding against each other

Or beached whales whose bones remember
Looking for some way off the land

In the zoo they predict the breeding patterns
Of an almost extinct African species

In telescopic towers we extend our reach
Scrape at planets with our gods and debris

Somewhere our love in the future waits
Like dogs in the wild
                                slim and patient




Coroner’s Court & City Morgue

smoking outside
the Coroner’s Court
of course
you are
shivering also
in the column
of uncles
and aunts
who stayed the night
to comfort you
the police outside 
watched through the window

the police watch you through the window


Copyright © Alan Jude Moore 2013


Reviews

Review: Zinger reviewed byAlan McGonagle for Skylight 47


Zinger. I love the word. The informal tang of it. The meaning of it. The back cover provides two interpretations and I keep saying the word bearing both in mind. Here are some more words Moore likes to use: Rise. Window. Distance Escalator. Umbrellas. And here's an entire line: 'we are the secret notes in background music'. Of course poetry is all about the line, and rhythm and sound, and with this, his fourth collection, Alan Jude Moore serves up a veritable banquet.

This is a batch of poems on the move. Moore's writing does not remain on home, sure-footed ground; his language does not take place in the bog, or on the land. No. He has a much wider canvas upon which to draw. He takes us to parts of Europe, across Russia and, interestingly, pit-stops in America. I do not get the feeling, however, that he is doing this solely for want of richer territory or for a more colourful palette. Indeed, offerings such as the ambitiously expansive 'Pennsylvania Truckstop', the lengthy, multi-part 'Perexhod' and the incisively surreal 'Do Not Stand Alone Near the Steps of Metro Stations' not only serve to highlight Moore's poetic concern (a world bumbling from crisis to crisis) and observational sensibility (evocative, symbolic, urgent, resilient), but more potently, perhaps, provide ideal departure points for the far-reaching linguistics that provides much of the collection's pleasure.

Laden with shrewd, arresting images — 'washer women dip their fingers in the moon' ('One Evening at the Well'), 'trains move along the skyline' ('In the Small Red Hut a Newspaper Seller'), 'do not jump from the window of that little skyscraper; / they have laid the ground with pillows / and blood transfusions' ('Do Not Stand Alone ...') — along with its formal abandonment and typographic playfulness, this is a collection with a set of arms and legs that reaches high, far and wide, coercing the reader into seldom-visited places of the mind and imagination. I was simultaneously intrigued, captivated, and curious. Who is Che Burashka? What is Detsky Mir? Where exactly is Butovo and how many died there? And has a poet anywhere at any time used the term 'coughing up limbs'?

There is also an urban vibe to these poems: a rugged, industrial sensibility, that acknowledges the poison in the fumes but clings to the possibility that 'somewhere there is your love / lying in wait like an escalator' ('The Futurist'). Repeating lines become searing paeans for the innocent dead ('Krasnodar'), absurdist instruction from a thought-police society ('Do Not Stand Alone Near the Steps of Metro Stations') and emotive rally-call ('The Power Station Looms Over the Bay'). At various points it is a collection both challenging and accessible, rousing and yearning, with the poet always on-hand to proffer a timely zinger: 'we hear the fingerprints of millions dancing back to death across black Ukrainian fields'; or smuggle in a heartfelt question in an almost chummy, off-stage fashion: 'listen, how long can you go on?' ('Perexhod'). At times the poems can and do feel strange, somewhat elusive even, as we are hauled across remote landscapes bygone historical events. So comfortable, however, is the poet within his chosen hinterlands that it is language and its usage — surreal, hallucinatory, mantra-like — that rises up and lingers like a ghostly fog. It is a collection that will reward multiple readings.

Many are emblematic poems, at times reminiscent of the surrealist poet Guillaume Apollinaire, the French symbolists that preceded him and the Russians they influenced; poems favouring dreams, visions and soaring imaginative leaps over more grounded representation. These are poems more concerned with generating mood than providing meaning. I can well imagine the effect of some of them off the page — at times they reach a pitch that is incantatory. I also liked that locales recur from poem to poem: the Singer Café, for example, in the playful 'Che Burashka' that crops up more poignantly in the titular poem, 'Zinger'. This is a welcome feature in poems that inhabit such off-the-beaten-track zones, the one throws light on the other, further lifting the entire canvas.

This is a collection that breathes new life, refreshes what and how a poem can be, and has certainly nudged this reviewer towards earlier work. If this is a poet you are encountering for the first time I urge you to do likewise.
 

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