(Photos by: Amarjit Chandan)

Stephen watts

Stephen wattsNot that there is a gate to be climbed
through in my lyric -
but what is a poem if not an opening
onto an open field
The white sutra climbed into the sun
o my burning crow,
a slabbed path descended to breath,
a gap to infinity
When magmas rose in circuits toward
the earth’s crust,
red sulphurs burst on the steepled air,
already the open field was swallowing
our voices
And in the beautiful discourse of the
physicists, it was
the autistic poet who brought al-gebr
and music to the tongue
Giving to logic its lyric and its lemmas
and opening our eyes to
the most fertile and exacted images of
verbal disorder.

* * *

Stephen Watts is a poet, editor and translator. His own most recent books include Gramsci & Caruso (Periplum 2003), The Blue Bag (Aark Arts 2004) and Mountain Language/Lingua di montagna (Hearing Eye 2008). Recent co-translations include Modern Kurdish Poetry (Uppsala University 2006), A. N. Stencl’s All My Young Years (Five Leaves 2007), Meta Kusar’s Ljubljana (Arc 2009), Ziba Karbassi’s ‘Collage Poem’ and Adnan al-Sayegh’s ‘The Deleted Part’ (both Exiled Writers Ink 2009). Current works include an updated edition of Mother Tongues, Selected Poems of Ziba Karbassi and an online bibliography of post-1900 world poetry in English translation. He has frequently worked as a poet in hospitals and schools and in 2006 he worked with HI-Arts in Scotland on issues of mental health and well-being. In 2007 he was awarded a three-year Arts Council grant to enable him to extend his writing and research. His next book of poetry is due to be published by Enitharmon.

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