the kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

A person doesn’t have to have ever written a poem to be a poet, you already know that though, I’m guessing. So the poets that shaped me have not necessarily shaped me by virtue of their having written poems.

Watching my mother drag two kids and a pram and shopping bags up the stairs to the top floor of a tenement block with no elevator every single day of my childhood taught me all I need to know about poetry.

South London asphalt taught me all I need to know about poetry.

Addiction taught me all I know about poetry.

Panic disorders, amphetamine psychosis and spectral voices at 4:48am taught me all I need to know about poetry.

London and Cordoba banging their frantic morse-drums in my chest day and night taught me all I know about poetry.

The crack-pipe in my mouth at fourteen years old taught me all I need to know about poetry.

In South London, language, and the commandeering of oral communication, was power.

As working-class kids knocking about on council estates all you have is your tongue, your larynx, your gnarled alphabet.

Spiel is an act of survival.

Every kid I knew growing up was a poet by another name.

We splayed the alphabet daily.

That’s where I learnt everything I need to know about rhythm and emphasis and repetition and refrain and the silences and crawl-spaces between tenses that hold a lit match up to life and death.

The kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth.

I’ve seen people murdered by glottal stops.

Verbal wounds you’ll spend a lifetime removing guttural-shrapnel from.

The bruised air of a girl holding her breath for infinity.

The beauty and fragility of a self-worth erected upon nothing more than the lightning dynamo of a street-kid’s hyperbole and rhetoric and bravado taught me every single thing I need to know about poetry.

And, by the way, I was that kid….

 

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here.

Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

Part 1 & Part 2 of interview series with Miggy

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

Ford Dagenham

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Yet another uniquely bound beauty from Blackheath Books. Their posse of authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year has been such a literary highlight.  Excellent writers that have unknowingly kept me sane throughout the bombardment of mainstream pap that cold drips into ones life.

Ford Dagenham has been standing out in my brain since I glimpsed him via the pages of PUSH and Paper & Ink .  A little search reveals publishing houses taking risks, and getting these writers on paper. It was through their zines that I stumbled upon Hatchbacks On Fire – a poem or pic a day until i die or don’t. My notifications always let’s me know that he is alive. I actually search out his daily fixes, straight to the source, a guaranteed mind ponder with my cuppa. Some writers become your morning newspaper, Ford is one of those. Admiring his prolificacy each post is one thing, but when one keeps delivering eye catchers day after day, that hold your attention, it just maddens and delights. Dagenham’s voice has a unique ache.

So onto his collection of poems.  I took Adelle Stripe‘s foreword advice, read it in inside a wrinkly hour in my bath.  A Canvey Island Of The Mind published back in 2013, presses on your chest. ‘Canvey’ is a play on ‘Coney’ and baby, this is this sort of poetry I dig. Irregular outbursts, misshaped and random tackling life, death and love with a tantalising melancholy. He spends a lot of the lines through time spent at work. A job at the NHS is not for the weak hearted and you would quickly accumulate a backlog of stories. Where people are “slowly dying of hospital”. Ford takes the time to remember, to ponder and to get the facts and feelings all down. He has a way of taking you on a path where he will either present you flowers on bended knee or knife you in the gut with grief. I feel his pen frantically reminiscing his view on the day to day, his moments he shares of his working life are breathtaking. Often sinking back into what he is escaping from “I read the black abyss in the liquid ballroom” A Canvey Island Of The Mind  takes you behind doors, physical and mental. Honest and brutal, Ford is a poet to follow. You can purchase this and many other unheard voices via Blackheath Books.

Book Review Ford Dagenham Poetry

the internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

The internet is the greatest art installation we ever built.

Made of light and longing.

The internet is a mass act of clairvoyance, the biggest seance in the universe, and we are all seers and the dearly-departed there.

The internet is a selfie that god is taking.

It’s an infinite sculpture made of blue smoke and our passive-aggression and we’ll only recognise our creation once it steps down from its plinth and puts its hands around our throats and throttles us in the name of love.

The internet is the scatological vapour and mist of consciousness made mercurial replicant of the quotidian and material.

It’s a weapon of mass disjunction.

It’s how they put a barcode on the soul.

It’s McCarthy’s wet dream.

It’s the missing one in black hat with hands behind the back who walks ahead of the hearse which is your life.

It’s a brain on fire.

It’s a boxing ring and you can feel the gloves but not the ropes.

It’s a neon gallows and the hood fits.

It’s an emergency room and all procedures are urgent and psychic and the walls in the theatre are red.

It’s a pageant of heaven and hell held in the little copper pocket-mirror stitched to your breastplate.

Maybe, along with pollution, the internet is the fingerprint we’ll leave at the crime-scene.

The internet is what happened to us when we became as frightened of intimacy as we are desperate to acquire it.

The internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves, and it says Hello, and it says Do you remember me, and it says I miss you, and it says If you won’t touch me where it hurts anymore won’t you at least acknowledge that I’m alive…

Even the worst internet troll displays the heartbreak of unrequited love if you look hard enough.

On the internet we are all exiled lovers in a death pact, forever bound together in the electric eternity of our yearning.

If you are an artist, then the internet is a heart and spleen-shaped clay-oven that you put your organs inside – where they’ll either melt and become malleable or harden like a stone, and that’s how you find out which kind of person you are.

So, the internet is a personality test.

And, let me tell you… we all failed.

But, there’s still time.

 

There is still time.

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here . Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

Part 2 of interview series with Miggy, view Part 1 here

 

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry

Miggy Angel

“Street, rattle your skulls, shake
Your pouch of owl’s claws, baste
My charred heart in your asphalt kiln,
Street, spit the steel bit from your mouth…”

(Litany For The) Street – Miggy Angel
Grime Kerbstone Psalms

 

It’s taken the whole of this year to get here. My review and interview with Miggy Angel. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms I read inside a sombre day in December last year. It changed me profoundly. Through him I discovered writers, artists, photographers and film makers that fired my imagination. His poems gave me the push to delve into myself and see what I could find. Mostly, it’s his writing and images with that unnerving reality that hits the spot for me. The honesty inside the dark, he unknowingly mentors.

My questions felt stilted. We did our best to have a bash and banter, but life got in the way. Whenever Miggy and I ever got time to connect, bit by bit, it started to make sense. Like ephemeral intercontinental pen friends.  A lot of the questions were fueled by my own inquisitiveness and when reading them over, they just paled into a wall. They at least became triggers for Miggy to answer. Concentrating more on the visual this year, he uncovers society, his images are fast and messed up, all you can do is be still and take it all in.  It is the most exquisite grit to view and says so much more than words, something I thought could not be possible in comparison to his poetry. I asked Miggy if I could just take his answers that he has sent me and connect them to some of the images he has taken this year. The result is a series of posts to discover for yourselves the unique insight that lives inside the poet.

 

 

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

My mum is English, a South London girl. My father was Spanish, from Cordoba in (Moorish) Spain. Angel is my middle name. I grew up in South London in the 70’s and 80’s as a Miguel (Miggy) with a Spanish surname full of what John Fante called ‘soft vowels’, and an absent father allowing me no root-path back to the origins of my name. So, culturally, you could say I have always felt like an outsider. Talking of Fante, I read Ask The Dust in one sitting, a solitary afternoon sat in a library. When I read these lines of his, which articulated something I related to so absolutely, I was again resolved to writing as the only way for a mongrel-hound like me.

“Smith and Parker and Jones, I had never been one of them. Ah Camilla! When I was a kid back home in Colorado it was Smith and Parker and Jones who hurt me with their hideous names, called me Wop and Dago and Greaser, and their children hurt me, just as I hurt you tonight. They hurt me so much I could never become one of them, drove me to books, drove me within myself, drove me to run away from that Colorado town,” … “But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father’s father, and they would have my blood and put me down.”

– John Fante from Ask The Dust

Miggy Angel is a poet. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available here . He organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

GKP

 

Interview Miggy Angel Poetry