Jane Burn reviews Grant Tarbard’s ‘Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World’



Grant Tabard’s Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World led me into it with immediate interest – the contents page alone is full of such curiosities such as Snuff of the Disappeared and Beaks. I knew from this that I would want to read more.

This is a collection which deals with illness, horror and death.

‘My leg is split in two,
clamps keeping the exposed pink tendons

of the supple flesh peeled –
the shadow of my emptied skin’

Throughout, he is unwilling to ‘admit to devastation’ – you do feel beneath it all his irrepressible love of words, loved ones and life, there is darkness within but it has a cast of magic upon it. Musical and satisfyingly wordsome, the poems roam from lilies to kidneys, sperm to sun, mulberry to cellophane, spud gun to sparrows. The world around us upsets as it uplifts.

‘I will mend you with the brushstrokes of my words’

It is a collection of remembrances – you strongly feel Tabard’s belief in the survival of love. Love bites you, life burns you but the poems suggest an inevitable going on and a stubborn will to go on noticing the important little things. The poems have a hallucinogenic quality – a dreamlike, between states feel. You get the feeling Tabard is trying to stay above water – he is floating and the poems are cast as life

He ends the collection in measured consideration of small seeming but powerful moments.

‘The mindfulness of breathing,
now is the eternity.’

Also, I now really, really want a Faberge clothes peg.



Order your copy of Grant Tarbard’s Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World published Platypus Press by here: http://platypuspress.co.uk/lonelinessisthemachinethatdrivestheworld


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