Rosa van Hensbergen – Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe

Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe, by Rosa van Hensbergen, is now available from Critical Documents for £4/€6/$9.



A string made function unchanges

by damp. It hears the train, but staid,

all knockerless. Tendrils aim at something,

gather meld. The red light losing it rinses out

pimps with wet art, renovating in staged

ridicule, to throw an ‘if’ post

hoc. Another stumped cough and pass on.


In sixteen seven-line stanzas, Rosa van Hensbergen’s Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe records the author’s introduction to life in Yokohama, Japan, where she travelled on a Harper-Wood Studentship to research and practice the art of Butoh. The poem inhabits those memories of the city’s professional sex life that were bombed out by a recent surge of gentrification, whitewashed like the skin of a Butoh dancer. “Wounds raw | but invisible.” Austere and voluptuous, Some New Growth is a poem drained of persona. Contradiction whips its tail as a typo amidst linguistic exactitude, as select prescriptions of starvation amidst a surplus of food. Social phantoms are painted into life and ordered to perform their way into unlit dead-ends through a coded language both private and historical.

The author writes: “Some New Growth was composed in November 2011, in a Koganecho room of a metre by a metre.[1] Its light was blinking red. At some point during composition, atmospheric pressure burst the bulb and turned the room into an installation. Red lights rinsed for Yokohama biennale. Dirts that got turned out that day breed themselves upon this sheet, in a Koganecho room squared twice over to sixteen stanzas.”

Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe is Rosa van Hensbergen’s third book, following Inebriate Debris (Punch Press, 2011) and Buildings, a collaboration with John DeWitt (Tipped Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in SnowHi ZeroVeer AboutHalf CircleAnything, Anymore, Anywhere, and Friends.

Halfcircle III poetry journal launch party

15 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge (on Christ’s Pieces), from 6:30pm, Thursday 16th June.

With readings by:

  • Emily Critchley
  • Rosa Van Hensbergen
  • Amy De’ Ath
  • Jonty Tiplady

The 52-page journal features poems by:

Richard Barrett, John Wilkinson, James Cummins, Rosa Van Hensbergen, Laura Kilbride, Tom Graham, Amy De’ Ath, Andy Spragg, Tomas Weber, Emily Critchley, Lisa Jeschke, Charles Bernstein, Jonty Tiplady, Keston Sutherland and The Liquid Bros.

Images by Lara Hawthorne, Harry Sanderson, Timothy Crombie and David Savagar and a poetry postcard courtesy of infinite editions (edited by Andy Spragg) by Emily Critchley, Tom Graham, Gerry Loose and Tom Raworth.

The journal will be available for the special price of £4 (usual price £5) at the launch. Wine etc.

Anything Anymore Anywhere 3

Action packed third issue starring:

Francis Crot, nick-e melville, Justin Katko, Posie Rider, Jacq Kelly, Iain Morrison, jim ferguson, Tony Leuzzi, Michael Farrell, Richard Barrett, J L Williams, S J Fowler, RODNEY RELAX, Rosa van Hensbergen, Thomas Moore, Pete McConville, Richie McCaffery and Greg Thomas