Charlie Sayzz

A twitter haiku poem made from Iraq/Afghanistan war reportage, intercut with quotes from cult leader Charles Manson, will tweet 1st Oct onwards from:

The poem draws comparisons between psychopathology and foreign policy.

“An American nightmare, with its condensation of Holy Spirit + Charles Manson + War + haiku (a Japanese form that could recall of course another war)… Another voice among the voices, a way to explore trauma… Poetry should do this.” (Steve Giasson)

Charlie Sayzz is constructed from incorrect 18-syllable haiku, to be transmitted one per day for the next year. The haiku is a much-abused and appropriated short (17-syllable) Japanese form, often meditative and peaceful. It is chosen here for its very in-appropriateness as a vehicle for war poetry. And yet under the placid surface, haiku surely is angry, because it is now such a colonised poetry. The extra syllable in these ‘bad’ haiku is to create dissonance (in old numerology, 9 is the number of aggression; 18 syllables = 1+8 = 9).

The poem was devised by Philip Davenport and co-written by him with Richard Barrett, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, Michael Leong, copland smith and Steve Waling.  Tom Jenks programmed the twitter feed and shaped many of the verses as visual poems.

This project is a parallel to Davenport’s novel Charlie Says (2013)



The Other Room 16 – Reviews

The last reading in the Other Room series, (Susana Gardner, Peter Manson and Nicole Mauro) was easily the best that I’ve been to. I absolutely loved it. All three poets had me pretty much mesmerized for their entire set. There’s not a lot of point in me describing their performances though as they were filmed and can be viewed here on this very site. I’ve just had another quick look at the first half of Peter’s reading myself actually and am now smiling stupidly at the thought of what a brill evening was had by myself and my mate Fran (and, judging by the look of sheer joy that was on their faces, most of the other people in the room.)

Susana brought with her a little table full of exquisitely packaged poetry from her Dusie Press, on sale for a pound per item. I bought a selection, the coolest of which came in a squashed loo roll tube matching, if not beating, my collection of Matchbox poems in the funky packaging category.

I loved the Scottish and American accents of the night. I loved Peter’s fanatical flailing and precise pronunciation of lines like ‘the least dismissive of the leaf police’. I loved Nicole’s military style stance and how she seemed to smoothly slip something about a head wedged up an ass into every poem. I loved how hypnotic Susana was, especially as she repeated the word shore shore shore, turning it (for me) into sure sure sure and then back again and reminding me of Sylvia Plath, only without the woe-is-me-ishness.

The whole night was great fun with lots of naughty swear words and beer.

Jaime Birch

Things have been a little odd lately because I’ve felt quite directionless while taking a lot on. All of which means I get a little frayed. So I’m learning to relax and just accept how I feel about things, rather than trying to please other people. Which is a way of saying I might not be as generous in this review as I normally might be. So try not to take offence.

Matt Dalby’s take; for more click HERE

Yesterday was the latest reading at The Other Room, with three very good performances from Susanna Gardner, Peter Manson and Nicole Mauro. After a previous week where I was performing three times, including once in a jazz band, it was a relief to sit back and watch for a change.

Steve Waling’s comments HERE

Becoming Post Avant

The thoughts of Steve Waling:

“It was a pressure in my head that made me finally admit that I was whatever kind of poet it is I think I’ve become. I had a failing poem that annoyed me so much, as a last resort, I cut it up. Lo! A light came down from heaven illuminating the path I must follow… or something… Rather, I discovered that I didn’t have to do the whole thing straight, that going the crooked route was just as interesting.”

More here. See Steve’s reading for The Other Room in February here.

The Other Room Anthology 2009/10

A wonderful thing which is now going to press after finding the bugs in the proof.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Features readers from April 2009-Feb 2010: Tim Atktins, Phil Davenport, Lisa Samuels, Allen Fisher, Alex Davies, Matt Dalby, P. Inman, Tina Darragh, Sean Bonney, Frances Kruk, Craig Dworkin, Michael Haslam, James Davies, Tony Trehy, Nick Thurston, Sophie Robinson, Steve Waling, Rob Holloway, Holly Pester.

More details soon when it’s printed.