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Gresswell’s verse folds in cut-up found texts, radical political sloganeering, allusions rarefied and pop cultural, language experiments, raw humour, obscenity, keen-eyed observation, and a deeply lyrical strain. The result is abrasive and bracing – poetry that philosophizes while making crude gestures, flings shit at you while giving a profound and moving account of the damage wreaked by capital on life. It is verse that takes syntax and semantics out the back and gives them a pasting, verse that revels in the sheer joy of phonetics, the vertiginous bliss of the sounds words can make, irrespective of their meanings. The effect is powerful. In ‘Literature and Life’, Deleuze describes how the writer of potent literature will return ‘from what he has seen and heard with bloodshot eyes and pierced eardrums.’ And there is a strong sense of this here – of work hard won, seething with intensity. But there is also irreverence and levity in this collection too, a sense these poems teeter on the brink of despair, and might, at any moment, go over the edge, plummet into sheer joy.


– Timothy J. Jarvis, author of The Wanderer


'Jargon Busters' by Clive Gresswell (83 pages)


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