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Green Light: Ian Hunt

Green Light
Ian Hunt

From the politesse of ‘En Echelon’ or ‘Answering Injunction’, through the tense constructivist representations of ‘Destructive Impulse’, to the defensive operations of ‘Lines Inscribed on a Gauntlet’, Green Light reveals the powers and limits of resistant speech. In these poems, ironic formality as form of defence, echoed by the formalism of narrative or of mise-en-page, is softened by a context which dwells consistently on the construction of personal and semantic relations through contrasting tonal registers which both alienate and familiarize… Maybe the description at the end of ‘Destructive Impulse’, ‘The before / speech a form of moment / gone hard, now expelled / aphoristic because / no other container sufficed’, could serve as a guide to this book as a whole: the hardening/narrowing of the arterial connections between speeches, silence, and their social or temporal contexts means that the text is emitted in aphoristic fragments, and can’t be contained by the procedural rationality of forensic discourse.

£4.00, ISBN 978-1-903488-57-7, 2006

Out of Print

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Author Biography

Ian Hunt writes widely on contemporary art, often in the pages of Art Monthly, and is currently a lecturer in fine art at University College for the Creative Arts, Canterbury. As an editor his work includes two volumes of art criticism by Stuart Morgan, What the Butler Saw (Durian, 1996) andInclinations (forthcoming from frieze in 2006). As curator he has worked with Pamela Golden on her retrospective exhibition at the Centro de Arte Moderna, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, in 2004, and, with Fred Mann, on the exhibition Nightwood (named for Djuna Barnes) at Rhodes + Mann, London in 2002, which included works by the Portuguese poet and artist Ana Hatherly.

He was born in Rochester in 1962, studied foundation for a year at Canterbury College of Art and did a degree in English at Cambridge in the mid-1980s, since when he has lived and worked in London. From 1994 to 2002 he published the poetry imprint Alfred David Editions, including books by Drew Milne, Brian Catling and Stephen Rodefer. His writing includes a story, The Daubers, a monologue on aspects of transmission and possession. Poems have been sporadic, but begin with 'En Echelon', which announces an interest that continues in poetry's relationship with drama.


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from Green Light:


If for a long time no one speaks
I hear a constant argument,
a beat that can't dislodge

the this this this:
go in deeper and you'll hear
its acoustic subtly alter.

The hammering you hark on
mutates, bored by its own voice
into a new twist -

not doubled, necessarily.
Maddening light shapes
file past their predecessors.

Regularities in what's called motion
are revealed by persons
willing to play rock-in-stream.


As a voice looks down the bright
pulsed light tunnelled and kinked
under oceans, antiphon delay
I tried to not walk between
the wandering child and its mother,
eyes upraised too late till
pavement space star map
there being still lights in such a firmament.


Consort wildly as so much
agrees or is agreed
by a gentler conqueror than you,
soft empire where enquiry meets
shocks any would invade
answerer's bubble.
Indifference of air's mosaic,
Terrazzo levels altering
subtly echoic stutters.
We note historic arrivals
of accessories for removal,
to lull the deed, or watch
for what was learnt:
new joiners had other ideas
closed on accidents of birth.
'Or did you not ever
for the first time
go on an escalator, ever.'
And agree that it is fine:
seeing names pre-printed,
what can you do but look
about &, occasionally, sign.


They found the DJ busy on sorrow
and in the refusal found
the new sound they know,

so fast it gave access to exhausted
not quite slowness
nonetheless accurate

to the slight yet very frequent
shocks of the modern world.

is a political achievement'
repeated at ten dozen b.p.m.
it may be so still yet

outside in the
fear commas.


Around the edge and bolted
down, the pavilions.
But neglect the gods.

Rents in the broadcloth
through which the vignette becomes,
blinking from the passage,

ready for many entrances into singular
history civilian hairdressers become.
The gods 'are very near,

but cannot hear us',
the space above their level
occupied by glorious machinery of air.
Secular completeness unobserved
in last century's roofwork.

Even the hurriers benefit
from its built dispensation
and open transitions. (Audible
thunder in external hemisphere.)

These signs surplus to surly got down
verbatim. As a returnee from
illness marvels at simple motion.


With a felt pen I'll letter
unfamiliar letters separately
on a placard, the car lulled
safely to the space it takes.
I have wiped the previous careful
letter forms nicely. This reminds me
of the magic slate with which
Ernesto firmly taught
the importance of writing.
When the moment comes
I never make a mistake,
assure the eyes alighting
on the powderkeg of names
that I'm no ferryman,
just a cheerfully pale copy.
Rebuilt fairyland, it works
at least, I prefer it.
But by some trick it's me alone
represented with a family,
where I might want to be a cloud in trousers
or narrate imperium's grand-equivocal finale
or show them all the three cups trick again,
that it is never truly learnt:
in this I side with the child
playing with its shadow,
reverb of a saucepan lid
in anyone's noise orchestra -
I read 'the children will stand
and scream inarticulately
at each other for an hour together,
out of pure love to dissonance'.
I'll defer concatenation.
Except: do not make
too much of the past.
Sometimes there's no way
back to roman from italic,
we must just all
lean & slope onwards


To bush cinemas inclining
without the visible framework.
Truncation lightly carried over.

Piped music makes of air a watery pact.
Emerging onto a concourse
you find the audience waits,

all eyes upraised to the display:
Every destination speaks MasterCard
Truncation lightly borne
Anyone can play ambassador of an island state
So why this new, new pressure
Abbreviation enters, revise
Imaginarium of mixing, its faults
Quaint old municipal breeding
Life as it is; life caught unawares

Music for swimmers
Aquarium of removal accepted
Proceed to way through now



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