« Back to publications list

The torn instructions for no trebuchet: Stuart Calton

The torn instructions for no trebuchet
Stuart Calton

A companion to Three Reveries.  Partly a critique and parody of Amiri Baraka, for his affinities with the recanting Karl Radek circa 1934.  And partly a mass of applied and misapplied Kleinian theory half-illuminating a two-way traffic jam clotted in unbearable stasis either side of the heart's sliproads, when the dialectic is busted and the longed-for overcoming of separation can't be synthesised, we freeze or circle.

'As long as we are unable to make our own history, to freely create situations, our striving toward unity will give rise to other separations... And only a few encounters were like signals emanating from a more intense life, a life that has not really been found.'

These signals flash on and off through this book, slow motion heart surgery in a siege-engine under strobe-lighting.


£5.00, 32pp, ISBN 978-1-903488-83-6, 2013/09

Author Biography

Stuart Calton was born in Wisbech, Cambs in 1977. He lives in Levenshulme, Manchester. He is a call-centre worker and an oppositionist member of the Socialist Workers' Party (UK) and UNITE.

He has published six small volumes of poetry so far. These are Sheep Walk Cut (Barque Press, 2003), The Bench Graft (Barque Press, 2004), United Snap Up (self-published through Fenland Hi-Brow Press, 2004, now out of print but available here), The Corn Mother (Barque Press, 2006), Three Reveries (2010) and The torn instructions for no trebuchet (2013). The first two books were reviewed by Robert Potts in the Guardian.

Stuart Calton is also a musician more frequently visible under the name T.H.F. Drenching. He has released a large number of albums of freely-improvised music and musique concrète with the now-defunct Fenland Hi-Brow Recordings. These are all online for free download at the Free Music Archive.  His current label is Council of Drent.



More about Stuart Calton»


           [...] Meanwhile, towards junction
two Ring Road (S and Semilunar) I saw myself
expelled, B5095 on the horizon, a ship with bloody
sail, on the monotonous waves of the sea
split foreshortened teeth under a boot in an
ashtray forever. I type this in bright orange
wooly gloves. Eat split and die. Then all the parts of me
break, starting with the hands. The fingers in slow
chorus all snap in turn. Sound of snow. Unsanctioned, the
head bobs off, the fractured knucklejoint
held tight between the middle and proximal
phalanges of the left index finger inside the
tender flesh my skin stretches tight over swims
with the current of world-history, right to
left, from permanent fear to sycophancy, mutual
backscratching and ventriloquy the
individual in the typical boiled off through
space into the overflow. The future belongs to it.
Crack spreads on outer edge of right wrist. All the
knuckles ripen and bloom. That footage of a
still life rotting in time-lapse projected
from the verge up onto the next
hoarding slips out of frame,
holes dug on the field of the left arm bolted
on sight gone out as pre-verbal regression to
throat you incur on waking a hollow tooth
clipped and debased, separate and parallel adjoining
life stumps in orbit around what joke of a
malign space rib out wall scream through door. I
miss you. Give me an account of plate-movement, and
hold the accretionary wedge. Hypnosis may be an
experimental model of a naturally-occurring
phenomena in many families. Now make history the
predicate. You can see she plays well
for her apron is filled with bones. [...]

Website by Phil Meades