Poetry Pamphlet Reviews & Features

Run by HappenStance Press

Slate blue cover with white lettering and a horizontal white line from left side coming in to meet logoThe R-Pattz Facttz, Andrew Blair

Speculative Books, 2020   £7.99

Rollercoasting on a celebrity life

Andrew Blair’s pamphlet is a set of poems inspired by and centred on the actor Robert Pattinson. First of all, I googled to find out who he is.

Then on reading the work, I realised he is the springboard for ideas beyond his existence. It’s certainly an original, challenging and, at times, confusing take. Perhaps that’s deliberate.

The pamphlet is the published form of a Hidden Door Festival spoken event — so live performance, audience participation and comic timing are crucial.

Fact is mixed with fiction. Environments spiral. The reader is invited to engage with wide, sweeping vistas. A series of origin stories spill out like creation myths.

An example of this is the prose poem ‘Robert Pattinson’s Career Advisory Test Results, Presented Verbatim’. A surreal ride, the lines explore fictionalised, limited career choices. Alan Partridge, a wife called Isobel, and daughter Lynne all make appearances, as pivotal incidents are played out. Here’s an extract:

You will be moved sideways, Robert Pattinson, so the company
is seen to be doing something, and then quietly fired in 2025.
Your attempt to reinvent yourself as a consultant will be short lived.

In a stream of consciousness, Andrew Blair has created an alternate world, spiralling surreal images into biographical details. Poet/performer and audience play with each other through the work. A bold and unusual funfair ride.

Maggie Mackay