Vertical Prose, Peter S Smith
Sampson Low Ltd, 2016 £2.00 + £1.20 P&P
Horizontal commentary on vertical insubordination
This little pamphlet takes a quote from Clive James (about ‘the kind of poetry that is just prose arranged vertically’) and runs with it.
My ‘attempts to write about things’ are ‘just prose arranged vertically’ says the author on the back jacket.
The photographs, however, which face every text page, show “Urban Poetry”— numbers and symbols on paving stones. I don’t know what they are, but they look like clues, and they make me think about direction. Vertical, horizontal directions/instructions. Ways of doing things. The ways things should be done.
And what happens when you mishear, or deliberately disobey.
This is an insubordinate publication. It wisely doesn’t take risks because ‘They may belong / to someone else’.
It arranges its own risks vertically.
No wonder it sold out.