Stephen Pain is a writer and academic. He has edited several American classics, and recently has edited and selected two anthologies of poetry. His fiction and poetry is to be found on-line and off-line. He is also the editor a forthcoming journal "Biorhetorics" -- a journal devoted to applied rhetoric within the life sciences.
There are some poets who like the magpie collect words that glitter and shine in the sunlight the unusual, the archaic and the exotic and like the magpie they toy with their object turning it over, stretching it, pulling it, for example, taken purely at random, the word, skirr, meaning to scour, search or to skim, a word familiar to the Ancient Scot, but one that is of little use in Brooklyn, And like the foreigners selling accessories from their stalls, the poets indulge their readers' lack of expertise and knowledge by placing Latin, Hebrew,Russian alongside the commonplace, so what is trivial and somewhat humdrum sounds very special even sacred like Byzantine liturgies. Of course it is not always incense and High Church, there are some who prefer the vulgate, the colloquial, the slang, and "buggeries" would serve well here, as the verbal sin, giving the poem that James Kelman meets Ronald Firbank touch, one acceptable to those who still say grace at the table and in the bogs will quietly masturbate, I am however less orthodox in my approach, as I tend to unpack the words, and try to explain what is meant, like an expert in a malpractice case, cf The Verdict, I open up the words, perhaps enviscerate them, see what I mean, but there are those who would like mysteries, and live dangerously without dictionaries, and have the word left undefined like the bread and wine through transubstantiation, taste something beyond our ken, something other than the topics of our daily conversation, "so skirr", "so skirr", "so skirr" and the magpie flies to its nest with gum wrappers, a one hundred yen necklace, the buckle of a plastic belt, and the ending of this poem.Stephen Pain
The crow walks along there as if tilling the field.- Issa