Publication Date: 01-Nov-08 | ISBN: 9781844714384 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 96pp | Format: Hardback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
With grit and humour Zeppelins takes on the speed and surrealist chaos of the metropolis at the beginning of the 21st century. On the look-out for abandoned scraps to make sense of the sprawling whole – senseless advertisements, discarded notes, overheard conversations – McCabe hawks the fringes and thoroughfares for his sources. He discovers an underground of the cynical and power-hungry, shamelessly clashing registers with experiences of redemptive warmth and love.
Urban, inquisitive and with a restless interest in the now, McCabe writes about Pete Doherty's arrests and the Essex reaction to England's exit from the World Cup in 2006. Playful and serious, with an eye for the strange and comedic, this is a book about what it means to be alive in a city as we head towards the second decade of the new century.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Proposal; The Mananger; 101 Differences Between Poetry and Popular Music; Poem; The Nuptials; Axis is; Abu Ghraib; The Property Ladder; Existential Clubbing; Ebore; No Hawkers; Prac Crit (A Confessional Poem); Poems Overheard; Stetson's Book of Days; The Pete Doherty in Prison Poem; The Father Nut; Letter to Apollinaire Written in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery; Manual; The Transmidland Liverpool to London Express; Seven Perspectives; A 98p Voicemail Message to Blaise Cendrars; Headliners; BNP Podcasts; The Essex Fox; A Diary Entry; The Union-Business Negotiation School; Radio; Leda and the Swan; Shoreditch Solutions; Letter to Lorca from Costa Brava; Lifelong Learning; Sunken Lane; Amsterdam; Good Friday; Poem in Black Ink; Zeppelins; The Great Sprawling Love Poem
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Every afternoon, right on cue, a dark Zeppelin cleaves the western horizon of the Olympic Park's privileged dustcloud: in confirmation of Chris McCabe's prophetic title. Gloriously off-message, this necklace of language-grenades is revealed as a manifesto for sprung insolence, random migrations of a conscious soul. The dirigible poetry-sock, engine purring, floats like an unattributed quote over our shamed and electively traumatised metropolis. McCabe has mastered the art of the non-fatal collision. He shudders, on public transport, through a topography restored by love. Slender works by John James, Barry MacSweeney and Tom Raworth, scavenged from the perimeter fence of a budget culture, sustain a writer who is always on the move. The captain's monologue is brisk and self-confident; his beating heart is visible beneath a tight black vest. Book your passage now. The poet won't wait.” —
“There is a shortage of political poets in the UK, and of funny poets, and of vital performers and poets who fascinate as well as innovate. Chris McCabe lessens all these deficits.” —
“I thrilled to this brilliantly individual collection.” —
“McCabe writes with the lower-case lightness of Tom Raworth and the northern comic realism of Simon Armitage.” —The Guardian
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS
“At 158 pages, Chris McCabe's debut is shorter than Hutton's original report, but still an impressively inventive survey of the uses of English in the early 21st century. McCabe writes with the lower-case lightness of Tom Raworth and the northern comic realism of Simon Armitage. One key poem begins "we call a spade / a fucking spade".
The wide variety of lyricism here is distributed under five headed sections. The least successful of these is the title sequence, where public language has already been so badly manipulated that verse is reduced to the role of outraged chiropractor. But the whole book zooms by sparking with spot-on phrases: "onanism of fire", "car disappears in the ear", "red indians know our evil instinctively".” — The Guardian
“I also admire Chris McCabe's many-edged snaps of society and politics and Daljit Nagra's mordant monologues and syntactical experiments. All of these poets seem influenced by work outside of the mainstream, yet none will be satisfied ploughing the rainy margins.” —Magma
“It's common coin among poets (American and British) to initiate or react to complaints of a lack of fresh talent. Where are the Allen Ginsbergs, people say, (or the Corsos or the O'Haras), where are the young poets that aren't merely out to impress their teachers? The emergence of Chris McCabe on the UK (and hopefully, soon, international) stage heralds the arrival of a significant voice, one that isn't afraid to be young, express "young" virtues— spontaneity, nerve, daring, humor (both coarse and refined), all balanced with an unflinching precision that validates the whole package. The younger batch of American poets (Kirsch, Goodyear, Gordon)simply can't compete.
Not that McCabe is unsophisticated. On the contrary, McCabe is an urban poet with a keen awareness of history, and capable of a remarkably contemporary-feeling (and politicized) pathos. He's a lyricist whose limber use of free verse invites comparison to the best writing of the New York School or the Black Mountain poets. Moreover, McCabe's willingness to work with conceptual elements links him securely to the post-modern tradition. His "Progress Poems" demonstrate a facility for glib-seeming but dead-on irony, putting our humanist notions of psycho-spiritual progress on the spit for a thorough (and hilarious) grilling.” — P.F.S. Post
“I saw Chris McCabe read in Cambridge one cold night, liked what I heard, and am pleased those poems are now in a more permanent medium than my auditory memory.” —
“How great to find a poet who has the receptiveness to take in all the details of the urban world and who also has the energy to challenge that world and demand change.” —
Chris McCabe was born in Liverpool in 1977. His poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry and Zeppelins. He has recorded a CD with The Poetry Archive and written a play Shad Thames, Broken Wharf, which was performed at the London Word Festival and subsequently published by Penned in the Margins in 2010. He works as a Librarian at The Poetry Library, London, and teaches for The Poetry School.