Publication Date
Publication Status
Out of print
Poetry by individual poets
Trim Size
216 x 140mm



This book attempts to do something lasting with the dross of our daily lives: the ephemeral and momentary productions of the media, especially newspapers, magazines, and journals, are transformed into poems that draw the connections that have strung us all across recent history, doing much more than the word ‘collage’ usually implies. These are poems that join the dots, fill in the gaps, and suggest how poetry can once more be a tool for critique and engagement with the world as it is. Each poem tracks a different aspect of Capital over the recent past, with the Oulipian proviso of using none of the author’s own words, and using one quotation from a different periodical source per year. Although engaged with contemporary poetry, Capital also steps around it and strikes off into areas seldom explored in modern literature: human combustion, cancer maps, child labour, cold calling, organ harvesting, incest dreams, insect sex organs, schizophrenic speech patterns, the non-existence of President Nixon, euphemisms for the wages of a Geisha, global management, control and documentation of information as a corporate asset, radiant heating systems users, the spatio-temporal structure of false-consciousness, cheesemakers, swirling solid-to-liquid effect that the company calls Warpo, a mini-series about a mass murderer in a small Southern town, corporate hecklers, a quantity of drugs in glassine envelopes, Spectre gunship operators, a master race of athletes, a golden moon made from nashiji, powdered human bone material, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, reverse circulation mud flush, butterfly valves, metaphors of ‘virgin’ forests penetrated by white male explorers, sexy takeover visions, depth-of-field, blur, fog, shading, lighting, chocolate-chip cookies with limbs, and drone marketing.

Praise for Previous Work

‘If there is one book truly representative of the compartmentalised last century, this has to be it.’ —Sam Smith, The Journal

‘You won’t ever have come across a poetry book like this before ... a remarkably varied portrait of the troubled twentieth century; the years of the two major wars are particularly good in an extraordinary way.’ —Anne Born, Tears in the Fence

‘A genuine achievement – more millennium Eye than Dome.’ —Keith Jebb, Poetry Review

‘This collage involves great brilliance and grasp of the modern world.’ —Ambit

‘Startling and sometimes hilarious ... A Spy in the House of Years is as fine an example of sampling as I’ve come across. A text to enjoy and think about. Excellent.’ —Tremblestone