Notes on Pointing Launch + Audio Recording
After a little delay, here’s a recording of the online launch I did in August of Pointing, a collection published by An Organ of, tin beetle books. The launch started with a sort of preamble - a discussion and contextualising of the collection. I have paraphrased this thinking in notes below, if you prefer to read instead of listen.
from Potatoes become Potatoes (2017)
17’22” Untitled (I caught the sun…)
from Pointing (2020)
18’55” three events
21’33” A letter to The Council,
27’25” dough heaven
30’45” March, downstairs
33’35” on newly cutting coffee
If you want to buy a copy, they’re £7 - proceeds, after production costs, are split 3:1 between me and A Organ of, tin beetle books (@badsauna).
Copies are available from the newly launched(!) tin beetle website, or contact me directly to buy.
Pointing Launch notes, 05/08/20
I thought I would first frame Pointing today (with a nod to the potential for reframing in lots of different ways) - by talking through the different meanings the title holds- and how that might be a way in to the collection as a whole.
When I decided on it as the title for this collection I was thinking primarily in terms of Pointing - as in the replacing of some of the mortar, laid between brickwork, worn with age. I see this action as one that is at once - involved, repetitive, a honing in - but is also an act of care, because it is an act of maintenance and preservation, and by virtue of that is an act that has been preceded by a decision that it is something worth preserving.
So that is the primary motive for calling it Pointing, and then further to that Pointing as a singular action - an action of noticing, which necessitates an other in order to occur - so it isn’t normally something that is solitary. I see this use of the word as in lots of ways quite fleeting and temporary - and also a light interest, and not involving interrogation of the thing, it’s the first step through the door and could only be that - it’s kind of noncommittal, it is held in time as a really short event. However, within this context, of pointing with typewritten language, it can be both solitary and un-fleeting. The poems are all pointing from a place of isolation/solitariness, ‘out there’ to ‘somewhere’ - and this performative pointing only really takes on its fullness (other people looking where I am pointing) once the works are heard and/or read. To reiterate this, ‘pointing’ inherently refers to, and reminds of, one’s own displacement from the thing itself. You are always outside of the thing you are pointing at. That state of being in some other place - of you being here and you looking at something, and not being within that thing - is I think quite reflective of a lot of the writing in this collection, because it’s all rooted in place, even though it’s not chronological or necessary overt, (in the book, there are three different locations in which the works were written), that rooted separation, is deeply built in to the work itself. In this period of a year and a half in which it was written that feeling of displacement was at the fore for me because I was always in a different place from the one I wanted to be in, in a lot of ways.
I have also been thinking about the meaning of pointing when it is applied to an object - something that is solid. A mountain is an example of this. That static-ness allows the thing to contain, or embody, a lasting pointing. A mountain is always pointing upwards. It is unrelentingly pointing.
To look forward to:
Am working at the moment on a piece of writing entitled ‘semi sweet loaves for travel’ to be released next week.