Outside, The Box


Outside, The Box
By Sue Kindon
4Word Press – £5.99

I could get used to living

in this brittle body.
I will walk it in the mountains
to tire it of self-pity;
lend it my reading glasses,
the better to see through its own

               (‘Settling In’)

Gone astray. They were there, from Monday to Saturday, locked in the vestry with vases of stagnant hymn books, for telling stories or bad colouring-in. The hands don’t know I’m out on the hillside with Marie Antoinette, gathering bilberries for bible-jam.

               (‘I am not your Shepherdess’)

The prime objective with correct and essentially inspired poetry, is to reach out and make an almost immediate impression – if not some sort of indeterminate connection.
Regardless of how tenuous or frivolous.
Or blasphemous.
Or come to that, even subject matter.

Suffice to say, the word ‘correct’ is fundamentally subjective in this instance; as what one may deem as being correct, might well be considered as literally impotent, incorrect and perhaps utter hogwash by another.

There again, The Waste Land wasn’t written in a day.
And if these thirty-three poems are anything to go by, neither was Sue Kindon’s Outside, The Box. 

At times delicate and beautiful – not to mention ethereal and eco-mystical – a number of these poems simply penetrate ones’ all to (collectively) considered protective psyche, by way of being both implausible yet impossible to refute.

An altogether non-solipsistic process in other words, that is openly and ultimately ordained by way of (dare one say it) the truth.
The centrifugal rubric of which is touched on by Kindon herself in this pamphlet’s touching Preface: ‘’My subject matter is anything that strikes me – something I can push against that might give; a hunch worthy of being pursued. It’s not a question of sitting down and thinking I’d like to write a poem about that. The that must demand a voice.’’

And if Outside, The Box has anything, it’s most certainly the majestic vortex of a mighty b-i-g voice; of which the two aforementioned poems (‘Settling In’ and (‘I am not your Shepherdess’) the title poem itself, ‘Eve’ and ‘Beach Hut Funeral’ are extremely fine examples:

We wear our tears
like shiny badges
with sharp pins

and smile wearily
through the urge to sob.
Who will be next to give way


We tread water, and smile
For each other; first one home,
Put the kettle on.

To say that many of these poems are anchored within a subliminal slipstream of acute transcendence, might be something of an understatement; but there’s absolutely no denying the detonatory beauty contained herein.

Here’s to the sequel (Inside, The Box?).

David Marx


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