Rupert Loydell


Question 1

I am wasting away, baking under
that halogen moon
with the flowers crowing
at my feet. And the cats.
And the coats. And

perched on a floor of bacteria,
breaking my back for
a chance to catch the rain.
There are better ways to
find inspiration. There are better

ways to kill my demons
than flogging my working-class
lifestyle to within an inch of
its stereotypes. Where do you exi
st? How do you find inspiration?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

I exist where I am,
am worn out from trying
to be otherwise.
Inspiration is a state
of mind not a moment
to aspire to. I believe
in processes and forms,
poems triggered by
overheard words
or something strange
in the news, a blue
in the corner of my eye.
I work to make words work
then use the cat to calm me
when the world gets too much.

– Rupert Loydell

Question 2

Laments +
Incantations
failed to resonate with me –
because I seek to understand
why the notches on bark are still
so tender, rather than to examine
the shape and call it nature.
What do you search for
in using your
words?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

I search for awkward
-ness and surprise,
strange contrasts
and juxtapositions,
ways to re- and de-
contextualise all
the noise around us.

It’s more of a filter
than a search,
there’s so much
language in the air
I find it hard to
listen or to hear.

Parataxis. Collage.
Words as dodgems:
bumping and bruising
each other; atoms
spinning, invisible.
Parts put together
to make wholes.

– Rupert Loydell

Question 3

…and there is peace
four thousand
one hundred
odd
miles away.

…but it is sinking
into the sand
and forgetting I
ever
called it a father.

Shiring
 
so I drown
with every rapid
eye movement,
para
somniac. Praying

…to be heard
four thousand
one hundred
odd
miles away.

Shearing
 
How far have
you gone to
make maps
and
burn bridges?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

Mostly, bridges
were burned
before me:
my father dying,
a friend in a car
crash, grandma
gone away.

The farthest
I’ve ever gone
was to here,
uprooting family
and leaving
a house I loved.

Hindsight is
a marvellous thing.

I write through
my worries,
make maps
with words
torn from
other pages,
assemble
instructions
for the future.

Foresight is
a wonderful thing.
(If only we’d
known back then.)

– Rupert Loydell

Question 4

Let us be writers,
in the arc of the night
meeting morning,
waiting for Prynne’s first snow.
Why not any other pursuit?
Above all else I find
there is reason to calcify
all emotion
into ink
and pour it onto paper.
Let us be midwives.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

I don’t want
poetry as emotion,
it’s not empathy
and ego, it’s all
about language.

I don’t presume
my experience
is worth more
than anyone else’s,
try not to presume

at all. Midwife
to poems, perhaps;
but I have plenty
of other pursuits
to explore too:

paint and pencil,
music, boats,
real ale and
conversation.
Wait for no-one.

– Rupert Loydell

Question 5

Whether a blue
or a blur,
in the eye
or I,
each decision must
provoke,
or presume
that the reader
cares about the choice.

I read your beginnings
as tempted to a poetry group
by Brian Louis Pearce.
I wrote
before being welcomed,
but wrote
poorly.
It wasn’t until you
burst my bubble

and helped me kill
my darlings,
that I felt I even cared
which words to use.
Do you feel you’ve played
that role in any other
lives? Or had that
role performed
for you?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

Brian was a sweet man
and we were friends
until he died. He taught
me about syllabics,
modern art, how to
see with a writer’s eye.

I’m sorry I burst
your bubble but
it seems to have
worked out well.
Yes, many gave
me a hard time
about my work
and made me
start again.

Andy Brown arrived
in Exeter full of avant-
garde experiment;
Tony Lopez taught
me on my MA, and
I stopped writing
for a while because
it was all so new
and my head got
in a whirl.

If they pulled me
toward experiment,
the physicality of words,
then others since
have made me look
at content again –
how to rant and rave,
at love and the lyric,
how words sit with song.

I hope I’ve changed
writers’ lives, or
at least their writing.
I’ve published authors
who’ve gone on to
be famous, taught
student writers who
now have book deals.
I hope they have fond
memories, but it’s all
their own work I read.

– Rupert Loydell

Question 6

I never know what words to build
into brick, wet walls, when my
trauma has healed. Where to place
punctuation, when my mouth
is void of exclamation
marks. What questions to field
when I’ve trimmed the bark
and triggered synthetic
sunshine from unexpected
punchlines. What ways to kill
my angels when my demons
are avenged and descend.
What good is a poet when
he has no reason to write?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 6

No use at all.

But words
are always
enough reason
to keep on.

I have never
run out of
ways and means
and processes.

And trust me
I think there are
too many poets
and poems
in the world
all of no use.

That’s our charm.

– Rupert Loydell

Rupert Loydell answered TEN questions. Question/Answer 5 through to 10 will be released in due course.

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