Simon Howard’s Wrecked

Simon Howard was born in Fulham, London, in 1960. He attended University College London & was active as a poet until the early 90s when self-disenchantment with his voice led to muteness. He began to publish again in the late 2000s; his books are ZOOAXEIMPLODE (The Arthur Shilling Press), Numbers (The Knives Forks & Spoons Press), adrift (The Red Ceilings Press) & recently Wrecked (Oystercatcher Press). He has contributed to a tribute volume for Barry MacSweeney & has a blog at where much of his work is available. He has four poems forthcoming in the second edition of Snow, the new literary magazine edited by Anthony Barnett & Ian Brinton.
“Simon Howard’s poetry has the rare quality of evoking ‘images’ whose ‘sonic’ component is as memorable as (and indistinguishable from) the visual – and not because musical references are threaded through the poems; rather, everything in this poetry emerges from an obsessive sensitivity to a music which is not just ‘in’ the words but surrounds and informs them, in ways that no other poetry I know can do.”

– Richard Barrett
All my fascist uncles / all my cannibal nieces
& wonderfully a multitude of green butterflies flutters from our stony mouths

The lines give a sense of the breadth of Howard’s landscape. A landscape of stones, of green LED lights, the screen, keyboard clicks, domesticity, songbirds somewhere. Quiet terror, silent determination, endless waiting. Eerie as Hegel, peaceful as unrest. Wrecked is a remarkable chronicle, a calm refusal of the implosive Tory apocalypse.”

– Sean Bonney
Wrecked is a collection sewn tightly with ephemeral, vivid dreamscapes that dart from butterflies to the odd polar bear. The transience of nature is contrasted with signifiers of everyday life such as chairs, cupboards and cigarillos. Complete with a Teutonic instrument that continues to lure the reader further in, it is a book in which the musicality remains with the reader well after it is finished. Each word is packed with a precision that would make the most attentive of double bass players blush. London Town may be invisible, but Wrecked’s charm and cohesion is there for all to see.”

– Sarah Crewe
“Read outside, through the damage. These lyrics ring out vestiges of song in silent alphabets, in the calligraphy of birds and plants. Short lines find their way into pathways, fragments return in cannibal tongues and singular scores. There is wonderful order here, and the work of encountering what it might continue to be, while the pelting of sounded and violent contradiction goes on. Listen to the stranger, to what flutters from mouths: you are here.”

– Carol Watts
What is said will be any secret
the slow trudge

down day
break hill

proscribed pro-scribed –

scribbleenscrypted –
big cat found in a block of ice

theory = universal peace by
means of perpetual war &


Late afternoon
the weather clearing

sky gaze
a beautiful gauzy blue

pale green goldening, motionless

levitation, a bramble scratch
a vocalise

the interweaving undergrowth
Disquiet at finding myself inside a house
with good weather outside, inside the branches thrashing

incompatibility of remembered imagination & memory
she’d worked in a circus in a land

where the moon is blank the stars never lose brilliance

of course blindfold assassinations
are something they do when rationalising their militias

& wonderfully a multitude of pale green butterflies
flutters from our stony mouths


Forest of lautenklaviers
twanging & chattering

there’s been no news of her lately
& a light bulb burnt out

told me I couldn’t stay

all I hope for is to listen to the silent streets
a barrel rolling down a ramp

archaic formation
strolls in like a blind king
We walk out on them laughing
put on surgical gowns for party

games o eerily quiet everything hidden
even the inconsolable

I think someone is asking us their identity

was known as navigator’s parsley
or incendiaries

a boat on a canal
in the next country by alphabet


Everyone drinking hard
or otherwise drugged sober

insect dreams project
on tiny screens inside our tears

what flower do you associate with a quiet day in your life(?)

I think I can make me
out moving behind curtains

though he may also be invisible
just like London Town
(for my mother)
The strangers exchange smiles
now I can’t stop smiling

dark bees swim inside
a radiant Absolute

a white perfumed bush
lifts into the sky below my feet

there are advertisements forgotten
on a patch of forgetful ground

describe your experiences of semi-invisible architecture
try to stop crying

we were waiting for a train
when a huge tempest broke over the sea, I

attributed your exemplary calm
to my eating an ice cream
from Wrecked (Oystercatcher Press, 2013).
Order Wrecked.
Read Ian Brinton’s review at Tears in the Fence.
Visit Simon’s blog.

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