Tag Archives: Jon Stone poet

Jon Stone’s School of Forgery

 
 
  
Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel. He’s the co-creator of pocket poetry journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He was highly commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009, the same month his debut pamphlet, Scarecrows (Happenstance), was released. His first full-length collection, School of Forgery (Salt Publishing, 2012), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
 
 
 

 
 
“The school of forgery is a singular institution, whose principal teachings concern the volatile relationship between fakery and invention. Both you and I are its alumni, and so is the bandit boiled alive in a cauldron of oil. So are the perpetrators of hoaxes, the writers of pornographic dōjinshi, counterfeiters in love with their teachers and teens who dress up as birds to fight tyranny. Its professors proliferate. Its graduates excel in every field. Its campus is the world.
 
This book, part prospectus and part fanzine, is made from stolen or borrowed parts – centos and collages, half-rhymes and homophonics, translations and travesties. Equally inspired by manga luminaries like Naoki Urasawa, animation and adventure stories as it is by earlier poets, the natural world and human history, School of Forgery postulates the poem as knock-off, as reclaimed scrap, and most of all as through-and-through fabrication.”
  
 
 
*
 
 
 
“Jon Stone writes angry, beautiful poems which access parts of your mind you didn’t know you had.”

– Luke Kennard
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
The Mark
 
 
He knows the only way to fake emotion’s
to fake (but not too well) lack of emotion
 
but not to get too tied up in its absence
(or, if you like, the pretence of its absence).
 
The last thing that he wants to do is hoodwink
himself into the thought he’s hiding something
 
and leave his mark believing what he’s hiding
is too conspicuous to be emotion
 
and too much of an absence to be something
he’d ever want mistaken for emotion.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
Send in the Mink
 
 
A brave thought has entered his head
at the unlogged meatus where skull snags on spine,
where the shower’s blast is wickedest.
 
Send in the mink,
the one with the woozy plump tick above her eye,
whose honey coal rope of back
could muscle the canal’s dark surface
here or anywhere.
 
Send in the savage mink
with her lower jaw like a toy anvil,
ex-convict, escaped skinning,
who snacks on smuts of bird
at this bloody bank.
 
Send in the unsubtle mink
who last week murdered an old feral cat
with no ears, called Fro, leaving no stink,
a few white whiskers to frame the badger.
 
Let this brave thought be minked out,
minked up, minked to a stain.
Let him sleep the sleep of a drunk carpenter,
asleep in his unfinished coffin.
 
 
 
*
 
 
 
The Not-Who-They-Say-They-Are Sonnets
 
 
 
I.     Alistair MacLean’s Death Train
 
 
“It is hoped that the publication of Death Train, and of further novels based on MacLean outlines, will please the many readers for whom Alistair MacLean’s death has left a gap. Certainly MacLean fans will find that Death Train … has all the action and suspense for which Alistair MacLean was renowned.”
 
 
Flung hundreds of feet in the air, landing in the snow-laced
predicament, she smiled to herself when trying to think.
“Balashika,” Kolchinsky whispered, ashen-faced.
First the rotors, then the fuselage of a Lynx
entered the compartment and slid the door shut.
Kolchinsky gripped the proffered hand
and unbuttoned his cashmere overcoat.
A light snow had fallen over Central Switzerland
where the train came to a halt,
which was subsequently proved to have been an accident.
He fumbled to unclip the keys from his belt,
the conductor’s look of bewilderment
from years of neglect. It was the only way in.
You have thirty seconds to throw down your gun.
 
 
 
 
II.     (Million Copy Sellers made famous by) Tom Jones
 

“We have captured on this record the greatest hits made famous by Tom Jones, sung by a different, brilliant singer and orchestrally played in a style which may give you great difficulty in realising that these are not the original recordings by Tom Jones himself and his backing orchestras.”
 
 
It’s not unusual to go out at any time
I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind
Last night, quietly, she walked through my mind
I wanna go home, I wanna go home.
I can’t let you out of my sight, darling.
Woah, woah, pussycat, pussycat.
I’m coming home to your loving heart
before these funny, familiar, forgotten feelings
go and powder your cute little pussycat nose.
I’m never gonna fall in love again.
Oh, what a blessing. I can leave her on her own
tonight. Hold me now my heart is
you, daughter of darkness. Oh daughter of darkness,
go and make up your cute little pussycat face.
 
 
 
 
III.     A Gay Girl in Damascus
 
 
A Gay Girl in Damascus gained a worldwide readership and was closely followed by news organisations. But the true author has now come forward – Tom MacMaster, an American man studying in Scotland. Many Syrian activists have reacted angrily, accusing him of trivialising or even harming their cause.”
                    BBC News
 
 
Oranges grow in the courtyard. Rania and I: roommates
finding pots as tall as we are. The city is seething
with younger women, guns, spices and grilled meats,
secret police. We are too stupid for these things.
We smell the rich funk of rotting fish and garbage
(gorgeous, knockout) at district centers and roll dice,
pour arak (lion’s milk) and play and brood. At our age,
it makes sense to build dams and lakes and add a cube of ice.
A red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad.
A battered tan Saab, from the middle 1980s.
A silver Mercedes. Men are comfortable in their sex.
But we saw that the end of the word was a sad, sad
joke which died in a gutter of some awful disease.
And after all these years, what happens next?
 
 
 
 
from School of Forgery (Salt Publishing, 2012).
 
Order School of Forgery.
 
School of Forgery reviewed at Eyewear.
 
Visit Sidekick Books.
  
  
  
*
 
 

Jon Stone: Six Poems

  
 
Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He’s the co-creator of Sidekick Books, a publisher of collaborative poetry collections, as well as underground arts journal Fuselit. He was highly commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009 in the same month his debut pamphlet, Scarecrows, was published by Happenstance, and has just finished exhibiting poems alongside the work of artists and architects at The Gopher Hole in Shoreditch. A full collection, School of Forgery, is due from Salt in early 2012.
 
 
 
Christina Lindberg: A Collage
 
from the trailers for The Depraved, Maid in Sweden
and They Call Her One Eye
 
 
When waiting and wanting aren’t enough,
you’ll see scenes of a girl – young, frightening,
growing up. Previously only whispered about.
 
She’s not a little girl anymore. She has
new interests, her own terrible kind of body.
You’ve seen her in 23 nightmares,
 
alone on a motion picture screen, everything
there is to know about love. Her nudity
is a weekend you are urged not to attend.
 
Her speech is unpromotable, a film
of feeling and sexual activity. If you are
embarrassed, put on a new awareness.
 
Forget revenge and the hard, naked truth.
She has so much to give: mercy, cruelty,
beauty that would make a shambles of you.
 
In the clutches of her, disaster is experience,
Stockholm a penthouse, the 1970s innocent.
There has never been another coming.
 
When waiting and wanting aren’t enough,
you’ll see what was left of every blow,
every cut. Shameful, you’ll see all of her.
 
 
from Scarecrows (HappenStance, 2010).
 
 
 
Kuebiko
 
I’ve come up his hill’s knobbled back.
Wise Kuebiko sees everything from here:
the red kites over the fringes of motorway,
the red kites over the soft skulls of foxgloves,
the teaspoons over the soft skulls of breakfast eggs
the yolky mouths over the remains of breakfast eggs.
 
Kate and I have come up his hill’s clammy back.
Old, wise Kuebiko hears everything from here:
the rill and trill of skylarks at Grimes Graves,
the long, sure breath of flint mines at Grimes Graves,
the long, sure, breath of the coffee machine at regular intervals
the unwrapping of plastic packaging at regular intervals.
 
Kate and K and I have come up his hill’s saurus back.
Bent, old, wise Kuebiko puts up with everything here:
the plague of Cinnabar caterpillars on the burdock,
the plague of joyless coupling in the bedrooms,
the grind of screw-tops opening in the bedrooms,
the grind of steady sunlight in his straw hair.
 
 
from Scarecrows (HappenStance, 2010).
 
 
 
1910
 
Egon is “wolf-handsome”, “young”, “a talent”.
Everything he’s done tonight was bought
with borrowed crowns – Burgtheatre, billiards, restaurant.
He’s broke now but surviving on a current
of affluence. He is no sansculotte;
his manner is too grim, his clothes too decent.
 
Those skinny things he lures in from the street
fixate upon the steep expanse of brow
and beneath it, all his features in a knot,
while his hand, on its lunge, reels wildly about.
He seems designed to intimately thaw,
then braise like so much meat the homeless heart.
 
Who, then, is this contortionist who’s packed
his shoulders in, drawn up his hips’ ridge and climbed
into the canvas, this shock of half-stick-insect?
Whose body is this, remote and derelict?
Who is this wastrel, hook-spined, puppet-limbed,
this goblin who ogles a girl’s near naked act?
 
Could be they were him but he, hating them,
cut everywhere their bodies joined to his
and banged them up in his sanitorium,
these sheets being windows into each white room,
and each day does his rounds, surveys each face
to make sure all that’s left in him is him.
 
Could be all he sees each morning, shaving,
is Egon – up-and-comer, friend of Klimt –
and, traumatised by, ultimately, nothing
perfects the mirrors that will hang like dinner gongs,
ringing with the proofs of inner torment,
and lets them enter him, scantling by scantling.
 
 
from Scarecrows (HappenStance, 2010).
  
 
 
Dōjinshiworld
 
“Interestingly, while males are the main consumers of commercial manga, females – particularly ones in their mid-20s – dominate the market for dōjinshi … ‘When the characters are a man and a woman, the whole thing becomes too much like reality,’ explains 28-year-old dōjinshi fan Kazue Kobayashi. ”
          Eric Prideaux, writing in The Japan Times
 
 
We came to. Nanao had slipped off her waspish disregard,
letting Shunsui scoop her up and tell her: “Nanao …”
Off came her glasses. Down came the rude disguise
of her hairpins, his hairpins, her hakama, and how.
 
We came to. Soi Fon, prostrate before Madam Yoruichi,
was tensed for the smack she’d been earning, slump
by slump. Madam let the promise hang like a cherry
then lit the nervous bulb of her protégé’s rump.
 
We came to. Love had broken out in the Seireiti,
sloshed into the parched alleys as if from an overturned
vat or cauldron, a broth once-stirred here to stir
the phalanxed hearts until each was hopelessly churned.
 
What had always bubbled now shook the saucepan lid
but more than that, what was never ever on the cards
came following fast. Everything male and supple snared
in everything supple and male – shinigami, arrancar, vizards,
 
captains and lieutenants – as naturally as Rangiku
finally spilling from her top or Kurotsuchi hauling
his daughter by her braid, a mass baptism or curing
in salt sweat that our mirror-world would find appalling.
 
We came to in a sprawl of books and pamphlets
that had poured on us as if they were one hotly flung,
intricately patterned haori. There in that flotsam,
we at last knew what to do with the other’s tongue.
 
 
 
Beach Swifts
 
know of nothing beyond the deep blonde flannel
stretched out and somewhat play-rumpled,
one edge sodden, one smudged with growth –
 
only the tunnels and tracks in Abergele’s
hot salty lip, or Rhyl’s, or Westward Ho’s,
the polished or pickled head-size stones
 
heaped, sometimes scattered, the beach
hoisting its seaweed skirt about itself
as waves scrum, bundle and dogpile, until,
 
spurred by some inkling, they loop
or scoop or jink degrees too far,
face down new winkle and limpet beds
 
oddly cluttered with chimney pots,
while their brothers and sisters steer
into a blue map that never stops unfolding.
 
 
 
Cloud Swifts
 
know of nothing beyond the Iguazu Falls,
whose 88 metres of halberdhead are planted
in a gorge called the Devil’s Throat –
 
only the cliff-face whose vertebrae
are bright with mist where they hook to it,
their scraped together saucer-nests,
 
the bubbling green grasses like hairs
in the oxter of a colossus, the whole high cove
where they’re safely sealed in until,
 
obeying some principle, they fall, coming
to equal the water’s velocity, to turn it
from sheer wall to stitchwork of scissors.
 
Then, with a pulse of will, each might
pass through, into the white, white cloud
breathed from a deepening wound.
 
 
 
Order Scarecrows (HappenStance, 2010).
 
Read more about Jon here and here