‘Broken Stories’ by Reuben Woolley, 20/20 Vision Publishing

Thanks to Mike Ferguson for this review of my collection, ‘broken stories’. He really catches the music of it!

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Jazz, music more widely, certainty and uncertainty, the breakages in/of meaning – these are the opening stories of the seemingly perfunctory but expansive poems by Reuben Woolley.

The opening poem & all that jazz presents an emotional attachment to jazz [can there be any other?]

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and this along with other music, the ‘flattened fifth’ of the blues in open skies, will be a recurring visit [jazz again in a later poem muted], that is if, as this poem warns perhaps, we hear the meaning of the story accurately in its ‘mongrel words’.

The uncertainties are implied in counting [whole poem] where

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but also in the paradoxes in talk of

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which seems assured until

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A love poem deserts embraces these dualities too, the lay-out on the page a perfect mime,

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The shifts and uncertainties get reflected in further paradoxical uses of recurring words, like the positive ‘bend’ of jazz…

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