‘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!



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?]


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


but also in the paradoxes in talk of


which seems assured until


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


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

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