Adventures in poetry
Publication date: 31st October 2014
Bobby Parker’s poems play truth or dare, baring the soul of the small town blues: undaunted by subject matter and fearless of propriety or prettiness, he writes with dynamic clarity of frightening, lonely places within and without our selves.
In this debut full collection, Parker holds back on nothing – both daringly up-front and utterly candid, Blue Movie veers between disaster, horror, comedy, sex, drugs, love and parenthood with dare-you-to-laugh brilliance. Along with their starkness and mucky-faced honesty, these poems are meticulously crafted, canny, and always one step ahead.
"When you've been awake all night, and the sun comes up, and you're deafened by the sound of your own slowing heartbeat, your body now left to the wasteland of noradrenaline and the sheer terror of being alive, you might fall apart. Or like Bobby Parker has done with this beautiful collection, breathe through it as though it's one long exhalation of the lived experience. This is what is revealed here on paper; the thrill of higher-than-highs and the destitute howl of the lows, as friend, husband, lover, parent, user, son, and magically gifted writer. Here is generosity. Here is Love." - Melissa Lee-Houghton
"It doesn’t take long to realise that the poems in Bobby Parker’s Blue Movie routinely visit places most poems wouldn’t dare to look; the cumulative effect of the book is a bit like watching someone unpeel strips of carpet from the floors of a room you know well to discover masses of teeming, unexpected life beneath: here is horror, hilarity, inanity, longing, deprivation, love, cruelty, loss… Reading Parker’s poems is like studying the undersides of those writhing, ragged strips. While this work is avidly and darkly concerned with personal histories, there is no comfort, none of the easy nostalgia that remains the touchstone of so much UK poetry here: the past is properly and disturbingly present, like a corpse in the house. I have rarely encountered work that risks ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’ with such frequency, recklessness and exuberance – perhaps it is through the relation of these extremes that the real contemporary richness of Parker’s work trades: it is here it places its special wager. The most surprising thing about these poems, considering their bleakness, is the lasting sense of excitement and hope: defeated many times over, these are poems still besotted with language and life, and they present a fresh challenge (and genuine cause for alarm) to the cosy refinements and polite distinctions of the vast majority of contemporary British poetry. They rub the shit of real life into literature’s carpet. They dare you to think they’re kidding. They are never the first to blink, or to turn out the light." - Sam Riviere
Bobby Parker was born in 1982 and lives in Kidderminster, England. Publications include the critically acclaimed experimental books Ghost Town Music and Comberton, both published by The Knives Forks & Spoons Press. His poetry, artwork and photography have appeared in various reputable magazines in print and on-line. He writes a poetry column for The Quietus. His reading style has been described as “Gripping, weird, relatable but alienating, emotional, totally fantastic poetry.”- Café Writers.