Throughout Rake, Matthew Caley's fifth collection, it can appear as if we are glimpsing into the oblique diary of an immortal time-travelling rake, one who is seeking his 'one true beloved' through an heroic tally of amorous encounters, desperately trying to get beyond appetite - or possibly an entire pack [proper collective noun] of immortal time-travelling rakes. Or maybe someone imagining themselves to be such a rake, having drunk too many espressos. Be that as it may, what results is a series of beautifully skewed, left-field, back-handed love poems. Throughout, the forms used are equally promiscuous - tanka, sonnets, refrains, poems sifted from or alluding to Les Liaisons Dangereuses or Barthes' Lover's Discourse, versions of Baudelaire, Bonnefoy and Corbiere, an 'echo sonnet', sonnet-strings, mono-rhymers, a 'tonnet' - hybrid of sonnet and tanka - and most frequently, tanka used as a run-on stanza-unit. Throughout the boudoirs of La Belle Epoch, 80s Cold War Russia, ancient Egypt and the Wild West to London 1910 or LA in the 90s, but more often than not from these locations to the 24 hour neon of the contemporary city and back again in a micro-second - desire feeds lack [and vice-versa] yet yearns for escape.
Matthew Caley's Thirst (Slow Dancer, 1999) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and followed by The Scene of My Former Triumph (Wrecking Ball Press, 2005), Apparently (Bloodaxe Books, 2010); his `lost second collection, Professor Glass (Donut Press, 2011); and his fifth and sixth collectiosn, Rake (Bloodaxe Books, 2016) and Trawlerman's Turquoise (Bloodaxe Books, due 2019). His work has been included in many anthologies, including Roddy Lumsden's Identity Parade (Bloodaxe Books, 2010) and John Stammers' Picador Book of Love Poems. He has also co-edited Pop Fiction: The Song in Cinema with Stephen Lannin (Intellect, 2005). He lives in London with artist Pavla Alchin and their two daughters.
Us The Confluence of The Elbe and the Upa Skinny-dipper Man-hole My Hypothetical Lovers Foregone Conclusions Bling The Giantess Hither Green Thursday And Bladerunner From The Rental My Mistress Doesn't Like It When I Make Love With My Wife The Kiss Hat Chamber Piece Misery Memoir Written Immediately On Waking Eridanus Her Sleepy Egypt Archaeology Acute Hot Knee No Buffalo Skinners Absolute Gospel The Sleeper Los Angeles Octopussy, 1983 Low Expectation Threshold Quaaludes Dry Land If For You It's Tuesday, For Me It's Thursday Immortality Gursky The Funicular The Boulevardiers Ice Buds Walnuts Cloud-catcher Plane Tree Outside The Ritzy Laundrettes At Night notes for The Plateaux And The Horse In Each Movement Equanimity Arboretum The Young Hegelians The Salamander Afterglow Alacrity The Hammock