My Books

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WHEN-LISTENING-ENOUGH-Rodney-Terence/dp/1800494602
Independent Publishing Network, 2019 £5

I produced this on KDP and ordered 50 copies which I then sent to 40 friends and asked them for a small contribution to the Samaritans/

The cover is by Raul Cordero “Per la vostra sicurezza” 2000. Oil and polyseter on canvas 200 x 140 cm Private collection, New York, and the title has been taken directly from the writer Paul Potts, but he’s dead so I don’t have to credit it.

The Red Ceiling Press, 2017. Limited edition, &6.00 + p&p

Reviews

No sweat, it’s cool: verdict on new-look Poetry Cafe as pamphlets are launched

Saturday 23rd September 2017 11:46 am

REVIEW OIN WRITE OUT LOUD

When listening isn’t enough: Rodney Wood, Independent Publishing Network by Carla Scarano D’Antonio Friday 23rd April 2021 8:50 am Rodney Wood’s second pamphlet is an original and powerful sequence of 21 poems about a challenging time the author experienced, his own difficulties interweaving with stories told by ‘Steve’, whom he meets at a railway station after … Continue reading REVIEW OIN WRITE OUT LOUD

entry picture

This is a picture of a happy audience in the new-look basement of the Poetry Café on Saturday night. There’s no doubt that the old downstairs at the Poetry Cafe in London had a ragamuffin identity – and aroma – all of its own. There were those who loved its sweaty ambience, although I was not one of the

We were there for the joint launch of pamphlets by Rodney Wood and Kitty Coles. Their readings were preceded by contributions by guest poets – Melanie BrantonMaggie SawkinsGrant Tarbard, and myself.

embedded image from entry 70294

The final poet of the evening, Rodney Wood, pictured, was a revelation. As co-compere of Write Out Loud Woking, I reckon I know him fairly well, and am acquainted with the tercets he often writes involving repetition of lines and phrases – a style I believe he has initiated, and has dubbed his “little poetry machine”. But the said tercets in his pocket-sized, limited-edition chapbook Dante Called You Beatrice took me aback, in their lyricism, heart-on-sleeve charm, and in the hypnotic quality of the repetition, which works both on the page, and even more so in performance.

Rodney is a poet that has been around for a while, and consequently seems to know almost everyone on the poetry scene. In his introduction he spoke of the generosity that he has found and valued in the poetry world – and he was certainly generous in his introductions to his fellow poets on Saturday night. It make me realise that what can be lacking at some launch nights is someone to introduce the launch poets themselves – and hopefully this review can partly make good that omission.  Greg Freeman

The Lake June 2018

Rodney Wood’s Dante Called You Beatrice is a pocket-sized pamphlet and deals with that most universal theme of love that compels him to write poetry. There are thirty six poems all in the same innovative verse format that uses the traditional prosodic effect of repetition. Think Villanelle only more so as in the first poem in the pamphlet, the title poem “Dante Called You Beatrice”:

          of the dark blossom in your eyes

                             of the electric cello of your body

          lines speaking of desire

                                      of the dark blossom in your eyes

          lines speaking of desite

                             of the electric cello of your body

          with many a clumsy phrase

                             I’ve written so many lyrics

                                                that fall flat

          calling attention to my lunacy

                                      with many a clumsy phrase

          calling attention to my lunacy

                             I’ve written so many lyrics

                                                that fall flat

          to using those three simple words

                                       & just said

                                                I love you

          I should have gone back

                             to using those three simple words

          I should have gone back

                                      & just said

                                                I love you

Lack of punctuation throughout the pamphlet also helps to reinforce the effect of circling the subject and honing in on the thought through the repetition. There are occasional instances where this repetition becomes too noticeable and detracts from the thought. Overall however, these poems work surprisingly well. Consider this from ‘The Simple Words’. “Love”, Wood writes, “is everything/even when you will no longer be with me:

          it comes running over horizons as light

                             it comes like an animal

                                      like sunshine

          nothing will ever erase your name

                   it comes running over horizons as light

          nothing will ever erase your name

                             it comes like an animal

                                      like sunshine

The majority of the poems are love poems, not just for a significant other but to writing and poetry: “I write like shit but / I dream of villanelles and pantoums / I write like shit but / I surrender to the pleasure of words & you”. Throughout the pamphlet Wood acknowledges the difficulty of recollection through writing: “I’ve written so many lyrics that fall flat”; “I sit & can’t think what to write”; “I mess with words / but all I do is make them empty”. Despite this, the clincher for Wood is that “I can never be alone when writing”.

Despite the innovative nature of these poems it remains to be seen whether or not this form will be long-lasting or just a one-off experiment. However, that said, I can recommend this little pamphlet for its honesty and approach to the difficult art of writing love poems.

John Murphy

London Grip Poetry Review

April 28, 2018

Rodney Wood’s new chapbook collection explores the potential of an unusual verse form.
He appears to be the inventor of the verse form which he employs exclusively in this well-produced little pamphlet. It can be specified as follows where A, B and C each denote a phrase or sentence

A
       B
C
      A
C 
      B

For readers who are not so comfortable with algebra, here is how the formula works out in the first stanza of ‘About Love’

love is at your side                             
love is only a heartbeat away
love is a song & love is a drug
love is at your side
love is a song & love is a drug
love is only a heartbeat away

The other rule is that each poem in the book consists of three stanzas each using the afore-mentioned form.

This form can be quite an effective one – repetitions and echoes, after all, have long been a poetic device. Indeed, the editor of London Grip New Poetry has published several examples of Wood’s work in the last few years. When the components are well-chosen then the resulting poem has a haunting and meditative feel. With the best examples, a few re-readings will sometimes enable the reader to draw out a deeper meaning or resonance from the sparse and enigmatic phrases.

But it might be a risk for a poet to put all his eggs in one basket and trust himself to generate enough interesting instances of A, B and C to keep the reader’s interest over thirty-odd poems (which implies almost 100 repeats of the basic pattern and hence nearly 300 component phrases that will bear repetition ).

Perhaps it is in order to inject more variety that Wood sometimes borrows his ingredients from elsewhere. Thus ‘About Love’, already quoted, draws its words from songs by Amy Winehouse, Bryan Ferry, George Shearing and several others. Another is entitled ‘Beginning With a Phrase by Umberto Saba’; and two more pieces indicate that they are after works by Rilke and Goethe (but there is no note to give the reader more information).

When Wood is relying entirely on his own imagination the result is often a love poem. Surprisingly enough, the form does seem to lend itself rather well to tender declarations of affection:

a terrible love chokes me                                             
& I’ve never felt like this
I open my eyes
I repeat myself
a terrible love chokes me
I open my eyes
I repeat myself
& I’ve never felt like this.

On occasions, the love poems involve the act of writing poetry

because all I think about is you                              
as soon as the pen touches the paper
I sit & can’t think what to write
because all I think about is you
I sit & can’t think what to write
as soon as the pen touches the paper.

And sometimes the thought of writing poetry triggers Wood’s fondness for the absurd:

use a moleskin notebook & visconti pen                              
keep a daily journal & a candle burning wear a fez
an item of corduroy
use a moleskin notebook & visconti pen
wear a fez
an item of corduroy
keep a daily journal & a candle burning.

Dante Called You Beatrice is an entertaining little book that delivers more than its small size might lead one to expect. It will be interesting however to see if Rodney Wood broadens his range in his future collections.

Michael Bartholomew-Biggs