Angel Exhaust


Angel Exhaust

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 13:34:47 GMT
Subject: Angel Exhaust

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 09:29:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Directory of E-Journals <>
Subject: Angel Exhaust
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[On-line poetry journal]

[From the Introduction to Issue 11]

In which AE asks whether the ability of politicians to conjure
unreality, to invoke like Stalin the "sorcery, perfidy and artifice"
hidden in language, can really be separated from the artistic illusion.
The whole shape of contemporary poetry derives from the failed
revolution of 1968; when a thorough criticism of language made
collective issues or public poetry problematic. Factionalism was a
staking of Utopia; the belief in imminent revolution led people to fight
over shares in that golden future, above all by splintering. The future
reduced itself to the size of a front room or a Self. Actually, it was
Stalinists who believed that splitting means doctrinal purity: an
archaic, steely unity of will versus a generation that believes that
drugs and clothes are politics. A dissipative (centreless) theory of
personality as a flux of information led to splintering within the text.
Could it be that the bitter policy struggles within AE's Editorial
College are representative of something? After 25 years of flight from
the centre, all points on the periphery are isolated from each other.

We pay tribute to three of the great figures to emerge out of that
cultural explosion: Barry MacSweeney,Catling, and Allen Fisher. John
Wilkinson, adept at deconstructing his own personality, takes on the
glittering verbal fragments of Barry MacSweeney, and brings up the
crisis of authority by re-unifying them in a Kleinian schema: as Batman
once said, This is no mudhole, this is the operating table and I'm the

Quickly wiping the table, Andrew Duncan unzips the Bloodaxe New Poetry,
pointing out that play rearrangements of the concepts of class,
nationality, money and power, like so many coloured bricks, don't amount
to political art. Dozens of poets magnanimously surrendering power,
like departing Governors General in white helmets, simply reduce the
scene to the level of Bikini Beach. And what does it mean that the
mainstream is claiming the modernist inheritance and occupying many of
the innovations of the Sixties?

The poetry selection continues the policy of being to English poetry
what John Peel and Andy Kershaw are to Radio 1 FM, with poems by Jeremy
Reed, John Seed, Simon Smith, Maggie Helwig, Vittoria Vaughan, Ralph
Hawkins, Michael Ayres, Norman Jope, Joel Lewis, Steve Harris, Alev
Adil, Robert Smith, David Bircumshaw, Randolph Healy, Stephen Rodefer,
This time an American and Irish presence offers the possibility of
realizing what is wrong; as if consciousness were able to return.

A first review follows the hermetic and obsessive David Rushmer into the
desert. A theme of the issue is a tribute to a true star, the
Montgomery Clift of modern poetry: John Wieners. Jeremy Reed unscrolls
a narrative that leads from amphetamine in a San Francisco rooming house
to the Society pages of Boston magazines.

Original posting date: 
Sunday, July 30, 1995
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