INTERVIEW – Poetry Film

This was a great interview I was invited to do last year by Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery of  Poetry Film Live, mostly around the Disappear Here project, but it was also a great opportunity to talk about Politics of The Asylum.

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Adam Steiner met with us on the day Disappear Here was being launched. He had already given an interview to BBC Radio Coventry and was due on BBC TV later in the day; it was a busy and exciting day. We particularly wanted to find out about the Disappear Here Project but we also talked about his not-for-profit publishing company and his time working for the NHS that had led to his new novel. The time we spent with Adam was filled with his energy, politics and integrity.

PFL: Disappear Here began back in 2015 when you, Brian Harley and Alan van Wijgerden, produced a collaborative poetry film of a local poet, Antony Owen. Tell us about that stage of the project.

AS: I was thinking about the ring road as public urban space. The one way to define the ring road is that it is like a new inner city wall; the conflict is there between it keeping people in and perhaps outsiders out. It’s also a nicely definitive thing of the city centre and in my opinion it makes inner city transport really easy as it’s just 2.2 miles and you can zip around in five minutes, especially at night, and you can see the city from above.

READ MORE…

 

Politics of The Asylum – ONE WEEK to Release! 8/3/2018

Politics of The Asylum will be released in one week…

The book is available to pre-order now!

Information on readings – coming soon.

Peel back them suicide doors with the ghost-town approach, relearning all that’s been left behind (to forget). A place without name, here’s boarded-up strip that seems to rise so familiar; a grin of shattered teeth in red-brick fading grey. See newspapers streak trees, shot in comets of torn words, worn leaves litter the denervated stumps, where small feet wandered from the path tracing new arteries, breaking rain in the mud.

At the warped door frame there’s that sense of putting pain in a stranger. Crying hard now, never knowing who or what hit; a flash of cruelty at close quarters, but never one of mine – I think. Shake it off. As lancet fingers pick at flesh still quivering and ripe for the blade, but not yet ready for laughing gas. Electric doors clunk apart, juddering open. Push, pull, hold for a few vital seconds then jump on through…

 

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You can buy the book here – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Adam-Steiner/The-Politics-of-the-Asylum/21795411

Politics of The Asylum – one month to launch!

My novel about the NHS, Politics of The Asylum is released on 8/3/2018.

Here is the first chapter of the book for anyone interested in a preview.

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Creatio ex Nihilo

I intensify atoms. With every step, every breath between pause, a rushing haze of red water flicks –to remind me– there’s that ugly taste on the lips. Picked apart the platelets crack stubborn shades to get floor from skin, but it’s already too late to try – must stay awake – rubbed raw a thousand times and watered-down to the same vague sense not red, not pink, a mirage of rushes cycles back around again. The big-red has blown, its heavy water spilt – but at least it’s not mine, it’s his.

Nurses and doctors blur past in stream of bodies to attend his fleeting melody –then into discord– a pixelating splash that conquers the eye. Quick-marched to intensive care via tromboning silver seraph pipes, grabbed and pulled, spinning faster undone through double doors of crowded halls. Paperwork explodes into crushed white doves, they’re slamming harder now but almost there, another lonely cell spirited on to the emergency ward.

Hands rest heavy on the pole (grip fast to what you know) waiting, still, to breathe in sulphurous moods from before. Those same waves flow in crystalline ammonia, a scent that guides me to motion as every sweep arcs harder, no different from the last, though the water gets bloodier as you go down. Every changing patient looks like the other with pain multiplied against laboured erosion. There’s more rushes and blood, more beats and breaks, stand well back to watch surfaces evaporate.

Splash out more water to send away the burning tigers that flourish in course, sweeping dead cells down the drain. This is the way: cleaning around the clock to make every one, every thing, the same.

Next wave’s splash and splat, then arrested by manifold crash at the skirting board, spitting up the wall – another door slams. Each sweep expands, a seawall that rushes to the fore. Our hygienic sanity is meted-out in harsh alkali flats that sting the eyes, cause nose to scrape and itch as tongue laps for moisture on dry roof of the mouth. See sickle moons etched in white as soft dust pockets explode with the rush of bodies, picking out the embryonic dots.

White-feather falls from nowhere, fading swan-like in the streaks and leylines of running bleach, only to be trammelled by crooked wheels, scuff marks and slashes. Pale light lingers on but I’m reminded of more work to be done by slow drips at numb wet toes, all dragging me back to waking life. Wet swathes gleam, still not dry, as if no time had passed at all.

Mop in hand. Press it. Grid. Grind left shoulder down to worthless gear, an apex wearing out and away. I am dust and not much else. Against my hand letters ‘NF’ rise, scratched on the handle as diamond lines that run into grooves of thumbprint, known by touch.

Set in plastic, the floor sparkles on; but the sun never seems to move on like it should. It peers through, marking fragments of chiming stars and odd kinks in the factory-pressed glass. Pick out the burning points that drag warped ground out from under. New signs of warming light break through mind’s cloud to give off occasional sparks in the darkest spaces. My tired eyes stare on, wanting to be there in those brighter places, to see their silhouettes shine.

You can pre-order the book here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1911331868/