“There is something in the world that doesn’t want us to live”
These poems have at their heart the use of the tranquilliser Serenid D, but this deadening benzodiazepine is also an image of cultural negativity: something in family, society or state that wants to suppress, control and nullify.
The wandering narrator of these poems, leading a hand-to-mouth existence in ‘bedsit’ London, trying to recover his equilibrium while working in a variety of odd jobs (cleaner, night-porter, night-telephonist) and coming across all sorts of refugees, illegal immigrants and mentally-unbalanced casualties as well as determined survivors, seeks to find his way out of psychological trauma, seeks to establish a deep-down place in his consciousness, out of reach of ideology and conformist morality; an existential base, a sacred ground, where we can all secretly exist. The poems are embedded in contemporary urban existence with its dangerous, noisome, invasive, restless chaotic life, but they face up to the challenge of recovering identity in an alternative space: in silence, privacy, solitude, through reflection, meditation and a restorative relationship with nature.
Peter Hamilton was born in Leeds in 1943 and was educated at Leeds Modern School, Coventry College of Education and Birkbeck College. He has written several plays which have been produced on the London Fringe, including SWITCHBOARD, DANELAW, THE REAPPEARANCE OF CHRIST IN THE EAST END, SKARA BRAE & BRIDLINGTON. He is married to the painter Susie Hamilton and lives in Mile End, East London.
Review Copies are available – please email [email protected] if you would like a copy in exchange for an honest review.