Reader, help me by Andrew Boobier
Andrew Boobier has learned from his reading and from his life; a lot of poets learn from one or the other, but Andrew has synthesised both, to create a keen sense of humanity. I'd like to be stuck next to Andrew on public transport, and you can't say that about every poet you read!
- Ian Macmillan

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Reader, help me
Andrew Boobier

ISBN: 978-0-9558400-1-2
Format: Paperback
Published: April 2008
Pages: 70pp
RRP: £5.95
Price inc. Postage and Packing

The poet Anne Stevenson has said of Andrew Boobier, 'At his best, [he] shows himself to be a gifted and original poet'; describing the poem 'Reality Effect' (included in the collection) as 'flawless'.

Reader, help me is award-winning poet, Andrew Boobier's, first full collection. His pamphlet, Kong King, may also be of interest.


Here in the park with our twins,
James and Sam,
we chew over the merits
of dandelion clocks and daisies.

In the mid-distance a plastic bag
vaults into the air, hangs - momentarily -
then shilly-shallies across the blue haze
of the box trees.

It flips again, up, over and over
through cornea, humour, lens
and the back-projected retina
to the optic nerve where it flares
a pure white negative space
beyond the dull fact of itself
like a soul, as Anaximenes would have it,
floating on air.

And so it is:
hard pressed upon the earth,
you feel defined by the absolute
weight of gravity and light;
as if that blue space between the trees
is the only glue holding it all together.

So many years I've tried to grasp
the significance of all this
only to find my hands cannot bear the brunt
of these shifting absences,
just as a bag cannot bear the weight
of its own airy nothingness forever:
now caught in the damp twist of roots.

A dog flits by
licking sunlight from the grass;
James looks up warily
from dog to Sam and then to me,
a minor distraction,
as we get on
with the looking at
and the naming of things.


The joke

It starts as a rumour in the back room of a public house.
At closing time it staggers into the car park to shoot its mouth off.
Asleep in a ditch, it crawls through the eye of a needle
and wakes up in the indolent mind of a teenage boy.
He carries it like a monstrance to school where each takes his turn
dipping a finger and savouring the gauche smell.

It's soon picked up by a cub reporter at the local rag
who feeds it to the dailies. It becomes a national obsession.
TV documentaries. Game shows. Questions in the House.
Someone changes his name by deed poll, and the lottery
is finished as a concept. People take to standing on cliff edges
above the rising seas, waiting for infinity to snap back
like a rubber band into their insane grinning faces.

© 2008 Andrew Boobier