About Rupert Mallin

Over 400 poems published in magazines and journals in the UK and abroad; plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and others staged in theatre. Volumes of poetry published include 'Suffer Suffolk' (joe soap's canoe) and 'Blood in the Thistle Bowl' (Redbeck Press).

Have held a number of writing and mixed arts residencies in schools and the community, and have delivered hundreds of projects, workshops and courses.

Recent work includes: 'Rant Score' (pavement poems) shown at the Taxi Gallery 2004; 'The Town Hall Installation,' SeaChange Studios, 2004; the Air Field Collaboration 2004–5; 'Site Specific Project,' 2005; Waterways' 'The Dragon Hall Project,' 2006; and work for Norfolk Arts Partnership (a series of youth democrary projects), 2006-7.

Immensity

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 21 March 2007 at 19:22 in Poetry

Tags: distance love the earth

Something immense and lonely

Divides the earth between us this evening.

I have placed the photographs of you

In my inside jacket pocket

As every lover does perhaps,

A million miles and four nights out of touch.

I have cut up turf

At the back of my mother’s house

And have watched the way earth

Turns itself over like my restless sleep.

You understand double your years

My soul as it breaks surface

And I imagine the rich soil in your palms,

Would that it could be

Just the distance between us tonight.

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Cracks in Canvas

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 10:34 in Poetry

Tags: canvas cracks

I thought I heard you crying.
Or the sky.

I thought gulls were cracks in canvas.
Or their cries.

I thought tears were hanging from your lashes.
Not from mine.

I thought I heard you screaming.
Or a jet.

I thought I caught seas jumping from a brush.
Or finches twisting in a net.

I thought I heard you dreaming.
Or the earth.

I thought I would catch you falling from your blushes,
Not in death.

I thought loaded knives of light were life,
Not beached anguish in the nightmare
Of this breath, this breadth
Of skin – this 'scape of sky and sea;
This falsity, these lies.

I thought I heard you dying.
And the sky.

I thought gulls were cracks in canvas.
Or your eyes

In strokes of noiseless gashes
Bloody from the vine.

I just thought I heard you crying,
Girl of my ashes.

Rupert Mallin

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Art School

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 00:00 in Poetry

Tags: art school

Chalk and charcoal net these images,
Hard edged or smeared with fingers:
A bottle wrapped by lines laid
Line over line to restrain
My interpretation of the real.

Yours is 'truth to materials.'
You pick up steel and see steel,
Not the stain of a black forest
In a sheet of tarnished aluminium.

Yours is 'truth to morals.'
You handle wood and see wood,
Not the pain of a breach–birth
In the handle of a hammer.

Yours is 'truth to money.'
You model clay and see clay,
Not murder's grey estuary
Or worms going down for air.

There is no denotative tool or bag of tricks
For reality has no measure but the quick
Of gestures marked upon a pane of light.
I scratch and scrape at the sun to escape
But in line upon line I am caged.

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Art School

Still Life

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 00:00 in Poetry

Tags: art

I am the black line beside each vein,
Leisurely, luxurious, deep as an ocean,
Thinner than cotton.

I hang from horizons
Behind breeze teased underwear,
Flat and fluttering upon the land.

Or curl up beside bones,
Orchestrating my growth to violins
Within the scaffolding.

I tighten the skin drum,
Lie thick in napkins,
Bleed all corners

Of simple symmetry. I am
Neither fillet nor feather,
Though I am that to which I cling.

Am a cavernous ghost
In a crevice, impossible to fill.
Emptiness is my fuel

In the cold ash of ovens,
In a duct not a tear,
Too small for forensic.

Am beneath all, invisible,
Until lifted from the soil,
Like stories, like holes.

I hog fridges and kilns,
Make a home of a scream
And am paint's illusion.

I am essential.

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Still Life

A breaking echo

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:39 in Poetry

Tags: broken echo

I had a good friend once
a friend once

but he kept following me around
following me around

like an echo
an echo

so
so

I told him to his face
lovely face

Why do you keep following my words
following my words

like an echo
an echo

Look, if this doesn't stop
doesn't stop

we will be friends no more
friends evermore

It didn't stop
stop

so
so

I began following him around
following me around

following him around
following me around

like an echo
an echo

echo
echo

echo
echo

O
O

O
O

O
O
O

Rupert Mallin

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As good as

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:38 in Poetry

Tags: broken

it was a week a

GO

that I broke

HER

Dalton tea p o

t

HAND

le

& I glued the p o

t

to
get
her

& now it is

as good as n e

w

as good as

Rupert Mallin

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Confidence 3

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:37 in Poetry

Tags: confidence words

IT STOLE HER BREATH AWAY
STOLE HER WORDS AWAY
STOLE HER LETTERS
OPENED HER MOUTH
FILLED HER PEN
HIT HER KEYS

SHE FOLLOWED THE PEN WITH HER EYES
FOLLOWED THE WORDS IN HER MIND
BUT HER WORDS WERE NOT IN HER BOOK, HER NOTEBOOK OR ON SCREEN
SHE COULDN'T HEAR THEM
COULDN'T MOUTH THEM
COULDN'T SCREAM

BUT IT WAS HER MOUTH
HER NAME IN THE PAPERS
SHE HEARD THEM TALKING ABOUT HER
THEY QUOTED HER DEMISE
SPOKE HER WORDS
SHAPED HER MOUTH

WHAT HAD THEY DONE TO HER MOUTH?

THE SCREEN WAS A SCREAM
HER EMPTINESS ON SCREEN
SHE FELT BLOOD RUN FROM HER IDEAS
FELT INK SQUEEZED FROM BETWEEN HER FINGERS

SHE WROTE INVISIBLY
SHE WROTE WITHOUT EFFECT
& THEY LOVED & ADMIRED HER
& SHE FILLED HER IDEAS WITH HER EMPTINESS
& SHE WAS SO, SO CONFIDENT

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Confidence 3

Confidence 2

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 12:32 in Poetry

Tags: alcohol confidence

SHE WAS SO–SO
SHE WAS WORSE THAN SO–SO
BUT SAID SHE WAS SO–SO
SHE WAS SO SORE, SO LOW, SO
SHE TOOK TO WRITING ABOUT DRUGS
WRITING ABOUT SMOKING
WRITING ABOUT ALCOHOL &
WROTE HERSELF REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS & LINES &
METAPHORICALLY HUNG HERSELF TO A WASHING–LINE
AS IF HER SKIN WAS HER WASHING &
HID HERSELF BENEATH HER DRIPPING SKIN
ON AN ENDLESS LINE &
WANTED AN END, SO
SHE CUT OUT BEGINNINGS &
COLLECTED UP THE ENDINGS
WHICH IMMEDIATELY UNRAVELLED &
FOUND THEIR WAY INTO OTHERS' STORIES, SO
SHE SLUMPED DEEPER INTO THE BASEMENT OF HER WRITING:
SHE WANTS WINGS BUT FINDS HERSELF A SYRINGE,
SHE WANTS A CIGARETTE HOLDER NOT THE ASHTRAY OF IFS & BUTS,
SHE WANTS A COCKTAIL NOT AN EMPTY BOTTLE,
SHE WANTS THAT CONFIDENCE, SO, SO MUCH,

SO...

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Confidence 2

Made up broken

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 10:30 in Poetry

Tags: broken mum

if we row we qui
ckly make up & making
up is the best part of our relation
ship & our argu
ments are but preludes to making
up & sometimes we argue over no
thing just to make
up, though once we nearly did break
up because she broke an orna
mental vase – so we could arg
ue to make up – but I had a senti
mental attachment to the vase,
for it was a gift from my

MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM
MUM

yet I knew we would make
up & I keep all the frag
ments to remind my
self what true
love is:

a vase

Rupert Mallin

Comment on: Made up broken

Made up poem

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 27 November 2004 at 10:26 in Poetry

Tags: appearance broken

With brush, pencil and stick her poem makes an appearance:
a made up, out of bed, out of the shower, out there poem;
an eye–lined, lip lush, highlighted bright poem;
a 'go to work on a poem' kind of poem;
a made up poem.

With cream, tissue and water her poem makes an appearance:
an indoor, into the shower, into her bed poem;
a red–eyed, lip cracked, pasty poem;
a "real me" poem;
a broken poem.

Tossing, turning, sweating her poem makes an appearance:
the boat of her life is ever sinking
& family & friends always knew she had pulled the plug
& her favourite brush is matted with hair
& try as she does she can't pull this terrible poem
from its teeth, from her appearance, but...

With brush, pencil and stick her poem makes an appearance:
A made up, out of bed, out of the shower, out there poem;
an eye–lined, lip lush, highlighted bright poem;
a 'go to work on a poem' kind of poem;
A lady luck club loving poem;
A made up poem

Rupert Mallin

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