Broadly, Poguemahone is a story of possession – of hatreds, obsessions and souls – and of what cannot be possessed, such as friends, lovers, children, even a home. Its narrative is mainly spoken by Dan Fogarty, who attends upon his 70-year-old sister, Una, who has dementia and is in a care home in Margate. Through fractured prismatic recollections …
and it really is a story told through fractured prismatic recollections that range from the 60s music scene through an abortive commune in London to run down Margate on the coast and some sort of home that the sister lives in, the truth of her ‘brother’ Dan and their history is slowly revealed.
The 600 page book is told in some form of free verse, all lines fractured into short parts, all narrative fractured. It takes some getting used to but becomes natural.
Although described as a prose poem I saw it was formatted text matching the narrator’s sometimes disordered thoughts.
The fragmented, the destructured, the constellated – that’s my new territory! Reading a review of Amy Liptrot’s new book, The Instant, in The Guardian it strikes me that she’s going somewhere new for her and that there’s more to this than I thought, perhaps.
It is a fragmentary, episodic account of Liptrot’s time in Berlin, which took inspiration from poetry and song lyrics, from the internet-led alt-lit movement …
“A lot of books that have been published in the last five years or so are quite fragmentary,” Liptrot says. “And I definitely think that’s a product of living on Twitter, and being distracted and how our attention spans are. But also the way that we’re sophisticated enough as readers to process different information in parallel.”
Process different information in parallel. Having just read Rebecca Watson’s little scratch, which certainly processes different information in parallel, I’m interested to see how far Liptrot goes down this road with her new book. I’ll be talking about The Instant and Little Scratch and a lot more related stuff soon.