Trawlerman’s Turquoise, Matthew Caley’s sixth collection, features various seemingly recherché elements – telepathy, Madame Blavatsky, epistolary novels, muse worship, Balzac’s coffee addiction and Thomas Merton’s accidental electrocution amongst them – not always as straightforward ‘subject matter’, but caught up in the backdraft of the poems’ acceleration.
The book’s title derives from the long, central, hyper-associative poem, ‘from The Foldings’ – trawlerman’s turquoise being a phrase to describe a psychic glimpse of the ocean for perennial inner-city dwellers, who have only ever heard rumour of one.
Caley’s lyrics and love poems are poised between sincerity and its inverse, and a seeming ‘parallel world’, which gradually emerges, sits at odds with, and sheds light on, the current state of our actual world – full of melting borders, random dangers, shifting identities, misread communiqués, false reports and information overload – destabilising and exhilarating in equal measure.
'This is Matthew Caley’s sixth collection, out from Bloodaxe. Following his last book, Rake, this collection builds on Caley’s trademark wit, mastery of form, erudition and representation of the everyday. Trawlerman’s Turquoise packs a punch. This is a thought-provoking collection, with confluent threads that tease and pulsate, staying with me long after I had read it...This is a book worth buying and cherishing.' - Nicki Heinen, Tentacular Magazine
'Chief among contemporary British poets, Caley takes seriously the vision of synaesthetic abundance laid out in Stephane Mallarmé’s seminal essay ‘Crisis of Verse’, which defines the task of pure poetry as ‘transposing a fact of nature into its vibratory near-disappearance according to the play of language’. - Dai George, Poetry Wales [on Trawlerman's Turquoise]
‘Matthew Caley’s sixth collection is a double caffeine shot of delicious language and adventurous forms, peopled with poets, passers-by and small ghosts from other worlds. A bold and beautiful assortment of the arcane and the accessible, it is a self-consciously literary work, with veiled allusions, quotations and references to a wide range of sources, expressed in taut but rich language.’ – Hannah Stone, The Lake
'The humour and playfulness... shows off Caley's carefree ability to draw lines across time and space. It also feels profoundly European - a poetry in which borders do not exist, and we are all reflected in this multicultural, pan-historical vision.' - Chrissy Williams, Poetry London [on Trawlerman's Turquoise]
'Matthew Caley’s sixth collection Trawlerman’s Turquoise is a steer through linguistic rapids – the effect is dizzying, and psychedelic. One is left with the sense that some new order has been made manifest. Here are love poems and eco-poems, references to the modern, the ancient, the internet, the occult, the urban, the everyday; in Caley’s intoxicated world the urban becomes urbane, lexicon turns lyrical.' - Cheryl Moskowitz, Magma
From the reviews of Rake:
‘… the technical resources deployed remain consistently highly coloured and deft in execution. A tanka-derived syllabic structure for stanzas predominates, but a multitude of other forms are used with intelligent grace…I know that it is the verve of Caley’s writing I will be re-reading.’ – Ian McEwen, Magma
‘Decidedly indecorous, Caley's vocabulary pricks his readers to keep the action anachronistic and contemporary… the book is a Waste Land of sorts, punctuated with Pound-like fragments…carefully [meticulously] crafted.’ – Edwina Attlee, The Poetry Review
‘… a series of densely written love poems in which the reader is aware of something strange and beautiful (and perhaps a little dishonest) going on behind the scenes… It is this sense of play that makes the poems so striking, as well as the tightly reigned undertones of kitsch… Rake seems to have created a brow of its own, colloquial enough to keep you reading, yet complex enough to keep you uncomfortable…the reader is aware of something strange and beautiful.’ – Emma Hammond, Poetry London
'Formally outrageous, culturally light-fingered, Caley’s vision and wit make for poems that turn a wondrous, great lamp on the inter-relatedness of all things. An important poet.’ – John Stammers
Matthew Caley: Rake
Matthew Caley reads and introduces eight poems from his Bloodaxe collection Rake: ‘The Confluence of the Elbe and the Upa’, ‘Foregone Conclusion’, ‘Written Immediately on Waking’, ‘Misery Memoir’, ‘Willow’, ‘Absolute Gospel’, ‘Walnuts’ and ‘The Young Hegelians’. This video shows part of his performance at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 3 July 2016.
USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org