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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lawrence Gladeview Lowlifes, Fast Times & Occasionally Love. Erbacce-Press Publications, Liverpool, UK (2012), 28 pages.

In Gladeview’s slim second collection of poems Lowlifes, Fast Times & Occasionally Love, he continues to use his sparse, self effacing style to explore ordinary situations: making out in the back seat of a car, talking to people in bars and of the many misunderstandings between people which derive from a confusion over what words mean.

These are clear, uncluttered poems which everyone can read and understand the first time around. The poems are tightly constructed and deceptively simple, but because of their brevity, they lack intensity or depth.  Gladeview’s  poetry is transparently obvious and does not intend to explore darker boundaries.

In his micro poems, Gladeview’s style and subject matter are highly reminiscent of John Yamrus's, the American poet. Both poets use dissected lower case prose, frequently incorporate direct speech and both work towards a mildly humorous yet wry comment on life.

Here are two fine representative examples of Gladeview’s work in Lowlifes, Fast Times & Occasionally Love. They exude a cheeky humour and infer that the 'lowlife' can bring luck & perhaps valour. They are reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Pulling Away

my place
in his
65 riviera
told me

i lit
& said
stop off


the radiator
gave up
& the
miles ago

i have
a sixer
of warm
in the
& half
a pack
of winstons
in my
shirt pocket

i’d say
my odds
pretty damn

In the final analysis, in rereading Gladeview’s book this afternoon, I kept thinking about Bukowski’s famous comment to his friend Jory Sherman in 1961 from which we can all learn: ‘I think a man should be forced to write in a roomful of skulls, bits of raw meat hanging, nibbled by fat slothy rats, the sockets musicless staring into the wet ether-sogged, love-sogged, hate-sogged brain, and forevermore the rockets and flares and chains of history winging like bats, bat-flap and smoke and skulls ringing in the beer.’

Bukowski was ranting to his friend about what he found fault with the Masters: ‘I have just read the immortal poems of the ages and come away dull. I don’t know who’s at fault; maybe it’s the weather, but I sense a lot of pretense and poesy footwork: I am writing a poem, they seem to say, look at me! Poetry must be forgotten; we must get down to raw paint, splatter.’

In Gladeview you will find no pretense, no fancy poesy footwork- just some measured streaks of ink down the page to fondly & gently tug at the meat of things.


For further information about Gladeview’s poetry check out his website:

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