Saturday, 21 May 2011

Daily life is scattered with marvels

Under plain cover and with no explanatory note, I received through the post the other day the rather handsome first publications of the Pam Flett Press. Pam Flett is a pun on ‘pamphlet’ and a sort-of nod to Pam Ayres, another ‘somewhat wonky amateur lady who wished to launch her own poetry upon the world’. The Pam Flett Press seeks to expound on Michel de Certeau’s assertion that ‘daily life is scattered with marvels’.

One of its early publications is ‘Lord biro and the writing on the wall’, a meditation on the surreal graffiti that punctuates urban daily life: such as TWIGS, which existed for several years on a gantry above the M1 and merited mention on John Peel’s Radio 4 programme Home Truths; ‘The Alphabet of Brooke Shields’, which suddenly appeared in 2007 across London and was believed to be viral marketing but no one was sure what for, before it was eventually borrowed by a bunch of Bradford musicians; and the bright yellow exclamation ‘DRUNK FOOLS!’, visible from the East Midlands rail route where it colour-blended pleasingly with an adjacent field of oilseed rape.

Forthcoming editions will include ‘Waiting for a bus that never comes’, which borrows its title from geographer Doreen Massey’s suggestion that ‘this type of non-activity is what makes up much of our waking lives’; ‘Gumming up the works’, which will fantasise about ‘luminous constellations of dropped chewing gum on the street before getting stuck on the image of sticking plasters and confronting a horrible compulsion to seek out the hard stuff glued under desks or in the recesses of train carriages’; and ‘Witches' Knickers’, a disquisition ‘on the much-maligned plastic bag’.

The Pam Flett Press turns out to be the work of Joanne Lee, an artist and lecturer at Nottingham Trent University who financed the whole venture herself ‘having become tired of writing proposals rather than getting on with the work itself, and fed up with with fitting my own interests into other people’s funding agendas’. You and me both, Pam.

You can read more here:

Mundane quote for the day:
‘Tramlines and slagphaps, pieces of machinery,
That was, and still is, my ideal scenery.’
– W.H. Auden, Letter to Lord Byron, 1936

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joem,
    Thanks for your post, good reading, I like the quote.
    ps just started to visit other blogs again which is enjoyable.