NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
CHRISTOPHER GUTKIND: INSIDE TO OUTSIDE
Shearsman Books 58 Velwell Road
Exeter
EX4 4LD
UK
ISBN 0 907562 80 0
8.95 [$14]

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CHRISTOPHER GUTKIND: INSIDE TO OUTSIDE

Christopher Gutkind was born in the Netherlands and now lives in London. He has lived in Montreal, Berkeley and Nigeria and there is a sense of place in many of the pieces:

	I go into the supermarket,
	seem to leave myself outside.

	Above me the PA system gives out soft music
	or deals they want me,
	me as well, to know about.
This piece, called SUPERMARKET, is really about the naturalness-unnaturalness of the environment. The result is a somewhat super-real world in which it is not so strange to talk to a table:
	Table, why so still?
	  Is it to show us we can move,
	settle down, take off again?

	Empty you're an advert for loneliness,
	  you only really belong
	when something's on you: bowl or soup, cup of tea,
	  arms, letters, dreams.
Even in this poem, called TABLE, the focus is somewhat spiritual. There is reflection on self. The table is there, jogging our recollection of, perhaps, when we sat at it last. Gutkind creates an interesting world and provides a tourist trip, yet anchors the traveller (or chains the traveller) to reality. Some of the poems are 'stretched out' down the page, somewhat dreamlike, and, in my view, a little too much so. An attempt is made to net the ineffable. This is a brave collection. Gutkind is able to call upon the absurd and macabre and has, I believe, a reservoir of inventive ability yet to be tapped. Gutkind is capable of developing further and I look forward to seeing future work.

reviewer: Doreen King.