Another exception concerns my unabashed fetish for publications with covers that have a plainness that is austere but strangely elegant. This applies especially to poetry pamphlets, one of which I acquired at the recent al fresco poetry event held by Inpress, an umbrella sales and marketing organisation which represents many fine independent publishers, some of which are so small that they operate at the quantum level. This event, staged outside Foyle's at The South Bank, included excellent readings by poets from various publishers, including Kim Moore, whose 'If we could Speak Like Wolves' is pictured here. This Smith/Doorstop publication typifies the appeal of the poetry pamphlet, with its enticingly minimalist cover, (the title picked out in a bold shade of red to contrast with the ethereal pearl grey background), suggesting, paradoxically, an interior richness and magic, and its finger-pleasing pages sandwiched neatly between cover flaps. The whole package unleashes my bibliographical lust (never far from the surface) in full flood, at first sight.
Furthermore I think (as, more persuasively, does Carol Ann Duffy) that the poems are very fine, too; especially the titular piece, which Ms Moore declaimed to great effect a few weekends ago:
If I could wait for the slightest changein you, then each day hurt you in a dozendifferent ways, bite heart-shaped chunksof flesh from your thighs to test if you flinchor if you could be trusted to endure,if I could rub my scent along your shins to makeyou mine, if a mistake could be followedby instant retribution and end with yourolling over to expose the stubble and graceof your throat, if it could be forgottenthe moment the wind changed, if my eyescould sharpen to yellow, if we journeyedeach night for miles, taking it in turnsto lead, if we could know by smellwhat we are born to, if before we metwe sent our lonely howls across the estuarywhere in the fading light wader birds stiffenand take to the air, then we could agreea role for each of us, more complicatedthan alpha, more simple than marriage.