Poems by Roy Kelly
Roy Kelly (born 1949) first received literary recognition s a prize-winner in the New Statesman ‘Weekend Competition’. Drugstore Fiction, his first collection of poetry, contains lyrical poems, comic poems and poems on American themes. Poems within the collection made their first appearance in Outposts, New Statesman, Poetry Review, The Pen, Quarto, Spectator, New Poetry 8 (Arts Council) and Times Literary Supplement. Some appeared pseudonymously in the Faber Book of Parodies. Roy Kelly also writes stories and plays, some of which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
Of Drugstore Fiction Roy Kelly says:
”Drugstore Fiction, specifically, is the escapist paperback novel whose revelations of the relationship between sex, power, and the striving for success are to be found in airports, railway stations, and – in America – drugstores. In these places biographies of real people also acquire the fictional quality of novels.
Drugstore fiction, then, suggests a general as well as a specific meaning. It concerns the myths – pure and debased – by which we live our lives: the way in which the inner world of imagination perceives the real world as a kind of metaphorical writing. Our best hopes for ourselves become a fictionalised biography we intend to write one day. Aspiration can project onto the dark glasses of its punter self and inner America of revelations of mythic glamour and its perceived relationship to industry, discipline, responsibility and maturity.
Some of these poems are about some of these things”.
The brittle old lady in a white hat
is escorting invalid air. Her walk
hesitates, a memory jogged with a stick
white as her hat. Slow and slow in the heat
she pulls a dark shadow. It slides
smooth over flagstones, continuous
despite her deliberations, like years,
not to be eluded. The dark glides,
deferential waiter attending her hand and foot.
She stops to examine flowers intently,
as if smell will ensure all petals fit.
Her hat is dazzling under the bright blue sky.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Gordon Stowell
Publication: SPRING 1987 (64 pages laminated paperback)