Poetry Month 2015: Jim Murdoch
THE BEHELD by Jim Murdoch (for B.) She took several stones from the mosaic and gave them to me. “But now they are meaningless,” I said. “No,” she smiled, “their meaning has changed. “Why do you look through and not at?” And she drew a figure eight and turned it on its side and asked me if I could see forever. [From Reader Please Supply Meaning] * * * Jim Murdoch, a Scottish writer living just outside Glasgow, claims to be the character Beckett never got around to writing. His poetry appeared regularly in small press magazines during the seventies and eighties. In the nineties he turned to prose-writing and has since completed four novels, two plays, and a collection of short stories. In his blog, The Truth About Lies, he discusses the art and science of writing, his own and that of other authors (including my own), and muses at length about his lifelong fascination with what he calls “the perversity of language.” Among the many things I love about Murdoch’s poetry is its aphoristic directness: one can enjoy it without having gone to grad school or spent time kissing the feet of some dead French or Russian textual theorist. What a relief!