Mark Rudman

Mark Rudman’s Rider Quintet won the National Book Critics Award.

Two Poems

Mark Rudman, 4 February 2016

‘Le Amiche’: The Mourners at the River and the Drowned Woman

The problem with the women gathering at the riverbank. Of the river Po.

The problem is the absence of other rivers, where other versions of the same

group will congregate in several cities at once: the Tiber is a no-brainer,

ditto the Seine, but it’s the seamless switch to another country, another river,

...

Poem: ‘Casino in Small C’

Mark Rudman, 8 June 2006

for Jackson Lears

But it was no longer a casino. You could not even dice for drinks in the bar.

Malcolm Lowry

I missed the turn-off for the capital ‘c’ Casino and couldn’t find a place to turn around and hoped the rocks on this uncombed road battering the bottom of this rented wreck

wouldn’t crack an axle when I caught sight of the sign for a second casino...

Poem: ‘Actor and Director at Twenty’

Mark Rudman, 9 February 2006

For Sam

And courage, courage is what is called for to explore the outskirts of the city, where the disinherited abide, and trouble is a form of entertainment, as are bruises and broken glass, in regions so remote from the centre they’ve shed their street names; few know; fewer care; I found out because I copped a ride in the back of the van at 2 a.m. when the crew was setting out to...

Poem: ‘Wrong Stop’

Mark Rudman, 16 December 2004

The public bus into Santo Domingo, sheer Delight, rocking chaos of stops and starts, And a Dominican woman, thin, potentially Attractive, sits on an impromptu jump seat Facing the passengers, her expression at first Impassive, sombre, carved as she moves her fingers Across her forehead to wipe away her burdens, And responds to a remark we can’t hear with a brief broad smile, Which takes...

To Live like a Bird

Mark Rudman, 1 June 2000

Michael Hofmann’s poetry is a lament for a lost world. Some years ago, in an article on Frank O’Hara, he talked about New York no longer being the thrilling place it had been in the days when O’Hara and the gang could go downtown to the Blue Note and hear John Coltrane or uptown to hear Billie Holiday. This kind of nostalgia can be tiresome: better for each generation to invent a new idea of the new – to enlarge the temple. In his poems, Hofmann has found a way to do this. In each, no matter how short, one feels the pull of three places – Germany, England and America – and two languages.’

Poem: ‘Provo’

Mark Rudman, 16 September 1999

It’s hard to get anywhere in Utah without going through Provo. I can’t tell you the number of times I went there as a teenager, the number Of times I drove into town in the early Afternoon, hungry, and had to look around For a place to eat. You don’t have to starve In Provo but you eat at your own risk. At no risk. I would never have gone to Provo On my own. I went...

Sam uses the words ‘pretend’ and ‘fake’ to distinguish representations from real things. Since all movie ratings are specious, conflating the slangy use of curse words, sickening violence, and kinky sex, I risked taking him to whatever films I thought would stimulate his imagination. When I asked if he was scared, he’d answer in a bold and firm voice: ‘No,...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences