The Blue Nib

Weightless in the Nets

Weightless in the Nets is the first full collection in English by Israeli born poet, Roy Liran. Weightless in the Nets will launch in Ireland on the 15th of December. It is now available to preorder.

The poems in “Weightless in the Nets” are probing observations that explore and ask questions about perceptions and preconceived views of readers. They rely on giving the reader sufficient detail to focus attention and be guided by the poet. A similar approach is taken in the accompanying ink drawings.
A collection of thoughtful, provocative poems, which use an artist’s eye and architect’s focus on key details to guide readers into thinking around the poem’s subjective observations.

Emma Lee

 

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“Weightless in the Nets” Roy Liran (Blue Nib)

The poems in “Weightless in the Nets” are probing observations that explore and ask questions about perceptions and preconceived views of readers. They rely on giving the reader sufficient detail to focus attention and be guided by the poet. A similar approach is taken in the accompanying ink drawings.

“Jan and Neftalí” comes with the note that Pablo Neruda (Neftalí) used Czech poet’s Jan Neruda’s surname as part of his pseudonym in exile. The poem is set in street named after the Czech poet and observes a couple. He tells her he’s written a poem on his phone,

“Walking the cobblestone streets he talks

of Baroque architecture and Art Nouveau,

often examining his prudently folded

map for the metro stations. She watches

the river for white swans and listens.

Or so she tells him.

Love sweeps travelling autumn

leaves through elegant boulevards.

So it is told.”

Readers are encouraged to doubt he’s written a poem and that she’s listening to him and think about what they might have done instead. Certainly, they don’t share their thoughts with each other: he doesn’t show her his poem and she doesn’t talk about the swans. The poem implies the couple are withdrawing from each other and their relationship’s autumn is heading towards winter. The theme of what’s not talked about is picked up in “The blindness of the world” where a couple are back in the car after a walk through woods where they “at long last do what had/ forever needed to be done” although the what isn’t specified,

“I recall gripping the steering

wheel hard during one lonely

stretch of the road, when you

raised your head from me to

ask if I was happy, which I

should have been, and lied

And on the long way back to

where you had left your car you

leaned against me and

sang dreamily to the blindness

of the world, and I kept my

face straight, eyes fixed ahead”

After the poem is a note, “Read when no one is listening”. Most of the poems have a similar note. Readers are left to think about why the poem’s narrator lied about being happy and the implications of that lie. The adverb “dreamily” to describe the partner’s singing is a telling detail, showing her ignorance.

It’s either bravery or modesty when a poet starts a poem “Were I a poet” even when the poem’s focus is on what’s not there, in “The delusion of things gone”, where in the opening stanza the rhythm of the wind in the trees echoes the rhythm of the heart,

“But I am not, and the

heart is dead, and trees

are merely trees. And

what is the wind if not

agitated air that moves

away from pressure.

It takes a non-poet to note

that when the sun finally sets

nothing disappears but the light.”

The disappearing light offers a different perspective on the scene. The trees and wind are still there but other senses have to come into play to realise them. The accompanying note is “best read by the sea, which is water” and suggests a reflective mood. An actual reflection is the starting point for “Reflective” where in an oily puddle,

“the liquid light

gave a shiny gleam

to the teeth of

passers by

When did

looking at

reflective surfaces

become an

analogy for pain”

It’s a question without a question mark and the directive note is “to be read with a squint in one’s brain.”

“Weightless in the Nets” is a collection of thoughtful, provocative poems, which use an artist’s eye and architect’s focus on key details to guide readers into thinking around the poem’s subjective observations.

Emma Lee