Space Odes by Richard Parker
RTA Parker’s Space Odes is an entertainingly bonkers romp of constellation and collage, writing and re-writing its entertainingly allusive way through intertextual space lampooning, deriding, despairing at and celebrating robots, the universe, love and sport (cricket, mostly) in a wonky poetics of anxiety and joy at the world we are thoroughly and catastrophically screwing up. ‘No Catharsis. No bust through into the empyrean. No illumination. It ends with you realizing that even the silent beyond has been colonised by wankers’ Texts quoted from or paraphrased repeatedly and/or prominently include Ralph Metzner and Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience, The Cantos of Ezra Pound, Star Wars, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, A1: Britain’s Longest Road, Silent Running, Cool Runnings, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Samuel R. Delany’s Trouble on Triton and Dhalgren, Emily Witt’s Future Sex, The Song Remains the Same, Aliens, Blade Runner, Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems, Woodstock, Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies, Herman Melville’s Mardi, and a Voyage Thither and Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! -- RTA Parker was born in 1978. His poetry has appeared in Onedit, Signals, The Rialto, Great Works, Freaklung, Naked Punch, Glitch, Brand and The Wolf, and he has read at various reading series, including Crossing the Line, Chlorine, and Desperate for Love. He is the editor and printer of Crater; a hand-bound and letter-pressed poetry pamphlet series based in London and Brighton. His poem, 'All The Bleak Chippies' (included in Space Odes) won the Ledbury Poetry Prize, in 2018.