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This report is taken from PN Review 213, Volume 40 Number 1, September - October 2013.

Under Changing Light Vahni Capildeo
'Everyone has a story to tell,' said Person A, in a freshly risen voice.

'And does everyone have to tell that story?' asked Person B, whose tone lost warmth as it gained altitude.

From certain perspectives - rooms with old books, broadband access, and tables arranged in a U-shape; streets where pedestrians may be expected, first, to have freedom to roam, second, to cradle takeaway coffee in preference to carrying around small forest birds in home-made cages or packing any size of gun - self-expression works as what it sounds like: expressing itself, the tube of toothpaste yields, and yields, minted in a way that has nothing to do with an invasion of fresh leaves; treated smiles glitter.

What a rare frustration, therefore, to spend time with an exceptional poet who confines his words to his notebooks, and will not publish. At night, cities enter and exit his pale eyes, and thought processes are visible; memories are not only being laid down, they are being crafted into lines of words or poem-drawings; and little of this will ever become public.

I found myself in such company and was astonished by the violence with which I wished the work to break out of Poet's head and into the world. It could wipe out some of the toothpaste; repopulate strange rooms with particular wordshapes in motion. Luckily, before my desire began to struggle with his reticence, like John Ridd fighting Carver Doone and tearing the ...


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