Flesh (a long poem)

Paul Stubbs

introduction by Ingrid Soren
Black Herald Press, 20 May 2013
130×170 – 54 pages – 10 €
ISBN  978-2-919582-05-1

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

‘Stubbs is no slave to conditioning or convention: inventor as well as seer, and ignoring regulation, he stands far off looking over time and space from the perspective of an unimagined cosmology, his mastery evident as he remaps our little created world, its ideas and its faiths, with hallmark imagery.’—Ingrid Soren


Flesh, 2013

Flesh, 2013

Paul Stubbs sculpts new heavens and hells from man’s now inauthentic rock of theology, pushing past both himself and infinity until reaching that ‘point in time where the flesh-tides / of all other beings collide’. Where a new logic of truth seems unavoidable, our final judgement will not happen on earth, but on another planet. So, tired of seeking both a theological and anthropological conclusion within the same body, the poet breaks down all oppositional levels of thought, whether noble and base, or good and evil, so as to devalue human hermeneutics before the process begins again of man becoming a religious argument. And this just to ensure that man is forced to feed anew upon the breadcrumbs of atoms and on a religious spirit incarnate; writing outside of both his own personality and history, Stubbs allows being, for the second time, free usage in the universe. In an audacious long poem that clearly exceeds its author and the existential riddle that in solving he hopes will ‘change Religion forever’, the poet transfers man’s biblical allusions onto an alien surface, beyond our planet’s ‘final world-carcass of catastrophe’ to a place ‘where the systems meet’ and where the poet waits to be changed ‘forever / into what I am’.


A review of ‘Flesh’ in Stride magazine (Paul Sutton, July 2013)



Also by Paul Stubbs

The Theological Museum, (foreword by Alice Oswald) Flambard Press, 2005

The Icon Maker, Arc Publications, 2008

Ex Nihilo, Black Herald Press 2010

The End of the Trial of Man, Arc Publications, 2013



About Paul Stubbs’s poetry

‘Paul Stubbs is a poet of the future, in that he apprehends and overcomes the subtle flexing of dogmas, as they present themselves to us in the 21st century world. Stubbs dares to go further than Nietzsche’s critiques, attempting to overcome all forms of oppositional thinking, whether in poetry, philosophy or other disciplines, and the way these infuse our fractured mental approaches to how we communicate with each other.’—Andrew O’Donnell

‘Stubbs is a poet who is not afraid of pressing poetry to its limit, and beyond. If in T.S. Eliot fragments are shored against ruin, and hence look backward for sustenance, in Paul Stubbs’s poetry fragments are the building blocks of thinking, writing and living right now. They point towards new ways of understanding and seeing. The chiselled fragments of Stubbs’s poetry connect to something outside the poet (history, text, etc.) and then walk off into a life of their own.’—Tabish Khair

In addition to editing a quality literary magazine and publishing interesting writers new and old, Stubbs happens to be one of our day’s most striking and original English-language poets. His poems are metaphysical but visceral; they are often written in a jagged syntax, but they carry themselves in a rich, full-voiced music.—Greer Mansfield

‘This is Cormac McCarthy’s end-of-the-world scenario taken further and played out against a cosmic backcloth. Stubbs is a highly distinctive and original poet, one whose voice has to be listened to.’—Matt Simpson

‘I admire Ex Nihilo’s outlandish attempt at a drama of origins, an evolutionary theodicy, sprouting ribs and gills, and phonemes, syllables, units of sense, lines, enjambments… No one is writing like this, or quite like this, or not that I have read recently in the English tongue’—Stephen Romer

Ex Nihilo is impressive and unlike much that one comes across in English poetry these days. Powerful Adamic beginning and a sustained, multifaceted examination of essential questions concerning the construction of the self. It convincingly pushes poetry into the territory of philosophy.’—John Taylor

‘Visionary, cosmic and heroic…this is a writer attempting to find a new role for poetry itself, to redefine the landscape.’—Graham High

‘Stubbs is offering something radically new in contemporary poetry.’—Ian Pople

‘The muscular lines, the moral seriousness and the passion for metaphysics in the poetry of Paul Stubbs are all reminiscent of the work of Geoffrey Hill.’—Keith Richmond


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