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David Rushmer
        body of work

"Literature is going toward itself, toward its essence, which is disappearance"

 - Maurice Blanchot

"what took you too out of

language with a gesture

that you let happen like

the dance of two words of just

autumn and silk and nothingness"

Paul Celan

"Everything takes place in a fiery penumbra, its meaning subtly withdrawn"

Georges Bataille

"Tao called Tao is not Tao"

Lao Tzu

“Emptiness, which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities"

- D. T. Suzuki

 

 

 

David Rushmer's first full length collection of poetry, Remains to Be Seen was pubished by Shearsman in May 2018. (full contents at the bottom of this page).

https://www.shearsman.com/store/-p102839087

In David Rushmer’s stunning book, Remains to Be Seen, we find a carefully crafted rendering of a voice in the world, each syllable of this drama earned. There is a microtonal attention to reality and a gorgeous music throughout. This is a truly remarkable first book.

  • Peter Gizzi

 

David Rushmer’s poetry can come as a shock. The power of the writing comes from a compelling manipulation of rhythmic devices combined with an insistence on a pared-down word-hoard constantly revisited.  It is intense. It has great scope. It has a primitive, elemental feel, with an attention to rhythmic and sonic detail.

Rushmer has acknowledged his debts to French writers such as Maurice Blanchot and Bernard Noël, and it is the case that his own work doesn’t seem to fit comfortably into any particular tradition of British writing. This, of course, is one of its great strengths, Rushmer is a European writer.

The title of the book is as deft as any of its contents in managing to hint at a devastated landscape consisting of nothing but remains, as well as a glimmer of hope in the other sense of the phrase ‘it remains to be seen.’ I have a high regard for this work. It is subtly crafted, deeply serious and disturbingly memorable.

  • Peter Hughes

Performing 'Lost For Words' 2012
photograph by Wang Bang

Biography

David Rushmer was born in southern England in 1965, and spent his early years in rural Essex. He studied Photography and Art & Psychology at the University of East London in the early 1990s, and since 2003, has worked at the English Faculty Library, University of Cambridge.

From 1989-1991 he edited pen:umbra magazine, which had a strong preference for writings influenced by modern and contemporary French poetics, and has published over 300 poems in pamphlets and poetry journals including; Amusements, Angel Exhaust, Archive of the Now, Athena Incognito (USA), BlazeVOX (USA), Desiree (France), Epizootics, E.ratio (USA), Exile, Filament, Fire, First Offense, Fractured, Fuel (USA), Great Works, Global Village Voice, Haiku Quarterly, Horizon Review, Human Repair Kit (USA), Insects, Intimacy, Krax, Le Miracle Tatoue (France), Long News: In The Short Century (USA), Mar, Memes, Molly Bloom, Moria (USA), Noon, Oasis, Otata (USA), Otoliths (Australia), OxMag, pen:umbra, Sein und Werden, Shearsman, Spine, Spirit (USA), Starfish, Talus, This Corner, Tremblestone, 10th Muse, Xu Zhimo Poetry Festival 2015, Yule Log.

and the following anthologies;

2 poems included in Verbi Visi Voco – Anthology of Concrete Poetry

 (edited by Bob Cobbing and Bill Griffiths, Writers Forum, 1997)

1 poem included in In Blossoms atop Reeds it Flares (edited by Chris Brownsword, Broken Compass Press: Sheffield, 2006)

2 poems included in Sea Pie: a Shearsman Anthology of Oystercatcher Poetry (edited by Peter Hughes, Shearsman, 2012)

1 poem included in The Art of Typewriting (by Marvin Sackner, Ruth Sackner, and Steven Heller, Thames and Hudson, 2015)

1 poem included in Face Down in the Book of Revelations: for Peter Hughes on his 60th birthday (edited by Lynn Hughes, Oystercatcher Press, 2016)

Biography

Review of Remains to Be Seen by Clark Allison

http://stridemagazine.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/interior-spaces.html

Review of Remains to Be Seen by Ian Brinton

https://tearsinthefence.com/tag/david-rushmer/

Review of Remains to Be Seen by Alan Baker

http://www.leafepress.com/litter11/baker/baker.html

Recordings

Online recordings of the poet reading his work can be found at Archive of The Now (link below)

https://www.archiveofthenow.org/authors/?i=83

Publications

Circles (1988)

Spine:Works (1989)

Absence (with David Barton) (1990)

Contents

THE ABSENCE (Part 1)

THE ABSENCE (Part 2)

THE ABSENCE (Part 3)

THE ABSENCE The Voice

ABSENTEE (for David Barton)

ABSENCE, or "SUNLIGHT"

THE BODY: THE ABSENCE OF BREATHING

SPACE, SOUND, DESERT

 

 

Ut-Trance (1990)

Tone Poems (1990)

Sand Writings (1991)

Publications

Contents

".........." (for Alice)
Haiku
Mirrors Reflecting Mirrors
Butterfly (for Alice) (or Rose Ouverte La Nuit, 2)
A Circle
Wank
Kisses of Dust
I am Happy, I am Sad (or After Cease to Exist)
(...death)
UNMASKING (3) (for 'The Doll' by Hans Bellmer)
Your Scent
A Ciel
Before Speech, Disperse the Shadow
(...rape me)
Tone Poem 64 (Breathing)
Breathing

24 pages (A5)
Private Pressing

Absence (with David Barton) (1990)

Contents

THE ABSENCE (Part 1)

THE ABSENCE (Part 2)

THE ABSENCE (Part 3)

THE ABSENCE The Voice

ABSENTEE (for David Barton)

ABSENCE, or "SUNLIGHT"

THE BODY: THE ABSENCE OF BREATHING

SPACE, SOUND, DESERT

artworks by David Barton

80 pages (A5)

Published by David Barton, London

 

 

Ut-Trance (1990)

Contents (concrete poetry)

Tone Poems 127 to 139

14 pages (A5)

Published by Writers Forum, London

 

 

Homage to Throbbing Gristle (1993)

Contents (concrete poetry)

Tone Poems 200 to 218

Four of the poems are subtitled:

204 - Music for Hans Bellmer

210 - Music for Georges Bataille

211 - Music for Hans Bellmer 2 (Le Soleil Noir)

218 - Music for Georges Bataille 2

20 pages (A5)

Published by Writers Forum, London

 

 

The Family of Ghosts (2005)

Contents

MOMENTARILY SPEAKING

THE ORIGIN

INTO THE FORGETTING

WHERE YOU SPOKE

THE HORIZON'S CORPSE

PANSPERMIA

"...one can only write

"...when there is nothing

WORDS THIRST FOR YOUR BODY

WRITING (building a corpse)

THE FAMILY OF GHOSTS

cover painting by David Rushmer

26 pages (A5)

Published by Arehouse, Cambridge

 

 

Remains to Be Seen (2018)

Published May 2018. Paperback, 155pp,

9 x 6ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848615823

https://www.shearsman.com/store/-p102839087

Contents

Remains to Be Seen (1990-2005)

 

Spoken Bodies

Locus Amorphous

The Oracle Bone

Untitled

The Voice of the Desert

The Hostage (after Blanchot)

Night Snow

Centrifugal, Centripetal

To Be a Dead Language (from a partial translation of ‘L’ete Langue Mort’ by Bernard Noel)

Remains to be Seen

Sound Asleep

The Punctuate

 “…literature is going toward itself

A Lace of Shadows (for DH)

Where You Spoke

The Origin

Into the Forgetting

“…one can only write

Panspermia

Journey Through the Body

“…when there is nothing

Eclipsed

Sand Writings

 

 

Utterly (2008-2010)

 

Utterly

Utterly II

Utterly III

Utterly IV

Utterly V

From Tongue to Tongue

 

Contents

SPINE,...(traces:
,...spine(obliteration
SPIN(E unborn:
IT IS, JUST,...(
UNITY SWORN TO STILLNESS
CIRCLE IN CONSTRICTION
FOR THIS INSTANT (pen:UMBRA)
SONIC DAWN
(SPINE:WORK)
;...spine/suture
;your mouth
"EMPTY:CENTRE"
"forgetting of myself...
"OPEN BOOKS" (part 2) (to the work of David Barton)
you are dark)
for The Doll (by Hans Bellmer)
:spine
FLESHANDBONEYE

28 pages (A5)
Private Pressing



 

(I don't seem to have a copy of Tone Poems, if anyone can find a copy, even a photocopy I would be very grateful - see contact details.) DR

Tone Poems (1990)

Contents (concrete poetry)

Tone Poems

36 pages (A4)

Published by Writers Forum, London

 

 

Sand Writings (1991)

Contents

Sand Writings 1-26

(A6)

Published by ION Press 23, Glasgow

 

 

Love Letters to the Dead (1993)

Contents

TO ONE LONG DEAD

you are the skin of the nights embrace (for Bellmer)

THE NIGHT BLOOMING ROSE:HANS BELLMER

in the confirmation of embrace

to frame an emptiness

the gloominess of twilight

haloes of milk

HONEYSUCKLE NIGHTSHADE: EULOGY FOR HANS BELLMER

from the depths of your eyes

AT ONE WITH THE MOON

ANGEL OF MUD (for Don David)

a raised skirt

i cannot recognise you

in the open scream

your serenity   your holiness

THE PERSISTANCE OF MEMORY

anus of night

FOR EMMA

THE WINDOW OF RAIN

milk her

a shock of stillness

ANGELIC CONSTITUTION

THE DARK BREEZE OF LOSS

AN AQUATIC SILENCE (for Emma)

infect the sun

the sky

THE GUARDIANS OF URINE

cover photograph by Sigrun Gudbrandsdottir

40 pages (A5)

​Published by La Petite Morte, Saffron Walden

 

 

Blanchot's Ghost (2008)

Contents

THE DISAPPEARED

THE STREAM

THE PASSAGE

THE UNFOLDING

THE THRESHOLD

THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

SECOND VERSION OF THE IMAGINARY

OF EMBRACE AND YET DRIFTING

REFLECTIONS OF THE CORPUS

THE SIGNIFICANT

THE POSSIBILITY

THE SOURCE

THE DUPLICITY

THE SOLITUDE

THE TRANSLATION

cover painting by Peter Hughes

20 pages (A5)

Published by Oystercatcher Press, Hunstanton

http://www.oystercatcherpress.com/

 

 

from Blanchot’s Ghost (2008)

 

The Disappeared

The Stream

The Significant

The Passage

The Unfolding

The Threshold

The Edge of the World

Second Version of the Imaginary

Of Embrace and Yet Drifting

Reflections of the Corpus

The Possibility

The Duplicity

The Solitude

The Source

The Translation

 

 

Another Tongue (2009-2014)

 

Ghosts After Music

Hidden by Leaves

Written Off

A Blooming

Lance’d

Waiting to Happen

Waiting to Happen II – The Experience

Waiting to Happen III – The Movement

Holding Your Breath (for Wang Bang)

 

 

 

No Matter (2014-2016)

 

No Matter

The Drift 

The Casualties

The Radiance

Impossible Skin

Vibrating Skies

No Matter II

Shell

Surface, Memory

The Parallels

I Sing the Blood

The Form

The Memory in Our Wings

The Mother

Palimpsest

The Book in Mind

Tears in the Fabric

The Event Horizon

Grave Air

Substance

Transmission

The Sky You Spoke

Oresteia

This Body

Re/Dis/Member

The Wake

cover photograph by David Rushmer

TEC.JPG

The Empty Centre (2021)

Contents

The Empty Centre

Poetry sequence and photography


 

22 pages (A5)

Published by Aphonic / Space, Oakland CA, USA

http://aphonic.space/

wsbucover.JPG

What Space Between Us (2022)

Published August 2022. Paperback, 104pp, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848618299

https://www.shearsman.com/store/David-Rushmer-What-Space-Between-Us-p447903758

Contents

What Space Between Us

A Matter of Memory

What Space Between Us

The Way

Intercourse

Forming Principles

Where We Vanish To

What Matters

Rising in the Sap (after Sappho)

The Gesture

Dictate

The Death Sensations

Particles and Atoms

When Night Fell

A Matter of Silence

Placed (for Wang Bang)

Kindling

Erased Matter

A Remembering of Soft Hair

A Book of Skin, or Liberation Through    Seeing/Hearing During the Intermediate State

Panes (after James Joyce)

 

 

 

20180304_193828_edited.jpg

Rushmer's spare and abstract linguistic structures may well be unique in contemporary British poetry, drawing, as they do, on a European poetic tradition that questions the nature of language and its relationship with perception. Words are valued for their own sake, held up for examination and made to chime like struck glass. To the crystalline abstractions that Rushmer inherits from French poetry is added Taoist-inspired spirituality and the influence of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in an amalgam of great beauty. What Space Between Us is a landmark collection; a wide-ranging and rich series of poems, which asks time and attention of the reader, but will repay it abundantly.

          Alan Baker

 

In the magazine Molly Bloom a little over a year ago David Rushmer’s poem ‘Meeting Me Halfway’ offered us ‘language as shape, a direction of breath’. Rather like Samuel Beckett’s Malone differentiated one experience from another ‘in the outcry without’ so Rushmer’s poetry offers the reader a ‘sky unloaded of its ghosts.’ After reviewing Remains to Be Seen (Shearsman, 2018) I had been left with that haunting sense of a poetry which lingers in the reader’s mind long after the book itself has been put down. The shape and direction of Rushmer’s individual voice are traced onto the page and they leave precise lines of marked engraving: reflections to return to time and again.  

          Ian Brinton

 

At a glance, Rushmer’s pages are poetically assembled words re-examining their nuances in context to the others in the same space to create a kaleidoscopic view of meanings. Each poem is ‘a theatre of multi-dimensional space’ and sits in a personal space. As explained by the title poem, it happens because he leads us in this collection to the language that is a weightless stone!

 

          Yogesh Patel MBE

 

 

Depth Charge

Depth Charge

Wounds

Fathom

Tongue to Tongue

Night Flowered

Behind the Eyes

Returning Breath

Returning Breath

The Filament's Heat

Darkening

Lightforce

Still Time

White Drift

Meeting Me Halfway

cover photograph by David Rushmer

 

pen:umbra no.1, June 1989

Contents

David Barton

Paul Buck

John Cussans

Don David

K.S. Foxall

Paul Green

David Houssart

Adam McKeown

Peter Philpott

David Rushmer

edited by David Rushmer

cover drawing by David Barton

32 pages

pen:umbra no.2, Nov 1989

Contents

Alain Veinstein (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Don David

Paul Buck

David Rushmer

Paul Green

Bob Cobbing

Edward Mycue

Edmond Jabes (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Adam McKeown

John Cussans

edited by David Rushmer

cover drawing by John Cussans

52 pages

pen:umbra no.3, Aug 1991

Contents

P R Armstrong

Hans Arp (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Don David

Francoise Duvivier

Lawrence Fixel

Norman Jope

Lisa Kucharski

Franz Mon (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Edward Mycue

Jacques Roubaud (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Peter deRous

David Rushmer

Cosey Fanni Tutti

Elizabeth Willis

Lyn Wilson

Johan De Wit

edited by David Rushmer

cover collage by David Rushmer

52 pages

Works online

Works online

Archive of the Now - https://www.archiveofthenow.org/authors/?i=83

1 poem: Writing (writing/a place I go).

Readings of 14 poems.

 

Angel Exhaust no.16 January 1999 - http://poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/issueccd1.html?id=474

3 poems; The Oracle Bone, Locus Amorphous, Untitled.

BlazeVOX 16, Spring 2016 - http://www.blazevox.org/BX%20Covers/BXspring16/David%20Rushmer%20-%20Spring%2016.pdf

3 poems; Grave Air, The Event Horizon, Substance.

BlazeVOX 17, Fall 2017 - http://www.blazevox.org/BX%20Covers/BXFall2017/David%20Rushmer%A0-%20Fall17.pdf

2 poems; Erased Matter, Forming Principles.

BlazeVOX 19, Spring 2019 - http://www.blazevox.org/BX%20Covers/BXspring19/David%20Rushmer%20-%20Spring19.pdf

1 poem; Still Time.

BlazeVOX 20, Fall 2020 - http://www.blazevox.org/BX%20Covers/BXFall20/Fall20%20-%20David%20Rushmer.pdf

Placed, A Remembering of Soft Hair, Fathom (from Depth Charge)

​Epizootics Issue 1, November 2016 - https://issuu.com/epizootics/docs/final_draft_issue_one_2nd_november

1 poem: This Body.

Epizootics Issue 2, August 2017 - https://issuu.com/epizootics/docs/epizootics__issue_2

4 photographs: 1, 2, Tombstone, What Space Between Us.

Epizootics Issue 3, December 2019 - https://epizooticszine.wordpress.com/2019/12/09/issue-3-launch/

2 poems: Where We Vanish To, What Matters.

E.ratio 11 2008 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue11_Rushmer.html

2 poems: Hidden by Leaves, Written Off.

E.ratio 12 2009 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue12_Rushmer.html

2 poems: A Blooming, Lance'd.

E. ratio 14 2011 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue14_Rushmer.html

1 poem: Waiting to Happen.

E.ratio 19 2014 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue19_Rushmer.html

1 poem: Holding Your Breath (for Wang Bang).

E.ratio 21 2015 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue21_Rushmer.html

1 poem: Shell.

E.ratio 25 2018 - http://www.eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue25_Rushmer.html

1 poem: Returning Breath.

E.ratio29 2020 - http://eratiopostmodernpoetry.com/issue29_Rushmer.html

2 poems: When Night Fell, Night Flowered (from 'Depth Charge').

Great Works - http://www.greatworks.org.uk/poems/dr4.html

5 poems: Ghosts After Music, I Was Dead, A Lace of Shadows (for D H), Utterly, Threads.

Great Works - http://www.greatworks.org.uk/poems/dr1.html

3 poems: The Disappeared, The Stream, The Passage.

Human Repair Kit - https://www.hrkzine.com/issues/

3 poems: Depth Charge, Wounds, The Gesture

5 collages: Forming Petrification, Night-Blooming Rose, Spine Suture, Skin Graft, Increase of Gravity

Human Repair Kit 2 - https://www.hrkzine.com/david-rushmer2

2 poems: The Radiance, Dictate

Human Repair Kit 3 - https://www.hrkzine.com/david-rushmer-3

1 poem: Particles and Atoms

Molly Bloom 5 2015 -https://previously-in-mollybloom.weebly.com/david-rushmer.html

3 poems: No Matter, The Casualties, The Radiance.

Molly Bloom 8 2015 - https://previously-in-mollybloom.weebly.com/david-rushmer.html

2 poems: The Parallels, Surface Memory.

Molly Bloom 15 2018 - https://previously-in-mollybloom.weebly.com/david-rushmer2.html

3 poems: The Wake, A Matter of Memory, The Death Sensations.

Molly Bloom 19 2019 - https://mollybloom19.weebly.com/david-rushmer.html

2 poems: Darkening, Lightforce.

Molly Bloom 23 2020 - https://mollybloom23.weebly.com/david-rushmer.html

3 poems: Meeting me Halfway (after The Meridian by Paul Celan), Behind the Eyes (from Depth Charge), Tongue to Tongue (from Depth Charge)

Moria volume 1, issue 9, 2006 - http://www.moriapoetry.com/rushmer.html

3 poems: Remains to Be Seen, Sound Asleep, A Journey Through the Body.

Noon: Journal of the Short Poem 17/18 - 2020 - https://noonpoetry.com/issues/

2 poems: Writing IX (an echo...), Writing XXXIX (to put a tongue...)

Noon: Journal of the Short Poem 21/22 - 2022 - https://issuu.com/noonpress/docs/noon_21_22

1 poem: Speech Marks

Otata 46, October 2019 - https://otatablog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/post-otata-46-october-2019.pdf

6 poems: from 'Rote' - Writing XXII (flower sleeping), Writing XXXIII (wrote), Writing XXXIV (speak of me), Writing XXXVII (what is their form), A Matter of Silence, "...one closes the eyes of the dead...

Otoliths February 2018 - https://the-otolith.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/david-rushmer.html

1 poem: The Filament's Heat.

Otoliths August 2020 - https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2020/06/david-rushmer.html

1 poem: Panes (after James Joyce)

OxMag Issue 38, Summer 2016 - https://issuu.com/oxmag/docs/oxmag_polished

1 poem, 2 paintings: The Mother, Blue Horizon, Enso 1.

Sein und Werden Autumn 2016 - http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/autumn16/contents.html

1 poem, 2 photographs: A Blood Duet, Spine Tree, Night Tree (Praying Mantis).

Sein und Werden Summer 2020 - http://www.kissthewitch.co.uk/seinundwerden/summer20/index.html

1 poem, 1 photograph; Writing XI (you cannot enter this room), Untitled (Night Tree - colour)

10th Muse no.13 2004 - http://poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/issuef5f2.html?id=490

3 poems: The Hostage (after Blanchot), Yawn of Ecstacy, The Mirror Cancels Her offspring.

This Corner Pink Issue - http://shulpyakov.ru/files/PINKissueScan.pdf

1 poem: Utterly III.

The Other - photograph by David Rushmer 1994

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Contact - dar43@cam.ac.uk

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