For all the things we may know about the nurturing of relationships, the door always swings open to new initiatives. Such is the case with the online poetry site remake, which was set up early in 2022 with a plan to run for eight issues. It forms an impromptu poetic community, and each six-weekly issue features four invited poets who each contribute a single poem of their own along with a personal reflection on the poem, on any aspect they may choose. There is a further comment on the poem written by a fellow contributor, again from an open perspective. Each individual item is limited in length to about 500 words; while sidedoor, the fifth menu tab, is where you will find more extended writing about the poetic art.
The site provides an interesting layering of creation, insight and perspective, made more intimate in that the range of contents is limited and the fact that those who participate are able to produce some very fine writing. It’s great to have this focused level of interaction happening among our most capable poets. What binds the site together is the beauty and richness of shared experience that poetry makes possible. Here’s a screenshot of the front page of the current issue www.poetryremake6.wordpress.com:
This is the entry point. Immediately, there is a strange feeling of disquiet that poet-photographer Richard von Sturmer’s cover image suggests. This is appropriate because remake involves a probing that goes beyond an all-too-easy consensus. Life, poetics, their place of meeting, can be warm or most confronting: the ordinariness of a rusted bracket, a pitted wall, seeping red and white paint, appears at once ordinary and quite extraordinary. In remake6, as in earlier issues, the connections that are made bring their own surprises. Witness Anna Jackson’s remarkable poem ‘This is the needle’, in which there is no flinching from the strange beauty that lingers in disquiet and the surprising movement in the images. One is easily mesmerized:
If only I had not poured and poured and poured and poured.
If only I could get past all the doors
to the light on the other side of the darkness.
Anna’s poem is ostensibly about the relationship between mothers and daughters, and how disparate things are ‘stitched’ together:
This is the needle
that stitches the silver lining to the cloud…
It ends, ‘Oh, it is simply pouring down’. In her reflection Anna says, ‘It is a poem that can’t be read literally, obviously, because how can a cliff stitch a voice to the ground, but it doesn’t come together as any kind of extended metaphor either’. Michele Leggott, who provides the comment on the poem, serendipitously adds: ‘This is the needle that stitches the weave of generation, blackberries under a cliff, silver cloud behind the door of two in the morning. This is the needle of biopsy and shadow stitching, painful and pluripotent. Oh, it is simply pouring down’.
This is a sample of the wealth of texture that the poets who contribute to remake are able to weave together.
And a ‘stitching together’ is perhaps the best way to consider remake. It combines the notions of gathering into one place, embroidery and patterning, cohesion and surprise, refinement and achievement. This, I submit, makes the site an interesting place to visit and connect with in your own way—and you are warmly invited to do so.
John Geraets is a poet and critic who lives in Whangārei. He curates poetryremake www.poetryremake6.wordpress.com and his selected writing Everything’s Something in Place appeared from Titus Books in 2019.