Home Louis Buxton, 2 December, 2019 As promised, Lewis Buxton was ‘different’. Still a youthful mid- twenties, he has arrived on the poetry scene with a fair amount of . audacity, and éclat.His agenda concerns male masculinity. Like ‘performance poets’, he recites much of his work by heart, and impact is reinforced with gesture. There’s a sexy element as well as a message that it is ok to talk about one’s body – an obvious concern in the age of selfiedom.Two poems that struck me among the 15 or so centred round Lewis’ own feelings about his body, quite a lot of ‘father relationship’ poems and two ‘Mums’. ‘Blossom, and dogs and tennis balls’ brought together an unlikely trio in an unbroken spill of loose narrative lines. The story is strong and cleverly knit, reminding me of Louis McNeice’s much-quoted line about ‘ the drunkenness of things being various.’‘‘The Pink tree / has stopped me dead, pretty me, city boy / who does not know what to do / with all this beauty, how to hold it / in my head.’ The other was a carefully crafted, very visual sonnet from his Nine Arches, Primers joint-pamphlet, Cues (easy for a listener to mistake for ‘Queues’). A pub scene, ’I’m passing the last cue left on the shelf / to a boy I’m so close with I could be playing myself’. Is he watching his boyhood self? *Of ten Father-poems from the floor, only one, Heaney’s ‘Digging’ (Carla’s choice) was a classic. And what a lot the poem says, both about the poet and his father, in his distinctive, earthy way.Maureen’s ‘Fathers’ said a lot too. If only these men understood the effect they have on their offspring. Like Maureen, Pippa sometimes longed for a surrogate Pa (‘In Loving Memory of Old Bob (1899-1982)’. Her other shorties included a desolate admission of the pain unsaid words can bring (‘for JSR’) and one describing how her father was mourned (‘My Father’s Death’ from One Year Later, The Finger Press 1982).Alice’s poem (‘My Father’) began with memorable lines:Dad liked elephants – why not? He had a mantelpiece collection of whimsical little pachyderms in wood, brass and pottery.Bob’s ‘A Concert’ 1943 was a fine tribute to the wartime exploits of his father, who kept a programme with him while serving as a driver/motor mechanic in WW2. Peter’s ‘Father Christmas’ rounds up tellingly with boxes of decorations kept in boxes ‘he marked fragile’.Briony’s, eleven-stanza narrative was in the voice of a ten or eleven-year-old girl (‘At my father’s house’). It dug into familial relationships in so many revealing ways. Anne’s poem. too, (‘Who art in heaven’), was a closely argued and moving childhood reaction to the negative space left by a father who died when she was three.