When A.S. Patric’s Music for Broken Instruments became our architectural maxim

Once A.S. Patric’s debut poetry collection Music for Broken Instruments gets tossed, and tumbles into your bloodstream, don’t fret that the pin’s been pulled on this grenade. The anticipation of the explosion is a sublime act of destruction.

Ripping the fogged sunglasses from our faces with “drop a brick / into your soul” … “as God bawls down / from his brawling bar”, Patric slaps us across the mouth.

Wake up! This is the real stuff, friends!

So much so that if Patric’s ever backed into a corner, you know damn well the Black Rider’s got his back. ‘Cause when Patric says something like “then you can look at the whales and smile knowingly / be an expert on why they insist on beaching / themselves / just when you were about to relax / and have a daydream / about daydreaming”, there’s nothing left to do but live wide-eyed and brazen and to raise our glasses and pledge love and loyalty to each other.

You can download a free promo excerpt , but let’s stop kidding ourselves, this is a poetry collection you need to own in full.

So one day when you find A.S. Patric and the Black Rider encircled by droogs, you’ll stand tall alongside us with fists raised, eyes gleaming and honour glowing.

Music for Broken Instruments is available from the Black Rider Shop.

What they’re saying

Music For Broken Instruments is A. S. Patric’s first book of poems, following a number of short fiction publications in the last couple of years. While this was not my first introduction to A.S. Patric’s poetry (I have followed his blog for a reasonable while now), this is the first time I have read them in a collected volume.

A. S. Patric writes emotional, unapologetic poems that, at their best, fracture realities, grasp at moments, and drown in the aftermath. Further into the volume, the mood shifts and more global topics surface amidst the interpersonal miasma that has come before.

While I enjoyed the early introspective pieces dealing with loss and exclusion, I was particularly drawn to those poems that took risks: Paper targetsand In defence of blind ignorance play with form and structure, with the latter’s call-and-response rhythm breaking the mold before rebuilding it, piece by piece. A lover in fortuna is the funniest of all the pieces, perhaps hinting at a comedic streak not otherwise explored, while But Mostly Air is conveniently, pure poetry from beginning to end.

Music for Broken Instruments showcases an intensity, an emotional honesty that resonates well after the final poem. As a reader, you cannot help but be moved by the journey. While at times I felt uncomfortable with such raw emotion, I also recognised the courage and conviction of A.S. Patric’s words…and that, to my mind, says more about his talent than any superlatives I might otherwise choose to define or categorise his work. – Laurie Steed

Music for Broken Instruments is absorbing with its filaments of churning lullabies all prime and lucid amongst the many poetic harmonics. Byron wrote, ‘Music arose with its voluptuous swell’, an apt description of the poems within. – Alicia Sometimes

“Alec Patric’s book of poetry, Music for Broken Instruments, reminded me that poetry is fun. It’s been a long time since I felt that about a bit of present-day poetry. We’re all so bloody serious, striving to be smart and innovative. Alec reminded me that that this is perhaps best achieved without trying; or, better still, whilst giving the impression of not trying. And this is not a small thing: you could almost say that, as far as the history of poetry goes, he achieves the ultimate aim. ‘The art is to hide the art’.” – Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers

There is music here for those of us yawning at life, at the monotonous construction and collapse of each day. For those of us uncertain, feeling ‘a little Spiderman lost in Gotham’. This is A.S. Patric hitting notes and chords a broken instrument might believe, offering poems rich in image, sound and rhythm, even distortion. He admits to the days that are only for bearing and reminds us to keep a window open just enough for a paper plane to sneak through or for a small bang theory, though ‘Truth rides a horse with one blind eye’. – Nathan Curnow (The Ghost Poetry Project)

Music for Broken Instruments is a welcome shock. Determined and inventive, Patric’s poetry demands that the reader think about and question their world, all the while catching us up in language that is like the sea, dark and wild one moment, measured and beautiful the next. – Ashley Capes
A.S. Patric strikes a chord in this brave and powerful first collection. Music for Broken Instruments is a sequence of poems that creates a fabulous narrative, or journey perhaps, offering people we know, people we don’t want to admit we know, people we don’t want to talk about, and people we don’t want to admit we might be. –  Tiggy Johnson


Filed under Australia, Black Rider Press, Poetry, Published

3 responses to “When A.S. Patric’s Music for Broken Instruments became our architectural maxim

  1. Just downloaded my copy, I’ve printed and spirax bound it (thanks to office resources!) and am looking forward to ripping into it on the way to the SWF this afternoon to hear Jeff Sparrow and others talk about digital publishing, one wrong word from them and I will slap them in the mouth with these atomic words. Thanks Jeremy, awesome job.

  2. gnunn

    How was the launch JB? Hope it blew some minds!

    • it was unreal – will tell the tale of solidarity soon. was just reading about your Vlautin event, sounds amazing and special.

      how’d your gig go last Wednesday? had you on my mind that night…

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