This is a tremendous thing. Fecund and overwhelmingly tactile, wounds and absences precede sensibility, and yet within it drives thought busy with topographies and feeling-its-way-through. No, even feeling-its-way-through would be wrong, more like drawn along, compelled by a series of shocks and moments of uncovering. This poetry excites me because it occupies a space between the cryptic lexicon of the Cambridge School and Aussies like Louis Armand and John Kinsella, and visionary poets modern and Romantic, like Walt Whitman, Alice Notley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Matthew Hall in the studio reciting Royal Jelly sounds like a sage engaged in public oratory, though the sounds of an inner echo tells us he is alone. It is an excellent recital, and for those wanting to hear Hall possessed by his text they will not be disappointed. But it is not the curses, the hymns of Royal Jelly as I heard them. Its voice for me mutters, wonders, allays, albeit in fear, declaims uncertainly, and atrophies. I hear a very tentative voice, a ghost voice. But, it is always meaningful to have the poet read in a manner utterly different from what one expects, producing a broader dialectic incited by every reading, a dialectic based on the question: is the poem speaking through the poet?
An exciting thing!
– Corey Wakeling, 2011
You can buy Royal Jelly as an ebook from Black Rider Press.
You download Royal Jelly as an audio book (for free or pay what you want) from The Sound of the Black Rider.
Poem extracts from Royal Jelly were featured on the Black Rider Podcast 03.