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All Particles and Waves


Isbn 9782919582242 – Jan. 2020 – 84 pages – 13 € / £12

(reprinted in 2022)

‘I perplex other people... I infect them also with the perplexity I feel myself’: as if to echo Socrates’ words, David Spittle’s poems make us look for what, inside language, we did not necessarily know we were looking for. In each poem, precariously poised as Spittle is between syntactical newness and each free act of the mind, he purges us of our anticipation of what the creative act is. Thus, in the same manner as John Ashbery, whose poetry came to him ‘in fits and starts and by indirection’, Spittle’s poetry reveals itself behind the multiple (and mostly involuntary) disguises that reality for him, from one poem to the next, takes on. Hence we find a poet writing always amid the struggle of birth and re-birth, identity and non-identity, a poetry testing itself perilously at the frontiers of both verbal experiment and perception.

             & it is crumblingly apparent that i have been cut loose

             or less cut loose more left loose to cut

             until that map, that script i had – for me, is for a territory

             no longer there or for speech no longer squared

             upon the tongue but in triangulation between

             an i that imagined it would be, an i that without itself is

             & an i that still looks to reconcile the two

             (Of Nowhere nearing)

"Spittle's words tumble down from night branches straight into the reader's weltered bedclothes, each phrase a boggling surprise, darker and more astonishing than expected or feared, and hilarious even, until all a-dreaming are tucked in snug! So rich, so beautiful, one revelatory step after another."

Guy Maddin


also by David Spittle

Decomposing Robert (2023)



"Shifting the status of the mundane" : a review by Vik Shirley in the magazine Tentacular (issue 7, April 2021)

On the blog


David Spittle is a poet and filmmaker. His first pamphlet, B O X, (HVTN Press, 2018) received endorsements from Jeremy Noel-Tod, Oli Hazzard, Luke Kennard, and Jen Calleja. His first short film, Light Noise, was funded by the BBC and ACE. In addition to film and poetry, he has written the libretti to three operas, and in 2014 was commissioned to write a song cycle for Bergen National Opera, since performed internationally. After completing a PhD on John Ashbery and Surrealism, he has continued independent research across Surrealism, Phenomenology, Film and Poetry. Spittle runs an ongoing series of interviews, Light Glyphs, with poets-on-film and filmmakers-on-poetry; these interviews and further links are available on his website:

A gallery of friends & inspirations

Light Noise

A film by David Spittle, broadcast on BBC4 in Nov. 2019

Light Noise explores the parallels between celluloid decay and memory loss through a combination of home movies and a haunting original score.
Sound Design by Jamie Cook

about the film:

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