Goff Morgan - Adventures In Hack Poetry

A repository for the poetry of Goff Morgan, the one and only Newport Town Poet. Goff was the only official town poet in Wales from 1997 to 2000, and since then has continued in an informal capacity to write commissioned verse for BBC Radio Wales, and others.

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Location: Newport, Gwent, United Kingdom

I trained as an actor in the early eighties, and performed my own one-man shows until 2000. I was made Newport Town Poet in 1997, and have broadcast on BBC Radio Wales since 1991. My first solo programme for Radio Wales was "Goff At The Pictures", and I've recently completed a two parter called "Goff's Guiding Principles".

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Measure A Circle Starting Anywhere

It was a joy to discover that the 6th of August 1874 was the birthday of Charles Hoy Fort, and a can think of few finer men to celebrate. I'm something of an OOPart myself (an out of place artifact), and have always loved the bizarre world of Fortean doomed data.

This poem is an imagined tour through the head of Charles Fort, where reality is a lot more interesting, and was broadcast on Roy's Rarebits on BBC Radio Wales on August 6 2006.

Measure A Circle Starting Anywhere

Inside the noiseless libraries of London and New York
Charles Hoy Fort, darling of damned data,
Lifted the edge of science's carpet
To bring brushed-away facts out for an airing.
With a lush moustache, dark and drooping like an elderly ravens wings,
And thick, waving hair swooping to each side in a determinedly off-centre parting,
This Theodore Roosevelt of Anomaly,
Culled The Times, Nature and the Scientific American
For inconvenient factualities.

Behind the round and shining pebble lenses of his spectacles,
Behind his dark contrarian eyes,
The world was not what they told us it was:
Balls of lightening rolled with spark and thunder,
Fish pattered from the sky to flap and gasp upon the pavement,
Frogs croaked from the glittering heart of stones,
Giant phantom cats stalked the wrong locations,
Poltergeists banged and clattered or spontaneously combusted,
Folk and other objects randomly levitated, translocated and teleported,
Aliens regularly abducted across the sweeping, fuzzy boundaries of pseudoscience
And giant wheels of light swirled in the midst of the oceans!

Inside his skull
Life was one vast correlation,
A mass of such strange, discarded and interrelated intelligence,
Each and every thing, so improbably connected
That coincidence itself ceased to exist.
Nothing was without intention,
Existence was one all-encompassing circle
You could start measuring from any point.
He could slide away into the wide Super Sargasso Sea,
That titanic other dimensional liquid waste where all lost things go,
Where he could swim through the drowned halls of the Library of Alexandria
Searching out the lost souls of life's unmanageable facts,
A bespectacled and moustachioed seal
In a shoal of shimmering notelets.

Outside the noiseless libraries of London and New York,
Charles Hoy Fort, President of All OOPArts,
As out of place as a frog in a stone,
Was faced by a world where lightening only flashed,
All bumps in the night were easily explained away,
And the only thing that rained from the sky was water,
But, he knew, in the depths of his mocking soul,
That there was a Universal Mind -
And it was barking mad!


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