The Man with the Kindest Face (Film-Poem Online)

<a href="https://vimeo.com/271929492"><img src="https://www.robertpeake.com/files/2018/05/tmwtkf-thumb.jpg" /><br />Click to watch</a>

The Man with the Kindest Face

The rear-view glimpse is fleeting
as he lets you into the lane.

He might not have a face at all
or change it like a set of masks—

behind a newspaper in the waiting room,
sliding over to make room on the bus.

You resolve next time to look at him,
risk letting him look back at you.

You taste the salt in your throat,
and you hear him ask, What’s wrong?

You smile at him and say, Nothing.
And you mean it. Nothing at all.

The man with the kindest face has change for a twenty

He doesn’t look rich. Yet his pockets overflow with coins. “How much do you need?” he asks, and you tell him. You want to tell him more—-that you need to believe, understand, be heard. He extends his closed hand like a magician. You expect nothing. You expect a dove to fly out from his sleeve. You open your hand, beneath his, and wait.

Process Notes

The poem is a splice of the first poem that opens my new collection Cyclone and one of the many poems featuring the same figure that recurs throughout the collection. The film is footage from the Prelinger Archives, which I projected cylindrically into a 3D rendering environment (Blender), rotating the camera to give a continuous scroll effect. I then sliced and flipped this, giving the Rorschach-test-like effect of imagery spilling out from the midline. We then projected this footage onto the face of our friend and actor Barney Wells with a sheet behind him and filmed it. Valerie once again composed and performed the music, and from there it all came together quite quickly in the editing process.


Eleni Cay and Friends at the Slovak Embassy in London

“A poem on paper is nothing more than a piece of writing that may be used for anything that can be done with a piece of writing.”
-Paul Valéry

This event celebrates the multiple forms a poem can take and the multiple voices it can accommodate. It brings together four artists bound by their shared passion for poetry and the arts.

Poetry: Eleni Cay, Robert Peake and Anna Selby
Piano: Valerie Kampmeier
Visual Art: “Did you know? This is Slovakia”


Upcoming Readings: Ledbury, Leicester, London

The summer and autumn months are looking good for poetry.

I will be giving a variety of readings, in a variety of different formats, at various locations throughout the UK, between now and the end of October.

Ledbury 2015 Ledbury Poetry Festival, July 4th, 15:40 — 16:00

I will be reading from The Knowledge as part of the “20 Minutes With…” series at Ledbury Poetry Festival. This is one of Britain’s best-loved poetry festivals, and I’m excited to attend. More»

Hohensalzburg Castle The Saison Poetry Library at London’s Southbank Centre, August 5th 20:00 — 21:30

I will be reading from The Silence Teacher alongside fellow UK-based poets published by Poetry Salzburg. More»

shindig Leicester Shindig, September 21st 19:30 — 21:00

An ensemble reading and open mic in this much-loved Midlands reading series produced by Nine Arches Press and Crystal Clear Creators. More»

Jazz-Poetry Rhyme and Rhythm Jazz-Poetry Club in London, October 2nd 20:00 — 22:00

I’m very excited to perform poetry in collaboration with the London jazz band Special Edition (Louis Cennamo, Barry Parfitt, Tim Stephens and Graham Pike). Hosted by Allen Ashley and Sarah Doyle, with open mic slots available. More»

Hope to see you there!


London Poems in The Knowledge

I am currently on the other side of the world from London, flying from Sydney to Hong Kong.

Yet London has been my residence and preoccupation for the past several years, culminating in my forthcoming debut full-length collection of poetry, The Knowledge.

Many of the poems are set in a specific place in London. So, as supplement to a more traditional table of contents, what follows is an interactive Google map of poem titles, including links to online version of the poems where applicable.

<a href="https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zFGf_lwPvijI.knpShiwKF_I8"><img src="https://www.robertpeake.com/files/2015/01/london-poems.png" alt="London Map" class="alignnone" style="width: 100%; max-width: 800px; min-width: 320px; border: 0;" /><br />Click here to view the map</a>