Perhaps art is too intent on completion. Life, after all, is unfinished.
Because of the way I write, time and space can appear jerky. In my poems there is frequently a disjointed, fragmentary and collaged quality. This is because of my pre-occupation with visual and mental conflicts in art. Anything can be combined in a poem; there is even a place for blandness when coupled with a sharp tongue.

The whole of art, for me, is a quarrel, a feud, a vendetta, a scrimmage, a brabble and a fight. In my poems, the line is the battlefield. The way a line reacts to the one below itself or the one above is where the drama of the poem lies. The time factor often changes in these poems.

Where one line might speak of a brief moment in our contemporary world, its partner below or to its side could refer to an event several centuries earlier. Within the space of half a line, the places alluded to in my poems can also change – from ordinary, parochial settings to far-flung locations unknown to me. There is an unavoidable parallel between how I build a poem and the way that I construct a painting.

Fabian Peake (b. Rustington, 1942) studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and at the Royal College of Art. He taught as a teacher and lecturer for many years in British art schools; and as a visiting lecturer in art departments in America. He works in a range of media, largely based around painting, and has shown in numerous exhibitions in Great Britain, Europe, China, the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. His work is included in private and public collections in Britain, Europe, USA and Mexico.

Peake also writes poetry and short stories, which have been published in magazines, pamphlets and on the internet (UbuWeb Editions). Poetry readings and talks include Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London; Dartington Hall Literary Festival, Totnes, Devon; King’s Place, London; The British Library, London; The Old Operating Theatre, London; University of Texas, Dallas; among others. See also


Five poems over five days (30 December 2013 – 3rd January 2014)


Monday – He walks the horizontal ladder (Read by Clover Peake)
Tuesday – Mistake (Read by Stef Hirsch)
Wednesday – Eye (Read by Phyllida Barlow)
Thursday – This Alley (Read by Giovanna Coppola)
Friday – Song Thrush (Read by Patrick Coyle)


Five poems over five days (23–27 January 2012)


Monday – Loose Monk
Tuesday – it took time for the green
Wednesday – Woodcock
Thursday – they they
Friday – that light