Geoff Stevens dies.

We are sad to tell you that Geoff Stevens, poet, editor, artist and, to the end, his own man, died peacefully in his sleep at 3.06 a.m. on February 2, 2012.
Geoff Stevens was born on the 4th June, 1942, at West Bromwich, in the industrial midlands of England that is known as The Black Country. It was at that time a mixture of industrial, post-industrial, and countryside in minature, a unique rich admixture. He was initially a successful pupil at school, but his later schooling was for boys only, operated six days a week, and was both constrictive and restrictive, and he rebelled against it. On leaving, he got a job as an industrial chemist and studied part-time for academic qualifications. Chemistry was to be his occupation until 1995, and he worked in the chemical manufacturing, paint making, electroplating, bicycle, and closure industries. Local history and custom was also an interest and he began to write about those and on other subjects for journals and newspapers, and also became Director of Industrial Archaeology for The Black Country Society. In the 1970’s, inspired by local versifiers, and then by reading Dylan Thomas, he began to write poetry and to submit it to magazines, until he was eventually succesful in getting it published. He also began a long interest in reading poetry in public. 1976 saw the inception of his own poetry magazine, Purple Patch, which passed its 100th. edition in June 2001 and celebrated its 30th. year in 2006 Other magazines he has edited are Purple Pastiche (poetry and art), S-Fest Ltd. (U.K. Editor of U.S.Lit mag.), Micropress Midlands Poetry, and one guest issue of South magazine. He was a founder member of Spouting Forth poetry performance and publication group in the 90’s and, with Brendan Hawthorne, started the Poetry Wednesbury group of poets in 2002
by Geoff Stevens
Battered red raw with the cold
beaten and tattered by the wind
the neon sign bleeds its blood
into a rare roast-beef sky
winks Cafe with a nervous tick
the uncertainty of electrical connection.
It mouths to unidentified objects
and receives light signals back
from things that cross the sky.
Beneath the sizzling sign
chromium hisses steam
a fly buzzes in an empty display case
and a little green man sits on a high stool
reading a book on cordon bleu cooking.
Cars pass-by rapidly on the darkened by-pass
like asteroids racing around a lonely planet
in the universal backwaters of existence.

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