Introduction by Bruce Robinson (author/director, "Withnail & I"):
I didnt buy a book of poetry and understand why Id bought it until I was eighteen years old. It was Baudelaire, and it intoxicated me, inspiring ten lousy years of trying to write poetry before I threw in the rag and accepted I couldnt. By the age Id started, Anno had finished, and if Id read him then I wouldnt have bothered. A real poet can perform feats of magic, claim the world is flat if he wants, so he can sweep all the trash off the edge of it. Anno had that right.
I cant write poetry but I can read it and Anno didnt need death to be brilliant. Death isnt part of the judgement. I dont know where hes at in relation to others and I couldn't give a toss comparisons are a waste of time. I love his rage, and truth, and he touches me like I was still young, although I was 35 when he was born and 55 when he died.
I've always believed that art is the opposite of death, and if I'm right then Anno is very OK. He's just there before the rest of us, presently travelling at 176,000 miles a second, having left better than most of us will ever achieve in his wake. He's eternal now, even if only in this little book, and such a thought gives me comfort. Just as it comforts me to know he's gone and the sinners he despised are condemned to stay, destined for eternal reincarnation as tapeworms in Richard Nixon's gut. I haven't got much of a God, but spare me another fucking Christian with a cluster bomb ...
"Behold, one of several little christs."
You know who you are, and so did Anno, and Kenneth Patchen had them nailed before most of these arseholes were born. I choose to quote Patchen because Anno loved him, and was inspired by him, and is with him. Anno too is a great poet, a teenage poet, and we can only be amazed by what he could do with half a yard of ink.
My love to you, Anno, and to your glorious mother, and your father, my friend, for loving enough to put this book together. I turn the pages grateful that you wrote them they really are like you and they leave me with a sense of hope and sadness, like a child in a garden with a dying bird.