Cue bunny rabbits…


Cue Bunny Rabbits…
I have just received these two new books by RHYS HUGHES

Bunny Queue and Others
My Rabbit’s Shadow Looks Like a Hand

Left: IMPSPIRED publisher


My previous reviews of Rhys Hughes:

My previous reviews of Eibonvale Press:

When I read these books, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

27 thoughts on “Cue bunny rabbits…

  1. Bunny Queue and Others

    I have now read these easy to slip down poems up to Bunny Queue itself on page 25. It’s all like relaxing in a warm bath of words with a naïve glint of mischief as a rubber duck. My favourites so far are Opposites and I Ordered A Beer. But they are all favourites of sorts.

  2. Meanwhile, the poem on page 3 of MY RABBIT’S SHADOW… is reprinted on the back cover. The latter version is the one I read first, so the one on page 3 is really the reprint for me. Which the source, which the shadow? A slight ghost in the night hutch, as I once caught myself thinking, or a beautiful woman created from my own shadow?

  3. MY RABBIT’S SHADOW… (cont.)

    Pages 5 – 15

    “How could this be?
    Indeed, how can anything be?”

    Captivating account of a children’s entertainer who casts shadow animals with his hand, now finding his own ‘pet rabbit’ casts a shadow – with a carrot on the bedroom wall – that looks like a human hand with a pen. Through many intriguing means and rules of engagement, these shadows individuate and write separate tracts to the human in us. This, today, includes a phantom of a finger and a “Never forget the thumb indeed!” synchronously on the same day as I reviewed Brian Evenson’s ‘The Devil’s Hand’ — earlier today before reading this Rhysian delight HERE!

  4. MY RABBIT’S SHADOW (cont.)

    “I have only one brain so I only think once.”

    Which begs the question – is just one thought destructive to the brain that thinks it?

    Here, meanwhile a discrete passage called THE ESCAPE (where, thus, the brain survives its thought) is written by the eponymous shadow and is about arriving at the bottom of an awe-inspiring chasm and then seeing one’s reflection in a river. A cross between a cloud and a fish. And that begs another question – in what ways does a reflection differ from a shadow? Yet a reflection can be tantamount to a thought…

  5. BUNNY QUEUE (cont.)

    I have lost my spectacles but I have managed to read up to the poetic tour de force called PUNPKIN ending on page 53. My favourite one, though, amid this section of the book is the poem with a ludicrous pun for ‘pensioner’. Good job I have an autocorrect on this computer, but strange it seems to be one that fails to check words made entirely from capital letters. Just as the one called ESTHETE is spectacularly disfigured enough to miscount lines or words with naked bravado.

  6. MY RABBIT’S SHADOW (cont.)

    Cue Bunnies cont…

    Now that shadow woman or a world muse love has inverted her bike for our narrative conjurer to demonstrate how the cards she has inserted into the wheels flick by more like cinematic images than the motorised clicking sound that could thus be spun in our childhood. Which reminds me — and this is absolutely true — when I was ten years old I thus spun with the pedal the upside down wheels of my bike and impulsively put my finger into the almost invisible spokes! – and chopped the tip of my finger off. A fact that seems strangely in tune with this book, so far one of Rhys Hughes’ most satisfyingly tantalising works, I would say…
    And later in my reading of it today, the narrator tries two torches, thus creating two shadows on his wall and eventually two vertically parallel written works by that shadow about chivalry and love. To be read down and across. Tantalising, did I just say? Well, you don’t know half of it!

  7. Pingback: Almost Invisible Spokes | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews

  8. BUNNY QUEUE (cont.)

    A few more pages read up to page 58 in this delightfully naïve and Rhysianly notable poetry collection, and three timely references within them …

    “Always the handmaid, never the hand.”

    “Boris, suck my toes.”

    “The two carrots…”

  9. And in the next section of the other independent book, we read about contortions of Yoga mooted as cross-references to hands, toes &c, and I wonder if books can breed in a similar way as this narrator seems to fear in…

    MY RABBIT’S SHADOW… (cont.)

    “So I went out to buy carrots.”

    A mix of love story (with Belinda, the world muse of a beauty who had turned the bike upside down, unless I am confused) and fear that two rabbits (with shadows from two torches as their handy essence) might fulfil the old saying about rabbits breeding! Breeding that he now fears, as I myself fear these two books’ coupling might out-conceit each other! There is indeed much here where the author somehow even outdoes himself in tantalising puns and conceits, beyond even caricature. The next rabbit-shadow-as-hand screed is a shipboard tale in contrastive climes wherein the narrator as rabbit within it is the ship’s captain “with the men under my thumb.” A ship of different elements in different climes is a difficult craft to ply. And there is no way that even I can scry for you this rabbit’s discrete written work about a ship called HABAKKUK. Its pun of ‘profit’ and ‘prophet’ you will wish to be in denial about, no doubt! Nothing worse than a Punny Rabbit, I’d say!

  10. BUNNY QUEUE (cont. up to page 61)

    “The two carrots in the hot soup are getting quite intimate…”

    With all this talk of secret Zeno’s Paradox races for various animals at midnight, and sex acts like a giant gorilla’s kissy fits and ‘Gulls! Knees!’ to go with earlier hands and toes, I wonder if the rabbit’s own secret is that it itself is the magician not the person who pulls it out of a hat.
    By the way, the word ‘quotidian’, I contest, is an everyday word. You see, James O’Brien uses it every day on his popular LBC phone-in show. Well almost every day! Sign-waves my own hand in feisty riposte.

  11. Today’s reading of MY RABBIT’S SHADOW, delightfully brain-stirring as ever, but I realised for the first time that one of the Bunnies on the cover is wearing a sexy stocking. And the stocking is now cross-hatched or shaded or shadowed by the same image inside the book. Seems appropriate to the carrots’ sexiness in today’s reading of the other book above.
    By the way, another riposte: to dare oneself to a dare is not absurd. It is life itself.

    But, on the other hand, life is absurd… hmmm.

    • Thinking about it, that ‘sexy stocking’ could easily be seen as a dressing for a wound, as with that on my ten year old finger…
      But then that perhaps begs the absurd question of whether a rabbit’s front leg is not a leg at all, but an arm, a hand, a finger or a paw?!

  12. BUNNY QUEUE (up to p. 78)

    I see even ‘deadlines’ have the deadliness of being double-pluralised, but that does not necessarily stop them getting into their own procrastination of a Zeno’s Paradox as ‘coiled boiled spaghetti.’
    Still, as a contrast, a human body, that is even as old as mine, can be ever deterred from dying by the ‘meantime’ generated within more positive forms of that paradox, such as a stint of pickling!
    Or by eating rabbit stew, heaven forfend!

    “Can you smell
    carrots again
    or is it
    only me?”

  13. MY RABBIT’S SHADOW (cont. to page 56)

    “where time passed slower”

    An ever-associative tour-de-force fable as a man reincarnated as a rabbit writes the next carrot-screed, and fulfils my premonition above of such Zeno slowth emerging in this the next episode of this book! Involving restless nights based on ship bunks at last to be eased by purchase on land of a huge circular bed. But a compass point tossing and turning like this author’s recent Mecca story evolves into clock springs or pendulum dreams but I sense a happy ending is in store when the dreamer’s delivery man as diminutive Salta is helped by a giant paper Atlas to become Atlas himself in what I infer to be Utopia and not if I Inferno happy ending. A giant Atlas, as if ever turning in its pointing at Mecca in more ways than one, and this is reminiscent of another story I read recently by the Rhys where people travelled within such an Atlas. And that is the simplified version of what I wrote originally about this reincarnated rabbit screed called THE PACKAGE HOLIDAY.

  14. BUNNY QUEUE (cont. to page 91)

    When I visited the Isle of Lewis in 1981 the ‘town’ where I stayed was called Back. And my then young children, after a day of sight seeing (a strange expression, in hindsight), sang a song they invented called ‘Going Back to Back’! One day, I shall Lewis to Lewis again. Meanwhile, more pointing the right way to Mecca if with “no moral compass’ but with a Cyrano de Bergerac one! Or get drunk and spin around my head! Two gems in this section of pages: I KNOW ONE THING that sent me mad and the tour de force involving the mis-urchinning of urchins!


    “…clock hands never get tired. They keep going without a rest.”

    But that begs the question can this book ever end? Unless the torch battery goes. Goes where? Or the clockwork seizes up or is not wound? Or mis-wound? Or gets stuck into stasis by a gluey Zenoism or, as some books have it, Zenonism. Anyway, whatever the case, after a dodgy torch battery made the torch flash, the next rabbit screed is a hexametric grid of words worthy of this author’s ‘How Many Times?’ book. But the book’s impending end is one where Belinda comes to dinner with her bicycle – at least twice! With the next rabbit screed filtered through stout, giving birth to a Limerick-haiku or a vice versa that we were once told not to perpetrate. Then there is a screed with the torch shone through her bike-spokes which resulted in a Bunnyard Kipling masterpiece that aptly contains the words “chopped off”! And, later, much other wordplay — human hands and shadows and rabbit hands or shadows and toes and fingers or whatever human or rabbity each shadow casts — and involving skies and bodies of water and attics and a genius Fibonacci screed that should never have existed at all as the carrot had been nibbled away but it taught me something new about Fibonacci that I never knew — and I now keep saying, how many times, how many times? … till I reach a final paragraph worth dying for — about two hands clasped or in love like praying ones ………. ‘at the place where two prayers cross’ as was once said upon a Brief Visit to Bunnyville – but only I can appreciate such allusion, I guess!

    “A gestalt. That’s what we are, my dear.”

    • “that’s no reflection on you,
      my friend! It’s no reflection on you.”

      This is my coda’s Rag, Tag and Bobtail to the Bunnymphony that is my review of these two books as unintended shadows of each other’s stand-aloneness, but which the thought, which the reflection or shadow, in such a presumption about any sense of intent or non-intent? A rabbit caught in the headlights or is this my much younger self with its own eyes thus caught? Yet this book ends with an “oldfangled bunny grunter” just like me today! Death has it own headlights, I guess. And these last few pages of BUNNY QUEUE poems in my own gluey queue of reading time that is left to me are more examples of unforgivable puns and child-like glee in the wordplay of power-imagining, as mingled with endearing undercurrents of defiant Rhysian grumpiness at some of us being quite unable or wilfully unwilling to follow the wild mazes of his own wilful playfulness of fictionatronic (il)logic. This writer has certainly not lost his hutch. (I even pinched that last bit from one of these books!)


  16. Pingback: Author In The Headlights | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews

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