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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Deselected Poem: Byron James is Okay (7th July 2005)

Here is the last of the current batch of de-selected poems from History or Sleep, my Selected Poems. 'Byron James is Okay' comes from the end of Warrant Error. I talk about it in my interview in The Wolf (read here; the interview is also de-selected from the book, similarly because of space). 'It's grim stuff, the blackest impaction of societal depression, with flashes on utopian parkways desperately trying to compensate,' I say. Then I recall the day I wrote this poem: 'I remember first reading Nate Dorward’s review of Tin Pan Arcadia and he quotes that line from 1984 about a foot stamping on a face forever, and says that’s the effect of reading my book. I put The Gig down and switched on the radio. It was July 7th 2005 [i.e., ten years ago today.] Bombs had gone off all over London, it seemed, at the time. I made notes. I wrote "Byron James Is Okay" ... with that criticism ringing in my ears and thinking, yes, this is the world, but also grasping for more positive human values (not that they are not there in Twentieth Century Blues, I hope. At least the blues ring out true.)' What I don't say in the interview is the more interesting human story of being later contacted by Byron James, who had sent the message that appeared on Sky News and that I had quoted in my notes and subsequent poem's title, who asked to see the rest of the poem (Paul A. Green had published a portion of it, from his account of the 60th birthday bash for Allen Fisher, which passed by the site of 7/7, at which the poem was first read, hence its dedication. See that celebration here too, and here).

Byron James is Okay (7th July 2005)

                                    for Allen Fisher

Text phone no-name news-clips
Shatter the showered details. If
Was whened in the burnished air, a tin-
Can chrysalis formerly a double-decker bus.

Only the city has a name. It’s calm.
Fluttery police tapes. Shivering faces
Covered with soot. Lacerations of sand-
Grain particles. Who walked over bodies; others,

Dismembered, still in their seats. Anon-
Ymous heroes beside pockmarked walls patch up
No bodies ‘burning in fear’ – above shaky sounds

Of movement under ground. Police fumble with a
Geodesic tent funnelled to the mouth of the Tube.
They call the unnamed names back to the world.

Warrant Error may be purchased here, from Shearsman Books. A few more of its poems appear here to 'welcome' the readacted report on the 'War on Terror'.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Robert Sheppard: de-selected poem from History or Sleep: Putting Claws on the Glove (for Joan Brossa)

Tony Fraser has asked me to shave off some pages of my forthcoming 'Selected Poems' and I'm afraid this one has to go, the only section selected (then de-selected) from a poem 'writing through'/'translating' Joan Brossa's visual poems ('from the Catalan', I say, although there are no words in his poems). I thought some of the thoughts embodied in the poem are handled elsewhere, but I regret losing this gesture to a great literary figure. The full poem may still be read in Hymns for the God in which my Typewriter Believes.

from Putting Claws on the Glove: Poemes Objecte by Joan Brossa

from the Catalan

This mask is only off
by being on

You are behind it
and only through it
can you be before us, saying:

See my eyes,

I have made them for you
through what I say

See my mouth,
its tongue

flipping the letters to and fro,
back and forth, up and down

Let me say: there is a mask
placed upon an open blank page

We shall wear it together

Image result for joan brossa poema visual

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Patricia Farrell's A Space Filled Completely with Matter now published

Patricia Farrell’s A Space Completely Filled with Matter, the performance-dance piece she wrote for Jennifer Cobbing (and Veryan Weston) is now out from Veer. Here.

Some images were published on Pages, including here, here and here. They give some idea of the text, which is sumptuous in the Veer edition.

Another of Patricia's projects (as an artist here), her book The Zechstein Sea here, and her website here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Robert Sheppard: a de-selected poem & The Anti-Orpheus online

Voices Within

Otherword is other-                                                    The new wild order: slice
wise, is wise in the face of                                          certain pages from the Book

the world and the                                                        Of Songs; write or rot. I
word. It turns away from                                            keep another book of unsung

the world to let it be: snow                                         notsongs near my hand, to turn
falls on its own melting.                                              to song, thought’s counterpoint.

Tony Fraser asked me to shave 6 pages from my selected poems, which he is publishing later this year. I will post most of them here (excepting a substitution within A Translated Man of one text for another). This text above is taken from my poetics notes/poem/essay The Anti-Orpheus (which is available online on the Shearsman site here. It posits a Levinasian poetics.).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Robert Sheppard and Pete Clarke: latest prints

This piece by Pete Clarke uses elements from my poem 'Excitation for Pete Clarke' that was recently published in English (see here). These prints will be exhibited at the Krakow Print Biennele in September. Pete and I have been inactive for a while, but we had an exhibition at Edge Hill University in 2013. See links here and here. I talk about the work on my research video, accessible here

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Robert Sheppard: The Meaning of Form: new title & new order of contents

The Meaning of Form in Contemporary Innovative Poetry

Robert Sheppard

That's the new title. Below is the new contents page. You can see how it differs (and how it doesn't, from the description of the project and links to dry-runs, digressions and drafts of the the chapters, HERE. There is nothing new added, but the order of chapters was changed (and a half chapter on Christopher Middleton was dropped, though published it is here).


Introduction: Form, Forms and Forming

1. Veronica Forrest-Thomson: Poetic Artifice and Naturalization in Theory and Practice

2.  Convention and Constraint: Form in the Innovative Sonnet Sequence

3. Translation as Transformation: Tim Atkins’ and Peter Hughes’ Petrarch

4. Meddling the Medieval: Caroline Bergvall and ErĂ­n Moure

5. Translation as Occupation: Simon Perril and Sean Bonney

6. Rosmarie Waldrop: Poetics, Wild Forms and Palimpsest Prose

7. The Trace of Poetry and the Non-Poetic: Conceptual Writing and Appropriation in Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place and John Seed

8. Stefan Themerson: Iconopoeia and Thought-Experiments in the Theater of Semantic Poetry

9. The Making of the Book: Bill Griffiths and Allen Fisher

10. Geraldine Monk’s Poetics and Performance: Catching Form in the Act

11. Form and the Antagonisms of Reality: Barry MacSweeney’s Sin Signs