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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Patricia Farrell's birthday (again!): link to last year's tributes

Last year I surprised Patricia for her big birthday by assembling a set of tributes, messages and responses. This year, it's a little one, but you can review all the homages (from Geraldine Monk to Allen Fisher, Peter Hughes to Bill Bulloch) here, along with info about Patricia's activities!

Robert

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Kybartai Noctune Remode (by the EUOIA's Jurgita Zujute)



The original ‘Kybarti Junction’ appears in a straight translation by René Van Valckenborch in A Translated Man. (See here.)

The version here utilises the technique of his own ‘Revolutionary Song’ from the same book to transform the poem; Jurgita Zujūtė has performed the piece chorally with Stephenas Vaikinas-Žemė and Josephine Ventiliatorius. Actually, that's me performing it with Steve Boyland and Jo Blowers, which you can read about here. Of course, it is a technique that might be fruitfully applied to many poems.

 Here is the original 'Revolutionary Song' in colour!


Kybartai Noctune Remodel

(Revolutionary Song Number 2)


what is that sound humming like an antique
is that sound humming like an antique fridge
that sound humming like an antique fridge packed
sound humming like an antique fridge packed with
humming like an antique fridge packed with ice


like an antique fridge packed with ice the
an antique fridge packed with ice the hint
antique fridge packed with ice the hint of
fridge packed with ice the hint of a
packed with ice the hint of a turbine
with ice the hint of a turbine something
ice the hint of a turbine something turning
the hint of a turbine something turning a
hint of a turbine something turning a patient
of a turbine something turning a patient siren
a turbine something turning a patient siren rising
turbine something turning a patient siren rising and
something turning a patient siren rising and falling


turning a patient siren rising and falling perhaps
a patient siren rising and falling perhaps it’s
patient siren rising and falling perhaps it’s merely
siren rising and falling perhaps it’s merely the
rising and falling perhaps it’s merely the sound
and falling perhaps it’s merely the sound of
falling perhaps it’s merely the sound of maintenance
perhaps it’s merely the sound of maintenance men
it’s merely the sound of maintenance men on
merely the sound of maintenance men on the
the sound of maintenance men on the railway
sound of maintenance men on the railway hi-viz
of maintenance men on the railway hi-viz jackets
maintenance men on the railway hi-viz jackets between
men on the railway hi-viz jackets between last
on the railway hi-viz jackets between last train
the railway hi-viz jackets between last train and
railway hi-viz jackets between last train and first
hi-viz jackets between last train and first testing
jackets between last train and first testing the
between last train and first testing the line


last train and first testing the line it’s
train and first testing the line it’s a
and first testing the line it’s a tumour
first testing the line it’s a tumour on
testing the line it’s a tumour on the
the line it’s a tumour on the flanks
line it’s a tumour on the flanks of
it’s a tumour on the flanks of night
a tumour on the flanks of night this
tumour on the flanks of night this voice
on the flanks of night this voice its
the flanks of night this voice its pain
flanks of night this voice its pain rising
of night this voice its pain rising and
night this voice its pain rising and falling
this voice its pain rising and falling a
voice its pain rising and falling a suspiration
its pain rising and falling a suspiration perhaps
pain rising and falling a suspiration perhaps within
rising and falling a suspiration perhaps within me
and falling a suspiration perhaps within me the
falling a suspiration perhaps within me the benign
a suspiration perhaps within me the benign whine
suspiration perhaps within me the benign whine of
perhaps within me the benign whine of my
within me the benign whine of my nervous
me the benign whine of my nervous system


the benign whine of my nervous system but
benign whine of my nervous system but it’s
whine of my nervous system but it’s more
of my nervous system but it’s more like
my nervous system but it’s more like negative
nervous system but it’s more like negative space
system but it’s more like negative space growling
but it’s more like negative space growling in
it’s more like negative space growling in shadows
more like negative space growling in shadows beside
like negative space growling in shadows beside the
negative space growling in shadows beside the glowing
space growling in shadows beside the glowing curtain
growling in shadows beside the glowing curtain sound
in shadows beside the glowing curtain sound motes
shadows beside the glowing curtain sound motes floating
beside the glowing curtain sound motes floating in
the glowing curtain sound motes floating in the
glowing curtain sound motes floating in the eye
curtain sound motes floating in the eye of
sound motes floating in the eye of my
motes floating in the eye of my audition


floating in the eye of my audition darkness
in the eye of my audition darkness breathing
the eye of my audition darkness breathing pure
eye of my audition darkness breathing pure light
of my audition darkness breathing pure light or
my audition darkness breathing pure light or the
audition darkness breathing pure light or the broken
darkness breathing pure light or the broken reed
breathing pure light or the broken reed of
pure light or the broken reed of a
light or the broken reed of a pigeon’s
or the broken reed of a pigeon’s throat
the broken reed of a pigeon’s throat gasping
broken reed of a pigeon’s throat gasping toward
reed of a pigeon’s throat gasping toward dawn

Robert Sheppard and René Van Valckenborch

I am pleased to say the the whole EUOIA anthology, Twitters for a Lark appears from Shearsman

See the hub post about the book here. 

There is another Jurgita Zujute poem in the anthology, 'Insomniac Division'. And she has a complete page on the EUOIA website here

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Updated Websites! Both the EUOIA and my own

I have updated my two websites. Do have a look. One is for me; the other for the European Union of Imaginary Authors. I did both in preparation for the publication of Twitters for a Lark


https://robertsheppard.weebly.com/

https://euoia.weebly.com/


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Robert Sheppard: two poems excerpted from Twitters for a Lark

Here are two poems excerpted from Twitters for a Lark, not because I thought there was anything wrong with them but because I needed to cut the size of the manuscript: poems I had written on my own, rather than in collaboration, were obviously the first victims. The first poem was originally the epigraph of the book, the work of Erwin Wertheim, who crops up as one of the possible creations of the Luxembougish poet George Bleinstein. He is inexplicably described as ‘a vampire poet and Schnitzel champion’ (I have no idea what that means!).See here for a hub post about Twitters for a Lark.

            Voices 

One voice torn into two.
Or two sewn into one?  Two
turning into themselves. Itself.
One torn atwain, and again
the breaking down/building up: into
series, consequent, like the genome,
a trail of blood between the raw and the roasted. Or
a rained off vacation somewhere in ‘Europe’
in a leaky caravan, reading Paris-Match to one another,
hiding from our own others
behind the fridge next to the mousetrap.

                                                            Erwin Wertheim (1997)


The second poem is the second collaboration between myself and a cut up engine, God’s Rude Wireless, but it had to go because the other poem was the one into which I put the lines Rene Van Valckenborch quoted in A Translated Man – I wanted some continuity between the volumes. But I like the poem just as much and, as you can see, this one alludes to Rene.


Walk On Part

                        for René Van Valckenborch

walk off it’s a pretty flat song

to play the carousal and wingèd Pegasus
its painted rôle could be sung forever

you would like to have crooned torch songs
in Watteau the Musical with strings and swings
and some kitsch at the most

walk on
you would still like to
in a revival against the busy backdrop

you would like bouquets the only play in your self
that’s no bel canto no dipthong poignant verse

whereas this walk off is a pretty flat song

the hero has an exacting rôle
that a singer could sing
to a shy lover who’s tossed aside
by the song our old hero played to death

Maarten DeZoute

Twitters for a Lark: The Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors
is published by Shearsman Books at £9.99 and in available here:
http://www.shearsman.com/ws-shop/product/6460-robert-sheppard-ed---twitters-for-a-lark

And there is a hubpost dedicated to the book here:
http://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/robert-sheppard-with-others-twitters.html



It strikes me that these two poems may have something to do with the potential third part of the Fictional Poets Trilogy (I’ve never put it like that before, but it’s what I’m thinking of doing.)

Atlantic Drift Launch: Zoe Skoulding, Trevor Joyce and Chris McCabe




Launch of Atlantic Drift: An Anthology of Poetry and Poetics

Published by Arc Publications and Edge Hill University Press 
November 23rd , 7.30pm


Chris reading

Featured Chris McCabe, Trevor Joyce and Zoë Skoulding 

Introduced by the books' editors, Professor Robert Sheppard and Dr James Byrne and with remarks from Pro-Vice Chancellor Mark Allanson
Me explaining why the anthology contains poetics as well as poetry

This reading featured three poets from a new and groundbreaking publication of poetry and poetics published by Edge Hill University Press.
All three readers read well! Many copies of the book were sold...

Atlantic Drift publishes 24 poets from the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada in partnership with Arc Publications. This anthology seeks to highlight new and existing writing and to define/redefine the discussions between poets from both sides of ‘the pond’. By developing a dialogue between English-speaking traditions, Atlantic Drift will include some of the most exceptional poetry and poetics written in the 21st century.

But also visit this page HERE for the various posts I've made concerning the book, its editing, including videos and photos.
 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Robert Sheppard: reading at Doped in Stunned Mirages: poems in response to Captain Beefheart (set list)

Sat 11 November 2017: 5 - 6.30pm

Bluecoat, Liverpool

Doped in Stunned Mirages: poems in response to Captain Beefheart

Poets: Patience Agbabi, Vahni Capildeo, Sarah Crewe, Patricia Farrell, Peter Finch, Libby Houston, Tom Jenks, Chris McCabe, me, Zoë Skoulding, Matthew Smith, Helen Tookey and Jeff Young.

Each responded to a Beefheart album, not in that order but in the chronological order of the albums they were assigned, Jenks to Tookey. 

This event took place between 5-6.30pm, but the day began with the Beefheart symposium and a chance to see an archive display and films that will run at Bluecoat. There was music in the evening, but we didn't get to that.

Devised by independent curator Kyle Percy, working in collaboration with
Chris McCabe and Bluecoat’s Artistic Director Bryan Biggs. My thanks to all three!

My diary: A rush to Bluecoat for the Beefheart symposium. Highlights: Lucy Cullen's film about the 1972 Bluecoat exhibition,

Graham Crowley nailing Beefheart's painting, Alan Dunn's film (with Edgar Jones, who we'd caught at the Handyman a couple of weeks ago), and Patricia Farrell, Sarah McCabe and Peter Finch examining the poetry, Gary Lucas' memories (we bought his new album that received a good review in The Wire)...

John Hyatt, Gary Lucas, and Alan the trumpeter: who played the last post at 11.00
Then the poets read: Vanhi was the real surprise, amongst a good set. Not heard her before. Or met. It sold out. Sorry? A poetry reading sold out. Well done, everybody involved...

I read my poem 'Beefore and Never' (which, with the others is published in the zine Click Clack, so I'm not going to quote much of it, but before I read (or beefore I read) I said:

My assigned album was Strictly Personal, a record that was made under adverse conditions and subject to post-production treatments that threatened to impose the trappings of psychedelia - fazing and so on - onto an album that was steeped in the blues. I knew some of the tracks on the album, but not all - and not the first track, whose first meoments delivered a 'strictly personal' surprise to me that coloured my active listening. The Captain was singing and playing harp on a surreal version of a song by his - and my - favourite country blues singer, Son House. The song, in Son House's version, is called 'My Black Woman', and the shock of it was that it was a song I used to sing with Tony Parsons. It was inevitable therefore that my poem, while picking up cluses and echoes from the album, is also a skip through the blues tradition.


Then I read the poems: 'blow in the sunset threading/ bones legs entwined/ swell/ into a cough cut huff' etc...

I decided not to sing a bit of the song and play the harp, though I could have. I found no way to transition from the music to the poem, from my singing voice to my reading voice. I thought the song might obscure the poem.

Patricia read with Rita:

A tan is addressed in her poem. Again, you'll need to consult the zine!

See Chris McCabe's blog for photos of all the poetry events: here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

More Petrarchan sonnets: Charlotte Smith's Elegiac Sonnets

I made a habit of posting my sonnets earlier in the year as they were written. I write about the Earl of Surrey ones here , where I explain that the poems were temporarily posted, partly because I was often commenting on contemporary events, like Boris' gaffes, and I wanted to get an immediate audience. See here for one reference to this latest sequence, feeding off of the sonnets of Charlotte Smith, and featuring Boris' last gaffe.  The new poem has a reference to his more serious one.(And Pretti Patel's.)

I left it up a week, but now it's gone. Sorry. Let's hope you'll read it in print one day....