Follow by Email

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Robert Sheppard: writing blurb-matter for Twitters for a Lark (EUOIA anthology)

I have today (Sunday) been working on the blurb-matter for one of the two anthologies I am editing at the moment, this one being the fake anthology of fictional poets (the EUOIA poets), which is called Twitters for a Lark and which is scheduled for publication by Shearsman. Here’s what we have about the book so far. More about the EUOIA here.  Read 'Robert Sheppard''s resignation speech (!) from the EUOIA here. And Hermes' ungrateful response here.

Somehow, although I have been doing other things, this seems to have taken the whole day. Trying to be brief. Trying to explain the conceit of the book, its accidental post-Brexit (or are we pre-Brexit?) context. Trying to locate quotations that give a flavour of my work, without too much detail. It’s not easy, but I have at least done enough that I will post it on my blog, scheduled for a couple of days’ time. Here goes:



Conceived as a continuation  of the fictional poems Robert Sheppard ventriloquised through the bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch in his A Translated Man (2013), the complete 28 poets of the EUOIA (European Union of Imaginary Authors) presented here take on a variety of new meanings in Brexit Britain. [sentence too long]

Working in collaboration with other writers, Sheppard creates a stylistically various anthology of these European writers, whose works range from the comedic to the political, from the imaginatively sincere to the faux-autobiographical. History may not be argued away by the fictive. Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own. There is no resultant ‘Europoem’ style, but a variety of styles that reflects the collaborative nature of their production.

Ian Davidson in Poetry Wales called Sheppard’s work Complete Twentieth Century Blues ‘a major poem of serious intent’. Alan Baker in Litter dubbed Warrant Error ‘political poetry of the first order’.

On A Translated Man

Urgent, melancholy, whimsical, hard-bitten, the voice of Sheppard/Van Valckenborch is also a force of rackety elegance which revels in the production of richly imaged often surreal phrase-extravaganzas…This is a dazzling addition to Sheppard’s oeuvre, witty, poignant, and endlessly entertaining.
Lyndon Davies, Poetry Wales

Robert Sheppard is now as Belgian as moules-frites and Herman Van Rompuy.
Tom Jenks, Tears in the Fence

On History or Sleep

Robert Sheppard’s selected poems from Shearsman Books, History or Sleep, is threaded with a sense of the other. Not ‘The Other’ with its sense of a doppleganger but the other which exists in a type of absence, an ‘autrebiography’ or ‘unwritings’. ….Sheppard’s poetry-frame sets up that haunting … {and what was becomes seamlessly what is and the ‘punched hollows’ of the gone are filled with a lyric intensity that twists ‘into a thin-throated flower’ that ‘wavers in the vibrant gulf.} probably omit the last part? 
Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence




Since Robert Sheppard’s previous volume of fictional poems, A Translated Man (Shearsman, 2013), new creative work has appeared: an autobiography, Words Out of Time (KFS, 2015), a book of experimental prose, Unfinish (Veer, 2015), and his selected poems History or Sleep (Shearsman, 2015). His critical volume, The Meaning of Form was published by Palgrave in 2016. With James Byrne he edits Atlantic Drift: an anthology of poetry and poetics (EHUP/Arc, 2017). He is a professor at Edge Hill University, where in 2017 a symposium was held on his work. He lives in Liverpool.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This year's Malcolm Lowry Conference: 70 Years On (The Firminists)

The annual Malcolm Lowry Celebrations organized by the FIRMINISTS (aka Firministas) this (special) year includes:

Under the Volcano, 70 Years On: A Malcolm Lowry Conference

based at Liverpool John Moores University and Bluecoat, Liverpool. Firminist Helen Tookey has been working hard on this side of things. (See postings of previous years' festivities herehere and here. With lots of good photos! And visit Firminist Colin Dilnot's detailed Lowry website The Nineteenth Hole here.) Here's a bit more on Helen too.


Poster from our first year!

Friday 28 July & Saturday 29th:

Liverpool John Moores University, Redmonds building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L3 5UG

and Bluecoat. It'll start like this:

9.30-10.15 Keynote address: ‘Lowry’s kindred spirits: 70 years and still counting’, Sherrill Grace (Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia)

The web page with booking links etc is live here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/conferences/malcolm-lowry-conference - if you can forward it to anyone you think would be interested, tweet about it etc, that would be great.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Atlantic Drift : the back cover, the contents, poetics



Here's the full cover, with the the left hand panel of Pete Clarke's diptych which we have adopted for the back and front cover.

This also lists the poets selected for the first time, a public unveiling of the 24 poets. Each is represented by a generous selection of poetry, PLUS a piece of poetics, sometimes directly related to the poems, sometimes more general. In a sense, the poetics constitutes a second anthology (if only in my head), one that demonstrates what I have said (in this book, on this blog, and elsewhere about poetics as a speculative, writerly discourse). See here for my takes on poetics....

Follow our team of social mediators:

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/university-press/poetsreveal/
 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Latest Earl of Surrey translation processing through today's news

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 4 at any one time on the blog. And eventually they will all disappear. See here to check for poems from other days... Also note the beginning of this sonnet expoloration, Petrarch 3, is still for sale and is the featured post to the right of this column.

First draft


Sean Bonney’s wrong: Osbourne isn’t the god of love anymore.

(you can read all about Sean here)
 
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I wanna knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles
round her neck above a slice of her bust clack and cluck apologies.
Her love is as tough as a 30 minute courtesy coffee with an EU official
speaking suspect anglais. We’re fuming and hurting and dying.

Cowardly Boris has buggered off: he can’t remember
a thing in the Queen’s Speech (That’s one filthy job but  
royals only do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told).
He’s lurking like a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it much better than me. But
my plumber carries an alliterative plunger into the Thetford thicket.


Live Sources:




Twitter harvested dogging speak: 

Thank you very much
to the very nice lady this afternoon
who was only out to walk her dog
and very kindly came over and sucked my balls dry.
I'm off to west stow about 2pm, come on down ladies..... ne ladies mildenhall area going to brave the cold and come and catch me wanking in the woods tomorrow. The randy plumber is in Newmarket tomorra, who wants their pussy licking??? Any horny ladies in cambridge want a plumber and his plunger today Goin to stop at Brandon Creek after work and knock one out I'm horny as fuck.

0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes


Hap 10 Wyatt's version of Petrarch

The longe love, that in my thought doeth harbar

Length is measured by my wife’s receptivity.
She holds him close with his in-your-face toolbox,
his bulging bag of bolts, his lengthy wrench.
His white van parks in her drive. She spreads

ambassadorial safe conduct for this envoy of joy!
Trust him to pull himself, and lust’s negligee, off.
His hard thrust celebrates the National Insurance U-
turn. He takes her, but who takes the photograph?

Back early, I find them arranged as on the Punting
in Kent Twitterfeed that Gove had notified me of:
gaping bacon pulsed upon her washing machine top.

I’ll sliver his liver! Across the shire he speeds in his
fishnet codpiece, hiding in oasthouses and dogging sites.
But first, I’ll slash his tyres and send for the crusher.



OR (a little later (that's filth, Patricia cries through the door)):




His purpose lost: Her smiling grace

Bonney’s wrong: Osbourne isn’t the god of love anymore.
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I want to knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles round
her neck above a slice of her bust clack and cluck strategy.
Her love is as tough as a 30 minute courtesy coffee with an EU official
speaking suspect anglais. We’re fuming and hurting and dying.

Cowardly Boris has buggered off: he can’t remember a thing
about the Queen’s Speech (That’s one filthy job but royals
only do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told). He’s
lurking like a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it much better than me. But at least
my plumber ploughs his alliterative plunger into the Thetford thicket.


OR




His purpose lost: Her smiling grace

Bonney’s wrong: Osbourne isn’t the god of love anymore.
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I want to knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles round
her neck above a slice of bust clack and cluck strategy.
Her love is as tough as a 30 minute courtesy coffee with an EU official
droning suspect anglais. We’re fuming and hurting and dying.
Woman on balcony next to Grenfell Tower

Cowardly Boris has buggered off: he can’t remember a thing
about the Queen’s Speech (That’s one filthy job but royals
only do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told). He’s
lurking like a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it better. But at least my plumber
ploughs his alliterative plunger through the Thetford thicket.

THIS ONE IS FEELING NEARLY FINISHED NOW:

(I'm thinking Surrey is going to get into trouble with that remark about the Royal Family. Look what happened to him.)



His purpose lost: Her smiling grace

Bonney’s wrong: Osborne isn’t the god of love anymore.
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I want to knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles round
her neck above a slice of bust clack and cluck strategy.
Her love is as tough as a 30 minute courtesy coffee with an EU goon
droning suspect anglais. We’re fuming. And hurting. And dying.

Cowardly Boris has buggered off: he can’t remember a thing
about the Queen’s Speech. (That’s one filthy job but royals
only do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told.) He’s
lurking, a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked dry.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it better. But at least my plumber
ploughs his alliterative plunger through the Thetford thicket.


AND OVERNIGHT, THIS:



His purpose lost: Her smiling grace

George Osborne isn’t the god of love anymore.
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I want to knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles round
her neck above a slice of bust clack and cluck fake humanity.
Her love is as tough as a 30 minute courtesy coffee with an EU goon
droning building regs red tape. We’re fuming. And hurting. And dying.

Cowardly Boris has buggered off: he can’t remember a thing
about the Queen’s Speech. (That’s one filthy job but royals
do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told.) He’s
lurking, a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked dry.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it better. But at least my plumber
ploughs his alliterative plunger through the Thetford thicket.


                                    (for Sean Bonney)

22nd June 2017

THIS MORNING (23rd June) THIS:



His purpose lost: Her smiling grace

George Osborne isn’t the god of love anymore.
It’s Boris and when he’s not sitting on his hands
he’s sitting on my face so I can’t hear his latest gaff.
I’m as horny as fuck and I want to knock one out.

Cladding is combustible my lady confirms. Baubles round
her neck above a slice of bust clack and cluck fake humanity.
Her love is as tough as a courtesy coffee with an EU goon
droning building regs red tape. We’re fuming. And hurting. And dying.

Coward Boris has buggered off. He can’t remember a thing
in the Queen’s Speech. (That’s one filthy job but royals
do it ‘for the greater good of the people’ we’re told.) He’s
lurking, a wanker in the woods waiting to have his balls sucked dry.

Wyatt versioned this one and did it better. But at least my plumber
ploughs his alliterative plunger through the Thetford thicket.


                                    (for Sean Bonney)

22nd June 2017



*

 This is my probable epigraph to the sequence of 14 sonnets: 


By the waie as hee went, hee heerd of another Earle of Surry besides himselfe, which caused him make more hast to fetch me in, whom hee little dreamed off had such arte in my budget, to separate the shadow from the bodie. (p. 67)

                                                                                                            Thomas Nashe






Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An Anthology for Robert (Hampson) link

An Anthology for Robert : digital edition
June 2017 RHUL Poetics Research Centre Electric Crinolines Editions.

Here's a link to the digital edition:

https://indd.adobe.com/view/f4f65fa1-970f-467f-8cd0-48405e21d73b

I have a poem 'Hap Hazard' in it, the last of my Wyatt sonnets, with a nod to Robert's re-workings of Shakespeare's, hence my reference to his 'Shakespearean Drag'.

Watch him read them here, and me reading some of my Wyatt poems here.


Other contributors include Wills Montgomery and Rowe, Harry Gilonis, Frances Presley, Carol Watts, Paula Claire, Simon Smith, Nisha Ramayya, Peter Barry, Adrian Clarke, Scott Thurston, Peter Middleton, Sophie Robinson and many many more... There are some prose pieces too, including a memoir by one of Robert's oldest friends, Ken Edwards...

Well done Redell Olsen for getting this together. In secret, I believe!

Oh yes, he's retiring... Not shy, but retiring...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Today's Surrey version: Set me Free (and At the Grave of Asa Benveniste)

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 3 at any one time on the blog. See here to check for poems from other days...


Set Me Free

Turn the unflamed heat up on the EU negotiations
Or turn the air con to 11 and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any slack reporters
Or Britain First heavies attacking Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Keep me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a bunch of Corbyn kids or a crowd of eco-crusties

Set me up to fail on ground floor penthouse or in basement
Or up Hepstonstall’s winds with Benve

niste or crashing below Hebden’s floodline
Tie me down set me free wherever I am
Choked in a tower block or jogging post-industrial canal paths

I’m following you on Twitter single-mindedly
You’re my half hope in a world gone contrarious

(Unfortunately Asa disappears from the poem from now on. But yesterday I did place a stone on the grave and read a poem. Photograph taken by the excellent young poet Brendan Quinn)

OR



Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on the EU negotiations
Or turn the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any slack reporters
Or Britain First heavies attacking Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Keep me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a bunch of Corbyn kids or a crowd of eco-crusties

Set me up to fail on ground floor penthouse or in basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a virus (or up Hepstonstall’s winds
or crashing below Hebden’s floodline) Tie me down or set me free wherever I am
Choked in a tower block or jogging post-industrial canal paths

I’m following you on Twitter single-mindedly
You’re my half hope in a world turned contrarious

OR


Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on the EU negotiations
Or turn the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any reporters
Or Britain First heavies attacking Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Keep me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a bunch of Corbyn kids or a crowd of eco-crusties

Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a virus Tie me down or set me free wherever I am: up Hepstonstall’s winds or crashing below Hebden’s floodline
Or choked in a tower block or jogging the canal path


I’m following you on Twitter single-mindedly
You’re my half hope in a world turned contrarious



Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a virus (or up Hepstonstall’s winds
or crashing below Hebden’s floodline) Tie me down or set me free wherever I am
Choked in a tower block or jogging post-industrial canal paths


OR



Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on the EU negotiations
Or turn the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any reporters
Or Britain First heavies attacking Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Keep me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a bunch of Corbyn kids or a crowd of eco-crusties

Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a virus
Tie me down or set me free wherever I am:
up Hepstonstall’s winds or crashing below Hebden’s floodline

Or choked in a tower block or jogging the canal path
You’re my only half hope in a world turned contrarious




Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on the EU negotiations
Or turn the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any reporters
Or Britain First heavies attacking Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Keep me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a bunch of Corbyn kids or a crowd of eco-crusties

Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a whisper
Tie me down or set me free wherever I am
Up Hepstonstall’s winds or crashing below Hebden’s floodline

Or choked in Grenfell Tower or jogging the canal path
You’re my only half hope in a world turned contrarious



16th June 2017: OR even better after taking it with me to the Resonant Edge Symposium and performances (notably by Jan Kaplinski,  a 2 hour set!) it's even better.'Hepstonstall' was corrected this morning. 



Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on EU negotiations
Or switch the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any reporters
Or Britain First heavies badmouthing Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Trap me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a crowd of eco-crusties or a bunch of Corbyn kids

Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a whisper
Tie me down or set me free wherever I am
Up in Heptonstall’s gales or crashing below Hebden’s floodline

Or choked in Grenfell Tower or jogging along the canal path
You’re my only half hope in a world turned contrarious


16th June 2017




Set Me Free

Turn the heat up on EU negotiations
Or switch the air con to full and freeze my misty words mid air
Let me step outside round the back where there aren’t any reporters
Or Britain First heavies badmouthing Ramadan first aiders

Stick me at the bottom of the pile or send me over the top
Trap me in the smoking dark or shed some light on inflammable cladding
Under clear skies of electoral peace or in the fog of class war
With a crowd of eco-crusties or a bunch of Corbyn kids

Set me up to fail on ground floor in penthouse or basement
Or halfway up where fire spreads like a whisper
Tie me down or set me free wherever I am
Up Heptonstall in gales or crashing below Hebden’s floodline

Or choked in Grenfell Tower or jogging along the canal path
You’re my only half hope in a world turned contrarious



Atlantic Drift : front cover image by Pete Clarke

Here is the cover of Atlantic Drift the anthology of trans-Atlantic poetry and poetics James Byrne and I have edited, which is to be the second book published by Edge Hill University Press, in association with Arc, the well-known poetry publishers.

This image is by Pete Clarke, the painter I have worked with in collaboration, see here and here and here for more images and links.  We think it is striking. Soon I shall start mentioning its contents. (Of course, I am editing two anthologies at the moment, one of fictional poets and this one, of real poets. For the former check here. See here for more on the EUOIA.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Today's Surrey sonnet: Gove Re-apparitions

I am going to post these poems as I write them, because of the topicality of their subjects. I shall also only leave them up temporarily, during the composition process. I'm thinking of posting no more than 3 at any one time on the blog. See here to check for poems from other days...


The Soote Season

Like a rep production of The Sound of Music, with which
the hills are reportedly alive, and also the valleys plugged
with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but the old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death on a
Birmingham New Street platform. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove re-
apparitions in ‘rural affairs’, dogging sites he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017: a draft, of course; I'll have to fiddle with it for fucking weeks! So:




The Soote Season

As in a shit production of The Sound of Music,
with which the hills are reportedly alive, and also the valleys
plugged with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but the old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death on a
Birmingham New Street platform. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove re-
apparitions in ‘rural affairs’, dogging sites he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017 Or:



The Soote Season

As in a shit production of The Sound of Music,
with which the hills are reportedly alive, although the valleys
are plugged with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but the old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death, on a
Birmingham New Street platform. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove re-
apparitions in ‘rural affairs’, dogging sites he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017 OR:




The Soote Season

As in a shit production of The Sound of Music,
with which the hills are reportedly alive, although eary valleys
are plugged with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but the old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death, on
Birmingham New Street platform 5. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove re-
apparitions in ‘rural affairs’, dogging sites he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017 OR:



The Soote Season

As in a shit encore to The Sound of Music, with which
the hills are reportedly alive, although eary valleys
are plugged with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but the old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death, on
Birmingham New Street platform 5. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove re-
apparitions in ‘rural affairs’, dogging sites he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017 OR EVEN:



The Soote Season

As in a shit encore to The Sound of Music, with which
the hills are reportedly alive, although eary valleys
are plugged with cotton-wool mist in denial of the results,
the actors have returned, re-shuffled as themselves.

A young pigeon ruffles its feathers but an old gull plummets,
far from disputed shores, to stab with blooded beak
the fledgling, flapping broken-winged to its death, on
Birmingham New Street platform 5. The national fish loafs.

The snakeskin shoes of Theresa May kick off –
as she does, rolled into the padded cell with the DUP
crying Brexit means Brexit means Brexit… Gove
re-apparitions at Rural Affairs, a dogging site he monitors moistly.

I dreamt I was in Kent; the bus missed my stop in the dark. You
don’t have to be Gummer to guess this summer will be a bummer!

13th June 2017