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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Empty Diary 1990 (number 2): Re: History or Sleep, Selected Poems

There are two 'Empty Diary 1990' poems, and one probably had to go from History or Sleep - and it would always be this one, because the other is also a 'coda' to all 90 poems of the sequence, and this one also is similar to others in the final decade. But that doesn't mean I think it's bad. On the contrary, it got in the original selection, and its deselection is a matter of context rather than content. Here it is.

Empty Diary 1990

for Adrian Clarke

HUMAN DUST against the
dark night This Degrades
now bleached into the
ecstasy of image she
holds a Bible filofax
steroid flare hoboes her
puppets blondes in the
sex shop coo into
vacant dummy leather militia
turned fan club she
wears his eyes tightly
fixed on sidewalk scripture
cocksucker choirs shit peckers
praise her ‘legendary guts’
her TV astrologer’s tattooed
fists so hard to
make a man weak
mannequin’s wig trails the
gutter (slave gang’s fetish