Monday, November 30, 2015

Robert Sheppard (Storm and Golden Sky November 2015: set list)

Storm and Golden Sky at the Caledonia

FRIDAY 27th November 2015

Sandeep Parmar and Robert Sheppard and Adam Hampton

After an afternoon teaching John James - reducing the pleasure of that work to gobbets of reference - how can you not 'get' the pleasure? - to Liverpool in the rain, to Storm for a very packed - the most packed yet - reading by Adam Hampton, me, and Sandeep Parmar, in that order. Sandeep was cool and relaxed, read really well, great work; I was the usual headless chicken; I read well, and people enjoyed it, I think. I was unusually nervous and afterwards exhausted. (It was a nervy experience reading to a 'home crowd', as Elly Rees understood, having done so herself a couple of months ago). Set list:

I was launching both Words Out of Time and History or Sleep:

from 'The Given' part one ('David's bottled fish ... Empson had wind'.)
'The Hungry Years' 
(these first two both in memory of Lee Harwood, who is mentioned in the first and is the dedicatee of the poem, and co-dedicatee of the book itself, with Scott Thurston)
'Internal Exile 1 and 3'
'Smokestack Lightning'
from 'Empty Diaries': 1946, 1954, 1955 (read here), 1967, 1968.
'Only the Eyes are Left' (for Sandeep, who is a Loy scholar)
from 'Warrant Error': the first poem, 'He breaks off', 'Black night', 'The foreign secretary', Her breath'. ('Black night' 'happened' just round the corner from the Cal, see below)
the first 'Arrival' poem. 
'The Evening Star' (a poem written the night before, i.m.  Lee Harwood).  

Black night stiffens the resolve of the window.
Wipe-out rain, a bad sound effect of rain, white-
noises your voices out, rustles up a simpler sound
of God’s brass neck talking through His hat

Your ruffled reflection raises the ethical question
as you paste words like ‘author’ and ‘authority’
on the board beyond this screen of your becoming

Wind, though outside, sheers your breath away.
On a traffic island in Hardman St., a kneeler torches the night
in Guantánamo orange, grizzled by a protestant cloud.
Police rush on in yellow. Fleshing blue lights on cars
parked as barriers breed darkness in the dark

Smack a lip or two, ruddied up, roughed up for a smile.
Tonight, Condoleezza Rice is being entertained

(She was being entertained by Tacky Jacky Straw at the Philharmonic Halls.)

New Book: Words Out of Time: Autrebiographies and unwritings:

Newer Book: History or Sleep: Selected Poems:


European Union of Imaginary Authors: