Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Editorial to Pages : Third Series

I have been posting these Pages for two years now. It’s time for rest and reflection. The aim of this series was to present a BLOGZINE, to utilise the technology of the blog to produce a little magazine (in the same way that 1960s mimeos mags appropriated the office duplicator). In effect, something different happened: I produced a hybrid form, combining the personal on-going reportage (but I hope not the customary chatter) of the blog, with the compendious embrace of the magazine. There’s nothing wrong in that; it’s simply what’s happened.

As you can see from the Index below, I have published many writers other than myself. I am particularly proud to have presented some new writers here (which has always been the aim of Pages). But I am less sure about the photo of Django’s guitar, or some of my own contributions! They remind me of that Radio 2 programme where John Dankworth and Cleo Laine invite friends into their house; again, there’s nothing wrong in that.

The arrival of photographs has made a difference to the blogzine, of course, and it was particularly good to record the Allen Fisher Poetry Buzz in some detail. Photographs seem so much more suited to the medium than poems!

One of the things I thought might happen (to me) through the experience of editing the third series is that I might learn better to read poetic texts (particularly ones which fill more than a frame) on screen. This hasn’t happened. I still find this difficult and, if research tells us that it is 25% less effective to proof-read on screen than on paper, then there must be a similar loss of clarity when faced with a literary text (I am not talking about web-works, written especially for the medium, of course).

That makes me wonder whether I might devise something more statement-based in the future, for the fourth series. I am going to rest this blogzine, perhaps until July 2007, which would be the twentieth anniversary of the first fascicle edition of Pages! (I’ve a few ideas, constellated around my interest in poetics as a speculative writerly discourse – I am currently thinking about this for my inaugural lecture – but I haven’t settled upon a specific project.)

Watch this space – and meanwhile have a look again at those Sinclair poems or Dee MacMahon’s two contributions, or that Oppen thing, follow that link to those poems you didn’t read the first time round, or give Scott Thurston another chance….

(If you are really quick you can buy some earlier Pages from Alan Halsey Books at
Alan Halsey / West House Books, 40 Crescent Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1HN


Sheppard (Robert) ed. Pages. A miscellany of early issues, from both the first and second series: 1987-88: 1-8, 17-24, 25-32, 33-40, 49-56, 57-64, 65-72, 73-80, 89-96, 91-104 (sic), 105-112, 113-120, 129-136. Contribs. incl. A.Fisher, Miller, Edwards, Seed, Clarke, Chaloner, Cobbing, Caddel, Raworth, Hawkins & O'Sullivan. Together w/ a few unnumbered pages, supplements, etc.

The collection £10!)

Robert Sheppard

Pages Third Series: Blogzine 2005-7

© The Authors, Artists and Photographers named, 2005, 2006, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Index to Pages 447-533: third series

Use this index with the Archive to find past postings

February 2007

533: Robert Sheppard: Editorial to Third Series (Number Two)
532: INDEX to Pages – third series
531: Robert Sheppard: Corseted in his cross-hairs (more September 12)

January 2007

530: Robert Sheppard: Love Life (short story and link)
529: Robert Sheppard: Partly Writing
528: Simon DeDeo and September 12 (link)
527: Robert Sheppard: New Links for the New Year
526: Robert Sheppard: The Archive of the Now (link and texts recorded)

December 2006

525: Dee MacMahon: Three Poems
524: Tony Parsons 50th and the reading of ‘Smokestack Lightning’.

November 2006

523: Moralis: George Oppen Interview 1973

October 2006

522: Rupert Loydell and Robert Sheppard: from Risk Assessment
521: Rupert Loydell: Four Poems

September 2006

520: Introducing Professor Robert Sheppard
519: Todd Swift’s Babylon Burning: five years after 9/11

August 2006

518: Simon Perril: Melomania

July 2006

517: Patricia Farrell: Image
516: Patricia Farrell: On ‘A Space Completely Filled with Matter’

June – July 2006

504-515: Patricia Farrell: A Space Completely Filled with Matter

June 2006

503: Mark Mendoza: Four Poems
502: Django Reinhardt: His Guitar
501: Robert Sheppard: Recent Works on the Web

May 2006

500: Robert Sheppard: Everything Connects: The Cultural Poetics of Iain Sinclair

April 2006

499: Robert Sheppard: Hymns to the God in which My Typewriter Believes

March 2006

498: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 6): The Law-Speaker

February 2006

497: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 5): Needfire
496: Kai Fierle-Hedrick: Some Poems and a Reading

January 2006

495: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 4): On Friday Morn
495: Robert Sheppard: Review of Lee Harwood’s Collected Pomes (part two)
494: John Muckle: Two Poems

December 2005

493: Robert Sheppard: Review of Lee Harwood’s Collected Poems (part one)
492: Clark Allison: Mind’s Eye
491: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 3): Midnight Express

November 2005

490: Iain Sinclair: New Poems - Patrick Hamilton (from Buried At Sea)
489: Robert Sheppard: Iain Sinclair’s Lud Heat
488: Sheila E. Murphy: Four Poems
487: Robert Sheppard at Fifty
486: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 2): HAZARD
485: Robert Sheppard: Anthologies and Assemblages (A History of the Other, the ninth and last part (not included in The Poetry of Saying))

October 2005

484: Bill Griffiths (Ghost Story 1): TOMMY
483: Patricia Farrell: Otherwise Than Beings
482: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other, part eight

September 2005

481: Neil Pattison: Preferences 1
480: A History of the Other, part seven
479: Jeff Hilson: from Bird Bird
478: Robert Sheppard: The Poetry of Saying (Liverpool University Press)

August 2005

477: Lawrence Upton: Two Texts
476: The Poetry Buzz: Pictures of Pages authors
475: Patricia Farrell: Visual Work: Tomorrow’s Attack Objects Talk
474: A History of the Other, part six

July 2005 (June was too busy)

473: The Poetry Buzz (images! new technology!)
472: Robert Sheppard: The Anti-Orpheus/Rattling the Bones
471: Scott Thurston: Sounding Scheme
470: Robert Hampson: Synthetic Feed
469: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other, part five

May 2005

468: Adrian Clarke: from MUZZLE
467: Marianne Morris: from Easter Poems
466: Robert Sheppard: Looking Back at Place and Open Field Poetics
465: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other: Part four
464: Ken Edwards: from BARDO

April 2005

463: Robert Sheppard: TEXTintoTEXT
462: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other: Part three
461: Neon Highway Interview with Robert Sheppard
460: Alice Lenkiewicz: Poems from Maxine

March 2005

459: Robert Sheppard: Cobbing: Two Sequences
458: Robert Sheppard: Bob Cobbing and Concrete Poetry
457: Bob Cobbing: Exhibition, Performances and Links
456: Robert Sheppard: You Need Hands: Iain Sinclair’s Dining on Stones
455: Tony Trehy: Coprophilia
454: Ian Davidson: Too Long
453: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other: Part two.

February 2005

452: John Seed: from Pictures from Mayhew
451: Dee McMahon: Three Poems
450: Robert Sheppard: New Memories: Allen Fisher’s Gravity as a Consequence of Shape
449: Allen Fisher: Mezz Merround
448 Rupert Loydell: ‘Entangled’ (for Allen Fisher)
447: Robert Sheppard: A History of the Other: Part one.
446: Robert Sheppard: Editorial to the Third Series/Afterword to Pages, the Second Series (moved out of sequence to start of February 2005 archive)

© the authors, artists and photographers, 2005, 2006, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Robert Sheppard: Corseted in his cross-hairs

‘September 12’ (the sequence) is made up of ‘sonnets’ written in 2003-4. Numbers one to 12 appeared in Shearsman magazine and numbers one to six may be read at the Shearsman site:


Number 7 was posted here on Page 526 (December 2006), but here’s the rest, and links to the rest:


Corseted in his cross-hairs for her caveman pockets,
something goes off in her hand and something
goes very dark. He’s a mission to come on her open
territory. She prays upside down as he plays God
away on business, fingering her laptop trigger

Done for a whore’s breakfast she loads herself into
his strip-search vest as he sprays his self with love

She’s fashioning his new long range out of her wide
world vagina flicked across her dead lover’s finger,
slapped on his goggles in the rubble action replay
and spilling generation funds on the saintly dust. He

pushes his Big Picture into her head. She blows it
away. Then he rewinds to the comic Big Bang:
blistering flesh bursts like a blown-up condom


Intervene in err… history impure terror full stop
incognito explodes his own cover at what
he plans to do thinking makes him happen stop
follow the line tightly packed hips sway the crowd

He’s a burnt-out f-f-f-fuck-box ah! you’ll waltz
across his set, the CCTV-free short-cut alley stop

His tongue tingles like a um fuse then onto
the triad his poisoned tube is pointing stop
fast-forward to where he fear-fucks a corpse

in a transfer-tube marked import stop
read in five or in the sand-pit he plays
with an imaginary uh friend no no enemy stop
like the ‘child he never was’ his pit-bull strung
up before the erm… next war started?


Spiked footsteps, pierced by sound,
push love, wheels turning, through his body

His stutter slot trips a new paw-print stage
of psychotic re-enactment, aloft with 9/11
footage on the scorched hooves of history

Heavenly transport hums on dirty wires.
Flecks drip onto his battery fan Look! flick
the stale sweat of his pre-emptive terror
breezing a brass tiger to his florid cheeks
(the shifting voice of my thumbnail pause

What am I err… for? Echoic c-c-c-cave-cell
or self, I splutter anti-matter, the deep mu-mu-mutter of auto-interrogation, self-torture. I am.
Useless to stop anything believe me leave me


The shutter-stop tricks a new poor print. Staged,
the evidence takes off a lie of your own, a bleachy
kiss that strips the warts too much
A chord and a whip? Behold your deformed back! In
the inflammatory century blown in promissory notes
rabid-eyed in a drama of primed monster photo-ops,
they option the past. Irony’s out with an old sunk ally,
tongs of love un-gripped by the sane divorce to sever

Several darts are lighter. They teach restrictions
to heavenly gaudy statesmen. They re-locate
a new sense shelved for their new wharf outing,
the extraordinary City, where they channel hate

calibrate consumption’s sub-limits on the caking of a
horlicks, the binding gossip of conscript kickers






This last one should be centred on the page. More or less the remainder of the 24 may be read on Jacket magazine at


The first 7 may also be heard on The Archive of the Now, at


The final group (17-24) will also be available on a CD of work by the Edge Hill University Poetry and Poetics Group.

The poetics of the September 12 project, ‘Rattling the Bones’, may be read at Softblow www.sofblow.com/robertsheppard.html and

The second set of 24 from the project is entitled ‘Burying Bad News’ (but I am also considering ‘Burying Good News’ as a title) and the third, which I finished in December 2006, is called (for the moment at least) ‘Emergency Renditions 2006’. None of these has been published so far. The fourth set is in preparation. Arithmetically astute readers will have noted that that means there will be 96 poems. I have also written 4 floating sonnets (if they are sonnets) to round the number up. I believe this to be my best work to date. See Page 528 for Simon DeDeo’s take on September 12 (link), which encourages me in this, at:


Page 531