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.


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:

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.)