Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Fictional Poet's Notebook (part 4)

Some of these posts have been incorporated into a prose chapter of my 2023 book, Doubly Stolen Fire, which you may read about, and purchase, here: Pages: Doubly Stolen Fire (a new book of hybrid texts) is now OUT (


Sophie Poppmeier: 17th October: OK, let’s get some dates right.

            The ‘Pegging Putin’ outrage (I’m outraged!) occurred before 2019, just before I published the second edition of ‘The Book of Marvels’.

            The EUGE was formed, almost immediately after the break up of the EUOIA in March 2017. I left the former in late 2019, intending to get on with my ‘Book 5’.

            Danny/i spoke to me first in early 2020. Then lockdown occurred. Or were they the other way round? I can’t remember.

            My PhD, from 2010, was entitled ‘Masks of the Anti-Self: Dolls, Mannequins, Effigies, and other Hollow Men in Modernist and Postmodernist Art’. None of it is published. Come on, I’ve been busy with Book 3 (2013) and Book 4 (2015), but I moved (back) to Berlin in 2015, I think it was, and resumed the burlesque for just over a year. I rescued Danny/i from a retro-boutique that had managed to survive the economic crash, but couldn’t withstand a change in fashion. I obtained some shelves, too, for my apartment.

            What about people (Danny/i excepted)? I’ve spoken of the women of the EUGE. We’re still close, especially Trine.

            Jason Argleton is my English translator. We’ve only met once, but our relationship seems warm. He allows me to transmogrify into another language. He is the magic mirror I step through (to you).

            Influences? Early ones: Mayrocker and Bachman. Middle ones: Lutz Seiler and Karla Schaffer. Contemporary ones: Trine Krugeland and Jugita Zujute.

            I suppose I should take some responsibility for Rene Van Valckenborch. I have, in a sense, sucked the wind from his sails (drawn fire?). I’d rather not think of my trips to Antwerp, Ghent (‘where I have never lived’, he claimed), Amsterdam, in search of him. A rumour evaporating into rumours. I had to conclude that he didn’t currently exist, which is not to say that he didn’t, or that he won’t. His twitterfeed keeps him going as an aphoristic whisper in cyberspace. He claims to have ‘presented me first’ according to my website, yet he is as fictional as I am.

            A final note: Augusto de Campos’ book on bossa nova, referred to by Jason Argleton in Twitters for a Lark, does exist: Balanço De Bossa e outras bossas. Editoria Perspectiva, Sao Paulo, 1974.

The cover of the book containing the poems of Van Valckenborch

Sophie Poppmeier is one of the ‘fictional poets’ of my European Union of Imaginary Authors project, and she appears both in Twitters for a Lark and A Translated Man (both Shearsman book). The EUOIA website which describes both the project as a whole (here: European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) - Home ( ) and contains a page about her (here: Sophie Poppmeier (1981-) Austria - European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) ( ). Two relevant posts about her burlesque work may be read here and here. A poem from Book 4 may be read online here. 

I have been writing a notebook to try to write her into the present, as it were, and I’m presenting most of it here, in instalments, like the text itself.

The first installment includes links to all the posts: Pages: A Fictional Poet's Notebook (entry one)(hubpost to other parts) (