Tuesday, November 02, 2021

A Fictional Poet's Notebook (part 9)

Sophie Poppmeier 2nd November 2020: I have no idea what I shall write next. Am I answering imaginary quotations from an audience – a Zoom conference in International English – or am I talking to myself, in order to constitute myself, not existentially, but simply enough to allow the poems to flow? Imagine how it is that I collaborate with Danny/i. I can see an explanation arising: ‘During the isolation of lockdown, Sophie Poppmeier, former disgraced poet and now disgraced burlesque dancer, experienced mental collapse, and claimed that she was communicating with a talking mannequin, a fashionably trans one at that, and that, together, they wrote poems.’ Parents (imagine them!) imploring me not to go public, like David Icke’s family and friends when he detected the Lizard People, controlling our every move, purely by a knock on the head!

            No: it has to be negotiated only at the level of artifice. It is an artifice, is it not? Not a mania.

            It is a consciously created situation. (Yet that’s not how I’ve written about it here, but that’s because the writing about it is another artifice.)

3rd November 2020: If I weren’t such an imposter, my response would be visceral, immediate, to the terror attacks in Vienna. I would know the places, and imprinted on my memory would be layers of memory, producing overlays of grief. Shock at recognition.

10th November 2020: I might print words on myself. Like some dreadful performance artist. A sonnet on my shoulders! What a burden!

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 (weebly.com) ) and contains a page about her (here: Sophie Poppmeier (1981-) Austria - European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) (weebly.com) ). 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. There are 11 parts in all. 

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