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Tom Beau

                                i.m. Tom Raworth



Follow me down the gang plank

At my desk I design a mausoleum

 

Sinister and weirdly persistent

Behind rocks across the pool

 

Dead men stir like sleepers

Wriggling into velvet

 

There’s another poem upside down

In fiction he carries two revolvers

 

I get the full stop we slow the music

And slow the ache

 

Eyes catch the reflected

Brute force against steady rain

 

Is the dream mine in which

More hair scarves around her neck

 

And ear-breathing

When the man shoots and shouts imagine

 

A museological assemblage

A foxy eye out for a fox

 

Flies caught on a web

Rhyme with the pattern into

 

A tube the depraved Narcissus

Where curved boats float on air

 

Long shadows on the shallow sea-bed

A million dreamscapes nothing centres

 

With no memory of itself I spend three hours

Mixing powders and working them

 

He’ll shoot her to shut her up

These two were made for each other

 

Perhaps made out of each other they

Roar down the chord phones

 

Our breath our lives on hold waiting

Like the skin of milk on custard

 

Around my finger a cowgirl

A dealer more than a scholar

 

Book dust sneezed in the temperate

Sealed room slipped

 

Betting slips into it and later

My boy lit up the sun

 

Projections clear on my white shirt

Condemned to earthly life tinged

 

This house is shouting about itself

A hard price for a free beer but

 

We pay it in the morning

The monumental folly with

 

Fake fivers manufactured

At the back of the lecture

 

The sharp-faced face her sharp

Lips rhyme

 

Refuse the offer

Coughing up blinis after vodka






 

 

 

[Robert Sheppard's next book is the collaborative fictional European poems of Twitters for a Lark, from Shearsman, who also publish his selected poems History or Sleep. A prose 'autrebiography', Words Out of Time, is available from Knives, Forks and Spoons. As a critic he has written on Tom Raworth's work, both in his Shearsman essay collection, When Bad Times Made for Good Poetry, and his 2005 LUP volume: The Poetry of Saying. He lives in Liverpool, and is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University.]

 
Copyright © 2017 by Robert Sheppard, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.



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