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Blotter Blotter Oli Hazzard
Unearthly Toys Unearthly Toys Ned Denny
The Cemetery in Barnes The Cemetery in Barnes Gabriel Josipovici
Rough Breathing Rough Breathing Harry Gilonis
The Books of Catullus The Books of Catullus Gaius Valerius Catullus Ed. Simon Smith Tr. Simon Smith
Collected Poems Collected Poems John Ashbery Ed. Mark Ford
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Poem of the Day

Wrinkles, dreams, observations . . .

Jeremy Over

Ahead of his time, as usual, he smiled
on top of a hill, on a summer evening.
He was happy and the first to notice
that he was flying a kite.

Back at his house, on that horizon of emerald green ink,
the whole book of seaport colours lay open on his desk
beside slices of watermelon with a blue pitcher,
a sleeping gypsy, riverboats and pink paperflowers.

Later on, he liked to walk and talk barefoot on tamped earth
floors where too much bitterness would oblige us
to drink whiskey and get married.

'The truth is every sound,' he would always begin.
'I remember bells, the smell of cut lilies.
I remember an oblique stroking of the professor.
I remember you as a strange form of plaster monotony,
and, in another sense, I remember you, as a damp law clerk
howls inside a seashell, and breasts, yellow
as the yellow pigeon that is waiting on the far shore
are sauntering all around.

But now the hoarse are sleeping with wheat
in a big barn and I feel your purple face
would be marvellous in a coffeepot.

Oh spoonful of mud, I am looking at pieces of timber,
for every thick and mournful movement of bees
leaves a confused traveller and something
of the life of the lamp in the window,
chiselled, like breathing, out of mother-grief.

After so many years,
after so many dreams,
where is the panther I am speaking of?

I look at trees and see violets.
I have to sell kitchenware,
and I am sad.'

We applauded and raised our glasses as though he were still alive
with the kind of magic that finds, with growing astonishment,
a great eyelid in every stone;
an eagle amongst the rubble of the looting.

On other nights we probably looked at my uncles as much as his poetry;
nobody would have given them a thought otherwise.
Taken from 'New Poetries II'...
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