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PETER PHILPOTT

 

Peter Philpott was born in Martock, Somerset in 1949. He attended the University of Keele. He lives in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, and taught English and media in further education colleges in Essex until his retirement in 2008. From 1971 to 1981, initially with Bill Symondson, he ran Great Works magazine and small press; and started the Great Works poetry website in 2001. He also runs the Modern Poetry site, and the Diverse Deeds (formerly Sundays at the Oto) poetry and music performance events. His publications include What Was Shown (Ferry Press, 1980), Some Action Upon the World (Grosseteste, 1982), Textual Possessions (Shearsman, 2004) and What Was Drawn . . . (Shearsman, 2009), and he appeared in the anthology A Various Art (edited by Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville, Carcanet, 1987). He also performed as vocalist for The Playground in the late 1980s.

 

THE BOOK OF AIR

1

Was that marmalade

     or spunk?

 

mmm

 

astringent

 

 

but note the lack of throughput

 

 

 

 

What you spill in your bed

is amazing

 

but to create

an entire poiesis

on a few crumbs & stains

may be

   rash

 

   rather

 

 

                              just unhygienic

 

 

I suppose thatís good

really

 

 

2

This Act

 

 

 

the theory of language

no Ė

then of speech

 

 

didnít I?

 

 

 

some move so unpredictable

               always

 

 

 

 

 

                right off the board

 

                this one

 

 

a

 

quick

 


 

3

all of natural history awaits us

and yes the drumbeat of the bearerís heart

they donít frighten me anymore

something Ė what was it?

canít quite remember the details

but now I can feel it

like a new nursery rhyme

but there is something there   was something there

it finds me again and again Ė (breath on the back of my neck

Iíll tell it as it comes

Ė it was just about to close

she'd have to take care of her for ever

and too small to hold my fear

sheís have to stay for ever

some bare

peer some

who do you think you are

donít be afraid of who you dream you are

 

 


4

pointing   politely

natural   not total

drumbeat   dumb heat

anymore   enemas

was   wants

details   detritus

feel   full

nursery   nuisances

something   subtle

breath   death

comes   encumbered

close   enclosing

care   carelessly

small   shell

stay   ecstatic

some   bare

peer   some

you   think

that   your

you   dream

dared   your

your   dream

pointing

 

 


5

ďwant to let it all go

but canít throw away

this yearning to know

what it is

this moment

this now

just know Iím movingĒ

 

 

 

ďmust stop now

to record the poem

stop now and record

the poemĒ

 

 


 

6

want to let

let it all go

but canít

throw away this yearning to know

know what it is

is this moment

this now just

just know

know Iím moving

 

must stop

stop now

to record

the poem

stop now

and record

this poem

 

 


 

7

today I want to let

it all go

 

but canít:

yearn

what it is

in this moment

now

know

Iím moving

 

must stop

now

& record

the poem

stop

and record

this poem

 

today

 

 

copyright © Peter Philpott