13 broken pieces of id

1

The leaders took their seats, and the common

 

       scowled and shook his fist.

 


2

         to do battle with him.

 

exulting in               bloodshed and slaughter.

 


3

         consider the good of the state.

    consider the killing

 

those who had participated in the robbery under his leadership

 


4

       we fought in the field

           digging a trench round their fortifications,

    deceived by a dream

 

attack the leaders with               words

 

 

           my words.

 


5

          and killed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         beneath the city walls

 


6

 

        these weapons

  you need me to direct your thinking

 

      I am superior to you

 

 

The blade

 


7

      unhappy wife
   lost even her

            was in flames

women embraced the                statues

    

      kissed

              dragged her

 


8

The girl
            was snatched

         she did not forget herself
     his eyes fixed on her face

 

 

My only wish is that my death could be concealed from

 

                  hands

 


9

         give back my body

             the knife
                   wife

 

    fell

 


10

    she made her way to the shore

 

 

 

 

             the sea

 

 

 

 

 

body, washed up on the beach

 


11

     smooth          words

         captive women

 

uttered barks instead of words.

 

 

 

          howl

  poor queen

 


12

           black smoke darkened

 

     black ash

 

 

 

 

    beaks and hooked claws

 


13

        flames

 he saw me, lying with

 

 

sea lay        before her

 

 

      waters churned over my head

 

 

I found myself

 

—–

This erasure poem was made from a translation of book 13 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It recently appeared as part of the Transformations project. Copyright James Knight. All rights reserved. 

13 poets in Hell

1
Paradise Lost is cast into the lake of fire. Satan tells John Milton to rewrite it in 140 characters or fewer.

2
Filippo Marinetti languishes in a dismal rural idyll. His hand, possessed, scrawls euphonic odes to the moon with a quill.

3
Henri Michaux floats through the eternal peace of his inner space. “Where are the monsters?” he wonders, unhappily.

4
“What’s this penty nonsense about ‘phantasmal gnomes?'” demands Pound. Eliot tries to explain, but he has lost his voices!

5
Wandering lonely as a cloud of smog through the city, Wordsworth looks into an oily puddle but can’t find his reflection.

6
Tristan Tzara cuts up a newspaper article into its individual words and scatters them. When they land they form sonnets.

7
Antonin Artaud wakes from troubled dreams, to find himself transformed into Pam Ayres.

8
Shakespeare sits in the drab fluorescence of a classroom. “Take out your copies of Macbeth,” mumbles the teacher.

9
Fluttering letters perch on the page, spelling APOLLINAIRE. Then a noise startles them and they disperse forever.

10
Coleridge scratches at the door. The visions are seeping into his lungs. Where’s the man from Porlock? When will this end?

11
SOMEONE TURNS
THE VOLUME UP
ON E E CUMMINGS
AND HE IS DEAFENED
AND FLATTENED
BY HIS OWN POEMS

12
William Blake realises that the physical universe is everything.

13
André Breton claws his way out of the negligée and lies, spent, on the tiled floor. Towers of washing-up await him.

—-

Originally published as a series of tweets. All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.