Shadowtrain

Jeremy Over
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The Gift


It requires considerable skill in crossing a country to avoid the houses and too cultivated parts - so to pass a house if you must go near though high grass - as to make a hill or wood screen you - to shut every window with an apple tree.

* * *

I have been a lucky man.
Bees frequent my chimneys.
Wood Strawberries begin to come.
Fiery lily blows.
Men shear their sheep.

Great Honeydew.
Barley in ear on the sands.
Vast crops of Cherlock
among the springcorn.

Much thunder has come to settle
on my balm of Gilead Fir
as I lie under the trees
in a giant spoon

and the afternoon changes
from clear to cloudy
and to clear again
in drops of water

in which I believe you are holding
some Cumberland sausage
or perhaps a chair leg - it's unclear.

Your expression, in any event,
is not that of someone holding
either sausage or chair leg -

I sense you are faking it.



Choose any animal in the park


The Siamang gets about the canopy of the forest by ‘brachiation', swinging from hand to hand, monogamous and noisy, their great calls made with inflated throat sacs

What do I want?
Were do I live?
What dangers do I face in the wild?
More about me?

The baboon's ischial callosities
are highly developed and bright red
and light green and asleep in the loft

Tempted? Over 60?
As I said before,
forget all that.
Be vacant, squish
your language box
from bean to cup
to the Roseate Spoonbill
which with the plausible teeth of its own invention
has to destroy the mysterious wonders of etcetera.

Nice try but you really need to work on your short words.

Maurice sounds like Sheila.
Mother sounds like Bach
as in German
as in get
as in my hat
but with the lips spread wide
sounds rather like quid at the beginning
of a huge fat summer book
my dress in the garden face down
is rather like choosing to choose
my pullover over
your gate.

Your drink is merry.
Timber is like eye-mud
A piece of butter is promising
a slow delay.

We find grasshoppers by walking through the grass.
We kick them up.

F blows fantastic raspberries on M's arms.

There are purple stripes in the Tiger.

There is a Rodriguez Fruit Bat.

This snake has two heads.
Why aren't you writing anything down?



Mint Green Perhaps

Everyone must have two pockets, so that he can reach
into the one or the other according to his needs
The North Sea Grey or
The Mint Green Perhaps

You are to be sofa to my shyness and Frank's silence
full of bright blue rollers and winding rivers
I grasp all your excellent fingers, sit up late, read aloud,
make clouds and watch the natural phenomena

But we all know about the beautiful blue glass jar
that was only a white one after all
and much closer to a shriek or dancing for example
Yes, sunshine and anemones and clear skies and asphodels and little green frogs as usual

In the meantime, listen to Miss Cheatham
In the midst of writing
In the midst of writing in the cello case in other words,
we think of idiotic melodies and potatoes as rubbishy tufts of black worsted

The real Hugo had rarely if ever
walked downhill
the idea of being in ravines
saved him having to use ladders

I love the pages of a book - an open book - the odour of which is delightful
And so I am where I love to be: in a patch of meadow by Dürer,
the clover rising among the wreath of flowers as peaceful as the privacy of a lavatory
when feeling a round stone, rubicund and ample as two girls and a beehive

And yet it was never any good, except at first
on the floor, so to speak, where he is thinking of her legs
and the feeling in one's bulging stomach.
The trouble is getting their hands on it. It's a shame.

Everything that is unknown makes us anxious
and at the same time puts us in a hopeful mood
‘but it has to have a name you know'
and he showed me the dictionary.



The Maid Of Buttermere

is made of butter
mere butter

but the buttermere maid
made of butter mere butter
made the buttermere maid
of the mere more mermaid
made beer made butt made more
made the barmaid mutter made barmy

the maid of the beer butt
made the beer gut better of butter
but the beergut butter made the maid made mutter
ach mutter das meer ma mutter ma mère
ma mer mutter mer mutter Walter de la Mare mutter
merde mutter ma merde mutter mere mutter mere mutter...

but the mad maid of buttermere made smears of buttermere
made smears of smut of the smeary mere of buttermere
the maid made me merry with the beer butt smut
mary made me smeary of the butter on the butt

mary made me do it
made me smear the maid of smeary butt of buttermere
more butter made smear made smeary
mere butter but butter of the butt made more butter
made marmalade
made me smear me maid of the marmalade
made crummock water

the maid of buttermere
is made of words mere words

the mere word of butter utters
mere words backwards

but words utter words
butter no parsnips


What people do

‘Look' said my daughter,
as we passed a number of hairy caterpillars
striped in black and bright yellow.
‘They're all wearing tight-fitting bodices
and holding tiny books lightly
between the thumb and forefinger
in a portrait by Sir Peter Paul Rubens -
Buy One And Get One Free.'

It soon became the vogue on 10th street
to say ‘terrific' with a Dutch accent
I've never looked back in that respect
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Beef Tomato on the upper deck (no 11 Friday mornings)
and the general public is left fresh in boxes of ice

There is an ‘I' and a ‘we' and a ‘they'
in an old bath tub where you have mixed cement
For the Beauty of the Earth: a Saint
confronted by a writhing sea of Hildas all collecting glass
in hampers and carrying them into the church
to provide additional illumination

The message isn't lost on us either.
I mean what do people do all day?

They smell of garlic when rubbed
and grow eventually to a height of 3 feet.


The Fine Art of Writing
After Ernst Jandl

in poetry, to say it one more time, we need all that to which we have
not become accustomed; we need it to begin poetry at all, and we need
it to make even the very first steps towards understanding poetry,
something which is itself a beginning. Everything to which we have
not become accustomed; we need it to begin poetry at all, and we need
in poetry, to say it one more time, we need all that to which we have
to something, and we have a word for this which is of the utmost
something which is itself a beginning. Everything to which we have
with every awakening, a new day begins for us. I believe we will all of
us come to the end of our days without even one of us having become
something which is itself a beginning. Everything to which we have
become fully accustomed no longer permits any beginning, no longer
is something to which we have not become fully accustomed so long as,
with every awakening, a new day begins for us. I believe we will all of
us come to the end of our days without even one of us having become


Copyright © Jeremy Over, 2011