Untitled, by FVT

Music into brain to drown the thoughts.

Programme in hand,

Stomach lurches at photo on front.


Staring at floor, searching for seat.

Still staring at shoes,

hand covering photo on programme.


Look up.

Coffin, flowers.




Stomach tightens.

Look down.


Jaw clenched.

Fists clenched.

Toes clenched.

Stomach clenched.


Whispered words.

Mimed hymns.

Psalm gasped out in haste.


Coffin leaves.

Throat strangles,



Stepping into blazing sunshine,

Sun gleaming on black cars.

Big sunglasses,

nostrils, eyes, damp.


18 thoughts on “Untitled, by FVT

  1. Dear FVT, forgive my directness but maybe the problem with this poem is your trying to write ‘rationally’. You might want to leave words wander (& wonder) around to find unexpected associations and new sources of inspiration. With a simple cut up technique you can obtain something like this:

    blazing sunshine,

    Sun gleaming Look down.

    Whispered words.

    Coffin, flowers.
    Look down.


    Fists clenched.




    Coffin. sunshine,

    Sun gleaming on black Coffin leaves.

    Sun gleaming on

    Look down.



    Coffin. nostrils, eyes, damp.
    Stomach tightens. Stomach clenched.

    Jaw clenched.
    Coffin leaves.

  2. Thanks for that Luca. I guess you did not find it as ‘beautiful’ as the previous poster! It’s interesting what you do with the cutting and chopping of words.

  3. Luca, I think this cut up thing you seem very much into sometimes works against the rhythm or music of language – sorry I can’t come up with a better term at the moment. Randomness (if such a thing ever existed) is not necessarily resounding, and of a meaningless that is not uncanny as much as boring – I know I sound like an old spinster, but I find these experimentalisms rather shallow if there is not proper ‘backup’ – again, I wouldn’t know how to define this, but it makes all the difference, so that for example this kind of writing works perfectly in your poetry but not always in other people’s. The point (and my question) is: why doesn’t cutup always ‘work’?

  4. This is an interesting comment. I felt that Luca’s comments were interesting and certainly the cut-up was interesting but I felt that the context of my poem, the emotion, was lost. The point to me was that the funeral was very much a regimented series of events that took place in that order – cutting it up made it something it wasn’t to me, though the effect of the cut-up was interesting.
    Lunatagliente – which version of the poem do you prefer and for what reasons? You can say neither! I won’t be offended – I’m very much testing to see if I have any poetic voice and I’m quite prepared to find that I don’t!

  5. My cut up version didn’t mean to have ANY poetic value, it was a mere suggestion. I find it a simple but effective way of making words resound in a different way. Then the poet’s sensibility interveens to make it ‘work’ in terms of sound and word-combination. Cutting up is a tool among others 😉

  6. I must say I can’t really say, of course the two pertain to two different realms of expression. Language as expression and language as technology is an interesting binary to explore. I see, Luca, that you are at a loss for words as well: should the poet prove to be sensible as well as sensitive?

  7. Sensibility is crucial in poetry. Everybody ‘feels’ and ‘senses’ reality, but a good poem offers a different perspective. An ordinary situation or rite of passage like a birth or a funeral become stuff of myth.. Look at Funeral blues by Auden:

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves

  8. Ouch! Beginning to wish I’d never posted that! It’s clearly a very bad poem but there’s nothing like placing it next to Auden to completely destroy it!!

  9. It’s natural – we are our own harshest critics! Also, the Auden poem was one that had particular resonance for me in the wake of the bereavement – the idea that the world should stop seemed particularly appropriate. It’s my favourite poem on the subject because it elucidates precisely how the moment feels.

  10. I’m afraid I’m with Chadlew Ishoward. I prefer the original poem to the cut-up version, although of course there are famous cut-ups, not the least of which is The Waste Land, which but for Ezra would have made much more sense at first reading and been a bad poem.

  11. Hi Maestromuro – thanks for your comment. This poem seems to have completely divided readers. I didn’t really know what I thought of it when I posted it, I still don’t know what I think of it, but perhaps my own opinion of it is largely irrelevant.

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