‘Esperanto a lists’ (Jukebox EP) by Mark Robinson

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My Name is Mark and
after Charles Bernstein

I am a northern poet, a northwestern poet,
a northeastern poet, a Stockton poet,
a Preston poet, a Teesside poet,
a domestic poet, a political poet,
an evasive poet, a formal poet, an ex-
perimental poet, a reflective poet, a strategic poet,
a part-time poet, an evenings and weekends poet,
a 24 hour party poet, a performance poet,
a preschool poet, a streetwise poet,
a smart arse poet, a wry poet,
a real poet, a male poet, people’s poet,
a blue poet, a red poet, a green poet,
a black-white-and-read-all-over poet,
a ready made poet, a donkey of a poet,
I am a love poet in the morning,
a darkly comic poet over lunch,
a post-prandial second language poet,
a crispy edge of the lasagne poet at teatime,
a pop poet watching the telly,
and an interrogative poet in the sack,
I am a creative poet, a restricted poet,
a poet making the most of slender means,
a listed poet, a candidate poet,
a could-have-been-a-contender poet,
a difficult decision making poet,
a young poet, a poet with a maturing voice,
a gritty poet, a can-I-take-it-to the-bridge-
yeah-go-on-take-it-to-the-bridge poet,
an anti-poet, a poet who hates beauty
for its own sake and its own good,
a poet after Auschwitz and the poet who
put the ram in the ramalamadingdong,
I am a vernacular poet, a poet
of exquisite juxtapositions,
a poet inhabited by inhibition,
I am a poet with a mission,
a missionary poet with a million positions,
a beat poet, jazz poet, spoken word poet,
I am an ironic poet, a post-punk poet,
a just-add-boiling-water poet,
a poet with attitude, a fraudulent poet,
a situationist poet, a dead poet,
a situation-communist poet,
I am an accessible poet, I am a poet
banging a tambourine,
I am a poet with a headache.
backache and an indefinable langour,
a terminal case of ennui,
I am a discursive poet, a generative poet,
an imagist who scorns the sketch,
a poet driven by the need for results,
a leaving poems poet, a birth of your child poet
a research poet, a poet ever puzzled,
a product poet, a process poet,
an executive Top Management Poet,
I am a terraced house poet, a pacifist
terrorist poet with a pillowful of feathers,
an erotic poet, a dream poet, a dream-song-sung-blue poet,
a poet without a home, a poet in his place,
a poet crying for mother and apple pie,
a stir-fried tofu poet, a white bread black pudding poet,
I am a poet in the field, a poet at large,
a systems poet, a computer generated poet,
a small press poet, a hard pressed poet,
a depressed poet, a suppressed poet,
a poet reeling with surprise and delight,
a husband poet, son poet, brother poet,
dad poet, a dadaist poet, a sudden movement poet,
a martian poet, a poet behaving badly,
a talkin-‘bout-my-generation poet,
a post-post-post-post-post poet,
a modernist poet in the market place,
a gnomic poet on the street corner,
a never-going-to-be-on-the-South-Bank-Show poet,
a tea-time local news poet, a tense poet,
a speak my weight poet, an eat my words poet,
an educated poet, a philistine poet,
an aesthetic principles don’t butter the bread poet,
a poetry boom revival poet, a dusty corner poet,
a shabbier the better poet, an alphabetical order poet,
a dictionary poet, a tip of the tongue poet,
a poet in a mess, a you-hum-it-I’ll-play-it poet,
a stop-this-poem-I-want-to-get-off poet.

‘And that the world is not joke, nor any part of it a sham’          
Walt Whitman

this dark this steam this smuggling
this work this heat this wondering
this tooth this brow this bothering
this cap this chip this knuckling
this desk this bone this dithering
this glass this drink this guzzling
this tongue this key this tingling
this light this ear this lathering
this night this name this painting
this itch this ache this ironing
this ridge this fall this rioting
this sigh this vim this visioning
this walk this hearth this heartening
this ache this bed this angering
this quest this zest this zipping
this smile this slip this crumbling
this tic this tack this editing
this joke this door this juddering
this mop this floor this muttering
this knife this orb this offering
this pint this page this dialing
this quid this swag this quivering
this plate this urge this uddering
this hex this switch this exiting
this fudge this grudge this fidgeting
this yell this end this yattering

Home as a cornucopia

Makers of pastry and shapers of pies,
builders of houses and mortgage providers,
bankers, crafters, tanker-drivers, shops,
counters of beans and makers of scenes,
conjurers of light and houses from hats,
creators of mats, offices, homes,
scaffolders, miners, benders, combiners,
those who run trains and boats and planes
 – and cars, vans, bikes, trucks and lorries,
frothers up of headlines and local stories,
potash, iron, marshmallows, paninis, cakes,
country houses, open mines and mucky works,
people who pluck pictures from the air to make
photos, blueprints, fresh-baked pizzas, songs,
the people who give you ice creams,
toffees, tarmac, sleep-filled nights, insurance,
sharpeners of pencils, bakers of bread,
the ports, the malls, and the roads up to them,
the fillers of airways, airwaves and glasses,
pullers of pints and molten steel, lager and bitter
and mild mannered curries, mixers of spices,
pickers of pickles and peppers, proud paper-peddlers,
fryers of fish and chips, trainers of the fat,
blenders of soup and fine tailors of suits,
mixers of cement to fill high heels and boots,
lickers of stamps and blowers of glass,
builders of containers, cisterns and fountains,
breakers of brown-fields, diggers of the dirt,
kickers of footballs, halo-headed chefs,
binders and sellers and printers of books, plain cooks,
cutters of concrete and layers of turf, geniuses
who argue the elements into medicine and art,
lines of melody, memory and meaning,
words, pixels, frames, wash, water, light,
muscles, shape, music, movement, laughter, bite.

Esperanto Anonyme
for Bill Herbert, il lista-creatore migliore

Esperanto na billiardo
Esperanto de statistico
Esperanto of CNN
Esperanto of Chelski and Arsenal
Esperanto ah morning coughs
Esperanto of showerheads
Esperanto da breakfast buffet
Esperanto di bus
Esperanto of football stadia
Esperanto ye barking dogs
Esperanto a empty buzzwords
Esperanto na dead paradigms
Esperanto o’t smoking gun
Esperanto of silence
Esperanto di iambs
Esperanto na ragged dance
Esperanto von fear
Esperanto o panic
Esperanto da drum and basics
Esperanto a hips
Esperanto na breath
Esperanto di grafiti
Esperanto de puzzled brows
Esperanto na hope
Esperanto ov hope over experience
Esperanto of beer
Esperanto a lists

Sleeve Notes:  Esperanto a lists

– four list poems from How I Learned To Sing, New & Selected Poems, to be published by Smokestack Books in July 2013. Mark Robinson lives in Stockton-on-Tees. His previous collections, Half A Mind, Gaps Between Hills and The Horse Burning Park were published before he spent a decade working for Arts Council England and avoiding conflicts of interest – the only way in which he is similar to Michael Longley. He edited Scratch magazine and press from 1989 to 1999. He also edited a book of essays on the poetry reading ‘Words Out Loud’ (Stride 2002) and was one of the English poets in A Balkan Exchange (ed W.N. Herbert, Arc 2008), translating leading Bulgarian poets.

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