Because it is raining outside, because I don’t want to write my paper and because I have Ted Berrigan’s ‘Sonnet XXXVII’ pinned to my noticeboard, I wrote this poem. The film to which I refer is from ‘Poetry in Motion’ (1982); you can find it on YouTube here.
I possess no poem. It is raining. And there are
Broken umbrellas scattered along the street.
Ted Berrigan is dead. Between vast strides are
Broken bars of chocolate scattered
On the street. The poem is caught in the rain.
Eyes fall heavy like raindrops on broken umbrellas.
Teeth fall heavy on chocolate and broken umbrellas.
On film, Ted Berrigan is reading the poem.
Behind him is a mirror and many Ted Berrigans
Reading the poem. His eyes fall heavy on
The poem like teeth on chocolate. After the poem
He looks up awkwardly. It is a beautiful thing.
The third line begins, ‘Ted Berrigan is dead.’
He gives me the poem in exchange for a broken umbrella.
DOING NOTHING TAKES AGES
DOING NOTHING AGES TAKES
DOING TAKES NOTHING AGES
DOING TAKES AGES NOTHING
DOING AGES NOTHING TAKES
DOING AGES TAKES NOTHING
NOTHING DOING TAKES AGES
NOTHING DOING AGES TAKES
NOTHING TAKES DOING AGES
NOTHING TAKES AGES DOING
NOTHING AGES DOING TAKES
NOTHING AGES TAKES DOING
TAKES DOING NOTHING AGES
TAKES DOING AGES NOTHING
TAKES NOTHING DOING AGES
TAKES NOTHING AGES DOING
TAKES AGES DOING NOTHING
TAKES AGES NOTHING DOING
AGES DOING NOTHING TAKES
AGES DOING TAKES NOTHING
AGES NOTHING DOING TAKES
AGES NOTHING TAKES DOING
AGES TAKES DOING NOTHING
AGES TAKES NOTHING DOING
Byron [a species of turnip]
Wordsworth [shepherd’s purse]
Shelley [garden radish]
Burns [nipple wort]
Blake [water dropwort]
After Nanakusa: the seven edible wild herbs of spring, anonymous poem found on the Nanakusa Japanese Grill Restaurant (Glasgow) website.
Poem found at Lidl and assembled into booklet.