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Jacket 20 — December 2002   |   # 20  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |

Bob Cobbing and Robert Sheppard

Blatent blather/virulent whoops

Bob Cobbing died on 28 September 2002.

m(over) —


















we at least eat the wheat and yeast

: her b)eaten souls a(re tort)ure

be at least ten year(s older

soldier on contortionist

pers(ever)e      lay down the gauntlet

(you)ngster now outstrip y(our) peers

t(ravel)ler escapes despair

fares further down the (wind)ing lanes

older now in (mob)ile years

rave a(t he)at in the din    stern

old bile-ear(s    trip) further east

beat the gaunt seve(re pair)

the strip repair unr(ave)ls

on your (sol)ider shoulder re(sol)d as fur -

aunt Eve’s t(au)t teats are f(air)

(so)(lid) (a){ir refra((g(a)b)(le)))} [ir(on)]y

b(a)b(b[lat)ive] (b[lat)ter]

(b/lat)ent ([me)(an)](in)gs bl (eat (in){g) ink}

stop talking out your re(ar e)nd and

give (you)r m(out)h a chance

the child across (the y)ard shouts as f(are)well

in sin you ate

awe steer pea sez lick quid

sol lid quaff dye jest

wool fish sew irk once weigh

threw pan tree prod dig galley tea

watt purse spick ass city

I’m hungry for kn(it)ted f(is)h

(a)s the tree clank(s in) the (win)d

what obli(quit)y    kick ass     you

gest       8

a s- (

s)     quid

re-  inst.  8

B 9

4 tune



M   br(ace)

A    B

C    D

E             ↓

C (U) B A        

E (S) S O

N(A) T O


Race 2

Erase   3 lines      ↓

graphic image 1 of 3

graphic image 2 of 3

graphic image 3 of 3

Martin left a message on our answerphone while we were out one evening — ironically near his new (bed)sit — saying that he was ‘on’ for a (jug) of ale the following evening. In the morning, I called back, only to be connected to his answerphone, and I left a s(rap)py message that I was on for it too. Our family went for an afternoon walk in the warm sun. During it, I phoned Martin from a pub, The (Owl) and the Pussycat, and told him where we were, via his answerphone, of course. I realised immediately that this might give the impression that we were waiting for him there. Once we had removed to The Salutation and Cat, but finding the phones out of order, I (leg)ged it to lo(cat)e a serviceable public phone — not an easy task — to deliver a final (memo) to his voicemail, telling him that we were staying put. It was now about 8.30.

I’d already (map)ped out Martin’s possible movements; clearly not at home, he was either at work or taking his daughter back to Luton. Not having his mobile number meant that no further communication was possible. I’d already (bat)tled th(rough) the crowds at the Semaphore (Arm)s in case he was there; it was then I remembered ruefully that Martin used to work for British Telecom. The usual illegitimates were selling d(rug)s under the table. That was at about 8 o’clock.

Returning home I found a message on my machine, verbatim, ‘Thanks for your message!’ — but which one? — telling me that, at the time of recording, he was meeting some mutual friends in the Semaphore at 9, and would I care to join them? I struggled to subjugate my frustration. It was already past 11 o’clock.

st(rug)gled  st(rain)ed exert(ed  en)deavoured
app(lied)  ventured  es(say)ed  intended
st(rove)  laboured  (toil)ed  per(sever)ed
battled  g(rap)pled  tussled  con(ten)ded

sub(jug)ate  (mast)er  sub(due  s)ubject
bind  repress (tame  d)ominate
hold down   sit on   stamp out keep under
re(pulse)  vanquish  de(feat)  suppress

f(rust)ration  bafflement  disappointment  r(egret)
st(ale)mate  impe(dim)ent  inhibition  (limit)ation
(hamper)ing  s(hack)ling  c(log)ging  re(strict)ion
rest(rain)t  ar(rest)  (hind)rance  (hand)icap













p(out) is









point p(aint)  pour  p(out)

it  sour  (row)er  invent

out  crop  t(op)  ten

anna  jamex  yo(ga  p)iranha

nitro  (arch)ery  qu(ad)  paintball

quest  orbit  (bad)ger  ultra

fanfare  facilli(tat)e  silence  tomorrow

gillian  (stand)ing  (hand)s  out  badges

t(roll)ey  croissants  w(heel)ing  trav(ail)

g(ill)ian s(tan)ds at the corner pro(testing)

a(gain)st funf(air) exploitation and science

wor(king) its animal experi(me)nts; while

anna jampan yo heave ho gab pabouche tyrannic

nitrogen narcosis arches erythro-quackery painting the town -

cu(isse)-madame orchardist or w(or)st ger(onto)cratic Ultraist?

Gil  li  An Na  o

Mi  ri  Am  an  Da ma  rI

sa  Be  lin  Da  ni

e  La  Na  di  Nel

Lys  Sa  bri  Na  ta  Sha  ro

Nas  ta  si  Al  ma

Til  Da  Na  om  I

Daph  Nes  San  dRa  c(hElL )  au  ra ---

(Petra)rch  Cal  Led a

l(over) another

name would (be love)’s foo(d) ---

B(eat)  rice  al  dente

dante  dainty  dandy  daphne

dabby  daffy  dandle  dampy

dally  dana  dander  daryl

daggle  damper  darken  darnel

daily  dairy  daisy  darren

dado  dago  darcy  davy

dagger  danger  darby  dastard

darter  data  dagmar  dawdle

danny  dancer  darling  dazzle

data  dented  dance  date  Dante

Almightier  Alighieri

ail-gherkin ally-giver alley-hire ale-cheery (all here

silo’s crudest chef-mix composted fossils

a persona cheer may tarnish all monody

quest flame stars in sense pie scouser

map a coin cheap grammar din quest rondo

non porno vivo talcum sides all verso

sense tame infamies to this responder

alligator  crocodile  gharial

(ghara in hindi means pot)

gavialis  gangeticus  gavialidae

false gharial   tomistoma   schlegelii

mugger    crocodylus palustris

(hatchlings carried in the gular pouch)

black caiman   melanosuchus niger

a.  mississippiensis     a. sinensis

(alligators have a fourth mandibular tooth)

‘human beings are more important than crocodiles’

‘solid facts (out there) like Grand Central Station’

‘value-judgements unshakeable as the Empire State Building’

false allegations against Tom Stoma Schlegel

Microcodile pilasters fang the Gulag porch at

Melanie’s nicer Mississippian silences

char  gog  ga  gogg

man  chaug  ga  gogg  

chau  buna  gun  ga  maugg

te  wak  ata kan  ga

o  te  ngar ehu

te  ahi  ata  matea

de  sa  gu  a  de  ro  

pa  ra  na  hi  ba  

rap  pa  han  nock  

shu  ben  a  ca  di  a

ir  ra  wad  dy  

o ri  no  co  

ro  to  ma  ha  na

ti  ti  ca  ca  

tan  gan  yi  ka  

tang  any  ika

tranquilly  ti  tic  aca

con  go  mum  bo  jum  bo   hoo  doo

with a philosophic pa(use)

(wit)h a great delib(era)tion and g(host)iness

with gr(owing) de(liberation) and joy

dying d(own)

into (a) pe(net)rating terrified


lis(ping) s(ly re)eds

sighing in (the n)ight

w(her)e sham(rock) grows

at the ghosting h(our)

s(pout)ing italian w(here) soft lights

c(om)e and go

joy no(t ang)uish

we (fin)d at t(able)

ma(king) the late john (sin)g

bing   ...  liar .

silence dante ..  then ping

across her rock

our (vi) has (co)me

and p(out)s

go everyw(here)

the last tangible game (fin)gering

the gable-(end)

(joy ce)ntred s(ink)ing

thiuna  towcher  longman  lee


the (fin)gers st(ray)

l(earn) the gift of the gab

(too l)ate mahaman   vantara

the story’s done

grain u(pon  g)rain

‘which no(w is e)nde(d in t)his way’

and (we re)main

(end)uring freedom


(fin)ite j(us)tice

July-October 2001

Bob Cobbing

Robert Sheppard

Check out this author’s work: Bookstores in Britain, and in the United States

Jacket 20 — December 2002
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