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Jacket 21 — February 2003   |   # 21  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |

Sam Sampson


I saw them with these very eyes, as well as I see you
                      — St. Joan of Arc, 1431

First there were voices, then faces
           names: a Michael, Margaret, Catherine

and an actor Artaud
           interlopers which reconstructed figments.

In a backroom, hearsay:

strips of scene, fixated filed sharp
            driven until points turned towards fact.

During cross-examination, confessions:
           augmented cries which twisted round and round.

(...does revelation build memory-worlds?
            ...only wind instruments can unlock interior-hillocks.)

At Rouen an iron cage, chains which linked necks, hands and feet
           leather loops which strangulated reason,

when stretched everyone resisted. Heads wore haloes
          torsos hair undergarments:

inter-titles mixed straw with wood
           fuelling plumes of black and white;

some say, the whole was reduced to ashes
           others, that sparks circled, and disappeared.

Sam Sampson grew up in West Auckland, New Zealand, attending Auckland University where he majored in philosophy and taught ethnomusicology. He is the author of Gauguin's Poiësis (1999), and recent poems have appeared in: Ariel, Slope 13, Stand, NZ Listener, Landfall, and Poetry Review. The poem ‘Hearsay’, will appear in the forthcoming Landfall 205.

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