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Cluster index: Ian Seed

Pierre Reverdy’s ‘non-novel’.

Peter Riley: ‘The uncertainty between poetry and prose in the early works makes sense when you realise that the fully poetical writing he first reached, principally in The Thief… itself, is basically in prose. That is to say that however much disjuncture there may be among the little separate pieces of language which float around the page, each piece is itself written in perfectly normal syntax, in sentences or parts thereof, in which the parts of speech maintain their proper functions. ‘

Five poems.

Gëzim Hajdari: ‘The stones along the road are silent,
the bitter grass in the field trembles.
Under a sky always dark
naked, orphan trees.’

New York Hotel.

Ian Seed: ‘Here I stopped because I could not remember how to conjugate the verb. In any case, I had an excuse not to continue for at that moment a military parade appeared at the end of the street. It was led by a general in a jeep. ‘

Italian Lessons.

Ian Seed: ‘Yesterday evening when I stopped as usual to say hello and try out a little more of my Italian on Tiziana, I saw, from the corner of my eye, Anna walking down the street hand-in-hand with her fidanzato, her tall, blue-eyed, but (thank God) balding beloved. She was smiling at something he’d said. I tried not to look at her, but when they passed, Anna turned her head vaguely toward me. Her green eyes caught mine for a moment, then turned away.’

Nine very short stories.

Ian Seed, from ‘Ex-Pat’: ‘I was walking back to my Paris flat from the metro. Someone sprang at me from a doorway and tried to grab my wallet from my pocket. More than frightened, I was ashamed that he’d dared to attack me, for he was only a scrawny youth and, though his eyes were vicious, his lips were pretty and feminine. I grabbed him round the neck and wrestled him to the ground. The smell of his sweat was sweet. I held his trembling body against mine until the police arrived.’

Five poems by Jules Supervielle.

Jules Supervielle: ‘If you touch his hand, it’s without knowing.
You remember him, but under another name.
In the middle of the night, in your deepest sleep
you say his real name and invite him to stay.’
Translation by Ian Seed.