Alec Finlay: I know a Poem

Last week I had the great pleasure of hearing Alec Finlay at the Poetry project in NYC. Here is one of his works, which he composed by asking eight male poets to tell him what (lines, words) of a famous poem by Robert Creeley they remembered. Here it is:

I Know a Poem

for Thomas Evans

I KNOW A MAN
I KNOW A MAN
I KNOW A MAN
I know
a man
As I said
as I sd to my
As I sd, to my friend
as I sd to my friend John
As I sd to my friend John
john
i sd
So I said to my friend John
… John, I sd
to my friend John be-
friend, because I am
because I am always
always talking, John
cause I am always talking,
John, I said, the
talking, John I sd
I sd, which was not
(which was not his name)
which is not his name
which was not his real name
his name, the darkness
the darkness surrounds us,
this darkness
the darkness surrounds us
the dark
ness
surrounds us, what
darkness sur-
rounds us, caught
surrounds us what
surrounds us
in the headlights, what
can we do
against it so
can we do against
what can we do against it
it, or else, shall we,
or else, shall we
& why not,
& why not
and why not buy
why not buy a
buy a goddamn
why not get a goddamn
goddam big car and
big car &
buy a goddamn big car –
big car,
a goddam big car
let’s get a goddammed big car and

drive
drive he sd,
drive, he sd
drive, he said _–
Drive the car
who drive
Drive he said
he sd &
he sd
Drive, he said, for
Christ’s sake, and
for christ’s sake
for chrissake watch
for christ’s sake
for christ’s sake
watch out
and just watch where you’re going
where yr. going
look out where yr going
look out where you’re going
look out where yr going.
where yr going
look out
where yr
going.

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4 Responses

  1. rb says:

    guess i remember the abrieviated version. great poem

  2. rb says:

    must type a comment ok yup

  3. rb says:

    no wonder there are no comments

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