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Peter Robinson

Two poems:

Graffiti Service
At the Institute

Graffiti Service

The aerosol boys have been at it again
making signature loops and swirls,
soccer boasts, names of girls
on stone, glass, concrete, pebble-dash house-front ...
You said I should take them, citing me,
as welcomes: we’d gone past a substation door
decked out in swathes of graffiti.
So I daub the town with words once more.
But, today, council workers are out on their round
depersonalizing public space
with industrial spray-gun, solvent and paint —
like an artist preparing a ground.


At the Institute

                             after Charles Sheeler

He was touching the hard edge where life and art met.
I was gazing at precisionist
cityscapes and furniture ...
and just so’s I wouldn’t forget
there in a stillness like peace
and silence secured at some price
Mr. President himself was defending his own
legacy, his bloody adventure —
he was ‘staying the course,’ he would ‘get the job done,’
a refurbishment worker’s too-loud radio
come thoughtlessly from an adjacent room ...
and just so’s I wouldn’t forget
there The Artist Looks at Nature
was a painter in his studio
touching the hard edge where life and art met.

                           — 30 November 2006


Peter Robinson, left, with Luciano Erba, June 2007

Peter Robinson, left, with Luciano Erba, June 2007


Peter Robinson has recently returned to the UK after working in Japan for almost two decades. His latest publications are The Look of Goodbye: Poems 2001–2006 (Shearsman Books) which appeared in January 2008, and The Greener Meadow: Selected Poems of Luciano Erba (Princeton University Press, 2007).

 
 
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