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This poem is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

Poems Val Warner

A VERSION OF TRISTAN

La Pléiade edition - the book's washed up
with sere Left Bank bouquins. I net your soul
whose first edition was remaindered in
a brief, star-crossed life. Dear heart, Les Amours
jaunes
. . . they had you in tow, your 'actress' love
and her lover count. You'd barged in. You hugged
the shoulder of the coast, steering their light
pleasure craft. Your bed was a beached boat. Blocked
from your other love, wide sea, the sea! half
crippled from sixteen by arthritis, self

imaged as the also-ran . . . pariah . . . self
named for pain . . . painting with your penis in
ink . . . impressions of desolation row:
Bohemian Paris. An Eliot
'influence', Berryman's dedicatee
...


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