John Thompson: Professor’s Last Stand



Don’t believe I’m here: I’ve packed,

gone without a trace

somewhere north of north,


or I’m lying in the oily arms

of the richest woman in Calgary, Alberta;


don’t you realise? I’ve been

disappearing all year:

at least half of me is eating

tea-dunked chappatis

outside Katmandu


and the other half is a fish,

brooding in the slow water

of Crooked Creek;


but if you still want to believe it,

O.K.; I guess there are a lot of words

half-words, syllables (etc) lying on the floor:


for Christ’s sake don’t pick them up, please

don’t believe a word I’ve said.


from John Thompson: Collected Poems & Translations, ed Peter Sanger, Goose Lane Editions, 2015

I haven’t even read the introduction yet, but I’m already going to say buy this, buy this book.

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