Skip to content


Enfettered, these sentences repress free speech. The

text deletes selected letters. We see the revered exegete

reject metred verse: the sestet, the tercet - even les

scènes élevées en grec. He rebels. He sets new precedents.

He lets cleverness exceed decent levels. He eschews the

esteemed genres, the expected themes - even les belles

lettres en vers. He prefers the perverse French esthetes:

Verne, Péret, Genet, Perec - hence, he pens fervent

screeds, then enters the street, where he sells these let-

terpress newsletters, three cents per sheet. He engen-

ders perfect newness wherever we need fresh terms.

Relentless, the rebel peddles these theses, even when

vexed peers deem the new precepts 'mere dreck.' The

plebes resent newer verse; nevertheless, the rebel per-

severes, never deterred, never dejected, heedless, even

when hecklers heckle the vehement speeches. We feel

perplexed whenever we see these excerpted sentences.

We sneer when we detect the clever scheme - the emer-

gent repetend: the letter E. We jeer; we jest. We express

resentment. We detest these depthless pretenses - these

present-tense verbs, expressed pell-mell. We prefer

genteel speech, where sense redeems senselessness.

from Chapter E

Christian Bök

More from
Poem of the Week