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from Idea’s Mirror: overdubs of the sonnets of Michael Drayton






my interior eyes into myself I 

see myself hopelessly creative help-

lessly critical heaving my breast

(in your future memory) my breathy song

quite a classy act for your seedy dive

damn the grim inevitability of Brexit ads (I

sing) the pure information they bestow on us

come admire my flashing love lights

on TV I see Bo’s fearful outward eyes

as he resigned before he could be elected ‘I

am not that person’ appears all night in dreams

waffling distracted about a better world

lost in his show when he should show us us

I gainsay his gains and gain his loss as plus





Bo strives to entertain

his Brexit case with needy words

waltzing the Taoiseach around the Wirral where

wodwos await the worm on public footpaths

(obscure moist bridals) whispers vulgarisms

in the dark Spenserian tunnel of Anglo-

Irish exchange Nothing Is True

the election sorted though the common voice

(Pseudo-Murphy reminds him) elects Remain

Bo laughs and claps and slaps his jolly good non-

paper in his non-judgement non-delivers

virtues against which I sing resistance

against vulgarity I endeavour to become 

one (of many) deserving of history 








grave EU council assembles 

to police by protocols its politics

Bo’s glory springs from sovereign 

view of self and state (his deal)

his loving subjects atremble

when Arlene brays like livestock

her ‘blood-red lines’ presage red lines of blood

(I historify) I sing

earworm Bo into nursery rhyme renown

crashing him from a peace wall the wrong side   

if Bo cannot unknot her No who

cannot not exit Brexit or 

I’ll seek my self to not live in his state

uncrown my subjection as citizen of Scotland 








I could sing you a list 

from livid experience embedded

embattled Brexit furies 

the scourge of Brussels

‘taking out’ Northern Ireland 

for a Freeport 

getting Brexit done (with)

back bench thumbs thumping ‘no’ 

on backlit screens to Twitter

I could sign you a letter

with meaningful votes unvoided of meaning

no death row deal for Last Hope Island

I could sign my own name here at last 

where Milton scribbled his Hancock

Read Robert Sheppard’s “Hanging Out Inside Sonnets: A Text and Anti-Commentary” here


Robert Sheppard’s two new books are from his ‘English Strain’ project, The English Strain from Shearsman Books, and Bad Idea from Knives Forks and Spoons. Shearsman also publishes his selected poems, History or Sleep, and The Robert Sheppard Companion, a series of essays on his work. KFS also publishes his ‘autrebiography’, Words Out of Time. Also a critic (The Meaning of Form), he lives in Liverpool. He blogs at

ISSN 2632-4423


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