Visible Shivers

Tom Raworth

1987 • 88 pp. • $29.94
ISBN: 978-0917585050
Poetry, Prose, Collage

Out of Print

Poetry and prose with collages by the author, a British poet who’s a strong influence on U.S. avant-garde writing. In this collection prose and poetry interweave causing reciprocal sound and shapes: “Attention wholly to sensation” which provokes thoughts as “acts drawing curtains through water movement is life.”


Tom Raworth was born and grew up in London. During the 1970s he traveled and worked in the United states and Mexico, returning to England in 1977 to be Resident Poet at King’s College, Cambridge, in which city he lived for many years. Since 1966 he has published more than 40 books and pamphlets of poetry, prose and translations, in several countries. His graphic work has been shown in France, Italy, and the United States, and he has collaborated and performed with musicians (Steve Lacy, Joëlle Léandre, Steve Nelson-Raney, Esther Roth, Nino Locatelli), painters (Giovanni D’Agostino, Micaëla Henich), and other poets (Franco Beltrametti, Corrado Costa, Dario Villa). In 1991 he was invited to teach at the University of Cape Town: the first European writer to visit there for thirty years. Raworth now lives in Brighton, Sussex. 


No Hard Feelings
when do brainwaves start?
do animals have the right to kill?
flaws in equipment
play their part
The Serpent
half- door
clouds pulse in puddles
we pick up a tail wind
No Light No Tunnel
only work
for the company
hypnotized by money
closing down
to electrons
plastic rags
the national costume
Living Under The Divine Right Of Sheriffs
was neutral
during the third world war
music is plastic
plastic is poetry
poetry is music
warming my eyes
it is quite blue
Descriptive Verse
money can’t buy
short focus
sensitive to numbness
nothing follows
saving chocolate buttons
pairing them
their sheen
Like A Simile
emoshon (comment on obsession)
patterns patterns turning in
his tonsure painted red
we think
we know
what we’ll do tomorrow
Human Warmth
if britain is only business
it could be taken over
for its assets
we paid
not enough to change
of vegetable plots
bound to energy
in symbiosis
The Scent Of Cars
to think
of people
all day
to see the queen
imagine not hearing yourself
read this nor the last
reverberation of that gong
your head under the surface
no sound but this
ng: no milk in the morning
no breakfast uncontrollable maniacs
saying what they’re told
recognition will be a sign of madness
Remember When People Were Tortured
bright women burning
primitives test beliefs
not what they’re called
but what they do
in rooms closed to sunlight
in man-made light
white monkeys
inhale the smoke
Making Marks
each particle waves
tearing through time
in magnetic patterns
more than memory
a leaden ark
sinking in plastic
a persian rug
under the telephone
a city wet
smelling of pizza
and I am here
with hooks
almost too blurred
to be read
the page recedes
an image
need not be final
controlled leaks
letters floating
against glare
no sign
what scratched
outside the door
toes numbing
in the draught
turning a page
hearing my heart
drum from the board
beneath my heels
colour sleeps
who or what
uses what or whom
primitive senses
grow fear
from pain
dry salt mouth
in thicker time
began to detect basking
at two to four
first birdsong
click off
bright yellow
to listen
in the dawn
behind a faintest
shimmer of form
none but you
and me
not irrelevant
to the pain
in my big toe
that I have
no legs
no landscape drawn
to show it done
nor stone
before instruments
not alive
electric light
put us
in a battery
move assent
regarding objects
without thought
if thought
is senses panicking
radiation lobotomies
she goes
“I wonta
or wodevver
they should shoot’m
wit a flametrower
sayin’ “feel no pain”
the dogs
they hev the power
to detect persons
in hiding”
a dark painting
“you need a light
behind it
in a house”
special effects
on tablets
outside forts
a system
looks after you
no possibility
of human error
in a no man’s land
under a sphere
of influence
money circulates
too fast to see
sahara beach photographers
(say if that were..?
and those did..?)
“what is remarkable
about these photographs
is their ordinariness
is alone
with her dogs and ponies”
“new equipment
to make steel thin enough
for cars or tin cans”
into nothing
no choice in the matter
tired of reflections
bored with light
impatient with time
uninterested in thought
no desires
without hunger
nothing to write
mind sleepy jelly
too tired to phone
staring at the timetable
deciding to keep moving
under a microdot moon
hand through green balloon
cigarette end white in red light
no dreams
no you care to listen
the abstract you, the elastic hat
no head to fit
under sufficient space
precise military empty