These three poems by Jon Whitbread tell the story of three tragic heroes. “Some Adventurer” finds a voyager attempting to escape the constraints of fate, causality, and language. “Shot At By Roundheads” recalls a riverboat trip gone wrong, wondering about the way the unconscious uses memories to try to communicate with the conscious mind. And “This Faust” presents an artist examining the Hermetic and fretting about the purpose of art…
Poems and art by: Jon Whitbread
Challenge the linear without success
Then you wake up one morning
With a headache caused by collisions
Later in the day, your eyes in league
With language dismantle the world
Then reassemble it, sentenced.
Some adventurer you are, finding out nothing
About anything, dodging ironic death.
If you’re not careful you’ll die carefully.
So spit three times In the cellar for no reason,
Spout sounds of shapes on long journeys
Glimpse small goddesses in the niches of your eyes
Shot At by Roundheads
Shot at by Roundheads near Putney Bridge
Motor broken, shipping Thames,
We paddled hard against the coming ebb
And bailed like crazy past dream populated parks,
Imagining a watery planet
Plagued by a thousand moons,
Watching slow whips of jostling geese
Readying to settle amongst rotting jetties,
We drowned and yet we breathed.
This Faust Is a kitchen floor fetish hunter
Finding small black stones for wooden boxes,
The floodplains Of Nile, Thames, Euphrates
Mapped in cracks on the ceiling just as
There’s a furnace at the centre of the earth
And in the heart of man. Through the window a heron’s
Harassed by parakeets. Faust ventures out.
“Oh hi Faust”
“Oh, hi Mephistopheles”
I’ve been thinking…
You needn’t live up to your art,
Just manifest it”.
“Oh, ok. I see, thanks.
So how’s work?
How’s the family?”
Jon Whitbread recently graduated with a MA Fine Art (Sculpture) at OCA, teaches stonemasonry and carving at the Building Crafts College, London, and persistently crosses the border between poetry and sculpture. You can see his work on Instagram at thenewstonesculpture.