Of Course, You Know I Am David Gascoyne

Nineteen-thirties teenager

Pacing park and pavement in East Twickenham

Declining French irregular verbs

So that as a Briton

He might better understand Breton


A psychogeographic return trail

Across La Manche to Gay Paris

Night visions of amphetamine disturbance

Good morning midnight

Though it’s not quite three

Hands whizzed backwards on a leaning clock

Transfixing time

For the rake of Teddington Lock


Melted poems not yet written

Like snowflakes on a kitten

Moons of cheese, lunes de fromage

A surrealist equipage

Shafts of Sauterne-like light

In St Stephen’s

Deep, steep, crisp, uneven…


Sentient sadness, intelligent madness

Took him down the decades

To a care home on the Isle of Wight

(Coloured sand tickling in the dark blue night)

One afternoon his nurse and future wife

Performed his poem at a reading –

Of a sudden, his subconscious bleeding,

He cried:

‘Of course, you know I am David Gascoyne…’


She did now.





Julian Isaacs
Picture Nick Victor








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