COLLABORATIONS by Bob Cobbing & Robert Sheppard
205 x 285mm, 3x zines, 34, 34 & 4 pages, Black & white printing, Saddle stitched, Housed in card box, 2021
Reprints of two collaborations between sympathetic but rather different disturbers of the poetic peace. As detailed in Sheppard’s illuminating Introduction, the first – Codes and Diodes - started with his poem for Cobbing’s 67th birthday; after another a year later Cobbing’s reworked response followed within days. Occasional exchanges continued till Christmas 1990 in the form of “flick-book ekphrasis”, cut-up and collage. - Sheppard:
Early in the alphabet the
Surprises began where the
Unknown linguist housed Francophone
In the sewer music
Cobbing: Elongated words flying furred against Francophone forms. “Juxi! Splelp! Ajax out!” These imps stage the dark world of the sewer.
Ten years on, over three months, a second, more intensive set of exchanges – Blatent blather/virulent whoops - was effected by post; a loose three-line form accommodated homophonic strings, associative leaps, puns, pure sound and even plain statement; printed and handwritten text, diagram, score and image being interrupted by a shaggy dog story of meetings repeatedly foiled by missed calls. From m(over) - / as(to)ish / (you)ngsters invention takes off apparently unstoppably through to an enigmatic conclusion (end)uring freedom / in / (fin)ite j(us)tice – most of the personal pronouns bracketed like parts of cryptic messages still afloat on the relentless swirls of language.