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The MOVIE is
better than the BOOK

 An unpaginated index of first lines
 from a collection of poems called
 AFTER FAME (Faber, 2020)

saepe soloecismum mentula nostra facit
Marcus Valerius Martialis

A book no one reads
A person is attractive
A rabbit hides in the wheel-arch on a flight to hawaii
A single look accounts for you
Among tens of striplights shoaled
Art is satisfied with gold
As if high on herbs of provence
Basically my critics fall into two categories ...
Continually harassed wet vintage drips
Contrary to what the poets claim
doctor killer confidant
Drop The Book of Eyebrows
Eat at the people with books
Eighteen of the 118 poems in this book begin with the pronoun ‘I’
Even when she’s gone to bed
Fame is such a draught
go there on my behalf, bearing these words in print
Haven’t you had enough poems yet? 
Have you received water as a dainty offering
Hey. My poem says ‘good morning’ to
however far in debt
I address a rich friend, Q., and ask him, if he sees ...
I am writing to complain my poems are too long
I can offer your hand
I did two wrong and stupid things
I don’t believe anything
I don’t like you
I give you jacuzzis
I kind of wants—envy, to go forward into tumult—
I know for you the pleasure’s
I lost all feeling in the water-meadows
I promise when you cut your hair
I think you’ll light
I want to be with you wherever
I want to use the line ‘the rich are never beautiful’ ...
I write verses for my equals
I Wrote It for You and A Novel By are possible titles
I’m still here, Marcus, in the groves of Mars
I’m trying to interest my contacts in the gaming industry ...
If more is less
If there are any still to be clinically loved
If you sign the petition
If you want to know my wishes briefly Mark
Imagine you identified the traits you wanted to abandon
In general I hate discussing my poetry
In the dream your weeping friends had dried your cheeks
Is it cruel to describe
It was said you would find a high level
Love’s syllables scroll
My life
My patron (who owns a Prius)
My publishers are excellent judges of quality and character
My reputation is a book
Neglecting to count the hours
No matter what the loss is
Oh my cares, my money is worthless
Once nobody in town would touch it
Only in the kingdoms of Rome
Our mildness is not prepared for the necessary surgery
‘Penelope in the boardroom, Helen in the bedroom’ ...
poem addressed to parents
Remember to give thanks
Rufus is such a sad dude ...
Saved from a certain fate
she says
Sleeps late, still pale
Spacious though grim, rabbit. However
Students you have offered him feelings
That guy was born with sharp little teeth
The authors on my bookshelves include Chekhov, Kierkegaard ...
The freedom to write bad poems
The movie is better than the book
The patron of my own reward
The provocations gather in gallery shadows
The quotations take ages
The right hand pointed out a shooting star
The suspicion
There are few here who can be counted friends
There are strategies to keep you safe
These lines are lavicious and stuffed
They urged me to address
Thirty over thirties were invited to a party
This is to acknowledge
This section originally appeared at the beginning of the book ...
Time for my annual update. You may have been wondering
To live once again in the right
To the man on the train
Unadorned with figs
We may have made arrangements
What am I in spirit, Phoebus, but an average-sized dick ...
What kind of life is called a healthy life
What you should do if I complain like this ...
When I say ‘tree,’ laughing as foreign words
When we’re together
While working on this section of the book
Why mix the high style with the low style
With regards to causes, the objects ...
Yesterday is not yet in its box
You like the shelf life
‘You wished for a hundred friends’
You’re not the capital’s purveyor of inclement art
Your first success lost you your friends

Sam RIVIERE is the author of the poetry collections 81 Austerities (2012) and Kim Kardashian’s Marriage (2015), as well as numerous limited-edition titles. He runs the micropublisher If a Leaf Falls Press

After Fame is an ambitious and resonant engagement with the epigrams of the Roman poet Martial, which completes the loose trilogy of Riviere’s process-derived works.

It was Martial who first used the term ‘plagiarism’ in its modern sense as a kind of literary theft. Here, the notion is tested even further through the figure of a distracted scribe who, by means of various methods of transcription, including the use of machine translation and creative embellishment, presents a copy of Martial's famous Book I unlike any other. These 118 poems cover timeless themes such as work, friendship, public life and sexual mores, and, as they unfold, are increasingly interrupted by reflections on authorship, technology, cultural complicity and the privileged, mediating role of the poet: all fixations of Martial’s work that still resonate today.

Not strict translation, bona fide reproduction nor wholly original writing, After Fame challenges the integrity of such categories. So liberated, it dramatises the obscurity of its source, refraining from easy equivalences, while insisting on its contemporary relevance.

See here.


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