Lawrence Upton

Lawrence Upton


A boy writes his name in sand; then goes back to his holiday home.

The sea covers the boy’s name: it learns the name, and erases it.

Next day, when the boy is walking, he hears his name called from
beyond the shore, finds a way down to the beach and writes there the
sea’s name: sea.

The sea touches the name. “More, ” it says from along the water’s
edge, as if it has no image of where he is. So the boy teaches the sea
the word “see” and the rhyme “the sea sees me”.

“More, ” says the sea with a gurgle of small stones.

The boy tells it some colours – the colour of the sea at that moment,
of the sky at that moment, of himself as he believes, of some plants
he has learned to recognise.

“Ahhh,” says the sea, as if it had drunk when thirsty.

The boy goes home and other children come to play; but the sea does
not converse with them. It knows the name of someone else; it knows
its own name by that someone else; it knows some colours.

It tells its knowledge to itself ceaselessly.


Lawrence Upton:

Poet; graphic & sound artist. Recent publications wrack (2012); Memory
Fictions (2012); and Unframed Pictures (2011). Co-edited Word Score
Utterance Choreography in verbal and visual poetry (1998) with Bob
Cobbing. Commentaries on Bob Cobbing (2013). Journals: Artist’s Book
Yearbook, Book Arts Newsletter, Emerging Language Practices,
Experimental Poetics and Aesthetics, Journal of British and Irish
Innovative Poetry, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Readings,
Sounds Rite. Second solo exhibition “from recent projects” September
2012 St James Hatcham. Makes text-sound composition with John Levack
Drever, Benedict Taylor and Tina Krekels. AHRC Research Fellow Music,
Goldsmiths 2008-2011. Currently Visiting Research Fellow Music,

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