To a poet who advised me to preserve my numerous fragments and false starts
Narciss, my numerous cancellations prefer
slow limpness in the damp dustbins among the peel
tobacco-ash and ends spittoon lickings litter
of labels dry corks breakages and a great deal
of miscellaneous garbage picked over by
covetous dustmen and Salvation Army sneaks
to one review-rid month’s printed ignominy,
the public detection of your decay, that reeks.
From Basil Bunting, Complete Poems, ed. Richard Caddel (Newcastle: Bloodaxe Books, 2000), 107.