Shelby Matthews

Working Note

One of my aims is to break out of categories, particularly those I use to order my world. The use of largely Dutch in “Eeen doodnormale wrouw” was not to write in another language but to use it to bring something fresh to English.






Een doodnormale vrouw*


is reel

echt risi-cosi situatie

tragi-plank en kneefast in personages

voices parked hinterland in dipped night


an no precissy garden playing in a room smaller than a podium

towers rising either side






align yer self before the door




watt       is      een

watt       is      een

watt       is      een


how skin you the face of each

how shine you your. watt . in

sweet Temptatie clinking jassy

loo'sing cherries

but don't

in the first Snowfall

deep vinegar

broken door


en heer comes de eerste invulling

live normaliseerde wereld sterk en sociaal

raising skips

rolling rol

slapping vanderville te market impelling goal sourcing steed

rund-lippen en tip-like

in de grip van tide notes

half-pealing half-balming half-binnding

met cast belovende I van vader Vigour

vingers lingering





licklamp like a Champ and de Wand

'the very seat of Honour'

kring loop smart lap rowing motion

testbar en toonbar

centraal van handling in three containers


                       Parade          Paride          Paradise


estatic bonding needlelost in core obligatie

universie copious rights

sliming film sudsing loop leaving word in liminal ajar

yer mild head re-porting rapporteur

mit van de



bald blabbing tear-jerker plunging sinkline

mouthing balled chain in thanks of thanks


mirror feel underlook

possibility bliving within

sit swivel screwed neck and await impalation

head placed over




tenser slot


or not


dat fooft   doof slag en luv luft


and is skin underworming a moraal

true font riddled through door into stillstand

serial illusion retorting in stunned pores


Shift-Two      Tip-Toe


de toneel debuut in relatie tot de tekst

suptiler unter-tittles nippling bron juice

met hope for a teeter trilogie

and mee so navel bonded with story

licking my normaal

too quickly



stick-self in salvo

seek & zen

esprit esperanto shining erotish

wondering wit




                                          puur            blaaz          petaal


froth off a frozen wave mouthing memory

flow of doves slipping sinless wake

scene in a dull



'le fin coming a bit early this siècle'


Flip Flow       Deerde Shiftum

dramatiek dialetike hoofing dust twixt transparenter muren outpull van Seksuella giving suckle feel gripping grip       grip grip       for a positief indefineerde centraal in chaotica met long inspiratie stream van de franse filosoof grasping grip flowing Kijkon knowing mirror

to get a grip      wanting        to get a grip          hier en nu bare en glazen       wanting     extreem flexi      gripping       functie       gripping  en fysiek      wanting           to get a grip       slipping to get a grip grip grip grip       and lips



                                         parti          partitura           parturition



oh cruddy earth you is absolutely breaking into tilth

or is the garden free



             en over te edge te plekken

                                                                                                     dood normale

*Title of a play by Jan Fabre.  There are other reference to titles of Fabre's work.


Body Flare


                                                                                dull thud of dusk and Hard Ember merges pushing tree backward in slow-flow-muscle-velcro-virility-flex for ionic bonding body bristle slicking down the blades of grass covert operation big-brush-wide-sweep over vacant kicking idling fought picking at bark in fickle diffusion fumes sifting gas     what gas     between short bursts of touring wild morsels simulating sepia in split digit lick-strip binary centrifugal attraction deep pit imminent arrival knowing grateful reception


beyond the dark portal


                                                                                         xiting flick-light scar-city & vital bite of liver swelling expansion set     but to know thy thugs     slit-shit     litter-bin preying dead crapaud Combo Curd feet in dog smiling unpeturbed intense blinds of black crow slewing protective jeer in flight flagellation arms billowing holster hips and ten bulbous hammer & nails pulping sweat under grasp of plastic tongue lashed by cord spiking forty-two eye-holes twisting transverse turns round silver spurs (to cusp mortar from bitch) splaying to jaw to



                                                                           thin-skirt rim-skirt leaning loitering loins in pert askance dreaming rupture     and     ripe     pear     re-erection     non-apparel malaxing  high-rise   thighs   and   gloriously   puffed balls purple hemp wild vermouth
in percussion



I big boy





(lovver diadems)


Bio: Shelby Matthews was born in England. Trained as an economist, she now lives and works in Belgium. Previous work has been published in 4packs No. 3: New Tonal Language (Reality Street Editions 1999). “Een doodnormale vrouw” was first published in Foil: Defining Poetry 1985-2000 ed. Nicholas Johnson (Etruscan Books, 2000)

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