from SongBu®st


Stephen Bett





The Great Contender



The man who shot Liberty Valence

clearly didn’t care mucho much for Valencia

(nor likely cross-town rivals VillaRReal)


That derby hall a’ miRRors…    a’gin & redux


When Val rode to town the womenfolk would hide

(Rreal men & transfolk, they’d abide onside)


Give me hibbity jibbity or give me the point of a gun

the only law that [libs] understand

lib·bard·y for not from dems wackos


Rrose Sélavy likely-wise cried snide

in zir Yellow Submarine

(it’s true, #LookItUp!)


Putt it right on the platter

The man who flipped a birdie on yr Lib Pal

— poor Burt Bacharach, dead

at 94 just this week —

He was the [gravest] man of all

he was the Great Contender


Just laughing and gay like a clown

in my town*




*Gene Pitney, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” & “The Great Pretender” (the latter also covered by The Platters, & both songs written by Burt Bacharach); properly speaking, Valencia & Villarreal Club Futbol are cross-region derby rivals (the latter’s motto: The Yellow Submarine”); & fondly recalling Grade 4 club Membership Card for “The-Look-It-Up-Club (motto: “We Don’t Just Guess, We Look It Up!”).






Inhabiting the Sound Gaps



I said see, C.C. Rider

Oh, see what you have done


You slipped ma’ disc, sailor grrl

Chopper Couture din’t stand a chance


Well now see, see see rider

… SEE what you have done


thIN diff:   dis ultra-tiny-tinny fit

you DISappeared, gap in the hall a’ …



I said see, see see rider (see, see rider)

see what you done done


Doubly (& parenthetically) minced

coma zone-out in my comma


Très infrathin of infra-thin & infra thin

the ol’ miRRor image RE-flect E-ffect overload


So whose fleet feet turns the page

tha’s extreme tenuity   (ThieRRy Davila)


published Dec 17, 2010, at 11:22 am

updated Dec 17, 2010, at 11:22 am


Same Diff times t’ree    — w/in da minute

one & one & two & two


Inhabit every in·ter·val (a hey hey)

C.—gap—C. at sea, oh see here sailor grrl


You are that dancin’ sound


Slippered outta dat vis·U·al hegemony

some différance, n’est pas?


The hear of her·e·sy

what you just Undone


Yas hear don’t see it





*Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels’ version of “See See Rider” (aka “C.C. Rider”); C.C., as in Chopper Couture (chopper apparel, huh?); several commentators on Marcel Duchamp’s infrathin or inframince concept, easily googled—among them: quoting Thierry Davila, curator of the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art (Geneva); David Zerbib’s review of Davila’s book Infrathin: Bref histoire de l’imperceptible, de Marcel Duchamp…(published & updated within the minute, note); Paul Matisse (step-son of Duchamp, & grandson of Henry Matisse, collected & published Duchamp’s notes under the title Inframince: “inframince [is] the very lastness of things…[the] frail and final minimum before reality disappears.”






Insta Surfing



Liddle surfer, liddle one

Made my heart come all Undone


(Sailor’s gurl, heart’s a twURL)


Teeny-tiny itsy dot fitter-upper

reeled in, bought you by Rreal men

(In my Woody them’s would take you…)


Diss ol’ Miss O’ Ginny RE•verse flipped

chic-o-layin’ cutie pie voice print

all over our gooey screens


Do you wuv me, do you wi’dul star-twick one?

(jes’ me & mah Woody)


’N don’ go DISappearing in the gap

there’s have all Rreal womyn gone


Whoa, oh, mercy mercy me

things aint what they used to be…


On stage now #FiveSeconds Get•It & Forget•It

please identi•size Rupi Kaur

for Po•it Laur•E•ate

(made 30 mil las’ year!)


Infra-Mincing our way to you,

dear insta•read’R …



Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, lie-lie-lie-lie-lie



Lie-la-lie-lie-lie-lie-lie, lie-lie-lie-lie-lie*




*Beach Boys, “Surfer Girl”; Paul Simon, “The Boxer”; Marvin Gaye, “Mercy Mercy Me”; as good an estimation of these ‘identity excl’ Instagram poets as I can see (& time-honoured too): “‘stop deceiving the uneducated crowd / with empty sweetness’ (Metamorphoses 5.308-9) / aesthetically superficial / ethically dishonest” — Joe Safdie, Scholarship, p. 44.









From Stephen Bett’s work in progress, SongBu®st: Breaking into song, or breaking it apart?  Maybe a bit of both.  Simultaneously a celebration & a send up of iconic pop culture lyrics.  Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet with 24 books in print and with a new book, Broken Glosa: an alphabet book of post-avant glosa, coming out shortly with Chax Press.  His personal papers are archived in the “Contemporary Literature Collection” at Simon Fraser University.  He has previously appeared in ē· rā/ tiō.  Stephen Bett in online at



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