In 1982, Richard McGowan, through some incredibly lucky quirk of fate, came into possession of surrealistic haiku poet Batsuo Mashō’s long-forgotten papers and personal affects. While searching though these treasures, tucked inside a Japanese novel, he discovered the only known poetic works of an obscure English painter called Shenanigan Cheesefield. Captured in the unassuming folds of a crumbling and yellowed sheaf of papers was a small collection of poems nearly as stunning as those of the great surrealist haiku poet himself. These weren't haiku, but something else entirely. These were tangled verses that defied categorization, scribbled lines of divine madness, playful humor, and wistful longings for transcendent experiences both sexual and, most especially, gastronomical. I love reading this type of poetical oddity. I love that it was rescued from obscurity and that Mr. McGowan saw fit to share Cheesefield’s works with the world. I only wish that he’d done so sooner.
Oh, and I must say, my favorite from this short collection is “Pancakes.” I do like pancakes.