Changeling, Thomas Sharp (Mundi Fictor), 2022 The jacket is bright yellow and it looks like a print rather than a digital copy. The text on the jacket is in an old font, maybe Polyphilus, and all of it is in the style of a theatre poem from centuries back. A double line creates a frame for everything, and the sitze is large and nearly square, smaller than A4 in width and height but not that much. The title is in huge caps that take up the full width. All text is centred. Under the title in small italics 'First performed 6th Decmber 2022 7pm GMT'. Then a large image of a man in jacket riding directly towards the reader on the back of a butterfly. He is gripping the antenna like steering columns. The wings go out to both sides of him, four of them. Behind him is a black sky studded with stars. It is beautiful. Below this a long description of the author and the poet and how important both are.

The Poetry Of It All, 2022    £250.00 (unique, hand-annotated, marginalia edition)

‘The Most Important Poem of the Aeon’

Tom Sharp, here writing as Mundi Fictor, has had more poetry pamphlet publications OPOI-reviewed on Sphinx than any other writer (see end of review for list).

He’s a remarkable, self-driven creator, working outside the usual-suspect groups, with enormous investment of time and talent.

Often the endorsers of poetry publications make gigantic claims. This is the only one I have read that declared it was the ‘most important poem of the aeon’, a ‘poem in three acts’. It may be precisely that.

But I’ve never known how important poems are, not even poems that generations of readers have agreed are important. All I know is how important they are to me. (And perhaps I can infer how important they may have been to their creator.)

But importance in the wider world is always conferred by others, keepers of gates, and prize-givers.

Do I understand Changeling? No, not really. I get that it’s about ego. I can see that ego also involves the abyss (universal symbol).

I get the five pages in square frames. They say things I can relate to, like, ‘No man can communicate / even the simplest thought / to any other man / in any full and accurate sense.’

There’s much else I don’t begin to understand, but admire. The writing flashes and sparkles. It’s imaginative and resonant.

I like some bits:

Succumbing to cruelty is a kind of ego too. Why are you here?

I dislike some bits (I’m not fond of punctuation-less language clusters, even when they glitter):

As we climax my haircurls into horncurls nosesplits nose        splits tiny torn nail my pupils eyes of needles narrow.

And yet throughout, there is a quick and agile intelligence. Also the work looks gorgeous and has no endorsements from anybody except the author, with tongue in cheek. Yeay!

‘The Sham has exactly the same chance / as the real,’ declares Mundi Fictor. I do not think the author is a sham.

Helena Nelson
Work by Tom Sharp reviewed by us:

All The Hauntings, 2018

The Mysteries, 2018

Twelve Moons of Madness, 2018

The Sun Behind the Sun, 2018

Naomi’s Poem, 2019

The longmonth of rumours of lights, 2020

The Weeping Cufflinks, 2020

MYU, 2021

His Own Invented Torments, 2021