Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Even if
it is

almost all





and thanks to Wolf for triggering this one.


On another note, much dismay in the Waffle household as I discover that none of the animal shelters nearby seem to have kittens. 

Never in my life has this been a concern - suddenly it matters.

So, anyone reading in the general Brussels area with available kittens - please let me know.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leafing through Lucretius' On The Nature of the Universe (trans. Ronald Latham) I stop at the phrase: "cicadas for instance, in summer periodically shed their tubular jackets" (Book IV, Sensation and Sex, p. 132).


Because I knew I'd read it - or something like it - earlier in the week.

True enough: Peter Gizzi's 'Periplum VI' ("Cicadas for instance shed tubular jackets/periodic of summer") in Periplum and other poems.

Here are some further 'combings' from the same page or general vicinity (Lucretius first, Gizzi second):


I am blazing a trail through pathless tracts of the Muses' Pierian realm, where no foot has ever trod before.

blazing a trail
through pathless tracts


I maintain therefore that replicas or insubstantial shapes of things are thrown off from the surface of objects.

I maintain

insubstantial shapes
thrown from the surface


In the same way our doctrine often seems unpalatable to those who have not sampled it, and the multitude shrink from it.

The same way our doctrine often seems misplaced
and you study chemistry


I'm in no way trying to 'expose' Gizzi - the poet 'busted' or the poem 'cracked'.

Rather, in typing the full sentence from Lucretius, I am made very aware of what Gizzi leaves out. To put it another way, the value of what he takes - and arranges in his poem - in some way summons what is left behind. A kind of aching wound which continues to smart. A conversation that continues across the pages and across the ages.

Notice, how example 3. is explicitly concerned with a self-conscious awareness of a way of thinking ("doctrine") and the fortuitous word "sampled". Exactly - the poem's method is there yet excised.

Notice, in example 2, Gizzi excludes "replicas" - exactly what the poem does in its citational procedure. Furthermore, Lucretius' sentence becomes a perfect example of poetic-linguistic theory: writing as a ghostly communication.

Notice, in example 1, the implicit irony when Lucretius' original is revived. Gizzi, the young poet, is - in fact - travelling along Lucretius' lines, stepping into the Epicurean's shoes.

I doubt this discovery is so extraordinary - no doubt someone has published on Gizzi's citational poetics. He, himself, has given his 'mirrorings' in Artificial Heart and - by implication - in his various statements on Jack Spicer. 

I suppose what gives me the shiver - the thrill down the spine - is coming so close to his way of composing. A looking over the shoulder, so to speak. And - who knows - perhaps words themselves give off particles ... 

Simply & extraordinarily beautiful. Track one is playing right now.

Once again, Walrus, you're right on the money.

Last night was the first episode of the Martin Clunes Reggie Perrin. There's no point in making picky comparisons - quite clearly Simon Nye has taken the spirit of Nobbs' original and thought what contemporary irritations would offer a Perrin of today (mobiles, laptops, managerial idiocy, etc.).

What suddenly occurs to me is that Gary - Clunes' character in Men Behaving Badly - was a Reggie Perrin in the making. Strip away the laddism, lager and Kylie jokes and there was the same bile and exasperation at The System. Scrape still more and the face of a Joseph K. - a faint Turin shroud after-image - grins knowingly.

What next? A Clunes Kafka?

Friday, April 24, 2009

The new turntable is set up and spinning away (Mose Allison, Seventh Son) - and I'm reminded of that great John Peel quotation:

"Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, "Listen, mate, life has surface noise." "

How right he was.

the heart is
an occupation

what next

you choose
your stone

or continue

what part
is the occasion

a beginning of sorts - wonder where it will lead ...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This afternoon spent going through the records - vinyl, that is. 

The French Impressionists 'A Selection of Songs' on EP, Rip Rig & Panic 'I am Cold', Terje Rypdal 'Waves', David Byrne 'Music from the Knee Plays', Bill Evans 'Conception', Burroughs, Giorno, & Laurie Anderson 'You're The Guy I Want To Share My Money With' ... the sheer physical thereness of the cover, sleeve, record ... not to get too fetishistic about it all ... but, you know ... CDs don't quite deliver the same buzz. 

That I don't actually have a record player to play them on is an irony which will be rectified shortly. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

For the second night in a row Out To Lunch figures in my dreams. 

We're standing in a shop doorway & he exclaims: 

"First, it is the Other! Then, the Body! Then Versailles will fall!"

I point out that Versailles isn't doing much these days - at which he laughs. It's as though we're in cahoots about something. 


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Left Yateley at 9am and chugged along for 40 minutes on the M3 until Junction 5 & when the traffic cleared. Lunch near Edenbridge & made the Channel Tunnel in time for an earlier crossing. Hit Brussels for the evening rush hour - so more chugging along through the tunnels. Finally we get back to the house for 7pm.

Yesterday I sat and read right through Periplum by Peter Gizzi. I think I understand more why this volume continues to fascinate me. I might even get some time to explain some of the reasons why ...

Friday, April 10, 2009

More for curiosity's sake than anything else - these were written six, seven, eight years ago? Mostly clumsy & showing all sorts of nods to & mannerisms of but there are a few lines I like & then again these were the poems that formed the basis of the first Lisa J. correspondence. From which I'd like to think I learned a lot.  

Maybe I should put them up on the ramp & give them a thorough 'controle technique'? 



got up, walked to a window

disconsolate cows
chewing over the menu
in which they will figure

de la region avec truffes

the eye relaxes panoramically
although to sit in these chairs requires
& pleasure takes place in the gaps and cracks
the stubborn door into the garden
where it isn't sunny (but it is ah not raining in Tokyo either
jolly good!

they were rapidly forming words for each other
while the "new"
bedroom offers
the opportunity to discover
points in space & time to lie horizontal & snore

z z z z z z z

can you make a word with that?

the girls are asleep

& K


alone am awake – O and the local birds

tweet tweet



it is yet almost incredible to myself
the value of such
brown and grey over the fields
and far away it's the same only
things have changed
rickety shelves
the air stalled in piles
& pears
wooden in a bowl by the light

faces grin out of other afternoons

a hundred decisions we wouldn't have made

in the fridge
a bottle of wine
& perspiring



as usual, soon after
breakfast weather
forecasts dictate
the day is unco-operative and sulky
even the church bell is on strike

mildew. dust.

and now a dinky red car turns
& disappears behind the

were you in it?



quite enough still to stand at the door
& fold the shutters back on their hinges

in the stone trough
water left by rain

we certainly can't escape there's nowhere to go

what's meant by
getting away from it all



merely sandwiches etc.
& not a minute to
myself I'm trying
to develop
a blind ear

once or twice put down some
which struck him

the idea of moving further east for the winter

or the agreeableness of yesterday

"you have sung quite enough for one evening –
now be quiet "

most people experience love
without noticing



often it's something
you paid no attention to at the time

without interruption

the sun had moved
all round the room

her being seated at the table and
taking up her spoon

unusual brilliance & coherence



allowing for her little whims & caprices
and expecting every thing to be
as she

finally arrived
in the village beneath
ominous clouds of if and only then...

we admire the lanes maintained
in finely judged dilapidation

it's an exercise in cunning & restraint
this art of knowing what to avoid

as the swallows
who veer & vanish up under the eaves
know well



the scene enlarged
& two persons appeared

the weather continued much the same

much weather
much the same

how weather expands
to fit the space available

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The first post from the new Belgianwaffle HQ.

Today: Beat movement & affiliates, Iain Sinclair volumes, interesting collections of essays (Rebecca Solnit etc.), occult/hermetica/& other strange stuff, big books on Art, late 19th/early 20thC European Modernism in translation, English Romanticism, quite a lot of books I don't quite know where to put yet, plus ... CDs (Miles, Ornette, Thelonious, Soft Machine, & lots I haven't really listened to & now might) ...

Yesterday: 20thC US & UK Modernism, New York poets & affiliates, '60s onwards interesting UK poetries, Rilke & Emily Dickinson.

The routine: take books off shelf, dust them from the accumulated brick dust, carry them box by box upstairs, shelve them afresh. Every now and then build another Billy from Ikea (my handyman skills are just about up to this challenge).

I'd love to have a Walter Benjamin leisurely fondle but it all has to be done in haste - tomorrow I want to see the Motherwell exhibition at la Louviere.


Yesterday morning was spent in Ikea (purchasing the above mentioned Billys etc.) and then on to lighting shops. In a funny way it felt almost exhilirating - kind of 'normal person' behaviour & the sort of thing I usually wince at. Even the helpful assistant seemed to believe I knew what I was talking about. 

Getting back into the car & slinging my bag onto the passenger seat I had a momentary sensation of being David Hemmings in 'Blow Up'. Something to do with the sunlight, the busy-ness of going on errands, the unusual sense of being out & about on my own. (Needless to say, I do not have i) the car, ii) the looks, iii) the script ... and the outer fringes of Brussels sure ain't the swinging London of the 60s. But one can dream ...). 

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...