Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
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
got up, walked to a window
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
they were rapidly forming words for each other
while the "new"
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
alone am awake – O and the local birds
TOKENS OF WELCOME
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
the air stalled in piles
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
GO & BUY SOME MONEY TODAY
the day is unco-operative and sulky
even the church bell is on strike
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.
merely sandwiches etc.
& not a minute to
myself I'm trying
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
often it's something
you paid no attention to at the time
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
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
the scene enlarged
& two persons appeared
the weather continued much the same
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.