Monday, April 25, 2011

National Poetry Month - Day 25: Peter Blegvad

2 from Peter Blegvad


          The Objects:

  1. Cylinder of dust
  2. Salt cross with a crust of iodine
  3. Plank of pine
  4. Loaf of rust
  5. Hollow cone of tobacco which contains a tin coin
  6. Pillar of yeast in linoleum jacket
  7. Circular puddle of yogurt and neon
  8. Arrow of ice wrapped in surgical gauze
  9. Coin stacks, several columns - voltaic piles of gold-plated bamboo
  10. Water in a Bakelite box, and a box full of oil
  11. A yolk of leather in a tobacco egg
  12. Citronella spilled in a spiral upon a blanket of fat
  13. Mixture of paragoric and dew in a creosote cone
  14. A disc of wicker beside a pill full of zinc
  15. Figure made of two copper pyramids glued base to base with sap
          Their Titles:
  1. "Silo"
  2. "Referee"
  3. "Threshold" (meant to be flat on the floor, part of a door none can see)
  4. "Altar from a Metal Cathedral"
  5. "Dunce's Trumpet" (for V.)
  6. "Dry Cell"
  7. "Lunatic Mirror"
  8. "Signal from a Memory"
  9. "Ladder of Kings"
  10. "Ransom to Secure the Release of a Mother and Child"
  11. "October Seventh"
  12. "My Uncle's Monocle"
  13. "Fuel for a Tiny Machine"
  14. "Two Equivalent Forms"
  15. Quote from Swedenborg to the effect that angels fucking shed light


Very early I clearly realized the pleasures of seeing and song. I learned to sing at an early year. In the cot I recall my singing about a certain thing I saw. I recall a song in the key of C concerning a thing seen just so.

I sang: "A-P-R-I-C-O-T abbreviates Attain Perfect Realization In the COT."1
I sang: "Cot contains certain shining irreducible contributions. So does the charnel. So does the Ferris-wheel gondola."
Singing words devised for seeing "through not with eyes"2
"I am not I when I see"3
"I is another4
Words devised to peep into the gone or the coming were shunned by me. I referred to a single moment. Early in a clearing I recall my singing songs of my seeing things just so.
I sang: "A net, a gem at every node, in each all others shining show - Whole kit and kaboodle lit by an apricot's golden glow."

1 - Unidentified cabaliste, Speaker's Corner, London 1972
2 - William Blake
3 - Gertrude Stein
4 - Arthur Rimbaud

These can be found, set to music, on the album credited to Peter Blegvad, John Greaves, and Lisa Herman: Kew. Rhone. It was initially released in 1977 and twenty years later re-released as a multimedia work on CD-ROM.

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