Monthly Archives: July 2008

On The Occasion of My Birthday

A selecton of imported beers

and the autobiography of Peter Falk.

I ask you,

who’s arguing with that?

Of course that is not a proper poem (or is it? no.) but every birthday has it’s colours, waves its own flags, the flagpoles dug into sand and, around them, sand castles with their own moats, bridges and sophisticated pulley systems

and little rocks, which we’ll call milestones.  

“Gee”, he said, “I never expected a milestone to be so small. I can hardly see it.”

“well, son, thats a pebble you’re holding.”

“Oh.”

The Moral of The Story Is (Not) – some things that have made my birthday and by extension my life:  

 

1.

28th of July, 1866 is Beatrix Potter’s birthday. Beatrix Potter created Peter Rabbit, whom the hare must surely owe some alegience to somehow – yet another of his mystical kinships of which I am not am not fully aware.

2.

The Dark Knight 

A fine lesson in the archetecture of nightmares. It is unleashed, it has broke free and now we can all see it, and should.  humanity’s Mr. Hyde is unmasked and stripped bare, and we left the cinema speechless and in awe. Heath Ledger’s performance seems to emmerge from some deep, dark well of the uncanny. Almost from nowhere, or somewhere too evil to contemplate.

3.

“Just One More Thing” by Peter Falk (aforementioned)

He is a wanderer, who follows every whim, with wisdom and stupidity/naivity. To me, he’s not “Columbo”, I don’t really have that point of reference so much as others might. he’s a wiseman, who writes with great energy and carpe diem . In this book is life, lest we forget we’re living it. Not just a life, it’s that too, but the energy of life. Peter Falk crossed over to Yugoslavia, which was then behind the iron curtain, purely out of curiosity, and wound up helping to build a railroad.

4.

music, music, music.

reggae, very cheesy and commercial, but great to get a party started, from a budget compilation from the supermarket.

and 1950s rock n’ roll songs and songs of a similar texture,

found a dark, subversive veign that i had not noticed in that music. cos it’s not all elvis, is it? Bo Diddley is finally getting his dues.

And Link Wray’s sound terrorism. “Jack The Ripper”. Jackson Pollock.

 

And I’m out,

I would say “Over and out” but nothing infuriates CB radio enthusiasts more apparantly.

Over — I have finished talking and I am listening for your reply. Short for “Over to you.”
Out or Clear — I have finished talking to you and do not expect a reply.

And so, “Over and Out” does not exist, you see.

Over and Out!

Peter

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untitled poem in small-case letters.

click, click.

with each click, one bird became nothing

in the sky.

my morning was a morning –
it started with breakfast,
a space seen through hotel blinds,
in which there flew too many birds.

so click.
a word we underlined in pencil
and wrote “onomatopoeia” in the margin.

a cheap trick.
i broke the stress relief thing
over my keyboard –
i spent some time vacumming up sawdust
between the “Qwerty”,

“from the French”,
meaning “A small water creature”,
so small it cannot breathe.

i hummed the only song that
i forgot to put on my ipod,
went to another meeting,
and mourned the loss of a friend.

Cards

Meanwhile, I sat at a fold-out table, staring at cards –

  • the cards that advertise hookers, to be found in any red London postbox
  • the Tarot
  • La Lotteria (a Mexican game of chance)
  • All the jokers from every pack I could lay my hands on.
  • cigarette cards, antiquated curios – stolen from an old man’s priceless collection.
  • Vintage erotic postcards from L’age D’or, if you will – an age of style, texture and substance. Bettie Page.

The lady sat on the bed, thinking aloud which image would suit her, for since her last visit there were so many more to choose from. My own thoughts were with the soul of one who told me of the seasons and what they each signified, without whom I am lost. I go about with a vague expression, and the vague hope of catching raindrops.

The Hare’s Gathering became louder as they began throwing paint around with wreckless abandon. Which blinded at least some of them, as they let out screams of joy.

“I’m trying to concentrate!” I shouted, knowing that my meagre and simple words could never do justice to this picture.

The Hare Woke Up To The Happening.

The Hare gathered nuts, just as he gathered people. He felt a certain kinship with a squirrel he met on the road, and did not feel the need to explain.

“Are there nuts in July?” I asked.

“There are nuts he said, plenty of them”

and he lead some euphoric-looking people into the room, each of them tied loosely with leaves like an organic chain gang – the best kind. one of them held a flower between his teeth, the other stroked it where it purred and all the cats of the neighbourhood responded.

One extolled the virtues of marshmallow, one made blackcurrant jam leap forward from underneath her skin,

she counted the hours up to this moment and passed, along a line, the truth serum that was required to cut though all this nonsense. If this is all too much for you to take in, only note this – it was like the best hot chocolate. The chocolate I tasted in a Bratislavan Café once, but that’s not important.

One of them was a newsreader, but was delighted and confused to find that now the news was different – a different hymnsheet which extolled something that felt like the future but was more like the best bits of the news already told – the dog who rides the skateboard, for instance.

And someone who worked in security for a big company, guarding a building with nothing in it. He got a lot of reading done and so could account for this as if he was reading it.

“So, people” said The Hare “I see you are here, because I dragged you. It’s a start. Regardez-Vous this room: it has no corners, don’t upset it”

“Proceedings henceforth will be highly scientific. You will be a sort of puppet show.”

The Hare then unceremoniously scattered cushions, kittens and pillows upon the floor.

“There!” he said, as if he had achieved something more impressive.

“Now the only down is ground, AND THE GROUND IS SOFT AS MARSHMALLOW!”

The Winter Hare Presents… “Songs For Summer!”

 

music plays here .

   

 

The Winter Hare assumed the very character of Winter, showing naught but contempt and bare-faced disregard for the mid-day sun that so persisted.

He stoked up the fire, poured a glass of brandy, and thought:
as a log cabin caved in, and the mantlepeice was thick with snow…

“How Shall I Ever Live?”
“How Shall I Ever Live?”

Banknotes flew in his direction upon the wind,
(which was strange for an animal with no concept of money.)

the sunlight faded ink
and the million dollar question
on everybody’s lips,

was now solely his to contemplate
over brandy.

 

Two Cynical Poems

“The iPod” and “Exotica”

1.
I must confess, Franz Kafka,
that I’ve never read your books,

I once saw a
made-for-TV movie
of The Trial.

It was snowing outside,
and nothing was on.

I was thinking about
how much I like
the sensation of undressing.

Before the snow,
and things that blind us,
we turn the wheel
so many degrees.

Being long dead,
you may not understand this.
This is the iPod.

Listen to it closely.

It’s a European knowledge of clockwork.
It’s a Zen-styled American milkman.

a smooth menu of everything;
castrati singers,
on early sound.

In the white-walled
city of ghosts.

 

2.
In the white-walled
city of ghosts,

the inventor of the
marvellous Theremin,

slips out in disguise
leaving his wife and child,

infants sleep silently under their pillows.

Peasants –
every one –
will meet briefly and part,
under vague and complicated
clouds of unreason.

Kafka will contemplate an old joke about Pac-Man.

A man with crutches has
more legs than he wants.

 

 

iConch