Category Archives: People

Karen Silkwood

This came from a workshop I took part in inspired by “underdogs” and people who might epitomise the “David v. Goliath” experience. I wasn’t fully done with it on the day, and finished it tonight and I’ve just sent it on for publication in our collection on the theme.

Karen Silkwood (Wikipedia page) was a technician at a nuclear power plant who was outspoken about health and safety standards where she worked and was heavily involved in union activity and activism. She was found to have plutonium contamination on her person and in her home and died in unclear circumstances in a car crash, when she was on her way to meet a journalist.

Karen Silkwood
by Peter Buckley

“Thinkin’ about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie”

– Neil Young, After The Gold Rush (1970)

 

I have a weapons-grade rage that started with suspicion.
I waited as time, and time again,
delivered confirmation,
believing at almost every turn
the essential Good in people
which we should fix when it disappoints,
like a routine inspection.

The relative Good of nuclear power,
when it puts food on the table,
a split apple, cheese on Rye bread.

The by-product is isolated alone and is,
like I am, safe as a collision.

I’m still driving off of
the straightest forever, road.

We met in Union,
we were tired but sensed blood, and
I carried a document
from the café where we planned.
You held an expression for a full two minutes
I could’ve kept as an alarm.

In the last steps to my car, mushroom-cloud where
the country radio – wouldn’t turn on –
was melancholy with betrayal and a noted Pastor
spoke about soluble plutonium, and
Jesus, if accepted, is the reactor shielding
who will stand taller than your playground bully,
elected or in place of power.

I dreamt of removing shelves from my refrigerator,
a hat that cast a shadow and had a grimace and a beard,
the man who had all his reasons for doing what he did,
weed-smoke and the static ‘lectricity that came off in my hand like a handle,
Sievert dosages ladled like a stew of Chernobyl,

offered by the glowing sun
like rainwater from a shower head.

And there were patterns, planned accidents,
like thick, red-green, woven strings behind my eyes;
Two baseball-white things knocked out of the park
got old and started shutting
then I nodded as if agreeing,
irresistibly towards the sedation’s pull,
up there and further away toward it,
a Better America,
with a view of
Longview, Texas.

I dosed in drowsiness
remembering you had a punchline,
and the Martin Luther Kings or JFKs,
most of all my family
who I love and who it tears me up to think of,
would fight my corner, on a round Earth
when the soil was new
and made for our children.

You best be as sad as sorry,
sorry, and raging, and
I hope you do your bit,
that’s all.

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Poems from Estonia

After Visiting A Clown Playhouse

The best gift you can give a clown
is purpose.
Circus headquarters closed
after a stupid Soviet crackdown.
The religion of performers.
A tinsel-covered drum,
a patchwork piano.
Now a small quiet playhouse,
soon full of children.
The lowered lights,
rebuilding for grown-ups;
it takes time,
since they joined hands in
protest from Tallinn.

Thank You

With every new flavour
We are disallowed in England,
outside a pink building,
an onion-shaped roof.

Thinking thoughts that might taste
precisely of plum,
and specifically of plum ice-cream.

Not using the word we half-know
for “thank you”* (*”tan-nan”?)
But being grateful nonetheless
in English.

Perhaps An Art School

An unused art school,
though we are not sure –
labeled heads of pottery,
a desk busy with books.

A table tennis table,
to play ping-pong without a ball.

The End of The Ice Age in Estonia

I can’t imagine what it would be like
to wake up in the morning
of a bad day in Tallinn.

When I’m on holiday I wonder
if there is such a thing?

Ham, cheese, “black bread”
for breakfast.
Estonian Coco-Pops.
Beats yesterday’s morning
chocolate cake and coffee,
for conventionality.

Irish Pub

In an Irish Pub in Estonia
plays a song,
♪”Far away from lovely Derry…”♫

The Estonian State Puppet Theatre

Even a member of
The Estonian Strong Man Team
parks his SUV outside
The State Puppet Theatre,
sits in the small room,
the curtains that raise themselves at the corners;
Sits a few rows back
reserving the nearest seats for children.
Behind the curtains,
the performers teaching
their little charges,
the steps to dance,
the lines to say.

Straw Theatre

The impermanent theatre
made of straw,
won’t be here next summer.

The technician with one motorbike glove
removes weeds growing around the stage.

The personnel of a company
reconvene their meeting outside –
the large group that descends,
a surprise to all.

One of the merrymaking workers was rude to us.
So I can’t think highly of what his company produces.

Bakery

Bakery
that looks as cosy as a home,
the warmth of bread and
Estonian pastries,
reflected in the
temperament of the old lady
who makes them.

Biscuits given jam shapes
of hearts,
custard fillings,
unfamiliar whirls of flavour,

windmill picture built into the wall
when the bakery and home
first emerged
fresh from the oven.

Harbour

Green harbour,
quiet with bathers
with nowhere to lay,
standing on the pebbles and stones
looking out at
cruiseships leaving port,

being calm with blue,
and the distant ancient town,
and, closer, a concrete
heavily graffitied building
that the locals have made clear;

which they love less.

Lady Collecting Daisies Outside The Museum

If the yellow lady with the red collar,
would ask me,
the wandering Estonian Avant-Gardist,
to paint something I have some skill to paint her,
like a flower or an eye,
a simple aeroplane picture,
of her collecting daisies
with our memories of MacDonald’s,
when she, from afar,
picked daisies together,
to sell or to keep in the house in a vase,
to make daisy chains,
or just to make time.

I would, for my part,
dispense with harsh
mathematic Cubism,
dark-eyed Expressionism
or Concepts, for a while.

I would sit in
the Grand Hall of the old Estonian Masters,
where colours are brighter and newer than any.

Someone would then instruct me to
remember a place in England,
after which I’d wonder “why?”,
and sway gently in a field of daisies.



Looking on the bus,
through space and people,
young and in love in
uncynical Estonia,

on the bus
waiting for the doors to open,
the young man on the lower step,
looking up with admiration
at his girlfriend,
together as sweet as
65 cent
“Südameke” cakes,

translating to everyone
as “heartthrob”,
and love.

Where to Start, If You Want to Start, and How to Start Again.


  • I wonder if you’d like to see my poetry. Try these, if you want:

Door [-] Handles

The iPod

Untitled

Those are my personal favourites, however some may find poems like Christmas and Bubble or even Bed-Time Story more accessable.

With the support of my friend Paul I did a few, I hope, fairly interesting works for The Orchid Room, his  collaborative poetry blog.  At The Orchid Room,  everyone wrote  stories concerning or related to happenings in an abandoned nightclub. One person would continue something from the narrative a previous writer started, and it carried on like that. It’s well worth reading the site, preferably from the earliest entries onwards. I don’t consider the works I did with the Orchid Room writers  my own. Rather, it is a wonderful, many peopled literary organism. However, writing those pieces was a mind-blowing experience, they are infused with a memorable collective spirit.

————

A little curio that I like, composed of found images –

A while back I produced Peter And The Hare’s Commemorative Montage Comicbook. It’s essentially a visual translation of my blog, and was conceived as a souvenir for myself and visitors. It marked a concluding chapter in the history of this site, which was not an “ending” but nevertheless felt something like that at the time. The Comicbook is now simultaneously entitled Peter and The Hare’s Commemorative Collage Piano Book, in a definitive version with more pages, and exists more to be enjoyed than understood.

It is available to download directly from Peter And The Hare here, for viewing with Adobe Reader.

Something About a Hacksaw, in Shanghai

I recently had the pleasure of helping out with this, for the awesome Shanghai based music site Layabozi. The site has been one of the links in my sidebar for a while. The variety of articles on Layabozi is great – it’s eclectic, open-minded, rich in mental and visual stimulation,  has no genre boundaries and is written by true music lovers, who take music seriously but still have a sense of humour.  They describe it better:

“Layabozi is a web magazine about music in Shanghai today, with a sprinkle of the extra-mural and a tart sassiness—without ever being cloying. We take our inspiration from the snack which is both exotic (to us) and down home, and from which we take our name: Spicy Duck Necks. We are led by an exuberant, but discerning, Chilean amateur flautist with a strikingly handsome, yet humble, American bass player in support. We strive to provide writing that nourishes while piquing the intellect, and knowledge of music all over Shanghai, from Classical to Nouveau, from the Shanghai Grand to the neighborhood Chinese Opera house.”

And there’s a cool article on there right now, by ed, about funky Afro-Peruvian Music! You don’t even know what that is, do you? so go find out!

Continue reading Something About a Hacksaw, in Shanghai

Santa Fe Ghosts

The Santa Fe courthouse ghost was a purported ghost sighted on a video captured by a security camera at a courthouse in Santa Fe, New Mexico on June 15, 2007. The “ghost video” was uploaded onto YouTube and quickly attracted widespread attention, especially within the community of ghost believers.

The mysterious object

On June 15, 2007, a mysterious star-shaped object floating around the First Judicial District courthouse was recorded by a surveillance camera. The image, starting at 7:27:11 a.m., shows a bright spot of light that comes from either the roof or near the courthouse’s back door on Catron Street.[1] Quickly thereafter, reports on the event were posted on various news web sites such as courttv.com, abcnews.com, cbsnews.com, foxnews.com and Yahoo!, and promptly became a topic of discussion all over the country. Soon after videos and images were released to public, a large number of e-mail messages were sent to a New Mexico Magazine reporter, proposing various theories on what the object was.[2] Thousands of hits for the video were recorded on The New Mexican site. The video was later uploaded to YouTube and has been viewed more than 80,000 times,[3] drawing hundreds of e-mail comments.[4]

Many predictions were made about the real identity of the mysterious object. Some people supposed that it was the ghost of Andy Lopez, who took nine hostages at the courthouse in February 1985 after killing the wife of his original victim 20 years ago.[1] Other predictions included a person walking, a male’s face and a spirit. However, common theories were that it might be just an insect (later found to be true), a spider, or a reflection, as well as some kinds of light phenomenon. Vanessa Pacheco, supervisor of the court security for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, said people’s opinions on the video depended on whether they believe in ghosts.[2]

1/22/2008

County staff responding to a water leak at the former Blue Monkey salon and cosmetology school Tuesday morning found the interior trashed, covered in vulgar graffiti and reeking of hair dye that had been splattered over the walls and floors.

“The county hates tattooed freaks and their daughters, I gave them bad highlights on purpose,” and “We put a voodoo hex on this property” were among the phrases written across the walls of the former salon. Others contained expletives and sexually explicit remarks directed at County Commissioner Harry Montoya. Crumpled beer cans, shards of broken mirrors and beauty-supplies littered the floor.

hairdyemess

Source: Wikipedia, Santa Fe New Mexican (Article: Phaedra Haywood, Photo:  Luis Sanchez-Saturno)

Epilogue of the Rabbit’s Tongue

london_busqPicture: Miroslav Sasek

Some things warrant ignoring. Please be aware that what follows may be one such thing. In this long, rambling and tedious post, we concern ourselves with an event that never happened, like the moon landings, or the assisination of the Loch Ness Monster. However, it was my great pleasure to take this opporunity to thank some of the many people who have helped make Peter and The Hare who they are, the blog they are, when they are, if they are.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. Is your computer Y2K compliant?

Continue reading Epilogue of the Rabbit’s Tongue

If Your Space is MySpace, I’ll Sleep in the Wardrobe.

This is an old Surrealist game that might be as informative as surrealism can be:

SCOREBOARD
Rate the following:

(+20 = unreserved approval, 0 = utter indifference, -20 = total abomination)

Irrationality +14
Humour +20
Civilisation +17
Desire +19
Honesty +20
Religion +0
Madness -16
Logic -10
Happiness +20
Weakness-6

Continue reading If Your Space is MySpace, I’ll Sleep in the Wardrobe.

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