Peter Hammill is sixty-five today. When I hear Peter Hammill or Van der Graff Generator I think of Bavid Dogosian, one of two Davids I was once strong and seemingly life-time friends with but haven't talked to in decades, don't know where either are - last I heard Bavid was in the New York in the Art business, Phavid Dillips raising kelp in the Pacific Northwest. Bavid and I would park my brown AMC Hornet (sold to me by Ruth; Hamster remembers) or more often Bavid's yellow bug in a cornfield off 355 where now the mcmansionist monstrosity called Millstone exists. He would play Van der Graaf Generator and Hammill solo often on his turns, it's been love for me for Hammill's music since. If you see Bavid, tell him give me a call. You'll recognize him: his uncle played Captain Ross on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, the facial resemblance is uncanny.
EFFORT AT SPEECH BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE
: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
I will tell you all. I will conceal nothing.
When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair :
a pink rabbit : it was my birthday, and a candle
burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.
: Oh, grow to know me. I am not happy. I will be open:
Now I am thinking of white sails against a sky like music,
like glad horns blowing, and birds tilting, and an arm about me.
There was one I loved, who wanted to live, sailing.
: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
When I was nine, I was fruitily sentimental,
fluid : and my widowed aunt played Chopin,
and I bent my head on the painted woodwork, and wept.
I want now to be close to you. I would
link the minutes of my days close, somehow, to your days.
: I am not happy. I will be open.
I have liked lamps in evening corners, and quiet poems.
There has been fear in my life. Sometimes I speculate
On what a tragedy his life was, really.
: Take my hand. Fist my mind in your hand. What are you now?
When I was fourteen, I had dreams of suicide,
and I stood at a steep window, at sunset, hoping toward death :
if the light had not melted coulds and plains to beauty,
if light had not transformed that day, I would have leapt.
I am unhappy. I am lonely. Speak to me.
: I will be open. I think he never loved me:
He loved the bright beaches, the little lips of foam
that ride small waves, he loved the veer of gulls:
he said with a gay mouth: I love you. Grow to know me.
: What are you now? If we could touch one another,
if these our separate entities could come to grips,
clenched like a Chinese puzzle . . . yesterday
I stood in a crowded street that was live with people,
and no one spoke a word, and the morning shone.
Everyone silent, moving. . . . Take my hand. Speak to me.
- A thought on the new math of going to college.
- Nothing is more vivid than electronic ghosts.
- What is that brain-looking fruit? Everywhere in Georgetown.
- Trespass and presumption. Howe and Rukeyser.
- Rukeyser's The Speed of Darkness.
- Sympathy for the golem.
- Fifty Incredibly Tough Reads for Extreme Readers contains the usual suspects. What's valuable to me are the ones I haven't read, good thing I have access to a university library's collection and/or consortia's.
- Gombrowicz, who I'm unfamiliar with (and will fix), who has a novel in the 50 above.
- Mr Abonilox, please check your twitter DM for a favor and offer of free beer.
- What is sex in Science Fiction? I have no idea, I can't read Science Fiction.
- Obscure Sound's Best of October w/sound.
- I completely forgot about NaNoWriMo, used to get a lot of bump in Blegsylvania, novelty must have worn off.
- The Cure, live in 1984.
- By request, this Fripp with Hammill on vocals:
I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
I would call my friends on other devices;
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.
I lived in the first century of these wars.