BlazeVox [books] Soundings (small circles the world makes. Buffalo, New York USA. by Gautam Verma

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2 Soundings (small circles the world makes by Gautam Verma Via Farnesiana, 13/A Piacenza, Italy Tel BlazeVox [books] Buffalo, New York USA 1

3 Published by BlazeVOX [books] All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the publisher s written permission, except for brief quotations in reviews. Printed by Adobe Acrobat 6.0 in the United States of America Copyright 2005 Gautam Verma Book design by Gautam Verma First Edition 2

4 Soundings (small circles the world makes 3

5 As song divides itself, she explains with a wave. - Michael Palmer / Notes for Echo Lake 2 4

6 Because I cannot now obtain easily the books I seek I print off bits and scraps from the World Wide Web I read late at night I leave the TV on because even if the film is late 1940 s Italian and I cannot understand the words they speak the voices (is it because I do not understand the words they speak) keep a sort of company like the poem I read and the film moves slowly and the music is like the music of the poem I read something slow unfolding late there (even the cat s asleep) a black and white unfolding there as I read Images: (black & white) river reeds a bee squeezed into a hexagonal cavity a nest of ants swarming a frenzy of limbs they clamber over each other they do not seem to care on the lake a boat race prows like knives in water 5

7 The Dream: she had a way of decorating silence and a way of using her hands when she eats a fine tandem Musical Chairs: here s a place for you and here a place for me and here a place for the cat she never did sit at 6

8 rim of the wave blue belly bloated glush ga loosh glub glub glub blush my blue baby blush I thought don t you cry (thwoughts thwuck) papa s gonna feed you whiskey and rye stuck in muck and had she a way to do away with / silence embroider the night employ her hands a silly game we play I thought songs for sale over the whale not a jot not a whit not a shot glub glub gloob belly blue bloated glush ga loosh the wave rims round 7

9 a word rises out of the mist this world it is difficult to praise and still I praise 1 laodamia (see Wordsworth Stravinsky relentless through the opening of Le Sacre du Printemps mingling with the telephone s ringing a dog s barking (I m not kidding) the construction workers drilling outside the door their rhythmic hammering downstairs one of them sings while he works another speaks I do not understand what he says If I can hear them I think then surely music is perhaps best heard alone they hear me it is hard not to think how it might affect another who may be listening Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps 1 listening: Stravinsky s Symphony of Psalms 8

10 the cat climbs into my lap here she sits purring the cat could always share some affection late pressure at the temples nose the bridge where glasses sit this cicadean ringing in my ears silence the closest I know silence is material and materials are useful for making things with - Jürg Frey, clarinettist / Wandelweiser Group 9

11 to wake to the world to the surface of your life to start upon a noise to rise is but it is the same with sleep: we fidget we breathe our heart s beat circulates our blood through the bicuspid valve into the left ventricle and looped through the aortic arch into the aorta and down into the left iliac artery and the right iliac artery (and up into the carotid) and through arterioles to capillaries venules veins and up and down the vena cava empties into the right atrium half a cycle a sort of swishing sound the blood makes as it flows back against the valves the distinctive lub-dub sound the sound of the heart s valves closing 2 these are the subtler sounds a ringing in our ears we make them 2 see Access Excellence, The National Health Museum 10

12 Robert Rauschenberg: Soundings,

13 12

14 Driving in the country today (late January) I am reminded of a day in early November the same light lengthening into evening fields flat and stretching to hills blue on lighter blue in the distance small circles the world makes in its wider turnings dépense, the accursed portion 3 an idea of gift giving outside all economies of exchange... how might we proceed... in ignorance 4, in knowledge 5, erotically... a cellist takes her instrument her music sheets a chair down into the street she pays attention to no one she takes no requests she does not care if you stop or listen if she stumbles she stops and starts again she likes the way random sounds of street enter through her bars of music she listens for these after an hour (give or take) she carries her chair her cello her music sheets back up to her apartment 3 see Georges Bataille, see Marcel Mauss etc. 4 The Accidental 5 The Sacrificial 13

15 total freedom s no such thing for each thing I speak so limits me I am speaking again of what do I speak speaking this voice I make these noises He is teaching her to read oh I do not understand what they speak but this is a watery world blurry as though a drop of water on the lens water poured over hair water poured into buckets and I listen sound of rain water on leaves plinking music like the sound of rain water on leaves plinking bird sounds like rain water sounds and I feel I have understood something anyway she is pregnant and she has learned how to read 14

16 Song for Mark Rothko yellow (bright) panel of paint panel of light yellow song yellow flight yellow stain yellow slight yellow pledge yellow plight yellow noise yellow night 15

17 16

18 a man losing his hearing makes a list of sounds to hear (I saw this in a movie) dark brown sound of the cello 6 sound of the cat s purring sound of rain water on water sound of pen nib on paper what ten sounds (why ten) would you take w/ you into your hearing? and a deaf woman on the train reads lips to participate in the din the world makes and everyday we talk to ourselves in cars in corridors at work in the shower (& loneliness means having to manage both sides of the conversation 6 I read this in a poem 17

19 sound of water in all its forms she explains dividing song with a wave Sestinic Variations Time of day: dawn Place: between buildings dawn sky milky so close to touching milky sky so dawn close to touching sky to dawn so milky close touching so close to sky milky dawn touching to milky dawn sky so close touching close to dawn milky sky so touching 18

20 close to touching sky so milky dawn touching sky so milky close to dawn to sky so close touching milky dawn milky sky so touching close to dawn so close to sky milky touching dawn sky so milky close to touching dawn sky to milky dawn touching so close dawn to sky touching so milky close so milky sky dawn touching to close touching dawn to milky sky so close milky so to touching dawn sky close to touching milky sky so dawn close to milky dawn touching so close sky close to touching so dawn milky sky milky to so close dawn touching sky dawn so touching close to milky sky touching so close to milky dawn sky so close to touching dawn milky sky so milky close dawn sky touching to sky so milky close dawn touching to touching sky so milky dawn close to close touching dawn milky sky so to dawn sky milky touching so close to milky sky so dawn touching close to 19

21 to close touching dawn sky so milky so touching close to sky dawn milky dawn to sky touching so close milky sky touching dawn so close to milky close to touching dawn sky so milky touching sky so dawn close to milky dawn to milky sky touching close so touching sky to milky dawn close so close to dawn sky milky touching so The philosopher speculates in a mirror... (after a sketch by Parmigianino)... the pigeon s eaves-dropping 20

22 Sounds from the Animal Kingdom the cat barks at rooftop rambling pigeons * and the trees can always be made to talk about something * In the overheated room sunlight breaks over the bed white sheets when the woman bares her breast discretion inter- cedes outside the trees leafy helpless leafless as anyone 21

23 I have been made lonely by my losses again and again the same loss and found the loneliness a privacy a place to inhabit sound of a small engine a river boat a river barge chugging is there another 22

24 sound more lonely last revised April 12,

25 Index of First Lines and Titles a man losing his hearing makes a list 16 a word rises out of the mist 7 and the trees can As song divides itself, 3 Because I cannot now... 4 dépense, the accursed portion 12 Driving in the country today He is teaching her to read oh History in 14 lines... & then 1 15 I am speaking again of what 13 I have been made lonely by my losses 21 Images: 4 In the overheated room 20 late pressure at the temples 8 Musical Chairs: 5 Robert Rauschenberg: Soundings, rim of the wave 6 Sestinic Variations 17 silence is material 8 Song for Mark Rothko 14 sound of a small engine 21 sound of water Sounds from the Animal Kingdom 20 Stravinsky relentless... 7 the cat climbs into my lap 8 The Dream: 5 The philosopher speculates in a mirror to wake to the world to rise 9 total freedom s no such thing 13 Acknowledgements thank you to the editor of Slant Review where the poems History in 14 lines... & then 1 & a man losing his hearing makes a list under the title what ten sounds appear in Issue 7. 24

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