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The Nine Thousand Names

by blp 

Posted: 20 September 2005
Word Count: 412
Summary: In progress I guess - one of at least two versions I have of this

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First of all, sincerest thanks
For something or other – hard
Or something to put into words

But thank you. A young woman
Lived at the bottom of a lift shaft
And sat in a chair. She sat
in a chair and thought about Amsterdam
And a metal barrier
About a certain sort of shape like an organ
And about a city where lots of people all did
And walked about beside a fountain
Humming, talking to, or some had dogs
Or sheep and there was no way up
Through the building where other people lived
And this position
Was a young woman
Somewhere in the city
Whose eyes saw
And whose mind’s mouth felt
What was in all of this
Was true
And was her

A girl walked along a road beside a lake of yellow water. A plane followed the same route in the sky. She was going to see her father and his friends and bringing them a cake. She sat down and ate the cake and threw away the box ran along the road met her father in squares, movements of objects, being inside matter and not at its edge and about being detached she told him and he enjoyed it.

Two men were friends
told each other their thoughts.

A man went into a room and inside it was a staircase. He went up it to an attic with a large, high window out of which you could only see the sky, which was bright blue and below it, with its back to it, was a soft chair facing a collection of useful objects – ladders, buckets, trolleys, tools.
He stood on the chair and thought about pencil circles and jackets turned inside out.
He thought about rolling discs, compression, coastlines, energy, eggs, iron in soil, the paper of books, friendship, sex, pets and foreign languages. And from each he
was the flutter
The germ of him
Was in
Each breath of an idea
Of him breathing

A little boy saw different shapes in things
and showed his mother who told him
their names
were undecided
and they both

A man and a woman were friends
told each other their thoughts.
They were shapes like oceans
They were shapes like lakes
They were shaped like shapes
They were shaped like blue sailboats
In bright, blinding sunlight
Bouncing off the lake
Like people sitting by the lake
And in pink sailboats
Telling each other

First of all,

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Comments by other Members

paul53 [for I am he] at 19:51 on 20 September 2005  Report this post
Well, where do I start? I had already noticed a new name filling half the poetry archives on day one; then I noticed the same name filling this group's archives; and lastly I found a new member with a new upload.
I went and took a look, and my first impression from the size and layout was that I was going to be immensely disappointed...
I should have known better from someone mentioning Robert Creeley...
I think no one will argue if I say that you have an unique poetic voice. If this is in progress, I want to see the finished article.
If this is one of two versions, I want to see the other one.
Further to this, I want to know more about the author.
I will not do a lengthy nit-pick or deconstruction here [not that I have even considered it once it drew me in], and I cannot pretend to understand every word of it, but what you have presented here - and in a "work in progress" form - is a fresh voice and eye viewing the world.
As group host, I give you welcome.

Brian Aird at 20:57 on 20 September 2005  Report this post
Ever read the haunted traveller?
The beginning - the girl in the shaft; it got me thinking surreal, that's all. The rest was what - stream of consciousness? But it's a bit shapeless - like it might morph into something else if I read it enough.

Keep writing


miffle at 10:21 on 21 September 2005  Report this post
I like very much the detail of the conversation between the mother and the little boy. Nikki

Ticonderoga at 14:39 on 21 September 2005  Report this post
I like the circularity of the structure - Western culture tends to be linear, which is deathly dull often. This reminds me a little of Lautreamont, a little of John Berryman and a lot, at times, of Beckett. The piece feels literary in tone, but unforced and eminently readable. There is a danger of it's being or becoming diffuse, and not giving the reader enough to 'hold on to', but, as Paul says, I feel there's a truly individual voice speaking and I would be very interested to see how and if it takes shape. Packed with rich writing.



PS - Welcome!!

blp at 14:55 on 21 September 2005  Report this post
Thanks very much for such nice comments. No time to respond more fully now - I was idling in an office yesterday, but today I'm under the gun - so will come back later.

blp at 16:54 on 23 September 2005  Report this post
Hi. Not at home, so can't post an alternative version, but got a bit of time to respond to some points.

No, I haven't read The Haunted Traveller - or heard of it, but will keep an eye out. I wasn't aiming for surrealism, though it's a fair question, and the rest was not stream of consciousness. I'd tend not to explain, but I will if anyone wants - no sense being precious. Still, it won't be a straight interpretive exegesis because (I think) it wouldn't be possible. But think shapes and conversations. It's a love poem.

I've never read Berryman. Very curious to now. Read a lot of Beckett - the trilogy, Murphy, shorter plays and novellas and the poetry. A big fan - though I wasn't thinking of him this time. Lautreamont I looked at when I was quite young and didn't get it, but maybe time to look again.

about the author: 37 year old Anglo-American male, lives in London, itinerant childhood, journalist parents, works as advertising/marketing copywriter, freelance to have time for own work. Also making a film. Art school grad.

Laura Hunt at 19:02 on 20 October 2005  Report this post
I've been reluctant to comment since this seemed so strange to me at first, but since joining this site I've been thinking a lot about what poetry is and what it can do ......

Whatever it is, this is a fine example of what it can be.

Thanks for starting me thinking.


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