Friday, October 16, 2009

Cal Bedient - Days of Unwilling

Currently I’m bedeviled by Cal Bedient’s Days of Unwilling. What a tour de something or other. Every time I think I’m on board, I find myself instantly adrift. Whenever I think I’ve grasped the tone, the tone escapes and builds a little bonfire out of my assumptions. Am I in contention with this book? Well, no, not exactly, it’s more that I’m witnessing something amazing, but what it is, I’m not sure. An investigation of perversion, maybe? Or investigation as a form of perversion? It’s fascinating, whatever it is.

Examples from the text don’t equal the experience of the totality, but here goes a poem anyway:


“NOTE THE WREATH OF HAIR AT THE BACK OF HER HEAD, WHICH THOUGH FASTENED BY A SPIRAL FILLET, ESCAPES AT LAST AND FLIES OFF LOOSE IN A SWEEPING CURVE”


Water in its ruins I would surely sponge what I could.
But leaving out the differences on Friday there is some sense in that.
General or particular, you choose, dear, I have to sit down a minute
in the wounded operating sound of this breathing.

You ask, “Can you look into the eyes of a cornered rat
and listen to its chitter as you pick up a stone
without yourself becoming something small and terrified?”
Today, anyway, let me rest like metal strings softening to the rags

of a clavichord’s bing bung, so reminiscent, don’t you think,
of musical glasses, in their “plaintive, disembodied, melancholy” tones?
Yet even if breathing’s a pile in sequence, like rain,
shouldn’t one try to connect up extremes in a mention like sailing

when, suddenly, the mast leans down and gulps salt
water without considering a single person’s feelings?
I have an ache of excellent bits of many things, like a letter
for all the family, also days when no boat approaches to signal

your particular beauty on a background so purely unbreathing.

2 Comments:

At 11/01/2009 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, John. Note that the title has a couple of typos that escaped the copy editor (the table of contents has the correct title).

--Alex

 
At 11/02/2009 4:15 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Alex:

That was some change! Makes a pretty big difference. Thanks for the catch.

 

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