Monday, May 10, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 3 (Alan Halsey)


Five Years Out
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Halsey, Alan
Five Years Out


Purchased at Talking Leaves Books in, I think, 1997.

Alan Halsey and Geraldine Monk visited Buffalo as guests of the Poetics Program my first year here. Alan had recently published his book, The Text of Shelley's Death. I remember he came to Susan Howe's class and read from it. There may have been slides.

He and Geraldine also read in the Center for the Arts at UB. I feel like they stayed a long time. We had a party for them at my then-apartment on Cottage St. I can't quite remember everyone who was there. Taylor Brady, if I am not mistaken, Alicia Cohen, maybe Brent Cunningham and Nick Lawrence. My roommate Todd may have been there. I think we all fit around a table. I may have cooked something. There was a lot of drinking.

At one point Alan and Geraldine both agreed that the worst song ever was "Girl From Ipanema." I snuck over to the stereo and put it on. Geraldine got up and began dancing around the room, improvising lyrics to her own version as she went along. It was called, "Girl From Lancashire." All I remember is that the girl "has a body like a sack of potatoes."

from Five Years Out

from Salvation Rituals

I

Before and in order were voices the emphatic strangers the first to assign. But take shape, pure shadow, its distinct form resolving, its immediate double: another is awakened, named, regulated, cancelled. Excess adds nothing to itself yet is suffered as the visible action greater without speech, good clarity in person. One wishes to say 'permanence', forgetting; one wishes to think it describes an advantage, penetrates the object; another as if lost, his own slight movement all at once contained in an exact designation–a fourth supervenes at its beginning. Bit without displacement, as an old-fashioned harmony in nature; thus one listens to himself but keeps it strictly to the same, and creates his intelligible distance.

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