Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paterson: Book Four, Chapter III, p. 190-92

The Haitian President to His Women, on the Sight of Swallows Flocking in the Waters off Fort Dauphin

Quite often from my house, I see swallows
moving in a wide sweep over the harbor
as one, the denseness of them somehow
flat and twisting as a loose ribbon or
flag might, if wrested from its mooring and
blown haphazardly in rough gusts of wind.
It is the sameness of motion that most
delights me; the hundred bodies turning
in tight unison, wrapping around ghosts
of invisible up-drafts now churning
in the late day heat of the western shore -
and with them, a lone thought rises, and sings:
my beauty is in this rushing chorus,
this doubled beating of separate wings.

KMC 10-24-06

Here are My Keys, Go Up and Help Yourself

Without further ado, we present the third song-offering for the Paterson Project: "The Incomplete Seduction of a Scholar and Clerk; or, 'Here are My Keys, Go Up and Help Yourself." As before, you can access the poem page HERE and the song file HERE. This one has a few ch-ch-ch-changes, so check 'em both out and see what you think.

Oh, and then tell us what you think. All you silent site-checkers are makin' me nervous...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Song 2: The Murder of the Dutchman

The second rough cut of a Paterson Project song is now up on the "Murder of the Dutchman Jonafen Haring" page. For those about to rock: we salute you.

Click HERE to go straight to the audio file.

In related news, we will be posting "lyrics" and (what do you think, LaValle?) possibly music for these songs soon. We will also put up any revisions to songs in the same manner that we post revisions to poems: erase the first one and give you the one that's totally better. So, if any of this changes, you will be the first to know. As for now, enjoy another entry in the Project's second wave - I have to say, I think this one is niiice.

How many extra vowels can you put in your response?

A Note on Translation; or, Striking Up A Chord

The Paterson Project is extremely proud to announce the first entry into the second phase of this enterprise:

Contributor Gaston LaValle has started working on translating the poems Conversely and I have been putting together here on the site into lyrical - and, in due course, musical - form. And we've got the first batch of initial recordings in stock. The first song going up is LaValle's quite-faithful rendition of "The Skeleton of Peter the Dwarf." The link below will get you straight to the sound file, but if you want the poetry at your fingertips as you take it all in, please go to the poem's existing page and link to the Internet Archive (who is hosting our music so graciously) from there.

Two more songs should be up by tomorrow, and after that, it will be up to you guys to keep this thing rolling - not unlike a mythical fairy, LaValle needs the sounds of your hands clapping to keep his light shining - so let's all go hit up the message board!

THE LINK: "The Skeleton of Peter the Dwarf"

This is an ecstatic T. Azimuth signing off - you all take care of yourselves.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Paterson: Book Four, Chapter III, p. 197

The Murder of John S. Van Winkle and his Wife by a Robber in the Winter of 1850

He stole through the snow,
he stole in the night,

noiseless wheels crunching.
Walking wheels--walking, so
circular, a sine wave rolling

endlessly step after step--noiselessly
wheeling footsteps
toward an old housewife,

her husband, his house. There
to rob, with a chop, to end
Van Winkle's sleep with
a hatchet--a hatchet!--in a
sternum sounding


like a hatchet in a tree.

The Van Winkles awake, spill
and he steals back home
considering his wares as fallen


gbs 10-16-06

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Paterson: Book Four, Chapter III, p. 186

The Language as Virgin Purpose; or, Illumination

at the beginning,

This cry rings out across the
hot wood-pew place of this
summer Sunday, this
Amen! this
Glory! this

And with these most lowly
I am,
all these words in my
ears holding a perfect purpose
at tongue's long distance
from me.

Where are Your most-golden trumpets, Lord?
I ask; the angels gathered in the sky?
The fish in great numbers, the day in midst of night?

Where, in
this sun-white place,
this house of hollow voices,
am I?

And in a whisper
of leaved branches
against the nearest wall:

the words are why we're here.


Speak, oh God,
speak --
form me
in the roll of your tongue,
in the sounding of me
stirred from dissonance
to being,
spoken from and


here in the filth of
this house, Father,
boards cracking long down the walls,
floors scarred and rubbed smooth
with a thousand feet
and knees
find me,
and hear:

the light is going down outside this
old building;
the sun is nearing the horizon
and the white
clapboard white
of this body will glow,
gold and yellow,
in the last light --
for a moment,
a long moment.

We do not light it.

Tell me I'm clean,
and I will be clean.
Tell me I'm clean,
and I will be clean.
Tell me I'm clean,
and I will be clean --

KMC 10-11-06

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Paterson: Book Four, Chapter III, p. 197-198

"What have I done?" A Claim and Question

What have I

Indeed, what have
you done?

What have

Indeed, what have
you done?

_____have I
Indeed, ___________done?
what have you done?

Indeed, _____I done?
what have you done?

Indeed, have
what have you done? I done?

in deed, have
what have you done? I

gbs 10-08-06

Monday, October 02, 2006

Paterson: Book One, Chapter I, p. 15-16 and Jane Eyre, second to last page (unless you have a copy with really large or really small print).

Dear Reader[s],

So, due to several questions from readers (only one of which has had the nerve to respond to us on the blog, unafraid to face us even if we're bad poets and you're embarrased to tell us), we have clarifications on our modus operandi. Actually, it's more of a complete restatement than a clarification. We're taking chapter three of
Paterson IV and using the themes/language of the poem as a springboard for our poems. They occassionally contain direct quotations (which we will continue to leave unattributed). They more often contain gross exaggerations of thematic material. We often have little or no evidence from Paterson for our characters' characterizations. We just make that up. Sometimes plot elements are also invented. In fact, every time, thus far. Fairly often we'll reference other poets and pop culture icons like Bob Barker. The titles of the posts serve as a kind of work cited page; we like that better than using the titles of the poems because we do not believe we're being original enough to call the poems' titles official blog titles. Also, it's how we started and we really dig uniformity.

All will continue unapologectically because some things can be done as well as others.

With apologies,

Schwitters and Conversely

P.S. We just discovered that we were doing the same thing. One of us wrote an explanation--a "What We're Up To"--in the sidebar. The other of us did it right here. We're leaving both because, as you can see, some things can be done as well as others.