Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Like a hare in pâté

Yes, read more Seidel.
Wrote two things about Bill Nelson, neither of which I am happy with. I am tired. I have a massive bruise running down the inside of my right foot from the toe to the heel and I didn't sleep well because of that I think.

On further defence of Seidel defending himself, the only poem he has ever written titled Frederick Seidel (originally from The Cosmos Trilogy) although he does mention himself in quite a few poems. This poem has two characters, the 'I' and the 'him.' The 'he' is the poet in this poem and finds it both 'impossible to look or not to' and both characters live the same life of 'laziness and luxury'. The 'I' in the poem is the one who 'is seeking more Jerusalem, not less' (answering his anti-semitic critics?) and under torture confesses 'I do love / The sky above.' So it seems he is playing on the idea of the self and the narrator in the poem. Both are Frederik Seidel. One is the poet and one is the persona/narrator, while both are strikingly similar, they are also subtly different which is highlighted by the one direct comparison that differs:
Like a hare without a bone who sleeps in a pâté.
Like a hare still running from a gun in a pâté.
Seems like both hares are kind of forced to live in the pâté, while the persona is more comfortable and the poet is shit scared. I love those metaphors, they are so messy and yet so amazing. There is nothing beautiful or overwhelmingly true about them, but they exactly the kind of thing a hare sleeping in pâté might write. Brilliant. This is certainly a very telling poem and I'm glad he wrote it because it certainly clears up a few things for me although it doesn't go into why he takes on such a brutal persona, but I guess that can be read in a lot of his other stuff. That reminds me. I am planning to track down some kind of interview with him on the the internet. It's fairly likely there isn't one, but it's worth a look I think. I'd love to hear what he has to say himself. Apparently he never reads though. Bummer.

On a side note, my Swiss uncle was one of the first people in New Zealand (in the world?) to perfect seafood pâté. Apparently it's quite hard to get right. This was in the early eighties when I was a baby. It was my Mother's job to deliver boxes of the stuff in her VW Beetle and I would sit in the back in a car seat. This seems all a bit Wonder Years to me (I'm imagining perms, flares and light disco music), but I like the story.

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