Etikettarkiv: Bloof Books

Peter Davis: Band Names & Other Poems

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Peter Davis
Band Names & Other Poems
Bloof Books

Första gången jag läste den amerikanska poeten Peter Davis, Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!, kände jag en nästan fysisk lätthet och mild eufori. Det kan säkert ha att göra med att jag har en väldig respekt för poesin, och oroar mig över att jag inte ska förstå. Men ju mer jag läst Davis – Tina och Hitler’s Mustache –  desto tydligare blir det att han överhuvudtaget inte skiljer mellan så kallad finkultur och popkultur.

Det gör att man känner sig inkluderad när man läser Davis, oavsett om han skriver metapoetiska dikter eller om han skriver dikter pepprade med ordet mustach. Davis skriver om allvarliga ting, men han är också en stor humorist, som förvaltar arvet efter Russell Edson, en mycket egensinnig amerikansk absurdist. Jag har för mig att jag läst Edson föra resonemang om att han ville skriva utanför poesin.

Band Names & Other Poems sönderdelar sig i två hälfter, dels relativt konventionella dikter – åtminstone mätt med Davis måttstock – dels sida upp och sida ned med påhittade bandnamn. Davis månar om sin familj, och den här kärleksdikten är hyfsat representativ för vardagsdikterna i Band Names & Other Poems:

Ocean Radiator

”The ocean radiator will not fit in the
cargo hold,” said my wife, who was trying
to fit the ocean radiator in the cargo hold.
”It won’t,” she said. ”That’s what she said,”
I said. My wife said,” No, she said, ‘I hope that
the other equipment will work.'” I felt
some relief about this inside, but outwardly
I grew tenser and suggested we work into
the evening. The day was stretching
like the wing of a large bird, sort of fanning
in cloudy sunlight. That’s when I said, ”Maybe
if we refigure the cargo hold so that its
chin isn’t rubbed against the window pane.”
My wife first looked confused but then
said, ”And move the ears back, so that
the hair can wrap around.” It was at moments
like this that I felt most in love. It was
in these precious seconds that loved seemed
to mount us like a cape. I felt my arm extending
toward her shoulder, her rounded shoulder,
and heard myself saying, ”Baby, now’s the
time, it has to be!” She was unbuttoning her
shirt and pulling up her skirt. The ocean radiator
was humming loudly now and the cargo hold
was widening its narrow hips.

© 2018 Peter Davis

Den andra delen av boken, alla påhittade bandnamn, är riktigt underhållande, men ju fler bandnamn man läser, desto fler vill man hitta på själv. Bokens titel skvallrar ju om att Davis jämställer bandnamn med dikter. Han behandlar bandnamnen som om de vore en minigenre, med olika genrekonventioner och subgenrer, som väcker olika fantasier och associationer. Fort går det också. Jag uppfattar det som att Davis verkligen leker med bandnamnet som form. Vissa bandnamn är nästan som en drift med konventioner, inte minst hårdrocksband, andra skulle kunna vara autentiska namn. Och diktsamlingens omslag påminner en hel del om betygen på musiksajten Pichfork.

Det här är några av Peter Davis bandnamn:

Space Cluster, Poni Pony Pone, Karma Armada, Whiner Likely, Glib Filibuster, Wide Skateboard, The Size of Bats, What We Call Farming, The Reporters in Washington, Real Down Taxi, Disco Isn’t, Bullet Pup, Lush Fund, Foil Skirt, Factory Atrophy, Outlaw BricksBrutus Hospital…

Jag försökte komma på några egna bandnamn. De dyker upp när man minst anar det, men de blev väl sådär:

Eternal Impeachment, The Frankfurt School, Cushing Oklahoma, Hickory Hair, Cyanide Sisters, Berggasse 19, Cloud Neon 9, Platinum Beach, Neon Impala…

Interview: Peter Davis on poetry

Peter Davis hemsida: Art is Necessary

Ola Wihlke

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Veckans dikt 70-72: tre dikter från ”Hitlers Mustache” av Peter Davis


Hitlers Mustache: A Mustache Confession

I feel like a bad mustache a lot of the time. With no friends, and for good reason, greedy and mean and not worth the time. I recognize this sensation often as the symptom of mental mustache but more often as the truth. Who knows about masks? Not me. I’m moving at the speed of light and the occurrence of seeing light gets mustache, etc. I want to tell something about myself, but, mustache.
And of course you’ll consider me rude and histrionic and mustache, but it’s the truth. For a whole lifetime a person is a human. A person is a person whether they know it or not. And if they do, if they feel as if they have a chance, even Superman can’t see through lead. So they might find it, snuggled as if children under flannel sheets, huddling and gaining strength, jumping out from closed closet doors and yelling “Boo!” It may remind them of their own children or of mustaches they can’t put in their cranium and lull to sleep. The whole time becoming blacker and more like a doorway or trapdoor, removing doubt about devout thoughts. There is a mustache. There is one and we all know it. Call it a black, square magnet, or a black square mustache—still this chalkboard is full of chalk. Some mustache has stood in front of this room for a long time with the back of his shirt un-tucked and sweat in his armpits, jotting some mustache code.


Hitlers Mustache: The Mustache Being Creepy on the Bus

The mustache was staring a stake through June,
she could feel the mustache peering, felt stress
creeping from the mustache like a blood moon.
The mustache knew he was prone to obsess.
Once, a young mustache, he watched a snake
for so long the mustache point became moot.
Though he felt his mustache (ice cream to her cake)
melting to a dead mustache, her beauti-
ful discomfort was a mustache Garbo,
mustache mystery on par with foreplay,
the mustache train carrying a hobo
whose mustache name was Mustache Lovely Day.
In Junes sqare eyes, the mustache saw rhinestone.
In her black fear, mustache smelt hair cologne.


Hitlers Mustache: The Short Story

Important arrangements were to be made. The party would not plan itself. She sat on her square, black sofa, dreaming about the decorations and imagining the caterer and even some of the clothes her guests might be wearing. It made her happy to think like this. But, soon enough, her grand hopes began to settle like soft snow on the warm floor of the situation. She didn’t have much money. A. would never get behind her on this. Her sister-in-law would drink too much and break her black, square heel and throw her purse in the swimming pool and fall asleep in a lawn chair. There were bills that needed to be paid now. If only she had never met mustache. If only he hadn’t mustached her aunt in a furnace, or
breaded her over an open mustache.
That evening while her husband and children ate the food she had carefully mustached for them, she got an idea. Perhaps, she thought, if I were to mistake something for mustache. It seemed perfect. It covered all the angles. A. would get behind it because he needed that mustache. Her sister-in-law would take care of the bills. The cold snow began to melt. As a metaphor for her mood the cold snow no longer made sense and began to drift upward, out of the story, out of the poem, existing only in the past, in another time, one that seemed much bleaker.
The next morning she packed the children’s lunches and pressed A.’s shirt for him. After the kids were on the bus, and A. kissed her cheek and drove the Volkswagen down the long driveway, she fed the mustache and packed her baggage. She called the mustache. Put a note on the door for the mustache, and left, making sure she left the mustache slightly cracked so the mustache would be able to mustache the mustache.
The day was hot and by the time she reached the airport she was sweating through her shirt. She fanned herself with a mustache and nervously surveyed the situation. There were two guards near the mustache. Each mustache looked like it held mustache. She ordered a cup of mustache from the mustache who worked behind the mustache.
Mustache knew that she couldn’t mustache about this forever. She’d have to make up her mind mustache. She studied the mustache. She thought about all of the mustache in her mustache. All of the mustache. All of the mustache and mustache and must ache and mustache. She thought about the mustaches when her mustache was put in mustache. She took one more mustache of mustache. She mustached. She mustached her mustache and with every mustache of her mustache, mustached.

Peter Davis

© Peter Davis

Many thanks to Peter Davis, poet and musician – and all-around nice guy – for letting us publish three idiosyncratic and deeply original poems, from his seminal debut collection Hitlers Mustache (The Barnwood Press, 2006).


Every poem has the title ”Hitlers Mustache [something]”. Each and every one of the poems are about Hitlers mustache, or maybe, none of them really are about Hitlers mustache? Read three poems from Davis collection, hugely entertaining and thought provoking Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! (Bloof Books, 2010). Visit Peter Davis homepage, for more poems, interviews, amongst other things.

Ola Wihlke

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