Seven Weeks of Rain

Seven weeks of rain
from babbling brook the fluent fluids grew
to become an articulate river — liquid language
irrigating the dumb savannah
with flowing oratory.
Where nothing had grown now
each leaf a tongue or veined
page, a library of volumes took
root, birds conversing in the lexical
branches.
Dry tongues grew loose lapping the water
and stories flowed forth in unstaunchable
flood.

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About Peter Blegvad
Born in New York City, 1951. Lives in London. In the early 70’s played electric guitar, and hydraulic jackhammer with the German group, Faust; in England he worked with Slapp Happy, Henry Cow, the Art Bears, and Andy Partridge of XTC; and in the States with The Golden Palominos, and with musicians such as John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Jack Bruce and Carla Bley. Besides making music, Blegvad contributed a weekly cartoon strip, “Leviathan”, to the Independent on Sunday from 1991-’98. The Book of Leviathan was published by Sort of Books in London in 2000 and by the Overlook Press, New York City, in 2001. An edition in Mandarin was published in Taiwan in 2011. Blegvad has lectured on such subjects as Milk, Numinous Objects, the Impossible Book, and “Imagined, Observed, Remembered” on both sides of the Atlantic. He is Honorary Teaching Fellow in the writing program at the University of Warwick.

2 Responses to Seven Weeks of Rain

  1. Peter Blegvad says:

    The soldier who thirty years ago crushed Victor Jara’s hands with a rifle butt in a stadium in Chile is buying bananas at a market stall and thinking about his grand-daughter’s teeth. He’s an old man now and his pension won’t stretch to pay for the braces his grand-daughter wants to make her pretty. She’s 14 and in his eyes she is already pretty, buck teeth or no buck teeth. The orthodontist’s price is extortionate. The old soldier knows the orthodontist drives a Mercedes and suspects he’s homosexual. Buck teeth and bananas are at the forefront of the old soldier’s mind, the savagery of his act in the stadium long ago forgotten. The old soldier has lost so much—he is poor but he hasn’t lost his sense of humour. When others laugh at his jokes, throwing back their heads and opening their mouths, the contrast with his grand-daughter’s tight-lipped smile tugs at his conscience. But what can he do? He’s old, without influence. He has lost so much. What can he undo? Counting out the coins, bagging the bananas he feels a tug of doubt. Or is it acid in his gut scalding his ulcer? The bananas will soothe his indigestion. Shots ring out. The dirt spurts a foot from his boot and people around him dive for cover. The old soldier turns to see two men, faces hidden by bandanas, running from the bank. One veers off but the other guy is on course to collide with him. More shots. The robber falls and something flies out of his hand and tumbles chiming in the dust until the old soldier stops it with his boot. An ingot of solid gold.

  2. frankkey says:

    According to David Bodanis in “Electric Universe” (2005), Edison spent an inordinate amount of time trying – but failing – to design a boat made out of concrete.

    Juan Sagaseta (http://www.uniofsurreyblogs.org.uk/cce/2011/08/03/about-concrete-boats/) writes:

    Can we build concrete boats? At first, one might think that this is impossible since regular concrete is 2.3 times denser than water. However, steel is even heavier than concrete and we still use steel to build large boats. The answer to this physical problem was given by Archimedes over 2000 years ago; his principle states “a body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyancy force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces”. Therefore, to build a concrete boat we only need to design a concrete container so that the buoyancy force balances the vertical force (including self weight).

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