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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Ron Padgett: Sleep Alarm


Muster Station 7, Inside Passage, Alaska. 10:46: photo by Austin Granger, 9 July 2013

Just as some guy
is proposing to
Suzanne Pleshette in a cough
syrup commercial,
I realize
I've dozed back off and snap
to, crack my left
eye and see you,
dog formed
by shadows of art
books along the wall.

Ron Padgett: Sleep Alarm , from New and Selected Poems (1995) in Collected Poems (Coffee House, 2013)

: photo by karena goldfinch, 29 September 2013


ACravan said...

Sitting here dozing also, this snapped me to in the way I associate with poetry I like. Now you see it; now you look at it again and look for some more. At some point along the way I realize that I’m still dreaming but I keep following. I love “dog formed.” I read an article yesterday about man’s 30,000 year old bond with dogs. Sometimes I think I let my dogs down by being abstracted and self-involved. They never waver. Curtis

Unknown said...

LOL. I love Ron Padgett's poetry and I find him one of the most likeable, admirable humans I have encountered in this life. I have encountered few of his ilk (there are not many) but have encountered so many insane motherfuckers it is a relief to read this poem.

I hope I can get him to send a copy of his new 800 page collected to my other kid who is coming to visit in a few months (an idea that just occurred to me)



TC said...

Thanks to the known community for the knowledgeable testimony. Who could disagree. What lifts this poet to the heavens is his capacity to surprise. I believe this is a trick.

It happens twice in the final triad of lines.

dog formed
by shadows of art
books along the wall

(Those became the unofficial BTP Lines of the Week.)

I love both photos as well, they have been awaiting this special occasion.

Someone here thinks the lifeboat propellor is an alarm clock contraption rigged up to the clock. Which might sound a bit silly were that person not a nautical engineer.

Well, in a previous life but experience in any dimension cannot be gainsaid.



I remember seeing you and Ron reading together upstairs at Cody's some (now many) years ago -- maybe the most enjoyable poetry reading I've ever been to. Also having lunch with Ron at Brunetta's on First Avenue (1981, my first trip to New York) which appears in a poem called "Lunch with 'X'," published in New York Notes, my first poetry book ("3.75 for an excellent veal parmigiana the most expensive thing on the menu a minestrone for 1.50") after which we went over to his apartment where "he handed me copies of two of his/ books [maybe from that shelf of "art books along the wall"?] a gentleman and a scholar in every/ way grey hair combed over a short grey beard/ beard he wore faded jeans and a jacket and walked in a tall slow calm sort of/ way. . ."

Poet Red Shuttleworth said...

Terrific... like lifting a blanket off a painting that's been concealed.

TC said...

Steve and Red, many thanks, it seems what we have here (to paraphrase Johnny Keats) is a case of caviare for the cognoscenti.

Steve, I remember that evening well, especially the "trading off" of lines in the delirious collaboration poem "Bun". Indeed every reading I ever did with Ron, going all the way back to the Guggenheim Museum in 1967, was in some way memorable and the memories are all pleasant because Ron is the rare poet who makes audiences laugh (he doesn't laugh before they do, if then, which helps), and that makes him both an impossible and the perfect act to follow.

By the by, in case anyone who strays in here by accident has been trapped on the Planet of the Young...

Suzanne Pleshette was a real person.

And Red, speaking of lifting up the blanket...

Newhart Finale

Suzanne Pleshette on the Newhart Finale: "It's not my house"

(And if you've watched those last two clips, you won't be asking why this actress was cast in cough syrup commercials.)

ACravan said...

Thanks so much for posting the two Suzanne Pleshette clips. We love Suzanne Pleshette around here. Curtis