Peter Finch: Antibodies

Peter Finch - does he really glow like this?

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The Cheng Man
Ch'ing Variations

500 Cobbings


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Peter Finch's twenty-fifth collection of poems. It represents the best of his recent innovative work. This is the territory of dada, chance, textural manipulation, cut & fold, collage, paste, rip, clip, and sheer direct invention. It falls into three sections. The first covers the role of the poet, the nature of the self, the relation of the Anglo-Welsh poet to his fellow writers and to the wider traditions of poetry and prose in the contemporary world. The second reprints the two long process pieces dedicated to sound poet Bob Cobbing and to Tai Chi Master Cheng Man Ch'ing. The final third takes as its governing theme the distant relationship between science and the humanities in Western culture. In these poetries prose often dominates in a way which suggests its apparently technical authority has been invaded by the antibodies of the creative imagination.

Antibodies confronts formal and thematic considerations of great moment and currency in our society. It is a work that is neither congenial or inviting. The wit is here but the reader has to work to uncover it. This is Finch off the platform. Finch the permanent innovator, Finch the poet stretching verse into new shape, Finch at the edge, where he is at his best.

Antibodies is published at 7.95 by Stride, Rupert Loydell's adventurous publishing outfit in Exeter.
paperback. isbn 1900152223 £7.95

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Blodeuwedd Translated

I ws bldng n t lp f bsts
Pllng stffl t m lv. I hv t scrmng
tht wnds mir n t mn. Grmnts f groc
dlt n clpp n t wnk f m il.

I m starr f mgh n mlssssss
wr tghtngngnshot my moderness appalling
nasnasnast f I hd fop on fop on me
n t rbbl f stirling I list m why

I ws bllll l l ll llls
Pllng ngngn n n ng. N ng n ngngng
tht thth tht t t th. Gthths yt thth
dlt o oooo o o ooo o o oo

I m stoeee e eee e msssssss
wr starlight starlight starlight
starlight starlight starlight me
god gaths stir m m starlight why

I ss ssss ssss blod oak broom meadowsweet

Peter Finch

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Hills are harder
Hills are retreat

Kings are bramble
Kings are rags

Rags are hard
Rags are grass

Treachery is brittle
Treachery is table

Clinging is taut
Clung is bright

Battles are bream
Battles are hollow

Bright battles are rugs
Bramble battles are grit

Proudness is warming
Proudness is hate

Kings are warm
Kings are bright

Kings are shirts
Kings are shout

Kings are hard
Kings are arses

Hills are brittle
Hills are tables

Trenches are warm
Trout is brittle

Bards are grit grass
Bards are arse tables

Bards are bright rags
Bards are warm hinges

Hanging is hollow
Hanging is finished

King is coarse
Kong is whim

Hills are washed

Bards are hope

Kings are unable

Trout is hatred

Peter Finch

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The Cheng Man Ch'ing Variations


In the dark Man Ch'ing looks like a burglar. Soft footed so smooth. Silent. But there is nothing under his arms, in his hands. They arrested him once for suspicion Chinaman in back-lane it was enough. When Cheng Man Ch'ing asking himself not why but asking himself who. Should never be difficulties but there were. In his head middle of his head when he arrived which was seldom he was Cheng Man Ch'ing. This Cheng this man Ch'ing was no spectral being nothing vague something solid and definite. you could touch if he'd give up yeilding like the wind like thick water. He never did. Asking himself who but it didn't matter. Doubt. In all these moments of fleeting these streaky times when the fragments of passivity colected there was palpable peace. Passivity. And doubt. Maybe not. Next moment. Last moment. Perhaps. Possibly. Doubt.

In his back pocket he kept a Yang family tree. Huge thing like a heating duct plan for an office block. Given to him by a Californiam or an Australian. If you read it back he seemed to be descended directly from the First Patriarch. With paper you could prove anything.

Cheng Man Ch'ing a measurable risk
Colours fast
No preservatives
Operable at altitudes
Subject to variation with batch
but batch itself secure
Sample in catalogue merely a guide
using available printer's inks
EU patent possible.
Do not use abrasives.
Protected under international convention.
Replica buried in sand under
Salt Lake City by way of insurance.

(Cheng Man Ch'ing - Tai Chi Master 1901 - 1975)

Peter Finch

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Five-Hundred Cobbings


Cobbing's band:

cob (tpt)
cobn (flhn)
cob (bell)
obob (p solo)
ing (toth)
cobm (bugle)
cobn (tb; clo; cbsspn)
cobn (acc. jig, footo)
cobn (bj, tongue vib)
cobn (wbd)
cobn (phcbr jam)
cobn (nse)
cobn (spt)
cobn (Cypriot bread)
cobn (wallpaper)

Ahmed Abcobbo and the Solomonic quintet
Roland Cobanovitch
Zoot Horn Cobdunski
Big Lips Bing Boppo
Cripled Hard Armed Cobbono
Hannibal Cobarnish Petersen
Cannon Cannon (mgr)

ggs chp (wknds) enqr wthn

Peter Finch

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Action of antibodies against snake venom is simple: the antibody alone disarms the toxin. Antibodies can also neutralise bacteria. Zigzay structure ('The tape- recorder's treatment of the voice teaches the human new tricks of rhythm and tone' - Cobbing: We Aspire To Bird Song). Antibodies can combat some viruses by binding to them and preventing them from invading cells. These bindings of idea on idea have immense application. With the majority of micro-organisms, the antibody needs help to kill the invader. Examples include the George Harrison 'My Sweet Lord' settlement, Glyn Jones's unresolved gull's wing action against Hugh MacDiarmid, pale revision John Cooper Clarke's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'.

Further successes cause inflammation and bring other immune cells into the infected area. There is a possibility of using cells to carry out the binding activity deliberately. Immune systems are taught to ' listen' to artificial activity and remember the pattern using cell displacement. This process is known as 'thymic education' where the immune system, now unable to attack its own cells, can readily recall the intellectual associations of previous chance activity in others and replecate them. This is undoubtedly an emotional driven creative activity. Some immunologists believe that any chance derived output remaining and bound to the body's own molecular system is either further converted or destroyed. Others disagree and believe the educative process lies elsewhere. Their reporting of these matters can be virulent and disturbing. For many participants this is simply the point. Exactly what happens during their thymic education remains gloriously uncertain.

Peter Finch


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Antibodies cover