Excerpts from Bella Blu
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10 August 2018
Author :  

Terje Dragseth is a Norwegian poet, author and film director, born in Kristiansand in 1955. Dragseth made his debut in 1980 with his collection of poems titled "Offerfesten". Since then, he's published ten poetry collections, and also published poems in anthologies and literary journals. In 1996, several of his poems written between 1980 and 1995, were published in an anthology, titled "Du. Dikt i utvalg".[1]

In 1997, Dragseth published a collection of short stories called Den amerikanske turisten. Dragseth has also directed several short films since he studied to become a film director in CopenhagenDenmark, in 1983 to 1987, and he has translated poetic works of both Laura Riding Jacksonand Leonard Cohen.[1]

According to the Norwegian literary journal,[2] he has often been characterized as "an ecstatic" in contemporary Norwegian poetry, and he is considered to be one of the most prominent voices of his generation. He has asserted that humanism is central to his work and was awarded The Humanist Award for 1998 by the University of Agder in 1998 and Tridzan Vintorn in 2012

 

 

Excerpts from Bella Blu - Handbook for the Universe by Terje Dragseth.

Translated from Norwegian by Pål Steinar Gumpen/Mørtel & Metafysikk 

(except: VO 0011 in Log 3, and VO 0012 TIL VO 0011 in Log 7), 2012-2013. 

 

Bella Blu: A Space Handbook is something as rare as a collection of sci-fi poetry – a voice from the future. In his latest work, Terje Dragseth explores a lyrical language that can encompass knowledge about the world from the natural sciences. Among those who are given the opportunity to speak in Bella Blu are Voice Over 1, Voice Over 2, the Night Messenger & the Geometrical Girl. This is a collection of poetry that breaks through ordinary boundaries.

 ‘This volume of epic poetry breaks all the constraints that you usually associate with the genre (...) Bella Blu is an open text and the reader is free to wander, enter and leave.’
Fædrelandsvennen

‘Terje Dragseth has created utterly incredible and original science-fiction poetry (...) conceived on a grand scale, grandly carried out, it is the most original book your will read this year. Guaranteed.’
Klassekampen

 

"I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms.

You, gods, since you are the ones who alter these, and all

other things, inspire my attempt, and spin out a continuous

thread of words, from the world's first origins to my own time."

Metamorphoses by Ovid. Book I, [trans.: Anthony S. Kline].

 

 

On board the spacecraft BELLA BLU:

 

VOICE OVER (VO) 0011

VOICE OVER (VO) 0012

Night watchman

The geometrical girl

Crew passengers soldiers

The dog with the fluorescent fur

The little prince with the big head

a.o.

 

*

 

WITH A SPEED OF 17 KM PER SECOND

THE SPACECRAFT BELLA BLU IS MOVING

AWAY FROM GALAXIES PLANETS ASTEROIDS

METEORS ROCK-COLOSSI AND IS NOW 17.5 BILLION KILOMETERS

AWAY FROM THE PLANET TELLUS AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

 

*

 

LOG 1

 

*

 

DAY 7

We cannot understand the world with words.

We cannot define a dolphin as a machine.

We cannot let the mouth be devoured by gasoline.

 

*

 

DAY 8

November in over the Russian plains.

Sun gives December to the northernmost continents.

We have a loaded gun stored in a folder for 17.October.

 

*

 

DAY 9

Rereading the oldest logbooks.

A backyard wall embodies the content.         

Shadows are like thoughts.

Receiving wind from dead stars.  

Atoms are continuous movement.

 

*

 

DAY 10

The dog with the fluorescent fur - wet snout against snow and leafs.

What's that wandering across the road over there - a porcupine?

Dog seeks water man salt.

 

*

 

LOG 2

 

*                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                       

DAY 183

Rumble from Mars.

Call of distress from Deep Field.

All of this disquieting.

 

*

 

VO 0012:

 

MAGNESIUM

 

FEET WALKS IT COURSE

UPRIGHT WEIGHTLESS

MAGNESIUM IS STRUCTURE

100 ENZYMES GIVE THANKS

A COKE FOR THE PALATE

MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE ARE INSOLUBLE

AND CANNOT BE ABSORBED IN THE INTESTINE

 

ARE YOU SICK

YOU CHANGE WITHOUT US BEING ABLE TO READ

YOU HAVE NO IDENTITY

THERE ARE NOT CATEGORIES

THERE ARE THEREFORE NO ONE HERE

 

REMEMBER THIS

REMEMBER THIS

REMEMBER THIS

 

*

 

LOG 3

 

*

 

VO 0011:

 

AHH BELLA BLU BELLA BLU

BLU BLU BLU

HOW ARE YOU

TODAY TODAY

BY THE MILKY WAY

HOW DO YOU DO

HOW DO YOU DO

FAR FAR AWAY

FAR FAR FOREVER AWAY

 

DUST AND STONES

STONES AND DUST

FOREVER IRON FOREVER RUST

IRON RUST TO DO

LOVE ON YOU

DUST AND STONES

STONES AND DUST

IRON RUST TO DO

LOVE ON YOU

LOVE ON YOU

AHH MY BELLA BELLA BLU BLU BLU

FAR AWAY AWAY BY THE MILKY WAY

THE MILKY MILKY WAY

AH MY BELLA BLU

BELLA BLU BLU BLU

LOVE FOR YOU

LOVE FOR YOU

 

*

 

DAY 430

The ship takes storm and hail it comes in swells.

We have been drowsy a long time.

The devouring affects the shadows severely.

They perceive the living differently from us.

 

*

 

DAY 442

Dark burnt informers mumbling post-iconic words.                                                                                          

Christ. Satan.

Still we log everything.

 

*

 

DAY 464

Horizontal discontinuity.

It's our journey our goal our time towards 0 and 01.

Our transformation capacity our reminiscence migration.

 

Star diameter: 100 times the sun 

 

 

DAY 480

There lies poison pills in a glass thinking.

Late heavens just grow on, comprehensive as they are.

 

*

 

DAY 485

This is not written on paper.

 

Light hesitating.

 

*

 

DAY 565

There are heartbeats in everything.

 

*

 

LOG 4

 

*

 

DAY 576

 

Lips obviously hers.

They glow. 

The geometrical girl have touched the little prince with the big

 

*

 

DAY 645

We have only read about the significance of presence in Ovid.

Growth are for bodybuilders.

 

*

 

DAY 649

When horses cross the stream and darkens,

said the prophet with the grandiose words.

 

*

 

DAY 725

1000 years has changed us.

Something else we don't yet know.

 

*

 

DAY 812

The dog with the fluorescent fur in all hangars.

Hyperactivity in the ear snail.

VO 0012 distorted into the unrecognizable.

 

*

 

LOG 5

 

*

 

DAY 1005

A body in an open boat without oars.

We don't know what it is.

 

*

 

DAY 1011

Sweet wine in cups to the passengers on the upper deck.

Who brought us into this? 

 

*

 

DAY 1100

The geometrical girl

walks the dog with the fluorescent fur

in hangar for animals.

She sings: gamma gamma gamma - gamma gamma gamma -

 

Night watchman wakes.

By his side.

A needle.

 

*

 

LOG 6

 

*

 

VO 0011:

 

EVEN 19 HOVERS OVER THE WATERS                                                                                            

OVER GIANT SHIP BY ALL

HEARING 19 SUITS

A CHANGE FOR EVERY ERRAND                 

WITH THE CRY

THAT DISAPPEARS IN A POSTERITY OF GLASS

 

THERE ARE 28 OF LIFE'S THROBS THAT SHUTS                                                           

THAT IN THUNDER MOUNTAIN

THAT INSIDE APRIL

THAT IN THE KNEE

THE BIRD CONCRETE

DINING TABLE CAN EXPECT RAIN

 

*

 

DAY 1111

With a survivor's mouth will the log continue.

Nothing is still we await.

 

The whirl of the spinal cord. 

Blows of an axe against trees.

Planets we never see again. 

 

*

 

DAY 1137

Railings safe to mount.

We have sent robots in advance.

They have their own timbre.

It means peace for our operation.

Just as meaning in sand.

A lot or little.

 

 

*

 

DAY 1154

 

The sun's beams at the motel's neon sign.

Before the sun sets over a deranged desert.

Red for the wondering face.

And red for velvet.

 

*

 

DAY 1189

 

The transparent space station: KONSTANTIN TSIOLKOVSKY

Linked to the extreme velocities.

 

Irresolute jelly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

*

 

DAY 1253

 

Explanations are insignificant.

 

*

 

DAY 1271

We are pointing the telescope.                                                                                                     

Drying our wet eyes.                                                                                                                                              

Hoping for the best.

 

*

 

VO 0012 TIL VO 0011:

 

SAHT ANDER

ANDER SAHT ANDER

SALAAM KCHRI

BWTAT SALAAM ANDER ANDER

SAHT KCHRI BWTAT SALAAM ANDER

KCHRI SALAAM

TE AN

 

*

 

DAY 1276

The room farthest in the innermost room farthest in                                                                

distributing given drops to the astronauts.

So they can dream.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

They no longer have their own eyes.

 

*

 

DAY 1296

Bird flies. 

 

*

 

DAY 1299

Over the tree crown.

The planets.

Over the skin.

 

*

 

VOICE OVER 0011 repeat repeat repeat:

 

STARS YOU CAN ONLY WISH FOR                                                                                         

 

WE SEE THEM IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                     

WE SEE THEM IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE THEM IN THE NIGHT   

 

TWO DOGS IN SPACE

FOR THAT WE ARE HAPPY

WE GREET THEM WELCOME                   

THEY DIED FOR THE DEAD       

 

WE SEE THEM IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                     

WE SEE THEM IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE THEM IN THE NIGHT           

 

WE FILL FUEL WE LOAD MANGANESE AND URANIUM         

WE FILL THE HELMETS

WITH EXCIPIENTS                                   

 

WE SEE THEM IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                     

WE SEE THEM IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE THEM IN THE NIGHT

 

FOX FUR NEBULA CONE NEBULA LYNX

 

RADIANT RED HYDROGEN GAS DARK DUST BANDS

CRACKLING COLORS IN MYRIADS OF STARS 

 

THE NAKED EYE FOR THE MILKY WAY

 

WE SEE IT IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                             

WE SEE IT IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE IT IN THE NIGHT   

 

OUR DARKNESS AND OUR SHUDDER       

300 000 KILOMETERS OF LIGHT            

DISCUS OF BILLIONS

 

WE SEE IT IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                             

WE SEE IT IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE IT IN THE NIGHT  

 

THE SOLAR SYSTEM LEAVING THE CLUSTERS         

TO NEVER AGAIN RETURN                         

 

WE SEE IT IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                             

WE SEE IT IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE IT IN THE NIGHT

 

AS SEVEN ANGLED MUSIC       

THE SOUNDS' CORRESPONDENCE             

STARS IN BETWEEN              

 

THEY SING

EVERYTHING IS SONG           

YOU WHO ARE SOUND

LISTENING                                                                                                                                           

 

WE HEAR IT IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                          

WE HEAR IT IN THE DAY WE HEAR IT IN THE NIGHT  

 

AS SOUNDWAVE YOU WILL COME TO BE                                                                        

OUT OF SOUND INTO SOUND                                                                                                          

FREE YOU WILL TRULY BE

AS THE WAVE WE WILL RIDE

 

WE SEE IT IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                             

WE SEE IT IN THE DAYTIME WE SEE IT IN THE NIGHT   

 

YES OF SOUND

YOU ARE TRULY COME TO SOUND                                                                                                          

YOU WILL TRULY BECOME

 

THE PLEIADES' COSMIC TRANSFORMATIONS

COMPANIONS ORANGE ROBES

WE HEAR WE HEAR

THAT WHICH UNDERSTANDS MORE OF US THAN WE DO          

WE HEAR WE HEAR                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

WE HEAR IN THE MORNING                                                                                                                              

WE HEAR IN THE DAYTIME

WE HEAR IN THE NIGHT  

 

BELLA BLU

BELLA BLU BLU

BELLA BLU BLU BLU

 

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Literary Editor

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