Bue P. Peitersen: MANDEN I TAKES DER FORVANDLER

2013-05-04 17.12.26

Peter Peitersen’s book MANDEN I TAKES DER FORVANDLER (MAN) is a tall short book of poetry. In MAN Peitersen explores themes similar to those found in E reviewed earlier on this blog. In MAN however, Peitersen deals more clearly with female sexual desire. Take the following poem:

(GIRL-GIRL)

Girl 1 og Girl 2

sidder stadig

sammen, han

kan se dem,

nu ser de ham ;

de ser ham mens

de ikke ser deres

fingre der løber,

de ser ham mens

de ikke ser deres

læbers shine,

de ser ham

som noger der

skal blive sjosk

og sjask og åh,

og meget mere

år – fordi der er

kommet glimmer

på.

The object of their desire is the man, ‘HE’ as it says, naked  on the first page of MAN. The verb at se/to see appears seven times in the poem quoted above, but this is not representative of the remaining poems in MAN. In fact the verb ‘at se’ appears only a total of ten times and the English verb ‘to see’ appears one time. We find the three remaining occurrences of ‘at se’ appearing tightly in a paragraph:

Han ser altså

sådan ud,

og sådan her

ser hans øjne ud,

og sådan ser

hans drømme ud

Nevertheless we find again and again implicit acts of seeing, most obviously in the poems that are descriptions:

(MAKEOVER)

Han er ikke

real men

det er tæt på,

som «Før»

i Feminas

makeover,

now see:

Stetson

Sneakers

Jeans,

Hans tusch

Hans arm

Hans hår

Hans lår

Hans øjne

der spejler et sind

(som løber

så vådt og drøm-

mende hårdt

om sjælen i

dirrende vind).

Due to the presence of women in MAN and continuous references to feminine objects such as Femina, Lady Fingers, glansbilleder etc., MAN is, I believe, most of all a depiction of a specific female view on the male, a view informed by pop culture and movies, and most importantly the desire of the viewer. Therefore it raises the question whether the view represents much if anything besides the viewer herself. Which again points to the deeper question if we can ever desire anything but the coming true of our own idea of that which we desire. Put another way, if an ‘I’ desires a you, does not the I also desires the you to be someone in particular, can we desire someone without desiring that this person acts in certain ways?

We can therefore read the first main clause of the poem quoted above: «Han er ikke real» with a pun. According to the logic of the makeover, a person is not real until he expresses his identity through his physical appearance; and the makeover can help him achieve this. On the other hand, «Han er ikke real» reminds us that the he of MAN is not real, but a fictitious entity in the fictitious women’s fictitious view of a man.

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