Monday, July 17, 2017

Daniel Y. Harris and Rupert M. Loydell, excerpts from The Co-ordinates of Doubt

V is for Valley, Mixed Media on Card, image by Rupert M. Loydell 

excerpts from The Co-ordinates of Doubt


It took forever to clean the city of glass. We could never look out through the smears and dirt, the sun bedazzled us as it refracted through the walls. Some stuck paper and blankets to the roofs and sides of their house, others etched softening textures into the glazing. When the mountain fell into our world we did not see it coming. Our world lay splintered and beautiful, green ice in the cold light that showed us how foolish we had been to build with beauty and clarity in mind.

We left the city and built another, with discarded stone and coal black pitch; learnt to live at night and look the other way.


The casement window was empty, the sky blank, the air, tepid, still and mouldy. Above, omen to no one but the stench of the void, Phillip J. Jackdaw, oligarch of a master race of black crows, is counting in preparation for his mid-air joust. Later, he will bait fish with breadcrumbs, plucking, smoothing, and bending twigs and grass stems to procure a variety of foodstuffs.

This was the era of post-apocalypse, the backwash of a pulverized eschatology empty of people. Phillip J. Jackdaw knew no people. His oligarchy wasn’t a meld of Morrigan, Bran the Blessed, Huginn and Muninn and Chaldean.

A gunshot. Phillip J. Jackdaw was blown to bits. He was wrong.


I have lost my sense of direction and am navigating by the way the leaves fall and the smell of rain in the air. A black feather is tucked in my hat; I have a stout branch as a kind of walking stick and weapon. I have no need for either: I am too poor to be robbed, too frail to start a fight.

In the past I would map out my route along with a tentative timetable, plan out my day’s journey, its stops and starts, meal breaks and permissible breaks. Now I frog march myself across the border, in a ridiculous urgency, a haphazard attempt to get there before I do.

I want to travel into the future, and make sure I am dead. Walk over my grave and make myself shiver.


Malcolm Moll’s yotta is the largest unit prefix, 1024 or a mere 100,000,000,000,000,000,0000,000 or more precisely a septillion, as septillion bytes. He was born in 1991, the year septillion became a word. Malcolm’s mother, Guinevere Moll, read him The Cask of Amontillado from the day he was born until his 21st birthday, when Malcolm vanished on December 3rd, 2012.

The Federal Bureau of Missing Persons kept their daily investigations for Malcolm open through November 2013, when they decided to gradually taper back to weekly. It is expected that Malcolm’s case will soon grow cold and be subject to archive.

In the night sky, an active galactic nucleus emits infrared, ultra-violet and gamma ray wavebands. It’s a host galaxy, bleeding light. It blinks. 


There is none. Not here. Everyone scurries about in half-hysteria waiting for the next one of them to implode. Streets are oblique. Suspicion looms. Not everyone’s human.

Alive, certainly, like the stench of rooting flesh, but human? Doubts remain. Was Roxanne still human? Roxanne, that ectomorph with the possum nose, the one they called Gidget-the-Broom, was she still one of us? Who are we?

We are the ones that run Morphine with Midazolam added in syringe pumps; 50mgs Morphine made up to 50mls using Normal Saline (1mg/ml). We titrate and purge prognosis. We give Fentanyl and add it to the drip chamber. We use a PCA machine on an epidural machine. We stop sedation at 8am.


Our songs slipping into the aether are like a frozen waterfall which does not quench thirst, only scars the mouth, gives a burning wound.

I cannot bring myself to eat or drink, let alone listen to fortune telling or predictions.

This white mausoleum cannot contain my memories.

Inside my head songs reverberate and echo. My tongue does not want to know, is swollen with loss and thirst. I cannot recall the taste of fog.

Face half in shadow I sleepwalk through drought toward feverish silence.

Further downstream the river empties out until spring’s thaw.

Listen out for a drip or faint crack.


Is-is the in-in of never-nether with or without some tisk-task around which-switch and in-in connection-confection with-with witch-which it can alone-atone exist-exit.

When this-this work is-is finished-furnished, that is-is to say, when the aim-maim set before it-it has been-bean accomplished-accomplice, the third half disappears-disrepairs, that is-is, it-it disappears-disrepute from the given place-mace, disappears-dissipates in its given form-foam, continuing perhaps-mishap in another place-lace in another form-born.

Schools-mules of the third half exist-enlist for the needs-weeds of the work-stork which-ditch are being-reeling carried-buried out in connection-projection with the proposed-imposed undertaking-undertaker. They never-river exist-remix by themselves as schools-ghouls for the purpose-porpoise of education-malformation and instruction-resumption.

  — Daniel Y. Harris and Rupert M. Loydell

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Untitled, image by Bas de Gids 


it is unbelievably hot and the forth, fifth, in a series of heatwaves
the extreme amplitudinous amassments we shall now, henceforth,
call “climatelessness” while in the emotional athmospheres it is as
it was: the incessant tribulations and capriciocities en haute voltage

the heat has been shut off with curtains and has been moved with
the ventilator as it has been invited with open rooms and doors for
a sense of 'fresh air' but the openings again, shut off with curtains
and carefully placed linens to prevent mosquito's coming swarming

let them swarm outside where there is lesser and lesser presence
of either the insectoid as aviary as mammalian animals except for
humanity of course which in its whole quadruples every X hereby
satiating the market of liveability and even the plants took offense

this biodiverse artificial shifting is due to the ‘climatelessness’ adrift
as southern zoology and botany comes north yet it goes even further:
airtraveling all littler and more embonpoint sightlier are organisms
the world over morphs ecology in disecology shadowing dispolitics

the politics of the toddlers shall be overshadowed by climatechange
and exiting worldprogrammes shall not be beneficial for neither an
elongated toddler or prop-blow-nylon doll with tuft of pubic hair on
his hilarious head morphed both by as constituting climatelessness

the public sphere then emptied out by what originated these lands
zoosophisticated and botanical imminent wisdombearers gone wind
wise the public sphere annexated by public and streetfurniture with
rims of miles and miles of freeways as roads to the dystope acenters


the, Shelley, Byron, Rimbaud, Whitman, Dickinson, Colette, Carole King,
search for beauty, Sappho, seems an eternal one and what did they to keep
society out or incorporated it as to paralyse its ugly features, under which
narcotic spell were they that they suceeded to let beauty prevail a frail veil

on parchment papyrus paper on the screen we see signs, Li Po also Lao Tse,
which each cradle a designation to something in world and time, and these
linguistic characteristics immediately start to imminently ferment the words
by the words;characters in calligraphic slidings,coptic design density/dented

seeking nitro beauty at the precious dentistry instrumentaria deck / dock all
suffused in anxiety to the drill to the molar, the thrill of clac clac (occlusion)
and hydrophobe waxens to take a bite out to acquire new dents new signs of
health or, and, getting older. the coptic cake consumed with fervor and taste

how do we capture that breeze toothpaste smile is this a breeze of beauty of
now or has artificiality annexed our space of life robbed us from the bees do
we develop artificial honey with the same viscosity with oversweet pumped
tits silicone taste to at least have the feeling of ecology and art Brasilia-ish

this morning at 5am I stood in the kitchen and heard the growl of the traffic
of this, in fact, 200 million city (see global nightmap below) while I took my
12 items of medication and there was a kind of rainy beauty in this the grass
happier after the draughts: rhizomes under the earth as much thriving above

—Aad de Gids

Friday, July 7, 2017

Andrew Darlington, TONGUESMITH

Andy Gasmask Treated by Pris, image by Pris Campbell


I am Tonguesmith. Created for pleasure.

My mother was a hippie, who dropped a lot of lysergic acid. And other strange narcotics with mystical properties. The psilocybin William S Burroughs grail-quested through Amazonia to find, but could never discover. My father was the electric Folk-Rock group she groupied for on tour. Multiply, or in sequence. Or maybe it was the sizzle of radioactive fallout drifting in from the Yucca Flats nuclear tests. Absorbing into cellular DNA, corrupting chromosomes, innovating, bending gene-structures into new unfamiliar shapes. My favourite book as a child was HG Wells ‘The Island Of Dr Moreau’, about vivisection experiments splicing human and beast.

I’ve learned to coil my tongue like a Swiss Roll into the back of my throat. My teeth don’t meet, and it gives my face an elongated appearance, but it does mean I can pass in a crowd without notice. I have an anteater tongue, or maybe a frog tongue. A chameleon or pangolin tongue. I research it. An anteater tongue is sixty centimetres which enables it to devour 30,000 termites a day, but is as thin as spaghetti. Mine is normal in every respect, but for length. When other kids strive to tongue-tip touch their noses, I can comfortably lick my forehead. At puberty, while other boys are masturbating, I can reach down and encircle cock and balls in my tongue’s moist coils and bring myself to deliriously intense climax.

I am Tonguesmith. A life filled with strangeness. Stick-slim and awkward, a freakish biological misfit, shunned and ridiculed. My mother cares, after a fashion, but she has her life, her job at the Diner, her guys – a succession of sleazy sleep-over ‘uncles’. I’m a scaredy-cat, escaping from tormentors into the woods, beside the lake, I crouch down, watch the bullfrogs and imitate their passive eye-bulging squat. Waiting for that flick-flick-flick tongue-flick that unites us, croaking in unison. It’s then I see the travelling carnival in the glade beyond, something wicked this way coming. On a gipsy trail from the east. Beguiled and drawn towards the circle of ornate caravans and bright sideshow cars beneath the lilac trees, by dancers in black with ghost-white faces and coats slashed into strips that flair like dark feathers as they move. Dr Dark Electrico, Barker and Ring-Master notices me and beckons, he’s intrigued by my talent, and abilities. He sees my potential. Alongside the Bearded Lady, the Human Skeleton, Danny Longlegs, the Stork Woman, Flexi-Girl and the Living Torso, I discover my first role, welcomed into a close-community of oddments and outcasts.

The dancers spin beneath a huge moon around the roaring bonfire. In the caravan, Dr Dark observes me critically, cosmetic changes must be made, the punters expect spectacle. Standing nervously naked as Olga, the Bearded Lady carefully shaves my scalp, then my body-hair, removing every last follicle. Then Dr Dark applies green body make-up, tensing, skin-crawling as he carefully cups my ball-sac, the better to paint my inner thighs. And I’m reborn as Lizard Boy.

At first wary and ill at ease. We travel from town to town, drawing up in a festive circle. The white-face dancers in black prance and gyrate, the town-folk gather to gawp and snigger in awe and prurient curiosity. I sit inside a cage as they file past to goggle. Dr Dark Electrico has the idea of a concealed roustabout lowering a raisin on the slenderest of invisible lines, so I flick my tongue the full cage-length to retrieve it, as a lizard captures a fly. The punters love it, takings are good. I settle into my new life as Dr Dark’s Carnival spirals downstate through the Louisiana bayou’s. Ibis and egrets, paddlefish, terrapins and tree-frogs.

Flexi-Girl flexes boneless limbs, her pale skin so soft, her eyes twin stars aglitter, her mutant abilities allow her contortions that leave me breathless. We, who are thieves and vagabonds living on the periphery of normality. ‘We are outlaws in the eyes of America’ she confides. ‘Always different. My personal criminal history begins as a little girl eager to learn the magic of sleight-of-hand prestidigitation, but growing up to appreciate the power of flexi-nimble and dexterous fingers. Soon finding I’m equally aroused having my fingers in a pocket or around a cock, and sometimes in a pussy. After rehearsing pickpocket skills on a specially-dressed mannequin, I move on to living targets, namely boys in my school. I take artful pride in my ability to completely fool them, using beguiling beauty as a distraction to stealthily dip and lift their wallets, watches, phones, neck chains and even rings. I gloat over their strewn stolen stuff on my pillow as I lie in bed masturbating furiously. The idea that the fingers pleasuring me now are the same digits doing that nimble work always tips me over the edge. Into full-on kleptophilia! Jean Genet was an erotic vagabond and petty-thief too, dexterously skilled with the Artful Todger. Old Bull Lee rolled drunks on the subway. Once while working a rube in a crowded tube, I mistake the bulge in his front pocket for his phone, they’re bulky back then, but it was his hard cock! By then I can’t stop what I’m doing and end up giving this guy a hand-job in his pants. He never saw my face, but I still remember the naughtiness I felt that day. Touch is a hugely underrated aspect of sex. The tactile senses, fingers or tongue on cock or pussy are such a slow and indulgent ecstasy to be enjoyed for their sheer sensuality, as distinct from the pure rawness of the straight fuck. Bodies should be adored and pleasured in a mutual orgy of the senses. I'm certain that guy in the crowded subway loved every minute of my discrete hand-job, and still gets pleasurable erections just from the memory. The orgasm would be well-worth the picked-pocket. From then on, I divide my sticky-fingered skills pleasurably between pockets and cocks…’ I’m intrigued, fascinated, hypnotised by her.

That same night we set out from the circle of caravans. She’d noticed an old colonial house set some way back from the highway, ripe for furtive plunder. The winding shingle driveway is dark, overhung with trees ghosted in Spanish moss. Bats circle across the huge white moon. A house in darkness. She has ways, techniques of gaining access. Shrinking and elongating her body in ways no-one else could. A haunted twilight inside, as spookily humid as flesh. A hall clock set in a wrought-gold sun, its hands are warning me, the minute hand spinning in reverse, the hour hand racing forwards. I’m on the cusp of possibility, go on or go back. I look away and look back real fast, hoping to catch it off-guard, but it’s still doing its cartoon thing.

She leads the way upstairs, pacing step by step. I follow. Her eyes are crystal cut-glass gem-stones. If I think about what I’m doing, I’ll screw up, so just flow with events, follow her, become part of the moment and everything will be fine. It’s the very moment we set foot on the landing that the lights abruptly flare up, and there’s a figure brandishing a Civil War blunderbuss loaded with buckshot… startled, Flexi steps backwards, collides, and I lose my footing, slithering, then pitching over and back down, hitting each step on the way. Into a blackness as dark as midnight.

I am Tonguesmith. Created for pleasure. When I wake my head is pulsing, I’m naked, lying spread-eagled on cool silk coverlets on a four-poster bed, my wrists and ankles fastened to the bedposts. I struggle, but they’re secure. As my skewed vision adjusts I become aware of eyes on me. Three women. Three middle-aged well-fleshed matrons. I now know them to be Sister Rosa, Miss Ebony, and Madame Thirstquench. They are my new owners. I am in their power. Miss Ebony sponges my forehead where there’s matted blood from my fall. Her touch is gently possessive. Sister Rosa spoons me rich broth, when it trickles down my chin she uses the spoon to scoop it back up to my lips. Noting the deformity of my tongue, uncoiling it to its full not-inconsiderable length. Something obscenely suggestive about the way she does it. Madame Thirstquench puts a big vinyl record on the radiogram, and the room fills with low dancing Cajun music.

They tell me Flexi has long gone. Escaped into the night. No-one will miss me. No-one will report me missing. But don’t worry, I’m safe here, with them, they’ll care for me, they’ll look after my every need. The three ladies live together. They whisper to each other, pointing and sniggering. They leave me alone, and I sleep. Slipping into a realm of restless dreams. When I wake they stand around the bed. They’ve changed into loose night attire. Florid house-coats, gauzy negligee, see-through diaphanous. Yet creepily predatory in their stance.

And Sister Rosa sits on my face, straddling my shoulders, her full warm weight enveloping me, her legs clamping up the sides of my head, inching her body forward until the dense pubic growth and the moistness of her vagina lips slip over my compliant face, devouring me into that lush gaping convulsing pussy. I open my mouth to gasp, my tongue extends, extends and extends, flickering, probing, delving, lapping. She groans, moves her quivering thighs, riding me, fucking down onto me. My tongue extends, extends, extends, teasing the bud-morsel of clitoris, into her cunt-mouth, up and in, further, rubbing her g-spot, up to the cervix, further. She squeals and squirms, grinding herself down to meet me, quivers and cums around me. She slumps. I can’t breath. Drowning in her aroma, her fleshiness, the seeping wine-wetness of her.

I’m so painfully erect that I’m aching. As she raises herself, exhaling in a long satisfied sigh, Miss Ebony takes her place. Her vaginal juices are a narcotic on my palate, drinking her down, my lips and mouth slippery with secretions, my tongue finding its rightful place, thrusting, worshipping, adoring. As she’s pulsing, her spasming vulva ravenously hungry for me, an erotic convolvulus. Feeding it frog-tongue, lips, pangolin-tongue, mouth, chameleon-tongue, anteater-tongue, tongue-tip curling, wriggling, the flat of my tongue slurping, lathing. And then Madame Thirstquench, until I’m blind with roaring sensations and drunk on lust and cunt and flesh and need and desire. I’ve cum in long white strands up my stomach, tingling and awash in post-orgasmic oceans of calm. Breathing heavily. Sister Rosa clucks and tut-tuts, wiping my groin meticulously clean.

Weeks pass. My body is smoothly hairless. There’s a long intricately-wrought chain that encircles the base of my penis and nips around the scrotum above the testicles, its links extend and attach to the wall. So I can stand, move around the bedroom, but never leave the vicinity of the bed. I have books and TV with remote. Cajun music on the radiogram. Food when I need food. Wine when I need wine. And all the cunt my tongue will ever need.

I’ve found my place. I am Tonguesmith. Created for pleasure.

—Andrew Darlington

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Rupert M. Loydell, Two Poems

Ley Lines (from Mapping Devices), image by Rupert M. Loydell 


Are they simple electrochemical cells?
Are they truly passionate?
I ran a report about trends all over the world
decided to stop the visible hand
venturing into new territory without a proper recipe.

The social life of small urban spaces
offers sophistication using emergent talent.
Culture is a process where plagues form,
flat as nature's vast terrain,
flat as in a production procedure.

Consumers may not know when
chemical is in their human values,
chemical is in their food.
We say that images and text are untraceable;
it may be necessary to wonder why.

We are a struggling monocultural structure
subject to digitized fragments of manipulated realities,
bacteria slowly crumbling and destroying existing reality,
fundamentally rewiring a state collective
where histories are carelessly erased.

I'm a sucker for abstraction, idyllic urban getaways
to the exposed heart of this cosmopolitan city.
Its plotline is a disturbing cultural malfunction,
more ecosystem than machine,
a cornerstone of anxiety disorder.

I fixate on the outlined operations, planning, integration,
admire highly systematized contemporary lifestyles,
international marketing trend forecasting agencies,
complex migration to urban areas
connected to the world post-internet.

Lazarus gets a second chance;
death should be nonlinear, organic and experimental.
Avoid being trapped in a logic sleep in which we wake,
open yourself up to the idea that you don't know
what you don't know. What you know is ambiguous.

Creating more settings
creates more barriers to overcome
promises something else, immortality.
Whatever it was, it was.
We are carelessly erased.


If a god can disestablish his own church,
why should not humanity in turn
vote itself out of existence?
   – Peter Conrad, Modern Times, Modern Places

I want to write an elegy but without the sadness
   – Brenda Coultas, 'The Tatters'

I would like to believe in my dreams,
am a stammerer struggling to speak:
consonants fracture into building blocks,
language regresses to a babble of sounds.

Landscape presses in on a distraught figure
raising a protective hand above his head.
The sky is falling and we must investigate
hollow spaces choked with household goods.

The human being is a botched job, a ghost,
a breath of wind. Turbines and busy pistons
reinforce an ongoing sense of estrangement;
there are faults in our ideological wiring.

Convulsions have given birth to what is
at best a mannequin, an orphaned runt
welcomed at first by its drunken mother,
ejected from the house when she sobers up.

The border affords us no way to escape.
We exist in flux, a condition of transience,
have stopped moving in order to watch
reality speed headlong towards disintegration.

Beams of light broaden out into abstract spirals;
violence and death have become harmless fun.
People only exist as part of a forgotten design,
a factory which manufactures pain and memory.

Do painted shapes or monochromes qualify
as aids to spiritual and scientific understanding?
History lies ahead of us, not behind; who
forbade us to be or think? What keeps us alive?

Journals of consciousness and images flickering
at the ragged fringe of our visual field, moment
by moment. We are corrupted by information,
must run the same set of notes backwards

and savour the ugliness of cut-price wares
as the last cold light of winter breaks through
the clouds. The world was not made for us,
we must not assume we are in control.                      

—Rupert M. Loydell

Monday, July 3, 2017

Michael Mc Aloran, Six Works

Untitled, 2013, acrylic on paper, 102 x 155 cm, Michael Mc Aloran 

Six Works 

decibel overture of night’s collapse into/ fleshed lest of rigour trace of one singular edge sudden as if to grace what when/ mute tones of sarcophagus traces of design’s lock of syllabus detritus cast/ what will obscure colourings eye’s undone/ some given less than taken skinned lock-lapse walls wombs of lightless suffocate nothing of from final sky unfelt/ (the) extinguish in grip of shadowing/ a caress of teeth dragging pelt white-lock through viscous sands/ nocturnes scattered given to parasite where one wound burning colourless obscure wrestles with silken tread/ it-bones what gathered from broke stone silences/ automaton steel echoing in kaleidoscopic hemorrhage stead will what as if to say it will what/ =/ weight blind echo of unfelt/ not a…/ nor (the) other than as if there were ever any/ winds cascade into final lung/ shred of vocal light/ carrion atrophate sheltered by skin/ ever of/ some steps into… 

…cold colours in coagulate of flesh echo-echo neither left find skull of dreaming-in sudden as if to expire once spoken else/ shard of unlocked bulb of heart drenched in shit offered up unto devour lack taste shadowing spitting out plumes of/ cracks not no knuckles bled meat sways as of some orchid’s kiss unto winds we laughter-long/ stun-collide/ hollow knock upon marble surface cleans away some bloody trace/ cum dead lock-weight desire’s fruit (the) stench of rotting silence uprooted/ (we-it)/ eye-lit/ echoing wounds spec-ial black lack end pock-marked desire’s long circus parameter/ as all away to/ grains of shadow caressing (the) broke bone sky-lit/ as all for as for of into from which till no collides with one singular purpose given unto forgotten in instance/ knowledge putreformed/ putrefied/ veranda of cold mist/ (waves farewell to non-space in given absent trace)…

…stairwell descends/ rescinds/ expands eye in/ vulture kisses from blackened teeth skinning apart (the) abattoir disgust of absurd trace collapse burning in mist of final edge of razor light/ syringe taste upon dry tongue what world to a/ to break/ a/ …/ not a forage nor a whisper collapsing into dawn effortlessly divided (where words form prayers to)/ where words form prayers for dissipation-disease fled unto/ what as if in it/ it/ fingers to cauterize (the) bleak blood tide screaming silently/ shines some un-fled sun given from out of taken distance tasted skull-depth acrid azure skinning (the) teeth of purpose blind/ subterfuge of light/ spasm of some locked hold in/ see (the) white sheer in mind it burns black what static else ever unto colourless appeal/ in a suicide of retribute trimming (the) fat from meat most real dense viscous tar no better than/ yet in/ and yet/ of or other than/ unspoken edge lack severance…

…bones roll out unto dis-ease closed shiv refrain/ ghost limb silences from some beyond where nothing resides gnarled flesh din disclosure outwardly/ it-spoke silenced from onset nowhere/ insert/ hyenic salve/  lung eye-die closed wound expel not a/ outro-spective collapse what will in cull of hours/ dead speeches for cracked lights obscene given to expire cold weight/ it-eye/ shard of breath/ static-collision of as if what said ever-fading/ stretch wind broken lock/ stitches together where climb is naught/ onwardly burst wound lack exigency of some sudden naught’s emptily/ given from taking from given take(n) of/ rolling out dressage of final flourish subtle as if to expire what once calling out into/ echo-echo dead/ in (the) black of/ rotting words cold colours dead till dawn’s respoke/ breaking  from given less that was what of till ever-null/ shine a light/ translucent bones/ vibrate of/ crying out of…  

…funereal collision/ purpose of non-breath scarred division clear as light(less)/ eye spat out regalia of tears dry sands eager to corrode where skin is absenteeism/ blood to wrestle in ever-blind-cold-striate/ stigmata machinery churn of over-clot blood winds/ craven dusts expanding out through bloodless laughter unto/ no force nor gestural/ bind-white/ there or other a sun forgotte/ skull exposed/ blank din of occult whisperings nowhere possible from outset-onset/ (I-remembers the…)/ blank tones/ not a/ traceless senseless devour eye-clad in fecal of redeem nothing more from given unto give/ collision funereal where now as if to collapse stone walls no cylindrical promise/ translucent all as if could ever/ fragrant nullity pissoir of dreaming pulse long sheared/ fragment eye-dies is recollected re-born/ stammering allwhile through breath-stained nothing’s claws throughout/ dragging out (the) pelt of sheared screams/ no exist to offer…     

…ashen promise of detritus unsung drags from out of corpus flagellate desire for one thing absent of/ unsung from traces wastage of design from out which collapse/ pulse dry rhythm not a trace from shadow-lock/ (bites off the head of a…)/ autosuggestion  breakage nothing clad in papyrus binds/ eye has nothing/ devours (the) frozen self no nothing more/ it-speak/ reek/ lapse-eye dead for endless tomorrows that it will not speak of/ never once/ spinal outcry some trace through the dark/ cares not for the jot/ (the)/………………………………………….nothing-nothing/ wilted wounds of tearing tears for a ha’penny no will to exert as if to say that/ cold stone (the) winter wound/ reflex of undone where auto-breath cannot be held or other than/ a wound’s laughter pisses upon where dank division collides with spasm entrail silences/ cold shoulder/ it waxes/ it wanes/ it cracks breaks asunder eye/ locked to (the) char of night/ breathless out…    

—Michael Mc Aloran


Monday, June 26, 2017


False Goddess, image by AC Evans 


Fear of the Dark is a Modernistic tendency in culture and the arts that rejects subjectivist forms and movements such as Confessional Poetry, the workings of the Lyric Ego and Romantic Individualism more generally. 

Fear of the Dark is a phobic fear of introversion and inwardness, sometimes disguised by would-be ascetics with moral arguments against ‘self-indulgence’, 'egotism', the 'worship of false gods' or ‘ivory tower’ aestheticism. In truth Fear of the Dark is a fear of the psychic depths, fear of the uncanny, fear of the Shadow and the shadow world, fear of the dark-side.

Anxious critics and commentators who suffer from Fear of the Dark tend to privilege the Apollonian over the Dionysian, the abstract over the figurative and to value the Classic over the Romantic. At the same time they promote high-brow ideas of ‘elevated’ taste, ‘great’ traditions and cultural superiority. This fear is sometimes projected onto the products of consumer society, of mass entertainment and mass production. Such products are often treated with disdain, defined as Kitsch, denigrated as ‘decadence’ or, even condemned as idolatry.

Radical nonconformists may well feel they are on an iconoclastic mission to cleanse the world of distracting images and the products of the imagination. However, as Jung says, the Shadow 'cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness'. Furthermore, this fear can also be transformed into hatred because it reminds us of our 'helplessness and ineffectuality' in the face of the unknown – hence the zealotry of puritans driven by a compulsive phobia – Fear of the Dark.

—AC Evans

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Penetralia: Eshleman Inside & Out, A Review of Clayton Eshleman’s Penetralia By Nathan Spoon

CENOTE # 5, Penetralia book cover image by Mary Heebner,
1989 collage with pastel, pigment and canvas on Stonehenge rag paper 

Clayton Eshleman
Black Widow Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9971725-8-4
5.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
176 pages

Penetralia: Eshleman Inside & Out
A Review of Clayton Eshleman’s Penetralia By Nathan Spoon

According to the OED, the word penetralia means “the innermost parts of a building; a secret or hidden place.” Clayton Eshleman, who recently turned 82, has taken this word as the title of his newest collection of poems touching on themes including mask, violation, myth, psychospirituality, conspiracy theory and more, intertwined with poems and passages nostalgically recalling or addressing beloved poets, persons, himself and his wife and editor, Caryl.


“Reface me. / Deliver me from this shotgun blast mess,” Eshleman writes in the prayerful opening lines of his opening poem “For Connie Culp.” As we learn from both the poem and an endnote, this is a powerful real-life story. Ms. Culp, after being shot in the face with a 12-gauge by her husband, went on to become, in 2008, the first U.S. recipient of a face transplant. In contrast to the cruel act perpetrated by her husband, is the healing and restorative refacing performed by surgeon Maria Siemionow who led a team of eight doctors in a 22 hour operation, replacing more than 3/4ths of Ms. Culp’s face “with that of Anna Kasper’s, her donor.” Eshleman plays with sensitive details as he asks, “Will her soul reject her mask?”


The act of being shot in the face with a 12-gauge by one’s husband is also an extreme human-to-human violation. In these poems, Eshleman explores this theme in various other ways, including rape and warfare. “Oil Spill” (13 May 2010) addresses, in an explosion of color and texture, human-to-nature violation. “Dolphins,” “islands,” “pebbles,” “marshes,” “waves” and the “roan static sea” itself are all colored and slickened into “beauty-lewd eco-horror,” until we arrive at the poem’s coda, which weaves the concrete and the abstract, the real and the mythic together:

Oil slick containing in its lavender gloss
     a black tree-like configuration:
Olson’s 1968 eaten-out World Tree?        Update:
               Tree rotted through,     its flattened
        saurian            ghost                        spreading.

For how brief it is, “Oil Spill” holds more than it seems to on a first, a second or even a third reading. It has, as does much of Olson’s work, an intense, slow burn impact.

The poem “Tree Roots and Trunks” (For James Heller Levinson) combines self-to-self violation with the mythic. This poem, which takes its title from a painting by Vincent Van Gogh, is set in Auvers, in July, 1890. On the 26th of this month, the artist shot himself. Eshleman describes Persephone as being in command of “Vincent’s brush hand, / drawing him down to confront the fusion, / never achieved in painting.” The first line of the second quatrain finishes out the idea, “Her clitoris, when he dared to touch, felt triggerish.” This poem plunges headlong into the Eleusinian Mysteries of a troubled and creative mind, “A blue corm with three lidless eyes was staring at him, / a face now masked with twigs.” The artist wonders, “am I just like a planet, or a paralyzed star?” The poem replies that both artist and art are “Vaginal blast of the son shot back.”


Yorunomado is a mythic totem character who carries over from previous works by Eshleman. In this collection, Yorunomado first appears in its second poem “Posthumous Mask,” and then again in its fourth poem “Mandalizing,” (comprised of four letters to Anne Waldman) in which the poet explains, “I constructed my own guide, Yorunomado, out of the name of a coffee shop where I translated in the afternoon (Yorunomado = Night Window), & a… photo of a Sepika Delta head hunter sitting on a reed bench looking at a skull.” The poet created this character at a moment when he was unable to move forward with his translations of Vallejo. Thankfully, Yorunomado guided him forward in a visionary way then and continues to do so now.


“Mandalizing,” a reflection on the soul, also contains the aspect of psychospirituality and is impressive for the way it brings together Iranian Sufi Gnosticism, Tibetan Buddhism and Jungianism. Eshleman is bookish poet in the best sense. His knowledge of these various psychospiritual realms is obviously considerable, and still he never seems to make a merely decorative reference and, in the glut that is a hallmark of his work, he never overwhelms. Bookish reference after bookish reference clearly remains the material the poet is using to write what are clearly poems. This poem also demonstrates how textual appropriation, which is a method Eshleman uses throughout Penetralia, can be used artistically.

Visionary imagination prevails in a number of these poems. The final lines of “The Eye Mazes of Unica Zurn” provide a striking example of Eshleman’s visionary poetics, even as they touch on both vision and Zurn’s visionary artwork:

I watch Unica pupilize, puppetize, then flea bait her range.
I note the rotary palimpsest of all men inhabiting her facial levers,
motordrome cylinders on whose vertical walls eyes cycle defying gravity. Moon of cratered nests 
in which eye spiders drink her strength.

The image of the face/facial is present once again in these lines, while words such as “rotary,” “cylinder,” “cycle” and “moon,” not to mention “eyes/eye,” all drive the idea of roundedness.


“Wound Interrogation” offers an example of how most of the above-mentioned themes can be intertwined with conspiracy theory and transformed into poetry. This poem (which first appeared in X-Peri, January 10, 2016) also takes its title from a painting by the Chilean artist Roberto Matta. The conspiracy theory referenced here is, at this point, a common enough one about “The suppression of the horrifying truth of the 9/11 assault (more appropriately referred to as “The Pentagon Three Towers Bombing”).” In Eshleman’s estimation, this event “is, like an undiagnosed plague, lodged in the American subconscious.” All of this emerges in startling contrast to the precise imagery and extensive and deep knowledge found throughout these pages. Does the poet have a truly visionary insight into 9/11, which has certainly wounded the American soul? 


For all the wide-ranging and intense subject matter the poems in Penetralia contain, this is by no means a disjointed or despairing collection. Two years after the publication of Clayton Eshleman: Essential Poetry (1960-2015), this poet is doing more than avoiding sentimentalism and the hazards often associated with late nostalgic recollection. His work continues to be visionary and vital. Eshleman is unmistakably adding to his essential oeuvre and inviting his readers into “the innermost parts,” the “secret or hidden place” of Poetry. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Joel Chace, Palmers #1, #2, #3, #4

Joel Chace, Palmers #1

Joel Chace, Palmers #2

Joel Chace, Palmers #3

Joel Chace, Palmers #4

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Michael Mc Aloran’s longshadowfall (Ed du Cygne, 2017), reviewed by Lee Beckworth

Untitled (tempera on paper, 2003), book cover image for Michael Mc Aloran’s 
longshadowfall (Ed du Cygne, 2017) 

Michael Mc Aloran
Editions du Cygne, 2017
Foreword by Aad DE GIDS
ISBN : 978-2-84924-491-3
5 x 8" (13 x 20 cm)
84 pages
12,00 €

Michael Mc Aloran’s longshadowfall, reviewed by Lee Beckworth

The annihilation of the analogue discourse

 ‘wordless as if to ask were to be delivered from/ dice will expounds/ vocal expanse shrinks to elusive passage/ placement/ not a trace/ passage dead/ open passage passage dead/ remorse of the fragrant skull ever evacuating/ based in in/ of of until/ as if to/ steel light reflect of/ throes final/ not a…’

 In the work of Mc Aloran the word as abject agent within a narrative reaching critical mass operates beyond the limit of what can be thought but must be apprehended at cerebral escape velocity/to review such a text is difficult as it refuses to stop at any definitive assertion but keeps folding and unraveling the negation and trace of a movement of poetics that perpetually falls away from our most anxious desire to extract meaning from this elusive prose/There is a peculiar economic model at work here/Obscure exteriority coding our minds/Perfect superfluity a seamless stream of words encased in irony/There are no bodies anymore/An end to metaphysics demanding and yet prohibiting transgression as eschatological disintegration takes hold/Mc Aloran presents the reader with a vibrant urgency of neutrality the broken voice of the play of clusters of words and images is all that is left which is more than enough for the limited attention span of the reader in the 21C/the theory of littoral transgression is effaced as it is written for the illiterate rejection of the subject who would avoid the possibility of not existing as more than a temporary ambiguous phase of meaning open to the vicissitudes of ultra-complexity/Transgression never really transgresses but always calls for another limit another threshold escaping the servility of the self as immanence in inertia of intensity/unfolding the surface of itself/

 ‘glimmer tint of light revealed as…fingers itch for blade’s recountive/ spinal/ depth will then out from out of spoken lapse until/ shit-reek of unsaying ever-yet until/ priced lapse from head till foreign forgot/ not a/ warped limbs of speech in retardation climb dreaming lest to follow as if to/ beleaguered/ blood-reek wounded lock dry earth in moist palm/’

In this viral confrontation Mc Aloran calls for an engagement with words as incomprehensible limits in which the step into the beyond is completed as a state of liminal slippage circumscribed by illicit fictions/this is the circle of the law of the risk of arriving at an terminal point of discourse/There is a risk involved in engaging with this radical construct/Time can only be structured by the present which is in the post digital the NOW living in space of the intervals between thought and action/In the post digital the machinic text becomes waves of erasure/the divine in its absolute annexation of all existing desiring memory and information/The words pile up and extirpate any attempt to grasp the text as anything other than ecstasy of the sublime/ Or encounter a bleak compulsion to trace a thread of delirious continuity of thought/an aggregate of associations with the power to seduce/with authorial absence edited by rigorous economy/living in remixed hybridity is obligatory/not a choice/since it is the foundation for participating in a living/networked/globally connected culture/Mc Aloran’s text is at the cutting end of this cultural obligation/

 ‘snared/ fucking headless barrage axial grind death-willing jettison turning with ever solace division realm of some listless bleak what wind to pass throughout/ flogging dead hope of silent genesis collision trace of desire exigent blood peels away some skin depth altered piss for sustenance/’

seamlessly ingrained/ lung/ ever in/ lung snap/ scar tissue of benign tears/ sight-lock/ breathless all denounced in or about nor from until white trace/ unsaid what sorrow done/ till lapse/ falter/ again steps forth what light lapse laughter/ template of scar division stripping (the) broke stun absence dread/ once sung/ retains once more/ echo warp till clear redone clotted blood never the twain to follow…’

Returning infinity to the limit/The mind tangles itself in the present in its shadow falling and is blinded to the future by an incomprehensible impossibility of achieving semiotic indifference to word as commodity production/the limits of a literary project structured by the present and the transgression in the present which is never achieved is primarily a dying of distinct association between word as signifier and as state of resistance to neural engagement/a celebration of cerebral arousal which cannot be identified outside of the neural network/a transgression into sublimity/Cyborgian mixing of organic and inorganic/human and machine and electronic/the present in the text does not evaporate because the structure of the passages have no end but are continuous/a genealogy of textuality passed on as a consensual hellucination/The precession of words as conceptuality the gap of the textual wound attempts to go beyond psycho phillia as a practice of erasure of sense and attempts to fill the post verbal dialect of the void as a new celestial order/ Perhaps unthinkable complexity/The form of Mc Aloran’s text is rhythmic/looping on itself in patterns and layers that gradually accrete meaning/just as the passage of time and events does in one/s lifetime/

dregs what matter/ stone cold observe/ steals aside/ trace ember lock/ open/ fettered/ dread light bled/ sun dislocate given unto traceless ever/ bind blind-sighted want/ abortive cheer/ sung bellows’ tidal/ static outpour no wing mere bitter asking/ shattered surfaces/ obsolete blood-cold/’

echo echo distance burnt traces/ delivered/ stitch of redeem/ as if what once where of what matter/ specious now what matter of it/ in-record of tide/ sky essence never azure nor black yet/ forgotten/ shaded/ what once/’

But the limit of the synaptic deteriorates into the violation of the dream of time and duration as being/momentarily having time at its disposal for other than rationalized desire/the passivity of clusters of words is in itself beyond our most strident refusals to conform/What a ubiquitous definition of the impudent radical/Who dares reach the beyond in the text?/Who will write that which cannot be interpreted?/Unfolding is inscribed and Mc Aloran takes the risk moving to the peripheral of cerebral comprehension/the alternative he offers is a departure from exterminatory simplicity of conceptual jargon/Cannot be defined a plenitude or lack/This work is structure in its purist state and resistance is involuntary apprehension by the biological individual/The post digital subject will find this less of an intellectual predicament than the ideological one clinging to the post modern/The delicious refraction of intellectual obscenity/This is a sacred text responding to the techno culture of the 21C a text to be read by astronauts on their journey to Mars

empties from out of presence pulse decline it/ passage through liquid film/ gait pared away in presence passage/ film unto/ redone/ echo echo blind/ in struck strong blood reclamation no/ tastes/ bone shatters/ nothing claimed/ till claimed by/ not a sound in vice-clad breath of exigent/ colours laughter lack unsung/ in redeem of lack spill of dried wounds into cups of earth unfeel/ (this is)/ flesh it speaks alone in damage seasons/ celebratory pathway into soil’s collapse/ foreign all and of all in/’

Fragmentary writing occurs when knowledge becomes uncertain of itself/I don/t know but I have the feeling that I might know but probably won/t because my cerebral machine is incapable of jumping the abyss of pedestrian foundations/this demented incessant need to communicate/What?/thoughts no longer guaranteed

empties from out of presence pulse decline it/ passage through liquid film/ gait pared away in presence passage/ film unto/ redone/ echo echo blind/ in struck strong blood reclamation no/ tastes/ bone shatters/ nothing claimed/ till claimed by/ not a sound in vice-clad breath of exigent/ colours laughter lack unsung/ in redeem of lack spill of dried wounds into cups of earth unfeel/ (this is)/ flesh it speaks alone in damage seasons/ celebratory pathway into soil’s collapse/ foreign all and of all in/’

By being “whole” and a unity within the collective/the it taking the place of the I or the subject in writing/there is never any now in which to live anything/The reader is always preparing for the now of semiotic engagement and thus is eternally disappointed by the now making use of words resisting comprehension/The present of the word knows itself only as a literal presence unsatisfied unreconciled with meaning as coherent streams of information readily grasped/time is never completed in the present but put off into a future that may never arrive/Marginalized effortlessly inhuman the future as it is contained within the present moment disintegrated by the very gesture of meaning as certainty/calls into question all that the subject holds purposeful and of value in return for what?/Self-satisfaction?/ Whose voice is the reader listening to in this text?/This is the alterity of Mc Aloran’s text and makes a definitive attempt to engage the reader in its commodified channels of allegorical silence of the verbal current/To be transcendent is to be free of reality and this is a pivotal apparatus in Mc Aloran’s work/Bringing with it a certain exposure to a yet to be post digital subterranean extra-terrestrial comprehension/

spoken for as if for tomorrow/ not a trace/ in some following after laughter-lock some buried collapse/ lapse unto/ forgets forgotten that it has forgotten/ wrung out/ skins scattered vicariously across waste ground…lungs outstretched some bitter barb a stripped eye basking in sun lights/ alone is to best respite taken from onset’s winds/ nothing that cannot be outstretched wings till die what once/’

There is an excess of absence in this mapping of the waste ground of data fragments/ From what place does what is forgotten arrive at its capacity for rupture into objectivity?/a lack of confusion a clarity of sensuous fetish appears?/Difference essentially writes within a space-less memory/writing is repetition without origin in thought but in consequence of the illusion of thinking/theoretical insistences of the text on theorizing fiction as other or more than a threshold of transgression but a performance of the anxious search for what has never been written and perhaps can never be written/but the attempt must be made/The burden of the creative drive/

haven till of over than what stun vomitous teeth of some dead lapse longing for what end given beyond nothing there or otherwise/ it-stun what cleft lights repetitive edge/ colossus null and void we in/ reek of/ beyond shadow’s mark a tint of closure nothing more than ever if or none sunk blind light of despair illuminating a thankless worthless space…]’

Nothing is to be found easily as a symbolic dialogue that would satisfy us/we lack an origin in the sense of a possible digression into conjunctive signification/always reaching for a dialogue with the text but falling away into an epidemic of banality/in slow dissipation towards illusions a swift but strategic climax of multiple instants flowing in arc of constantly shrinking orbits of plurality/all graven images wrought from subversion create a new language closing all exits of escape into a present reality/A post human commentary of incalculable standard stoppages fragmentation the Subject splitting into skitzo selves of Artauds bOdy without Organs/In the work of McAloran however we are in the presence of exchange values peripheral digital exploration of possible futurity in the making/Notes from the zone of occupation/ shattered simulacra/Playing with coherence/marks on the surface of the abstract synthetic demands hunting for a logic of associative identity to attach its fearporn to/leaves no space for the process of identification because everything has been radicalised beyond subversion into a state of verbal virological fragments and extracts/Only the marginalised survives for they have no other desires other than to work the prohibition of deviancy/Literary consciousness becomes a prosthetic device of vague ironic luminosities infinitely manipulatable past on fast forward to the eternity of the post digital/

bite derision collapse skull wrench all salve and surface a kiss of bled stone lights no further purpose/ no/ traces on in maddening steel eclipted madly skyline ripped from view by assassin eyes fixed upon less vengeance utters no unto throughout cold breath/ breakage from centre nothing clad with acrid pelts shed in some bitter unbecoming becoming/ in/ of knowledge that must cease on its own terms what once till sound subsides and fades/’

The poetics of violence multiplicity of the imaginary nucleated by utilitarian psycho hydraulics/the warring poets the textual body is unfolding and re-folding inscribed by the way of the writing that dis-unifies the whole/The poetics of hellucination as toxic anti materialist essence penetrates and elicits the validity of the work if such a thing is possible/Disrupting the lucid disruptiveness of the fragmentary text superfluity confusing the reader with multiple unplaced/displaced/unnamed voices the unconscious bought out into a new paradigm of discourse/androgynous android/there is no sublimation/there are new coordinates of recondite expression as experiential ciphers/textual velocity/attempts to escape the inanimate emptiness of supressed chance to become imperceptible to dismantle the identity and reconstruct as an confronting series of anomalies/the subversion of unlawful certainty/Mc Aloran creates a superficial validity perfectly in accord with the 21C/

‘…ends as it does not wish to have ever had/ commence then out or not what matter/ dries eyed spurious metals a vibrant bloody welt/ asking of some none till follow long shadow fallen/ it says yet lacks all sound/ rent flesh in scum divisive edge guttered night abort of fragrant none of it about/ or else what else not a trace to be seem/ strips bare nothing no no matter if/ in-lacerate of bedamned dried blood nothing drag of irrepent dragging the spinal affluence some solace climb to dream of exigent given to taste/ what wind/’

The prose enters deep into the hidden tensions of the reader transmitting subversive illogic/trying to locate the next revolutionary step away from human cognition of self as paradigm of consciousness into a hybrid sensory perception/merged with latent cyborg unconsciousness in multiplicity of ways having links and rhizomes to dreams/night mares/imaginations/pathologies of psychotic fantasies/phillia/ Immanently manifested/all the range of psycho logical sublimations by products of mass condensations/allowing access to techno impressions/thoughts of all other sentient beings able to use amalgam of incubated viral mutations metabolic atrophy absorbed thru cerebral membranes/McAloran provides the energy for his celibate machines to drive post-human remnants into near extinction/ Transmissions that share a code with the future are rare/Situating a new axis a map of co-ordinates for literature and the writer/sublime singular rhetoric comes back to haunt the transgressive narrative/obliterated/highlighted against the corpuscles of the savant void the presence of a defused cerebral rupture proof source of spasmodic libidinal energy/

cylindrical abase murmurs beneath breath trace of broke stone bodies clinging together as of shit to boot heel/ nothing there/ not a trace of redempt/ view is of outstretched vulture wings and the bleed of foreign silences for all time spent eradicated what songs from cancerous flesh to absorb no further than a lie from outset’s chalice/ what sung we lung it is said/

Mc Aloran’s transmissive symbols so well constructed producing a discordant amorphous proto existence in which the mind has not yet come to be able to discriminate between the conscious and the unconscious/balanced on the precipice of synthetic interrogation/The authentic realism of plenitude as fetish/Escape with the evidence of the crucial hyperlinks to the cyborg as evolutionary zero/This work is fearless because it expands out of itself always unsatisfied by the inherent weakness of current epistemological alchemy/Mc Aloran’s text then is the making of a new unconsciousness in which the impulse to change existence finds its way to absolute demands for a geometry of complexity/Impossible but inevitable/There has been a series of event horizons begun in recursive blasphemy that collectively have eradicated the disease which is humanity/We are faced with the digital impersonal loss/no subjective being appears to exists in Mc Aloran’s text which founds its narrative on the reflection of alluding to a presence in the fantastic visions of virtual reality/he holds the labyrinth of the universe in his hands releasing a torrent of inspirational prose that subverts and intervenes with an intuitive teleological imagination/a tendency to reach the terrain of continuous infinity in a spatiality that is ultimately linked to a digital future/