3.16: moments of rest | Ariel N. Banayan — new hybrid/short poetic fiction & interview

n a Lonely Place on Beverly Glen Boulevard Ariel Banayan digital photography 1851 x 1388 pixels ©2019

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3.16: moments of rest | Ariel N. Banayan — new hybrid/short poetic fiction & interview

In a Lonely Place on Beverly Glen Boulevard
Ariel Banayan
digital photography
1851 x 1388 pixels
©2019

new hybrid/short poetic fiction by Ariel N. Banayan—introduction by Krysia Jopek

In the seven short hybrid texts featured in moments of rest, Ariel Banayan skillfully and seamlessly fuses prose poetry and literary fiction, thereby erasing the boundaries of each genre. I find his hybrid writing to be exciting and inspirational. It’s as if he’s taking James Joyce or Virginia Woolf into the 21st-century, adding in dollops of poetry and contemporary cultural references to his long, complex, and beautiful sentences that mirror the complexity of human consciousness and experience. His craft is meticulous.

In the interview with me that follows his new hybrid writing, Ariel discusses his writing process, literary influences, the MFA program in which he is currently enrolled, the contemporary publishing world for fiction, and the challenges that he faces as a writer.

It was a pleasure putting this issue of diaphanous micro together with Ariel. Please enjoy moments of rest!

 

new short fiction [hybrid]

Solitude Sentence

. . . an empty vessel lay in the room’s darkness while beyond the night’s blurred gaze, draping over the world like some dull blanket, waited the iPhone blinking with drowsy glimmers that dimmed, shined, dimmed and shined, again and endlessly again, into the dismal room while thoughts of sleep and time taunted via glowing rose spirals until dusted glasses worn beyond the bed and glared at the red iPhone reflecting by the tint of a moonless sky; an icon, at last, was tapped on, and the night’s darkness brooded over once again into the empty room while the hollow eyes, mocked by those glowing rose spirals, still gazed at the screen dimming in unison with its own soft light, forcing the dismal body to turn away from the device once a blank piece of paper and pencil excavated themselves from the room’s darkness, letting eyes mind go numb by the night’s endless silence still sketching its pencil with paper to write an empty vessel lay in the room’s darkness while beyond the night’s blurred gaze, draping over the world like some dull blanket, waited the iPhone, blinking. . . 

 

An Incident

The wind felt sharp as it swirled through his hand spread wide like a plane’s resting wings, and his fingers impatiently tapped while hanging outside the car window. The other cars, basically parked in the middle of Wilshire, watched an ambulance swallow the poor pedestrian bemoaning his broken rib bones and missing shoes tumbling—practically striding down the street like some restless ghost figure cursed with a howling past—perambulated throughout the streets of Los Angeles thanks to the unsettled Santa Ana winds forcing hot air to swing traffic signals to swing like a haunted metronome. It is such a shame the expensive traffic cameras, looming over every street corner, never caught the victim’s state of mind, an infernal epiphany of pain, when steel struck flesh and an internal bone snapped in two.

 

Sea Glass

A speck of the glass’s luminescence peaked above the beach sand and pierced the gaze of a collector endlessly watching the shore for misshapen objects, hoping they would return joy to the wildflower-picking hands now wrinkled like some old coat. The collector could not fathom any time spent alone without some special someone to hold and share the discovery of that shining sea glass miraculously smoothed over by years of whipping sea torrents into an amulet of dull colors. It was more than a mere kaleidoscope of light beaming onto the sand once that sea glass, held to the sun like some astronomer’s telescope, reflected out onto the overcrowded Santa Monica Pier.

On a brisk Saturday morning, the usual sounds of carnival games chimed over the performers singing their typical melodies. And as the beam traveled over each performer carefully using a hand to block the stray ray piercing their left eye, it roamed towards the boardwalk roller coaster, rife with screaming passengers zooming by to dip near the ocean like a flying beast aching for a playful splash or two. The sea glass then reflected its ray of light onto the very edge of the boardwalk where a young soul sat alone in the silence of the extended Pacific, thinking about its vastness while chanting the sea was not a mask to nobody in particular. In a sudden fit of curiosity, the sea glass’s beam irked the right eye, forcing her concentration, as well as a neglected book held by a loosening grip, to slip into the depths of the ocean and ruminate in murky waters. It may loom for an eternity, thought the reader, or perhaps until the tide bloomed during a full moon, churning the shores stronger than the other nights, bringing all the other misshapen objects to spill onto the beach. They’d spill to shine their bright or dull or even radioactive specks of light towards the lonely beachgoers hoping to find the glory of lost glass pebbles molded by the sea. Some may claim that a mighty artist sculpted it like a piece of marble, thought the reader. Others may forget to use the right words when describing that tidal sensation of surprise.

 

Piano Dust

The thick layer of dust on the piano seemed more like a thin plastic film, Marie thought as she swiped a damp towel across its dark, wooden frame, recalling the moments when her father would sit on its bench, calloused fingers curled over the same keys, playing some notes while her mother, standing in the kitchen with a sponge, scraped a metal tray fused with burnt lasagna. She would sing along to his renditions of that one Errol Garner song, “Misty,” which, at the time, felt like a gushy melody of grown-up love that children such as herself would never understand, her mother would say. Until now, Marie realized, once the dusty air’s scent, lingering the living room, brought tears to her eyes, and she finally understood the beauty of those romantic duets. During those shoddily-crafted dishes, and her parents would eat and do nothing else but give off an awkward orchestra of loud chewing noises and heavy-nostril breathing. That was when she and her siblings, in their blessed innocence, distractedly gazed at the television without having the faintest clue of the dire finances her parents never maintained yet somehow convinced others that all was well. Her father would lie to the teachers, telling them everything was alright. The children were not worrying and bickering their rosy little cheeks over the used toys and inherited clothes. Especially the ripped jeans Marie had once loathed since they did not merely belong to her older sisters, but her mother back in the 1980s. Ripped jeans were now in style, he would claim proudly. Those were the days, thought Marie once she opened the piano cover to find hidden between the piano’s keys an aging photograph of her mother sitting on her father’s lap; both with a rare smile only seen in glossy photos like this one, reminding Marie of the purpose of her visit to the now empty house. She tapped two white keys down, listened to the out-of-tune piano, and let her mind flood with seemingly-forgotten memories of her former home filled with books, now decaying on some dingy bookshelf next to the flowers. The Flowers were still everywhere. They were the ones her mother admired so much, especially the silly daffodils her father secretly loathed. He loathed them all, she remembered, except for the bright pink orchards. He always refused to smile at the flowers, but Marie knew he loved it when her mother brought them home, giving the living room a sense of color; they were all dried now, wilting in the vases placed delicately throughout her empty home now crowded with dust lingering in the air like stray words forgotten by a grieving mind.

 

A Moment of Rest

After sitting in the sun for an hour, Edith felt the skin on her hands stiffen against the park’s summer heat. The muscles in her left arm, despite feeling strained after holding a book near to her face, remained sturdy. She did her best to focus on its sentences despite skipping over a few words now and then. A squirrel, carrying some trash in its mouth, scurried in front of her feet. She felt a new sense of motion irk in her peripheral vision, so she lowered the book and watch the squirrel’s route back and around a distant tree rife with flowers. They were grand floral spirals, she imagined. A mild breeze blew around the large plant, forcing its foliage to tremble. Edith’s left hand, now shaking from holding the book, eased itself closer to the grass as her tired lips murmured the only passage she recalled from her reading.

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and…”

She slouched her spine deeper into the curve of the bench and felt its concrete warmth radiate into the exposed slit between her shirt and trousers. Her eyelids began to droop, and her heartbeat eased, letting the wind overpower her breathing. The skin on her face, veiled by an indescribable peace, continued to stiffen against the sun’s warmth.

“And she became a pillar of salt.”

Her body, now sweating against the summer heat, felt the tingling of a ladybug crawling on her forehead. Edith smiled while motioning her right hand to flick the insect away from her scalp, but her body refused to obey. A numbing sensation filled her hands while each blood cell, tumbling in a clumsy rush throughout her veins, hardened to the rough texture of sand scraping and colliding in the slowed circulation beneath her skin. Edith’s muscles, once flexible, stiffened into smooth, plastered cement; her skin, no longer warm, continued to harden against the summer heat until she felt her pulse clang, bringing the now ceramic heart to a shattering halt. Her many bones, seeping in a glossy marble, no longer kept a spongy inner consistency. The lungs froze in a crystallized web of quartz and shining stalagmites, becoming the only space left hollow and damp from her last inhale. Her stomach solidified into a well of obsidian, pouring into the intestines to create a catacomb of food, preserving the excrement as fossils stuck in amber. The sweat on her forehead, now converting into small crystals of salt, felt delicate enough to be shoved off her body by a mighty breeze.

She suspected her chalked liver feeling soft if it somehow grazed against her other organs, but a chilling feeling distracted her in this moment of rest. She frantically visualized every microscopic cell and molecule in her body alchemizing itself into sedentary matter until her soft brain disintegrated to sprinkle fine diamond dust in the hollow portions of the skull; her vision of the sun evolved into a blank screen of soft light while the eyes, still half-covered by two immovable concrete eyelids, would harden into two spheres of speckled granite before the sun set.

A gray pigeon flew by the immobile body, landed on the polished head to nuzzle inside a nook behind the left ear as another ladybug, this time wearing a pure red color without spots, crawled up from the book still clenched in the unmoving hands. Despite the sharp incline of the slouching pillar-body, the animal moved at a calm pace, braving a few spiders stitching a sticky web around the knees and ankles. After recalling the existence of its wings, the ladybug flew off, and a squirrel eventually wandered over to the body. It cautiously sniffed the book, climbed onto the still torso, then fled to a spot in the park with less sunlight.

 

The Homeless Fart

It was near a lonely tree when I first let my wind out, out with the sound of the rustling leaves chiming over my own senses, chiming beyond the mere lawn of Rancho Park and further than the gathering places where people picnic and play recreational sports like tennis, golf, basketball, football, soccer, badminton, tag, capture the flag, baseball, flag football, swimming, Frisbee tossing, croquet. It all evokes cheer inducing activities with crowds to collect the vague notion of unity and the senses. I always adored those senses but only truly felt them once the particles of my gut, dispersing in pollinated drafts of fecal trumpet sounds, erupted at the sight of a rainbow appearing in the sky and my heart. It was not just me leaping at the glow of Old God’s promise and the Calamus tribe flag. I floundered in a stupefied yet restless palpitation at the oneness mentioned earlier with the world once words failed. I babble to the world, and nobody hears those words. Words, with their naive smiles, could never possibly grasp that feeling except only in the passing of gas in short, subtle toots to the park’s pine trees still growing quietly across this entire park after so many years of residents toiling over useless affairs such as the conflict regarding who really owned the oil seeped deep into the earth. That damned oil fermenting in the nearby land before the dawn of humanity. The damned oil asking residents where the dividing line should be placed to define where the a golf course begins and a public park ends; now I feel a gust of wind, hidden as some sublime force, sweep up my brown draft of personal air as my hand, still leaning against the pine tree in a fit of gasping exhaustion, stroked along with the shift in the gentle breeze. I am brushing a new touch. I am changing the mood of the world with my farts. What was once my holy scent is now carrying itself out and over the well-trimmed grass fields fenced off for those golfers patiently aiming with a careful eye towards a bulls-eye shot. It was a goal I already gifted them with my homeless wafts curling up their noses. I hope to burn nostrils and seep my chemical affairs into their white clothes. I hope to dirty their scent of fresh laundry detergent and liberated sweat, tinting them all my microscopic brown shade.

For now, the wind is careless and cold. My bones even ache as if it may rain sometime soon. I hope I may find some shelter tonight against the mighty air.

 

The Mirror

It was difficult for Jacob to look in the mirror at any moment of the day, especially when he brushed his teeth and, instead of merely watching himself massage prescription toothpaste over every single tooth in a calm clockwise motion, kept noticing every detail of his face magnified and stretched out beyond everything the dictionary defined as hideous. His pores felt visible and his nostrils, flaring and breathing and untamed like some horse snout, flared as he grazed the opaque scars on his skin and recalled when Big Benjy barged into the silence of the bathroom during their younger years. Jacob was very aware of the dangers from shaving, forcing his hand to tremble, both then and now, in fear at the sound of that foul beast of a brother. He still felt hatred as well whenever naming thinking of that monster. He hated all his tricks, especially when Big Benjy tried to convince the younger Jacob that the reflection in the mirror, that one right there in front of him, was the real Jacob. It even shivered with a hand clenching the very same toothbrush while the other Jacob was the actually reflection of that real boy. The real Jacob was still walking around somewhere in bliss while the fake Jacob just meandered like a stunt double always waiting to look back in the mirror and confront the true Jacob face to face.

While he examined the skin under his eyelids, Jacob recalled another moment when Big Benjy, in a horrible attempt of teenager humor, told little Jacob of the legendary Bloody Mary. Her pallid face always loomed in the mirror’s peripheral spaces like some semi-transparent photograph and haunted all the poor souls staring at themselves in the mirror for more than 16 seconds. The grotesque Countess, who apparently watched everyone with bleeding eyes, had fallen into a similar trap of vanity on the day before her wedding once her own reflection brought shameful tears of shameful to crawl down her face and, at possibly the worst moment, her soon to be husband, Septimus, marched in to witness Mary’s smeared face. Apparently, he tossed himself right off the balcony in the midst of London’s warm summer night and she was forced to wait and wither in shame while horrendously grasping at the mirror with a stained red hand for eternity so all those like the grown Jacob, who just realized he was still staring into that mirror, would hoped the foul woman would come and finally rescue him from that mirrored world at last.

all short fiction ©2019

 

a conversation with Ariel N. Banayan & Krysia Jopek [November, 2019]

When did you start writing fiction seriously?

Well, I’ve been writing both fiction and poetry since the end of high school in 2012, but I only began writing seriously towards the end of my undergrad in 2017. I like to think that was when both reading and writing became a vital and powerful space for me to explore the world around me. There were so many things I wanted to read and explore, especially as a native to certain parts of West Los Angeles, as the son of Iranian Jewish immigrants, and as a person living during an unprecedented technological boom.

What inspires you to write?

Right now, I can honestly say that my biggest motivation to write comes from exploring the limits of other art forms like film/television, photography, and music. I really enjoy the idea that storytelling can convey a different shade of an emotion just based on the presented form and medium. Writing then becomes such a thrill since I get to navigate through my own relationship with what the written word can show and tell to an audience, as well as what it can’t do for them. Sometimes I fail at it all, and I at least hope for a graceful landing. Other times, it becomes such a thrill just trying to see how I bring that sense of novelty to the written word. It’s fun.

When did you first publish and where?

My first published piece appeared in Anastamos, which is Chapman University’s graduate journal. At the time, I had just started in its MFA program, and I didn’t really involve my writing with people in the program. But I was given the opportunity to submit some horror of mine, and it was accepted just in time for Halloween, 2018.

What is your experience of the current publishing world for fiction?

So far, the publishing world seems both open and unforgiving for contemporary writers. I still feel really inexperienced to even consider this question, but I’ve heard stories from people who have been rejected countless times and were on the brink of giving up their hopes and dreams, only to have their work finally accepted. However, I also think that the world of writing is shifting as well. I’ve heard agents and publishers explain the importance behind a writer’s social media presence and how those numbers give the work a better pitch on a marketing perspective, which might push a YouTuber’s ghostwritten memoir over writers. No disrespect to those YouTubers and online personalities with published pieces of work out there, but I still believe that good writing is good writing. Readers will always want writing that moves them and accomplishes everything promised by the writer, even if certain levels of experimentation are pushed aside.

Can you talk about the value of your MFA? What have you learned that you wouldn’t have learned elsewhere?

So far, Chapman’s MFA program has taught me the importance of organizing my time to write, how to really engage with the world of writing beyond the workshop, and the overall reality of the writer life. I used to think a person could just write a single piece and throw it at publishers or websites or whatever to accept and share at their liberty. But that’s never been the case. I now know a person needs to be much more open-minded and involved around those types of opportunities. I’m also grateful to be in an MFA program that provides a class about the writing world at large. I never imagined how writers like ourselves are situated in the publishing world until it was openly discussed in that class.

How are your peers? Is there a sense of community in your MFA program?

Community is the most significant value of an MFA program, and I’m so happy for the one at Chapman. I understand how people can hold a particular brand of skepticism towards anyone voluntarily paying more money for more schooling. However, the specific MFA environment at Chapman University forces one to understand how vital a community is for the writing process itself. Pretty much everyone in my program comes from a unique background and identity that gives every interaction so much life and variety. Every workshop becomes an exciting and vital environment where we can all just lean back to see how and why different tastes affect the audience. I’ve realized parts about my style and taste that I would never have imagined without my MFA crew. And the support we lend to each other makes a difference, too. Sometimes writing becomes such vacuum of one’s energy and time that I begin to worry if it I’m just letting waste flush down the toilet. I know those moments of panic are based on my insecurities, not on my actual ability to write. Still, the way we support each other as writers in my MFA (or any community, to be quite honest) becomes the best motivation to keep on writing, no matter how much the words and stories “stink.” And I know I would probably get the work finished anyway, but the community makes me feel less conscious about those flaws while also helping me understand the best way to overcome those insecurities and keep on writing.

What have been some seminal texts that you’ve studied in your MFA classes?

The Completed Works of Wallace Stevens, Guillaume Apollinaire’s Alcools, Forrough Farrakhzad’s Sin—are the some of the most recent books I’ve finished that have given me a unique outlook on my writing and thought. Along those lines, I think working with Carolyn Forche and reading her memoir, What You Have Heard Is True, has shaped how to value my place of a writer and explore what that all means in our weird, contemporary atmosphere.

Will your thesis be a collection of short works or a novel? Do you write novels as well as short fiction?

My thesis is starting to solidify as a kind of hybrid. It’s going to fall as a collection of short stories inside a novel or a novel containing short stories. Either way, it’s going to be a compilation of connecting shorter works placed within a context of an outer narrative structure like One Thousand and One Nights. I definitely have some novels planned that I hope to get to one day, but I guess I need to tackle one task at a time for now.

Outside of your MFA program, do you have a community of peers with which you exchange ideas and/or work?

A good majority of my closest childhood friends are involved with the arts in some way. As consumers and producers of all these different kinds of expression, we bring such a unique perspective to everything delivered in front of us. I’m so grateful for that dynamic and their friendship even when our tastes diverge. It’s such a perfect situation since we also mostly come from the same cultural background and love to celebrate and explore what we have to offer for each other.

What do you typically read on your own?

I’m such a bore when it comes to reading anything other than the plain fiction and poetry books piling up on my never-ending reading list. I’ll always love defining works within genres like Gothic fiction, but I’m not too particular about what I read. Good writing can come from anywhere at any time, and as long as the writing blooms from a valued place/perspective and it’s well written, I’ll want to read it.

Who are the writers that have influenced you the most?

Joyce and Kafka, definitely. Both writers speak to me on a more personal level that enters the realm of the ineffable. I don’t know how to accurately describe the phenomenon of reading their works, but it’s something like an epiphany of recognition, like a piercing spotlight shining onto my body. I’ll never forget the first time I read their works and realized I wasn’t alone. I hope one day I my writing can bring others to that similar moment of recognition.

What is your process from the inception of an idea for a work of fiction to the end product? Do you have any specific writing habits or rituals?

Sometimes I just stare at a wall and mentally explore whatever feelings come to me and how that could be contextualized as a narrative until I feel like I can write it thoroughly. Other times, I force myself to write and shove through whatever cluelessness that’s taunting me not to write, which is a skill I’m learning to develop. Typing with my eyes closed is a habit I’ve recently picked up. My laptop screen sometimes strains my vision, so I just let my fingers take control. That then becomes an excellent excuse to edit the work as well.

What is the goal for each piece of fiction that you create? I realize that each piece is different, but is there a specific goal (or goals) that you have for the reader of your creative writing?

With these specific pieces here in this issue of diaphanous micro, I really wanted to explore how language could enhance or limit the reader’s perception. I wasn’t really insisting on presenting a solid story with the typical moments of storytelling found in most fiction. While those traditional aspects may be present, I was more concerned in situating a perspective based on whatever mental circumstances the pieces themselves allowed. If there isn’t a character there to perceive or enact on those feelings, I still wanted to press my hand against the invisible walls of those constraints and feel them, if that makes sense.

Do you have any hobbies that complement your writing life? That provide thinking time for writing and/or a needed break from linguistic experience?

I can honestly say that playing an instrument and playing video games have such an essential role in my well-being and artistic output. I can’t imagine my life if I never played the piano or picked up The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a child. I’m so glad I never stopped experiencing those other art forms. They both give me that space away from writing and the linguistic experience while also making me engage with a non-verbal form of storytelling.

Do you think it’s essential for a contemporary writer to be engaged with social media? Why or why not?

While it certainly helps, I don’t think it’s important to have a huge presence or sense of engagement on the various social media platforms. Like I mentioned above, social media presence can really “sell” you well and give you an outreach to a larger audience. However, I do think it’s important to have some sort of involvement with social media, even if you send out a few tweets a month or upload some random stuff onto Instagram every now and then to experience whatever the hell a meme is/can become. The culture that’s emerging on social media platforms and the internet overall are, in my unqualified opinion, going to become a zeitgeist for the next few generations of content creators and audiences. I couldn’t help to think of Fitzgerald when I read this question, and how so much of his writing is just reacting to whatever the 1920s retrospectively meant to him. Even though I don’t believe in cyclical time, I think still that everything going on nowadays, particularly in social media and content platforms like YouTube, falls under the same cultural high you’d find in a Fitzgerald novel.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Read everything you can. Read whatever makes you think, makes you confused, takes you out of your comfort zone, brings you back to that comfort zone, makes you angry over its incompetence, shakes you to your core, makes you feel like you’d never accomplish a great piece of writing, and makes you realize you could do it better. And take the time to watch a little Seinfeld now and then. It’s good for your soul.

Are there any challenges that you personally face or find you need to overcome as a writer?

I really began reading and writing to see how I could break past all the fear and guilt I always felt in my life, even if that meant getting lost in more abstract, outdated language or just giving up. While the discomfort never stops, I know my reaction to that discomfort can change and adapt for the better. I know that challenging oneself in this day and age is probably one of the most energy-consuming things a person could ever do. Still, I guess that’s the only way we grow as artists and people even if it means failing, dusting yourself off, and rising to start again.

How did you learn about diaphanous micro?

I had brought in one of the pieces published here to a fiction workshop, and it was not well-received at all. I took a step back and asked myself where I could submit this type of experimental writing. I began searching for more hybrid and experimental places to publish. Then on one chilly California day, I received a notification on my phone from Google. It was like some digital divine providence.

Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about you as a writer or fellow human?

There’s a quote that really resonates with me, and I feel like it says more than anything I could ever write: In reality, I’m actually very fun – Nathan Fielder.

 

Ariel N. Banayan tours “Tehrangeles”

Los Angeles Review of Books — Ariel N. Banayan

A Burning Itch by Ariel N Banayan — Anastamos

So you’re in an MFA program–now what? by Ariel N. Banayan

Ariel Banayan [Arlel Ban] on Twitter

Airel Banayan [Arlel Ban] on Instagram

 

biographical note:

Ariel N. Banayan is an emerging writer born and raised in West Los Angeles’ thriving Iranian Jewish community. He received a BA in English from UCLA in 2017 and is currently pursuing an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University in Orange County. He also co-hosts the monthly reading series, Write to Read, where emerging and featured authors throughout Southern California are invited to read their work and drink a beer in front of an audience. Previously, his writing has been featured in The Los Angeles Review of Books and Anastamos, Chapman University’s graduate literary journal. Most recently, Brilliant Flash Fiction long-listed his writing in their Fall flash fiction contest.

 

color portrait sketch of Ariel Banayan
Yoni Keynan, artist
5 inches x 7 inches
©2019

 

 

 

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3.15: bleeding backwards | Heath Brougher — new poetry, visual art, & poetics [aesthetics]

Asemic Haiku #3

diaphanous micro
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3.15: bleeding backwards | Heath Brougher — new poetry, visual art, & poetics [aesthetics]

Asemic Haiku #3
billiard balls and map
650 x 487 pixels
©2018

introduction to bleeding backwards Krysia Jopek [November 2019]

Feast your eyes and brains on diaphanous micro 3.15: Heath Brougher’s bleeding backwards, the most mammoth diaphanous micro to date! This issue will actually be printed as a physical book by a different publisher in 2020. I’ll let the poetry, visual art, and statement of poetics [aesthetics] speak for itself. Enjoy!

> > >

pliant verse: new poetry

Flac-Id-I-ty

 St(upid)ate sponsored stale bread  ,,

death-de-fin(e)alellà

striven d0wntowne d®own wa-

ters  ,,  shuttered streets

of youth  ,,     ß~~~~~~~~~à     sca(rry)rs

of an (Om) eternal ethno-oracle

fugal(ism)ist  ;;  bombdust  ,,

[howdy horn heisGordon]

suey slop(ed) surgical(ogical)ly orn(amaste)amental ;;

a manna his wor(l)d  ;;

proof pops out(whorled!!)ward

polar(bear)oid snappen

snatchery drownt in wat(tons)er soupà

the naked thighs of Janeà

fully tempted Kierga moon

lusty 99 thousand y(onder)ears

br(right-here!!)ought for a(n) Apex [WHOOOOO!

ash W(ittnessing)ednesday [trash     =     this;;

bottom of the 9th

for a broken oriole

            otrawise  =

                              finite;;.

 

[[[[[———-DO NOT USE IN POEM!!————]]]]]]

[[[[[[dopers worship Uranus, strung o(ooooohhhh!)ut a(ha)tta ho(we)me plate!—

h(ipster)it me a gr(h)and sala[om?]i]

[a haircut in the 8th inning [(?????)]

[dopers like baseball but baseball likes to fuck with the doper’s head with infield fly rules and what(ever!)not]]]]]

 

Confidence of the Many

 Accidents—happen

(faux)stance

of   a   hid-

e(i)n

haph(ologram)azard

we(eek)akness ;;.

 

Stir

Fr(om out)eak coleslaw frisk  ,,  om high down

Apis quopom of tin  ,,  of tin(n)y~~~~~à  ,,

,, ;; ,, !! .. • ;; € ,, [%~& = +] ,, :: ,, ^^ {*****}  ,,

plaintiffs Walpole  ,,  Oakland vapor

doorknob Wicklow  ,,  weeblow lapidary

 

—we’re gonna g(oogle)obble up the mustard seeds the i(diots)ngrates spit out—!;.

 

Orb

Monroestopsis    Montreal

 

Bloodpoisoning  ”  BloodFlint

 

Op(youless)ence    Omnibus

 

Thrombosis   Thumb(at)tack

 

Nearing Asparagus

Original ingre(e)d(y)ients à[0Oo oO0

rhutabeggar rutaugular  ,,  rheu(barb)my  ,,  r(hoo!)ooms ,, 

nearing asparagus says a road sign  ,,

typo-tato  ,,  sq(i)sh soon ripe enough

to sizzledance with olive’s oil(spilt)y veggies rife with Vitamin Z (vitamin z)

cooking up what was dug upà     (0à[om]ß0)

from s(z)ounds of b(lowingup!!)ursting seeds planted in dirt months before; ;.

 

[—-DO NOT USE IN POEM!!—–]

 [[[[[Wel(l that’s about it, folks!!)come signs direct brief inhabitant(sentience-full)

straight to the Ex(ist for a short amount of time)it sign before

the li(v)fe-forms barely catch one of those breaths of Oxygen

this p(eculiar)articular planet is famous for!!]]]]]

[[[[[“’Nearing Asparagus” is honestly a sign my dad once saw while driving down some old country road around Lancaster County. He even had a plastic reprint of the sign made that I own to this day. Apparently, story goes: He was driving down some backroad and saw a sign that read “Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Ahead.” After a few more miles the sign reappeared, this time with an even closer mileage attached. THEN, apparently, a sign appeared that read simply “Asparagus in 5 miles.” Then “Asparagus in 2.5 miles.” And, finally, the fixer: a sign that simply read “Nearing Asparagus.” If you ask my dad he will tell you to this very day how much he regrets not stopping right then and there and “borrowing” that final sign. It’s a regret he’ll have to take to his grave. He DID remember exactly the color, shape, and size of that Billboard so he could have replicas made and this explains why I’ve had a “Nearing Asparagus” sign hanging somewhere in my bedroom since my mid-teens. It was a diamond-shaped sign, all in white, with the words, in big bright green font, spelling out “Nearing Asparagus.” And let us not forget that the sign had a green, curvy outline at its edges. In fact, IF the publisher lets me show you this sign in this book, I WILL show you the sign. True story.]]]]]

 

W(r)ench-eater

Noonish grindle

girth obituary  ,,

 

elder aura time pressure /à

unwrapped Ea(terofacid)ster/

Mendoza line Freakfest/ {Freedomfest}

ripe lice/

liquorish blood  //—àà

 

San Antonio guit-tar(0)-feedbac(rack)k(wards)  ;;

Pavlovian response to hummmmmmm(anesque)mmmm  ,,

humm(om)mmmnmmm(mmmmm)mmmmm(um! um! um! um! um!) of motors  ;;

indent(ured)ed interstate/demonstraight~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~> [ode to odd uncles!]

frail white sneakers   //|\\   tennis shoeless Exist(ential)ence

revels in the real re(V)eal of a Multiverse of black sox and white holes  /

apply pressureà

gaseous drainà

land of rotten spicketsà

 

we are     n o t   (t) h e r e     anymore  ,,

we are (un)officially among the Elsewheres

of Sentient Existence—death of course always

a very(muchquiteso) possibility of a wormhole

into another dimension of perception of creation

of such heavy Suchness in this current realm of 8 sensations

are more than likely rendered useless to the fathomlessness

of a denseness of Multiversal fullness which likely feeds us

a continuation of its Continuum of an Eternal Essence

founded in Endlessness of various senses ;;.

 

[———DO NOT USE IN POEM!!——–]

[[[[[I’m talking E.D.s! Extra-Dimensional-being type-Elsewhere, motherfucker!!]]]]]

[[[[[when a Human, with their 5 of 8 senses known of on this planet, all tuned to just the proper setting, looks out onto the sunrise/set we do not see the magnetic field—this is accepted and usually shaken off with a sort of cavalier ignorance that has become the hallmark of human arrogance as we gaze with perfections made of purest personification, instead of meekly dismissing the EGO, we actually argue whether or not the Dimension stacked atop ours even exists to begin with  !  We were fine to dismiss the fact that we  were eyeless to the magnetic field but DID NOT go so far as to dismiss, or call into question, its very Existence, since Science has assured us of this with an such endless recurrence that we wrestle not with its Thusness but have formed a nearly latent acceptance of its presence. YET… when that idea holds heavy ignorance or flat out unknowingness of Existence, humanity will hold out a resistance, and, at a usually dangerous insistence, ask as to why it was never completely informed of this during its usual indulgence of useless information so oft eaten of to find their spot among the weak obeisance they’ve come to call Existence only to find out that their own weakness and lack of curiosity when matters turn to all subjects concerning Science, that this information, once relentless, was muted and hushed due to the dull and dim and dumb observance that Science and Scientific arrogance that human perception usually finds boring as if its Multiversal acceptance is more of a nuisance—thus it becomes unwanted, careless and obsequious in these all-too-human perceptions that thrive on the convenience of their utterly false Manmade obsessions and, instead of removing these horrid repressions, would rather gather comfortably in the warm, deceitful pockets of obvious  IGNORANCE  instead of embracing the utter Truthfulness of Human Existence and instead sit facing the wrong direction simply because it’s tilted to a more Truthless spot of convenience concerning their ULTIMATE duty of embracing the Truthfulness abound that is not nearly as easily accessed but is, at the end of the day, the   only    direction for the human mind, its perceptions and proclivities and unperspicuous tendencies, to sway among this multitudinous Multidimensional Mulitiverse;…]]]]]

 

Another Orb

 

diiiiiiiiiippin dots  €€  iiiiiiiiicecreeeeeeeeam  ,,

 

diiiiiiiiiiiimpling dots  **   iiiiiiiiicecreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam  ,,

 

dumpling dots  ¥¥  I scream!—;

 

Summer Murder

S h (r) i n e s er(adicated)ected/ / / / /

in a glitt(t)er-I mutt(ttttt)ering murmur

            ing moment-0(mori)

of fa(t)ede(a)d memori(a)es ([(memory-YAH!)])  ;;.

 

[[[[[————DO NOT USE IN POEM!:———–]]]]]

[[[[[[“cut your nose upon the spansule]]]]]

[[[[[[“impressionario Gn(om)es  =  GiANT  laWN shamE]]]]]

[[[[“tacky {though I’ve always thought in a good kind of way = like something you’d see in a music video for an alternative band from the early-mid 1990s}]]]]

[[[[[“eighteenth inning grass”]]]]]

[[[[[“it is twenty-nineteen-84!!”]]]]];;,

 

Technocracy

Radio legs

lay the television’s eggs

all warped… (wh)rip-

ed ed ed(en) e(n)dà

w h o r l e dà      /     whooshed     /

[back in b(l)ack singing sugary songs of surgery]

 

Aleece             al(l)live  Phifee ;;;;; FeeFee

tonal vibratory soundt(r)ack

 

bite      bit        biting               offa(l)  ,  a little

…………………………..atta boy

,,,,,second

circle   of   a   stitch

on road(t)/rip(t)

ricknamed       “what/what?”~~~~~~à

every;;

prod of gray thumbp(rint)ick

or appeal~~~~à~~~~~~à

dust in one’s grieving

cha cha grrrrrupt

&                                                         explode into erupt

& then(n)

NON-EXIS(?)-TENCE!!.

 

Off-White Autumn

Iscariot sparrow  =

wildamounts of melted waxwings   |

lunged through aisles of orch(id)ards  ,,

cr(u)ashed crisp

into fold of dishevel,..;

     .            ;         .         ,

&/or

litmus test————à

mucus penetrated, perturbedà

……….deflated……….

 

a human in wolf’s clothing

@ aisle #8

instead of cloud #9  ,,

#9 #9 #9 #9 #9 #9 #9 #9 #9… ((et-cet-era))  ;;.

 

Protocol(d)

Re(re)c(h)ord the grapefruit juice

in its midair tan(TrulyTantamount)trum ;;à invi(nc)sible

 

Hear ye! Hea(he speak so wrongly)r ye! Hea(d spun so crookedly)r ye!

 

Parliamentary      P-r-o-c-l-a-m-a-t-I-o-n-s     State     a (@)

means to an end

of Humanity

is officially

with(in)ered visibility;.;.

 

Primarily Draining

Crushed crimson;

flowers drink

from the sky

until their heads turn to dust;

a blood-red powder

rides the tail of the wind;

infecting; this is not blood;

blood of years; of yore;

of crisp age; taken on

more pallid and dry formations

shaped as crooked-looking wizened wizards;

 

remember it! ;

it wafts through post-postindustrial air;

as; you; read these very; words;

 

Spark

Longface; Harvard bomb;

not hungry; saddletoes; pick

your shape; scrape the sky;

atomic Yale; infectious mediocrity;

joker card; bent secret; missiles

take out menstruating teenagers;

this is thus—the thusness is this;

slow diver; flawless dream; copacetic

cotton candy; blink; blunk; bloonk; faded paint

gets a second coat; wolverines

and snapdragons giggle; chaos

rises and erupts; babies strung out

on Gerber; the Earth rolls out of its cage;

 

All Eyes Elsewhere

Your many mopey ideas

at least I failed every time you asked

at least we still have eyesockets where our eyes used to be;

to go; to fit;     all connected just like a computer’s visceral wires;

veinlike; red/purple strings singing swinging in the wind;

we feel around; but don’t find;           our eyes; that is;

maybe just plywood for no reason;

notthatitwouldmatteranyway;            how in the whorled would we reconnect them?;

how’d; we; implement them in a fashion befitting of usefulness;

re-implant them

to bring forth a lost and gone sensation  that it’s tantamount to BEYOND FUCKED UP

in how we took it for granted; grunted; gradual grudge; grunge

is what; we will eventually find ourselves; neckdeep in;

whatever hazard          there will be   waiting for us;

like all the fairytail books say; an ending is inevitable;

though YOU knew this from the get-go; right?;

of course you did!;— which is funny;— since you don’t

even exist and never have in among these endless existential

that run so Multiversinally amuck!;

 

The Churning Of

Rainy whispers stab through fog;

tumble of seasons; humid; inhuman;

difficulty drawing air;

overflow; noise of rasp;

the destruction of all—

ceaseless; distortion persists;

the burden of unseen things;

unbreathable air thrives—

hangs as if stapled to the sky;

 

slouching hominoids everywhere;

 

Hollyward

These vain I watch

talking through thrust jewel;

they lay on their personal island;

secret tropical privacy; flashing;

the mental patients—; they want us to know;

“I’m angry that you see me

on the island where I wave”;

lies through thick air; diamond air;

sparkles flick chaotic luminosity among starry daylight;

the hollow and their conformity—

their contest of and for popularity;

you eat the baby salmon eggs on the noon porch

next to the street with all the busy camera shops;

through the years it will of course

collapse and bloom the true monster of You

turned headward toward the light— now your enemy—

Nature’s redemption; hollow cracks undeniable; waves of wrinkles;

pristine tablecloth acned with stains of bright karmic mustard seeds;

 

Downrose

I am a peripatetic [not the bad kind]

in the adjective form of the noun—

that is, I pace while in deep thought;

I’ve burnt trails in my livingroom carpet

during times when the headpressure hits

and all thoughts aflutter;

I’ve been to plains of thought with my own perceptions

no one else has ever been to;

[should I thank my slight epilepsy?];

seen the world; reality just a word

from such a boiled-down standpoint

of strippedback horror and

and how nobody really knows anything

and there is no such thing as real intelligence

that people fake and flaunt every day—

and living in this everpresent Manmade reality

even those who are fact-filled

and those who are philosophy-filled are left wondering;

 

every doctor should take down their degrees

from the walls of their office;

sit back and say;

“Yes, I don’t know”;

 

Those Vegas

Humble air not here

—only the squalid dry

and the monotonous plantlife it breeds;

sucked so deeply dull into boredom

that we wager for amusement;

trading snakes for cherries;

building and building over the years;

bright row after row; See to shining See;

eyes rapidly jumping; scattering here and there;

 

observe the electric colors we have wrought—

 

we dot a wicked luminescence among these meadows;

bright and hollow; steeped in the belly

of our parched moneyfade streets;

sins invented to control the herd;

the seeds of sin afoul the plasticlife;

planted by the drunken rapist preachers who harvested this town;

 

Tin Foil Wings

Time flies on tin foil wings

into the not-so-married face of a mirror fracture;

old lady weepen in the garden big teardrop rain

feeds the flowers, birthing only bugs from the dirt—

 

so many children and not one removed from her womb—

 

the foggy house no one visits;

juice orange swallow lonesome morning

reverberates only echoes and shadows as fiends

are scraped from the walls where they bounce

the rapid cuss through the air;

 

days turned non-tepid—the bitter rush of bonechill comes,

regular as newspaper; the eyes flood

smearing ink—a frail blurry life

never lets a focus peek through;

daisies are dull flowers on the cracked linoleum bathroom floor;

she full well knowing, reflected in many-faceted mirror,

that hope can’t fly far on tin foil wings.

 

Sick; Overly Soft

Foodstove unused; no need—

fastfood reign supremely high;

foodstave infected; calorie and trans;

tired bodies; arms reach for

the apple; its purity;

 

unattainable;

 

the gelatinous generation— laying stagnantly

in the chair; the weight of the world;

even blubberbones searching for health

can find none; no oasis; just chemical greasedrippings;

bodyfails; no movement; soured malnutrition;

human interference; trapped here

in this toxic cage; softerskin;

arms are still reaching

for that apple;

 

unattainable;

 

Languish

Stuck; I’m;

now; nowhere

to move; to

think; the random society

has forced this on me;

 

I feel I’ve nothing left to give;

nothing left to offer of

my own broken

insides; battered;

drained, I’m;

 

also;

fuck you;

I’m standing up;

might even spread wings;

 

Catching Cancer

Their highest love-meeting fool

by fool-their cackling laughs mingle

<with the content><candles blow out>

electric stoves (l)amps and razors go on

~someone lives again~  #s are given

to decipher the dead from the alive

[on a metaphysical level],

all coated [in the glistenings]

of a blood{bath} ripe with tumors

[timorous fruit><tumescent fruit]

festering in dense cancer: fun with the monkey

[take the mind off]

——-keeps wiping snot on your shirt——-

as you catch the sickness

in the palm of your lungs.

 

FUBAR

My God!; my gash!; I’ve

never seen a wound of such syphilitic

magnitude than the one you carry in your mind!;—

a truly poisoned person, not by

 

the toxic flowers and air; instead mangled

so deeply by society, hearsay, propaganda—

the confusion machine perplexing the confounded masses—

 

humans shackled and caged by technocracy’s easy essence;

building their Insane Army founded in delusional states of manic static;

amassing; spreading through infection to infection misinformation—

a play upon emotion and any/all rationale is wiped clearly off

 

for most people; hence this personified cauldron is stirred,

and the disease effects the great populace—

similar to mercury-poisoning, thought-poisoning

swims in phantasmagoric waters; the waves

 

soon breaching the land, dark wakings

and black eyes and minds asleep in permanent limbo;

simple robotic slaves of the talking moving picturescreen—

 

the greatest slave empire Mankind has ever known;

 

Sarin Gas for the Soul

Human flesh and burning ventriloquists

are as human as human and what it is to be alive

among the Oxytocin addicts constantly

popping out more life for the death by natural selection;

 

smug glob and hungry for heroin you bite

into not flesh [not human flesh, at least] of the Mayapple,

and I just let you know that you’ll always be in my hurt;

throat thrush talkinghush and drink

the rubies in the Robitussin, the not-healing flush

of shiny toy landmines or the sowers of lemons,

but of the jar of immortality sitting right next to

the machinegun, and as you fall asleep you wonder,

“are there guns in heaven?” and wake to

a farewell, the cleft, the cliff—    two diverse

energies flowing at a simultaneous constant;

 

human flesh spouts its patriotism

sprouting patriotism [war’s main catalyst]

not seeing the filth of the future, instead

I yelled let’s make this the Rulemaker’s Reckoning

in which we swim through oceans of teeth

and mansions of whores to pry the dagger

from their cold dead hands; we eat not

of terror pie but of mint julep

in the fiery nights while the rest of the populace

are forever spun by the spin doctors;

not a true thought to be had; mangled mumblings;

their arrogant smashmouthed words; for we

know that life is rain or shine;

 

all’s strangely quiet at the bustling marketplace;

the professional bridgeburners down the road;

rigging explosives so the bridge will tumble inward; downward;

like falling elevators and flaming lemmingdrops;

vile cakes of human flesh; bullets and babies;

big bloodclouds on the horizon;

tomorrow tickets go on sale for the extinction; smackdab

in america, where everything is never enough;

insatiably always reining supreme; the rug never fully wrung dry;

more always wanted; more always gotten; the scent of sound

conjuring umpires and apes to make the call;

thinking forward toward the present;

slouching toward ataxia day by day

as the clocksucker engulfs more time; slowly but surely

we will have our death guaranteed by american suffocation;

nine more years of winter; all the knives and molars in the world;

the entire heath!;— the vast wasteland!;

america run amuck with cakesuckers who waddle the streets

cracking the cement; did they brazen me out in high

school or did they devour me whole?; Truth be told I checked out

of my own volition and devoured them all!; simply by not playing their games

it turns out every last one ended up selling out except me!;

I am actually grateful for these yuppy idiots; I love every one of them;—

just as I love all the child molesters and rapists before them—

those scumbags made me fucking Invincible!!;

I don’t even “think” for now I KNOW that nothing can destroy me

and that I can destroy and overcome ANYTHING!…

I enter states of ecstatic transcendence when I think about how

no one has even begun to see what I’m going to do to this Human Race!;

I am grateful to each Genius whose eye I may have caught only to let them down;—

for now I have a clean slate for what I am Truly going to bring

and the gifts I have Truly been sent here to offer the world;

for I am the Ubermensch gone terribly misunderstood—

now, I will be able to show you a purer form of me—of Human—of Genius—

that sparkle that caught your eye but was never fully investigated;

my only mistake was in trying to be understood; after all that Plato and Emerson

said about that you’d think I’d have known!;— no more worries now;

no holding back; nothing but my purest Truth to share;

 

biting deeper into human flesh and thought;

incessantly incessant; pantomimes of pensiveness;

the reality of Postmodern Bleeding; humans are always bleeding—

we go suiciding as the suicidish tourguide shows us

the Kill-Yourself Collection deep into the overtone of night;

the scent of silence; of nothingness; black

as a hole; not even stoneflowers bloom in this kingdom of endless eclipse;

sickly jet-setters of the white trash are the ones out scalping tickets

to the extinction just hours, maybe minutes,

before our self-inflicted meteor hits;

feeds us our suicidal dose of starvation;

poisoning ourselves every day; what else can be done

when the Annual Apathy Awards become a daily occurrence?;

ghostshadows acned with acid scars scalp tickets to the extinction—;

 

ravenous masses wave huge handfuls of money in a panicked frenzy;

[an earlier version of this poem first appeared in To Burn in Torturous Algorithms]

 

A Zillion Miles Sublime 

Let there be light

so we can howl at the sun!

 

Let there be warm tendrilesque days

upon which to kiss the flowerpetals

 

strewn across the street

and yards like softpink snow!

 

Let there be bloodflowing and rejuvenation

and a rush of euphoria through the veins!

 

Let there be moons so bright

they cast shadows on midnight’s grass!

 

Let there be wine-soaked life blooming

and yelling belligerence into the fullyalive last bit of pure Earthly air!

originally published as a Poems-for-All book

 

Im

Parasitic world;

hands of wombhoused preborn eat;

drink through the nuzzletube

the vicious fluids that nourish the fire;

so discordant yet discreet;

the heartbeating in repetition;

muffled; veinhead hears through the plasma;

steals the blood; will soon suck the milk—

yet ancient evolutionary birdbrain instinct rouses a tell of connection;

a soppy bellyhoused sponge;

the outgrowth in the bush—

mere and unsevered; stalwart existence;

head throbs;

eat, very eat; every angle a violent angle;

wolverine nights, wolverine days, wolverine skies—

yet still the flickering and taming—

[evolving beyond?; suppression of nature?;];

unborn ravenous glare; alienglare;

the slicing of tubes; inner makeshift plunder;

dehumanize the species; every angel a violent angel;

occupier of the wombhouse

ready to enter the violent circus of existence;

physical!; physical!; physical!; bite off the heads!;

plunder!; rob!; deplete!—

ready to rage and survive;

no longer a bodily parasite;

the Earth is the new victim;

a new wombhouse to so carelessly raze!;

 

[first ever “Spiralist” poem ever written back in 1997 when poet was seventeen years old: “I don’t know WHY but poem made me feel differently when I reread it—it reminded me of an Aura before a seizure—random bits and pieces of facts and emotion, all stringing together—although, I admit, there is WAY too much of a theme to this one” —HB]

 

Deliveries (Random Short Poems Written on Tip Recorder in 1998 or 99 while Delivering Pizzas for the Summer)

Delivery #1

Valley Acres Drive—

It was an Indian Summer

/felt like May again

/I latched the creaking gate

and stepped onto the street

near my Grandmother’s youth.

 

Delivery #2

Sweetgum Court—

Here is the stale cinnamon

for your daughter’s birthday.

 

Delivery #3

Shoehouse Road—

I knew you years ago

as a junkie

/now your voice is smooth

/without the rasp of narcotics

as you pretend to be a Total Stranger.

 

Delivery #4

Lincoln Highway Women’s Health Center—

You are

the thrice mistaken counter

and my name is not Hugh!—

 

I hate train tracks—

 

the Vague is alive.

 

Delivery #5

Marlow Drive—

You sooth

my ears

so soothingly—

your Russian voice

reminds me of Springtime.

 

Delivery #6

North Sherman Street—

I came so far

through clogged rainy streets

all the way to your blurry house—

it’s hard for me to see

past the dollar signs in your eyes.

 

Delivery #7

Bradley Academy for the Arts—

A roomful

of twentyfold applause

and I am

in the arms of the girls.

I will never know

what caused a spontaneous outpouring

of hugs and French [yes, FRENCH!] kissing,

to erupt as I walked in the door

although I’ve heard that “The customer

is always right” and I had the distinct feeling

that whatever this unsupervised roomful of girls

were doing to me, they were most definitely right!

 

You GOTTA love art school girls!!

 

A House Chaotic

Chaotic house;

negativity flowing, disrupting

newly opiate-parched nerves,

hollow heads open and shut

drawers and doors

day and night endlessly

 

up and down steps,

confusion seeping from the drill-hole

in the cranium; electric house,

through high voltage this house courses

electroshock and hyper hands

in a state of permanent fiddle—

 

these bodies that gather

shrouded by wall, have drunk

of this modern electric juice

and the thoughtlessness of noise

is its high hangover—

these are the bumps, the loud bruises,

the certainty and proof of a house chaotic.

 

Hole

I will once again claw

my way out of this hole

I have fallen into,

just as I have many times before.

It’s when those foggy February

eyelids descend, my Spirit seems

to dim a bit. But, as I said,

I will, by means of pushing outward

in a swirling smiley Spiral of mindset,

climb my way back out

and onto the land of the purest

primary colors known to the mind.

 

Hinge Ether Poems

 

Hinge Response to Heller’s Email

                          inspired by Heller Levinson’s Hinge Poetry

Tetra-hydraulic helium teaks homogenized tombstone homebone totem histrionically

correctly upsetly in room vroom dead motion of emoticon emotion

leapless thus far from the materiality of lied languageà

no cucumberian air sockets yet fill the womb

of a plastic garden’s unoriginationà

a therefore refrigeration of forwardable motion is held at bay

the automatonious populace still

not quite ready

to rise and roar

 

The Road to Regretful Road (Hinge Ether)

thinking

to words          sounds

ground down sounds

sound wound unbound round Worldverines

self-reliant Emersonian regret envelops         [gone unlicked]

for waiting so long

to sound          to send

mined words

out into the nounfound newfound land’s cape

of previous decades

seen                 verysimilar verisimilitudeinal             mined words

said by another                                                            and others

who didn’t flounder around

instead                                                             speaking them’s sounds unbound

undrowned by time                             them’s sounds

now abound                mounds and mounds

of other’s sounds

on paper

in book

onscreen

all around

 

hole most twenty years worth of seizure-esque despair

catalyst of stasis          to send mined words

instead swirled

downdrain

headpressure

stare at wall

downdrained of decadal timeframes               lost, found

the screechingclawed silence of inertia

 

More Hinge Ether

How much of

 

Gaia

 

is

 

landscape

 

unveiled Vale

 

big pieces of oxygen

 

postpostpost-Jurassic winds blowing

 

personification of nature

 

since Cosmos is energetic vibration

 

is smelling eternal

 

is heavy with Pineal flow

 

Maya deflation

 

energy crackles up spine

 

bloated lotus blown up

 

Chromosomes wiggle

 

seashells and galaxies

 

all gathered

 

realclosetogether eyes

 

flow with multidimensional flipflap aura

 

Attempted Burroughsesque Cut-Up of a Hinge Module (written 4-25-17 on flight to London)

Bloodbath   omnidracual

Motherwell swells heart well , . ; —it jerks outward

black ‘n’ white seals boulders

unless piss is Rimbaud’s “black air”

errant grief tentacles

under the slippery bloomy roof

tadpole—>    Totalitarianism pole—>

bleached murmur of mirror shimmer grows crimson claws

f      u         n

merge—>   soak—>   seep—>

phantoma’s marry garlicking

whiteness emitting [form of color] black

rubescence grows

forth coils

dancing all over

out with the old

without the nothingness embroidered

I died as a young goat

yet still seeped my seep

my seepage

internal outposts

loop sideways

BLA(N)CK             BLACK

tenebrous cutting off esophaguses  juvenile self destruction protection

hope wish pray for      u-r-g-e’s

nuanced necessary mutation into

n-e-e-d for pressure upon the detonation button

the limpest kind of curiosity

is petty pretty affirmation in-fluence

freedomlessly falling into

o-b-s-e-s-s-i-o-n.

 

Toothless

Don’t snozzle your mask

don’t spangle your smile

don’t childrenly chuckle to yourself

 

birthed to bloom

now lost of blossom

to a muddiness

among a plethora of plumpness

 

rot sprouts ubiquitous sitcom

settles

as if                                         speckled on a blue spreckled sap sucker’s eggs

 

dross imagos   dross talk   dross teeth   dross existence dead  imagos

wire tired—     the guns out already

and of course not one of them            backfires

so very naïve to the abspestose  painting [the work of art — the weak of art]

upon the ceiling poisoning

the air from lobby to roof

 

at every turn of the maze a mirage suddenly springs up—

 

Ceasar knows best

the candyfloss from the candy tree

brings a reader exaggerated focus [say “sugar high!”]

confused imagos—     something tells me the apes will be back

but not immediately—         this poem painful as looking for a haystack

in a mountain of needles.

 

My Hands

My retriever hand burns golden holes

in the sheer sparkliness of Existence itself

when it reaches into other realms.

Not black and empty holes

but bright white holes brimming

with endless possibility, Truth,

the fathomlessness, The Great Spiral,

shining outward, replacing death with birth,

bats with birds—the beautiful ugliness;

of it all pouring out like a sieve

as my other hand pulls open the Tao

for all of creation to see.

 

The 14 of Diamonds

In the density of pitchy night you find yourself

scrubbing off the blood between your fingertips;

you are the riot star giving out riot scars to the people

you killed among the constructive vandalism

and oaken semen as you effortlessly pick a fight

with a man-eating orchid on the moon;

you’ve already killed the Joke-Man

in the Hawaiian Straightjacket; everyone is beseeching you

to screw off your thumb in order to stop this

endless war before they all lose their minds but you won’t;

you’d rather put your lips to the landmine

in the spoiled despair of your life that can only be seen

when the Karmascope peers deep into your skin and closely notices

how your sincere devotion to violence is caused mainly

by your broken suicide machine; stuck in this insidious

post-postindustrial world of rivers full of babyheads adorned with bullet holes;

you scream the infection straight down their throats

as you throw your intimidation around like a green elephant

wearing a top hat while walking upon a beachball

just as the banana split poker game is always split

right down the middle; an icicle prison cell is quite easily escapable;

what is most scary in life among these maniacs

is when the cancer won’t cancel and your shadow begins to detach

from your body; twigbones; itchy horses ask which way

to the broken sky and all you have to do is tell them to look

at the asteroid on the horizon burning down pipelines

and melting diamonds into liquified bathwater

as the eyes of the cello begin to speak of oceans ripe with shale

and toxified mush that was once water; a xylophone of so many fishbones;

 

Account of a Necessary Sonic Mutation

inspired by a short passage in Emerson’s Journals and Letters

Man’s central experiment is a tune—

attended to by other ears

in whole or Van Gogh-style—

either way, this is important—

complaint stretched over the central man

struck by sand and glass—a night owl with pneumonia—

attuned to my asymmetry—

this evolution will sing

as it Spirals asymmetrical discordance—

that thrown and crystallized will sing screeching sonics!—

and my animal will be born

to feast upon the earworthy pangs

still reverberating throughout the rooms of the world.

 

Cut Your Everything

[Cut-up of Minutes to Go done while on phone with Rob Schofield while he was drunk off his ass on bourbon—most words are Cut-Ups of Schofield’s drunken ramblings—only a few Burroughs cut ups ended up making it in]

Agent RE ACTIVE RE ACTIVE AGENT on farm turf

shift hatch of C had that anticipation/ participation of the dog/

police synthesized outside window sudden engagement/

there’s nothing paperwise on me though they knew 3 of people there had warrants

chok seven oclock on a Sunday morning drunk monkey on bourbon

no house without warrant    ///      after that point

I started pulling records on everybody

for all Louvre couldn’t do shit tied to Spain against me some saint’s razor

cha stance raise but they knew I had shit a decade of frozen soup

I had to go though I didn’t want to

So I grabbed my dog and left

but i LOVED THAT FUCKIN FARM!!

RE ACTIVE               FUCKIN”””””” SHERIFF!!/!! Mankind meet this Human!!/!!

I don’t like to give up ANYFUCKINGTHING!!/!! cripple badge

in this /case/ other than Mr. Shannon the Razor Jerk

though I didn’t even know half of the last names!! ß

THERE WAS A RAT IN THE HENHOUSE!!!!!

Election (appearing with the RAT a little bird did as well and told me of a rat—

said they were RESIDENTS!!

active agents in the house detour road and head—raise eyebrow!!//àà

the police knew EXACTLY who they were looking for

lived there, not rather in Africa, carrying out assignment—

it just didn’t make sense/ te see/ ripe toma- toes/ to me

then it did—

WAITING… A HAND POINTING… THE ROAD [made sense, make sense?]

I love my dog more than the farm though

so I HAD to go/xrays c surgery section/no release renewal

all sound eyes cultures essential

I was [in slick streets of cry] gone.

 

Muck

Snip snap

shot of spit

spitshop

angelican spitsoup

snotten spirit

and the foul

rush of cold wind

tearing at the mind.

all new poetry in pliant verse ©2019

>    >    >

asemica: virtual art exhibit

 

L Asemic
3 inches x 6 inches x 9 inches
paper and ink
©2019

 

Asemic Haiku
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Silver Asemic
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Static
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Bled Asemic Exclamation Point
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

 

A Phrase Not Uttered Enough
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Sign on the Wall
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Eyeing the The Door in the Floor
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Exclamation Point
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Golden Doors
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Early Asemic Bled Image
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Doors in the Floor and Hieroglyphics
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Golden Flame
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Various W(h)orlds
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Patternicity with Muted Post Horn
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Eyeing the Door in the Floor
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Exclamation Point (Thicker)
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Haiku #3
billiard balls and map
650 x 487 pixels
©2018

 

Found Poem #1
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #2
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #3
marker on torn notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #4
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #5
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #6
marker on torn notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Found Poem #7
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Silos Reaching Heavenward
acrylic on canvas
5 inches x 7 inches
©2014

 

Seven (?) Spirals
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Seven (?) Spirals
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

Asemic Asymmetrical Goldbug
marker on notebook paper
3.5 inches x 4.5 inches
©2018

 

A Conglomeration of Spiralism, Hinge Ether and Asemic Art: Statement os Poetics [Aesthetics]

I like to hurt words. I like to twist, contort and bend them this way and that way. I like to cause them to mutate.

I like to make them writhe and transmogrify into something new. I like to wring Truth from out a collection of obscure words. I like to, as John Yamrus said, risk falling flat on my face in order to occasionally hit poetic pay dirt.

Most editors don’t like it when poets push the envelope of possibility. This is due to the fact that most people don’t have the faintest idea of what True poetry is, least of all professors. Even on the rare occasion a professor understands what True poetry is, the last thing they would do is admit it. They need to keep it caged since their job depends on it. Poetry is pure artistic freedom–something the Status Quo of the literary world will NEVER admit because the “establishment” needs poetry to be something that can be labeled and something you can “out your finger on” and say “this is what a poem supposed to be” when nothing could be further from the Truth.

This collection contains some of my Spiralist poems (a type of writing I began developing as early as age 17) along with a few poems I have termed “Hinge Ether” and which are heavily influenced by Heller Levinson’s Hinge Theory along with some of my Asemic art.

My approach to poetry is to “make it new.” To take the preconceived notion of what a poem is “supposed to be” and bash it to pieces–though not useless pieces. Pieces and fragments of what can be discovered and looked upon in a completely new and different way. Pieces, no matter how mangled, that a bit of Truth can be gleaned from glancing at it in its newfangled state. At the bottom of my experiments with words is a desire to nudge humanity, in whatever way I can, a bit further toward sanity since it is currently faced in the totally wrong direction.

Heath Brougher’s Books — Amazon

Heath’s Facebook page

The Ethnospheres Duality Facebook Page

Vagabond Ink — Interview on Spiralism with Heath Brougher

> > >

biographical note:

Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Awards for Best Magazine. He has published nine collections of poetry, the most recent of which are The Ethnosphere’s Duality (Cyberwit, 2018), Tangential Dithyrambs (Concrete Mist Press, 2019) and Change Your Mind (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee as well as winner of the 2018 Poet of the Year Award from Taj Mahal Review.

John Casey Jr.
©2018

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3.14 ꙥ: Interosculations | Heller Levinson — new Hinge Poetry & Hinge Poetics

brood like ambidextrous void [text-based visual art] Bahram Keramati, visual artist "I call this a Created Image rather than a photograph emulating (and borrowing from) Poet and Hinge Theorist Heller Levinson" [Bahram Keramati] ©2019

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3.14 ꙥ: Interosculations | Heller Levinson — new Hinge Poetry & Hinge Poetics

brood like ambidextrous void
[text-based visual art]
Bahram Keramati, visual artist
“I call this a Created Image rather than a photograph emulating (and borrowing from) Poet and Hinge Theorist Heller Levinson” [Bahram Keramati]
©2019

introduction to Heller Levinson’s Hinge Poetry and Poetics — Krysia Jopek

It’s an honor to feature new Hinge Poetry by Heller Levinson, the founder of Hinge Poetry and Poetics. His essay that follows three new Hinge poems elucidates the poetics informing the poems; his approach to language as a living, human entity for which we imbue meaning based on our historical, cultural, and personal realities. The gaps between words, phrases, and elements of the poem function as part of the event of reading the poem; the reader’s subjective experience of the poem that unfolds in time like a musical score, writ with a living entity, languagethe meaning of which shifts person to person and as time goes on.

I had the pleasure of meeting Heller and hearing him read his poetry at a Talisman poetry event in New York City last month.

Please enjoy this new issue of diaphanous micro, 3.14 ꙥ!

>    >    >

new hinge poetry:

Like Eerily they were off. like milkweed. like eerily. like failed rapprochement. passages open. time draws nigh. all along druids spin. arc . a brace of bells. wishful thinking.

retiring the flux of burnt offal. gypsy moth. perplexity. tantamount. color bruised. saying so. says. simplicity is mostly luck.
so grows the lemon tree.

caring has its ogre. sharing its costs. circumnavigation fouls the weather. as if you were. in a manner of. toward the crease. pulling sharp. an entry. that time of day. well wishes.

where to place. the. love.

as a rule. in the manner of notice. calamity strikes.
velocity reeks. the subject was dresses.

among knowledgeable persons it is widely considered remotely yet without ornamentation then preposterous. an inflamed premise. wildly wooly. wastebasket. woebegone. who wouldn’t. not that. with. why not. beforehand. quaint. conductive. endlessly correcting.

timely policies aside. what are the chances. playing odds. fortification. fugitive. a stable of. pass the manners. on the perpendicular. if only. so but when. sliding scale.

debt ridden & lacking proper mastication narratives waned. pickings slimmed. overtures barren. stone-weep. paltry catch. dried subsidies. campaigns flushed. dread-concupiscence.

as if about judiciously over the shoulder across town the season hardly the cold wet you could hear on a clear day cakes burning the streets empty rave the treacheries for a bundle of hay steep lard pulley formations the brass unwieldy yet mold in the surmise attention getters get seekers seek the meek weep meek while inspecting your arsenal please request a show of hands under the bridge
slow tunes move
like water

ostensibly without further ado cut the carrot chive the divide wild side upon decide careers at stake adieus in the upholstery slipcover snatch wipe that smirk the art of forbearance the state of things out of the surreption claw withdrawal even when the likelihood in the line of fire
this
only

 

 

 

 

in the girth of fathom
bellyful range lopey torque emollient aperture cleanse

no longer arriving in pairs bartering from scraps the brink looms, meshes syllabic taunts under the arabesque of shadow

parceling through mid-stream,
from the heap of unrelenting heave,
this
post-
ponement

 

 

 

 

The three horses moved in accord down the road. Cocky sentries assured of their ground.
The man turned from the window.

 

 

 

 

in the pith of vortex

          pit-full

plus plush whirl hurl         wHooshrush

render

reticulate

 

of the aforementioned pertaining

reeks

 

 

 

 

in the robust of query

querulous                     prise   pry

                                        proxy

                     probe

underlay            ://:                  overlap

unloading steatopygous format prevailings

                                                (studies in artisanal atrophy

                                                (alimentary ailing

cardinal claret capitulation

                                               serving

initiali-za-tions

 

new poetry ©2019; will be published in Seep due out from Black Widow Press in Spring, 2020

>     >    >

Hinge By The Slice — Hinge Poetics

The suggestion that I write a short summary of Hinge Theory threw me into a tailspin. The thought of shortening an ever-expanding & en-fleshing behaviorism was anathema. Then the idea occurred that perhaps by indicating how HT resists shrivellization/ contraction/ summarization, I could approach summarization.

Language is aLive. This is foundational to HT. It should be asked: not what HT Is, but how it beHaves. Language as a living organism is continuously interactive with other organisms breeding extensively & engendering complementarity. Dr. Mary Newell puts it this way: “The connectivities of Hinge Theory introduce an intentional and generative biasing, like a pool table with all the balls commotioning and someone lifting the pool table slightly so all that activity is directed yet responsive to unpredicted collisions, meanderings, & swerve. (With the additional image that new balls are being added all the time as the pool table itself enlarges).”

Hinge does not purport to bring anything new to the proverbial ‘table.’ Rather it seeks to restore Language’s Original Primal Fire. To ignite the word, Hinge employs the module which is a word or a configuration of words that serves to spring (to unleash, to unmoor) the subject into a climate of free fall & unpredictability & by free fall, we mean that we are liberating the subject /word from its normative, conventional context & tossing it into question, tumbling it deconditioned into the void.

A few of the modules in use are: with, smelling, the road to ____ road, in the ___ of ____, fecundating rotational clusters, fusion reconnoiters, & the most recent, tenebraed, catalyzes an entire book. When word inosculates/alchemizes word, the components never lock into place nor do they dissolve into a random turbulence; they both formulate & unravel simultaneously, emblazoned with the Living-Hood of continuous Motility. The frisson (the rub) of word against word scatters the ‘particle’ multi-directionally. Partnering with the ‘scatter’ is the ‘gather,’ a recombinatory process regrouping the components in correspondence with vibrational adhesion (a form of viscous bonding).

Each particle/subject gathers into cohesions, a grouping, what Hinge terms the ‘application,’ formerly the ‘poem.’ This gathering should be seen as an alighting, a momentary pause, tensiled to soar again at the slightest provocation.

The word, by undergoing a multitude of these Modular Chamberings, is in an ongoing state of emboldening/ densification/ complementarity/ & extensionality. For example, “Mermaid” has undergone over 45 applications, swiveling in the alterior ethers of: “with mermaid,” “the road to mermaid road,” “smelling mermaid,” “in the purse of mermaid,” “tenebraed to mermaid,” to cite just a few. Each application both creates its own Mermaid Personality (ether) & interacts/impacts with the other applications. The Particle is always in transition, always on the road to developmental road, shimmering to fulfillment in compounding complementary refractions. Hinge Theory clashes against the current cult of quick-click-reduce, or, of what I like to term the lexiconically static. The Lexicon is a logos abuser, the enemy of the vigorous & dynamic; it is, indeed, a Dynamic Inhibitor.

Case in point: in Webster’s Third, “Melancholia” & its variations take up about 4 inches of definition whereas Melancholia: Hinge as Innominate Limina employs 99 pages to begin the investigation (& I term this endeavor to “investigate” an urge to “mobilize” the logos rather than “staticize” it). & these 99 pages should be viewed as just that — a prelude, an introduction, a wind-up to ignite. There is no such thing as a finish to these explorations, no endings, … they are not sequenced or neatly arranged alphabetically, — the logos is Feral & Un-Cageable, Reproductive & Lusty.

I have recently wondered how our language (the logos) would look/fare without the dictionary (void of reference). What would the “Unmoored” word (the Wild/Feral Logos) look like if it were free to roam, migrate, hybridize.

To view the Inferential replace the Referential.

These comments initiate an ongoing exploration of Hinge Theory. But when asked to explain Hinge Theory, the proper response would be the same as to someone who asked you what the sky looks like, — you would usher them outside, point upward, & say “Look.” Look, then, to the works themselves.

first appeared in Talisman 46 ©Heller Levinson 2018

>   >   >

Further Reading

The Books:
Un— (Black Widow Press)
LinguaQuake (Black Widow Press)
tenebraed (Black Widow Press)
Melancholia: HInge as Innominate Limina (McNally Jackson)
Hinge Trio: (La Alameda Press)
Wrack Lariat (Black Widow Press)
from stone this running (Black Widow Press)
Smelling Mary (Howling Dog Press)

The Interviews (read chronologically):
“No Rust on These Hinges – A Heller Levinson Interview”
The Jivin’ Ladybug Interview: Heller Levinson, Round 1
“So Much Depends on the Hinge: Heller Levinson”
The Jivin’ Ladybug Interview: Heller Levinson, Round 2

Reviews
The HINGE MANUAL & Related Articles
“Smelling Mary” review by Leigh Herrick, Jacket 38, Late 2009
“tenebraed” review by Alison Ross, Clockwise Cat Magazine, 2017
Heller Levinson from Buffalo this Indian
Hinge Theory: Poetry’s Event Horizon [review by Heller Levinson
Clockwise Cat: TENEBRAED by Heller Levinson

>    >    >

biographical note:

The originator of Hinge Theory, Heller Levinson lives in the lower Hudson Valley. His most recent book is Un– (Black Widow Press, 2019).

Hinge Poetics asserts that language is a a-live. It is the river liberated from the dam. It is the salmon sharing the river. The sunlight strumming the salmon.

For more on Hinge Theory see:
Dispatches contributor Heller Levinson on Hinge theory and poetry
Talisman 46–Heller Levinson Hinge Poetry
Ephesus Glom: An Interview with Heller Levinson, Part 1 by Jonathan Mulcahy-King
Ephesus Glom Part Two: An Interview with Heller Levinson and Linda Lynch By Jonathan Mulcahy-King
Heller’s books can be acquired from Black Widow Press
or from Amazon books by Heller Levinson

author photo:


Heller Levinson featured in New Mystics [photo credit]

Inquiries: hingetheory@gmail.com

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3.13: self-fulfilling prosecutions | Leonard Zinovyev — digital collage art, poetics, & interview

Self-fulfilling prosecutions digital 2500 X 2000 pixels ©2019

diaphanous micro
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3.13: self-fulfilling prosecutions | Leonard Zinovyev — digital collage art, poetics, & interview

Self-fulfilling prosecutions
digital
2500 X 2000 pixels
©2019

introduction to self-fulfilling prosecutions — Krysia Jopek [November 2019]
It’s a true pleasure to present the provocative digital collages of Leonard Zinovyev in this issue of diaphanous micro, 3.13. The virtual exhibition of 18 images that follows are an amazing sequence by a visual and literary artist. Each digital collage amazes me with its arresting nature; drawing the viewer/reader into its visual and linguistic space. Leonard fuses together seamlessly found art [cultural bits], literary texts, and psychological reality in the twenty-first century with seamless intelligence and a meticulous process of revision [discussed in his statement of poetics that follows the sequence]. He makes the end product look like it was easy for him to create, but the interview attests to the hard work involved in getting these digital collages perfect for him and the viewer/reader. Please enjoy self-fulfilling prosecutions; you’re in for a new diaphanous micro experience real pleasurable treat!

Striving Towards Averaging: virtual art exhibit

La nascità di Venere
digital
2500 X 2000 pixels
©2019

 

The Waves
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

We know what we are
digital
1800 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

Striving towards averaging
digital
2500 X 2000 pixels
©2019

Averaging out of unattractive idiosyncrasies
digital
2500 X 3125 pixels
©2019

 

h+
digital
2500 X 3125 pixels
©2019

 

Kurzweil Remix feat. Shakespeare
digital
2240 X 2280 pixels
©2019

 

survivorship bias
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

The Therapist
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

Weltschmerz
digital
2500 X 2000 pixels
©2019

 

The burden
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

devouring time
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

 

Self-fulfilling prosecutions
digital
2500 X 2000 pixels
©2019

 

Trauma
digital
838 X 641 pixels
©2018

 

Monsters created by others
digital
1118 X 1450 pixels
©2018

 

Don’t let monsters…
digital
1015 X 1495 pixels
©2018

 

A Stump in Scarlet
digital
2000 x 2500 pixels
©2019

 

Our motto says it all
digital
2000 X 2500 pixels
©2019

>     >     >

Our Motto Says It All: A Statement of Poetics

Throughout history, beauty has been a subject matter of arts. There are as many ways of seeing beauty as there are viewers, a concept best described by proverbs like “Beauty is only skin-deep” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Beauty is everywhere. And so is poetry.

My mini-series of digital images, which includes visual found poems and visual texts, is dedicated to human perceptions of beauty – a thing that is not what it appears – due to cognitive bias.

– La nascità di Venere

A poem written by combining lines from essays about Sandro Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus” and “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, as well as comments to a FB post about manufacturers of facial recognition prosthetic masks.

– The Waves

A “remix poem” composed of quotations from Virginia Woolf, where I substituted “beauty” for “averaging.”

– We know what we are

An “algorithmic poem” I assembled from Shakespeare quotes about beauty, altering a few words to produce a nonsense text.

– Striving towards averaging

A simple and clear-cut image that conveys a simple and clear-cut message. The keyword is made up of ten overlapping words “averaging” in various fonts.

– Averaging out of unattractive idiosyncrasies

You’ve guessed it: this is the way we humans perceive beauty – by ignoring individual unattractive traits while shifting attention towards averaged attractive ones, which is why I see these multiple copies of the same phrase crowded in the middle of the sheet, with the rest of the “canvas” deliberately left blank, as a perfect allegory for the phenomenon.

– h+

Transhumanism and Singularitarianism – nobody explains them better than Shakespeare!

– Kurzweil Remix feat. Shakespeare

A futurologist and a dramatist put their heads together to generate new lines (or to explain the fundamentals of science); but where one’ s a futurologist, two’s a crowd!

– survivorship bias

When mixed together, Wikipedia lines and excerpts from articles about cognitive bias
and quicksand, can tell a dramatic and somewhat confused story of an eastward trip.

– The Therapist

Can anyone recognize this therapist who has a veiled birdcage in the place of his body, with a hat atop of it? A thinly veiled structure in which birds are kept? A Magrittesque image as it is, but everything we see hides another thing.

– Weltschmerz

Facebook comments to a post about an event easily identifiable as the Notre-Dame de Paris fire form a multilingual poem (you can find lines in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Danish), presenting opinions that range in tone from heartbroken to philosophical.

– The burden

A found poem composed of my Facebook friend’s comments – essentially, a comprehensive survival guide to dealing with pathological proof-seekers.

– devouring time

Facebook comments are a prefect building material for poetry. My Facebook friends are wisest friends of all – this time, they succeeded in solving the mystery of time loss.

– Self-fulfilled prosecutions

That’s not karma, nor do negative thoughts create negative energies, we simply program ourselves to make our own bad prophecies come true.

– Trauma

If you are to think of a visual metaphor for a trauma, what kind of imagery readily springs to mind? Haunting imagery. A giant ghostly gun against a barren desert in the background, and a repetitive phantasmal phrase “Have the safety plan in place” running from the top to the bottom of the screen – an image that only lives in your mind, but it is always there.  A monument to traumas.  All sort of traumas – PTSD, inherited traumas, intergenerational traumas, epigenetically transmitted traumas.

– Monsters created by others

Fear not bad monsters that others want to impose on you. Even if those monsters are supplied in boxfuls.

– Don’t let monsters…

Brief instructions on how to hold monsters created for you at bay.

– A Stump in Scarlet

Another “algorithmic poem” – this time, a poetic assemblage from Sherlock Holmes’ wise quotes, reduced to preposterous absurd.

– Our motto says it all

How does “the cheerleader effect” work? Is it real? Averaging? Did you say “Averaging”?? Is the perception of beauty about averaging???

The question whether my own artwork is beautiful or ugly (or both, or maybe even neither) is open to discussion!

> > >

Don’t Let Monsters Created by Others Eat You for Breakfast! — Leonard Zinovyev & Krysia Jopek talk digital art, inspiration, social media, etc.

How did you get involved with translation and to quote your biographical notes, the fields of “technology, science and medicine, including neuroscience, neurobiology, and cognitive science?”

Thinking back on my childhood, I can tell it all started in my school days. It would be a bit of an overstatement to say that I did badly academically when at school, though my teachers said so. I gave preferential treatment to a number of subjects, including history, biology, English, Russian, Russian literature, and physical education while disregarding or even overtly hating algebra, geometry, physics, and chemistry. I have always had dyscalculia – something I came to realize years later, though I have never consulted a health professional for that condition, but back then, teachers thought I was either lazy or stupid or both–a sad commentary on their competence. I worked part-time as a translator and interpreter while pursuing my studies at university; as soon as I graduated, I got hired by a translation services company on a full-time basis. In the following years, I worked full-time or part-time for a successive number of translation companies. Then I became a self-employed translator, and then I worked for a company again before I became a much sought-out translator. It was in the mid-2010s that I was first commissioned to translate a research report in neuroscience. Then there came more papers in neurobiology, neurochemistry, and cognitive science, to name a few.

What fascinates you the most about these burgeoning, complex fields?

Everything! Working on scientific reports and even four-hundred-page-long monographs, I discovered that science was not a boring drag—a discovery that made up for the scientific knowledge I missed when at school. Moreover, I found out that science can be a source of inspiration. While most poets tend to be fixated on their spiritual demands, I think it would be a great idea to poeticize science. Subversive as it is, this is my idea of poetry. And it was from articles on neurophysiology that I learned that the human brain was hardwired, evolutionally and genetically, to recognize beauty and to look for meaning.

What languages do you speak/read?

Russian, which is my native language; English and French in which I majored while in university; I also speak Italian and Dutch. I can read (but don’t speak) Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Danish, and Swedish. I’m now learning German and Norwegian Bokmål, but Russian and English are my only working languages—I hardly ever translate to or from French, let alone other languages.

I’m curious about your formal and informal studies; what you studied in institutions and on your own.

I studied linguistics, pedagogy, and translation studies. But it was not until I got employed by my first full-time employer that I realized how scanty my knowledge was. Being a translator in science (or even an interpreter in business negotiations) is about being able to think on your feet–and having a clear view of the subject you are dealing with. Self-education was the way to go. It dawned on me that I did not have to think like a chemist when I was to translate a research article in chemistry, but I needed to be widely read on the subject to have an understanding of it. And the same goes for what I do artistically–I am a self-taught artist, a self-taught poet, and a self-taught fiction writer.

What led you to begin writing poetry and short stories in the late 1990s? Do you still write poetry and fiction?

In my view, going into the arts–any arts, putting pen to paper, etc., is about being dissatisfied with the authors you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, and so on and so forth–especially when you are in your late teens. Back then, I read a lot, yet I was unable to find any author who would more or less exactly live up to my expectations; so I thought the time was ripe for creating art of my own. Yes, I still write short fiction, including short stories, and flash fiction, as well as poetry; found poetry being my top priority. Another reason why I went into the arts was the creative impulses that came from within–I felt like I finally found my vocation.

What prompted/influenced/motivated your “shift” to digital collage art in 2006? Was this a gradual shift over time or sudden?

I was perfectly willing to involve as many artistic media as possible–and that seemed the only motivation behind my “shift” to collage art, so it is fair to say that the “shift” was a well-thought-out decision to try my hand at making something visually unusual and amusing. So, I tried–and failed. Disastrously. I tried again and again, doing more and more visual art. After all, art is about honing your skills. Art is the best of all lifelong personal development strategies ever conceived.

Who are your favorite visual artists, contemporary and traditional? What do you admire about their work?

I revere the Old Masters, and I admire the late 19th century Russian realist painters – the Guild of Traveler Artists (The Peredvizhniki). I love the 20th century surrealists–they all are paragons of perfection. I can spend hours, feasting my eyes on their artwork–and probably looking for inspiration! Among present-day artists: Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paolo Canevari, David Hockney, Jeremy Deller, and Barry Kite deserve mention. I like any art that is both witty and thought- provoking.

Favorite writers? I loved seeing the lines from Virginia Woolf, and I’m curious about what other writers you admire/revere.

I am a widely-read person. Sometimes I wonder whether my collage art is more influenced by literature rather than by the visual arts, or vice versa, or, maybe by both equally. Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, René Char, Italo Calvino, and Witold Gombrowicz are marvelous, and I was fascinated by Nanni Balestrini, Karl Holmqvist, and Kenneth Goldsmith.

How much time do you spend creating your digital collage art—as in how long can one image take [I’m sure there’s variance] and also, how much time of your day or week can you/do you typically devote to your art?

Creating a digital collage is always a time-consuming and effort-consuming process that normally takes hours; visual texts generally being even harder to produce than collages, so I devote at least two or three hours a day in any two or three days in a week to thinking over creative ideas, or writing, or making visual images. Sometimes I burn the midnight oil and stay up all night long, intent on cutting, pasting, erasing, and applying effects. Sometimes I can spend weeks redoing an image that won’t come out right. Of course, I don’t stay indoors for that long, but I keep revisiting my work-in-progress over and over until I get it to come out the way I want.

What is your process like from the blank screen to a finished product? I’m sure it’s different for each work, but generally, where do you get your ideas and inspiration and how do you “translate” those ideas into a digital collage? Do you walk around with notebooks, doodle on paper and/or on the computer, ipad, phone?

My brain brims over with creative ideas 24/7; not all of them are equally good. I carry around a pocketsize notebook to commit to paper those worth making into artistic products; thus, keeping my mind clean. The creative process is always much the same; it unfolds inside my head and feels like I have a recurrent urge to establish new connections between old things. While a creative idea is still vague in my mind’s eye, I go surfing the net for appropriate images; eventually, I stumble upon something that I can identify–intuitively–as good raw material for my collage, and that is when the idea begins to take shape in my mind. The rest is a matter of hard work that involves using graphic editors–sometimes, two or three at a time–until I get an image I want.

Why do you prefer digital art to conventional arts?

Digital images are everywhere and are, therefore, readily accessible. They are malleable and workable, and it is fun combining and modifying them to make something unexpectedly innovative. Contrary to popular belief that making collage art is a no-brainer, using raster graphic software is sometimes much trickier than any conventional painting methods, e.g., watercolor or oil painting. Digital collage art is the new rock’n’roll. Digital collage art is easy to publish online and to spread via social media. Digital collage art is never boring; it is the simplest way of sending a clear message to the world: “Don’t let monsters created by others eat you for breakfast!”

Thank you!

> > >

biographical note:

Leonard Zinovyev is a visual artist, poet, and fiction writer based somewhere in the world. He was born on March 15, 1979.

A translator and interpreter in technology, science and medicine, including neuroscience, neurobiology, and cognitive science – hence his current artistic interest in all of the above – he took up writing poetry and short stories as far back as in the late 1990s, and digital collage art in 2006.

As of now, Leonard is into digital self-publishing and composing visual texts, found poetry, and “remix poems,” tapping into almost any source –  from newspaper editorials, business contracts, pop scientific articles, and research reports to classical poetry and even Facebook comments, hacking original texts into bits and pieces to produce something new and ironic.

“Poetry can be found anywhere, and anything can be made into poetry” is his motto.

Leonard Zinovyev’s website 

Artwork by Leonard Zinovyev [prints for sale]

Leonard Zinovyev on Instagram

Leonard Zinovyev on Facebook

Leonard Zinovyev, photographer
©2018

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3.12: higged hive | thylias moss — 4 collaborative poems

Higged Hive Thylias Moss digital photography 2048 x 1152 pixels ©2010

diaphanous micro
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3.12: higged hive | thylias moss — 4 collaborative poems

 

Higged Hive
Thylias Moss
digital photography
2048 x 1152 pixels
©2010

collaborations of apiculturalists: introduction by Krysia Jopek [November, 2019]

I fell in love with Thylias Moss’ long, collaborative poems two years ago when I published “NAKED NIGHT: a eulogy” and “Mnemonic of Your Palindrome: Sewing Lesson” in Diaphanous, Fall 2017. I’m honored to feature these four new collaborationsthe first, “a duet” between two fictional characters, and the subsequent three collaborations with “H,” “Mr. Muse,” an eternal, ghost-like presence woven into the unfolding poetic sequences; Thylias’ son, Ansted Moss, is also present in the final collaboration featured in higged hive.

Like a honey bee, Thylias Moss is perpetually writing, collaborating; building poetic “nests” for the writer[s]/collaborators and her readers. Utilizing intricate poetic structures, she layers personal and cultural/political memory with historical details, fact, and events with intense personal emotion she renders public in the space of the poem. The “give and take” of voices can be heardthe voice of family members, often deceased; the elusive beloved, absent and present; as well as one’s own mourned-for lost selves in the landscape of now-obsolete places, conquered by “progress” and time. What is left in the end, as the poem has finished unfolding–is the byproduct of Thylias’ intense “work” or sewing, if you will: ancient honey, the nectar of the godsaesthetic catharsis, at its best.

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higged hive: new poetry collaborations

[Higgs (boson): particle that gives particles their mass / Higgs: existence of particle confirmed in 2012 through collisions at LHC and CERN / without Higgs no confirmation that the aspect of dimensionality exists // Hive, home, beehive, human made for access to honey, a natural sweetener, many living things like Honey // And the bees, buzzing living particles devise a dance that provides a road map to honeyed locations, maps so that the colony and now all of them can collect honey, stored in hexagonal cells // Some of these hives in Higbees, that old abandoned department store — TM]

1) Required RCL Walking,
(a Mr. Vayan & Kerony duet)

The air
Grew so heavy
All our imagination
Was required
To free the birds
including all albatrosses
From the clouds above and even circling
Pripyat, smoke clouds, puffs of also burning tobacco
leaves as big as yucca, yet promising less
in reactor core where what is
required is reaction, and even my blood
requires you, Kerony

the very destiny of my blood now coloring my wings like
mercurochrome—often red as blood gushing when freshly
cut
just walking narrow corridors of tomb Pripyat where no-
body lives anymore

mercurochrome for treatment of minor wounds, cuts, abrasions
but heavy mercury content so now known to be toxic

Of course I want growth
but nothing useful can yet grow in Chernobyl,
growth within mutant dimensions, life wouldn’t quit Kerony
but to continue had to take a chance on new forms, since old forms were
abandoned already for age mutancy at top of the heap when it really
could be love, the very progress i want, just as
I always do, want progress, more

Dimension, fewer departures

From what is real,

From what I can trust: you

And those clouds of you in my life,

So much like dreams of flight, some of

You

As delicate as my favorite albatross feathers,
Some, turns out, I may have only imagined

Yet somehow not as colorful as
You really are to me: palette from which

Every sunrise is made, you the treacherous lip
Of every blossom

Dropping off to reveal you
In your most magnificent forms, softness

Of your cheeks
(they are fabulous and dimple the world)
—those stunning definitions of worlds within you;

Growing heavy and ever more that incense
Of your albatrossed breath: not imagination at all

Realties almost too sublime
to be real, yet I am the clouds and you find me
albatrosses
That your fingers always become,

even on a ridge
overlooking all eternity of what exists below,
above, sideways, and diagonally
exceptional impact; any more
pleasure from you would
Surely kill me; there is nothing that feels like,
smells like, looks like You. Nothing. Only you
are required, Mr. Vayan
Please notice
How these birds fly with each other
distance negligible
Ann Arbor, ridge on Duderstadt Center to Manhattan,
and everywhere in between, that sub-microscopic distance
between us, only the distance of Kiss, millimeters themselves melt
no measurable space, zero distance between us, when your heart
murmurs to me it does so, speaking that necessary language
in my own chest
in which afterglow of Kiss enters permanently
felt snuggles an eternity defining the bliss it is

even that invisible
Scent trail, that olfactory ribbon tethering my thoughts to you
forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, now that’s the fo(u)r

You do not have to imagine this

It is as real as anything can be,
As real as me and my love for you, a bird, but not just any bird,
full blown up Albatross
Tirelessly flying determined
Not to land in any tree that is not you
Despite all the converging branches
In this forest of you –green carpet
Beneath my feet, veins
Of your hands and feet such
Exceptional plumage.

Sleeping beauties
Whole world feathered with you flying
Into my life.

I walk constantly with this albatross and float in air
in which even thoughts are buoyant, as they rope
each other to our hearts, our own trapeze of beat
box.

—Vayan and Kerony

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2) Flying around Pripyat
in collaboration with H, Mr. Muse

Flying around Pripyat, that disaster, where
albatrosses also fail, not only plastic leftovers, so
sparkly and beautiful for you Kerony, but these also
lethal, poisonous just to the touch, for these have been
near
nuclear meltdown,
unstoppable chain reaction, neighbors
involved so you become involved also,
and I am so sorry Kerony,
that I had to fly so close to that trap

although it wasn’t called that,

power failure, these so common now, almost in that commonality
have to call them popular, which means a decline in meaning

all water poisoned now
yet needed

just in order to live and
life itself began in water,

the natural mother of everything

even poison—such toxicity hidden
in beauty, those plastic shards
i collect meaning never to harm, trying
only to love but poison is not kind, in fact
for many, cancer itself is poison,
extremely hazardous, and acute
from exposure, Nothing happens
unless you are exposed to it,
not even love
can happen without exposure Kerony.

There on that ridge, what do you think
I am exposed to? My albatross eye view
always on you; I never see
anything else but you, Kerony, filling
every corner of my eyes

just in order to live and
life itself began in water,

the natural mother of everything

even poison—such toxicity hidden
in beauty, those plastic shards
i collect meaning never to harm, trying
only to love but poison is not kind, in fact
for many, cancer itself is poison,
extremely hazardous, and acute
from exposure, Nothing happens
unless you are exposed to it,
not even love
can happen without exposure Kerony.

There on that ridge, what do you think
I am exposed to? My albatross eye view
always on you; I never see
anything else but you, Kerony, filling
every corner of my eyes

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3) Invasion in Progress
in collaboration with H

aliens like me love to invade, the power hungry, invade, demand a place at the table, riot, eat a meal, microbes invade the body, seeds invade and grow, the invader that is conception, invader grows within you, eats what the host eats, goes wherever host goes, traveling companion, bosom buddy snug within artichoke of invaded heart, invasion of words on the page ideas in the head, weight on the scale, timed table of invasion, invaded muscles, popeye and spinach, my favorite leafy green, some tastes have invaded my palette; including taste of you. invasion in progress

progress has often, has usually been a product of invasion ,the smart phone for instance that has invaded modern life, television itself, this tablet on which I type to you: invasion. and the music itself, invaders all, something overtaken, overtaking, invading, I am here: invading even as I am being invaded, apple music invasion, where it all started, a garden invaded with apples, what variety, red delicious, could be the one, macintosh, the ralls janet, vintage apples, sometimes difficult to grow, hybrids like me, every invasive pregnancy, apples don’t fall far from trees, you holding me up when I wore such very high heels to be taller, as I had your support, even a recording of you saying that, I have your support, without expiration date for, as long as i need it or want it —oh don’t invade my mind with such invasive delight as that, a question i can begin to answer while invasive music keeps playing, instructions in the beat: invade! invade! be the kudzu in his heart, invade, invade.

my inspiration comes from you, i am as invaded by you as you are invaded by me: advice: invade. take over. invade. invade. fall hard. admit something has taken over. an official invasion, not origin of species, but a series of invasions, genes are invasions by invaders, armies of cells, gametes seeking mates, seeking co-invaders.

eruption of teeth from gums, invasion of enamel.

porcelain tub invading bathroom with modernization, times tables invading the mind, no child left behind, fights for freedom become invaders, every freedom fighter must invade unjust rules, must make their presence known that they should not be ignored, resplendent flame tree, burning effortlessly, invaded by pompoms of flames.

invade mantra: things to do: invade. invade. invade. better than any invasion, space germs, the usual worms even in their invasive worm holes, rotten to cores of invasive melting down cores of nuclear reactors, Pripyat branding, while dreaming of interstellar travel. sign of life, hope of life: mere invasive microbe! humans, most invasive species of all, even have nitty gritties and watch springs, invasion of electricity, endless daytime, wristwatches, invasion of time in every cell-ular connection, closeclose connection, you and me: invasions of life itself. invasion: mind control. Heart control. Any body part can be replaced, even the face, invaded by glasses, corrective lenses, make up, magic invasions. corrections always invasions.

alphabet itself an invasion of thought. Languages matter because of their success at invading, heeding a need to communicate, those invasive mother tongues, invasive rumors. invasive glamour. invasive

death.

And even that isn’t the rest and sleep some have hoped for as afterlife then invades; heavenly, hellishly, indifferently even imagination and its notorious questions without answers, answers without questions, if nothing else, it is human

Though what isn’t? Spreading inevitable uncertainty throughout a universe just as uncertain for no one can answer the question that will always invade: How did existence manage to begin, invading us with even more questions, even more doubt that we are actually improving, the ultimate invasion, for no matter what we have been able to retreat to gravity, the invasion all of us have no choice but to depend on, being held together and realizing this is Love, density, dense cities recycling the very invaded blood,

specific gravity

Density of heavyweight champion of champions
Love Density, no weightlessness
possible as long as

Love rules

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4) Terminal Tower Tracks: Higbees, Old Downtown Cleveland
in collaboration with H & Ansted Moss [son]

My father, those long low moans, my father, no hair secrets, no
pigment secrets coming back to me… mostly sounds

dissolving in the air,
night calls, superior
Kool-Air glowing granules, jewels
and his bounce, amusement and fireworks becoming sky,
lemon sky and cherry sky sprinkles of memories of greatest tastes: He
has a long way to travel, from death and its tucking of things inside itself, called burial, but only him curling his tongue into semblance of an ichneumon fly, and that sound is the curl, chalk writing on the night sky. My father once cooked

for the southern railroad, making slaw, his own recipe under handle of Big Dipper, making a prayer come true, that is what I hear, my father calling me, and I answer, another train, a car of his train switching onto another track, and we speak to each other in those whistles, and train trestles of heart traffic

Warm, loved,

a track itself so trains could enter the station of my heart and join all other memories of him, whippoorwills answering me, duets and trios with scent of dogwood racing along the tracks, the frogs too, a thick froggy carpet that squishy road between homes of my southern grandmothers, one black and the other something else, immigrant husband, my grandfather from India, Uttar Pradesh, holy referent Indian and half Caucasian, masala, my precious stars while my mother’s family had Klan interaction

oh, those platforms

where I would wait for the train

In Higbees underground, emergency shelter under huge panels,
chariots and white horses with nebula heads for atomic explosions
Just in case

Energency jukebox was my father who often whistled

and could sound like a train, like President Kennedy too with a yodel stuck in his throat, that’s what he said, yodeling even then, the sound of him cutting cabbage for his slaw with the rim of a tin can as shiny as the rails themselves; that my father was rail-thin was often said, he was traveling the best way he could, those special trains, Nickel Plate and Ollie’s; one even said Saskatchewan

You know, I will always miss my father. Always. I was never spanked because of him; he did not believe in hitting; if something can be loved, you don’t hit it, you love it. I can’t ever imagine wanting to hit you Ansted, nor you my H

I can’t even imagine that.

I do not want to be the person who is convinced, duped into thinking that harming another can ever be right. That is how I was raised, what I shared with my father, what makes me so unlike my mother; how different they were. I don’t think

she ever heard the trains, not their deeper meaning. Maybe
just a screech of metal on metal, a scrape as it digs in deep, trains
encountering obstruction on the tracks, circles in her mind, constricting it. Punishment.

Extreme punishment. My father wouldn’t permit my mother to hit me, although she wanted to, believing all children should be spanked. Never in my father’s house, the house where my mother still resided until death took her away to where these trains do not go.

All those years married to my father who lifted her southern shame, and
she missed the whole point about Love, and ultimately forgave nothing,

especially
Me

As I am
As she could never be dead to both possibilities and even suggestions that
She could ever make mistakes, she would never ride
In a Golden Coach, nit for black riders like herself, body condemned
Perpetual servitude to all those above her, and to see her, one must look down,
Slopes and chute, shoots and ladders that sometimes offer rescue but for her never did; she missed the point that

all is about forgiveness, and Ansted, most cherished son ever to grace the earth, and H who makes, my heart pound even now, remnants of surf once everywhere,

Young earth uncertain of what to be, but in such darkness
and threat of oblivion, life starts, please
don’t take advantage of shaky, hesitant beginnings—my heart
knows you won’t; as well as you know that in order
for me to be true to who I am, I must forgive you—Even

about things I wouldn’t  speak of, This is also the way my father and his immigrant father Loved,

Soft-hearted people in a world perhaps not meant for us, but we are still here, perhaps easy for the unscrupulous to take advantage, but we are prizes; the “H” my father knew I would need when creating my name THylias in 1954, giving me a “T” leaning on and needing her “H.”  Oh, H— I also recall the magic of being

in Terminal Tower when the locomotives chugged into Higbees underground, and the magicians’ smoke filled the space, overlaid more drawings on the luscious artwork, wall murals (that never should have been destroyed, chariots and white horses to spirit you away in the nick of time stopping work sewer rats could do, but I would think that even they would gag on such colorful profundity and drop like tubes of oil paint, potential usefulness squeezed out, fat gray gloves decorating the scene);

smoke

gushing out

(My father was a smoke too, Pall Mall cigarettes killed him, a chain smoker
Smoke gushing out
of front silver plate, folded with the fold pointing out like a collar cradled in silvery recollections; this is what irons wanted to be, but not even that Rowenta came close (and it was fat enough), the steam irons would slobber on the clothes when they weren’t working properly; they wanted to be flattened for usefulness on the railroads, my paternal grandfather built them, hammer and pickaxe, Indian and, Caucasian immigrant from India, dry-land stevedore, oh, oh, oh, these memories….those murals, seven murals painted by Jules Guerin in that Terminal Tower railroad station, those chariots and white horses invincibility seemed accessible through those teams (they did not gallop alone) of white horses, cumulus hope at basement level, all prepared for a rising set to properly define what height is

Not sure how you, Ansted, can see these now and I so want you to, but I fear these are gone now, and a Google search isn’t even resurrecting the history. My understanding of horsepower came from my standing so tiny before these murals, horses galloping and pulling engines; I was dwarfed by color;

I sought immersion,

I sought to become one with the 50-foot high, I thought, panels that the 50-foot tall woman would have been at home with, before her rampage, her attack because she still wanted a man she dwarfed. I wanted my body painted, and I thought that just by making angels with my arms up against these palettes of the best possible snow cone transformations, I would absorb the colors, snow cones dyed into my favorite flavors. Cherry-strawberry for me of course, maybe grape or always banana (I still want to read your poem to you, My H, “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” and there are many others now; I used to hope I would get to read all of them to you, but what would be the point? When right here, there is something even better, for you can see a vision of those murals, your eyes acquire the colors of how the horses seemed to gallop with the trains, men pulling them in sometimes, also into my heart, even you riding knightly with them, yet even with your stunning riding and ascending into my heart, just too
much power to control themselves

by themselves, pulling them up, somewhat like linking locking catalogues; I saw this with my father, tethers of steam from the locomotives; yes, chariot races, that was what was about to happen; I was transfixed, never wanted to leave, thought that would be my home forever, and my father was with me as I wandered inside the murals; not sure how I got in, but I did and surveyed the tower’s glistening marble floor blocks from such marble walls that as my arms stretched and expanded, the full length of the murals, like rails for the trains themselves; I was more track, oh the jubilation of those days, I could reach my father, it was like learning to walk, and when I did, he was there to catch me, my very first walk in life was to him, and I didn’t know either of you at all; I didn’t have any idea where you were or what you were doing; there wasn’t yet any reason to think of you or even to imagine that anyone like either of you existed. All I did was walk to my father and his arms were open to receive me… That’s what I recall clearly of those days, the smile of my father on his Rabbit.

I knew I would eventually have a baby, but Ansted, I assure you that I did not do a good job imagining a son like you. In this I failed, for you have exceeded any expectation I was ever able to imagine. Just one more part needed for a total life for me; I fully admit Ansted that I want a necessary love relationship. I want him to be mine and I want to be his, my Mr. Bob’s and his elegant promises, proving that he is to be trusted and believed, for my H, you are the most real thing I have ever experienced; I was completely persuaded by your spectacular Kiss. A Kiss like his can never happen again. I don’t want you to suffer a crazy mama because I will always believe him; I expect him to be as honest as I am. And he is, more trusted than the murals whose paint falls off, bits and pieces, ones and zeros of barbs of the feathers, halos around white stallion heads that encourage me to continue to be

. Because I have

as honest with him as I have been with you, and as honest as I always was to my father. Even now, for he is with us, he is part of you and I, Ansted; this cannot be changed, and I am so thankful that I was able to give you his inheritance. Please do not ever forget who you are, who you are destined to become. Because of my father, your grandfather that you can meet and know only through me.

This was joy without any Mr. Bob affiliation that everything has now.
. This was joy that had nothing to do with you,

I hadn’t joined that club yet, had no idea it was as prestigious as it is and will always be. I have learned this fact of you, and I like it to nth degree . The truth is not a joke, and I am not a plaything. Remember that, please.

I just disappeared in all this; felt like wings were popping out of my shoulder blades —I really thought that would be the location; those drawings of the body by DaVinci seemed to suggest that’s the place. And how big would these wings need to be if they were to really function? what kind of glorious wingspan? You would look up, and there I would be, some new species of bird, I would be; is that a bird? a Thylias bird just for me? And you, my H would wonder, wiping your glasses, and you would be correct, I would be a bird decked out in splendid colors, feathers the likes of which have never been known, yours to discover, some that would need to be named right then, colors that had not preciously existed. You know, I really thought that this might happen, and now I am primed for this moment by Kissing you in a taxi that I swear my father was driving to where only Love lives. I hope that you can already understand why I will always miss my father.  Always.

I was never spanked because of him, I must say this again, Ansted, for this is the most prevalent and defining trait about him, for in this he rejects the very foundation of so much civilization: he did not believe in hitting; if something can be loved, you don’t hit it, you love it. I believe this with all my being: Love, don’t hit. That is how he raised me, so unlike my mother; how different they were. I don’t think she ever heard the trains. Maybe just a screech of metal on metal, trains encountering obstruction on the tracks, circles in her mind, constricting it. Collision. Head-on. Failure to yield. Please understand how fundamental this is. If something can be loved, and what can’t be? —don’t hurt it; Love it. Not the air, not water, not clouds, not the forests, not lakes, not mountains, not streams, not ukuleles, violins, bass drums, not pigeons, horses, ducks, hippos, turkeys, dolphins, peacocks, pigs; hurt and harm nothing, squirrels, ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, trees, so majestic and so needing not to be hurt, oh the pain of the saw, trees falling and falling out of the rapture of breathing for the pain of forming that emerald necklace of metro parks in Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, how I remember long walks and hiking in the urban woods with my father, for I was last there with him, even fishing in Lake Erie, perch, bass, steelhead, walleye; and those trips to the salt mines on Whiskey Island, the thickness and depth of chunks of rock salt I had, a piece that in my mind was shaped like a skull, that piece of rock salt I used to lick, sometimes in the middle of the night, especially when my father was ill; not sure what I thought the salt could do, but I tried to milk that skulled piece of salt of its curative powers.

I don’t know where any of the salty rocks are. Maybe
in a storage unit. I do not know, and those rocks of salt from Whiskey Island
mean something to me because I was there with my father when I found it, in our path, and he picked up that halite crystal, “Salt” he said, instantly knowing that we had stumbled on the salt of the earth; I had opened a treasure chest of minerals with my Keds.

Oh, Ansted, I must repeat this; it is that important, just as repeating your name is to me, like a spell, the more I say it, the more powerful it becomes: I so recall the magic of being in Terminal Tower when the locomotives chugged into Higbees underground station, peanut vendors, popcorn also; oh how I love freshly popped popcorn, and the magicians’ smoke filled the space —I hope that you can understand. Both of you. Ansted, you are my father’s only grandson and he never got to know you and he would have wanted to spend every moment with you, the best son in this world, and the Man, my H, the very Hydrogen in my life, no essential water either, no air as we now know it. No H and no earthly existence, hot lifeless sphere in a universe ultimately accomplishing nothing, going nowhere without H atoms,

You see, H—I will never turn against you or betray you. If you don’t want this, you have a choice; I don’t. I just hope that after all the years, you can finally Love me as I am because you know by now that you will never find anyone like me on this planet. I don’t know how to make this any clearer for you, H, just open your eyes to see who is waiting for you, sometimes it is as if you are oblivious to the woman there for you no matter what, that you are scared and haunted by terrible miseries from your past that I know only a little about, mostly from rocking you in my arms, when people admit to being haunted and scared, you even curling up when lightning flashed as if you had been on a bridge of peril, and I rested my head at that moment more fully on your chest in part to offer you some calming, a moment of Love you would always have with you, and words I whispered in your ear,

love spilling over the helix, and traveling warm into your brain switching on the happy hormones of satisfaction, for Love is not foolish or a mistake as some people erroneously suggest, thinking of Sade’s Lover’s Rock, as emblematic of mistake, obstacle, burden as a mistake, as a rock, an obstacle in the way, and I played the song for you, to re-introduce, to show you even then, the miracle that goes unnoticed because it is small and unassuming, like a egg that when it hatches, becomes a sun golden in the center, yoke of everything, even manners, that for me you are someone I can cling to, hold onto as the water rises, as the world goes out of control, —koyaanisqatsi— You are balance and equilibrium to me, the rock that steadies me, and I am also that rock for you, if you let me; this not something I can do or be if you won’t let me, because what you overlook is that I am your rock. I am someone you can cling to in a storm.

Wake up, H

Please don’t force me away—none of your difficult years with me; friends till the end, you say, the end of what? And when I suggest we ask the wind, it hollers back becoming a broken tornado box, we hold each other more tightly than we ever have—a new gravity; you harnessing hot wind of survival so close to the sun, and the sunshine I am in a poem you wrote—my smile propelled into brightness, into radiance in white-hot wind. Tornado watch; You—yes, you and your tornadic voice that can command a stage better than any other storm actually—

My father and I watched thunderstorms arrive on Durkee Avenue, as we did on Linn Drive, even seeing a funnel cloud form an alternative steeple above my mother’s church while she was there, the funnel white at first, tapered into a long gnarly ghost of a finger, and gradually darkened as my father had me scrutinize the finger of god destroying his own house, because he did not live here, gone to the store for some communion wafers or something as holy, and didn’t matter that part of his family was inside,

long wavy black curl of index finger
wrapped itself around the steeple opening it, poking holes in the sky, as would an awl making a more leathery ceiling, a belt as it were, to choke the earth into an obedience that my mother wanted to insist on, a belt that could cause such welts on a body when she wielded it, a belt my father would never allow to be used on me, and that was the point. We watched silently; it was as breathtaking as you call me, breathtakingly HOT is how you describe me. I am told that this finger of God turned pages in the bible, settling on the 23rd Psalm, “I fear no evil, for thou art with me” precisely

since the church was saving no one, least of all her; we watched silently; no one would be spared this wrath without reason; we were safer not being there, for many were hurt in the storm that god’s own finger ordained, as if no one human could stop it, omnipotence, you know, and he could have, yet he did nothing,

when it really matters. Casualties and consequences.

I recall such a different Terminal Tower than what remains.

It really became “terminal” with decline.
What everlasting conspiracy of desuetude.

all new poetry collaborations ©2019

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links to more poetry by Thylias:

NAKED NIGHT: a eulogy | Thylias Moss & H [Diaphanous, Fall 2017]

Mnemonic of Your Palindrome: Sewing Lesson | Thylias Moss & H [Diaphanous, Fall 2017] 

Poetry Breaks_ Thylias Moss Reads _All Is Not Lost When Dreams Are_ – YouTube

biographical note:

Thylias Moss, multi-racial Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan is the author of over thirteen books, including Tokyo Butter (2006), Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler (1999), Small Congregations: New and Selected Poems (1993), Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky (1991), At Redbones (1990), Pyramid of Bone (1989), and Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman (1983). Known for expansive poems full of details ranging from art, history, and laundry detergents to ants and Disney characters, she has garnered multiple awards, including the Witter Bynner Prize, an NEA grant, and fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation.

more information about Thylias:

Thylias Moss — Wikipedia

The Poetry Foundation–Thylias Moss Foundation

The Academy of American Poets–Thylias Moss

Thylias Moss — MacArthur Recipient 1996

Books by Thylias Moss — Amazon

Ansted Moss, photographer
©2015

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