As/Is







3.17.2017


Stacy Blair: from P.F.S. Post

PHOTO EXPERIMENTS

Blonde locks jut out over the tops of pigtails,
bleached beach/sand color by the sun.
Time's short between this photograph and my regard.
Picture: no flower lays or shoes, just
young grass hips. She is, I am, we were,
very young. The entire page of this album
flanks history; under my mind, another helpless
time explosion. I was, we were, are,
naked newborns, as our little limbs on film.


VIEILLE FILLETTE NOCTURNE

6: 30 a.m. is when my heater keels over;
dried up somehow from the ice storm
which punctuated the night's prose on my

attic windows. This is where I live: the attic.
By 9 a.m. it's all slush, and my
furnace is hot and wet again. Cold

shower: I need one- present tense
of course. I will not stop moving
and wriggle a bit under covers,

twisting my body up in the blankets
like a fork in spaghetti. Three of them:
not forks, blankets. Three second-hand

covers collected and collect
hair and skin samples from their human
times: past, present, future.

Who knows how many have
come before me, but I'll burn
this when I'm done. Maybe then, I'll

light a match to my own epidermis.









3.16.2017


Let Us Compare Mythologies


As of the present moment, and the new pages in Otoliths and The Argotist, I've begun a new writing process/gambit: to compose with an acknowledged, conscious sense of mythology and mythologies, and of the mythologizing process; and to do so to facilitate awareness of what happened in Philadelphia (and a few other places) in the Aughts. Ten to fifteen years hindsight had better be enough, folks; and why wait for myths to be generated around you... why not put your nose to the old grindstone and do it yourself? Candor is important here, because the Aughts had an unblemished feeling about them of cohesiveness and integrity, and I do not want that to be lost. It's also revolutionary about the ascension of Aughts Philly and its cultural scene that, on a socio-cultural and socio-historic level, the good guys in American art, those who dared to put the art first and all the subterranean attendant crap second, found a way to win against the stooges, parasites, and floozies. The Philly Free School story, it turns out, is inherently a juicy one. Mythologies spun out from the Free School do not have to deal with the egg-headed professor syndrome, the spoiled rich brat syndrome, the mafia cartel consonant syndrome, or the hands-off puritanical syndrome. The rest of the sonnets from the first round of writing Something Solid are shot through with an awareness of/ fascination with dynamic individuals who dared to live a life with hands in many games, and tactile ones.








3.15.2017


Mary Walker Graham: from P.F.S. Post


ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER IN WINTER

As if for the first time,
the long low sound of the water
and the train just beginning

to round the bend and blow
its way through the dark tunnel.
How many times I've sat here

in summer: considered the chicory,
drawn the blue bridge flung
from bank to bank, or wondered

the names of the red flowers,
their throats like trumpets.
How many times I've not

given in to the weeping:
I can almost see her- Mary- the one
who lifts the Potomac mud

to her face and smears,
as if it were a balm and not
the original problem,

or the one with the bucket of fish:
she should return them but that would mean
letting them slip, silver and whole,

finally cast out from her. I'd rather
let them wander in the waters,
cold and insistent and crying.


MY FAVORITE WORD IS RIVER

The lady maples dip their long green fingers into their own reflections.

And the train goes by twice, toot and toot.

The okra was so tall this year, ringed with crimson;
the Japanese beetles like scary mobile jewels. Imagine if her necklace walked...
(And ate holes in her thin skin, and had to be trapped
with sticky pheromone ooze.)

It gets thin and salty near the marshes.

Now I'm dining alone on the Sonoma Coast...

River rhymes with liver, which has the meaning

both of filter and of one who doesn't die.








3.08.2017


Neptune in Pisces Revisited


Is 2017 the year in which (almost) everything stopped dead? As Neptune continues its transit through time-warped, time-bending Pisces, we've reached a critical crux moment in the US about momentum, force, the surface and what's beneath, and the sense that the new century has scared the shit out of what's left of the last. I make no bones about an opinion which isn't going to change: most of the current media hoopla is about red herrings, red herring issues, red herring personalities. Beneath a surface which bristles with malign, childish vitriol, the issue is the same as it was five years ago: a Recession which won't leave, out of control inflation, liquidation of resources on both general and specific levels, and a society which seems incapable of running smoothly or cohesively in any direction. Neptune steps up to the plate and pushes everything to the bottom of the ocean: slime, grease, corpses, offal. Pisces energy is brilliant at the freeze-frame effect: there you are, passing through time without the comforting sense that time is moving forward. A bad LSD trip.

Yet, remember that Pisces and Scorpio are the two great magicians of the zodiac. Where Pisces goes, everything, even when seemingly frozen into place, is subtly, sometimes subconsciously shifting in new directions. Human consciousness, when it is most earnest, most truly human, is incapable of doing nothing. For those on a bottom-of-the-ocean kind of Neptune in Pisces trip, where I join you, sometimes, take comfort that the magic of the celestial fish is that through hitting the ocean's floor, you have pierced through to new levels of both honesty consonance and spiritual awareness. You are higher up than you seem to be.








3.05.2017


Bite the Bullet, Junk the Junket


For those of us who lived through the Aughts, writing and publishing on high levels, it must be clear: times is tough. The book junket routine many of us perfected in the Aughts involved a multi-pronged attack on literature dissemination, from any individual artist's manuscript on out: composition of manuscript, interspersed with submissions to print or online journals; readings and/or social appearances to create interest; publication of book, in print and/or online; and then reinforcement cycles of the same activities. The junket then was very rich: lots of flourishing journals and presses, lots of social action from scene to scene, city to city. In 2017, we notice that what was called The Great Recession five or six years ago never left, and, in fact, is continuing to plummet downwards, what with the outrageous cost of food, health insurance, and other living expenses (Obama did what to counter or even mention this?), so that book junkets, and the book writing process in general, have to suffer just like everything else. Capiche?

Here, I am, writing a manuscript of sonnets tentatively entitled Something Solid. I've had some new material appear in Otoliths 44 and in The Argotist Online, more to come in Helios Mss, maybe a few other places, but it stands to reason that I can't not notice another simple, irritating factoid: all the new poetry journals that have sprung up in the Teens (Ray Farr's I still count as Aughts, because it's Ray's) are formatted in the most revolting, most tacky possible taste, so that I can't even consider the idea of submitting to them. The imaginatively titled Posit is a key example, and there are dozens of others. The new journal scene is mostly paltry now. Which means that the bum's rush effect, whereby new material which passes muster is instantly passed on into submission land, is no longer in adherence at all. Now, if you have forty new poems, and if you place, say, fifteen of them, and then are stuck, there's really nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. If you're going to write the rest of your f-cking manuscript, you're going to have to bite the bullet and junk the junket.

So, you have recourse, possibly, to a more workmanlike approach. I place new sonnets here, on Art Recess 2, and make due with a lack of glamour and a surfeit of grit. Over a long period of time, waiting for the pot to boil again, poets have to decide what they're in this game for, why they're playing it. Without wanting to appear unduly sanctimonious, the more dedicated individuals, with the more passionate devotion to creative activity, are the ones most likely to survive the right way now, even as the recession continues to clear deck after deck and the idiots of the world offer up more red herrings. And I am, it turns out, forty poems into the new manuscript, and I am ready to be workmanlike when I need to be.








3.01.2017


Ekphrasis: The Lost Twins: Abby Heller-Burnham/Adam Fieled



I place myself in the next room-
white-walled, high-ceiling'd, cavernous-
as the lost twins turn to face Abby,
in her own most vaunted masterpiece.
If I haven't seen them, they may leave
without attracting my notice. Yet I'll
never miss Abby, who both represents
and, as they well know, is them, & who
finds me irrelevant (as a male, a poet,
a clay figurine at such times in her
economy) as she paints, carrying David
like I carry Keats, & in fact those two
might get along famously, looking at
the inception of a new century, lost?








2.24.2017


Skanky Grease



1819: as we follow Keats' brain around
London (blasted with senses that anything
he sees he could be seeing for the last
time), I like to think that all his own
prosody is mixed in with the security
of self-acknowledged Genius, continually
revealing itself to itself; yet his secret
Muse is, I imagine, a siren, like Psyche,
unlike Fanny; thwarted, Keats stakes
out places she may be, like the Gods
on the Grecian Urn, driven frantic by
female magnetism; drowsily numb but
not comfortably so; only skanky grease,
gutter-mud, preparing him to channel Heaven.








2.23.2017


Bardic Bulletin's Mirror Shaded Dolt State

EXPERIMENTAL SPECULATIVE DISCOURSE. DO NOT READ DO NOT READ YOU FUCKING ME ME ME MEOH LAND MORE RUNS!!

Overheard in the social-media mind of a Fake U language luvvie speaking secret intelligence to the community culture and homeland Herself.

"Yeah, like we have to worry about Russia hacking European elections. Oh no, sorry that's the Obama CIA, as recent mass corporately censored news by Wikileaks prove.

And the German intelligence report from the seventh of this month that the US millions will not hear reported from the mass-media agents hysterically birthing a new Fakenews narrative in the immediate post-truth collapse of H.&C. straight after the election results, oh no no no no no, you will not know this real news from the mouths of the central anti-intellectual liabilities, Tapper and Cooper: that there is no evidence of Russian disinformation.

What we do know, as Russian Foreign Minster Lavrov reminded the audience in Munich earlier this week, and that you cannot read reported anywhere across the US Fakes news media operating under a true news blackout: the Americans with six, or is it eight hundred military bases across the world(?); did hack and tap Merkel's phone, and most other European leaders, spying on US 'allies', and with potus 44 only promising to stop after Europeans found out about it.
 
And, of course, it is considered no big deal and to be laughed at because as far as US liberal me me meers and more more Murkrons are concerned, the US of us has never left intellectual teenagehood, because when yohl hack and tap it magically doesn't count, matters not a jot, because ya'll have the minds of brainwashed children with infantile anti-intellectual standards that are totally antithetical and to the cornerstone US principles of free speech and democracy, and on show to the world in all the very very angry and divisive globally destabilizing Russia ate my homework belief in nonsense and 'fake news' invented by a handful of slimy anti-American globalist grifters to deflect from the anti-Americans in bed with the Russians lies and crime/s they committed when they sold the very same folk they are laughably failing to paint the commie reds they want the US millions to conceive as, those they sold 20% of US uranium to through a Canadian front bank; because the people lying to us demanding immediate banning and censorship of 'fake news' do not want to address in person and speak about the true news of the millions of dollars they received in 'donations' from the Russian beneficiaries of the sec of state's decision - to her fake 'charity', half a million for an hour of lies spoken by a predatory forty something serial philanderer that 'never had sexual relations with that' waffle; and all not declared, even though Her Majesty pwomised. 
 
And revealed not by the intelligent and morally truth-loving upright US Facebook millions in the hawkish and outraged certainty of an ugly mass mob of clueless misled fact-free neo-liberal Facebook war-hawks claiming to be all about equality love tolerance and unity, furiously spewing hate and demanding change by clicking online for the removal from office for treason of a fresh intern and seventy year old orange faced apprentice and commandeer in chief.
 
More passionate about the crime of Caitlyn Jenner being turned away from the ladies at the Oscars, than the solitary cruelty meted out to a suicidal Chelsea Manning, avid lip-service luvvies more consumed with an irrelevant distraction of gender and identity rights than world peace and knowing the truth from the false notes in the music of what happens. No, these true stories and real news is not served up to the world by  a handful of shallow Hollywood elites and their Fakestream media co-dependents, angrily lashing out now at the common silent conservative (with a small c) majority, lecturing us on everything from what they are wearing to world peace and pedophilia. 
 
Standing up for a convicted pedophile when it is an elite film director, and viciously dismissing as a moral disgrace a victim of it if the victim is a young gay English libertarian firing up young conservative republicans with the politics of Free Speech and not much else that he spouses.
 
 
No, not these Reader, but one man caged in a small room, confined to a speck of this earth in a tiny bubble surrounded on all sides by the deepest most unsecretive corporate military industrial state, one sole voice from seven billion, imprisoned in cruel conditions, unable to leave in half a decade and more, all because of US foundation wreckers and grifters that just wanna drone, blow up and silence this one eight billionth part of humanity, without which none of this truth would be broadcast, because s/he is the only one brave enough to expose their espionage with Russia. And the very rats, as rats do, accusing the other side of the crimes they committed. You dirty rats, you dirty Democratic rats.

It was, of course, which ya'll not know cuz real news aint ever reported by the six corporations and primary deep state planks in the skeleton of globalist religious war and death masquerading as LGBT friendly bathroom-concerned freedom of speech luvvies;  © Obama with H&C America that hacked sovereign European states for the purpose of influencing the outcome of our elections.

As a far more adult, intelligent, and sensible sounding European Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told us, and who a pathetically sad and tragic teenage-minded deep state telegenic Skull and Bonesman death-hawk, J.K., looks like a clueless child in comparison to; in Munich earlier this week":
 
The German (CIA hacking and tapping Merkel's phone) story was shown to be a fact. You know when it happened, several years ago. It was confirmed that top officials had had their phones tapped. And the other day there was a leak showing that the 2012 presidential election campaign in France coincided with cyber-espianage on the part of the CIA. And talking to a journalist today, a CIA representative said that he had no comments to offer. So I repeat: show us the facts.








2.22.2017


Cheltenham at Poetry Library at Southbank Centre, London




Proud to say that Cheltenham is now on the shelves at the Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre, London, UK. Many thanks to the Poetry Library staff!








2.10.2017


Gratis (for Mike Land)



I swung a loop from the warehouse
space back into the gallery itself-
throngs of hipsters milling around,
whiskey, wine disappearing from
the little island space situated near
windows picking up western sun-
light; night descended on Cherry
Street; an ambiance of anticipation.
When anything can happen in human
life, nothing usually does- spectacles
like this were exceptions. Avalon established
eye-contact; off we pranced to the stairwell-
Mike Land grinned lasciviously, as usual,
& polished off a beer he'd received gratis.








2.07.2017


Cheltenham Elegies on PennSound


The Cheltenham Elegies mp3, with the Cheltenham Elegies from the Blazevox print book Cheltenham ('12), is now up on my PennSound Author Page. Peace. 





Exile Ode on PFS Post


On Philly Free School Post (PFS Post): Ode: On Exile by Adam Fieled. 








2.05.2017


New Sonnets in The Argotist Online


Some of the new sonnets are also up on my poetry page on The Argotist Online. Many thanks to Jeff Side.








2.04.2017


Olympia


I was fighting in a French
Revolution of some kind,
hiding out in a sleeping
bag in a mess hall, gun
tucked under pillow. I knew
in an intuitive flash that
we'd be attacked that night, & we
were, but I followed a horse
out the door & was not
killed. Then I was back in
a room w wooden floors &
I saw you preen through
the window, but you weren't
looking in at me, you were
staring off, into the distance,
pristine as a Vermeer maiden,
so I went looking for Manet's
Olympia, whoring behind the mess hall.








2.01.2017


Melopoeia (2009)

Poetry that aims at the heart seeks to do so (usually) through an affective catharsis; poetry that aims at the mind seeks to do so through a certain narrative-thematic skillfulness. If we are merely emotionally moved, or merely intellectually stimulated, it is likely that what we are reading is decidedly minor poetry. Minor poetry maintains a narrow focus on a goal that, however elaborately formulated, stays either in the heart or in the mind. Given the battles that have been waged on this blog and elsewhere, it is useful to note that, between the two camps at war in American poetry (mainstream and post-avant), there is an agreement on each side to reduce the other side to a caricature of one of these two forms. Centrists perpetually accuse post-avantists of being all head; post-avant poets perpetually accuse Centrists of being bleeding heart sentimentalists. However, these battles are often waged at the level of content. Where form is concerned, people tend to clam up, often because they lack knowledge of the formal mechanics of poetry. I want to posit a new possibility that has not, to my knowledge, heretofore been posited. What if someone were to put together post-avant, as a branch of avant-garde poetry (as it exists now), and formalism? What if someone were to kick open the door and declare the commensurability of form and intellect, of letting heart in the back door via a level of formal elegance, employing the architectural techniques of the avant-garde?

I have felt the need to justify to myself why, after all this time and several books, I keep coming back to form, feeding on it so to speak, now that I know what I know. If the arbitrary nature of signs or signifiers means that we would be foolhardy to trust in their transparency, does that negate lapidary or ornamental usages of language? I don't think so. It's not as if Saussure was the first thinker to point out the deficiencies of linguistic signs. John Locke said roughly the same thing 120 years before Saussure, and the major Romantics were all fluent in Locke. Yet the inquiries of someone like Coleridge never threw in doubt for him that the organic unity of harmonious metrical language was worth creating. Maybe, to bring it straight back to 2009, poets of my generation are deciding that experimental poets over the past fifty years have thrown out too much. Or, maybe there is no reason, I can just get tautological and say I like formal poetry because I like it and leave it at that. Tautological logic (a contradiction in terms) can be surprisingly useful, even therapeutic. Why? Because the universe is unfathomable, and poetry is part of the universe, and often few of us know why we write what we write. It's no accident that Jack Spicer thought aliens were dictating to him. At the center of each of us is a solid core of emptiness, which we act out of.


I mentioned Wordsworth's phrase harmonious metrical language. "Harmony" is associated with music, as is, of course, metrical language. Coleridge iterates, in his Biographia, that a man (or woman) without music in his/her soul can never be a poet. I think my addiction to metrical language or melopoeia (and it is, to an extent, an addiction, albeit a positive one) is in large measure the product of an imagination weaned on music and the metrical language of song lyrics. Metrical language, as manifested in song lyrics, is the most popular kind of poetry in the world, and has been for half a century. The nineteenth century saw the tremendous popular success of Byron and Tennyson. There is no twentieth century analogue to Byron and Tennyson, because the lack of metrical harmony in serious poetic language rendered it too difficult for mass consumption. It is no accident that the single most famous Modernist poem would probably be Eliot's Prufrock, a metrical composition. People want music that isn't merely Poundian/High Mod melopoeia; they want it to be surface-level and discernible and, sometimes, I agree with them. Using melopoeia, in its most disciplined forms, is not a mode of conservatism either; it is simply a way of constructing poetry which manifests and works on a maximum number of levels to achieve the maximum inherent memorability and potency. The more tools we may use to create poetry, the more liberal, and liberated, we are.










1.31.2017


Aphorisms: 2009-2017

Textual bodies need orifices; text with no flesh is anorexic.

Poetry needs Bodies; know who your Bodies are.

Horizontal leads to Lateral, text-wise.

Poetry needs a new materialism.

The Academy left Deconstruction behind years ago; so should poetry. For once, we need to catch up to the Academy.

Be material but not crass.

Impersonal forces are stronger than personal ones. How is poetry created from this? By the skin of our teeth.

Rule of thumb: nothing Big without Narrative. Great poets address great themes directly. Great poems are felt philosophy.

From Freud, paraphrased: new contexts create conditions for textual orgasms. Thus, the Internet.

Tremble before poetry, not poets.

Moral relativity: the only moral concern that matters. Morality is Ethics for Dummies.

There is no lens to see a text through that isn't tinted. Where text is concerned, idiosyncrasy is always preponderant. And material.

Try a little tenderness. But not too much.

Enough money is enough.

Perversity from one angle is generosity from another. It depends where you stand.

I know how you look to me. I can imagine how I look to you. Health consists of making composites.

Loving and hating America is the beginning of a great affair.

Life is arbitrary and contingent. Providence is a department store mannequin.

Sex is the dominant arena in which things change but do not change. Thus, season tickets are mandatory for serious artists. Sit in the bleachers if you have to.

Sex only becomes distasteful if it is represented in one dimension.

Most Americans do not know most of America. The vastness of America is its bane and its glory.