As/Is







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.










1.23.2017


New Sonnets in Otoliths


I have five new sonnets out in Mark Young's Otoliths. Thanks, Mark!

And here is the new issue of Otoliths in its entirety.








1.12.2017


Sonnet: The Schuylkill Flows


The Schuylkill flows cleanly, despite
all the murk, as the Expressway looms
on the other side of it; the trees, as
usual, are Heaven, rooted much too
deeply for us to fathom, cocked at
a solid angle into a receptive Universe;
I am waiting, writing on the edge of
wars, chopping through the cesspool
of centuries old shit, stunned by an
awareness of the human brain's torques;
and when I imagine you it's with a sense
that we're both standing at the river's
edge (we are, of course), and as long as
we see the trees into the sky we blend in.








1.06.2017


Sonnet: Jarred Tea



O, if only I were still a young
buck, a gun, a razor-sharp grass-
hopping wisp, I'd flip for your
dogged persistence, brutal sex,
siamese purr, write a sutra
for our every rub, manifesto for
every wet night, bagged, bombed,
bitten down to a raw-red quick;
but I sit, bereft of ego except to
know that I like seeing you better than
being seen, and as a vapor hung
above, below, behind you I rate
what possibilities we have of rain-
layed out like jarred tea at Starbucks.








12.21.2016


The Ontological Contradiction (from Postulates and Empty Spaces) ('14)


Though the evidence from Kant's dialectics suggest that substance, that-which-is, causality, is accidental; and furthermore, that, if substance is accidental, indigenous meaning inhering in substance is unlikely; it also then becomes true that a question arises as to the practicality of interrogating the posited null set around inherent meaning in substance, that-which-is, from the side of complete and total immersion in substance/causality; and if meaning is seen to inhere in the possible meaningless or not; or if the beyond-us which must be antecedent to all-that-is necessitates a practical cognitive withdrawal.

If substance/causality is an accident, then it is also necessarily the result of a contingency, or strictly speaking, the contingent; the non-existence of substance subsisted as a possibility. What inheres in the contingent is the possibility of non-existence; yet accidents/contingencies are, or tend to be, contained and delimited by/within discrete successions within increments of time; the possibility, within contingencies, of non-existence, conditioned by an antithetical result (existence), seems also to necessitate discretion, discrete successions in which a change occurred (non-existence into existence). But all-that-is, substance, causality, necessarily always was and will be; time creates a formal condition of indiscretion, and endless series of successions. The Ontological Contradiction built into Kant's dialectics is this- substance/causality cannot be involved in contingency, or it would cease to be what it is (self-sufficient, permanent), which is impossible; yet, if substance/causality is an accident, it must have contingency in its economy as a hinge towards involvement, in some succession somewhere.









12.06.2016


Introductory Notes Towards a Phenomenology: The Meta-Rational

The Meta-Rational Argument

            That the being of things consists not of our notions of them, nor our ideations of them; nor do things consist of the Kantian thing-in-itself or as independent entities; rather things consist of the balancing link between the thing-in-itself and our ideations of the thing-in-itself. The balance between these two points of consciousness cannot be perceived alone; what is needed to comprehend it is a sense of the meta-rational. The meta-rational is not, like the irrational, posited against the rational; rather, it is the step beyond mere rationality, the point at which foreign elements become important to consciousness.

-         There is space between time, space between space, and space between causes.

-         This space between is, in one sense, an intuition.

-         Space Between, in this sense, is an intuition of Being.

-         Space Between cannot be named except as such; naming entails a certain confinement.

-         Space Between can possess us between thoughts.

-         Space Between may be seen as an extension of the principle “Negative Capability” beyond aesthetics.

-         Space Between, in fact, may be seen as what consciousness is between thoughts.

-         Space Between in the selfness of what is beyond us.

-         Space Between, as transcendent will, is solid being congealed in a momentary sensation.

-         The mind must divide originally because the body itself is a plurality.

-         The mind’s structure finds its mirror in the body’s plurality; but the mind’s wholeness is not self-apparent.

-         The body is plural, yet it moves together; the mind is plural and moves plurally; that is, it is capable of moving in many directions at once.

-         The mind moving the body is conscious thought; the body moving the mind is unconscious impulse (thought).

-         Plurality is the ultimate dividing thought.


Adam Fieled 2001-2013








11.21.2016


Orpheus (from The Posit Trilogy)


Why maenads
torment Orpheus

is that his songs
need to be sung

to attentive audiences,
not little rapists—

he’s always on
the run these days,

maenads hunt him
down, unwind his

parts, so that he’s
too loose, a ball

of rubber, who
can’t front, body

public, seed
so much in the

street that he’s
more urchin

than artist,
they dice up his

babies, it’s a never
ending cycle, yet

he keeps his
lyre in tune,

because (he thinks)
who knows, he’s

learned not to look
back, and raps

don’t reach him anymore—











10.06.2016


Kendall Jenner: Self-Portrait (2)










9.16.2016


Abby Heller-Burnham: Collage