The Moon, a Legal Tender Breaking in Pitch Water

Via Flickr:
Baroque musings (and contemporary aesthetics!).

Thank you to Johanna Chambers for allowing me to use her photo (self portrait) in this image. :-)



Samples from There Is Something Missing in the Whole Transaction between Us

From: Zeros Degrees from My Journal

pg 6:

Modality’s rigorous industry

of beeswax unjarred

implicates words

& words’ de rigeur—

dry axe handles have yards of it

Pg. 12

Words as witness

to something
as yet not present

Hymns across eyes

Tree line of tree stumps

A path wide & long
Not down & into

& God a pose
derived from Nature

is to know shade
& stone pier off it

Pg. 22

A direct route being—

April 10th: brown earth

softened by snowmelt

but opposed to words

Who is it stands here

in view of—

dart of a thrush

flew over w/ black wings

It's dive though brief

Pg. 26

Esteemed at the decrepit old smoke shed with character out behind the little cabin in the woods one blinding afternoon "eclipsed” accrued funds
The sun was a bond accruing interest
banked by progeny of hope & infinite ruin

& out there beyond hope
& infinite ruin were thickets of twill eves
& tales of infinite ruin—
antiquity rhymed with dignity (parenthetically Emersonian)

An aesthetics
both yonder & onward inquiring:
how does one petition one’s sovereign
while plummeting to ( h )earth?

from Paranormal Woman

Paranormal Woman #6

Engaged gaunt photoelectric
luck on the river of luck etc (as is)
designates prime factors
she values like Barbie Dolls.

Only relics gladbag electronics
pandering to offshoots
rigged (by her) since 1880 & upwards.

Since 1880 & upwards
her total of no wards remain
(sci-fi) unconquered.

Deeds quantify etc (as is)
like variables at Stop & Shop,
or tap shoes she demonstrates
at (gothic) Thom McCann.

Distance plows her mute oops!
of war (horror) beneath oops! I sd I'd
write, didn't I? & so I shall!

Her hat--a conqueror--
copes wildly in heads
what a conqueror becomes.

Paranormal Woman #7

If you strike it, yr highness.
(Postmodernly with flint.)

& if it sparks.
(A postmortem with lipstick.)

Strategies become wavelengths.
On foot.
The saddle-dreams-catching-fire.
Of Nietzsche's Man & Superman.
Singing like straw.

(Though to sing as straw.
You must believe as straw wld believe.
Then masturbate in disbelief.)

Keep in mind, yr highness.
Exiles are iPods stooped to in groves.
Their music is evidence.
Explosions rush to exclude.

If email is careless. (Too Coolidge
to piano.)
Then delete is yr option.

There Is Something Missing in the Whole Transaction between Us by Raymond Farr

My latest collection of new poetry, There Is Something Missing in the Whole Transaction between Us (Blue & Yellow Dog Press 2011), is a product of paring down lines and stanzas into something akin to one-page, pseudo-minimalist, crack-pot-god-like portraits of what I imagine to be the essence of faces, personae, effectively honoring DaDa in all its surrealist, absurdist (yet chockfull of formalist notions gleaned from Language Poetry) postmodernist flux. The book's diction borders on hallucinatory while each poem's meaning resides in the experience of "experiencing" each poem. I think you'll like this one. Just click on the link above and check out some samples.


Deleted response to Guardian Booker blog.

Response to a response to the Booker live tv coverage

I thought Dame Stella Rimington makes a great addition to any competitively middle-class literary event celebrating payment in prizes to millionaire writers winning cheques in the tens of thousands, and am happy she caused so much offense to so many of the intellegensia at home in the mother tongue. I loved the spectacle of embaressment and awkwardness.

It was even better than watching Kevin MacCloud speaking the only middle-class minimalist reality-as-entertainment spectacle this showbiz-failure tolerates viewing as a participatory critic. Because it can be taken or left. MacCloud's aristocratic phoniness mixing with married property speculators moving to another realm of domestic bliss. Love it. The practicality and use of defined curves in finely drawn light constructing a picture in space. The effortlessly pompus sort of commentary Kevin McLoud - never Kev you notice - blithely insults us with.

On a journey as a regular viewer of this jolly decent fellow Kevin, talking airy fairy twaddle to superior homeowners and the odd deserving human being, one recognizes his faux and frothy literary equivalent as a darling luvvie literary journalist, editor and judge-at-large flashing about on trains a lot, who is familiar with airports and rallying public opinion around his or her employer's political line.

Read their seriously considerate and intelligent take on why a snobbish literary rag fakes the ethos it does. As a conduit through which public opinion is channelled to agree with stuck-up editorial voices, explaining how a decision is arrived at. Why deserving millionaire writer A, B, C, D, E, F etc, agree they are the best serious lovers of literary delivery and debate. To disagree with this premise more readably is offensive and a serious no-no. Isn't it?

I judged the Booker live tv coverage last year. In truth, stumbled across it cable surfing. I was happy to see a successful Guardian art editor there. Claire Armistead, whose thumbnail-face and prominent close-ups, in photo-headers of the blogs I'd read of hers, reports her judging of literary events, and the decision processes experienced, explaining to us as the judge and intimately involved with others, whose opinions we've read and consistently disagree with: How, why, when and what is written about.

The graduina Art editor did great &, don't laugh - important work we the world need to be reminded of in her role as a very good judge in the art world. Not only as a boss to her colleagues, but as a responsible person promoting a social network section on the art page, messaging in a national-global forum, polite, meaningful words.

In last year's pre-announcement; Michael Portillo, Claire Armistead and a forgettable other judge hogging the number two spot in a live Booker punditry competition impossible to avoid judging. Not as a heavy user of the Guardian forums and deeply committed lover of contemporary art, but as viewer and critic of a static, intellectual spectacle. Clear third in the pecking order of that trio of literary professionals and cultural ambassadors for whatever channel employs them, draguina Armistead came.

It was a straight fight between two professional commentators at this event, comprehensively overshadowed by Portillo. Both were amazing and marvelous and wonderful and fabulously well-drawn, achingly exquisite all round, and because, how could it be not - this close to actual millionaire storytellers awarding themselves tens of grands, at the in your face event celebrating a cheque for tens of thousands of pounds to immensley deserving fictions worth every single cent bcuz of the one continually repeated message. In your face. That's it.

The lowest form of failure in writerly showbiz us pundits talking and not doing it at the Julian Barnes level. We all deserve it we all know that. C'mon, I mean, you know... no, no, of course the debut of Dirk Remington is up there, it's just that.. no, no, of course the World Is Also Ours by Den Foclu is brilliant and marvelous and everything else, and yes, yes there is a quality of deep, dark fluffiness at the heart of that book my four year old son still wakes me up in the middle of the night to ask mummy, mummy about... no, God no, Jonathan Negamanti's portrayal of fourteenth century Doncaster is heartbreakingly well realised... no, sorry, yes of course whatsiname won last year an overdue consolation from the judges (they know who they are), for not spotting the obvious brilliance in the earlier books that prove he 'won' it anyway, without even being on long or shortlist. The contemporary novel posterity decided clearly superior to a predictably smug git winning most years.


Apparition Poem #212 (Adam Fieled)


Picture this: thirty kids in a two-story house
in the Poconos. They’re little bandits.
Their parents think they’re somewhere
else. It’s the popular crew: but half the
baseball stars are homosexuals, half the
cheerleaders want to be housewives,
and the football guys are putting on five
pounds a day. They have to carry little
Megan outside for some fresh air; she’s
drunk, got ditched by a wide receiver.
She looks at the mountain stars, thinks
(her friend imagines) nothing thoughts
about nothing. Eighteen years later: one
of the homosexual baseball stars is now
at a mountain retreat in the Poconos. He
gets carried out by his lover to look at the
stars, drunk on Mimosas. Nothing gets
thought about nothing again. What do I
think? I’m writing a letter to Nietzsche. Ask him.


New Apparition Poems (Adam Fieled)


Never one to cut corners about cutting
corners, you spun the Subaru into a rough
U-turn right in the middle of Old York Road
at midnight, scaring the shit out of this self-
declared “artist.” The issue, as ever, was
nothing particular to celebrate. We could
only connect nothing with nothing in our
private suburban waste land. Here’s where
the fun starts— I got out, motherfucker.
I made it. I say "I," and it works. But Old
York Road at midnight is still what it is.
I still have to live there the same way you do.


Your skin sags around you like an old lady’s
pink jowls. You used to live a dynamic double
life, with constituents coming out of your ass
from three schools (this is when we were kids).
No one anywhere knew quite who you were.
Now, I hesitate to state anything for the record
these guys are recording. The whole process
creeps me out. I sat in the back of the Subaru
while they egged somebody’s house, or he took
a handful of CDs from Tower Records, placed
them under his sweater or into his boxers.
What I tell them is the truth: there was too much
in you that you never even knew about. You were
a mystery to yourself. You were the kid at the
bowling alley trying to hook up with the twins,
or the obsessive devotee of another head-case.
Now, I’m a head-case who knows the same thing
is true about me, and if my skin is tautened it stings.

Trish: A Romance, Pt. 7 (final section) (Adam Fieled)


All through intervening years, Trish
never fully left my mind. Many
encounters I lived through were
pointless— one-night stands, flings,
some felt, some not felt at all.
When Trish reentered my life, she
did so directly. Simply, we wanted
each other again. Trish now lived in
an apartment building, with roommates,
on 49th off of Baltimore. The apartment
had a fire escape large enough on which
to sit, and smoke. I was in the process
of beginning to publish seriously, and would
often devise new strategies as I stared

off over the clotheslines and windows.
We were older, less demonstrative— but
we still made love almost every night.
The problem was, this was interspersed with
consumption of cannabis. I am soon to
learn (again) that mutual intoxication cuts off
intimacy. What used to be sparks between
us were now ashes. There were even times
when the “little death” was a bore. So that
for six months we’re in a holding pattern.
This time, it’s Trish’s turn to do a sudden
break. Moreover, she has an older man
waiting in the background. I see them
together in Rittenhouse Square. I’m numb;

I believe (as is the case) that Trish
is mostly frigid. She uses her sex to
ensnare and bind. But making love to
a semi-frigid woman does eventually wear
thin. Still, my attitude is that Trish
and I could still work something out.
This time, Trish never gives me a reason.
The next summer there’s a fresh confrontation—
Trish is very wary, and I’m more
perfunctory than I seem to be. We’re
buried in each other as something to
express. This time, I eventually realize,
Trish is gone for good. But I make
a conscious decision to still love her.

When I look back on the time
I spent with Trish, it occurs to me
that we never knew each other that
well. We were “mad for it,” the passion,
the romance, without being mad for
each other. What’s worth exploring is
what I know about her now. Like
this— that her aims were more strategic,
less organic, than mine. She wanted
to take me and mold me, and I
wouldn’t let her. But this was
buried beneath other imperatives. She
wasn’t strong enough to enforce her
strategies and I was too wild to tame.

The pressing question that follows is—
was it worth it? I’d say it was,
though it could’ve ended in two
corpses. We participated in these scenes
at a time during which there was little
surface-level romance lin America. Bohemian
America had never been a particularly
well-populated locale, but we set up
camp there and in the process confounded
structures that we could’ve let crush us.
Our dreams weren’t especially original,
but our improvisations created a new
context for them. Neither of us came out
of Bohemia— it was a new realm for us.

Is it only because I can still sit
here, writing these lines, that our
escapades still seem like good ideas?
If we did end up corpses, who would
be the wiser? On this account, I
have no solid answers. I can only
say that for some reason, some humans
need the charm, the sparkle, the electricity
of romance, and will put their lives
on the line to attain it. So it was for
us. Those that are kith and kin to us
will understand. Those that aren’t may
choose to laugh at our foolishness. But
it must be dry, accursed laughter to us.


Sean Ulman Reviews ECSTATIC/.of facts in elimae!

Check out Sean Ulman's review of ECSTATIC/.of facts in the poetry journal phenom elimae. Sean Ulman does as good a job as any at dissembling the unraveling that is ECSTATIC/.of facts.