Note on text: 555 is a collection of sonnets whose construction is database-driven and relies on text analytic software. I crunched and analyzed Shakespeare’s sonnets to arrive at averages for word, syllable and character (inclusive of punctuation but not spaces). These averages (101 words, 129 syllables, 437 characters) became requirements for three groups of sonnets. I collected lines from anywhere and everywhere in the air or in print in a database. The lines are all found, their arrangement is mine. Values for word, syllable and character were recorded. Typos and grammatical oddities were preserved; only initial capitals and a closing period have been added as needed. The selection of lines isn’t rule-driven and inevitably reflects what I read, watch, and listen to, thus incorporating my slurs and my passions as well as what amuses and disturbs me. These sonnets were assembled using nonce patterns or number schemes; by ear, notion, or loose association; by tense, lexis, tone or alliteration. Every sonnet matches its targeted average exactly. Think of Pound’s “dance of the intellect among words” then sub sentences for words—it is amongst these I move. The dance in question traces out a knot (better yet, a gnot) that holds together what might otherwise fly apart. I espouse only the sonnets, not any one line.
Comment on Poetics: Of late I’ve wondered why the poetry produced under the LGBTQIQA-etc umbrella is so markedly averse to experimentalism, to the avant garde legacy, etc. Why it tends toward the middle waters of the mainstream, poetically speaking. Why shouldn’t Alt-sexualities encompassed by and exceeding those four letters find more common ground with Alt-poetries in common resistance to normativities whether theybe of the hetero- or discursive- sort? That which is ostranenie is also queer, or no?
Bio: You can find out about John Lowther’s work at his poetry blog where there are many links to online poubellications and details about a few of his ongoing projects. Or if you prefer the tangible, pick up one of these anthologies The Lattice Inside: An Atlanta Poets Group Anthology (UNO Press, 2012) or Another South: Experimental Writing in the South (U of Alabama, 2003) or wait for Held to the Letter (co-authored with Dana Lisa Young) due from Lavender Ink in 2015.
THAT GUY (STANDING ON BROKEN LEGS)
if there were power enough to do so
but who believes there is
would use it
a good ape
a bad ape
though probably not
us—where we were
some chief proponent—un elected
(un assailed) assistant
(to the) boss
of nothing special—
a motherboard’s groan
hears a fan going
the way of heat
I no you do—
were there power enough to do so
yet you believe there is
would take it
the despicable and heinous
practice of printing
practice of printing
cuz—cause the many
the transparency and honest
nature found—in such printing
(really made you)
really makes you
shit your pants.
but not really. permanent. did you think
they were coming—that they’re here—
if there were powers
enough (& I believe
is like something that would that
have been—properly utilized much
to wish for—
a documented medical need
Poetic Statement: I began this poem learning of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture during the transnational American war begun in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a test for the poem committing the emotion that would like to see especially those war criminals that look and act like something called us subjected exactly to what they’ve accomplished. To commit the beauty of stone legs made trunkless and the reality of social order. Mechanically this was difficult to achieve, if I have at all. The poem does not bear witness. The poem is romantic, kissing mere instruments.
Bio: Jared Schickling’s recent books include Two Books on the Gas: Above the Shale and Achieved by Kissing (BlazeVOX, 2014), The Paranoid Reader: Essays, 2006-2012 (Furniture Press, 2014), and Prospectus for a Stage (LRL Textile Series, 2013). He co-edits Delete Press and eccolinguistics.
Bio: Chris D’Errico has worked as a short order cook, a doorman, a neon sign-maker’s helper, and an exterminator, among other vocational adventures. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife Tracy, and a small clouder of house cats. For more, visit www.clderrico.com.”
SOURCE TEXT: “A Field Guide To Critical Thinking” by James W. Lett, from the book “The Hundredth Monkey And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal”… Filtered through insomnia and nervous impulse. Inspired by Salvador Dalí’s description of his paranoiac-critical method: “a spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the critical and systematic objectivity of the associations and interpretations of delirious phenomena.”
Matina L. Stamatakis
(with KJP Garcia)
– kept aside
while sweeping from cell
driven back to center
-clarified edges exposed
as indefatigable limitations
* * *
of infinite spaces
rapt in lush circuitry
in the tumult
* * *
for every longing
evolution / sin / violence
purity + deeds
* * *
[a doomed conception]
of alien sentience ─
throat spilling-out accursed
ejectamenta (im)pulse, a quiver
* * *
:all – foreign to imminent
of thrust – throb – set
aside with missteps
of speech yet to attain (a)trophied silence
* * *
incommunicable language ─ exasperating
shape of open
mouths─ illusion’s desperate
trigonometry // a priori: as tongue, refracted
[un]wavering crux, thus Being
* * *
humble rivets – know trivial confusion for slack of steel
. time bends light with/in gravity’s tru(e)st
stains are false brands stubborn – undisturbed by wash and play
= only age (befri)ends ultimate options
e +/- legibility
* * *
the mind’s errata,
cognition: a synaptic labyrinth ─disappears between
oceans of membrane [un]familiar portals in a dream
mechanized & extraterrestrial
only exists in/complete
* * *
nothing(ness) posesses an indisputable perfection
corridors are heavens between disconnective voids – space unto space
of emptiness is resemblance – in likeness is always an image cast
to describe is to steal details from abstract almosts
equal = equal – alone
all + one
together is own make up of parts formed from (a)maze[me(a)nt] to be
* * *
synthesis── needs flesh expect no answer ──depend on distances/instances
breathing tomorrow comes knowledge
& question rearranging patterns of usual places
displaced in con/text + elements + soft texture
obscured [by] teeth
sensors behind senses
sense[less] // structures set up to collapse
* * *
what detach meant was to say – give it time. and it is standing in for what?
it detache(s/d) from meaning, past occurrence, infinitives, speech
. in future’s tutorials examples, systems, and designs are ennobled unseen gases kept under bell jars filling in for(eign) core responses of familiarity disjointed observed
insistent upon bonds broken in death and half-life
* * *
a dimming beacon, this half-life, a cling to improbable senses wavelengths bodies
endless exploration of dire conditions─ volition, non-present & all the wilder, studying it
through liquid air, its immortality only a mortal mark on blue matter──dissolution, suddenly
emblazons it──aether disperses corporeal space, the observed half-life radiates a permanent
dystopia, detach//collapse: organs wild flowers malfunctioning & uncertain── wet
as nothing, nihil in its skin calls to speech through the bell jar, hollowed-out ghost-air
abyssal [ as endless] algorithms
* * *
inches gamed – gained
askew – a slant measured in available degrees
– misfired on demand – on target insides out –
by want – need – have – control is bought borrowed sold
echoes in chamber push other voices to sleep
phantoms sacrifice death in total for glimpse = mired in local conditions of
staying housed/coursed where curving bells contain deviations derived from models
(A portion of this poem originally appeared in Barzakh)
I. And the ice floe became endemic, because the water was cold
And it was thin
And it spread everywhere, all around.
Standing in the backroom of a noisy petshop, waiting to drown,
Imagining Cocteau, a film (a shimmer) on the storefront window
Orpheus: Le Sang d’un Poete
As the rain came down.
Leaving dirty streaks in the dust, dusty streaks in the dirt.
II. And composition suggests death.
The boundaries are set and they are smooth.
The periphery is set and it is smooth.
It is a casket-aperture to let in the light,
Because life needs random.
Because vitality is chaos.
And all we see are borders
Fill them in, fill them in, we fill them in, fill them in.
III. And then it all gets old, it gets old
And all you have left is bones and soul, bones and soul.
The cars idling in the streets,
The roar of engines
The clouds of smoke.
IV. “Greetings and welcome to Jaipur.”
The bathroom smelled like soap, old ratfaced brown towel hung over the railing.
All the way back to Earth, were lines, full spectrum bright lines, like sunglare, lines streaking back.
Trusting the burst behind them, the rushing crushing transfer of light, the blur between them,
Weaving around them, the dangerous-shaking shapechanging
building images in my mind, the images my mind will come to commit to memory, outrageous
namecalling, tracking mud through the room, confused feeble little mind,
The last second reflection of light (fluorescent) in a passing by mirror, sheen of the glass, corner of
V. And don’t ever be afraid, there is nothing to fear.
And don’t ever be ashamed
Of what it takes to get back home again.
Busted blind, or deaf and lame,
All the bended bent outside in, dim lit,
Rushing rivulets away,
To get back home again.
Amphibian reptilian paraphyly
Air-filled-lungs, expanding gills, words falling out of ash like scales off of eyes.
Plague, pulque, fire, flood, and gramophone.
VII. and we sat in schools, in little classrooms, bounded in by glass, bounded in by glass.
And we listened,
James Fenimore Cooper, Max Planck, the dreadful XYZ affair.
The devils on us that hide in every subject, behind every pause.
Deconstruct the clause, graph the sentence out.
IIX. Fire-pimps that hide behind the tinder.
Lightning-skies that hide behind the storm.
Reckless are the curtains torn, the rattle of the steel.
The storms behind the clouds
And this is what the tuhunder says as it begins to pour,
Rushing rivulets, rivulets away.
IX. Dans cet abime, abondance.
X. and the fire became endemic, it was far too hot,
The blood so warm and the skin so flushed,
And the rain come spilling out.
The noise so quiet and the light so bright,
The visions so blurry, the lines so static, the colors so fade.
Fill them in, fill them in.