avant-garde

Winter 2016

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ALTPOETICS

Winter 2016
ALTPOETIC1

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3 Sonnets from 555 by John Lowther

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Lowther for AltPoetics

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) by Jared Schickling

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THAT GUY (STANDING ON BROKEN LEGS)

by

Jared Schickling

 

Dear Dick:

 

if there were power enough to do so

but who believes there is

someone—yes—someone

would use it

apes

a good ape

a bad ape

perhaps human

though probably not

(a poem)

us—where we were

some chief proponent—un elected

(un assailed) assistant

(to the) boss

of nothing special—

already—

a motherboard’s groan

too loud

hears a fan going

the way of heat

I no you do—

 

were there power enough to do so

yet you believe there is

someone—yes—someone

would take it

chance

a chance

the despicable and heinous

practice of printing

practice of printing

torture reports

cuz—cause the many

be many

un shocked

only disgusted—

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

there are)—[redacted

redacted] forced

[redacted]

is like something that would that

could

have been—properly utilized much

to wish for—

 

We’re here—

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.

Terrible Animals by Chris D’Errico

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Terrible Animals

by

Chris D’Errico

Terrible Animals by C.DERRICO

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.”

Faded by Matina L. Stamatakis (with KJP Garcia)

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Faded

by

Matina L. Stamatakis

(with KJP Garcia)

plancelled

– kept aside

while sweeping from cell

dispersions

driven back to center

-clarified edges exposed

as indefatigable limitations

* * *

envelope disorderliness

of infinite spaces

─ghost automatons

                                rapt in lush circuitry

─synapse

a refuge

                            in the tumult

* * *

for every longing

overdue

evolution             /              sin          /              violence

purity + deeds

(s)wearing

circumspect technology’s

                                introverted shame

* * *

                                                ─rising

through darkness

                                                                                                                                                 [a doomed conception]

of alien sentience ─

throat                                             spilling-out accursed

ejectamenta                        (im)pulse,  a quiver

* * *

                                over(t)ly

(e)motion

:all – foreign to imminent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             choke down

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

by  birth’s
origin
[un]wavering crux, thus Being

* * *

humble rivets – know trivial confusion for slack of steel

.  time bends light with/in gravity’s tru(e)st

– accord.

stains are false brands stubborn – undisturbed by wash and play

= only age (befri)ends ultimate options

faded beyond

e                             +/-                          legibility

* * *
the mind’s errata,

                                cognition: a synaptic labyrinth                                    ─disappears between

oceans of membrane                                   [un]familiar portals  in a dream

mechanized & extraterrestrial

expresses incomprehensible
know/ledge

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)

The Lungfishes by Jesse Mitchell

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The Lungfishes

by

Jesse Mitchell

 

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

      an eye.

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.

VI. Lungfishes

      Lungfishes

      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.

       Have mercy.

       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.