In the spirit of a new dawn and decade, I want to share with you some of the streams of words that have arrived at my fingertips over the last year. Eamon Loingsigh has written a book called An Affair of Concoctions, which you may find at The Strand bookstore in New York, as well as on Amazon.com. He has a passion, and a spiritual, historical memory of the literary soul, which I love listening to and sharing with him. We begin with one of his poems, “The Vacant Sunrise of Nihility,” followed by the “Manifest Maudit” which never ceases to inspire. I have emboldened the parts that I particularly love (not that I don’t love all of it) especially seeing as I am the “publisher” he refers to, as well as the fact taht we did speak exactly that way moving towards Bleeker!
Secondly, Rebecca Kuo of the blog “Peaches in Wonderland” has sent me “Streams of Consciousness” – a piece about the fractured explosions that are capable of being created by human beings in love. “I am also a thief because I strip you of the seeds of Karma that I find hidden within your body.” She writes of lovers taking naps together, baking cookies at midnight, and other delights of love and companionship. But first,
The Vacant Sunrise of Nihility by Eamon Loingsigh
“Buffoonery has no limits here and the patron saint of vulgarity secretly justifies his reign in a smack of guffaws hidden by the wind in our ears.
It’s a curse, I promise!
What’s worse, we’re coaxed into this shmeer of disingenuous hoarse-calls by the bane of boredom and a fear of the frivolous.
Crowds learn to call it revelry, even seeing piety in its seemingly ignorant direction, like a showboat of imbeciles coasting clumsily nowhere on the barmy seas.
I reel in disgust,
My eyes roll off like a patch of rotted hair on an arrogant old vagabond-tomcat.
Keep at it,
Keep pretending your about to enter the central approach to the high altar and secretly tug & fondle each other’s moldy grommets with your flaccid poetry.
Fleets of you, stoned on doctor’s orders,
To keep the devil away,
So you can frolic on the decks of sanctity, debating clumsily the bastions of mendacity on the way to the vacant sunrise of nihility!”
MANIFESTE MAUDIT by Eamon Loingsigh
BROOKLYN – “Oh, fuck yeah! A breakneck stroll with waving arms and excited ideas with my publisher through the West Village at dusk and promises of “yeah, yeah, yeahs” and vehement “it’s gonna be greats” and here comes life again rushing through the corporeal currents to catch the subway at Bleeker! And maybe here comes my time or maybe yeah, it will be great!
How many times? How many writers swam through these old streets with hopes of literary explosions on their brows? Stunning, ingenious, wonderful, foresighted works that would certainly detail the next generation’s guttural wails and subconscious motives?
But then I think, then I bother to wonder again… What’s in the mind of our excited synapse-shooters now? What’s on the horizon of fertile minds looking for a brawl? Have we yet gotten over the “I’m a looser, baby, so why don’t you kill me” pot smoker ‘cause I’m bored with everything style of thinking? Are we energized for a fight and to love a new kind of experimental love-love? Are we destined to break something important in order to create anew? What are we doing? Where am I? No, seriously? Where are we?
Then I know it for sure, without caveats and check-ins with my big-headed intellectual friends and their wicked heroin-headed, spontaneous, speaking-in-tongued inspirational leaders of instinct and damned genius, I know it: Literature here in New York has been put to sleep like an old chubby beast lounging in the suburban sun, put to rest, pastured to looking-back status, retired, passed away… so I ask myself this:
“Where are the snows of yesteryear?”
I’m reading 10 books at once, and no one dares go mad for literature any longer. No one! In the streets on their knees blaspheming God, barber-surgeons of stanzas breaking wind on the scholarly standards of past poets who’d spent their time studying in halls of languor and balanced diets, where are you now? We need a leader to start a new literary movement and, of course, when fools begin to use its name for personal gain, our leader damns it as a bad idea from the get-go, fucking genius! A leader though… Wow, yes, a leader, and maybe we never even recognize he’s a leader until he’s dead and gone, but a leader to pull us out of this indifferent generation of commercialized-control-coercion. And if he is going to lead us out of this September slumber, then he must use words as explosive devices… YES, a literary terrorist!
I catch the L-Train and warbling under the Hudson, I stand in the middle aisle on the pole dreaming, dreaming and I know that I’m seen as a tourist to New York and an outsider because I lean on that pole in PB Shelley-styled stance. I know it, and I don’t care about it because I have to know. You must tell me, please! Please give it to me!
Who is the next Maudit? Where is he? Tell me, tell me! Now!
And I realize we need a manifesto! And Brooklyn is the place to have it! That’ll do it, that’ll shoo him out! Begin this insurgency in your name! A revolt of poetic brilliance against the powers of organized logic once again! And what a perfect enemy too, all lined up for us to laugh at! They! They, who seek to quell the fires of fruitful angst by way of diversions such as gadgets, boobies, sports, gossip, somas, rent, diets and the fear of unhealthy diets! Lots of sex and the fear of too much sex! This organized logic, replete with enemies and heroes and victims and legends gather over our childhoods and melt into our starry-eyed-violent-love youth and batter and beat and bludgeon them into a soft and submissive state of useless serenity, NEVERMORE!
Everywhere I go: Greenpoint, Bushwick, Williamsburg… everything is “May, 1968,” and “Paris student revolt, man” and dressed in mime shirts and tight pants, the beaus stare at the femmes in their mini-skirts and go-go boots pitching for a battle. And in their eyes I can see the love of Antonin Artaud and on the L-Train I can see his morose facial beauty in the New York stare of Brazilian Bricklayers, Kenyan Car-Detailers, Philippine Pipe Layers and Laotians who’ve traveled the oceans to hold the city upright and support its mad past. And I can’t wait till I get off the subway to call my publisher that I’m going to write a book of poems that has an exclamation point behind every sentence!
Female hipsters, beautiful skirted girls with a shaved head, maybe sleeves of tattoos taught to punish her own body because certainly there must be a problem with her head since this recognized, austere, facile, competent, effectual and aversive American garden of fertility portrayed on television verifies finally that LOVE IS SUBURBAN MATRIARCHY!
We come from all over the states; from Duluth, Minnesota; Fairfax County, Connecticut; Littleton, Colorado; Buford, Georgia… we come headlong to the Brooklyn warehouse district looking for a foe to fight and a friend to fornicate and just a little taste of truth, for something worth our graceful indignation, for anything valuable enough for our inclusive artistic sarcasm and find instead “a violent paradise of runaway sneers” and more glorified self-hatred as a flaccid means of rebellion, NEVERMORE!
A movement, a meaning to our passions. No more communes, no more chaos theories, no more Hollywood and no more commercials to define our men as beer-drinking duds that follow the lead of our suburban matriarchs to some horrific artificial destination of docile domesticity. We need great young men and women of volatile volition. In short… we need a spark: An accursed poet whose spirit has been hijacked by the Gods and reads to us all his fierce incantations.
Jim Morrison had Rimbaud, Kerouac had Neal Cassady, the Surrealists had Lautréamont, Henry Miller had Tante Melia and where is our Maudit? Where is our madman seer? And why isn’t he leading us into battle, arm-in-arm with our women like the Spanish in the Anarchist revolution of the 1930s? Where is our Allen Ginsberg/Ken Kesey? And where is our Sid Vicious/Darby Crash? Why have we spent the first half of this century dormant? Catatonic? Staring emasculatingly into the puppetry of conspired entertainments? Contrived detainments? Where am I? Where are we?
I get off the subway at Morgan St. and walk towards Flushing Ave. In this Brooklyn where the river is still “spinach green” and the old neighborhoods are hooded with spray-paint and industrial dusts and so many fond memories, I think about my great-grandfather who came here from Ireland in 1899 and steered two generations worth of passion, love and most importantly struggle until my parents finally made it! Long Island! Where they consummated their DIVORCE!
The night has dropped again on this old town and the bass of Puerto Rican low-riders and the Arabic chants inside the corner stores remind me that they are the beautiful morose faces of American struggle and that now I; the Irish, Jewish and Italian of old America are now the “natives” that were so battered by the WASPS upon arrival, the refugee savages of wild country.
And I think! While exchanging text messages with Ilene Lush about my possible permanent move here that WE NEED MORE TEARS. Because when she tells me that I’m so full of baloney, I almost immediately begin to fall into a hurtful vat of self-pity then JUMP at the chance to smile confidently through the morass and make it out the other end better for it.
Great bulbous red tears and jerking gasps of FREEDOM flowing floweringly forward so that now, YES! Now I can finally see you now that I’ve been cleansed by the salt of the purity in my objections! And tomorrow I will do it again in front of all my friends and dance on the stage of cruelty for joy and truth!
TRUTH! Oh Lord if you do watch us, what a deliverance it is! Truth is mania in a world shadowed by lies and maybe that is just how you got your grip on us. Truth means no more connivance or contrivance. Truth is admitting your shortfalls admittingly and having others love you for it.
And who is it that can bring us these truths and these tears in the form of words… words that bring us to where we can “break on through to the other side”? And can’t you feel the frantic sadness of Henry Miller weeping when he brings his Mele to the asylum when we read, “there’s something wrong with people who are too good.” Who can help us but a tortured genius? Where is our generation’s clumsy tormented golden elegant matador of brilliance? Search the nuthouses and look for truth in the words of your black-sheep uncle because we need more blind madness instead of cautionary construction.
Madness? Why madness to define a new literature? Certainly Harold Bloom would ask, and so I shall answer in one suicidal word “invincibility.” When Artaud fought to justify his demons, he created the “Theatre of Cruelty,” which failed but left a wondrous scar on the theatre. When finally the sun shone again on his face after shock-treatments at the Asylum Rodez, he had dropped all inhibitions and fallen into a deeply self-assured madness that produced his most breath-takingly honest poetry caused by the invincibility of his paranoia, speaking only now in absolutes, Artaud cried “everything which is not tetanus of the soul… is not real and cannot be considered poetry.”
Artaud’s influence on French theatre and cinema was mostly realized after his death, of course. And when the wonderfully beligerant thespian students living in Brooklyn speak so highly of him, I can’t help but think of the beautiful relationship France has with its artists and compare it to this shining American “shithole,” waiting to fill itself up again looking to find a new underground hero because although Artaud was considered an outsider even to the Surrealist movement during that time, André Breton later spoke highly of his intensity, “this fury, by its astonishing cantagious power, profoundly influenced the course of Surrealism.”
And then I think of a word that grates against metal on metal in my ears. One single incredibly symbolic word; “submission” and that’s what you’ve got to do today when you would like others to see your work. You must submit yourself through some vainglorious and vaunted establishment that seeks to stave your inspiration, pressure you into signing as crappy a contract as they can get away with and make more money off your words than even you.
We don’t need any more control, what we need is more air! This self-serving sycophantic slutty-holed morality has subordinated us long enough. We need more TRUTH, be it unvarnished or brutal, to gather in pubs and cafés without pouring shame on each other, to throw our eyes closed and to let our conscience stream itself to heal and when the night is over we can then go off and make love to each other as monuments to our need for beauty or death in this war on indifference. To forget the horror and yawn of our bore! A delusive Ashbery yore! You will not be young for so long, you have to stand now and rage against the dying of your Brooklyn nights! Drink with wine and poetry because “it is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time”!
And that’s where I’ll be! Waiting for you… I’ll keep my window open, I love you!”
~ Fall 2009 ~
TWO EXTREME VIEWS UPON LOVE by Rebecca Kuo
“It would be difficult to argue that the word “love” didn’t entail a significant amount of universal pertinence. And I believe that this word is embedded within two extremes– love as a drug and love as a ticking time bomb.
Two lovers at the verge of a split are living like they are combating against a war. Living in the fear of the next explosion, they clutch spitefully at every small move. Not calling when advised and not paying enough attention become blown out of proportion. Love becomes a manipulative tug of war game of give and take.
Each will try to gain from this war as much as possible, like the conquerors looting the defeated. Both parties become accustomed experts at playing these foolish games, but in reality there is no winner. Once the time bomb stops ticking – then explodes –both sides have lost because both hearts have simultaneously been shattered.
A pair of lovers in a happy relationship are inseparable, and this is not in any way catalysed though mere obligation to be with one another. Spending time together becomes part of their daily routine and they will nap together like an old married couple. Knowing how to create a smile is simply an intuition- and they will rub their cheeks together after a kiss as it comes through second nature. Baking cookies together past midnight becomes their own invented custom – one that only the two of them will share. After all that’s been said and done, although the pair may not be in love, love is a drug because there is an essential difference between obligation and addiction.
In many ways, through my eyes, human beings are all like little jigsaw puzzles. Because sometimes, in life, when you least expect it, the wholesome way you pieced yourself together to be becomes entirely destroyed by a single individual who you have just met for the first time. And as they take each piece of the puzzle from you one by one, you don’t know why but it doesn’t feel like they are stealing from you. And as they continue to break more and more of your perfect puzzle, without noticing, you find yourself with a few of their pieces, too. By the end of this game, you are both left incomplete, broken and shattered – holding only onto the myriad scattered remains. And not knowing what it is you should be doing with them.”
LET US REVISE:
“My Father’s name is Caravaggio, an artist & a thief. I am also a thief because I strip you of the seeds of Karma that I find hidden within your body. I am an artist and you are a cartographer within an undiscovered landscape, mapping and inscribing my body within an element of your own, until one day our bodies will interlock.”
– Read more by Rebecca Kuo @ Peaches in Wonderland.
PS. AS OF JANUARY 1, 2010, I WILL BE KEEPING A PHOTO JOURNAL ON AUSTRALIA’S GREAT UHH.COM.AU! I AM SO EXCITED TO JOIN THE RANKS OF YANG LI, JEFF BURCH, RON RADGE, LIAM ANDREWS, AND SIMON CHARLES TAYLOR… (ANYONE ELSE THINK IT’S ABOUT TIME A GIRL ENTERED THE CLUB? YAY!!) YOU WILL SEE MY PHOTOS FROM ADVENTURES ALL ABOUT THE LAND INCLUDING, DURING THE NEXT SIX MONTHS: NEW ORLEANS, FRANCE, LOS ANGELES, AND OF COURSE, NEW YORK.