Courageous and inventive, Matthew Johnstone journeys into the heart of urban dismantlement, nihilism, and downsizing. “I forgotten in city shine in cuban requests,” myriad negations become criss-crossed as quest for time compressed, space illuminated, all-but-enough fragments glimpsed as fleeting ontologies of self, world, sign. The sea becomes an inward thing, the California sky inside darkening, the journey moves from here to here between desiccations of Spicer and vision-hungers of Rimbaud, adjacent to Chet Baker jazz riffs glimpsed as in an “Old Light”: “This is the place to place my tender.”
-- Rob Wilson, author of Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted and Waking In Seoul
Let's be close Rope to mast, you Old light by Matthew Johnstone 52 pages $15 Blue & Yellow Dog Press 2010
I Duchamp typed ‘DUCHAMP’ in 20 fonts & ran it thru the system )FRANKRUEHL( wept & went out )GUL Inche( smiled wryly with porcupine teeth on his ant face, Kept ranting:
There was this sense someone had SPAM On the back burner FOR SALE
They’ve got the BEANS! Duchamp railed. It’s all over but the sentencing.
& so all was done wrongly & tale ended
But Duchamp refused to relent / Waited bleached magnificent 7s for scalpel mIEKAL aND thin & darkness stick people people
to archive arachnids to innovate a walrus (with accent over oeia) a polyp
& cheap polyesterdays
whose foot a dream his dream sped up his animated verse to UFO
Whose last name was Halibut His isobars crammed into Io's vibrant light
II Duchamp’s peeping PEEPING perception of stick figure figures dotes on messianic messy messes appears torpedoed
The questions are pop ups Seem tardy as a rule
some like a cop who visits the coop
only in shoes in boots in flip flops he dreams he has rockets the piles he downloads
His row boat Duchamp police dogging & south of
writing: little little, these lines are too much fast!
Invent a slow. & mEIKAL aND
III I am curtained in BLACK onomatopoeia I prohibit a stalemate
I am over & over a hillock
My dynamism DUCHAMP pungent as
BANG! I am taunting the bungler
My RUBBER ducky Duchamp Machined like a sentence Redacted to bubbles Of he & I & we & was & is
My bubble bath as blue as A Singapore sling
I wander in lathered & mapped & lathered again
& so days follow weeks follow hand puppets. a fridge observing the outposts of social disorder
where I am Duchamp the brain of GUL Inche
I utter I swim
I am a seal
the tall corn Of Iowa
My laugh is a life boat Spritzing witch hazel
I am Duchamp In a valise Of Kansas Jaycees
I burn down the cows At maison de Gaulle
I sit at the zinc end of mad raison d’etre in Cabaret Voltaire
My head into solstice Arrives posing as winter
The voice I allude to Is the house that I eat at
I eat off the shelf looking up books
I turn looking to my left
& stand up erect Twiddling my thumbs
My play is grotesque an hour Of tooting
I am 1 cm swinging & swinging Duchamp overhead
I am basic as cable bag o’cats Duchamp
& singing bohemia
Balls on the mannequins Balls on the tedium
Duchamp during hours At the Crocodile Mall
IV Article of FaithSAUNAKNEECAP In spanglish drama class: ALE, duckling DUCHAMP,went _ailing: (s) (missingApril May June July &… tyPoe &…What the HELL was going on here?! Both alfalfa aND omega?! What did: TROUT BONE as/king FIDDLE TROUT mean? ?a duckling FUCKING artifact / matter of practice DUCHAMP/ over sensibility? What DUCHAMP went _ailing; went S-S-S-ing blind as an alphabet Scold as an ocean? Was it aND / or a shell game? Was it ’09 ’08 ’07 Anno Domini? Or 10:52 in the piss of the moUrning?
Duchamp typed ‘DUCHAMP’ in risky flesh & ran it thru the santa clause
Duchamp ate Nebraska for breakfast Got heartburn for lunch Got carry out for supper In this manner a reverse code Or MIRROR SEQUENCES OF CODE DIFFERENTIALS were established: Line 1: HAGGIS Line 2: HAGGIS HAGGIS HAGGIS HAGGIS Line 3: HAGGIS HAGGIS HAGGIS HAGGIS HAGGIS.
This code breaking lasted all evening, All August, All 5th inning, & Fall quarter at Brown
V EXIT: DUCHAMP [bent as a nail] ENTER: mIEKEL aND EXIT: DUCHAMP [pasty & clammy] ENTER: DUCHAMP [fat little placenta] EXIT: mIEKEL aND ENTER: DUCHAMP [suppose he is dead] EXIT: Haggis a pole cat equals (=) ENTERDUCHAMP ENTER: bodily bodily Joseph Beuys EXIT: stump the orchestral equals (=) equals (=) purple purple purple time ENTER: color the beet people Equals (=) equals (=) equals (=) equals (=)
Please feel free to read it, reread it, and spread the word about it.
This issue contains poems by the famous and the infamous:
Richard Kostelanetz, Dorothee Lang, Crag Hill, Vernon Frazer, Ricky Garni, Glenn R. Frantz, Joel Chace, Sheila Murphy, Benjamin Nucum, Matthew Johnstone, Felino A. Soriano, Philip Byron Oakes, Dylan Harris, Richatrd Mason, Keith Moul, Adam Fieled, George J. Farrah, John C. Goodman and a review by Nate Pritts of Joel Chace's book Sharpsburg.
If you enjoy reading the poems of Richard Kostelanetz, Keith Moul, Matthew Johnstone, Felino A. Soriano, Joel Chace, John C. Goodman, please browse the Blue & Yellow Dog Book Shop for books by these poets.
Just a note for those of you keeping score: Adam Fieled's Equations is due out in January 2011 from Blue & Yellow Dog Press.
Joel Chace's Latest Chap Book Published by Blue & Yellow Dog Press
"Blake’s Tree begs to be read out loud. Uncanny and spot-on, the repetition of words and phrases which levitate within a controlled form. Lushness in the economy of word. Lyric and narrative commingle. This is serious and necessary fun."
William Blake played on his own name in “The Little Black Boy” (Blake = Black) and whirled us between nouns and verbs when he wrote, “Damn braces, Bless relaxes.” In these six-line, stanzaic pieces, Joel Chace follows Blake’s example—not only his “tree” but his ”poetree”—and offers enigmatic phrases that tease us out of thought. For a moment we are freed from cause and effect, from everything that insists on logic, and allowed to enter a space in which everything happens at once. “Negative capability” flourishes in this world of beautiful whatevers—where “over the riven and through” is not a typo and “light snapped on off whole city’s ponderable spook” is a perfectly reasonable, complete thing to say. “The world is all that is the case,” Wittgenstein wrote memorably. But he also wrote, “Thought can be of what is not the case.” These poems offer a beautiful release from our everyday sorrows, joys and dispositions. Climb Blake’s tree and see exquisite explorations of “what is not the case.”
Blake’s Tree By Joel Chace 36 pages $10.00 2010 Blue & Yellow Dog Press
Ireland is an on-the-road machine Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley Ireland is English Ireland is Tír na nÓg Ireland is a ghost estate Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son Ireland is a teen-brained new-age lap dancer Ireland is veins, butterfat with broadband & self hatred.
Ireland is an on-the-road machine
It's existentially frightened out there It's got alloy wheels and tinted windows It can tear ye limb from limb, or stop & offer you a lift.
Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin But still full of the dead, and snow, upon Quickly snorted cocaine breaths we go. Ireland is a badly bred famine-stricken Flea-bitten jallopy of a piebald horse Galloping down O'Connell Street,
Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley Gurning off his head on creatine, punching The face off the referee, before sticking Him in the boot with sectarianism And the Disappeared.
Ireland is a copper who looks like Brendan Gleeson in Into the West, in a chopper, Who'll put heroin in your hands and say:
Grand so, thanks for the fingerprints don't let the coffin door hit ye on the way out, after ye hang yerself, with your shoelaces.
Ireland is English, whether it likes it or not 'Cause it's laughing at Newswipe & Mock the Week
Choking on M&S food and ruining Its new Debenhams' top,
Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son or a Christian Brother, or its own mother because she won't move into the nursing home,
Ireland is Tír na nÓg, Oisín saying doh! When his saddle broke, vikings raving On Wood Key Hill, monks driving Hum-vees Through round towers they built,
St Patrick standing with his fire on the mound Saying:
honestly now that money was just resting in my account
Ireland is a teen-brained new-age lap dancer Getting drunk, getting chlamydia of the soul From too much unprotected facebooking Down the boreens of a ghost estate Searcing for Foxrock.
Ireland is veins, butterfat with broadband & self-hatred, caught in the loop Of a money shot lasoo, faux-hawked Pentecostal Iconoclast, yahoo, a liar, in flames, in denial, In the X Factor final of bullshit, Gerry Adams is kissing Barbara Streisand, Bertie Ahern on-screen crying, suicide, alcoholics, junkies, Gunmen, dying & dying and dying, and it's all so Fucking electrifying, coz we're fumbling blind, We've no idea what we're doing, no idea where We're going, and we're almost there.
Ireland is an on the road machine Ireland is so far gone from Joyce's Dublin Ireland is Cúchulainn with a hurley Ireland is English Ireland is Tír na nÓg Ireland is a ghost estate Ireland is a gloc pointed at someone's son Ireland is none of the above,
Coz we're fumbling blind; we've no idea What we're doing, we've no idea where We're going, and we're almost there.
Shirley Chance is a soundcloud account hosting a powerful version of the poem above, Ireland Is, by its author, Clondalkin poet Colm Keegan, one of two contestants representing Leinster in a live poetry competition, reciting this one that, along with two other poems, got him placed first, at this year's All Ireland Poetry Slam Championship, 30th October last, at the International bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin; in the full ninety minute video of this live poetry competition you can enjoy when watching the video below.
Keegan is a very talented live poet and writer, three times shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction. In 2008 he was shortlisted for the International Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition, and is currently working on a first novel and a collection of poems.
The event was organised, hosted and MC'd, by Tallaght poet, Stephen James Smith, whose Glór poetry and song Sessions facilitated both the Leinster heat, on Monday 25 October and the final on Saturday 30 October - Samhain Eve.
Traditionally in Ireland, during the bardschool era, at this cardinal, three day transition phase from the three prior months of Beltaine, to Samhain, summer's end; assemblies from the five Irish provinces at Tara Hill - the seat of the Irish high king - gathered in a grand annual meeting, where they celebrated with horse races, fairs, markets, political discussions, ritual law making and poetic court hearings, mourning for the ending of the light half of a bardic year, and an ushering in of the colder, harsher half of the Irish filidh (poets) year. Lighting a flame from the high king's fire, it spread across this country in a time now gone, long past.
Samhain eve also marked the beginning of a student bard's six-month academic year, taught, learned and practiced from sunset's end to Beltaine (bright-half) May 1, on a fixed, singular, island-wide course of dán (poetry), in which the memorisation of 350 seperate ficticious and factual narratives, constituted the core & key a bard needed to unlock their skeletal selves, during Samhain-Imbolc winter/spring - when they studied, worked on and progressed through, a 12 year course.
From word-weaving beginner foclo of the first grade, through seven semesters spent acquiring the five, 'universally' recognized poetic grades, Macfuirmid, Dos, Cano, Cli, arriving at the penultimate, sixth grade of Anruth - 'great stream' - five years away from attaining their final, highest, most sacred, profane, sorrowful & comedic poetry professorship of Ollamh (pronounced ulav) when their log n-ech 'face-price' for spinning bardic dán, brought to them the collective cultural memory - On Coimgne - of bodies and souls formed by his or her Sidhe, stretching far back to a famine daze easy to forget, pay lip service to, losing the run of ourselves and tripping into a delusionally induced debt-madness, created in brief bursts of abundent imbas, its repercussions felt for decades to come in Ireland and elsewhere, possibly, people in it, a ship of state heading straight & staggering to one thing, some claim, is the most deleterious to them - Sovereign you, 'us' people waking to the outline of an iceberg this year's winning rhymes tip thru, lighting autumn's winter portal-point and practice for the good of natural unity, in these unprecedented times, an artist-pool making broke in Ireland Is, poetic magic.