Thursday, March 15, 2018



Phaneagrams by Jake Berry
(Luna Bisonte Prods, 2017)

[First published as Afterword to the book.]

Jake Berry, visionary of the present, bringing the present back to us from its mutated nightmare future. Rescuing the past from a fictional present built on nostalgia for a fictional past. In fragments of aphorisms. In small zen-like stories told in the lyric mode of Williams and Creeley. That fact tells us what, exactly what, about living in these times. There are no alternative facts. This is not the post-truth era. Cancel the / viral idea / The lies / no longer / shine. The voice of William Blake is everywhere in these poems, He carries / the old abyss / in his chest. A piece of an aphorism, aphorisms in pieces... tells us, tell us... why and how "aphorism" shares an etymological history with "horizon": Wheels the tongue / miraculous; the salamander / dreams / feathered wings. What, exactly what: this -- "the grand concord of what / does not stoop to definition" as Jack Spicer wrote in his Improvisations On A Sentence By Poe. Phaneagrams, then (let's not stoop to defining their grand concord, but rather accept their invitation to imagine and sketch a kind of map, one which facilitates a nomadic reading, a wandering among echoes and allusions, associations -- some inevitably subjective, improvisational -- among words at times cut at line-breaks and s p r e a d by the inclusion of extra spaces between their letters), extended and expanded from the phanopoeia of Pound, broken, torn, cut, sifted and shifted, images written -- as thought, as the process of thinking into writing, after a century of scissors and glue, automatic writing, and all the other entries in the avant training manual -- thoughts into words, directly, first thought immediately and directly leading to a second thought, condensed, kept moving from one image to another image, Open the / incubus / artery / and / seed / The eruption / is inevitable / & joy. 




Jim Leftwich is a poet who lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Recent publications include  Volumes 1 , 2  &  3  of  Rascible & Kempt (Luna Bisonte 2016, 2017, edited by John M. and C. Mehrl Bennett), Tres tresss trisss trieesss tril trilssss: Transmutations of César Vallejo (Luna Bisonte, 2018) and Sound Rituals, collaborative poems by jim leftwich & billy bob beamer (mOnocle-Lash, 2018, edited by Olchar Lindsann).