Friday, June 8, 2018



The World of Burning by John M. Bennett
(Luna Bisonte Productions, 2017)

JMB: The add-to projects are among my favorites – little “brain cells” scurrying around the world acquiring more and more memory as they go. Those always get my full attention. (2-9-1995), from the IUOMA Mail Interview with Ruud Janssen

JMB-- Culture is a give and take, a kind of swarming, and it is simplistic to think in terms of linear influences. -- Cervena Barva Press Interview, 2006

Opening the book randomly I find myself on page 172, with the poem entitled "detext". Detects, clearly, as I hear it in my head, but also de-text, as in "with the text removed" (analogous to detailed shrimp). To detext a poem.

foam / rising from my pants a / bunny in yr shorts

Roland Barthes: the goal of literary work (of literature as work) is to make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text".

Literary product, that is to say, meaning, in signifiers or witches in Chicago, the wind, a snake in the literary gears, a change in perspective is a strategy for editing our conception of language and our perception of the world as it appears in language, the emptiness of identity when faced with the fact of meanings. The same language over the years, which is not necessarily the health of the serpent (as explained in the corpse of the subject), the weather is definite and consequential, our fragments owe nothing to the dismantled explosions of traditional analysis (woven viewings, unlike the disguises of the commodity), shored against our ruin a hundred years too late.

As a producer, or more precisely co-producer, of the poem, I might combine "detext", from page 172, with "mort", from page 173, as follows (attentive to the resonances of a collaborative cross-pollination, where a history leaks in and a song leaks out, we are in part observing as the third mind of the poem makes another thing entirely -- in service to itself, for the enjoyment of all involved):

mort de text

just faced the soap
enshut nor shirt dark
norhancement crowded
t-step focus of my sharp
able where yr inch's
been gristle fog ain't
lost a beach, wash the
chewn storm's butt lurked
wave a fungus on the
stdropped in weeds on
stiffened lloaff. foam-linty
gaze, my swrising
rising from my pants an
orn chawn leggy lake
lakebunny in yr shorts
chwhere fleshy buttons
ff ff that noise all that
launlicker as they "deeper
sink" dering around the p
blood an corn a p it where
damp charred Leg my
burn ing b b oats were
bound in crispy ,smoke...

We find the title poem on page 120. When the management of our plagiarism is no longer enjoyed as the pure expressivity of experiential beauty -- certainly no less can be said of it than that -- the timbre of the ocean, tin cans unhinged, as writers escape from the insufferable plea of writing they define the symptoms of an unspeakable pleasure: the neglected horizon, expanding as a knowing. The foam of the said, as its texts and their readers, written in the unpredictable necessities of our possessive pronouns, guarantees us astray without complaint (in the reversible paradigm there is no distinction beyond vacillation). The discourse of the opposites seeks its margin of saturation. Vocable, revocable. There is always a sanctioned desire in the palimpsest of glimpsed assonance.

the world of burning
fulminous ,gated ,chow
dered the rancid mussel
or ,yr tongue a ,towel
gushing sodden f lame wh
,at dribbles down my “leg”
- the outer crank - I ga
thered all my - f laking p
ages w ,here yr open sh
irt exposed the extra ear
o))dim with lint ≈ o s hine ou
tside the laundromat  !)yr
smouldering socks sack yr sh
Din pomii šasiţi de amurg în adǎile noastre
​[From the twilight trees in our additions burned​]
- Paul Celan

​Excess perforates expression. Glove and weather, skin as hero, patterns of pleasure without continuity, intermittence itself openly erotic: permitted, refused, gorged. Iridescent words in the plenitude of their discontinuities. Sentences are mirages. An adjective is a minor miracle. Elsewhere in teeming celebrations words amass more than a state of assertion. Causal, never casual. Lacerated by reading, the myth of a diluted narrative, culture-tures explain (absent) to learn more than the other (mass-consumed), the story of the lathered edge: sorts and sortilege, a staging of family structures, silence is the spice of seeming. Hope: a gradual paradox of hazards, unveiling... nothing inflicts temporality upon the surface of its bliss.

Posted: December 9, 2016:  ​SOME OF JOHN M. BENNETT”S POETRY TRICKS
​Constantly repeat a word or a phrase
This can create some great rhythmic effects. Don’t worry too much about
proper syntax. You can emphasize the repeated elements with italics, upper
case, etc.

​the fulminous world of burning

​​fulminous fulminous ,gated ,chow
dered the fulminous mussel
or ,yr tongue a , fulminous towel
gushing sodden f fulminous f lame wh
,at dribbles down my fulminous “leg”
- the outer fulminous - I ga
thered all my - f fulminous f laking p
ages w ,here yr fulminous sh
irt exposed the fulminous ear
o))dim with f fulminous lint ≈ o s hine ou
tside the laundromat  !)yr  fulminous
smouldering socks sack yr fulminous sh

​​Din pomii šasiţi de amurg în adǎile noastre
incendiate...​ ​[From the fulminous trees in our additions fulminous​] ​
- Paul Celan

There is an opportunity here to write about writing leading to more writing, and how that fact applies specifically to reading the poems of John M. Bennett.

I take a break, make a few pages of gestural vispo. Pour some pink and black (long live punk!) kids' tempera onto a Food Lion advertisement (I remember when Food Lion had for its motto the phrase The Total Meat People... and I recall one day while in college in Greensboro noticing, while in a special state of mind, that phrase on the front of a store and finding it horrifically revealing -- they really are the total meat people! this is Hell! dead Nazis rule the world! it was 1977.). Smear it around with my right hand. Make some handprints. Mess up some ongoing research containers. Make some quasi-calligraphic drawings (semi-semic, gestural & letteral) in what remains of the pinkish black smear on the Food Lion vegetables. (The tomatoes make me think of Ginsberg interrogating Whitman and Lorca in a supermarket in California.) Make a few emprientes, check for faces floating in fantastic landscapes (per Dubuffet's instructions)

How did this Paul Celan quote wind up in Czechoslovakian?
I don't even know if it is Czechoslovakian. I guessed Czechoslovakian, and Google translate came up with an English version.
Maybe John found a Czechoslovakian edition of Celan's poems. Or, maybe he made the whole thing up.
Or maybe Celan actually wrote a little in Czechoslovakian. According to Marjorie Perloff, he already knew German, Romanian, French, Hebrew and some Russian as a young teenager. When I ask Google to translate from Romanian it arrives at an almost identical result: From the twilight trees in our additions fire. So maybe it’s in Romanian.
Any poetic is meant to describe the origins of thought. What is more important than origin, however, or cause, or authority, is the specific sequence of events which leads one to his specific origins... --Tom Taylor / Anabasis, from On Cosmic Poetics​ (1991)

Writing leads to more writing. Writing leads to thinking about writing. Writing leads to more writing, and then to thinking about the why and the how of that additional writing. At some point, somewhere, someone is making it all up. What do we require of response, as response? In writing, from writing? How I came maybe thing or already when twilight? Did even up? Found up? Maybe knew. Ask the trees. Make some quasi-calligraphic food smears in the supermarket landscapes of Czechoslovakia. Interrogating for faces? Quote the English version. Long live the motto noticing its horrific world. It was ongoing & letteral in the tomatoes as instructions.

Why is the title of this book, and the title poem in the book, The World of Burning? Why not The World Is Burning? Or: The World If Burning? Or: The World, Or Burning? Or: The World-Off, Burning? The phrase "the world of burning" suggests that there are other, related but different, worlds. The World of Freezing. The World of Smoking. The World of Smouldering. The World of Book-Burning. The World of Backburning. The World of Burdening. The phrase “The World of Burning” feels like a translation of something old and wise.

Tom Taylor / Anabasis, from Undicking The Fictive (in Juxta 5/6, 1997)
I still say that in the Information Age, language is control and who controls language controls control. And so the politics of the experimental is that it means to take control of the language, not just in the making of the dance of specifics and distances, not at all, but in the ability of the sequential utterance to modify consciousness in the fluxus of its origins and templates, where exactly it (the state meant, the flow of the stuff) hits in the brain and where/how it ferments into either forgiveness or ecstasy. but you can't Not Mean what you say and make it work, you have to mean it. Therefore, blatant mind control is impossible. He says.

There are things, areas, routes and strategies a reader is expected to explore, particularly if that reader is writing about their reading. I begin by making a commitment not to satisfy any of those expectations. There are strings, arenas, roots and tragedies a reader is expected to explore, particularly if that reader is writing about their reading. There are thin acres with snouts in the stratosphere… Once we have been willing to agree that a poem is a mirror, it is our responsibility to escape from the initial conditions of that agreement.

In the glossary of wildfire terms there is a listing for "bone yard": An area scraped to mineral soil for safe handling of smoldering materials; also, a systematic mop-up of smoldering materials by scraping off embers and placing materials into the bone yard area.

On page 122 is a poem entitled "tempotencia" -- "tempos", perhaps... as far as I know... so says Google translate. It ends with a post-snippet attributed to Jim Leftwich: ...raincoats about angels...
Possibly from Six Months Aint No Sentence Book 46.


end the ham lake custard
back yr throat tu cogote
atestado de ,formigas ,log
gland ,pellets of cheese
and dirt  .trid eseehc ,ants
,eht tellaw coughshguoc ,am
ado sin nervo lante in
texticular I sppspat it oudt
.to the vapors roiling in the
bathroom ,and the
falling watches

...raincoats about angels...
- Jim Leftwich

The first entry in ​​SOME OF JOHN M. BENNETT”S POETRY TRICKS is:
Rewrite a poem backwards
This can be done in several ways. Rearrange the poems with the words in
backward order or rearrange the lines in reverse order, for example. Or, for a
special treat, spell each word backward, drawkcab, while leaving the words
themselves in the same order, or rearrange them in reverse order, etc

Before I do that to this poem, I must acknowledge that the task is already at least partially accomplished:

temptations of potential

cheese dirt = trid eseehc
eht tellaw coughshguoc = the wallet coughs
ado sin nervo lante = etnal ovren nis oda
texticular vapors and falling raincoats
sagimrof = formica
log coyote custard; ham throat asbestos pellets
lake about angels
gland about angels
wallet about angels
spitting oud without angels
roiling in the bathroom, rotating angels
with a bunny in our shorts

Drifting like a cork on the whole language like a snow-drift drifting drifting out on the stormy sea, a rift in the intractable triumph, introducing anything nothing anything, the written dilates in an ongoing writing, the motionless eye an ocean, immortal intimations of immorality, our responsibility to respond, pleasure begins in the impossible bliss of everything as it is forbidden: historical recombinations, you are about to road. My future, our present, their memories, we are irregularities in the textual system. Between caution and citation a form of the pacific-garde. Subjective difference is a cut. Either side of the slice is a surface of the wound. Soil cannot meat in the contrary of its struggle. Splinters of yesterday, emancipated from organic history, mediate their conformist utterances, poxed by the pleasures of our purloined contradictions. Plural or more, in the paginated diagram, sirens in whole at the crossroads of the syntax, we are our own electrical consequences and mutations, thoughts swirling in the flux of consciousness, the archetype of anarchic mystery. It is as it seems. This. As it appears. No rear view mirrors involved. The author may give in the guise of who he is whatever it is he needs to be before those who within the curse and course of their own destruction, a process whether we like it as such or not, cause the simplest changes in semantics, while our desires are emptied of desire and become no longer inadequate. Slantsemic. The body only wants to be here, working with what it is.

from the IUOMA Mail Interview with Ruud Janssen
Ruud Janssen: What is the story behind your stamp-work?
Reply on 29-11-1995
JMB: Why make something everyone expects to see; something they’ve seen already? I want to make something never made before, something I, and others, will see for the first time. This is my goal in all my art and writing. Rubber stamps are a quick way to achieve this: with a couple movements of the hand, you can make a bizarre combination of images and/or words and thus have an instant experience of seeing the world as if for the first time: the world becomes new and exciting, and one continues to learn about it.

"temptations of potential" can be seen as an example of ​(from ​​SOME OF JOHN M. BENNETT”S POETRY TRICKS)
Cut-ups and tear-ups
The numbers of ways to do this are only limited by your imagination. By disassembling and reassembling existing texts you will discover new meanings and resonances you might not have thought of. With some practice, you will come to be able to write in this manner skipping the step of cutting or tearing up. You will have found a whole new dimension of language in which to express yourself. It is especially thrilling to cut up your own texts in these ways.


One of the techniques of Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and their generation was that of cutup
writing. Burroughs practiced that quite literally, using various procedures for recombining
and editing texts (or tape recordings) that had been cut apart with scissors. This
produced a literary style and diction that in this "second wave" has become something
written directly, by-passing the use of scissors. Cut-ups, then, which appeared early in
the 20th century as a game or technique of surrealist and dada artists, passed through
Gysin and Burroughs and the concrete poets in the mid-century where it became a
major technique, and by the century's end had become a "natural" way of writing, had
become the diction and voice of poets like F. A. Nettelbeck, Sheila E. Murphy, John M.
Bennett, Jim Leftwich, Thomas L. Taylor, Carlos M. Luis, and many others. Actual cutups
are still done, along with other kinds of chance operations, but it is often now a procedure
used in visual poetry, so that one can actually see the cutting that has occurred,
as if it had a kind of ritual value.

An entire perversion of scattered facts and acts, a vision of endless versions, suddenly necessary -- unmade, invented, thinkable, recuperated, receptive, gratuitous, useless, cumulative, acclimated, captivating, indirect, tenuous, disinterested -- the impulse of the circuit, the empathy of its denial. Did not like or want it speaks exponentially of what has piled. Remote priests, increasingly rhetorical (their incremental results are only a notion, their taut clothes disturbed by grammatical clothespins) (incremental precision accommodates paradox and reversal), skirmishes described by turnstiles, brands inventive enough to survive parataxis in the biosphere (buccal membrane, benthic, berm), as each fiction spreads it becomes more social, the formidable jargon of the state. Rivalry in apex for proximity to hegemony remediates apolitical power grids split in place. It is an ahistorical flight from everywhere their regionality controls (nowhere, understood as distributed). Major techniques are still used in the diction of ritual values.

Tom Taylor / Anabasis, from Diction (1995):
style is psychoactive
I write the disjunkt with uncommon fervor, it's easy and fun, it’s a head trip, it sometimes carries the force of intense personal experience, and to an extent, it's the way i started writing when i got loose of the trial and error of imitation and flattery which characterizes beginning writing.

On page 124 is a poem entitled "eggs". It was published online at Truck on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Two weeks after the 4th. It reminds me of one of those nightmarish holiday gatherings. Fireworks in celebration of the permanent war economy. Friends of friends (and their friends). Acquaintances of friends. The provisional boyfriends of those acquaintances. Foods I don't eat on any other day. Hot dogs sweating in the mid-summer sun. ...two knees languid yolk… (Another post-snippet attributed to Jim Leftwich. Maybe from Six Months Aint No Sentence Book 47.)


your sausage gape - tidy-bowl -
lens compaction wheee zes
and yr said nothing blooaats’
“redemption” - haw - shiner
twitching on the line  .I
)fell so deep(  raw pool
,mesmer ,focal joint
purulencia y tu pinche pon
cho de lluvia  .)stirring the k
raut ,and what the
buns forgot(

...perro ,bruma ,potato chips...

...stage props burn in the haze...
- Ivan Argüelles

...two knees languid yolk...
- Jim Leftwich

How can a poem, in its incongruous truce of courage, dance in these pockets of ideology, their shoes and dominoes represented by the clouds, their ghosts of bitter shadows (chiaroscuro, container ships, bunker fuel, sociolinguistic institutions)? Poems, liquidated by science, resisting -- with which reading? -- the contagion of subjectivity, metonymy makes us dominant and fecund. Commonplace skull of objective divination, beneath a sticky sky. Who can rain, destroys by gradual reports, the heart of cabbage like a spoon. Vicarious precarity, in my solitude, listening to Louis Armstrong renounce, in short, in passing, the path of misguided assertions, like something to display while the harvest is barely a thesis. Morsel certain physics by the edge. If we say a different hammer, the meaning our daily newspaper, then outside is what we summon up, a specialist dust cosmogony anterior to our text. Formulaic mathematics by which they belittle our impossible youth. Authority is the inner text, what comes before us, to account for the references we recognize in those apple trees to ourselves.

organic chicken dogs

Plant these eggs and they will blossom,
sprouting chickens, blooming squawk.
Every trick in the book. Lwob ydit --
epag egasuas ruoy. Each year said
nothing bloody oats in a boat, "the red
exemption" -- cole slaw -- Shriner's
parade bewitching on tv. Eye )felt do
sleep( paw wool loop law ,mesmer
eye zing ,local point purulence and
your rain poncho prick  .)stinging
strings of sauerkraut ,wand hat the
buns forgot, dreams of the 4th of July

dog, mist/haze, potato ships​
...stage props burn in the haze...
- Ivan Argüelles

...two knees languid yolk...
- Jim Leftwich
Culture, or has taken (of our, and from our) -- a bourgeois model of bliss? -- water in the nose (perhaps they were swimming, maybe a little drunk, in a pool on the fourth of July?), one must empathize with the blazing lily -- evinced, convinced -- (totalizing solidarities?), of its necessarily petite disappearance, an end to the literature, to literature itself (goat-ritual, moon-phase, the luxury of living alone), relish (class war?) or wound, both taking and forsaking refuge in an ornate praxis, embellished historical cultures, from a mask of no resistance through the gates of pleasure to an islet, nor immersion in illusions of power as virtue, willing metaphors (no more parties of special things to do, magic is merely an element of language, its seductive disinterest in us, its eroticism and its doors), time is a bird of prey / from the salt mines of Venus / confronting the stereotype in language requires a structural intuition.

On page 178, we find "fence shock", which also appears on the John M. Bennett Poetry blog, posted on SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2013.

fence shock

incremental outer etch
other qui est semblable à
un insecte sur une salade
the gnot sporne other
noar morning or parch
sur l’abdomen le sein desséché
de sa mère a pie a pie
hacia el error sísmico de comer
celestial horseliver maladie
du cigare thing the body
revelations de las nalgas
des larmes de caoutchouc
furniture suburbia canal
de Panamá in a field des larmes
)de plus( d’hydrogène et cáncer
des canards sauvages reve
latio grinder populated by
interventions stuffed with
dolls le ruisseau solidifié
of trinkets des épinards cala
veras con lengua de chalchihuite
not lake are these but lake
l’eau ui upo ioop )even level
events(  comme un chien dans
la mer omo lake flows
papery aperturas en el
cuerpo singulante

With chunks from Jim Leftwich’s
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 48, 2013
Benjamin Péret, Le gran jeu, 1928

A Google translation is an insistence on the word no longer claiming any miracle of solidification. As such, its "truth" is truly an alternative truth, the facticity of its "truthiness" (truly a mutant neologism) unconstrained by an adequate magic. In the hollow machine translation words detonate a disorder of fractured meanings. We can appreciate this fact to whatever degree our wills and the weather permit. Time is the sentence within any given sentence. Doing time (they are distracted) in the universal mind, succulent repetitions opposed by the same (extravagantly new in time) (apparitions personally grind our pocket watches into texts), "the real" speaks the demon-language of reality. One text does Oedipus to dust. We name the standard finalities as the institutions of their nihilism. A Google translation does irreparable damage to the consistency of anarchism. We remember: within our politicized nausea, we use what we choose to use.

The first incremental: a Google translation from French to English

fence shock #1

incremental outer etch
other that is similar to
an insect on a salad
the gnot sporne other
noar morning or parch
on the abdomen the dried up breast
from his mother to a magpie
hacia el error sísmico de comer
celestial horseliver disease
cigar thing the body
revelations of las nalgas
tears of rubber
furniture suburbia canal
Panamá in a field of tears
) more (hydrogen and cáncer
wild ducks dream
latio grinder populated by
interventions stuffed with
dolls the solidified stream
of spinach cala trinkets
veras con lengua de chalchihuite
these are but but lake
water ui upo ioop) even level
events (like a dog in
the sea omo lake flows
papery aperturas in el
singular cuerpo

With chunks from Jim Leftwich's
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 48, 2013
Benjamin Péret, The Great Game, 1928

A Google translation is political, prevailing, more a question of which nationalism than of what entails its theory. Scientific platitudes foreclose the social, rid of pleasure in a field or void of discourse. No rigor therein as uneven as alienation. The obscure pleasure of the letters is merely forgotten. We intrude, as if in yet another language, impose our will, insert our wishes, interleaf desires -- forgo, as never before... the dust itself does not, being illegibly there, unintelligible, the ungovernable dust of the real... (what is a demon? do not think of an orange. what is the mix of the real? mixed with what?) (the idea of the real mixed with itself... that would explain a lot, if we would allow ourselves to accept it...) ...humanistic and tragic poems, in the hallucinatory restaurant of the real. A Google translation will always be -- from our, human, perspective, not from its, machine, perspective -- a writing-against-itself.

The second incremental: a Google translation of fence shock #1 from Spanish to English

fence shock #2

incremental outer etch
other that is similar to
an insect on a salad
the gnot sporne other
noar morning or parch
on the abdomen the dried up breast
from his mother to a magpie
towards the seismic error of eating
celestial horseliver disease
cigar thing the body
revelations of the buttocks
tears of rubber
furniture suburbia canal
Panama in a field of tears
more (hydrogen and cancer
wild ducks dream
latio grinder populated by
interventions stuffed with
dolls the solidified stream
of spinach cala trinkets
You will see with chalchihuite tongue
these are but but lake
water ui upo ioop) even level
events (like a dog in
the sea omo
papery openings in the
singular body

With chunks from Jim Leftwich's
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 48, 2013
Benjamin Péret, The Great Game, 1928

Madness, unmasked, is never useless, therein lies its proximity to our cause. Google, as a search engine, is edited against us, it wants to limit us to what we like. It would limit us to what we have already known as evidenced in what we have sought.  We trick it into finding for us that which we are only indirectly seeking. Then, the trick is to trick ourselves, so we don't fall back on the laziness of linear influence and osmotic context. Ongoing research is important primarily for its ongoingness. Wherever it stops today is the starting-point for tomorrow (that should be too obvious to mention, but evidently it is not). Research is the engine we have already known as it returns to its ongoingness.

The third incremental: fragments

...Seler (1960a), commenting on such findings, concluded that the chalchihuites in that context symbolize small drops of water

Chalchihuites - Place of the Precious Stones

The archaeologist Manuel Gamio referred to Chalchihuites as a "culture of transition" between the Mesoamerican civilizations and the so-called Chichimeca hunters/gatherers who lived in the arid plateau of central Mexico

cala = creek

gnot = knot, spelled as gnostic is spelled (nostic, knostic)

sporne = spurs (and inevitably, via homeophonic association, spores)

​Noar comes from the Hebrew root word (nun-ayin-resh) which translates to "enlightened".
from the urban dictionary (which seems somewhat trustworthy, sometimes)

​From Old Frisian *naro, from Proto-Germanic *narwaz.
​1. ​narrow
​2. ​miserable; awful
​3. ​bad-looking
​from Wiktionary​ (which seems somewhat trustworthy, sometimes)

​From Vulgar Latin *notāre (compare Italian nuotare, Romansch nodar, nudar, Old French noer, Romanian înota) from Classical Latin natāre, present active infinitive of natō.
(intransitive) to swim
also ​​from Wiktionary​

Ruud Janssen: POETRY seems to be the most important art-form you use to express yourself. Why? What is so fascinating about letters and words?
Reply on 2-3-1996
JMB: If I knew the answer to that I’d have understood what consciousness is. I can say that the process of writing poetry seems to combine several interests, pleasures, needs; seems to satisfy them like nothing else I do: the need to know, the need to be learning, the need to know I know nothing, the need to know nothing, the need to see and know together, the need to hear what I haven’t heard, the need to read what I haven’t read, the need to be someone or something other than “myself”, the need to say what can’t be said, to think what can’t be thought, the need to be outside and inside knowing outside at the same time, the need to be inside and outside knowing inside at the same time. Language, used as an art, springs from, and addresses, several kinds of consciousness at once; it is the best way for me to attempt a totalizing awareness, to know it all and say it all; to be more than “who I am”. --from the IUOMA Mail Interview with Ruud Janssen

The fourth incremental: with the replacement of all words and phrases in all languages other than English by the phrase "a pie a pie" (which is not an improvement of any kind, and not a commentary of any kind, only the actualization of a tiny part of the potential in the poem) (or, maybe it is a commentary on one thing: my own glaring lack of knowledge of languages other than English -- I took four years of French and two of Latin in high school and college, but never built on that foundation)

fence shock #3

incremental outer etch
other a pie a pie
the a pie a pie other
a pie a pie morning or parch
a pie a pie a pie a pie
a pie a pie comer
celestial horseliver a pie a pie
a pie a pie thing the body
revelations a pie a pie
furniture suburbia canal
a pie a pie in a field a pie a pie
)a pie a pie( a pie a pie
grinder populated by
interventions stuffed with
a pie a pie
of trinkets a pie a pie
not lake are these but lake
a pie a pie ui upo ioop )even level
events(  a pie a pie lake flows
papery a pie a pie

With chunks from Jim Leftwich’s
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 48, 2013
Benjamin Péret, a pie a pie, 1928

Permission, outside of any inflicted dust, depends upon a transport of evidence in trust. Musing upon an other shore, the poem is precocious, a prayer, the circumstantial jurisdiction of desire.

Certainty belongs to everyone; it is self-serving and innate. Subordination subverted by the precarious imagination. Critical desire: nothing can say it, anywhere. Boredom is an imaginary constraint. Contextually continuous, however such an extreme may be configured, sufficient unto itself is the unpredictability of the absurd.

A poem is not inhabited to please us with its moods. No alibi of emptiness guarantees the play of sky above an open field.

Roland Barthes has written: The bliss of the text is not precarious, it is worse: precocious; it does not come in its own good time, it does not depend on any ripening.

I disagree. But I am thinking about the poem, and he was writing about the text. Because the pleasure of the poem is precocious, we have enough time for it, and it for us. We will inhabit it as it ripens. It might even inhabit us, as it ripens.

A poem begins in the condition of being exactly as precarious as the most precarious characteristic of its author. That is one of its most valuable virtues, and a source of its potentially radical openness. Each reader is required to accept a relationship with that precarity.

The poem requests that its reader be willing to risk embracing the poem's precarity at its most extreme. Poem as a sharing of vulnerabilities. Reading as entering its open wound.

On page 199 we come to Cloud Wind, (What I mumbled through Jim Leftwich’s Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 49, 2013; & Ivan Argüelles’ “farther up the road”, “LSD”, and “SHAKTI”, 2013), which John emailed to me on 7/31/2013, and published on his blog the same day:

cloud wind

particular layering of mortal
cross the abstorica blackest
words in the sentence center’s
smoking typewriter enigma
,backwards transformed again
ancient beginning in the zip
zoot suit ,required enamel my
sterious pyramid dressing
the archaic bog  )speed of
sweaty light(  lurking
plastic convulsions in a
single syllable blink shots
,the old library dimmer mirror
,socks ,floating flares in the
glass rooms stare at
“everything” ,eyes brooms
naked spaces in the
meat flushed tomb
stone’s anti-market base
ment update leading no
where ,spiral fetish in
sight motion’s sock ecosystem
your smutty clouds raving
sex secret convul sions
hermetic window reversible
analogies homemade loaf
coiled in the hour’s hungry
reductive games ,a
silent automobile matching
face stories sp lit a
wareness for the shadows’
aspirin closed groups glossy
tongues the next corner o
ver :complicit experiential
moaning in the lake’s pers
onal mud a page or
exotic labor ,identities
diving off the needle’s
class liberation labobroken
skirt dot dot dot for a
few...  “episode is epis
ode” rose door vastness

What I mumbled through Jim Leftwich’s
Six Months Aint No Sentence, Book 49, 2013;
& Ivan Argüelles’ “farther up the road”,
“LSD”, and “SHAKTI”, 2013

I take another break, make some more visual poems. More pink and black tempera. Dirtying more ongoing research boxes. More scribbling and scratching, making imprints.

Jean Dubuffet said: Art should be born from the materials. I say the same. I am saying: Poetry should be born from the materials. Letters syllables phonemes words. Terms phrases clauses sentences. Lines and line-breaks. Rhythms and rhymes. Everything that comes in through the whole sensorium goes out through and into the materials of the poem. A poem is a grain of sand. A poet is a grain of sand. I have seen the infinitely small turn into the infinitely large. Traveling down through the body to the tiniest nothing inside a cell, then out into the absence of everything, expanding with the void. It makes no difference what this sounds like, I'm 61, not 16. What matters is remembering. The poem is a mnemonic system of a very special sort. It remembers things for us, and functions as a training manual for us, so we can get better at remembering things for it. The emprientes I make, which I learned to make by reading Dubuffet's essay on the subject, are studies, etudes, exercises in a training manual. Dubuffet said make thousands of them, and I have followed his instructions. They are visual poems, all of them, because I think about them as visual poems, and because I think about visual poems as I make them. When I make them on something like a Food Lion advert, they are immediately textimagepoems. Text/image work, without question, textimagepoems because the path taken to get to them started in a poem. Started with the poem. I can easily imagine coming to them having started with visual art, having started with painting, but that is not where I started. I started with I is an other.


​emailed by John M. Bennett on Monday afternoon, 02.26.2018​

some comments: 

the Celan quotes are in Romanian, a language i can puzzle out a bit, since it is basically a romance language, with weird slavic lexical elements that pull me up sharp. 

"tempotencia": is tempo plus potencia, which is spanish for power, so it's something like tempopower

chalchihuite is "green stone" - jade and others - which was the most valuable stone in mesoamerican cultures - more valuable than gold.  associated with water and tears and caves... i'm not sure what Seler was talking about when he called it a "culture"of transition"
 maybe he was referring to the Chichimecs adopting aspects, as they did, of Mesoamerican culture, including the language (Nahuatl).  the Chichimecas came from what is now northern mexico, somewhat barbarian tribe, and are the ancestors of the Mexica or Aztecs, who came to dominate much of mexico in the century or so before the spanish/tlaxcaltecan conquest.

I love these incrementals - in no. 3 it is very hard for me to read "a pie" as english - it means "on foot" in spanish - so it's like i'm seeing the poem with double vision, which is pretty neat



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).