Press Release Let the Whales Escape Collected Poems by RW Haynes


 
 
Let the Whales Escape R.W.Haynes
 
 
Mona Lisa and the Marlboro Man
 
Not knowing if wisdom would impulsively fly
Or if it dragged its feet when impulse flared,
She had to make the call and suddenly try
To do what an immortal would have dared,
An Aphrodite, ascending in a flying cart
Drawn by fifty gurgling pigeons at a speed
Which matched the speed of her own matchless heart
And the heartbreaking glory of her need.
Later, back in Laredo, she would say
She didn’t know why she’d taken off that way,
Smiling with satisfaction, recalling when
Her best moments flew by delightfully then.
 
He didn’t want anyone saying, “Oh.
This is how I feel,” but people do
Say that, and he said it, sometimes, too,
In unguarded moments, and he would show
How he felt, displaying great disdain
As he lit his pipe, blew blue smoke forth
Delivering himself from aesthetic pain
Incurred by foolish ideas from the North,
And, nodding slightly to appreciate
A tolerable turn of phrase which he
Thought suggested some brain activity,
He let his tobacco counter-obfuscate
Suspicious overflows of raw emotion
Which threatened to undermine devotion.
 
 
On the Balcony of the Palacio de Cortés
 
Madness stands at one elbow. At the other
Various figures in masks take their turns,
And all whisper steadily, one after another,
Syllables whose content one never learns.
The maniac is familiar; one keeps a careful eye
On him night and day, and day and night,
But who are the others who are standing by,
And what are these advisements they recite?
I dream the lonely ghost of love is one
Whose only consolation is to speak of sin,
And when that sad companion is done,
I hear Complacency, Madness’s mad twin.
I listen in patience, fighting back the fear
I’ll never hear the voice I hope to hear.
 
 
Ibsen on the Nile
 
Those monuments are monuments merely
Of themselves; this river of nutrition
And death, inundating Egypt, is clearly
A muddy embodiment of time’s volition.
I saw the Sphinx off in the distance. Today
I purchased an ancient mummified hand
To give to my wife, safely far away,
And I suspect that she will understand.
I met DeLesseps recently. He and I
Have much in common, more than he knows;
My work is lonelier, but there exists a tie
Between what we do as humankind grows.
These monuments record the vanity of ages;
Mine put the outraged human soul on stages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Disruptions. Poems by Gary Beck

‘Disruptions’ is an unpublished collection that examines the various interruptions to the daily struggle in this difficult life. Author’s Comment.
 
(i)
 
Suspension
 
The days get cooler,
the nights colder,
more and more grey days.
Some say climate change.
Others say nay.
It is difficult to tell
what is or is not normal,
allowing many to ignore
the need to reduce
polluting fossil fuels.
 
(ii)
 
Relocation
 
Many governments
build housing for the poor
often a benefit and curse
at the same time,
since social services
rarely accompany relocation
leaving residents adrift
with insufficient resources
to cope with new conditions.
 
The Chinese government
has built entire cities
for several millions
uprooting them
for a new way of life
completely unprepared
for a foreign environment
confining them to hi-rises.
 
(iii)
 
Freedom State
 
Whether alone
in public space,
isolated in a crowd,
or solitary confinement,
we are only prisoners
when we stop thinking
about the issues
of our times.
 
(iv)
 
Primordial Response
 
Fear of the machine,
accentuated
by the growing loss
of fear of Nature,
except when propelled into panic
by flood, fire, hurricane,
since for urbanites
the natural world
generally seems benevolent.
Our primitive selves
require something to dread
so we select the machines
that abused so many,
replaced so many,
forgetting that men
make the machines,
operate the machines.
 
(v)
 
News Reports
 
The President says:
Russia didn’t interfere
with our elections,
so of course it must be true.
The new E.P.A. head
is firing the scientists
who believe in climate change.
More and more men are guilty
of harassing women.
Road rage incidents
end in shootings.
A puppy in a pet shop
is stolen by a couple.
And endless amounts of sports,
all kinds for all tastes.
These tidbits just a hint
of what goes on daily
that we never hear of,
suggesting to some of us
we have no idea
what really goes on
in this complicated world.
 
 

 
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. His poetry collections include Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press), Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order (Winter Goose Publishing). Conditioned Response (Nazar Look), Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications), Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His novels include Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pig Productions), Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance (Wordcatcher Publishing). His short story collections include A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications), Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). Feast or Famine and other one act-plays will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of magazines. He lives in New York City.
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Collected Poems Laredo Light by RW Haynes Press Release


 
 
We are pleased to introduce at PLT, RW Haynes recent volume of collected poems hailing from Laredo. It’s been our pleasure to publish a selection of Haynes’ works over the last few years, ( in case of interest view Search or Categories at this site ). He’s a poet with a canny and unique expertise in the craftmanship of the classical sonnet dating from the Renaissance poets and a master of the lyrical mode but absolutely written in contemporary vogue. At times profoundly reflective and self effacing they saunter from the wry and whimsical to the depths of inner movement, whilst harvesting at all times a spectacular vocabulary in accompaniment. Editor’s comment.
 
 
Southern Baptists Sponsor Stormy Daniels Forgiveness Tour
 
“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

      –Dolly Parton

 
 
Brothers and sisters, we all have turned away
From the true path, but in our faith we know
We can return, though bled half-dry, although
In pain and shame for having run astray.
Judas, too, was born a child of light.
His mother saw in him how love arrives.
His kiss would guarantee that it survives
All storminess and darkness, shining bright.
And we also betray our closest friends
And sell ourselves and them with greedy minds
Until amazing grace assures that conscience finds
We have gone chasing after stupid ends.
And now, O brethren, it has come to pass
We’ve put our money on the wrong jackass.
 
 
 

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, writes various things in prose and in poetic form. His academic specialty is 16th-century England, but much of his work lately has been on the playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote. His poetry collections Laredo Light and Let the Whales Escape are being published this summer. He recently wrote a play titled Never Claim a Kill, and he hopes to complete his novel The Songs of Billy Bonstead before Laredo cools off again. Another project in progress is an academic work currently titled The Struggling Spirit in the Plays and Screenplays of Horton Foote.
 
 
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face. Collected Poems by Mitchell Grabois. Press Release


 
The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face Mitchel Krockmalnik Grabois
 
M Krockmalnik Grabois is a poet extraodinaire, his works lucidly readable are delivered in a paced, snappy even raunchy style ranging from the common place mundane social to the seedy, slapstick macabre. Much of his writing follows the genre of narrator vignettes with the inevitable turn and twist closure punch lines that amorphize a mix of compassion with often hilarious black humor. Indeed, these poems are psychotic taking us to the verge of psychopathy where they compell the reader to a confrontation of her own humanity. A provocative and very recommendable read. For further works by Mitch Grabois see and search links below: Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com, Motherbird.com
 
 
 
The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face
 
I kissed the woman who slices lunch meat
at King Sooper’s
She shoved smoked turkey at me
leaned away
and called: Next!
 
I kissed my doctor
I’d been wanting to do it
since she first told me to stick out my tongue
and complemented me on its smoothness
and the elegance of my taste buds
I kissed her and she asked
On a scale of one to ten, how have you been feeling this week?
I kissed her again
Have you been seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there?
Have you been feeling suicidal or homicidal?

I kissed her more deeply
really sent my tongue to a remote locale
Do you have access to weapons?
 
I said:
How can you ask me that
after everything we’ve been through?
Anyway, this is America

 
She called Security
Security knew me
from the days when I was a high school football star
and an amateur boxer and cage fighter
who went by the moniker Destructo
They were afraid of me
called the cops
warned them: Be sure to bring your stun guns
your billy clubs
and chemical weapons

 
The first cop who entered the room—
I kissed her
She yelled FREEZE!
Hands where I can see them!
Get down on your knees!

 
I happily complied
 
 
 

 
 

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois
 
 
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including quite a few in POETRY LIFE AND TIMES. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a Print Edition . To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.

 

 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

 

Amparo Arróspide Reviews Goddess Summons the Nation Collected Poems by Tony Martin Woods

Goddess Summons the Nation Paperback
Goddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition
 
 
Goddess summons the Nation
 
a book of poems written with the vocation of songs and minstrelsy, articulated in four chapters with revealing titles, Substructure, Superstructure, Demolition and Flowers. Full of irony, the poetic voice, which is an ethical, indignant voice, wants the written script to transcend in spoken writing (The grapes / don’t die / in the vineyard / with the harvest / in the summer. // They transcend / and translive / victorious / in the wine, // like the poem in the song … ). This book talks to the reader in short, concise verses, with lexicon of the perspective of one who stands on the brink of historical abyss (The West bleeds to death /…). To paraphrase Ezra Pound, this book has style, that is to say, limpidity, as opposed to rethoric; where the poet in dealing with his own time, sees that language does not petrify in his hands; he has prepared for new advances along the lines of true metaphor, that is interpretative metaphor, or image, as diametrically opposed to untrue or ornamental metaphor. These poems daringly address Brexit and Trump, the policy of closing borders and xenophobia, and a nation that appears personified in female allegories – I am the matriot / the highest patriot / I serve my shares / I sooth my country /…, and cyborgs who leave a planet in ruins ( his brain compressed in a zip folder / stored in a private cloud // No memories / just data / …), our own planet from which figs also flee (with millions of figs like me, like you / away from a supernova / of stupid national greed / … ). In one poem, Time to leave Brexit, we can also read the condensed intention of the book: I’ve never been an island, / Nor a chunk of it. / I could never be one / Cause I’m a social being / made of flesh / And emotions. Images of flesh and bone, and emotions that readers will share.
 
Editor’s Note: see also Artvilla.com Goddess Summons the Nation. By Tony Martin Woods.
 
Goddess summons the Nation
 
un poemario escrito con vocación de cancionero y de mester de juglaría, articulado en cuatro capítulos con títulos reveladores, Substructure, Superstructure, Demolition y Flowers. Pleno de ironía, la voz poética, que es una voz ética, indignada, y que pretende que la escritura escrita trascienda en la escritura hablada (The grapes/don´t die/in the vineyard/with the harvest/in the summer.// They transcend/and translive/victorious/in the wine,// like the poem in the song/…). Se interpela al lector en versos breves, concisos, con léxico de nuestro tiempo y una temática actual de quien se sitúa al borde del abismo histórico (The West bleeds to death/…). Parafraseando a Ezra Pound, este es un libro con “style, that is to say, limpidity, as opposed to rethoric”, donde el poeta “in dealing with his own time, sees to it that language does not petrify in his hands; he has prepared for new advances along the lines of true metaphor that is interpretative metaphor, or image, as diametrically opposed to untrue or ornamental metaphor”. Los poemas se atreven con el Brexit, con Trump, con la política de cierre de fronteras y xenofobia, con una nación que aparece personificada en alegorías femeninas – I am the matriot/ the highest patriot/ I serve my shares/ I sooth my country/, y con cíborgs que abandonan un planeta en ruinas (his brain compressed in a zip folder/stored in a private cloud// No memories/just data/…), planeta del que también huyen los higos ( with millions of figs like me, like you/ away from a supernova/of stupid national greed/…). En uno de sus poemas, Time to leave Brexit, también podemos leer la intención condensada del libro: I´ve never been an island,/Nor a chunk of it./ I could never be one/Cause I´m a social being/made of flesh/And emotions… Imágenes de carne y hueso, y emociones que compartirán lectores y lectoras.
 
 

 

 
 
Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change100tpc.org/. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/ . He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons The Nation, is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English. It is available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/91/antonio-martinez-arboleda
 
 
 
 

 
 
Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines.
She has received numerous awards. Editor’s Note: see also Poetry, National Literature Prize 2018, Francisca Aguirre, Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Life and Opinions of Doctor BOP the Burnt-Out-Prof. Collected Poems by EM Schorb. Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop

 
Excerpt from
Life and Opinions of Doctor BOP

 
A poem is a posit, an assertion, an act,
and in action we forget fear: respite
in creation, the maker takes a stand, in making,
but is it a stand no better than gimmick-makers make?
Well, poetry possesses the virtue of being a record,
at least, and you can date a poem, if you wish,
thus giving it the merit of a worldly fact
contained in a system of time, which, admittedly,
is a system which is perhaps pseudo-fact itself,
or will become so as matter completes its withdrawal
upon itself to revisit its beginnings in a black hole in space;
and yet, until then, something like a fact,
a fact in the sense that Sherlock Holmes is almost real
and lives in Baker Street in a fictional series
in a real world that may exist only in a dream
that is being dreamed elsewhere, perhaps—dare I say—
by Yahweh; and so poetry becomes an actual little stab
and, poets hope, rip in the black sheet
that covers the deserted, haunted mansion.
 
 
Reviewed at:
 
Amazon.co.uk Life and Opinions of Doctor BOP the Burnt-Out-Prof and Other Poems . See also Amazon.com
 
Amazon.co.uk Emanations from the Penumbra Poems EM Schorb See also: Amazon.com
 
Review of
Life and Opinions of Doctor BOP
by
Robin Ouzman Hislop (Editor of PLT)
 
 
Many poets often turn to playwrites, more so than the other way about, and undoubtedly, imo, EM Schorb’s early background in theater has led to his latest theme in poetics “Life and Opinions of Doctor BOP ( the Burnt – Out – Prof and other Poems)”. In fact, it seems to me, the entire text hovers between sketches, vignettes, and biographic autobiographical narration in the first person. As a European, but one who has followed, as well, with keen interest North Amercan academia in poetics. As much as philosophy, related to cosomology and evolutionary concerns in the new sciences. It comes as an edifying experience to be introduced to the home grown frantics of North American Campus life, or insomuch, the affect it has had on our character in question, Doctor BOP. Actually, in the reading of the first part of this three part volume, a practically epic poem consisting of some seventeen pages, I was strangely reminded of the later short story writings of JD Salinger’s depiction of University life as an undergraduate English lecturer. He was in fact, as he describes himself, a rather reclusive English lecturer. And one of his passages springs vividly to mind, as he mentions in a more or less autobiographical narration, how as a now muchly graying and aging professor, he hastily makes himself scarce, the moment a group or anything like of under 40’s looms on his horizon, (on the Campus). A far cry from the days of Catcher in the Rye, perhaps we might encounter our Doctor BOP, as Schorb portrays him, as having travelled a somewhat similar way, perhaps a universal way of all burnt-out-profs. At least for the birth of our Doctor BOP, as he emerges from the Yiddish community, where due to a series of social phenomena peculiar to North American modern history, he finds himself born into the world of academia at midriff with his family’s origin, social background and status. Here Schorb brings his own background knowledge of Yiddish custom and vocabulary into full play in all its richness, in the first part of the central theme to the work. It is but one of the literary treats he devises. The whole text is replete with a classical apotheosis, religious epitomes, literary analogues and philosophical allusions, all of which abound in the head of Doctor BOP, as he makes his final but defiant bow before the world. The poems obviously are tragico/comico, there is satire, irony, bitterness, humour and kindness blended together with eruditeness. The text is littered with phrases in Latin, Greek, Yiddish, Spanish, we even have augenblick (in the blink of an eye, or in the moment) for Hamlet in German, and of course, Orator fit, poeta nascitur, poeta nascitur, non fit. (A speaker is made, a poet is born, not made). According to Doctor BOP, who quotes extensively from bibliographies of writers past and present and salutes us in the final part of the first part with vaya con Dios, my Darlings. Doctor BOP makes a delightful read, which the two latter parts of this small volume only serve to embed, and is well worth the buy, if only to raise the dust from our minds to reminisce over our studious years and the host of miscellenious trivia that is the heritage of our race in all its travail – a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more – to coin yet another allusion.
 
 
 
Biography
 

 

E. M. Schorb attended New York University, where he fell in with a group of actors and became a professional actor. During this time, he attended several top-ranking drama schools, which led to industrial films and eventually into sales and business. He has remained in business on and off ever since, but started writing poetry when he was a teenager and has never stopped. His collection, Time and Fevers, was a 2007 recipient of an Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing and also won the “Writer’s Digest” Award for Self-Published Books in Poetry. An earlier collection, Murderer’s Day, was awarded the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and published by Purdue University Press. Other collections include Reflections in a Doubtful I, The Ideologues, The Journey, Manhattan Spleen: Prose Poems, 50 Poems, and The Poor Boy and Other Poems.
 
Schorb’s work has appeared widely in such journals as The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Chicago Review, The Sewanee Review, The American Scholar, and The Hudson Review.

 
At the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2000, his novel, Paradise Square, was the winner of the Grand Prize for fiction from the International eBook Award Foundation, and later, A Portable Chaos won the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction in 2004.

 
Schorb has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council; grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund, Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for drawings), and The Dramatists Guild, among others. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets, and the Poetry Society of America.

 
PRIZE-WINNING BOOKS
BY E.M. SCHORB
Books available at Amazon.com
_______________________________________
 
Dates and Dreams, Writer’s Digest International Self-
Published Book Award for Poetry, First Prize
 
Paradise Square, International eBook Award
Foundation, Grand Prize, Fiction, Frankfurt Book Fair
 
A Portable Chaos, The Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction,
First Prize
 
Murderer’s Day, Verna Emery Poetry Prize, Purdue
University Press
 

Time and Fevers, The Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry
and Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book
Award for Poetry, each First Prize

 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest Collected Poems Volume at Next-Arrivals

Next Arrivals. Collected Poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop. Introduction by Ian Irvine (Hobson)

Introduction to Next Arrival: The Many Faces of Creative Indeterminacy
by Ian Irvine (Hobson)

Poetic Indeterminacy 1: L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry and Late Modernist Experimental Poetry

When Marjorie Perloff, long-term critical advocate for L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry (indeed for experimental poetries generally), published The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage back in 1981, she wanted to trace a particular kind of poetic ‘indeterminacy’ back to its 19thcentury roots in Rimbaud. Early on she quoted Barthes’ perspective on Rimbaud’s poetics: ‘Rimbaud … destroyed relationships in language and reduced discourse to words as static things … In it, Nature becomes a fragmented space, made of objects solitary and terrible, because the links between them are only potential.’ Perloff then traced the 20th century developments in this emerging poetics via chapters on Gertrude Stein’s ‘word-systems’, Samuel Beckett’s ‘poetics of absence’ and John Ashberry’s ‘open field of narrative possibilities’ (elsewhere termed a ‘field poetics’). Her book concluded with studies of the ‘marginless’ poetics of David Antin and the chance-operations poetics of John Cage , who wrote of his later works: ‘They begin anywhere, last any length of time … They are therefore not preconceived objects … They are occasions for experience.’ Perloff’s book led to further studies in which she announced L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry as a further chapter in this century old poetics of ‘indeterminacy’.

Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetry is certainly in dialogue with some of the key architects of this well documented ‘poetics of indeterminacy’ – both the Modernist strands represented by the likes of Beckett and Stein, and the postmodernist strands represented, initially, by Ashberry and Antin, and later on by poets like Charles Bernstein, Bruce Andrews, Lyn Hejinian and Ron Silliman. Next Arrivals, however, like Hislop’s second collection Cartoon Molecules, also explores and responds to themes only rarely addressed by 20th century experimental poets.

In both Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals we start to catch glimpses of a hulking phantasmagoric something (a transhumant creature perhaps?) as it ‘slouches’, ‘transforms’, ‘self-engineers’, ‘machine learns’ it-self into being under cover of the postmodern twilight. Culturally speaking, something new is being born/engineered/programmed in these early decades of the new millennium and all three of Hislop’s collections, in my opinion, work hard to capture the cultural zeitgeist surrounding aspects of this transhuman nativity drama (one interpretation of the collection’s title, i.e. literally, the Next Arrivals). Hislop senses that new poetic forms – what we might label a new (perhaps quantum influenced?) ‘poetics of indeterminacy’ – may be called for here and, like US poet Amy Catanzano, he is courageous enough to initiate new experiments with poetic form in order to address the urgencies of our time.

Poetic Indeterminacy 2: Eulogies for the Passing of Mechanist Science

All this is to say that Hislop is keenly interested in exploring poetically a range of phenomena loosely related to ‘the New Sciences’. His interest, however, is not that of the wide-eyed, but willfully naïve, classical scientist. He understands humanity’s darker impulses – particularly our darker collective impulses – too well to buy into the idyllic marriage vows these days being exchanged between the New Sciences and extreme capitalism – however loved-up the happy couple appear to be in public. His unease and ambivalence regarding this pairing is evident in many of the poems featuring New Science themes. At times key poems descend into states of existential vertigo brought on by what is unfolding. Such themes are most directly addressed in the poem on (p.59) of the collection:

we invent them to serve us         controlling our existence
to create virtual worlds with hells and heavens
myths domesticate science
fiction and reality blur shaping our reality
an assembly of biochemical algorithms flash fade flash fade
spinning

Similar notes of caution and critique accompany references to genetic programming, Artificial Intelligence (and the much publicised ‘approaching Singularity’), Virtual Reality obsessions (Hislop’s meditations on Bostrom’s ‘Simulation Argument’ are particularly interesting), quantum computers, and, so on, throughout the collection. He asks us to be wary of the way the New Sciences are merging with what he refers to as ‘datism’, and then warns us that ‘algorithms can control empire/ or an upper class ruling the planet’ (p.59). Later in the same poem (p.61) we read: ‘free market big brother/ watches every breath you take’. The New Sciences, of course, were founded on a profoundly ontological understanding of ‘indeterminism’, arising as they did, out of the discoveries of a range of early 20th century physicists – especially Heisenberg (with his so-called ‘uncertainty principle’).

Our need to explore these kinds of ontological uncertainty suggest a second major way to understand contemporary experimental poetries as ‘indeterminate’ – a way that brings Hislop close to the concerns of a growing band of writers creating what some are calling ‘Quantum Literatures’. What kinds of art, philosophy, poetry and poetics should we develop to address fundamental ‘indeterminacies’ of matter and consciousness (rather of consciousness observing matter)? Hislop does not, of course, advance explicit theories on such topics in this collection, but a poetic response to the challenges posed hovers above a number of the best poems in the collection. Such concerns also – whether consciously or unconsciously – seem to affect the formal flow of the collection.

Next Arrival can, in theory, be entered via a range of gates, since the 2nd to last poem in the collection mirrors the collection of lines used to construct the table of contents. Though there are no titles to each discernible segment of poetry – no capitals and headings to interrupt flow – we slowly become aware (via a kind of gentle memory murmur) that the first line of each new segment also appears in the table of contents (and will appear again at the end of the collection). In a sense then, our reading choices – i.e. whether we browse/surf the collection or proceed more conventionally from start to finish – ‘collapse’ a range (or field) of reading (and meaning) possibilities into a particular reading outcome. The experience, however, is always ‘hologrammatical’, since poem fragments from across the collection are embedded in secondary poems – producing the uncanny sense that every poem is linked to every other poem. Another term for this – a term directly related to the New Sciences – is ‘entanglement’. Specifically, we are talking about a poetics of entanglement. It is perhaps an intuitive development –possibly arising naturally out of Hislop’s deeply held ecological vision (as outlined in a number of the collection’s other poems). We note, however, that a poetics of entanglement may run contrary to the kind of language atomizing poetics we sometimes find in the more extreme manifestations of contemporary anti-representational poetry.

Although Hislop uses a range of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry techniques, the poems in Next Arrivals are never completely ‘anti-representational’. Rather meaning-creating choices, options, possible worlds/selves are offered up to the reader at every turn. The poet invites us to contemplate a new kind of reading freedom—a freedom built upon expansive notions of subjectivity, linked, in turn, to up-dated Existential and New Science perspectives. A subjectivity, in short, subliminally aware of the multiverse. Barthes’ summary of Rimbaud’s poetic (and, retrospectively the poetics of late Modernism and Postmodernism) – i.e. a poetics of ‘objects solitary and terrible’ – is not, in the end, Hislop’s poetic. Rather, we are talking about a poetry slanted toward human vulnerability and the facts of our inter-relational entanglements – a poetry addressing readers staring at the approach of an A.I. and big-data determined – perhaps Simulation programmed – future that may well see ordinary humans made obsolete and irrelevant – in a word ‘surpassed’. Interestingly, however, I suspect that for Hislop the risks associated with the fast approaching A.I. Singularity confront us as contemporary manifestations of what amounts to an age-old curse. Perhaps a classical allusion is in order. As we read Next Arrivals we become aware that we are still negotiating the Minotaur’s death-haunted labyrinth (in many ways the structure of the collection resembles that of a literary labyrinth). The face of the Minotaur, however, continuously shape-shifts into that of Saturn (old Father Time himself, or, put differently, the inevitable human encounter with death/mortality). There are thus a number of moving poems in Next Arrivals exploring mortality, ageing and the general fragility of human life. Two lines, for me, best summarise the collection’s new spin on this very old theme (p.69):

but I brimmed in apocalypse             under the welter of bones
yield to the inevitable

Poetic Indeteminacies to do with Editing, Translating and New media Technologies

Hislop and his wife, Amparo Perez Arrospide, have edited the online literary and visual arts publication Poetry Life and Times (PLT) since 2006. In this age of global communication networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate a poet’s poetry from a poet’s elsewhere contributions to literary and online cultures. Everything swims together in a kind of ‘electronic soup’ of interactions and information nodes on the WWW (representing perhaps another kind of ‘field poetics’ or ‘poetics of indeterminacy’). For better or worse, the specialized poets of the 20th century have slowly been replaced by a new breed of transmedia savvy ‘uber-artists’. Some poets are well equipped for the new role. Hislop, certainly, is comfortable communicating in a range of genres, across a variety of conventional and new media platforms (e.g. reviews/nonfiction essays, translations, video-poems, teaching, poetry performances, etc. ), as well as through publishing the works of other poets at the PLT site (and we note that all good literary journals seek to construct ‘an open field of narrative possibilities’).

There is no doubt that PLT, here including work published via its sub-sites Artvilla and Motherbird , expresses a truly internationalist poetics. Its contributors herald from all over the planet and the various sites feature a range of poetic styles—traditional, modernist, postmodernist, experimentalist, etc . The editors are also committed to publishing the poetry of non-English language poets (translated, in many cases, by the editors themselves). We note here that ‘translation’ is itself a notoriously difficult and ‘indeterminate’ activity – there is always a trace of the translator in the finished product, however much he or she strives to eliminate any evidence of input. Overall, PLT augments ,and expands upon, the very same poetics of indeterminacy we encounter in Hislop’s own poetry.

*****

The creative Indeterminacies I have located in Hislop’s overall oeuvre are cause for celebration. Exploring such ‘creative indeterminacies’ will introduce us to zones of hybridity – the interstitial plazas and market-places that exist between the monolithic, but ultimately delusionary and oppressive, certainties fed us daily by governments, media moguls, religious leaders and ideologues. There is something liberating and eminently human about embracing the expanded notions of self we encounter in Hislop’s poetry. We note that John Cage also sought a more expansive definition of creative practice when he labeled his later experiments ‘occasions for experience’. We may apply the same terminology to the poems in Next Arrivals – they are, each and every one of them, ‘occasions for experience’. Hislop’s ‘occasions for experience’, however, highlight the ambivalences and anxieties, as well as the joys and occasional epiphanies, experienced by ordinary people attempting to make sense of our globalised, corporatized, information-saturated post-postmodern world.
 
Ian Irvine (Hobson) Victoria Australia 2018

 

Ian Irvine (Hobson) is an Australian based, British born, poet/lyricist, fiction writer, journal editor, and writing and creative arts academic. His work has been published extensively, including in a number of national anthologies, e.g. Best Australian Poetry and Agenda’s special Contemporary Australian Poets edition. He has published four books and has co-edited over 20 publications including 7 editions of the groundbreaking international literary ezine The Animist (1998-2001), as well as Scintillae 2012 (a print anthology containing work by over 60 Australian poets and writers). Ian has taught in the creative and professional writing programme at Bendigo Kangan Institute since 1999. He also lectures casually in a similar program at Victoria University, Melbourne.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Contusions. Selected Poems by Gary Beck.

Editor’s Note: we welcome the return of Gary Beck a prolific poet who has been featured in many appearances here at Artvilla.com
‘Contusions’ is an unpublished poetry collection that explores the aches and pains we suffer from the assault of life. Gary Beck. See Bio below

 
i.
A Peculiar Country
 
A nation suffers
many setbacks
before dissolving
into the trash bin
of history,
for the long slide
into obscurity.
They occur at a critical time
when capitalism
has beggared the nation
and the paid spokespersons
delude the people
into voting for a man
who pledges to help the rich,
burden the dwindling middle-class,
punish the poor for being poor.
Yet millions of voters
support the candidate
committed to hurting them.
 
ii.
 
Imbalance
 
Extreme weather
brings storms, drought,
other disasters,
while unstable seasons
alter our psyches
and no longer leave us
singing in the rain.
 
iii.
 
Linkage
 
The thread of life
connects us all
in ways we rarely see,
but animal, vegetable,
striving, struggling
for existence
frequently intersect
not always benevolently,
causing fatal conflicts
that often result
in final departure.
 
iv.
 
Sick Minds
 
Confrontations rise across the world,
some into widespread warfare,
others in domestic violence,
few peacefully resolved.
People, nations, lose control
of basic sensibilities,
unable to negotiate
acceptable solutions
to conflicts of interest.
 
v.
 
Clash of Interests
 
America leads the fight
for free speech,
women’s rights,
democracy,
against intolerant islam
unwilling to accept
other cultural values,
while China and Russia
hover like vultures
waiting to pick the carcass
of the declining West
after exhaustion
from the struggle
to do right.
 
 

 
 
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 12 published chapbooks and 2 accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors and Perturbations (Winter Goose Publishing) Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). Blossoms of Decay (Wordcatcher Publishing). Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions) and Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing, Crumbling Ramparts by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collections include, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications) and. Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (Leeds University) .