Open Book. A Poem by Fabrice B. Poussin

 
 
Fearful of the imminent decay of the old manuscript
investigator of lives passed into a flaky tomb of dust and rust
still in the weight of a moment of hesitant courage
he contemplates the spine broken as that of an ancient fresco.

Freely offered to the avid devourer of sleeping passions
the pages gently curve, palimpsests in the light breeze
of an ante chamber gaping to the treasures of the fortress
illuminations shine in the dim hours of dusk mirror of another.

A sweet flutter pierces the realm to suggest an awakening
as in a stage darkness entombs useless space all around
not even a breath can be heard, not a rumble of a heart
in an excess of life, it appears death conquers the instant.

Hypnotized by the tale told in a murmur to his soul
he longs to join hands in prayer and dive deep within
before, aware of his presence, she seals the gate
left open likely in error when she felt safe in her cage.

Arched outward the velum calls for his foreign touch
so vulnerable to the violent attacks of a cruel reality
it desires to break all bridges to hold him captive and
dissolve him with the universal dreams and make a new world.
 
 
Fabrice B. Poussin
 

 
 
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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) .

In Memoriam Joe Ruggier Canadian Poet and Poetry Publisher R.I.P

Editor’s Note: the following homage in memoriam of the life and work of the poet Joe Ruggier appears through the kind permission of Michael Burch, editor of The HyperTexts (see below) We are grateful at Artvilla for this permission and understand that both he & Joe Ruggier were close friends as will become apparent in the text. Joe was also known to us at Poetry Life & Times www.artvilla.com where his contributions can be accessed via Categories on the right hand column. We also provide here the link to https://linearbknossosmycenae.com/2018/07/21/in-memoriam-joe-ruggier-canadian-poet-and-poetry-publisher/ where his sonnets were published in international, multilingual sonnet anthology, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant de ces cendres (251 pp.), published in 2013 by Richard Vallance Janke

We regretfully announce the sudden passing of Joe M. Ruggier at the age of 61 on Sunday July 8, 2018. Joe was born in Malta on July 26, 1956 and emigrated to Canada in 1981. He married Maria Julia Raminhos Lourenco in 1984, with whom he raised their daughter, Sarah Thérèse. Joe attended St. Aloysius’ College, then earned a B.A. in English with first class honours from the Royal University of Malta. He then continued his studies in Canada, earning a certificate in Writing and Publishing (SFU) and a Diploma in Typesetting (VCC). Joe wrote and published poetry in both Maltese and English, managed a small press, Multicultural Books of BC, and edited a poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to publish dozens of titles, and he sold over 20,000 books, many of them door-to-door. Joe was committed to the written word, and to elevating the works of his peers and the poets he loved. In his final days he worked fervently, translating work by the Maltese priest, writer and poet, Dun Karm Psaila. Joe was passionate about his faith, his family—most especially his beloved Sarah Thérèse—international sports (soccer), languages, playing classical guitar and listening to his wide-ranging record collection.

The HyperTexts

My Memories of Joe Ruggier

by Michael R. Burch

Joe Ruggier, who published as Joe M. Ruggier, was a remarkable man, if a bit on the “unusual” side. And I met him in a very unusual way …

The year was 2002, and a poem of mine—”She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful”—had just been published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, a literary journal edited by Esther Cameron. Esther contacted me to let me know that another editor had called her in order to get in touch with me, and had actually recited my poem to her over the phone! That was my introduction to Joe Ruggier. Of course I was honored and intrigued, so I called Joe with the number Esther provided, and from that day forward Joe and I became friends. Joe published three of my poems in his literary journal, The Eclectic Muse, including the one he had recited to Esther. The others were “Redolence” and “In Defense of Meter,” which I later re-titled “In Praise of Meter.” I don’t want this page to get bogged down with my poems, but they can be read here if anyone is interested.

Soon I was in for another very nice surprise, thanks to Joe. He called to tell me that a line in my poem “Auschwitz Rose” had caused him to jump out of his bus seat! Okay, enough about my poetry. From now on, we will focus on Joe’s. But I related these accounts to demonstrate Joe’s passion and appreciation for poetry. I am truly honored that he liked one of my poems enough to recite it, and another enough to jump out of his bus seat. Before I focus on Joe’s poetry and prose, please allow me to relate some brief biological information about him.

Joseph Mary Ruggier was born in Malta on July 26, 1956 and died at his home in Richmond, BC, Canada on July 8, 2018 at age 61. He wrote and published poetry in Maltese and English. Joe also managed a small press, Multicultural Books, and was the editor of a poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. He was a remarkable man who sold over 20,000 books, most of them door-to-door, including over 10,000 books that he wrote and published himself. There are over 6,000 copies of his book Out of Blue Nothing in print. These are amazing figures for a contemporary poet: one man willing to buck the system and not accept the common wisdom that “poetry doesn’t sell.” Joe’s family was very important to him: he especially spoke and wrote with pride and admiration of his daughter, Sarah Thérèse, and his mother, Marie.

In addition to at least ten books of poetry, Joe left a highly original and unusual book of prose called Pope Caesar’s Wake. Joe’s Wake is an eclectic “conversation” comprised of lengthy letters he wrote to Pope John Paul II and the terse form letters he received in return (included in the form of photocopies). The conversation begins with a get-well letter Joe wrote to John Paul in 1981 and concludes a quarter century later with a letter written to his successor. Because the Vatican’s responses were invariably inadequate the book’s title became progressively more severe: first Homage to Pope Woytyla, then War and Peace with Pope Woytyla, and finally Pope Caesar’s Wake. In his letters Joe accused the Roman Catholic Church of being a “humourless apparatus of spiritual authority and heartless sin theology” that reduced him to a “nervous, suicidal, pathological wreck” and a “poor, neurotic demon.” He also complained that all his Catholic parents “could ever discuss” with him were “the Pope” and “mortal sin.” Joe’s innovative solution was to find a cure through the “healing power of genuine laughter.” Thus, Joe chose to “make the papacy a work of art” with his tongue planted firmly in cheek. In one letter Joe repeatedly exclaimed “Vendetta!” as he enumerated the Pope’s and Church’s sins against him. In another he compared the Pope and his cohorts to “the Argentineans in the days when they still used to break legs unscrupulously as long as they could carry away a soccer trophy.”

In my favorite letter, Joe told Pope Caesar: “If you are sincere, Your Holiness, take a leave of absence quietly from the Vatican for a few days, where You are surrounded by all the beautiful nudes of MichaelAngelo, come and visit a great Artist Yourself in his poor and lonely hermitage, bring a half a million United States dollars in an attaché case with You, bring a beautiful blonde from Heaven with You, and make sure I see no one else beside You … All I can offer You, unfortunately, is a cup of Earl Grey tea, or a little coffee. And I hope to give You back My baptismal certificate also because I do not need it.” By capitalizing “My” and “You,” Joe put himself on equal footing with the Pope. But alas, all he received in return for his passionate, artistic missives were the Vatican’s pedestrian form letters!

This is one of my favorite poems by Joe Ruggier, and a fine poem indeed:

Part 6 from The Dark Side of the Deity: Interlude

When Satan hurled, before the Dawn,
defiance at the Lord of History;
and Michael stood, and Glory shone,
Whose hand controlled the timeless Mystery?
Who but the Insult was the leveler;
Deliverer and bedeviler?

When Athens, sung in verse and prose,
caught all the World’s imagination;
when Ilion fell, and Rome arose,
and Time went on like pagination:
Who but the Insult was the leveler;
Deliverer and bedeviler?

When books, in numberless infinities,
cross-fertilize the teeming brain,
and warring, vex the Soul with Vanities,
and Insults hurtle, Insults rain:
Who but the Insult is the leveler;
Deliverer and bedeviler?

And when we too shall cease to be,
like all the Kingdoms of the Past,
and groaning, gasping, wrenching free,
we bite, at last, alone, the dust:
Who but the Insult is the leveler;
Deliverer and bedeviler?

When church-bells fill the wandering fields
with Love and Fear,
the Flesh and Blood of Jesus yields
deliverance dear,
to them who believe in the Compliment Sinsear.

This is a very tender devotional poem …

A Proof of Love

NOW WHEN I was fresh and easy, I would go
to Church … devotion fill’d my soul with tears.
I guessed not all Gospels could so tiresome grow—
the same words repeated for twice a thousand years.
But middle-aged I have become aware
of all the paranoia, boredom, pain,
where with lame hands I grope … of empty air
and dust, and chances lost, and littlest gain.
Yet here I am, my God, where I relax
in warmth of heaters, and Thy glowing smile,
where words, repeated, securer are than cheques,
the Love which then I felt, now lost awhile.
Thus We gave God, Whose Love does not change the story,
a proof of Love—seal of eternal glory!

From Songs of Gentlest Reflection, copyright © Joe M. Ruggier, 2003, 2004

I have never been a fan of the Christian dogma of hell, or of the Christian religion for that matter, but at least Joe puts an original twist on the subject …

Old Dante’s Damning Powers

Many people, in particular modern Catholics, are scandalized by Dante, particularly by his Inferno, wherein Dante positioned real, historical figures among others which are mythological. I once told the Catholics … “Church teaching about Hell is dogmatic theology whatever you say. Why does Dante make you such a terrible insult with Hell? Because he hates you? Or because he wishes you better? The critics, the poetry lovers, the professors understand Dante correctly, and so do the artists … the artists, in particular, are right to love Dante so deeply because they know that his honour is a sincere honour to them and they understand him most correctly in that they understand that his intentions are to save them!” The poem below is where my further reflections led me … Joe Ruggier

Old Dante’s damning powers are as God wants—
he snubs with Hell only where he wishes better.
If people do not like them, people should
control their own —damning powers being,
most likely, the only supernatural power
most people have. Dante’s Inferno speaks
to their condition: they read it and reread it;
and in regards to Hell, Church teaching is
dogmatic. If, however, it does not speak
to your condition, you may read Purgatory,
the most human, the most touching, among
great Poems, where, suffer what you may, the edges
are all solace, the consolation of all the faithful
who are not perfect … to whom the Lord may say:
“I’m going to torture you upon the violin!”
and we learn Love, and Holy Spirit, and enter
Heaven musicians like Yehudi Menuhin:
a school for all — Purgatory the blest!

I have been known to observe that there are precious few poems of note written by poets about their mothers. Once again, Joe is the exception to the general rule …

Saint Mary Christian

Elegy for my mother, Marie Ruggier
7th February 1925—29th April 2008

Saint Mary Christian made her family one prophecy only:
“You will seek me and will not find me!”

I was hungry. My Mother gave me to eat.
I was thirsty. My Mother gave me to drink.
I was naked. My Mother clothed me.
I was bedridden. Mother watched and prayed beside me.

All in all a simple soul, Mother was
most capable, and most clever at what she did well.
She was everywhere, she did everything:
the heartbeat of our family. Every day
she cooked three meals from scratch, proof of her love,
for father and all seven of us: her cooking was,
in its own right, a unique, genuine cuisine—
the proudest thing in her devoted life.
She did the laundry, washed dishes, knitted wool,
(and scarves with the colors of our favorite soccer club),
sewed our clothes, helped us all, with father, with our schoolwork,
and often read my writings. We took her quite for granted, but
we loved her all—except when she yelled, and then
we would all hate her for what she elegantly described
as “behooving sin”!
Her frugality was a work
of exquisite art: nothing was wasted,
all scraps of food consumed, and the leftovers
went to the birds … With father, she economized
fractions of cents, supporting all seven of us
on pennies—not a lifestyle
that I could ever grow accustomed to;
but excellent preparation for publishing poetry …

Feminists will look askance at her lifestyle, arguing that
the quality of her life could have been better: one ignores
a movement such as Feminism at one’s own peril;
but Mum and Dad would say that Love
is the only quality of life there is; and Salvation
the only sincere honour!
Though she cared for the Arts,
Mother did not know better: to adjust her vision
to feminist viewpoints called for a contradiction
to everything she knew, everything she learnt,
and was conditioned to be, since early childhood,
by her own parents and upbringing;
a major readjustment which could have
positively unhinged her and unsettled her.
Mum and Dad
were happy, a Man and a Woman, permanently in love,
always getting along: their Marriage was a sacred Memory
of a traditional Past; with no guarantee
that modern marriages are happier!

The Mother who, with untold self-denial,
bore us, bred us, fed us, clothed us, educated us,
and every day said prayers with us … is in her grave:
but her spirit of prayer knew no bottom,
Mass and her Rosary being her favorite charms—
her frugal way of maximizing fractions of idle Time!
Laying up treasure for herself in Heaven,
she lives on in the fragrance of her prayers!

May the Divine Will be fulfilled
in her Life and in her passing!
May the Saints she loved immerse her
in the abyss of God’s Mercy;
invoking upon her holy Soul
the abundant blessings of Divine Mercy!
And may Saint Mary Christian
still pray for all of us below …

Copyright © Joe M. Ruggier 2008

I like the warmth and tolerant spirit of this tribute Joe wrote to Rumi and Islam …

To Rumi

I was impressed by praise your editor penned
for you: “this ocean of sublime jazz
perhaps with no parallel in world literature!”

Islam and its culture remind me of just that,
sublime jazz! As I read on
I could hear it in the atmosphere:
making me think of sex, at the same time
making me think of God, lifting up my mind
to higher things!
That is precisely
what jazz ought to be like, I thought,
and I cheered you, old Rumi, who, centuries ago,
in the middle ages, understood so well
something so primitive, and yet so modern!

That is just what I am missing when I listen
to jazz music, the sublime jazz of Islam!

Copyright © Joe M. Ruggier 2008

This poem reminds me a bit of William Blake and his Everlasting Gospel …

All Love is Sacred

In the jumble and din of modern cities,
immense shopping centres cast in iron cages
and technological jungles, where the constant,
nuclear boom of cars, and planes, and radios
deafens and deadens the sense, by day or night,
bringing the eyes to the constant verge of tears
caused by filth, smog, far too much light and colour,
and noise-pollution, with a cruel, sadistic
wrenching upon the very nerve itself
of sensitive feeling … ancient Love remains,
perennial as the grass, a holy corner
which the Heart calls Home, where a man takes refuge
with prayers inside his Heart: Eros, Agape,
Thanatos, good Love and bad, or the four Loves—
all Love is sacred … !

Joe apparently had an unusual Muse …

My Daemon

My daemon follows me. I was a child:
his daemon eyes devoured me ever since!
He loves to rule me proudly, goad me wild;
his maddening eyes they rile me, and I wince!
No matter what I do, he is disdain
and negative thought, dogma if I discuss;
ungracious pastor to poetic pain;
dark inhibition in my jail; and boss!
Though he returns but acid, I must say
long years returned me such a yield of art,
and I have earnt such learning through dismay,
that I grow fond; I love to touch his heart!
To our hostilities I see no end;
I tremble! Can I be blam’d to call him friend?

 

Four Poems from Out of Blue Nothing, a sequence of Twenty-Four Sonnets

1.
AS I stand surveying all that ground I lost,
all that I loved, and love gone out and cross,
love’s labour like some burning wreckage tost,
my spirit breathes: “this was eternal loss!”
Had I but known, fair creature of an hour,
sweet love that sank in the bright hills like rain,
had I been subtle to the eleventh power,
I would not drown, and never cry again!
Suppose that all Life Death does end; assume
the worst! Hence the necessity of humour!
Clean jokes are altars blossoming; and the bloom
“another Life”. How this one makes me swear!
But books in the raw element immerse,
since love and ready wit suffice for verse.

2.
BOOKS! Voices of Sirens singing, carrying
from undiscovered countries and slow time!
Grand monuments! and Beasts of Troy, ferrying
fast ones; whole hordes of demons clad in rhyme!
New starts and old revisions; worlds unknown,
and all the old eternity on paper!
Merry-go-rounds where all the winds of renown
lead some poor devils round around a caper!
I know them all, how changing, and well I know
brain-spinning disturbs the Peace … torrential rain!
Into which sense shall I dissolve and go?
Lie where? Would I have done it so again?
Good men are great philosophers; the heart
Is their Ink-pot; sound sense is all their art.

3.
STILL young and green to the school of hard knocks,
flushed senses flaming from the dream you sought,
to drown was sweet when Song seemed like the rocks
beneath, and Books were timeless depths of thought.
Fresh sprung the verse which could not obey your call,
and molded lumber seemed all tomes instead!
Oh well! for the lad and his lass and the team round a ball!
but ah! for the pillar of Fire in your head!
Knocked between books and wild, springing nature,
knocked between Church and this, your wild, first love,
knocked between love and song and wan misfeature,
knocked between dreams and fact, bright stars above,
would you have tumbled had you known? Who knew?
You wrote yourself this Requiem. How true?

4.
THE CHAPEL folded up among the trees
stood open. Winds rushed like children round the steeple.
The metal windmills creaked. Transported Peace
sighed on the leaves, drawn out from a unified people.
Brains are the whirlpools, whirlwinds were the hymns;
the voice of the nameless, pride and soul of the millions!
We clip high dreams. Their true illusion dims,
and dips like a headlight. But stars in their billions
still heave like a wave of the sea and over the hills;
and far away is long ago! The dusk
subdues the nuclear tone, which all but chills
Man’s withering dreams but for the priest-like task!
Set down out of blue nothing rhymes unheard!
Redeem the time!—but sexless, Man’s absurd!

Joe M. Ruggier expanded biography and obituary: It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Joseph Mary Ruggier at the age of 61, at his home in Richmond, BC, on Sunday July 8, 2018. Joe was born in Malta on July 26, 1956 and emigrated to Canada in 1981. He married Maria Julia Raminhos Lourenco in 1984, with whom he raised their daughter, Sarah Thérèse. He attended St. Aloysius’ College followed by a B.A. (1st class Honours) in English from the Royal University of Malta and continued his studies in Canada earning a certificate in Writing and Publishing (SFU) and a Diploma in Typesetting (VCC), which he credits for becoming an established publisher. Joe wrote and published poetry in both Maltese and English, managing a small press, Multicultural Books of BC, and editing the poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to publish dozens of titles, selling over 20,000 books. Joe was committed to the written word, elevating the works of his peers and poets he loved. In his final days, he worked fervently, translating work by the Maltese priest, writer and poet, Dun Karm Psaila. Joe was passionate about his faith, family — most especially his beloved Sarah Thérèse — international sports (soccer), languages, playing classical guitar and listening to his wide-ranging record collection. Joe was predeceased by his beloved mother Maria Ruggier (née Micallef). He leaves to mourn his loss his family, Sarah Thérèse and Maria Julia, his father Alfred, his six siblings Paul, Fred, Louis, Mario, Anna, Marisa, and extended family residing in Canada, the USA, Malta, Ireland, and Kenya. Prayers will be offered on July 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul Church, 8251 St. Albans Rd., Richmond, B.C. where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on July 19, 2018 at St. Paul Church at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Gardens of Gethsemani for 1:30 p.m. Condolences for the family may be left at www.kearneyfs.com . Visit Joe’s website at www.mbooksofbc.com

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)

Wheelchair Poem

It’s gotten easier.
My back is still giving me a problem
but I’ve learned to cope.
I’ve worked it out.
Getting her into the wheel chair is the easy part,
then I just back her up to this door
well first I have to block the door open
with this concrete block.
Then I bring her to the edge of the doorway
I gotta be careful as I lower her over the ledge
almost lost her once.
Once I get her out here
I can pull the chair over this concrete
and down those steps to that concrete ledge,
I have to pull the wheelchair backwards
up that hill in the back yard.
I drive the car up the hill
in the side yard and park it
back there with the door open.
Once I pull the chair backwards up that hill I can
pick her up and
put her in the car.
You want some coffee?

david michael jackson

Previously published Artvilla.com

 

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Identity (as self to self before God) | Poem by Allison Grayhurst

Identity as self to self before God

Identity (as self to self before God)

Identity as explorer,
as an eagle with a powerful spread,
or as a sparrow, budding delicate, stirring
tenderness in others.
Identity as a mother, as a single flame monk
in the 4 a.m. quiet, under a dome, encased
in creativity and loneliness. Identity
as drink, poverty, excessive cash flow or beauty
beside the grave of the visibly mediocre.

Identity in discipline or free-spirit strength
that enriches the landscape with humour and charm.
Identity as a man whose skin has become core,
and the burden of time has passed through his sky
like a setting moon.

Stoic or gregarious, just the shape of a cloud,
changing, merging with other clouds
than dissipating. Speaking – backwards, forwards –
when the bearer of that identity dares to skip over the madness
of self-loathing, self-congratulating, skip
the moan in summer, the ovation indoors

and be in love,
like when first in love, ever swallowing
the joy into the fear, then the fear into joy,
the how-can-this-be? the will-I-ever-be-pure-enough?
struggling to keep up with such a devouring-bliss. Devour me,

more, more, let it be, be what never rests,
what is always too much, always
electrified, perfect. Heal me of identities,
allow me to step longing for divinity with every step,
engulfed in a splintering ecstasy while longing –
this beat, this beat – folding over, under and
everywhere, mastering the dance,

where my identity is just like a child with a toy,
there to enact a deed of great imagination.

Bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017, she has over 1125 poems published in over 450 international journals and anthologies. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

The Whale. Leviathan. Video Poem. Sonnet by Norman Ball. Read by Ed Gero

 
 
This is a sonnet from my 2001 collection ‘Return to One: A Sonnet Odyssey’, and the section ‘The Whale, the Bull and the Lightbringer’. DC Shakespeare Theatre’s Ed Gero is the reader. I’ve often wondered if Man’s excessive cruelty towards the whale goes beyond mere commerce. Is there something even more fundamental at play, a jealousy perhaps?
(Norman Ball)
 
 

 
 
Leviathan, what coaxed you back to sea?
Did premonition sour you to the land?
Perhaps you saw the vex of history
and, wisely, chose a watery remand.
Awkward, we Fell; you sank to cooler climes,
your massive girth played foil to Yahweh’s glare.
We battled seas; you swam to rhythmic tides
while sailors scrimshawed biblical despairs.
We’ve harpooned all pretense at gentle neighbor
reserving special violence for your end.
Nor does predation justify these labors.
No, cruelty masks an envious intent:
we fend alone on this terrestrial stage;
no depths too deep to plunge our jealous rage.
 
 

NORMAN BALL

 

(BA Political Science/Econ, Washington & Lee University; MBA,George Washington University) is a well-travelled Scots-American businessman, author and poet whose essays have appeared in Counterpunch,The Western Muslim and elsewhere. His new book  “Between River and Rock:How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments”   is available here.
 
Two essay collections, “How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?” and  “TheFrantic Force” are spoken of  here and here, respectively.
 
A collection of poetry  Serpentrope  was published early 2014 from White Violet Press. He can be reached at a returntoone@hotmail.com.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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) .

 

Press Release. Aquillrelle’s Anthology Wall7.


 
The Aquillrelle Wall of Poetry Members Anthology, book seven ©2018
 
Friends, poets,
 
Aquillrelle’s Anthology Wall7 is now released and published in both Ebook/PDF and Paper formats. It can be purchased on Lulu (and a couple of months from now also on Amazon, etc.).
 
Many thanks to the participants and to the supporters, it was hard yet gratifying work. Enjoy your (and your friends’) art!
 
The seventh wall. Some graffiti. Some works of art. Even some smudges included since they hold a message to be heard. Because this is the essence of every Aquillrelle wall – let everyone who values his/her word get a piece of the wall to themselves. You, the readers, are the beneficiaries. Read!
 
 

 
The poem included below is an excerpt from the above reviewed anthology
 
Elliptical Shift by Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
 
Meadows of wild flowers
sweet in an urban niche
framed by a hand of nostalgia
framed in an enclosure
 
for the price of pathos
riots of the human race
rampage across its space
in resistance, resentment
 
everywhere history obscures the view
 
an enigmatic phantom
it projects its rapacious plans onto tomorrow
McDonald’s signs, stewards of the planet, protein signifier
 
regularities merge into a wholeness
the news comes on, in a refrain of the same monotone
as if the world were made new again.
 
*
 
The darkest regions of the planet’s mind
the photon of a star in a formless moment
becomes an instance of a memory
as the desert invites the ripple
to a turbulence of refrain
a window frame constrains
its world view to all that follows on
 
as if it could choose between what’s real
what’s imaginary
 
such choices, shape our view
to the now, before an open future
 
*
 
sunset on the high street, traffic
vanishing into it like black dots
whizzing out of the blind, the zonk
plonk, disappearing into its shadow
 
dust of ages, its record
 
all the particles cascading
into the horizon’s viewpoint
all the bits, pieces in their parts
blowing on the horizon’s sunset
 
Time is not the shadow cast by the world
the world is the shadow cast by time

 
(excerpt from All the Babble of the Souk)
 
 
To order: http://www.lulu.com/shop/Aquillrelle/The Aquillrelle-Wall of Poetry Book Seven/paperback/
 
e-book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/Aquillrelle/The Aquillrelle Wall of Poetry Book Seven/ebook/
 
 
 
 
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) .

 

How to Paint Like the Masters

Historically, imitating someone else’s work was part of forming your own style, but it wasn’t a way to make your own work. The imitation of subject matter, though, was part and parcel of the humbler genres of documentary art–still lifes, landscapes, portraits. The pinnacle of artistic production was instead what they called history painting, and this involved imagining scenes from mythology, history, or the Bible; how one imagined was supposed to depend on the canon of previous imaginings. Artists who practiced history painting shaped their approach by emulating other artists, whether contemporaries or the ancients. That’s how I’ve trained myself over more than thirty years, by drawing in museums, churches, and the great houses of Europe……..Artists Network

Our friends at Artvilla have started a series of video pages on how to paint like the masters. “Good artists copy, great artists steal”….Attributed to Picasso…..Art is a trade, a guild. One must learn any trade from the masters of that trade., This was true in the High Italian Renaissance and it’s true today.

Back to Art Lessons
How to Paint Like Monet
How to Paint Like Picasso
How to Paint Like Vincent Van Gogh
How to Paint Like Renoir
How to Paint Like Rembrandt
How to Paint Like Vermeer
How to Paint Like Jackson Pollock
How to Draw Like Michelangelo
How to Draw in the Renaissance Style

Important Biblical Announcement | Christ Demoted

President Saint John the Divine announced today that former President, Jesus Christ has been demoted to Manager of Salvation. He will be reporting to Vice President Leviticus and also to Secretary of State, Daniel. The move is a reflection of a power struggle that has shifted the balance of power to the a combination of Old Testament leaders and the writer of the Declaration of Armageddon, President Divine.

It is unclear whether stoning and other Levitican measures will be applied again. Vice President Leviticus has stated that, it’s better to enforce punishment of the sins rather than to just tell people to love. “The love policies of Jesus were a grand experiment that didn’t work. It’s time to get tough on sin again.” This marks the beginning of President Divine’s WAR ON SIN which is replacing the socialist practices of helping the undeserving poor.

This has become necessary in order to meet the schedule for Armageddon which was been moved up to Modern Times by our Supreme Leader, his Royal Greatness and Highness whose name is Truth.

This schedule had been solidified in meetings by Daniel, President Divine and Christ, establishing the schedule and arrangements for the second coming event and plans for the thousand years of peace by leaving clues of their secret meetings outside the confines of their actual lives.

President Saint John the Divine has asked that the citizens refer to his writings as plan rather than as prophesy and  has requested that world leaders secure the correct lands in Israel to meet the schedule.
Manager of Salvation, Christ, said that he will, in his diminished capacity, still provide salvation within his budget but salvation is no longer an entitlement and the new “Ten Percent Rule” will now be applied.

The constitution has been revised. The term “The meek shall inherit…..” has been replaced with “The One Percent shall inherit….”. This is necessary to comply with the new tax laws. Also, only the Ten Commandments and the writings of Leviticus will be printed in red ink.

Spike. Poem excerpt from Cartoon Molecules by Robin Hislop


 
A runaway on a Singularity slippery slope need not be a despairingly
Sisyphean slide back but spike upward to an extremely great verticality
allowing something relatively harmless today start a trend that results
in something currently unthinkable a – Pandorean pandemonium
 
still he didn’t want to kill himself and his crew so he hatched a plan
that systems possessing the same patterns of causal organization will instantiate
the same types of conscious states irrespective of whether the organization
is implemented in neurons – silicon – plastic or any other substrate
 
taken to its heart we would vanish into its stronger existence – do the angels
really only take back what is theirs – what has streamed out of them – or is there
sometimes – as if by oversight something of our being as well? – do we not see
the swirling return to ourselves (how should we see it?) the world today being
as it is a vast unsupervised laboratory – in which a multitude of experiments
are simultaneously under way
 
brain-computer interfaces have already left the laboratory which allows gamers
to interact directly with their consoles – a high resolution neuro-signal
acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset uses a set of sensors to tune
into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts feelings
and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs’ — all this for only $299!
 
partly this is because we cannot agree on what such purposes are – and even if
we were to – suddenly he knew that when he heard the music he would be unable
to resist steering toward the island’s rocks – the problem wasn’t the present
rational Ulysses – but instead the future illogical Ulysses – the person he’d become
when the Sirens came within earshot
 
but that is the gods’ affair – if only we too could discover a pure contained – human
place – a strip of fruitful land of our own – between river and stone!- for our own heart
exceeds us – the curve of the graph grows exponentially steeper – until that spike is
the Singularity – beyond the veil of the opaque wall – the unthinkable – the horizon
of the final dawn looms – lanced on the spear of the terrible angel.

 
 
After Rainer Maria Rilke. Duino Elegies
 
 
 
 
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) .

 

Press Release Perturbations Collected Poems by Gary Beck


 
 Perturbations
 
A poetry collection by
 
Gary Beck
 
For Immediate Release
 
Gary Beck’s new poetry book evokes concern about disruptions to the desire for a comfortable, prosperous, untroubled life, Perturbations leads us through all its gloriously chaotic uncertainties.
 
Perturbations is a 129 page poetry book. Available in paperback with a retail price of $11.99,  ISBN: 1941058701 and also in a Kindle version. Published through Winter Goose Publishing. Available now through all major retailers. For  information or to request a review copy, contact:
 
jessica@wintergoosepublishing.com
 

 
Perturbations. Gary Beck Amazon.com
 
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 11 published chapbooks and 2 more 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 & 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, Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by 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.
 
Winter Goose Publishing is an independent publisher founded in 2011. We are a royalty-paying publisher dedicated to putting out the best literature in prose, poetry and art; covering a variety of genres. For more information go to: www.wintergoosepublishing.com
 
 
Amazon.com Author Robin Ouzman Hislop
Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop