Poetry Starts with a No: An Interview with Purdey Lord Kreiden Thomas Taren
[Paul Cunningham and Purdey Lord Kreiden Thomas Taren got together over email to discuss new endeavors, theories of translation, tree-logic, decadence, kid-scoundrels, glitch-worlds, waste places, and the current state of poetry. Cunningham was required to complete a private questionnaire of Kreiden’s own making before receiving permission to conduct the interview. He answered over 80 questions. She now possesses a file containing his darkest childhood secrets.]
Paul Cunningham: In 2016, Action Books will be publishing your first full-length collection of poetry, Scolopendrum. It’s a highly intoxicating collection, I might add. Personally, there were times when your work reminded me of Huysmans’s Against Nature. Maybe more drug highs and less perfume highs though? You’ve also recently finished translating Huysmans’s En Ménage (forthcoming from Wakefield Press). Would you cite him as an influence on your own work? What other writers have influenced you?
Purdey Lord Kreiden Thomas Taren: It is a great and wondrous coincidence that you would mention drug highs and perfume highs in the same sentence because in France, the code-word among dealers and customers for ecstasy — or more importantly, for the best ecstasy pills that ever existed, and is now terribly hard to find, and originated in the South of France where I am from, dubbed “tazs” because of their Tazmania Devil-like power — is “perfume”. So when as a teenager I spent all my time actually reading Huysmans and Bret Easton Ellis at the Marseilles library with my best friend the painter Luis Otesanek, taking many a fine Marseillaise drugs and walking round the Marseilles Port completely high and seeing the sea and the people and the sunset in 3+dimension, we would actually be high on PERFUME. Perfume highs. (Drugs like cocaine or other focusing uppers on the other hand are referred to as “records”). There was actually a perfume we loved which was called Paradise, it was a tincture of 80 percent mdma and 20 percent mescaline, and we took it before going to see the Kim Ki Duk movie called Time and then went home and Louie admired the skeleton under his skin in the mirror for an hour while I danced around with a derelicting mudmask on my face and a cavewoman wig resting upon my scalp, and the song a “Wolf At The Door” was being played on repeat for the whole night in our friend Alice’s flat. Did you notice how Radiohead started to suck? We’re trying to figure out when Radiohead started to suck not in their own lifespan but in the lifespan of the people who loved them for a while then actually realized they sucked hard. The night we got high on Paradise that Hunt and Fishing program was playing and I would never back then ever dreamnt of ever being compared to sounding anything remotely like Huysmans but I must tell you this is the greatest of all compliments. He and Ellen Allien and Dennis Cooper and Bret Easton Ellis and David Lynch and Georg Trakl and Jan Saudek were among our most cherished idols at the time but when I was writing SCOLOPENDRUM Michael was reading DUNE to me the whole time and we were taking 4FA every five days or six and ketamine was also there travelling us through and through us on many a blessed day, and I think this is what you perceived while reading the book even more pregnantly then through the actual mention of drug-like substances. Did you ever notice how drug-writing literally smell-feel like drugs? I believe we could test a bunch of readers on this matter and gather accurate answers regarding the state of druggingness of the authors or even, what drug they were under as they wrote the piece.
As for my literary influences, the main one, — which is also my editor and my favorite and most cherished writer of all time through timelessness and eternity, — is Michael Thomas Taren Lord Kreiden. The night we met I watched him sleep for a while as he dozed off reading the veils of the tiny room lended to us by my friend Jeremy after we came back from the club where we’ve met and spoke and fuck for 8 hours during the concert of Gold Panda and The Field and then I read the chapbook of his he had given me and got so profundly entranced and jealous I realized I had no other option but to marry him or murder him on the spot in his sleep. The first words we exchanged where the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. After we’ve blindly kissed and he had poured a generous amount of premium mdma upon the hole of skin menaged on my wrist by pushing my leather glove a little to the side and all the whiskeys of the world had been consumed by us while we shared our cum and mythologies I finally uttered the words “Hey what’s your name” and he smiled like a deer and said, “I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you and put you in a bath of acid in a barrel in my grandmother’s basement then bury your bones in her backyard by the rosebushes.”
The first text message we ever sent each other the next day was THIS IS ME IS THAT YOU and this is still to this day the most fucking beautiful riddle I ever was confronted with
(we died over and over while fucking each other’s asses on a white rose colored antimatter double dildo)
Just today I was reading one of MTTLK’s old poems and started crying out of jealousy & beauty
and nothing & root
that poem is from that book WHITE SNOW i’m editing which are the memories and sightseekings of us as the handsome snow-white bull which emerged out of the sea as a sacrificial beast sent out by Poseidon and father of the minotaure infanted with the disguised cow of wood Parsiphae:
03 JANUARY 2010
I was wearing snow.
Tears could see me. What could they
Want besides my jewels? Stems? I am human
Brought herds to be killed
Divine bee I am awake in snow praising,
Also MTTLK is the only true direct influence because he’s the one who urged me to write poetry, in English,
I was just collaging words and he simply sneaked behind my shoulders and placidly declared, “Why don’t you just write instead.”
Back then so many years from now I thought somehow I didn’t have the right to write in English and in French my poetry actually sucked dicks.
The first poems I ever wrote were written while walking up and down Marseille’s port on codeine listening to the glitchy shoegaze band Walls for a summer while MTTLK was in Zurich, and they were published in this great magazine that I so dearly miss by two editors who I adore and who following this became my friends, Jeff Nagy and Erik Linsker.
Among the other writings and authors I consider crucial are
Bukowski — Love is a dog from hell I read in secret when I was ten or eleven, MY DAD signs all his emails Misha Mishap Bukowski, and I think Bukowski along with
Genet, Duvert and
whom I remembered being on mushroom on a mountain while taking a bath in San Francisco as the powerful mushroom flung me into the sky of a storm where I thought I should piss to hold the world together
are among the most important beings in the current fluxes of the universe
James Schuyler, Theophile Gautier,
Phillip K. Dick (who wrote the most heartbreaking lines “my goat must be asleep by now” in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) and also the speed, the catfood, being so purple scratched and so cool and thanks to the speed and the catfood so knowledgeful of what the path what into dystopia and all around it
There is William Bronk, Thomas Bernhard, CP Cavafy
And Walser of course
Remember when he entered the mental hospital and stated
“I am not here to write.
I am here to be mad”
Burroughs, who taught me about our wild kids
And Stanilaw Lem, his wildly craved mimicking oceans
and snow echoed covered planet feet
David Lyndsay, for whom we are forever shepherds
And Emil Cioran
And Nijinsky, his diaries
and Michael McClure, his atomlike linebreaking aphorisms
and Vicente Alexander, his pure mirthed birth myrrh
And Marcus Reichert’s Lost lake, where Trakl’s juvenilia was wondrously smeared
And all the fairytales of the holy land, of austria, of persia, of old mythology
And all the beautiful songwriting of
Conor Oberst, Spencer Krug, Xiu Xiu, The violent femmes, Daniel Johnston
“I am walking the cow.”
PC: What about your audience? Do you have an ideal reader in mind?
PLKTT: My ideal reader is he who got his first erection grinding into a beanbag at their grandfather’s house, like our friend Daniel Payavis did. My audience is Michael Thomas Taren. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to hear of a reader who never was in possession of the book, but dreamnt some of our poems in a partially transmogrified form, in a shape akin to that of the skeleton of his own thoughts in repose? Two boys facing the ocean, dufflecoated down to their knees from the chin on, slowly caressing each other’s cock through holes they’ve designed by removing the interior pocket of their jeans. A band of teenagers jerking off together while watching this amateur military gay-porn called Bel-Ami, reverently laughing at the back of a mother who has entered to the bedroom to bring them milk and cookies fading into a corridor’s horizon. Boys gently fucking one another while whispering verses in each other’s ears in the guise of a pyjama party. A young-girl being facessitted on by the incubus of her grownup self on a pale white morning after they’ve both drinken too many valerian root drips and cannot discern their own body from the sea’s.
My ideal reader is they who’ll experience the imperial need to strip and lay down on the ground and masturbate while reading the book, wherever he or she may be, and succumb to this desire wholly. This may sound like medieval science but I believe whatever we do while jerking off naturally tends to grow more deeply rooted associations into our memory. (As Gérard de Nerval would put it, “There is no higher litterary praise than a sizeable cumload”.) Memory is a fertile soil after all, and what better way is there to plant within oneself seeds than a good old onesome or, ménage-à-un? When I was a kid I had a passion for masturbation, and I was particularly fond of devoting myself to that heartwarming hobby while reading. Years after, when the thrill of it had somewhat gotten eroded by the repeated rubbing of the jeans, and most of my self-erotic elation started to veer heavily away from my genitals space and sail towards walking around for hours while listening to music on over-the-counter codeine pills and writing for hours on internet-bought amphetamines, I mused back to those days and realized that not only did this specific lubie of mine elevated my onanism habit from the realm of the cronophage to the venerable skies of a ludique activity, but it also allowed me to remember with precision most of the books I have ever read from my early childhood to my late teens. I can still recite by heart the threesome scene from Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama even though I haven’t opened that book in more than ten years. There is an ancient organ within us where the rousing of our senses and intellectual pleasure culminates and brings us to a climax that does not partake of our immediate flesh, a peaking that flutters like a scorched cloud at the apex of a tree that is our bodyless sentient self when we are confronted to great beauty. When you face a painting of unearthly grace, there is within your bowels a chant that awakes and go cum into the hands of that ancient organ that art in us human beings elaborates and shapes. It matters little if you are able to conceptualize that feeling, give of it a description or give it a name, the feeling is there, and this is why an overintellectualisation of art is fallacious and cretine, the verbosity that art critiques so often tends to deploy in order to try to turn art into a reasonned and reasonnable, — and therefore monneyable science —, a misfortunate antitode to the natural transcendence that great art is intrinsically able to bring, and any attempt at trying to shed upon a mediocre book the guise of beauty by reviewing it in elogious term can only in the end results, as lenghty a gestation as it may take, in a revolt of the audience4s senses; if I were to serve you a piece of rubber dipped in mayonnaise, all the while praying its merits as a succulent sirloin steak, how long would it take to your tastebuds and stomach to notice the trick? Art is the necessary interface that lays between our bowels and the boundless blood of Beauty; it is the gentle hand of the boy that leads blind Tyresias to the basket where lays the snakes of his reverse prophecy.
That hand which beholds with its nerves and yet do not touch, that hand which is the mere conveyor of a vision grounded far from the curious glances of its sunsprayed fingers, that hand halfway through the Gods and there portals pristinely conversing with the eternal as through its membrane passes the shadow of days and rot and carcasses; it is through the prism of the chrysalidlike skin of its palm that we must learn to look at paintings, to hear music and read poems and experience all forms of art. I know that a poem is great when I feel in my belly turmoil akin to the ethereal warmth of an ecstasy pill about to hit. My ideal reader is he who reads more with his entrails then with the composed mask of his brains, because it is the righteous way to do it. Anyone who starts experiencing the symptomes of sensual pleasure in the midst of a poem must at once shut down all the entrances through which their intellect might try to bysect their feelings and take off their pants, and follow with their fingers the light trail that the poem, with its nebulous knowledge of the road to that forgotten organ where beauty can be sensed and fully experienced, intuitevely decyphers and reglyphs.
PC: In what ways have you been challenged as a translator?
PLKTT: There is a logic to each thing, and each thing has its logic; and the logic of the treetrunk is different from that of the leaves. A tree is none but the product of Nature’s great machinery; and it exists only because the parts that constitute him obediently perform their role as designed by Nature’s whim. The folliage shall not fall down and roll but flutter, gailey at time and grave at others, when a ripple from the wind grazes his leaves. The leaves of the folliage shall not speak; but when a couple of nightingale nestling shall seek a hole of fresh shadow in the midst of the folliage the leaves may crinkle a little and creak; other than that they shall remain at peace. And when Nature sees that each and every part of the machinery of Life is fulfilling the simple prerequisites
of their machinist’s will, She will allow the tree
to be, and among the trees’s older brothers of another century she will lay down the trees’s egg
which is a seed, so that the tree may grow green and grow older and riper and die at peace among its keens. And Nature, She who knows the logic of all things, knows when it is time for a tree to die, as likely as she knows when it is time
for that tree to live. When a programmer grows a tree out of the pulp of his fingertips and into the codes of his computer, he is allotted with the same creative force that makes Nature fill all things up with their logic, and a certain amount of magick. I have walked into walls of impenetrable forests which, from a distance, looked pregnant with the same trees that shall know Earth’s logic. In those beta forests the trees sham their texture from the wind’s, and share their datas with him; and the wind himself in the program was this imperceptible vortex inbetween the binary codes, which hold forever all things together and yet, unlike Nature’s wind, cannot be passed through or physically perceived. But whatever entity it is that the gambler of the wind in this world inhabits those trees, too, respond to a precise and inherent logic; their trunks and folliages and branches, their barks and saps and leaves, learnt to re-enact their own opacity, and to mimick their stillnesses from the dark mattered-lake in which all the roots from the digital vegetal congress, and together mime up all of the worlds’ winds. And so the trees, knowing nothing more than to be what they are told to be, remain as thick as they shall imagine to be, and lightly coalesce together as an atom of ionized milk.
When Aristotle seeks to describe the natural world, his descriptions are precise to the point of laborious punctillionism; the movement of the waves under a certain weather gleams, the colors on the outskirts of the sun on a cloudy morning are glowing. A forest in a videogame is an artificial excroissance from the inner abstract realm of the binary soil. The information these trees receive, about the logical circuit they should follow in order to function correctly are based not on a corporeal, reproductible example, but on an ethereal definition of the world where they are told to live, which conveys its order under a mathematic form, hardly intelligible by one of Nature’s most simple minion. For that reason, tree-parts in the digital realm might mis-interpret their role in the tree-whole; that is to say, a tree-atom might mispronunce the formulae which would integrate itself in the tree-whole and thus compel the other parts to adapt their own script in order to try, through this readjustment of their spelling, to reharmonize with the other parts of the element Tree, to recreate the primeval and pre-written TREE logic.
In a videogame, those impediment upon logic are best known as ‘glitches’: glitches, and mispelling, are both the progeny of Shiva, mothered by chaos and creative forces alike. The well-known mispronounced spell which turns the subject into a mouse instead of curing him from the evil eye. (buffy)
A whole re-rereading of reality exists, a mispelled world expelled from our world, generated spontaneously as we glitch, as our software glitch, into a secret labyrinthine language, where the mispelled images swarm and swim —
For example, the Holy Land tale — ‘eat a kid’ — if I never’ve found out that a kid is another term for a lamb, I would have left the world bellyfilled with the conviction that Muhammad and his peers used to feast on chubby cherubins, that they latter on puked away in the fields
Sometimes a confusing term can lead to the birth of an image; technically innacurrate but superior to the original in its aesthetic bearings; where the machinery failed to produce a faithful copy of the primeval idea, imagination stepped in to offer a more filling scenery; In l’Ile Atlantique, for example, we reaized how ‘a pile of cars’, actually meant in French ‘a lot’ of them. Inadvertantly we swapped ‘Children see a pile of cars, and one cannot smell the sea at all, which is curious’, for its most literal, accurate translation, ‘Children see a lot of cars…’.
Because the definition and information provided by any sort of language, mathematically are verbal, aren’t inherent or instructive to the object they attempt to recompose from Nature, or to make up entirely from scratch, imagination exists. Imagination is a world peopled with crooked beasts, creatures impossible to confection, confessions half-drawned from within the blood of a made-up animal, and endless recollections of falling off from the sky into a dreamscape made entirely out of the foreskin of the Gods; and so each of our thoughts is History, and each of our historical thoughts make History a little more unreal and more believable.
In French we have three sort of levels of languages: soutenu, courant, and familier. “Soutenu” is kind of the posh, Hawthornian French language; we do not use it often orally, it’s usually reserved for written speech. “Courant” is your usual, oral French, the one you might even use for formal correspondance with a French administration board that want to give you a lot of money to afford rent and life-cost because you don’t have a day job and they feel for you (I love France), and “familier” is my favorite, because it involves any kind of argot, slang, and “verlan”, which is, as you probably know, a common thing us French do, reversing any word’s syllables and using it as such, and still perfectly understanding each other whatever the word we reverse is. Something I love about French language is that those three languages are like ingredients that you can sprinkle in your speech and knead together according to your need and usually when a mix of those registers appear, a great feeling of amusement (it’s really physical, it’s an itch that goes up your spine) or eeriness will rise. Duvert plays a lot with these registers of tongue. (In this he reminds me of Huysmans, and though he never mentioned him as an influence, the more we go on with En Ménage, the more I actually feel like this particular book had a great influence on him.) The French language is also a language of idioms, way more actually then the English language is; because our tongue goes back so far in time, we have grown up with obscure maximes which are still in usage today.
The most challenging thing that happened to us, as we wanted to render it with absolute fairness and to honor it properly, was for sure Duvert’s great ability to become any of his characters deep down into that character’s core, so far down that the voice emanating from each character becomes a mini-planet of its own, a real dialect that completely sustaines itself and do not yield to any sort of “narrator’s influence” (Sorry if that sounds clumsy; what I’m trying to say is that each character in l’Ile Atlantique has got a language of its own, and that language never once seems to emanate from another source than the character itself, which is what makes the book so fucking real and so fucking great).
Something that as a native French speaker I sometime would reproach to some French translations of books I love is the uniformisation, the neutralization of the language of each character and the voice of the narrator/writer into a same regurgated substance. You know when you play a videogame sometimes and you walk next to trees but cannot enter the forest because it wasn’t written and the trees and the air are made of the same substance? I’ve gotten that feeling with some translations of Vola or Maupassant, who in their native language are such hilarious and witty and prepossing writers and in English have usually been rendered into a scholar-only type of oeuvre. There is nothing exciting or interesting about any story or subject if the writing is not excellent, and this is even more true of a naturalist like Vola — it is not a myth that he can write three pages describing a certain assemblage of paraphernalia on the front of a boutique, or the specifics of a certain character’s appearance at any given time in the book, sometimes quite randomly. I remember reading Nana in highschool and being fascinated by the description of the protagonist. The description was about ten pages, and one of the lenghthiest passages was about her armpit. He described everything about it: the exact tint, the way it grew, the perfume, the way it moves, how men felt around it…. And because the language is so distinctly infused with a real joy to be writing, it is a real joy to read.
While translating Duvert we really realized that there is a certain space where the translator should accept to stand, or rather, — because that space is alive with feelings, the feelings of the author of the original piece, — a piece of space by which the translator should let himself be mounted; he must not strive to imitate the author but to become the author so completely while translating him that there is a seamless continuity between his own voice and the writer’s and most importantly, it should not feel as though you were mimicking someone else’s voice but as if yours had been sloughing into his for the time of the translation. I think if a lot of translation of French classic authors have failed in becoming great sources of inspiration or thrill in English and have remained restricted to the PHd’s students realm it’s because a lot of translators of French have neglected or refused to let this mutation of their own mind operate. I do think that having been two of us working on that project was a crucial element in the success of that particular ablation of the self; whenever one of us might pulsates through the Duvert’s membrane too noticingly, the other would detect it and tame the impulse by reformulating, recrafting the sentence in the guise of the voice of Duvert, that we’ve grown to know so well. To sustain the voice of the writer is to be another for the duration of the translation process and so one of the challenge is to not let go of the guise in which you have clad yourself.
But all and all, the most challenging thing Michael Thomas Taren Lord Kreiden and I ever had to face as translators was probably the Pennsylvanian blue laws, because it is particularly arduous to activate that part of yourself that has sprouted into a plugplant of another writer’s voice without a sizeable bottle of Jameson whiskey at hand. As for myself alone, my everyday challenge as a translator is that I simply don’t understand aloud spelling; that is to say, if I ask you to spell a word for me in English, or any other language for that matter (and I will, because I truly suck at spelling) I will simply not be able to actually understand and type down the letters you uttered. But I will ask you to spell it. Again and again. I guess that makes MTTLK’s challenge as well.
PC: Would you call yourself a decadent? Personally, I’m fond of the term and I see it springing up more and more in Facebook conversations surrounding the current state of poetry. And just the mere mention of the word drives some people into outrage. A person can’t even mention decadence without it being immediately dismissed as a wholly misogynistic thing. But there were actually a number of women decadents that no one ever seems to discuss. Like Vernon Lee, Ada Leverson, and George Egerton. What are your thoughts? What do you think of our current state of poetry?
The poet cum-mutes the inward towards the outside
so the inward may be cum again
but transferred, morphing always
He speaks the vernacular of dreams
and is therefore intrisically “decadent” for dreams known not the rules of moral and follow a symbiotical skeleton only
“Decadence” is more like Parnasse and the “art for art” statement expressed by (and for) Gautier, glyphing poetry
languages not for what is means in the visible speech but for the hidden meaning that is encoded within it
language permits us to scratch out the ramification of an inward world and dimensions we know knowthing about and perpetually growing inside our bloods as we write
Therefore it must choose to take whatever “subject” or object it judges necessary.
The problem with writing deemed “controversial” is that the language did not find its way off the piece in its natural and natural ramified outgrowth, but narrowed the word down instead of whirlpooling it into a world spiralling entrailwise
“As a trickster god, Tezcatlipoca delighted in overturning the order of things, causing conflict and confusion. Sometimes, these disruptions could also be a source of creative energy and positive change. Tezcatlipoca’s ultimate trick was one he played on his fellow god Quetzalcoatl. After introducing Quetzalcoatl to drunkenness and other vices, he used his mirror to show Quetzalcoatl how weak and degraded he had become. Quetzalcoatl fled the world in shame, leaving it to Tezcatlipoca. He did, however, promise to return at the end of a 52-year cycle.”
Tezcatlipoca and the dynamics of “decadence” I would like to web through with my own growing up in the suburbs of Marseilles as a soft bully myself and among god-like kid-scoundrels who taught us all how, the tough way, but taught us nonetheless, how to behave in harmony with the harmony of the spheres. I know from my friends who are born and bred in the States that basically the majority of bullies are the “cool kids,” (the sport people, the cheerleaders and so on) and they bully the “non-cool” kids (the weirdo, the disabled, the creep etc., etc.) whereas where I grew up, the scoundrel system provided a perfect equilibrium to the bullying system. Kid-scoundrels dictated their laws to the other kids, and their laws included protecting the week, the crippled, the weird, from being bullied by others; if you were mean or bullying anyone weaker than you, or mocked anyone for being strange or “different”, then you would have this herd of kid-scoundrels against you, and the only way to get their wrath out of the way was to stop your pernicious activities and by their protection with small tithes. For example, after having myself bullied a boy in 6th grade whom I called “the intello” for he cared a great deal about his grades and was a bit of a teacher’s pet, I was strictly refrained from doing so by Aurélie Goubel, a boyish and tough girl of eleven who after having instructed me not to pick on people placed me under her protectorate in exchange for one “pain au chocolat” a day for the next four junior-high years.
DREAMS ARE AMORAL
AND SO SHOULD POETRY AND LITERATURE BE
THEY SHOULD REMAIN MYTH
THEY SHOULD REMAIN UNTOUCHED BY CENSORSHIP
THERE IS NO WAY TO CENSOR A DREAM
ALL THAT CAN BE DREAMT SHOULD BE
THERE SHOULD BE NO RESTRICTIONS ON THE AMOUNT OF DREAMING
THERE SHOULD BE A STATE OF PURELY DREAMT RITUALS
THERE SHOULD BE PURELY RITUAL DREAMS
THERE SHOULD BE PURELY DREAMT BEAUTY
« The poet should behold the human things as a god would from the top of his Olympus; to reflect them interestlessly in his vague pupils and give them, with a perfect detachment, the superior life of the form » (Leconte de Lisle)
“The gods laugh of the reasons that animates them, so profound they are, inexpressible in the tongue of others” (Cioran)
Making pearl necklaces, chiseling
Poets are gifted with
the sense of gems
the sense of pearls
the sense of spacetime
Ketamine offers the poet the sense of spacetime on a silverwater
ART FOR ART gautier
Parnasse : art doesn’t have to be useful or vertuous and its goal is only beauty; just like jewelries and gems; is a diamond respecting morals?
Art must be beautiful Marina Abramović
Morality is power
is how you keep the power when you’re otherwise powerless
we teach children that cock or cunt is a bad word
so we can control sex
under the “good morale” fallacious pretext
but a language is intrinsically amoral
words are vessels
a word is only the sum of all the meaning and cultural baggage it contains
therefore it is completely fluid
From a Johannes Göransson interview:
“[…] such as Conceptual poets declaring poetry ‘dead’ and writing it ‘necrophilic,’ or Gregory Orr disciplining young poets that ‘flowery language’ is too luxurious — and I find myself increasingly drawn to the gaudiness of these evil flowers, these corpses that so much of US poetry and society of large want to abject, clean up, save us from. I don’t want to be saved, I want to wallow in that anachronistic zone of the outmoded and undead.”
Cioran: “the triumph of morality requires the dolorous experience of mud: to drown in it is more pregnant with meaning than a superficial purification. Doesn’t decadence in itself have more depth than innocence? A “moral man” deserves its title only by virtue of the compromising titles acquired in his past.
To succumb to temptation, isn’t it to fall into life? My God, let us succumb to temptation and deliver us from good!”
Poetry starts with a no: it’s a no to death, and a no to loneliness; if you accept any of the two you do not have poetry. But a craft that is composed of 95 percent of no requires a certain amount of ammorality; Genet said that “the poet takes care of the evil”, and what is evil but whatever is deemed reprehensible according to the pre-prescribed terms of an ever-morphing definition of “morality” not as an innate and profundly humane virtu, but a shape-shifting bienséance? The 5 percent of yes of poetry are psalmodied by Orpheus; it is a bowing towards baseness and the balls it takes to peruse the is akin to those required from the sorcerer who goes within the entrails of the beast in order to achieve the prophetic.
Cioran: “A turd reflects the sky more personally than crystalline water.”
Therefore any good work of art is intrinsically “decadent,” in that it does not care for the superficial scrubbing but choses to burn it down to the whitewashing levels.
I realized yesterday while translating Cioran that all the authors MTTLK and I have chosen to translate might easily be tagged as “misogynists”; Cioran was the disciple of Nietzsche after all and Huysmans really prones celibate and the friendship between men as the ideal, and Duzert of course is well-known for hazing publiquely stated that woman shouldn’t be entrusted with the cares of children. May they be prozocation or heart-felt statements, the blatant misogygny of thinkers throughout the centuries is what has forced women to leave the comfort of their position as delicate little thing to stand for themselves, to bound together against an enemy, to become in a word as strong as the cliché about their weakness might haze been. Could feminism be so strong and bounded if there had been nothing to fight against? I think that only from crisis may arise greatness …………………
Any good work of art is decadence is the acceptation that the natural state of our race is intoxicated, if drug intakes and drinking, fucking, and writing well about all these beautiful topic is a desirable thing. Since I haven’t at all followed that cybernetic polemic I wouldn’t venture to imagine what were the opinion defended but if calling someone’s work “decadent” may cause people to see an offense to women, does it mean they do not deem the topics and values caressed by the decadent’s aesthetic worthy of a woman? Decadence is noble. I offered my book to Biche’s grandfather last Winter, and the next day when we visited him he went straight for Biche and congenially exclaimed, “Michael! Did you write some of this book? So many tits and asses….” Instead of sensing a case of blatant anti-female misogyny, this reflexion made me think. It is true that the men is more prone to be associated with a sexualization of the body; isn’t that, intrinsically, a misogynistic belief? But there is no need for a “woman-decadence”, or a “man-decadence”; let us all use up the path with dirty semen-soiled hands as we may. Blake believed that “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”, and decadence was never completely defined, but Walter Pater in Studies in the History of the Renaissance wrote something that approximated it:
“To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life . . . Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end . . . For art comes to you professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments’ sake.”
Bukowski said somewhere half-jokingly that the only thing he regretted about Genet’s works was that his muses were not women, but it is actually his zery muses who spoke all through Genet’s dialect as millitongued angels spitting cum into microphones installed in the heavens; under his pen the male muse arches and mutates the text into arcane shades. There is something transcendal in an eros that cannot reproduce into flesh form, but must become beauty or thought, must become ethereal and bloodlessly so; when Genet mentionned, in Notre Dame Des Fleur, the brief and inadvertent meeting, in the showerroom corriddor, between two men from a certain prison which name escapes me, he depicted the moment as being able to give birth to nothing “but a unicorn.” ; a creature of pure fantasy, a creature monstruously partaking of imagination only.
I need the male-queering of the muse, in the emergence of a male-muse from the depths of a male’s musings; and I believe that’s what Huysmans was after as well. In En Ménage, all the passages between the main characters Cyprien and André are the occasion for joyful reunions, for a time of mirth and artistic creation, whereas each passage involving a womanwife-like figure brings labor and gloom to even the structure of the passage. Where Huysmans may be simplistically reduced to a misogynistic bitch, I rather think that he had discovered where art needed a womb-less recipient for its aesthetic and erotic convotings. Where the muse as a woman is doomed to give birth to earthbound passion — for its consumption makes new body emerge off its fresh remains —, the love of men is fertile with angels, Genet’s sperm-swollen angel who, like Conor Oberst in “A Song To Pass the Time,” whisper as they watch men pass by, “I start wishing there was something I could offer them.”
Have you ever read Hawthorne’s tale, “Rapaccini’s Daughter”? I believe the whole story is a parabole for poetry.
Poetry as “a wild offspring of both love and horror that had each parent in it, and burned like one and shivered like the other.”
“Whatever had looked ugly was now beautiful; or, if incapable of such a change, it stole away and hid itself among those shapeless half ideas which throng the dim region beyond the daylight of our perfect consciousness.”
The poet: “Endevearing to recover himself, he stared forth wildly from his inner world inro th outer one and spoke like a man in a dream.”
The Muse: “She talked now about matters as simple as the daymight or summer clouds, and now asked questions indicating such seclusion, and such lack of familiarity with moes and forms, that Giovanni responded as if to an infant. Her spirit gushed out before him like a fresh rill that was just catching its first glimpse of the sunlight and wondering at the reflections of earth wind sky which were flung into its bosom. There came thoughts, too, from a deep source, and fantasies of a gem-like brilliancy, as if diamonds and rubies sparkled upward among the bubbles of a fountain.
“and a meeting with Beatrice in the garden was no longer an incident in Giovanni’s daily life, but the whole space in which he might be said to live; for the anticipation and memory of that ecstatic hour made up the remainder.”
Wallace Stevens defined the imagination as the “violence within that protects us from the violence without.” And Chris Marker in Sans Soleil adds, “Poetry is born of insecurity: wandering Jews, quaking Japanese; by living on a rug that jesting nature is ever ready to pull out from under them they’ve got into the habit of moving about in a world of appearances: fragile, fleeting, revocable, of trains that fly from planet to planet, of samurai fighting in an immutable past. That’s called ‘the impermanence of things.” Forgive me if I just pile up quotes here but this issue has been so precendented under the tongues of our more-or-lesscontemporaries that I do not feel the need to rephrase ideas that haze been so accurately enunciated.
POETRY IS THERE TO UNLOCK THE FOREST WITHIN US-CELLS
Biche wrote, “Poetry is a fertile and majestic river.”
Poetry is Sappho’s “quail-colored eggs a pair of eggs that were not “quail-eggs”, but eggs “the color of quail”; this is where poetry unstuck the meaning from its subject, and in this slight lifted membrane a whole new world can be seen in transparence; it is the white of the egg that shows only a translucent sun behind it.
Schuyler’s poetry offer the daily-life the same simple magic that the experience of breaking an egg is. Biche once wrote to me Is there any experience similar to peeling a hard-boiled egg, except perhaps from God’s? Schuyler hold the egg and tap taping it watch it calmly hatch into a new representation of the world, a mis-spelling of reality through poetry. Look at Sappho’s egg, look how the egg does not belong to the bird who made it the shape of the cold egg you break but to the colour of this very bird and with a fork break again. The mere observation of an egg of quail on the ground becomes the substance of a whole new imagery, a world where eggs have bird colours and can mysteriously come into existence without anything laying them, a world much akin to the real world in appearance.
But Schuyler upon the surface of reality does not cut a woman in two, it does not escape from ropes and chains in a large tank of water at the last minute. His magic is the precarious rest of the knight drinking fresh milk and eating wild strawberries with the troubadours in The Seventh Seal. Schuyler’s magic isn’t prophetic but daily, making poetry happens right here and now where he stands, not in a remote future or past where the absence of our knowledge about it accept everything that happens as plausible, but in the time of present where observation and existence among the world is the unending versicolor veils that the magician endlessly pulls out of the hat on stage. We are aware of the candid, probably naïve taste that the image we just used could have, but we are using it on purpose, because of the humility of the magician’s trick. When Schuyler starts his poem with putting on your daily-life like old jeans grown somewhat shabby, to say the least : familiar, he’s detaching for us the reality’s double from the world of familiarity. Not attempting to create a whole new world for us but rather holding both the silver bowl used as a convex mirror for the initiation of the young boy painted on the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii, and the silenus mask held aloof by another boy so that the first boy’s image would reflect another face than the well-know, usual face. But the boy’s crooked reflection and his real face still happen in the same space. Poetry and the daily life are the same egg. It’s the egg the maid peels for a long-time convalescent compared to us poets and writers by Burroughs in The Western Lands. The room where this scene takes place is out of the world, the room where convalescence takes place and a routine takes place, but a routine of stillness and immobility preserved within the real world itself by a ritual of small habits. It’s a forest within the world, the yolk of another world protected by the shell of the real world itself.
I think the process of poetry-writing has been altered by the new medias and most of all, the internet. The quasi-instantaneous of exposure is slowly eroding the intimacy felt between the poet and his work; the “alone, in the clouds” — post-chamois hunt period where the trophee we were after may humiliate us and let us feel dismal and sad and alone and reevalute our position, and therefore our capacity to judge is being maimed at one level or another. Before the internet and the pollulation of a myriad of lit mag and social plateform, there could been a long stretch of time between the poem and its ingurgitation by the audience. This leading to rework, ponder, grow inward from constant reappreciation and reappropriation of the poem. The publication of a work is surely not an end, but the moment the work starts to exist in someone else it is crystallized in that form, and less prone to any sort of metamorphose. Internet has intrinsically changed the way we write; and where social platforms display a rather florishing ground for “responses” to poetry and more and more do us writers make the mistake of locating the thrill that poetry is with the way it is received. And this underlying ‘reception-anxious’ aspect of many poems completely devoid them of the joy; and it is the intrinsical joy of a poem which makes it good and therefore, needed.
“And if you’re reading this by now
And I am long dead
Then it would mean I have
The parabole of the Poet figure is Gaius Balter in Battlestar Galactica : a god who plays so many role so well he forgets he is a god to begin with; a creator and a destroyer, a martyre and a prophet, a visionary and a sinner, a politician and a saint, an anarchist and a lover, a god disguised as a human. Gaius listened to the voice; he could have, within himself, a dialogue with another, and therefore be truly wholesome, and accept his lonesomeness both as a god and a man.
Poetry is that impossibility:
“Preparing the lamb for a visitor was a hospital gesture but stealing the lamb was a crime”
the poet figure is glyphed into:
God looked at space and I appeared,
Rubbing my eyes at what I saw.
The earth smoked; no birds sang.
There were no footprints on the beaches
Of the hot sea, no creatures in it.
God spoke. I hid myself in the side
of the mountain.
As though born again
I stepped out into the cool dew,
Trying to remember the fire sermon,
Astonished at the mingled chorus
Of weeds and flowers. In the brown bark
Of the trees I saw the many faces
Of life, forms hungry for birth,
Mouthing at me. I held my way
To the light, inspecting my shadow
Boldly; and in the late morning
You, rising towards me out of the depths
Of myself. I took your hand,
Remembering you, and together,
Confederates of the natural day,
We went forth to meet the Machine.
it all goes back to a room
to write poetry is to return to that room
then out of it
This is where you must ceaselessly start all over again, back when you knew a language that only you could speak, and your voice was not the voice the others expected to hear, they who never sucked upon the bear’s tongue and therefore could never, were you to speak with the voice that in you lay burried, understand a word you’re saying;
Forget the fear forged in you by the forceful tongues of the others, and speak to yourself the tongues that you know so well, but do not attempt to be the wind, that great force that breathes humanlessly throughout the universe; make the small breathes that wed one another till around the wind’s waist they form a bracelet
espousing the wind, a bracelet of breaths akin to the wind in their voice
and movements, only human.
A poem is not a small breeze, but a human breath eager to tumble into the precipice with others like him, for the promise of great beauty to come, even if death like a great crevasse lays between them and that promise.
It is a fated room whose existence and openness inward and out is always, contrary to us who are as punctual as a pair of glimpsed wings fallen behind the firs towards the East and need a code, a key-code, to enter it. Poetry is the quest for this code. He went away and kept on hunting and hunting. Where, he thought, is the real chamois? And can I kill it where it is? The glyph for our quest is this hunt described by Frank O’Hara in THE HUNTER. The whole poem is how we consider the process of writing. He saw the world underneath, gleaming like a ground in a gold fume, with distance. and it ends like this:
the chamois found in and they came in droves to humiliate him.
Alone, in the clouds, he was humiliated.
There’s the hunt for the mighty buck with woods of a hundred years which is a sign of Pride, and would be hanged ornamentally on a wall to be observed and looked at, while our humility can bring little wild hairs delicious and tasty on which we can feed. We go hunting for our own masterpiece, our trophy to hang upon the wall of our memory, and our path drift along the high weeds and blurring our vision (which compared to the species we’re hunting is only humble and merely attached to our humanity) and we must accept with humility what we find along the path to this the very food for our quest. It’s by accepting the vanity of our hunt, as well as the disappointment of an idealived object, that the balance between ourselves and our Forest will slowly solidify us into the simplicity of the imperceptible aging of the poplar tree.
And so Genet says, ‘the poet must takes care of the Evil. It is his rôle to see the beauty that lay in and to extract it and to use it.’ A pure imagery must be the fuel as much as the result of the writing, with no such added ornament as morality or values. Immoral is a book that’s poorly written. The mating of horror and grace must take place to populate evenly the forest of the Thought-Planet, and just like in Nature the arising of a new species, voracious or harmless, is not a choice but a necessary evolving of the race, the unescapable mutation of the thoughts in the realm of poetry cannot be shackled by any weakness of virtues or vices. In the new world of ideas, the species of centaurs collaborates with the more modest species of man.
Abraham was once told by Allah by means of His own that a strange camel would come and guide him to the appointed place where he was to build a Haram, and how Iblis, we are told, ‘ this time succeeded in deceiving Ibrahim, who following the strange camel Iblis has sent in replacement of Allah’s began to build at Ramet El-Khalil, an hour from Hebron. But after he had laid the few courses Allah showed his mistake, and he moved on to Hebron”. So Iblis replaced the strange camel by a deceptive one, or STRANGE CAMEL N°2. What happened to STRANGE CAMEL N°1 no one knows. Was STRANGE CAMEL N°2 duplicated from the first, an exact replica which didn’t itself know he wasn’t the original camel ? One feels oneself to be one’s own self and another. These words from Sartre are the cypher for the case of the camel. The metaphysical questioning arising from the case of the strange camel, the impossibility of ever melding the two strange camels into one because of the missing thread inbetween them, is akin to the research for original oneness and is the quest of the poet. The error interests the poet, as error only teaches truth.
Poetry is the error, Abraham constructing a mosquee in the wrong spot, but it’s also the miracle, Allah picking him up with the SimCity’s hookhand to put him back on track. It is the freedom of the forgotten Strange Camel n°1, that camel who was unleashed from the myth and propelled into a mirage where forever he may roam free. To be an accident was that camel’s blessing; it is error that empowered him with the freedom of being erased from memory, and therefore free to be from then on anything. Poetry is to choose the first strange camel, the one that led Ibrahim to the wrong holy spot to begin with, and built my mosquee there, and so no one would find it, but I would have you invited, and you would find me there, eating makkrouds and gazel horns in the hot sun of a summer day, drinking my pet’s camel milk and ventilating my foot with palmleaves; for here in the mosquee I constructed in the wrong place, all that I desire to make become real, and there is no limit to the freedom of my making. Look what happened to Ibrahim whence he, desirous as he was to please a god swollen with reality, found out (from the mouth of that very God, who had tricked him into building the mosquee in the wrong place to begin with — and what is the wrong place when God is indicating it anyway?) he had been misled into building the mosquee 200 meters west of the actual holy place where the mosquee should have been erected — another strange camel was sent to him, and showed him the way to the place where he had to built the mosquee all over again. When he abandonned his first camel, and his first mosquee, it is then that the fork was created, mirage on one hand, reality on the other — for they can only be illusion when there is duplicity, and if a God is willing to make up mirages, then we shall assume that those mirages are good and worthy of living within. Genet’s progeny are the angels who breastfed one another with the sperm of a mirage and suckled one the milk of the pristine and unproofed Strange Camel 1.1. Poetry is this mirage; and that strange camel is the father of all poets.
I see you are composing your next question. It’s like warm sperms moving about in lazy fashion.
PC: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something Flaubert wrote: “We are all of us in a waste place. No one person understands another.” What do you think of this sentiment?
PLKTT: This sentiment is necessary because it is what propels us into making art
and working hard towards beauty.
Because we are severed from our wholesomeness we feel inadequate; we feel like we are not where we should, in the right form.
It’s Joseph Joubert: “That I looked like a soul that encountered meet a body, and that was dealing with it as it could.”
brotherhood of man
More thahn humaan
This feeling is what leads to the most noble desire of our race:
intoxication, art, dreams.
about what it is to only have one’s own empirical experience
but there are dreams
the dying bee
i remember being a drone bee
the night i dreamnt of the pope
how i usually dream through other people
I think compassion comes more from a sophisticated intra connections and rememberances between certain beings then from reason, and therefore it is almost impossible to force it into someone by other means then art, which speaks not to the conscious mind but to this ancient organ in us which remembers being wholly and unified with all that is dead or alive.
about understand other/ how i used to see in people’s eye a landscape that i know to be real
it’s not “understanding” (under/standing) it’s an instinct
Our tragedy is that we will never be able to feel what another being might feel, and therefore our feeling of loneliness can only be
Therefore the crucial necessity for intoxication, by any means.
The intoxication which increase our feeling of rejoicing with the Whole
What is that whole? We all experienced it on drugs
It is what we veer towards and what makes us make art. Art, good one atg least, arises from crisis and the dark space where lurks the tragedy of our separated bodies.
The night I met Biche and how we saw the scene of how we had been severed in two pieces and had been looking to find that piece back
The ancient greek tale that explains love by the parable of the first human beings:
There were three species of man already in existence on earth
male-male, whose place was the sun/sin/son/san (the sanity one)
one female-female, here on earth
and one of male-female, dwelling on the moon
and those beings were
twice as large as the nowadays one.
together they amounted to two bellybuttons, four legs and four armpits, sides and backs forming a circle, one head with two faces, and everything twined up and doubled up. And so the Gods, fearing their strength, asked Apollo and Venus to cut them in two “like apples halved for pickling, or as you might divide an egg with a hair”. But those divided parts longed for each other and so they came together and sketched a wanna-be eternal embrace, and they would have perished of hunger had not the gods set them apart from each other; and there began our quest for the other “us”. It is such a sad and eery thing to notice how absurdly this primeval wisdom was lost, how the DNA-encrusted knowledge that us humans arose loving each other completely regardless of what shape was lurking between our legs slowly wore out as we grew fearful and ill-fitted to our own feelings.
In Hindu mythology, the first God was just an I, a male I, with only a voice and a phallus, and when he said aloud in the dark “I am”, he felt afraid of a sudden, and then he reasoned : why should I be afraid, if there is only me? And so he felt lonely. He decided to cleave himself into two entities, so he may have a semblance of company. And he halved his voice and his penis and gave it the shape of female-him, a she-version of the I so far had been, with a mind and a body independent from his, and a woman’s breast, and a pussy. But when he realized he had been halved he felt the imperious desire to be made back into one, and so he tried to mate with his female self, who blushed and exclaimed, “But I am you and you are I! How could we unite? I must hide!”, and turned herself into a mare, and her male self turned into a horse, and the copulation began; when they had cum into each other she turned herself into a boar and he, a gilt; and so on, till they had fucked enough to make all the animals of all the species be.
Satiated, they fell asleep one inside the other, cheek resting against the other one’s cheek, and their repose became the mountains, the sky and the oceans.
We are all Sisyphus, and the “waste place” is where we drag our big rock but our big rock is the necessary burden which is of a different shape for all but essentially same in its structure: we carry the burden of what we must be, the rock is the world, and each of us carry the world to an extent we will never be able to quantify or truly experience in the current state of our human flesh.
he’s just that great force that holds everything together
in the world
and by making him the essence of all things
because it’s everywhere
and likened to basic fluids
and textures, and akin to light
or electricity forces,
and non-custom based
if we agree that things exist and they are travelled through by a certain lifeforce,
and call this absence of form we can perceive in all things
and feel but not master or predict
a “god”, thing
force, then god does lives
It is fascinating to see how a word can lead to a whole new set of agreements
if Spinoza used the word “force” instead of “god”, then his position would be studied from a whole different view-point
The waste place:
That stretch of space between the two pieces looking for oneanother for ever
Myths are the commonground of understanding/peopling the vague terrain of uncertainty and lonesomeness
and art is myth
it is always to explain the world and try to convey feelings
Artaud: I wasn’t born in Marseilles on the “…” but I was travelling there that day, coming from somewhere
what is the waste place?
The song of Bob Arctor’s, in A Scanner Darkly, remember his German grandfather used to sing:
“God, how dark it is here, and totally silent.
Nothing but me lives in this vacuum…”
The Maids: “ I cannot see anything. Night is too black.”
the waste place is that space between the movement in
Rosas danst Rosas
by Anna Teresa de Keersmaker
It is the congress of the mind with rot to make beauty grow out of putrescence: the cocainated glitch-worlds of Trakl, the trashbits in O fantasma making a centaur out of the man rubbing the latex of its skin against them, the dumpster in Perdido Street Station where a house robot wakes and start assembling a super-giant and super-brain with all the other electronic stuff uploading themselves into him, becoming the Whole.
The language of poetry is to us human beings what phonetics are to the spoken word: it provides a method for a furthering comprehension interconscious, and therefore a temporary relief from the feeling of absolute loneliness that besieges us when we are away from the core of our subconsious, that let our three minds shut down till only the most intuitively connected to cosmic knowledge remains. I guess this shutting down and opening inward rather then outward expansion can be compared to the effects of acid on the brain — the more you go inside, the more you feel the connection with everything. Therefore the poet must achieve a point of egocentrism so great that he would actually pass onto the other side, where there is no longer any ago, and come back out with the melody firmly stuck in his harp so he may mimick the feeling for the others to experience.
OF THE ALL WITH WHICH WE CO-EXIST
Looking around me, I see as far to one
sky as another. The limitations of the eye:
we know the sky goes farther. Yet instruments
give us the same view and absolve the eye.
If I am not central to the world, then it fails
to make any difference whatever I feel.
The universe is large: to be eccentric is to be
nothing. It is not worth speaking of.
If I am anything at all, I am
the instrument of the world’s passion and not
the doer or the done to. It is to feel.
You, also, are such an instrument.
You speak of justice and injustice, and well you might.
You speak of grief, of ecstasy. This
is a cruel world and a gay on. We are. Feel.
There is nothing to do, to be done, to be done to.
The poet’s ego must speak to the oversoul like Sammy Barnathan to Caden in Synedoche, New York; “I’ve never felt about anybody the way I feel about you; and I wanna fuck you until we merge into a chimera,a mythical beast with penis and vagina eternally fused, two pairs of eyes that look only at each other, and lips ever touching.And only one voice that whispers to itself.” That voice is the faces of a double-headed serpent perpetually hissing to itself in a tongue even the god who made him can no longer understand. That voice is the voice of Silla saying “Be not afraid of the universe”. The onus of the poet is to transcribe that voice to make it palatable to all the tongues that it can reach, and this his is why Rimbaud exhorts him to be “thief of fire”. “He is responsible for humanity, for animals even; he will have to make sure his visions can be smelled, fondled, listened to; if what he brings back from beyond has form, he gives it form; if it has none, he gives it none.” The thief of fire is the shaman. In some cultures such as the Eskimo and schizophrenia is not regarded as a psychosis, but plays a major role in the daily culture and the mystic rituals and therefore the child who will display signs of it will be entrusted to the teachings of the shaman of the village, himself formed thus in his own childhood. There is no attempt made at quarantining the schizophrenia crisises, which are regarded as a beneficial communication with the cosmic consciousness, and after his descent into the limbos of his self the seer will emerge back to the surface and share with his community his newly acquired knowledge and the report of his journey. That the medicine of Western civilisations would choose to attempt to abort the crisis of the patients instead of trying to accompany them through a passage that is an inherent part of the human consciousness and must be led to its natural end in order to be “over” shows how little to no credits our modern practitionners accord to the actual demands of the fertile and unexplored expands of the human minds. Joseph Campbell wrote, “When one studies primitive mythologies, the imagery of the mythological world derives from the psychological experiences of the shamans. The source of the imagery of primitive myths is the shaman’s psychological crisis. The shaman is a person who in his early puberty has cracked off, broken off and gone into what we would today call a psychosis.” (A very edifying essay by Campbell on this subject from a comparative study with John Perry can be read here.) The poet, like the shaman, must not fear to sink further down within himself to swim to the other side of the inward sea, where the “wasteland” of human consciousness is no longer a barren soil but a flourishing ground pregnant with primeval knowledge and waves of original feelings.
PC: I feel like I should ask you at least one of the questions you asked me prior to this interview: if you could have no financial worries without ever having to work again for the rest of your life provided that you ate a small human turd, would you do it?
PLKTT: As Herr John Eicher once said, “I would eat that small human turd at once and ask for another round!”
Purdey Lord Kreiden Thomas Taren is the author of Children of the Bad Hour (Ugly Duckling Presse), Rosebud (Jerkpoet, Fall 2015), and Scolopendrum (Action Books, Spring 2016). She is the muse of the painter-poet Louie Otesanek, who draws heads. She is the co-translator of Tony Duvert’s Atlantic Island (Semiotext(e), Fall 2015), Mated by Joris-Karl Huysmans (Wakefield Press, Fall 2016), and Dust Pink by Jean Jacques Schul (Semiotext(e), Summer 2017), all along with Michael Thomas Taren Lord Kreiden. They are currently working on a free verse translation of the complete poems of Leconte de Lisle. Their video works can be seen [here]. They can usually be found feasting in one of the 101001 nights [here]. They are better known as Tezcalipoca&Chalchuihilicue.