6 04, 2018

Some Irrational Reviews of Universalizing Objects

By | 2018-04-07T01:30:46+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Essay, Object, Prose|0 Comments

A Green Ceramic Creature signed “Sharon MacDonald, H., 1914”

Price: 1.99

This object seems very good for what it is. On the one hand it is clearly dog, but on the other, it isn’t at all. It is quite smooth and green. When I first glanced it, I assumed it was something more particular. My brain must have filled in the gaps, for unlike most objects, the more I looked at it and handled it, the less I understood what it was, and the more general it became. Perhaps we can tentatively term such rare things as this as Universalizing Objects. Something like a thing, but then it seems to drift from the specific into the ideal. Nonetheless, it tastefully freezes itself before it quite reaches the stage of intellect, and remains matter. There is nothing more cliché these days than a mere “imaginary object”, and so I am glad this thing stuck it out in the concrete. On the bottom it is dated 1914. A harbinger of war? I like its colour. We can only hope there will be more of them forthcoming. Will there be? Time will tell.

 

A Leaky Amulet

Price: Found on the street

This is a medium-range generalizing entity that won’t set you back too much and that will get the job done. Its peculiarity lies in its general bottle shape. Nonetheless, it is a two-dimensional bottle, and most strikingly, has a series of irregular cut outs in its body, reminding one of either geological extraction of fossils or a very abstract game of “Operation”. It certainly grabs the attention of passerby, but you’d be surprised how many people won’t even stop to pick up a shiny gold object when others are watching. The more one considers it, the more one wavers between choosing: is it a functional frame, or an apotropaic amulet? Metallic-gold seems to be the only option available, although some wear along the edges suggest another colour could be drawn out of it if you aren’t afraid of customizing your universalizing object. Is it handsome? Not really. Does it remind you of an eye or a hand? No, perhaps a microbe or a molecule at best. Nonetheless, for what it promises, it certainly delivers. Worth picking up if you get the chance.

 

An Empty Location Device

Price: 2.99

If you don’t already have one, you definitely need to get yourself one of these. In the technological world we live in there are few things which capture the spirit of concrete obsolescence so eloquently and yet are so relatively ubiquitous in junk shops (for the moment, at any rate). The basic mechanism is to select a letter with the golden pointer, and then press the lever. The object will spring open to an empty black zone, revealing ever the same text: PENCILIST, Model “E”, General Binding Corporation etc. etc. (One is especially struck by the idea of a General Binding Corporation, which speaks to a Hegelian progression, but also of the “general binding agent”, in an alchemical sense). Perhaps once it contained names, addresses, secret poems, dream accounts. Certainly it contained area codes and “bates” (The Bates Motel? Or is there some elision in ‘bates?). The most striking feature of this model, missing both its dividers and its pages, is the ability to experience the (shall we say quantum?) differences of so many possible realitiesfrom A to Z, as it were—and yet experience no qualitative change in result. Yet. The mechanism of shutting and opening the lid, hilarious little coffin of the office, leaves a wavering gap in the certainty of the operator. Who knows if certain occult combinations of letters chosen might one day result in the appearance, on the inside, of something else?

-JA

22 01, 2018

Sex Organ Inquiry

By | 2018-01-22T23:24:18+00:00 January 22nd, 2018|Essay, News|0 Comments

What does a sex act involving no living organisms look like?

CC: The androgynous Chaos locked in eternal masturbation.
JA: A richter scale in action during a seismic event
DC: Geophysics
CW: No one can see sex between the dead without spectral vision goggles and I’ve temporarily misplaced mine somewhere between Sierra Leone and the Atlantic coast of the U.S. It is rumored that the dead can still get pregnant and have babies during the full moon.
SK: Condensation on the lens of a telescope.

How does a jewel make love to a sponge?

CC: Clumsily and unsatisfactorily as the sponge is not impressed by hardness.
JA: By dissolving itself into soap
DC: As they please. Jewel crushes sponge, sponge smothers jewel.
CW: The jewel turns itself into liquid and falls upon the sponge to get it all hot and bothered and wet. However long it takes for the sponge to dry out is how long the love making lasts. The jewel returns to its proper shape not long after.
SK: A facet of its face clouds over from beneath.

What are your current thoughts on the birth process, and do you prefer an egg or a live birth for your offspring? What will you do with your placenta?

CC: An egg is infinitely better than live birth except that placenta is delicious, so if there is going to be a live birth, I will definitely eat the placenta.
JA: I would definitely prefer an egg, as the contemplative period of nesting would suit me very well for the reading of a few books I’ve been meaning to get to. Regarding the placenta, I would probably put it under my pillow to see if it has any effect on dreaming.
DC: Live birth is an evolutionary-bureaucratic compromise approximating superior avian, reptilian and insectoid procedures and will be superseded. Both placenta, the navel and breasts must be retained as charming follies. I will prepare my placenta with polenta.
CW: The birth process is a good metaphor for ideas bursting through the top of the skull. I prefer to give birth to an egg because they don’t cry and you always know when the creatures within are about to break through because you can feel the ground shake. There is no placenta.
SK: Birth is the end of death and the opposite, I have a return ticket. Offspring should choose. If I say live birth they will say egg. My placenta has been on holiday, it didn’t send a card.

Describe the characteristics of cosmic semen.

CC: The characteristics of cosmic semen are the characteristics of mankind as an emanation of the unconscious.
JA: Cosmic semen has a remarkable resemblance to a number of things appearing in the Jetsons theme song.
DC: Comets and meteors. The mysterious dark red interstellar traveller that recently passed through our solar system. Space dust that crackles in the mouth.
CW: Cosmic semen tends to fill the void with the consistency of pancake batter poured into a skillet. Within its micro-pores float a thousand varieties of photons, quarks and space dust.
SK: An arc of light in the corner of my eye.

Should we follow the example set by the noble gastropod and become hermaphrodites, replacing our genitalia with new and interchangeable objects of our choosing?

CC: Yes, we should seek to be both male and female. Where our bodies go, our mind will follow and this will help us embody the perfect androgyny of the unconscious.
JA: Absolutely we should. I would personally choose a turkey baster.
DC: Sexual fetishism in all its marvelous forms represents the beginning of this inevitable process.
CW: Should we become hermaphrodites, and should we replace our genitals with new interchangeable objects? Certainly, as long as we have the option to morph back out of those shapes as we desire and to make our genitals as big as a house, as long as a fifty yard dash, and as wide as Lake Superior, or as tiny as the buttocks of an ant.
SK: Calcium daggers are a retrograde step unless you are a Borgia or Medici in which case the slime is essential.

Which word involving some characteristic of the human sex organs do you find the most poetic?

CC: Clitoris has poetic potential, being the same material as the masculine penis, but organized into a feminine form.
JA: “Littoral”.
DC: Quiff, derived from coiffure. Both suggest the archaic quim.
CW: The genitally related words that are the most poetic would surely include tumescent, turgid, throbbing, hungry, devouring, charging, sliming, spitting, and queefing.
SK: Heliotropism.

Will pubic hair replace yarn in the crochet of the future?

CC: Being one step ahead of the collective in the crafting game, I have been aware for quite some time, that pubic hair is the finest material available for creating an number of crochet items, such as socks, scarves, blankets, and soft burrito coffins.
JA: Yes, if the necessary legislation is worded just right.
DC: No. Instead it will be cloned and cultured to create humane, luxurious fur coats, mufflers and hats.
CW: Pubic hair is no longer required as a designation of sexual maturity. Instead the genitals themselves will recite a Haiku when they are ready. The yarn of the future will be made from our thoughts alone.
SK: Crochet needles make pubic hair.

Would you prefer pollination by insect over human reproduction in its current incarnation?

CC: I would prefer pollination over human reproduction as long as the insect won’t suddenly demand my obedience.
JA: Yes, so long as it wasn’t a ticklish or stinging insect. Perhaps a slug?
DC: Why stop there? Instead, I propose symbiotic Cronenbergian invaders from within. Facehuggers and chestbursters.
CW: Pollination by insect, human reproduction: These things to us are but one.
SK: The insect shall inherit the earth.The Queue has started,their turn is after our orgy.

6 01, 2018

SOME THOUGHTS ON FLESH

By | 2018-01-09T01:36:16+00:00 January 6th, 2018|Essay|0 Comments

A dark morning, the sun is blue today. Yes, and a down going movement is in order. The seaside cave is dripping with sighs on the side of the white spectral cliffs. I (but not I) climb down, roughing up the vegetation with unworthy steps. A vaginal hole the approximate size of an ash leaf stands in front of me (but not me). I enter, pure silence reins here. No ocean waves or gulls dance inside the eardrums. Liquid drips from the ceiling, a thick black substance which whispers to me when I am sad. I lay down on the ground, covered in black bile and turmeric. Closing my eyes, I picture a giant airship in the shape of an elephant, stumbling toward the Berlin skyline. The playing of this thought opens cavern rooms previously unknown to me. A red squishy path opens up around me, this action played to the sound of a knife. This fabled red road exists in direct opposition to hard and unyielding yellow brick road of which all rational porcupines are convinced. I open my eyes, take off my sandals, and proceed. The path feels warm, very nice in fact. I resist the urge to lay down once more and sink inside those mothering folds forever. That bright blue light again. I reach a lower room deeper than I have ever seen. A pool of dark water and some strange movements nearby. The body of a young mermaid is next to the pool, beached or merely mad. She looks up at me with blue lips and blue fingernails and coos softly. I touch the outline of deep wounds geometrically arranged across her arm. The number “557” and the word “earthquake” are prominently displayed across her cheekbones. I run my hands across her breast, slowly working my way to her coppertone vagina. Slick suffocating essence of an empty perfume bottle. My penis bursts forth from its decaying womb of mass produced fabrics and has an argument with me over the moral implications of fucking this dazed mermaid. The delighted ball sacks expand, vibrate, and coo in response to her inexplicable murmurs. Inside her slit I find the house of colors, a land of disused mucosa and delicate golden ruins. The angels with heads of pulsating esophagus greet me, grabbing my hair and running wet salamanders through it. From their tails and little arms, a secretion of a first order. The mythological content of this sexual affair is unmistakable. Or is it stake-able? The figures turn to white dust, I can no longer see anything. A dark window or perhaps Mabille’s mirror slices my misused eyeball and I am happy. A universe has died but I have not taken it’s place too soon. I am swimming in the fluid of the hungry goat and the mermaid has begun to melt onto my body. I pull myself away slightly but it seems I am stuck, it is like a sticky blue taffy. I lick some of the melted flesh, and it tastes sweet. The hair tastes more unpleasant, like the licorice which I have never enjoyed much, except when I am channeling that mummified medieval flagellant’s back scar. My mouth is blue from over feasting. The ground turns a bright white gold and so do we. Calcification.

The next day.

Rapid four dimensional flight through an epiphany of uncontrolled levels. My vision so blurred by this movement and this simultaneous descent and accent that I began to hallucinate trees. The reality of the body is a surreality. Expanding between walls, dropping down into tiny mice holes…It is the perfect aboriginal aardvark. Why should we believe that the shoulder, currently hindered by the authoritarian barriers of skin, will not tomorrow be seen riding a bicycle? All excretions are sacred. The body in liquid form is a tall cathedral door worth closing quickly so that the priests inside burn to death in the dyslexic flood of the utopia to come. My toes may one day become the crown of Satan’s disrobed penis. My hair could become his anal passage, tickling hungry arrivals. And my eyes? My eyes will certainly drift about in the ocean, lost and forgotten like some dumb decaying piece of a message in a silly old glass liquor bottle. This author-less splash of paint on the wall is not a monument to lost ages but to a uterine future in the process of rupture.

No, I am not convinced that the dog is really feeling those fleas pulsating on his rump. I prefer to think that the door knob ingrained in his thoughts of pain is slowly turning an unnatural color above the fire pit and this is why he suffers.

Does the salamander’s tail weep for his lost body? No. It is content with the multiplicity of forms written on the back of the oozing brown wart stuck firmly and forever on the eternal flatulence of a god. Yes, the shit also is happy to leave these rusty pipes during morning constitutions. Its only wish is to no longer be bounded by the fascistic unified body which stubbornly refuses to spill its marvelous secrets. My deepest hope is for nothing more than that all skin would become transparent skin, that all of civilization’s constricting and ridiculous clothes will be collected and burned in great big piles on the moon by some aimlessly drifting space pirates onboard the ship Arcadia, a final and true smoke signal emanating into an already moist and nipple-erect cosmos which distant alien life could interpret as the long waited-for sign that they can finally take us decaying mammals seriously.

My goal for the new year: To become melted white cheese on the back of a hermaphroditic alligator’s rapidly expanding vaginal cavity, while five growing but still childlike penises melt and constantly reform in the fallopian cenote of my dreams.

23 07, 2017

The Pogo Enigma

By | 2018-01-11T13:04:47+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|Dreams, Essay, Games, Image|0 Comments

SC: Mattias Forshage mentioned Pogo and the Okefenokee in an email, which set me off on a Pogo hunt, feeling something needed exploring down there in a vague sort of way. We only had time for a quick stop, and went to the more touristy entrance on the north. An interesting desolateness, still, and a weird little Pogo section too, old and past its prime. A Walt Kelly mannequin stuck behind glass drawing one strip in an infinite loop. We also spotted Pogo painted under a bridge and on a water tower in Waycross. Later driving home we came across a town called “Enigma”, which I felt compelled to detour into. Amusing seeing the signs leading up to it too… “20 Miles to Enigma”, “10 Miles to Enigma”, “Enigma City Limits”…. Very small downtown, and empty too.

JA: Unaware of any of the previous discussions around Pogo or the trip to Okefenokee, I had the following dream on June 5, 2017. That day I also created the accompanying image. However, I did not think to share it with Steven or Mattias until after I saw Steven and Casi’s images from their trip, a month later, when we discovered this curious enigma of conjoined Pogos.

JA’s Dream of June 5, 2017

Mattias Forshage puts out a zine called CCANADADA REVIEW which claims on the cover that it is a continuation of investigations started by the Prague surrealist group but also derived from some interesting people he met and games played at a Canadian comic convention. The subtitle contains a logo of a black reversed Canada flag just like the “Fuck the 150th Canada” logo. The cover is bright green. The content is exclusively related to cartoons and comic stuff. On the back page, there is a full page homage to a monster he claims appears in Walt Kelly’s Pogo: a giant goofy looking two headed turtle monster called OGOPOGO* who very much looks like a creature drawn in the Walt Kelly style. It has the body of a turtle, two cartoon crocodile heads and four arms. Basically a mashup of Albert Alligator, Churchy LaFemme and King Koopa. It is doing a sort of sumo shiko stomp. The homage page contains images of the monster as well as an article describing its qualities favourable to surrealism: its rage, magic abilities, strangeness, unpredictability etc.

There is also a handwritten note on green paper in one of the pages of the magazine which I cannot read. I am trying to read this while walking simultaneously with AC towards the War Memorial and eat a plantain, but she distracts me with something.

*Note: Ogopogo has been a recurring word and running inside joke in many of SC’s surrealist mail to me.

MF to JA: When I was trying to remember anything connected with the suggestive phrase Ccanadada I heard music in my head. Someone is singing “Floridada, floridada”, the same basic pun. It’s the title song of last year’s Animal Collective album, which the random shuffle generator on my music player clearly likes and has chosen to play for me five times in the few weeks since I imported the record (which is really a lot with a big library), after having purchased it in London, and in your company, if you remember the record which I asked for your bespectacled vision to check in the shop twilight whether the minute dull-pink print on the cream sleeve actually confirmed that it was last year’s album; this would have been a week after your dream. Animal Collective connects with Pogo and his friends, and Steven was asking me whether there was any place I could recommend from my time in Florida when I kept going on about Pogo instead.

8 05, 2017

Recent Flood Activity by Jason Abdelhadi

By | 2017-05-08T22:12:07+00:00 May 8th, 2017|Essay|0 Comments

March 4, 2016
I read a comic in which Little Nemo’s bedroom is flooded.

“After the storm subsided he discovered the land he was on to be moving swiftly through the water but the voice allayed his fears.”

April 13, 2016
I note down the following quotation from Victor Hugo:

“Revolt is a sort of waterspout in the social atmosphere which forms suddenly in certain conditions of temperature, and which, as it eddies about, mounts, descends, thunders, tears, razes, crushes, demolishes, uproots, bearing with it great natures and small, the strong man and the feeble mind, the tree trunk and the stalk of straw. Woe to him whom it bears away as well as to him whom it strikes! It breaks the one against the other.”

June 9, 2016
A sinkhole event in Ottawa, including major flooding of light-rail tunnels under construction. This was predicted by some surrealist mail zines sent earlier in the month by Steven and Casi Cline. I report the event to a friend in some correspondence from that week:

A magnificent and tremendous SINKHOLE suddenly appeared at the corner Rideau and Sussex (the NADIR of the city!) It was an utter festival of humor—clamor reigned, an (empty) car was sucked in and lost in the liquid concrete, the memes appeared online in droves. I’d say it was analogous to the situation of the flood the Chicago group described in 1992 with “A River’s Revenge!”

And the word was on my mind anyway, since earlier this year Steven Cline had sent me a piece on sinkholes in his zine Rapture 17:

“Where did this sinkhole come from? It formed on a Sunday, and spread with each passing skin reversal. The alluvial plains teach a lesson to the unlistening ground mice. Blood red porcupines flatten themselves and roll unto the driveway of your family’s old home…”

July 28, 2016
My friend Laura Lake sends me the following dream account:

“Friends of my parents were telling us about their hardships over the winter. They had been living in Montreal when they were inundated by heavy snows. The disastrous weather knocked out the power and heating for a couple months. Worse, with the sewer systems offline, the basement of their home had been flooded with freezing water they’d had to spent days at a time trying to bail out.

Meanwhile, anarchists and political progressives had extolled the virtues of their community on the news. They compared them, in glowing terms, to the original settlers who’d colonized the area hundreds of years ago. Their pioneering spirit was commended as if they had chosen this disaster for themselves. The honest simplicity of their lifestyle, uncomplicated by modern extravagances, was favorably compared to the Amish.

Disaster relief and government assistance had not been considered necessary. In fact, it was no longer considered safe to extend basic city services like ambulances and the police to the area. Hadn’t these honest, good-natured citizens proven themselves well-capable of struggling for their own survival? Hadn’t they met their adversity with a willingness to make do, to make sacrifices, and to do for themselves what was necessary by pulling together as a community? Life went on. Perhaps, it was argued, our overabundance of technological affluence was really what had sapped society of its vigor and weakened the links between citizens – the austerity which prevailed over this community was offered as a kind of solution to the current economic crisis.

Those left struggling to keep themselves from freezing to death in their own homes and to live on a diet of cold beans dug out of a can had no time to refute the presentation of their misery as a kind of success story. They were, after all, too preoccupied trying to survive to be able to ask for the help they needed to keep their lives from entirely unraveling…”

October 13, 2016
Steven Cline’s film The Oneiric Flood is released; I watch it three times in succession.

November 1, 2016
The Chimaera gang play a round of the Paris Surrealist Group’s new game, which they call Il Croyait Voir. Based on the format of Lewis Carroll’s “Mad Gardener’s Song”, each player writes one of the three verses blind to the others. Among many others, JR, LL, and JA come up with the following result:

“They thought they saw a grasshopper giving the Hitler salute.
They looked again and saw a coal mine flooded with tears.
They learnt that it is best not to sass one’s elders when said elders are drunk out of their collective gourds.”

November 18, 2016
Release of the Peculiar Mormyrid sea issue, including many, many threats of aquatic overflow into everyday life. See Guy Girard’s giant floods, Joël Gayraud’s overflooded nuclear reactors, The Stockholm Surrealist Group’s “Life Partially Submerged” etc…

March 1, 2017
I dream it is night and a flood is slowly consuming an entire town. Dogs are running around and people are breaking open pet store windows to liberate those dogs that remain captive.

Dream Geography: the town is situated in a valley. We (the inhabitants and I) try semi-casually to gather at the northern, higher end of town. There is some kind of gate we close but it seemed to be fairly haphazard. I am in the meantime reading a biography of some silly composer whose single claim to fame was a curiously the writing of a novel.

May 4-6, 2017
Massive flooding in Eastern Canada including the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Images of flooded neighbourhoods (including photos similar to my dream of residents carrying dogs) are in constant media rotation. Local climate scientists warn that such floods are likely to be a regular occurrence from now on.

May 7, 2017
During a visit to my childhood neighbourhood I discover flooding in some areas, including a familiar park on the Ottawa river (Andre Hayden). Connected to this park, I am particularly moved by the flooding of a certain pedestrian tunnel, which is important to me (and, no doubt, many others) as the location of some very formative youthful sexual experiences. The partial submersion of an erogenous zone.

May 7-8, 2017
In asking permissions to use the above dream from Laura Lake, we discover a startling coincidence: on May 7, during a halt in the rain, we both, unbeknownst to each other, took parallel surrealist floodwalks converging onto the aforementioned park. Laura came from the East to the West, catching many dramatic sites of flooding in Britannia Beach, including: a totally flooded community centre courtyard, a field, a parking lot, a blockade détourned by the public into a passage she termed the Anarchist Bridge— “the blockade used to keep people off what little remains above water has been re-purposed into a bridge onto it, a heroic gesture of popular will as it certainly provides the finest vistas”— and many other tempting sites. We are resolved to undertake a more thorough surrealist expedition to the flood site in the near future, whether, as she suggests, for treasure, deluvian imagery, or to confront government censorship. She says: “As I saw them, I knew that such imagery was certain to resurface in my dreams.”

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3 04, 2017

The Grass Plot Round A Sun-Dial by Jason Abdelhadi

By | 2017-04-03T13:58:24+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Essay|0 Comments

Do you know who is in your garden? Is it a pronoun combined with a chronological list of achievements? Or is it a self-conscious spell, projecting itself on various situations? Does it cast a shadow at brillig? Does it salivate over its own legend? Or is it starving to escape its own fixity, in a desperate flight from the established order?

These questions go out in particular to all the automatons with clock-hearts, dilapidated debutantes and crypto-auto-biographers out there who try to impress journal editors with their marching band of “Published-Ins”, “Appeared-Ins”, “Nominated Fors” and, perhaps most damning, “Awardeds”.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the spectacle of a circus on some child-like level. But anybody who has thought about it from the perspective of poetic justice must side with the slim chance of the animals revolting and devouring the ringmasters. I guess what I mean is that when the forecast is really hot, POETRY LEAVES NO PAPER TRAIL.

Or at least it doesn’t write up its own police report. Is poetry spying? Yes, to a degree, it is a (mass?) observation of “something”, but it is emphatically NOT a self-declared index of one’s own activities. Especially if these self-censored lists include awards but not dreams, punches thrown, neuroses confronted… Or is it full-blown espionage, self-surveillance, snitching? I think summaries and profile screens were invented for military officers and cops. Or at least somebody with a sharp object. Getting “to the point” evokes the bayonet.

But where there are cops, of course, there’s property nearby what needs guarding. Protecting the plots of the bourgeoisie, the literary corps of the police force keeps out squatters and vagrants and ensures that there are clean sitting rooms for people to wait in clutching their freshly printed resumes. Of course, most publication is a kind of job interview, but perhaps there are a few rare instances that see it more as a kind of MODEST OPPORTUNITY FOR INSINUATING ROMANTIC WITCHCRAFT INTO THE BLOODSTREAM OF THE CAPITALIST METROPOLIS. The touching of hearts, through modest exhibitionism of a few throbbing pericardia.

In this context I am reminded of a certain filthy doorway in a bus station I frequent, which, when it rains, reflects along its bottom panels a diabolical light-show of waves from water droplets, radio signals from a utopian neverland interrupting the foot-level gazers and reveries of the working day. Nearby, the word “COME” is scrawled in black marker on a red garbage receptacle. One would be hard-pressed to refuse this call to adventure, and I look around me, to see if others catch the moment…Unless, perhaps, they are instead committed to a much narrower conception of transit; just on their way, maybe. There are other invitations to respond to. Tonight, a highly established awards ceremony. And after, the itemization of said good time on one’s scroll of accomplishments. The life of the agenda and the invite. What, too good for garbage now? Your uncle Moscovitch was never too good for his own garbage.

Ok then. Instead of a coven plotting revolution, a gathering of the Table of Contents society. The mandate? Itemize the subitems. It’s a closed-circle of classification, a new worse scholarship of our own selves. A sad poet who crafts their own bibliography as a favour to their future biographer. “He’ll be so impressed, and I’ll be a bust in a high school cafeteria.” This is nothing new, but I keep wagering my all on the MUST BE MADE BY ALL OF YOU, and ask, can’t we dispense with templates and chronological storytelling?

By all and not one means not dwelling on oneself certainly. There’s a giant Gulliver out there you could be crawling all over. There’s a chance to step outside oneself, the Phoney Pohet, and stumble over an object or a group of friends that jolt a connection unforeseen, unprepared, untrained, and certainly unexposed. We need new faces and masks for ourselves that point far away from our humanity and its accrued skillsets.

When I was younger I spent some time considering poetry journals, prizes, submission guidelines and all the other operating procedures of a successful literary career. I found it was remarkably similar to the advice I was getting from high school career counsellors. The Way of the Professional Pohet: get good grades, volunteer, practice, network, apply, and expose yourself. It’s a rather obvious way to channel the ghost of christmas bureaucracy (and his attendant rewards). I suppose the output of both streams, had I followed them, would be UNFLINCHINGLY SUBURBAN. This means a poetics/lifestyle of comfort, entertainment, stability, and self-obsession.

Ah, look! There they go now, Mr. and Mrs. Poets of the Patriarchy! Cube headed with rounded, aesthetic corners. My, what clean careers and handkerchiefs. I suspect they smell of vetiver. A pink skunk pulls a baby-carriage at their side, filled with tomatoes. They must have drunk lots of fecund blowfish tea to get where they are now, you can see it leaking from their verse spouts (located like a Sperm Whale at the top of the head). A chipmunk could hear the chapbooks rustling in their hearts. I see them murmuring something… Ah, they are accepting their life experiences into their poems. They are living, just like that, right before our eyes! Such a simple movement of tender moments and bowels. I wonder how their spouts work, actually, I do hope they reveal the secret in an interview. Perhaps after winning some prizes. They lament there is hardly a career to be had in this poetry game. But for now they invite us over and look at the sight of their beautiful spinal cords on the shelf, their custom fonts. What a chymical couple.

Ok. Moving along. Now let’s stop and talk to Arcanum XII, The Hanged Man, who dangles merrily without jotting down any notes at all—or if he is doing that kind of journalism, behind his back (for we don’t know what he’s holding in his hands), he’s certainly NOT in the sharing mood. It’s a sort of still, Mass-Observation on his part, an ornithology of the poetic occurrence in nature and on the path towards the city. The Mass-Observers in Worktown would often take notes inconspicuously in coat pockets. The poetic data lives in the mass and belongs to the masses. The junkbox in the garage, the archive of old observations. This is where the poetic itemizes itself, an internal finality and an external slip on the banana peel of the real. You can see it in his expression. It’s that blank supernaturalist stare of Nerval. The very opposite of the self-satisfied smirk of the curriculum vitae. Yes, all acceptable and career-progressing CVs have this terrible facial expression:

The egg only got larger and larger, and more and more human: when she had come within a few yards of it, she saw that it had eyes and a nose and mouth; and, when she had come close to it, she saw clearly that it was HUMPTY DUMPTY himself. ‘It can’t be anybody else!’ she said to herself. ‘I’m as certain of it, as if his name were written all over his face.

Fry the egg. Who is content to be satisfied, when there’s desperation available? I ask the third person in the garden if they are really what was caught on the line (the dangling worm of reputation)… Or if it could be someone else?

A grin without a cat.

-Jason Abdelhadi

19 02, 2017

Surrealist realism by Jesús Garcías Rodriguez & Bruno Jacobs

By | 2017-02-25T13:46:43+00:00 February 19th, 2017|Essay, Uncategorized|0 Comments

We recently found out through Facebook that an “International Surrealist Exhibition” took place in the Municipal Museum of Cartago in Costa Rica (free admission), which shares a logo with a certain Camaleonart Foundation — Art and Entertainment (and that is precisely what it is to a large extent nowadays). It deals with no less than 107 “world famous artists” from 26 countries exhibiting 380 works. Oddly enough, we do not recognize the vast majority of those names, but okay, we’re too insolently a-cultural to be aware of so much “world fame”. We learn that surrealism is an artistic and literary movement whose greatest exponent was Salvador Dalí (not by chance called Avida Dollars by the author of the Surrealist Manifestoes), and also that “art is an ambassador”. Perhaps that would be the reason why representatives of up to 8 surely very progressive embassies of nations from the continent were invited to the inauguration?

A pretentious and one-dimensional, i.e. very reductionist exhibition, despite the presence of friends of great integrity represented with works without doubt of excellent quality; a mere greenhouse of myriad aesthetic repetitions and commonplaces (title of the event: The Keys of Desire) under a “surrealist” label, typically formal, castrated and shoddy (which tolerates the presence of an Ingmar Bergman). It shows a true “surrealist realism” (in the manner of the “socialist realism” of such infamous memory, understood as an ideologization, institutionalization and stereotyping of an originally living impulse) and in this case not even with a minimum of “piquancy”, empty of the least critical decency and rebellious spirit, the essence of a most basic surrealist attitude: a banal alibi among others in a bourgeois culture in total decadence, which seeks, as always, to convert any aspect of transgression into merchandise, entertainment and financial and political speculation at the service of the establishment.

Exegetes, in order to see clearly, erase the word surrealism, said someone quite correctly for quite some years ago.

Jesús Garcías Rodriguez
Bruno Jacobs

Summer 2016

14 01, 2017

End Notes from the Aquatic Lanthorn by Jason Abdelhadi

By | 2017-02-25T12:07:19+00:00 January 14th, 2017|Essay|0 Comments

My object here is simply to project the draught of a systematisation of Cetology. I am the architect, not the builder. But it is a ponderous task; no ordinary letter-sorter in the Post Office is equal to it. To grope down into the bottom of the sea after them; to have one’s hands among the unspeakable foundations, ribs, and very pelvis of the world; this is a fearful thing…

Herman Melville

Après la deluge, moi. At the prompting of appeals from those who seek a shift in emphasis, to jump over the commodity of the end product and make that which is unfinished, tangential and reflective more prominent, here are some considerations from the Former Champlain Sea, as a late and purposefully troublesome postscript to our sea inquiry.

“The sea does not move, or else moves too much.”

-Merl Fluin

It’s the spirit of an “open taxonomy” that seems to be the form of organization most suitable to the results revealed by our inquiry. The sea is never closed. A New Year is not remarked in the trenches where the extremophile bacteria relax in the womb-like crevices of the volcanic. After the sea recedes, there is a very real chance of oblivion filling up the vacuum. What choice do we have? People once loved photo albums, reflecting on the memories of their past adventures by cracking decayed plastic and cardboard. Today some people suppose can scroll through them in an instant: what we saw, the fossils and specimens we keep in a storage locker somewhere, the drawing we did of the siren that we value more than the siren itself, which was nothing but a cloud reflected in a puddle, or was it a poodle’s reflection in the windowpane?

I cite this development from the BBC News, January 12th, 2017:

A strange animal that lived on the ocean floor 500 million years ago has been assigned to the tree of life, solving a long-held mystery. The extinct hyolith has a cone-shaped shell, tentacles for feeding and appendages that acted as “feet”.

It lived here too. And now, the much more recent Champlain Sea, where I currently am sitting, is dry as a bone. Shall we change the journal name to Hyolith? What more perfectly beautiful sequence of letters? Like the cover collage of Megan Leach, Hyolith is simultaneously a sepia-toned horror flick and a call to return to the depths.

“Bells made out of a grey swan’s wing.”

-T.D. Typaldos

The inquiry was intended to bring some semblance of organization to our expedition, but the sea has its own priorities. Some engaged with the themes in a more thorough way (whether in direct responses or via the games and collective responses like Stockholm, SLUT, Fresh Dirt, Inner Island and Leeds). Others used the opportunity to stowaway onboard to go on their own sea cruise. But sometimes it’s the Marx Brothers hiding in the barrel of herring, so we were happy to have had them come along.

At any rate, our initial vision of a biocommunist utopia beneath the waves has altered shape into a perplexing mirror-image. The seacries can also drown out rational planning. As Paul McRandle called them, “incarnate howlings”… In favour of Sade? I now wonder if the Sea has a Lettrist tendency. An early Debord film. The screen is so full it’s either black or white. White noise, or … A very violent insult to one’s existence. Landlubber! You think your memories are unmediated, but you live not just in a house of glass, your whole continent is glass, glass and fibre-optics.

I learned that for presentation, the glass of the aquarium is a tempting alternative to the negative capability of the screen. For our aquaria, which were also very much improvised stagings, we did not just play our roles onstage, but also had the laborious backstage duty of dramaturge-taxonomists. In the sea the material self-organizes, like life itself presumably, but isn’t it totally devoid of a parallel autonominalism? This is the dramaturge’s duty. We established family relations among our results. But only at the very end, almost an afterthought. Yet these aquamarine “cohorts” are, we hope, not temporary formations, but living entities in the surrealist aquarium.

We start with the imposing Cephalopoda, the obsessive, the cunning, the weird. The sea as other. It is an overruling passion for two great researchers of the eschatological tentacle: H.P. Lovecraft and Josie Malinowska. For the former, the eldritch, unwholesome intimations that come with a knowledge of the fish-like; for the latter, the orgiastic and feel good terror (and beauty!) of the octapocalypse to come. Prophets, backwards and forwards, of the sea. As Penelope Rosemont reminds us, here there be monsters, forever.

As we stumble away in terror, we step onto an unwholesome and utero-evocative member of the Nudibranchia, the tribe of the slime, membrane, poison and slug. Steven Cline is a powerful representative. Cool and (ir)reverent, depraved and overwhelming. The notorious phenomenology of the poisonous “blob”, which he has undertaken both in the seeping impropriety of collage and film as well as in his poetic texts (both in this issue and elsewhere). The oneiric flood that overwhelms our critical thought. Shocking. Overerotic. Waking up to a wet dream, or worse, a leech colony distributed across what we once tried to claim as “our” body. That which floods and is flooded. The body is not what it is supposed to be, we are Organs without Limbs nor Liquid Limits (OwLLLs). The calm and mournful lines of Emma Lundenmark, “in soft trailing steps”, but sea-steps, the sensitive and vulnerable slugsteps of the underbelly.

Stepping along with more security the defiant Crustacea, hard-shelled, not without an ambiguous past role adorning the telephonic apparatus of renegades, but still deliriously edible in their structural perfection. They can easily do away with bad memories, since they live forever. Fresh dirt, burrowing and clambering. The self-sufficient, moulting, biologically immortal surrealist adventurer. Surrealist heroism, in the quest of the beautiful floor. Here we find an articulated aural response from the ocean, including Fresh Dirt’s Sumbergence! Sympatica, which devours the lobster elegantly and with an unexpected musical mastication. At the bottom of the sea, Janice Hathaway’s archaeology is staring back at us from before recorded history. But it doesn’t have to live forever, these creatures are only biologically immortal, violence is still available: Beatriz Hausner re-smashes Maldoror’s crab to the great delight of children everywhere. Allan Vilu turns his diabolical machine, itself a crab, against the horror of school and work and the city. A good reminder: constant capital is a kind of crustacean too.

Above the lobster’s head, mesmerizing and airborne, Medusozoa, an exclusively electronic category, invented for the purpose of showing the moving, convulsive and stinging beauty of the image as presentation. Yes, it still hurts if you touch it. Rik Lina’s Psychalian utopia drifts along, charmingly armed. To keep such creatures in an aquarium requires a very high degree of skill. It dies very easily in captivity. On this point, although we received a few drawings and paintings that opened our eyes to the sea of the hand, the tactile sea (Maurizio Bracaleoni’s sirenic cogitation, Karl Howeth’s coraline emergence, Laura Lake’s humorous cephalopodic emasculation and Guy Girard’s oneiric waterpolo) it seems that for whatever reason the collage-mass lends itself to sea-based existence. Collective or individual, we can only conclude that the sea itself is great backdrop with pasted on play actors.

But perhaps the play hardens into a multiplayer reality. Madrepora, the collective in its constructivist period (1917-1920?), will build upon itself until it becomes a mountain-fortress rising out of the depths to confront the Milky Way, replete with devil Taoist-Alchemists and bandits, or it will not be. This is a fortress and a game at the same time. The oceanic becomes the aquarium itself. This is the cohort in which I place the most hope. Perhaps it is the closest of the lot to “absolute surrealism”. The Stockholm Group call them “The seven hidden tribes of krill”. CM Lundberg’s fishmountain cat celebrant soldiers. Crack troops in the game, doomed to an eternal charge of the light brigade…

Or they will survive in our great aquarium, specimens without an environment. We listed the dead or the dying in our game of the Sea Obituary. It was just a prelude to the next century of submarine extinctions. Our specimens are sent, perhaps via mail, in postcard and zine form. Little fossils, fosslings, of superior latent fearsomeness. A “crystaline octopus”, as Casi Cline puts it. The philosopher Meillassoux speaks of the “archefossil”, the objective, carbon-dated material evidence of a past before humanity, as the key to breaking out of Kantian correlationism. The encounter with the traumatic and Lovecraftian species of the Old Ocean, this is the sensation of perpetual discovery we wish to perpetuate, going further than Nemo and the his presurrealist vehicle Nautilus in our mad drive to collect, classify, eat and sleep among the old-oceanic. These are the primordial ephemera we need to maintain a strong link with the marvellous (see the Postal Transmogrification post for more on this angle).

We see to it that in the open and inexhaustible taxonomy of the marvellous, objects name themselves after all. Our concept of the New Aquarium Gothic is revealed to be a kind of cartoon reel with famous characters and an amoral mechanism. Duration 2min36secs. Let’s watch.

Argument, or, The Magic Lanthorn in the Aquarium

Where we find submerged, among the skulls and castle ruins an aquatic “automate”, depicting a recurring dinner scene. Therein we see: a moving model of Georges Méliès sitting down to discuss business with Qu Yuan, the shaman-poet of the Li Sao. The Méliès figurine cuts into the roast, which fall into rectangular fragments of comic strips. These float up in the water to the top of the bowl, where they are almost discernible. The figurine of Qu Yuan writes out what appear to be automatic odes based on the comics. A madreporic colony is spawning at their feet, slowly filling up the entire bowl. A chime version of the Looney Tunes theme plays itself in time with the clockwork motion of the figurines. The mechanism is very delicate.

“The disappearance of humanity is a bad memory.”

-David Nadeau

It’s like walking out of that first screening of Battleship Potemkin. The ocean revolts. The scales appear beneath our flesh and we grow gills. The sea is a great collage game, like the monsters bred at Leeds and Inner Island. The sea is also pirate radio station.

And so we return from the sea with new and miraculous weapons. Let’s end with a modest proposal for a new alteration (or derangement) of perspective, maybe in lieu of calls for outright iconoclasm against the image, the commodified product or electronic communication. The fear here is of spinning off too hastily into a negative humanist essentialism, limiting what is or isn’t an “authentic” experience to predefined categories. Situationist détournement and board gaming are still preferable, and more adventurous, than total abstinence. The risk is not so much in detailing the corrosive effects of electronic media (which is certainly true), but rather the perplexing mirror that makes everyday activity seem “unmediated” by comparison. This gives too little regard to the role of pernicious and stifling ideology in our daily lives. The problem with the paucity of the virtual is precisely that its flattening effect has a tendency to extend beyond the screen where it is least suspected. Surrealist activity will be the dialectical short-circuit that triggers a meltdown of the whole façade; collapsing at once the virtual and its swarm of subsidiaries in the marvellous and comic glow of the magic lanthorn at the bottom of the surrealist sea, with snarky captions and subversive cartooning.

In the service of business deals far removed from people’s lives, the bearers of Capital continue to smooth out the electronic runway over a mass of unsuspecting heads. In defiance of both facile electronic solutions and the potentially naive idolization of a humanist retreat, I might suggest, as a start of something different, an “aquarization” of presentation itself. This could mean:

* That The Spectacle itself cannot be overcome through abstinence, but through a subversive and hilarious derangement in the vein of a bonsai miniature. Barnacles.

* That presentation might be considered merely a small home for a real life form.

* That presentation could be a miniaturized diorama of its own inhabitants (whether the ego, the egregore etc).

* That presentation can be tactile and it can be portable. This portability means it has the potential to show up in unexpected places: transmogrified among bills and correspondence in mailboxes, at the bottom of a riverbed, in the back of a dumpster, ideally anywhere but a gallery (digital or otherwise).

* If galleries are used, or their extensions cinemas and malls and websites and forums, they could be converted into aquariums before they are deemed fit for our little sea monkeys. We suggest submergence underwater, in the same vein as the Stockholm group played in “Life Partially Submerged”.

* That presentation can prognosticate aquatically. That is, prediction and aquaprophecy, the kind of predictive dreaming of Cthulhu, a message from the depths one sleeps on at the Fleurs de Lys building in Providence, and to be done with airy, monotheistic and statist predictions of the land and sky.*

* That presentation steep itself in the humour of the backlit, the depository of our desires, and the oneiric capabilities of the submarine atmosphere. Only then will the little crocodile survive with gently smiling jaws.

* That aquarized presentation attacks both progressive futurism and nostalgic humanism in the form of the black joke, through cruel but silly mimicry. Blobfish.

* That objects in the aquarium can effectively conflate reality, the dream, imagination, or desire in such a way that skirts around the censorship of rationalist discourse and the flattening of hyper-social media; that we still insist on presenting our creatures with a playground of the marvellous.

-Jason Abdelhadi

*It’s fortuitous that we were furnished with an older aquatic text, Mattias Forshage’s Notorious Bathyscopy, where you will find, if you look carefully, that it predicts through the uncanny and ever-proven power of automatist prestidigitation, very many of the games and themes of the entire issue. I myself remarked its uncannily accurate description of both Surrealist Battleships: “A naval battle was playing, but it did not resemble the game of chess of the ships in bottles.” And also Marine Philozoophy: “Because such a philosophical fish soup couldn’t fill the stomach of anyone in the entire zoo”. Perhaps it could be sifted through for even more insight…

thumbnail_Lanthorn - Open Taxonomy

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23 12, 2016

HANDS OFF THE WORD “SURREAL”! by Ron Sakolsky

By | 2017-02-25T12:07:19+00:00 December 23rd, 2016|Essay|0 Comments

The enemies of poetry have always been obsessed with making it a slave to their immediate ends. They see jet bombers without thinking of Icarus.
Benjamin Péret

On December 19, 2016, the gatekeepers of discourse at Miriam-Webster Dictionary named “surreal” as its Word of the Year.

Far from taking this dubious distinction as a compliment, the living surrealist movement is appalled by Webster’s simplistic, distorted and one-dimensional characterization of the term “surreal” as being relegated to descriptions of disaster situations. As surrealists, we must speak for ourselves to provide a larger surrealist context for understanding the deeper questions of why such disasters happen in the first place and how to transform the present reality of which they are the inevitable byproduct.

According to the Dictionary’s editor, Peter Sokolowski, “Miriam-Webster, which first began tracking

[computer] search trends in 1996, found a spike for the word after the 9/11 attacks. We noticed the same thing after the Boston Marathon bombings and the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The single biggest spike in look-ups came the day after Donald Trump’s election. Surreal has become the sort of word that people seek in moments of great shock and tragedy.” To situate the term “surreal” exclusively among the disquieting deeds mentioned above is to do the English language a grave disservice. Surrealism remains the sworn adversary of all forms of authoritarian orthodoxy rather than merely acting as their expressive dimension.

If “surreal’ is to be remembered as the “go-to” word for 2016, let it be recalled for all of its many wonders rather than being stereotyped as merely a descriptor for the malaise associated with terrorism and electoral politics and the terrorism of electoral politics. It is true that the word “surreal” brilliantly evokes that visceral sense of the uncanny associated with such strangely unsettling events, but it is capable of doing so much more. Sokolowski demonstrates his ignorance of surrealism by saying, “I believe there are words such as surreal or love that help us grapple with things difficult to understand”. If he had spent any time at all attempting to understand the subversive qualities of the “surreal” rather than concentrating his attention on mitigating the horrors of the real, he would not have juxtaposed surrealism and love. Love is not foreign to surrealism, but is one of its guiding inspirations along with Liberty and Poetry.

Hands off the word “surreal”! Release it from the miserabilist Procrustean chopping block where Webster has editorially imprisoned it, and let its convulsive beauty illuminate not only the dystopian nightmare but the utopian dream of a world in which we can all live more poetic lives. And rest assured that what we surrealists call the Marvelous will be the playing field for our passional attractions not just for the year 2016 but for the entirety of the 21st century.

Ron Sakolsky, Inner Island Surrealist Group               

16 12, 2016

Postal Transmogrification

By | 2017-04-03T14:30:04+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Essay|0 Comments

SC: The desire has come to me recently to step back and “file a report” on the mailings we have been pursuing for the past two years. We started with the primary goal of creating a sort of catalyst for the “mailbox marvelous”. After all, who hasn’t formed a certain connection with this mysterious box which sits outside of all our houses, this strange fountain of daily unpredictability? Always for me a certain mixture of hope and fear as the box is opened, with most experiences leading of course to disappointment. One has to wonder— did Ted Kaczynski really want to overthrow industrial society, or was he just a violent man in love with postal surprises? On the flip side, even the Corporate Cthulhu has caught on to this desire in recent years, releasing a plethora of banal subscription box services for the more desperate and deluded seekers of postal adventure. But still in the back of all our minds sits the strange feeling that somehow these constant bills and spam are wrong, morally wrong, sick in fact — and that this little box is meant for greater things. Due to the ephemeral nature of the project, the vast majority of it all is who-knows-where, but I’ve made an attempt to gather up what myself and others have documented. A few descriptions and examples follow.

CC: The post is an excellent means by which to generate art as an interactive and tactile experience. So much of the way we share art with each other is digital. Or even if we are viewing art at a gallery, it is still usually a flat image on a wall or a cordoned-off sculpture. Visual art thus organized is an input only, valuable of course, but somewhat distanced from the viewer. Published writing also takes on a kind of distance through medium, though it can still feel very intimate as it speaks directly to our minds. Very seldom are we allowed let alone invited to touch, manipulate, and alter art. With mail art, particularly surrealist mail art, both the sender and the receiver are given a unique experience and connection with each other. The sender puts together the package or envelope with a specific person in mind, creating the finished or partial art or objects, getting it ready for mailing, and sending it out to that person who could be almost anywhere in the world. The receiver gets a mysterious and marvelous experience when they open the mailbox to find an unexpected package that could contain anything. Opening the package and perusing its contents, the recipient gets to feel the objects contained within and see them up close. They can then keep these to be experienced again at a later date or alter them and send them back to the sender or a new recipient, keeping the experience an ongoing collective one.

Packages

SC: We started off making elaborate and time-consuming “packages”, in concept something more like a Cornell box in an envelope. Collaboration was never actually intended and was a factor completely overlooked by us, though some surrealists ignored our intentions added to them anyway! This alerted us to that rather obvious factor – that our mailings could (perhaps should) be a two-way conversation. No photos remain of these that I know of.

Postcard

SC: The postcard phase started with these rules:

1. Grab a postcard. Collage the front or parts of the back if you like, but leave space for writing.
2. Choose two imaginary names at random – one for the person addressed, and one for you.
3. Write automatically in the form of a correspondence and mail to anyone.

These were of course abandoned after a time in favor of an “anything goes” approach. The postcard has proven to be the most participated in phase. Collage & writing sew together in a quick and liberating back-and-forth. Jay also used a postcard as material for a digital response.

JA: Someone is on vacation. They are sending me unasked for mementos of uncanny, frankly suspicious locations. I am put-out. What are these sightings? Are they tourist traps? Are they evidence of a poetic rupture? Or a derangement of the proverbial scenic route? “Ogopogo or Piero de Cosimo?” I am asked to choose between the monster I was obsessed with when I was 7 (I owned many bestiaries) and the painter of Andromedan sea-monsters. A mystic mandrake beneath a poet’s bridge. Eventually I find myself responding to these curious stopping points with dreadful sightings of my own. I fling them into the post-box and only afterwards think about where I might have been.

Collage collaborations

SC: Andrew joined in first. One of us would send a background, which would then be added to and mailed back and forth to each other until finished, creating beautiful images of people and animals in transformation. Johnny took a crazier approach, sending us large packets of snippets which we might add to or merely be confused by, which we then returned with more snippets which he would transform in bizarre ways. This process has been very freeing, a non-goal oriented approach and very automatic. From Tim came a 60 page collage book filled with wonder, and using a few of the pieces we’d mailed him over the year.

Zines

JA: There are monthly infiltrators interleaved between the orthodox flyers and bills. The mailbox transforms its internal atmosphere; from a utilitarian extension of the office it suddenly seems more like a bird’s nest for the marvelous. Ephemeralities? Raptures? Odds and ends, announcing the birth of a new moon? Or perhaps these are the new go(e)thic aquaria we saw on our sea journey; encapsulated, electrically back-lit, but evocative of an alternate life. Obscure and confident communications from a demoralized agency, often instructional in nature, and very likely to have a direct bearing on my everyday life in a most unexpected and dramatic way. Booklets that mimic with cruelly black and blue humor the digital alarm clock’s step-by-step commandments, but from a reverse technicolor shadow-realm. We keep everything but fish in these. They bring me dreams, obscure narratives, alerts. They traumatize my city (Ottawa) with pathetic environmental resonances. I can cite three instances: in Rapture 17, a narrative poetic sequence about oneiric sinkholes seem to coincide in its appearance with an epic sinkhole in the city’s downtown core. “Where did this sinkhole come from?” it asks me. A public lecture on local butterflies coincides with the arrival of a whole series of Dream Zines, Ephemeralities and Raptures swarming with ominous lepidoptera, which, apparently found my ecosystem suddenly suitable for paranoiac intrusion. As for the great sewage backup in the basement of a typical office space, I can only attribute its subjective cause to the untimely arrival of a Rapture which contained an unwholesome advertisement for the “Miniature Enthusiasts of Ottawa” along with an image of a loathsome, brown, cacophallic tentacle emerging from a basement door. We can only hope that future disasters are big enough to wipe out all memory of their occurrence, and leave us dumbfounded with the lemonade sea we are craving. To quote Ephemerality 2: “Everything designates that a great reversal is at hand.”

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