Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sonofabook the magazine issue 1: mash-up

Lines from the first issue of Sonofabook magazine, out in March. Subscribe now (or buy a single issue) and I'll post within 24 hours. Contributions below from: Will Eaves, Elizabeth Mikesch & May-Lan Tan, D. Nurkse, Nancy Gaffield, Dan O’Brien, Francis Ponge, Agota Kristof, Adnan Sarwar, Andrew Elliott, David Collard, Ryan Van Winkle & J. O. Morgan, Jack Robinson.

Acoustic dark: voices and squeaks, the slide and shunt of forms. The darkness has a leathern softness, lit by brass flashes.

To be sucked through a tube is a rare kind of honesty.

Now the Age of Terror. A clique of ecstatic suicides. For each killer, a thousand steady jobs; bankers, publicists, bloggers, documentarians, Security diplomates in office complexes with tinted windows, in leafy suburbs where the streets bear no signs, custodians on server farms.

The family watched him float up through the sunroof. His crotch flowered like agave.

Her clothes were changing. / Gauzy halters. And her diet. / Slim Jims in taco sauce.

Beware of parataxis. The New Poets / (British Branch) want nothing / to do with you.

Good news about the sporadic interest / in your poems.

poetry (damn this word)

Obese women, sitting outdoors to get a bit of fresh air, will watch me pass by without a word. Filled with happiness, I’ll greet everybody.

Where’s your God now they asked. He’s not here in Kuwait and he wasn’t there in Iraq, was he?

Give me that ole time religion. / Your sorrows pin you to / this place.

where I liked to pass an hour every morning / with a coffee, a croissant, an American classic – / a Moby-Dick, an Invisible Man

Chosen genre: aesthetically and rhetorically adequate definition-descriptions. Limits of this genre: its extension. From the formula (or concrete maxim) to a Moby-Dick sort of novel, for example.

The opening line of Melville’s novel is not ‘Call me Ishmael’. This appears only after fifty pages of what the author calls ‘Front Matter’, an accumulation of fragments like the unsightly trash and clutter surrounding a whaling station, rough chunks of text roughly flensed from the body of leviathan literature.

For weeks the whale is content to hang in a column of water, to press its face to the sheen of kept-out air, to fill its cold cathedral with lament. But here, if it rains for more than you can bear, you will be forgiven if you write in your diary: stretch me no longer across this rough and presupposing world.

I hid and watched / the spider take the fly apart.

An eye, a cloak, a tremolo of creeps: cartoons, the imps and gristly disjecta of Disney, Bosch; a swarming substrate with a will.

Did you ever try to grow yourself from sand, to tongue a clam and wear the beach like a clog?

It’s an irrelevant question, like asking ‘and what sort of time do you call this?’ Into the answering silence pours the questioner’s self-doubt, his powerless pride.

feeling like a dead guest on a talk show / couch with more dead guests and a dead host who / entertain a studio audience of the dead, all for the invisible / dead who watch at home

How do the dead stay dead?

I hold my pee, and it hurts me.

I thought of how some things resist / by taking all the weight you can put on them.

They’ve got a beautiful country, we made holes in it

Lived here once, / existing from the collar up, / the sleeves out.

Here today I was going to get my head kicked in and that was going to be part of my history, part of me. Come on, then. White faces all around shouting and spitting and me in the middle.

Meanwhile Freud had continued to stare and the novelty of someone / so famous staring at my father had worn off. It was embarrassing.

There is nowhere that my father walked with me, hand in hand.

Because my father shouted at me / over the lid to the mustard jar / I made up the story in which he dies.

People don’t want stories, she says: ‘They want to be told how to do things, how to live their lives, they want advice.’ The author as agony aunt.

There’s so much I have to tell you, but I can’t open my mouth right now.

Of course, if I wish to be perfectly sincere, I do not conceive that one can validly write other than as I do.

Before the sun rises, I must speak of everything.

You might whisper to me like I’m there in your summer, panting without sound.

There are rewards for breaking all the china.

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