April 24th, 2015
"construct your own happiness construct your own misery i'm going to come over and spew blind LED light in the formation of an American flag out of my mouth and fix everything"
–from "should i walk on the outskirts of love, with nine claws"
The above is from “the lanyribth of ouyr minds” (46 pp.), a collection of poems by rin noglow. This is a sensuous, meditative, sometimes unsettling, oblique sheaf of verse that will be many things to you. Sometimes it will be your fog foyer with ghost furniture and unplaceable murmurs, at other times your black screen in a dark room scrolling with teal ASCII characters and pixelated runes. At times a slow breathing in of blossoms in a rainwet japanese garden. Read it slowly and do not come with logic-bot whirring and clicking. Come with a floor pillow and some figs.
The collection is divided into two parts: Etruria and Mist Ring. Etruria (ancient region of Italy where the Etruscans lived), the longer section by far, opens with a trio of bleary-eyed, introspective, haunted New Jersey-based train travel poems. The fatigue of some kind of recent personal eruption hangs over the verse, coinciding with a heightened state of receptivity as so often comes to us in the wake of travail, when change waits around the bend. Surprises of found language and the ready-made are in abundance here. These are poems of kaleidescopic detachment, of fugue & restless associative play, of delighting in sound and sense and the tendons and gulfs between the two.
If Etruria begins with ruminant wander & wonder, its eponymous center-poem focuses the energy into something much more declarative, frustrated, defiant, working out clear themes of interpersonal attachment and conflict:
"he said my thoughts mysteriously just clusterup-like lilacs and did you know it is mystical to dry things on strings dear, that hang dear on strings i am not your mother i am just the medium that (at rest) and sunken resonates a reverberated throb thus confirming in you the magic in me back/ forth and so on/ so forth i am the hirsig patent vacuum-pump's second coming so no, tonight i can not promise a mirage"
The poems following this build in challenging tone and clarity, ending the section soundly in the stanzas quoted at the head of this review.
If Etruria is the book’s slow-burn statement of purpose, Mist Ring is its gossamer coda. This second set of poems is briefer, softer, a morning-meadowy counterpart to the hung-over oppression of the first section. It is soft mantras and dawn, a little sweetly-stuttery and yawning:
"tea potion of the day : rhodiola, Siberian ginseng advice for the day: close your eyes picture the outer corners of your eyes arc'd upwards all the way to the heavens rays refracted in suspension of lash -wings then feel no centering towards earths core"
-from "tea potion of the day : rhodiola, Siberian ginseng"
This book is sideways poetry, composed largely in a personal allusive syntax and diction, but the macro emotional themes and narrative are clear and the imagery is vivid, and those who embrace uncertainty and the delight of not having all the answers will find much richness in these poems of unfiltered openness to universe. Sometimes all the frequencies come in at once, and what are we do but bear witness and structure it as best we can for ourselves and others? Mist Ring‘s final poem ends with a line that could serve just as well as prelude for the book:
all chaos is the hidden end assimilating and therefore a precursor to permutation
For more information about rin noglow & her work, and to acquire about obtaining a copy of “lanyribth”, please check out her curated trove of lush delirium at mosssleeper.tumblr.com.