Category: Literary Arts

Poetry Review: ‘the lanyribth of ouyr minds’ by rin noglow (2014)

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.    (Read More . . .)

[posted by: C Way at 9:02 PM]

[file under: poetry]

Art of the Day: Poem – Wallace Stevens’ “Fabliau Of Florida”

January 19th, 2015


   Wallace Stevens

Barque of phosphor
On the palmy beach,
Move outward into heaven,
Into the alabasters
And night blues.
Foam and cloud are one.
Sultry moon-monsters
Are dissolving.
Fill your black hull
With white moonlight.
There will never be an end
To this droning of the surf.
      I’m surprised I’ve never posted any Stevens here. It’s taken me decades to be at ease with him. To not struggle with him. To just relax in language with him, enjoy his wit and play. When you do that, the rest of him blooms: his works’ spirituality, their unmistakable gnomic presence & impact… many poets are riddlers, but the riddling way Stevens blends slyness, humor, the archaic & the eternal in such a potent way is so attractive & valuable to me.
      I love this poem for too many reasons to list. Let’s start with this: Beaches at night are holy places for me, it’s where the material plane and the world-behind-the-world can merge. Beaches in general are portals. This poem captures some of that heady liminal energy, beautifully so, which taps me down to the roots.
      But there’s something else here that adds another richness to the work for me. The archaisms — “barque”, “phosphor”, “fabliau” — terms like these are always a little quaint and oddly transporting for me in Stevens — they root this ephemeral meditation in the material plane. That last term in particular: it’s important to note that a “fabliau” is, typically, a bawdy metrical tale, particular to early French poetry. I love this about Stevens, how he keeps you off-balance with some bit of semantic dissonance like this. Because “fabliau” undercuts what reads like a haunting, overt meditation on the eternal with a suggestion of something much more profane… night-beach sex maybe? Or just a sexualization of outjutting land meeting sea meeting foam meeting moonlight meeting night? Which itself isn’t so profane after all, but begins to sound instead like a kind of erotic mysticism, a paean to the principle of eros inherent in all creation. Which then leads to the questions: What’s profane, what’s mystical? What’s bawdy, what’s aether?
      Everything, everything, everything. Listen to the ocean’s roar, close your eyes, mix everything together and sing.


For more information about Stevens, please check out’s bio of him.

[posted by: C Way at 11:03 PM]

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ||| Literary Arts ||| poetry]

September 20th, 2014

Today I just want to post, sans commentary (for once), this visionary, beautiful poem sent to me by my friend over at

by Octavio Paz


(the fire wears
black armor)
a slow-burning stove
between the jaws
-marble or brick-
of the chimney it is
an ecstatic tortoise, a crouched
Japanese warrior:
whatever it is, martyrdom
is repose
impassive under torture

ancient name of fire
and ancient
antidote to fire
flayed sole of the foot
on hot coals
amianthus amante amianthus

in the abstract city between
dizzy geometries
-glass cement stone iron-
formidable chimeras appear
raised up by calculus
multiplies by profit
by the side of the anonymous wall
sudden poppy

Yellow claw a scrawl
of red letters on a
wall of salt
Claw of sunlight
on a heap of bones

fallen star
in the endlessness of bloodstained opal
beneath eyelids of quartz
lost girl
in tunnels of onyx
in the circles of basalt
buried seed
grain of energy
in the marrow of granite

Salamander, you who lay dynamite in iron’s
black and blue breast
you explode like a sun
you open yourself like a wound
you speak
as a fountain speaks

blade of wheat
daughter of fire
spirit of fire
condensation of blood
sublimation of blood
evaporation of blood

Salamander of air
the rock is flame
the flame is smoke
red vapor
straight-rising prayer
lofty word of praise
of fire on the head of the psalm
scarlet queen
(and girl with purple stockings
running disheveled through the woods)

Salamander, you are
silent, the
black consoler of sulfur tears
(One wet summer I heard
the vibration of your
cylindrical tail
between lose tiles of a
dead-calm moonlit patio)

Caucasian salamander
in the rock’s
cindery shoulder appears
and disappears
a brief black tongue
flecked with saffron

Black and brilliant creature
the moss
you devour
diminutive herald of the rain-shower
familiar spirit of the lightning
(Internal fecundation
oviparious reproduction
the young live in the water
once adult they swim sluggishly)

Hanging bridge between eras
bridge of cold blood
axis of movement
(The changes in the alpine species
the most slender of all
take place in the mother’s womb
Of all the tiny eggs no more than two mature
and until they hatch
the embryos are nourished on a broth
composed of the doughy mass of their aborted brother-eggs)

The Spanish Salamander
black and red mountaineer

The sun nailed to the sky’s center does not throb
does not breathe
life does not commence with out blood
without the embers of sacrifice
the wheel of days does not revolve
Xolotl refuses to consume himself
he hid himself in the corn but they found him
he hid himself in the maguey but they found him
he fell into the water and became the fish axolotl
the Double-Being
‘and then they killed him’
Movement began, the world was set in motion
the procession of dates and names
Xolotl the dog, guide to Hell
he who dug up the bones of the fathers
he who cooked the bones in a pot
he who lit the fire of the years
the maker of men
Xolotl the penitent
the burst eye that weeps for us
larva of the butterfly
double of the Star
other face of the Lord of Dawn
Xolotl the axolotl

solar arrow
lamp of the moon
column of noonday
name of woman
scales of night
(The infinite weight of light
a half-drachm on your eyelashes)

back flame
you yourself in the sun
the moon
turning for ever around you
pomegranate that bursts itself open each night
fixed star on the brow of the sky
and beat of the sea and the stilled light
open mind above the
two-and-fro of the sea

The star-lizard, salamandria
saurian scarcely eight centimeters long
lives in crevices and is the color of dust

Salamander of earth and water
green stone in the mouth of the dead
stone of incarnation
stone of fire
sweat of the earth
salt flaming and scorching
salt of destruction and
mask of lime that consumes the face

Salamander of air and fire
wasp’s nest of suns
red word of beginning

The salamander
a lizard
her tongue ends in a dart
her tail ends in a dart
She is unhissable She is unsayable
she rests upon hot coals
queens it over firebrands
If she carves herself in the flame
she burns her monument
Fire is her passion, her patience

Salamander Salamater

(Translated by Denise Levertov)


For more information about Octavio Paz, please check out’s bio of him.

For more about salamanders, I can’t seem to find anything as comprehensive as this wikipedia page.

[posted by: C Way at 12:18 PM]

[file under: ABOUT ART ||| ART OF THE DAY ||| Literary Arts]

August 9th, 2014



     (Above: Two different covers to P.K. Dick’s “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”)
     It’s hot enough to melt your organs if you stray out into the open air for too long, & it’s getting hotter all the time. Better stay in your ultra-cooled conapt.
     The very rich pay to accelerate their evolution, ballooning their brains & growing rinds and ridges on their mutated craniums in the process of becoming “bubbleheads”. “Pre-cogs” see into arrays of possible futures and are able to identify probable outcomes, such as fash (fashionable) trends to come.
     But you’re no pre-cog or bubblehead. You’re someone who has just been drafted to work in wretched conditions on some freezing colony on Mars. And the only way you can endure it all is to chew an illegal substance called Can-D — a drug derived from an alien lichen which paralyzes you & slips your consciousness to a shareable alternate reality, however brief.
     Welcome to Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
     I don’t know if I’ve ever re-read a novel so quickly after reading it the first time. Stigmata obsessed me that immediately, that profoundly. I had to understand its premises, underlying logic; or, if its logic was flawed, at the least the logic Dick was yearning for (Dick wrote under extreme duress and often elided certain points descriptively and contextually in order to get to the meat of his plots and metaphysics). I had to understand the full implications of its themes and narrative. Reading it and re-reading it wasn’t enough, scattered note-taking wasn’t enough. I’d have to write about it and see if, through words, I could satisfy myself. Which is why I’m here.    (Read More . . .)

[posted by: C Way at 8:08 PM]

[file under: Literary Arts]

July 25th, 2014

PK Dick 
    I recently finished reading The Library of America’s collection of four of Philip K. Dick’s novels from the 60s: The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (which was later adapted to make the film Blade Runner) and Ubik. It’s been many years since I last read P.K. Dick, & I slipped back into his prescient, idea-crammed, black-humored & metaphysical prose with much, much delight & warm sense of homecoming. It was all there just as I’d left it, all those hallmark Dickian elements: Breakneck chapters bursting with remarkably imaginative visions of earths to come. A proper amount of mundane (as described, not relative to our experience) day-to-day detail that helps stabilize those imagined future earths and render them believable. Characters who are all a bit too hysterical & over-emoted, but whose very ‘loudness’ emotionally helps ground the narrative when the metaphysical & ontological conundrums that arise become a challenge to untie. A fascination with the idea of spirit-fusion to create intersubjective unity; a fascination with the theme of the real/authentic vs. the facsimile. Dystopia and how humankind adjusts to cataclysm. A zest for depicting how marketing and commodification affect what we know to be intangibly human (memory, a felt sense of spiritual oneness, various emotional responses) & thereby render these things purchasable, customizable products. A recurring focus on telepathy, predictive talents & general psionic powers. And most importantly, a passion for the classical philosophical (and science fiction) questions of the nature of underlying objective “reality” (to the extent we can say it exists) vs. all the ways that objective reality can be mimicked: drug trips, subjective simulations, memory, technological constructs, dissociative/mystical experiences, etc.  (Read More . . .)

[posted by: C Way at 11:04 AM]

[file under: Literary Arts]