The poet’s quarrels with ideas, sentences, and words soon show him what hard compromises he was accepting and how derisory and unreal was the hold he claimed to have over the world through the intermediary of words. Poetry will no longer be enough to assuage his revolt, and he will turn to the world and look for a way to breach its detested laws.
 If the time or the country he lives in still allows him to believe in the power of magic, he will become a sorcerer or a necromancer, will conclude a pact with the forces of hell so that he can dominate the earthly world. If, on the other hand, the ‘lights’ of his time prevent him from relying seriously on these resources, he will draw up a rational plan of his prison, then try to find out to what extent he can control it.

-Michel Leiris

My prison cell—my fortress.

I was jailed about the quality of my films and given a life sentence of solitary confinement, and they call this a gift

OR born in a room and never left
OR the generative cell of artistic endeavor
OR the hermit / anchorite lifestyle
OR a treatise on the language of phosphenes

   ... a curdle a quiver in the curtain sends it scintillating, beginnings of a boil, points arising as eyes to pustules burst, worm emergent of the pearl nestled in the Everpore, an unstoppable train ...

In the prologue we might see about the events leading up to his being locked in a box, we might hear what we assume to be his or his victim’s voiceover dead or alive either of them one or the other perhaps the two of them at the same time speaking the same words and yet as things unfold we will come to learn that these voices speak from different contexts and thus the words altho the same and spoken in unison diverge and dovetail as only the voices of perpetrator & victim could and in their intimacy take on a kind of mythic relation like brother & sister or husband & wife or both and so in this way the crime is already understood as one ordained by fate and as such acting more as a tool and a means of deliverance and so seeming in the heart of the spiritually attuned reader viewer listener exonerated on that level even as in their position as a juror they understand with bittersweet resignation that they must find this artist guilty

the camera shaking to abstraction in those his throes of passion
the whirr of the projector with its hummingbird breath the soundtrack of such gorgeous horror
sacred snuff for which he’s been condemned til death to inwardly explore

OR at the primal site, a stasis

You may recall how in this particular creation myth we have here this first man frozen in the center of an iceberg

In the debauch of delusion, of delirium, scaling in great steps from palace to palace, dreaming with head against wall, into wall
Do you devour
Do you conquer
and don’t stop conquering seeing a boundary and eating a boundary

You spin in the sky and it swaddles you      and from the twist of its pocket are you transported to spring forth from yet another pocket in a different sky entirely, beneath a new sun to bless you faster and with even vaster possibilities

   We see a close up of his tongue as it drags along the stone floor, his eyes closed and he’s moaning

Fingertips back and forth sliding pads over the miniscule blemishes and pores of the floor’s fine braille. He hears in the nerve-signs into his animal the first gleanings of her language, that of the room, any room

The kingdom we seal as our space, our table, our desk,
What base we can’t tote with us while out in the world wearing clothes

We come out of the darkness into the world with too much ahead of us
As it diminishes, the imagination expands to fill it, and we understand it as the darkness from which we emerged. The darkness moving, pure imagination; by our attention coaxed

I am barreling through dimensions like a megalithic spaceworm
I am taking it to the max no fear no regrets

But the first man hasn’t moved. Hasn’t ever moved encased in the glacier and still all around it’s always been the nite before.

   ( He imagines the dawn. Every dawn, what it means to dawn, what a dawn does, the practical aspects of a dawn, a set of dawn pros and dawn cons, )

He thinks and he thinks, hypostatically suspended

   ... an iris that opens onto the toiling of tiny peoples as on their farms they wheelbarrow and till, or in their cities go in & out of the doors of their homes and their businesses ...

// building the bridge of your face slipping into sleep

And sleep is the best sex you’ve ever had

“He made art but he clearly hated it.
You could say that about most of the things he loved.”

OR an excess of lite was doing the looking, and fell

The babbling of voices, faint, their words cusping inarticulate, perhaps only ghosts of tones heard throughout his life leading up to the Solitary, what had clung in passing like cobwebs in periphery now pushing forward to assert themselves conspiratorially in the dark of the end of the day, the very hearing of such voices by default their object, and as they come into focus take notice themselves of their appearance or echo in a manner fierce and testing, like mocking relatives or aspects of the self

In the mansions of memory does one wander, winding the mechanisms, dusting things off, cumming on familiar altars

In drawing attention to their modularity, he assured the permanence of their bodies, s(imul)acral or otherwise

In dilating a moment to eternal and then just chillin’ there

Becuz nothing exists unless codified

Like here’s this perfect moment
There is no other moment an as if if ever there was one

BUT nostalgia
BUT the inevitable enshrining of experience,
OR the thought of experiencing something
  like a good fuck that GOD gave us
that we pretend to have
As tho not just sitting at a table, forcing from the body a suffocating expression, and why ??
  for what ??

I scrape my face all along the walls and floor and yes as well the ceiling, my flesh’s detritus coming away like dust, the proof of my occupancy, the revenge I take against the space

In the iceberg the first man languishes in fantasy, eyes froze shut like prenatal, dreaming worlds that world themselves fractally in all directions through no effort of his own and yet is he their suzerain, piloting comatose in prism-sentence through vistas of the Increate

   ... flashing fallopian neon tendrils luminol to seize an orb and dissolve and then again again in milky waves, electric jellyfish that merge and evanesce their spores ...

// cartoons coming out of the dark in the bonfire
violence of vision

OR a wobble in the mire
in the garden of the magnetic fugue

Not here. Not this.
Why it is. Where I’m not.

And the first man lifts a finger or two to accuse himself inside the ice and in doing so splinters a shard into each of his arms and bleeds his blood in time with the expanding crack arterial branching to the threshold edges of that pyramid and in so crossing spills the Dawn

A light gushes in the dark from your eyes out onto your wall of ill

It shows
a thing or two

signs of a life
a folk-self FOR EXAMPLE

the long chain link by link forged anew each morning back unto the shackle of one’s childhood, the time that time takes to tease us into form in the movement room to room departing our aspects like leaden garments dropping ballast there along the way, and yet it is as tho we’d only simply dragged ourselves ever through the same threshold, a screen or glass that filters from the light its aggregates and variants until we are but ash

OR the procession fish to sphinx to ghost and then round back again
OR the chaos condensed to spark the engine of that bang-crunch-bang again
OR how all around the environs have conspired you into this shape,

... except you cannot see it, as the light thrown out from your eyes to show the scenes upon the wall are occluded from your view in their doing so

Only in the switching-station of your blinking or eyes squoze shut can you discern in fleeting traces the phosphorescent after-image hieroglyphic ‘neath the lids, melting back into obscurity, returning in the manner of their emergence,

cartoons come out from the dark

OR of the life lived in imagination,
flight upon flight,
the residue of that accrued into delusion,
a planet of delirium

This world’s atmosphere become a crust we long to shatter,
a ring of shadow that can eat our dust as in our climb we build a ladder

and the motes they waltz in the gaze left behind
to hold in each a swirling world
a wayward seed to find in time its own aeonic flowering

For more information about this piece, see this issue's legend.

Garett Strickland is the editor of .PLINTH., ICHNOS, and other publications of the Unwin-Dunraven Literary Ecclesia. He is the author of a long-poem, WHOA DONT CARE (Jerkpoet, 2015), and UNGULA (forthcoming from Solar ▲ Luxuriance). He's an ordealist.

44˚56'49" N 93˚12'53" W