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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A review by Dom Gabrielli of David McLean's 'of desire & the desert', (Black Editions)

Deleuze and McLean, unlikely bed partners, ‘A Thousand Plateaux’ and ‘of desire & the desert.’ — Dom Gabrielli

it is not tools but the horrid state of masturbatory technology & intellectual impotence that makes us such scum//

The ‘Deleuzian’ century closed and its successor brought a dramatic return of the repressed as the scared masses took fright and clamoured not ‘with’ the tremors of Being but rather ‘for’ the One and its demonized Opposites, all the dreaded identities. Because as all of us know, closet Deleuzians or not, we are never one nor another, but certainly many, a mass, a crowd, a bunch and no one is supposed to win this life-game which only despots take seriously. With this return of Identity came necessarily the society of control. Deleuze had correctly predicted whose model was the motorway where freedom becomes solely an illusion, where everything one does is visioned, catalogued and potential to be used against us at any time. All that ensues is clockwork orange, and we as citizens are all decidedly lemons!


A Thousand Plateaux written with Guattari was probably the most overwhelming non-poetic reading experience I had as a student and many evenings were spent reading it aloud with my fellow students at NYU in my ground floor flat in the East Village, 3rd and 7th to be precise. Certain plateaux were read with a fine tooth comb, others were ignored and returned to at a later date. Deleuze and Guattari had after all encouraged artist-readers, non-philosophers, to take what they could when they could, to create their own machines, their own assemblages with whatever was at hand because after all the question was always: how to get out, how to let fresh air in, how to evacuate the suffocation of despotic institutions like universities which already back then (1990) were fabricating professor-business men-vendors with theories for sale and ideologies in suitcases to spread over willing student minds for pricey diplomas.


Deleuze and Guattari were unteachable in those days and any mention of them provoked chaos in the lecture rooms. Frequent adjectives were ‘unreadable,’ ‘incomprehensible,’ ‘dangerous’… That is when you could have real fun with concepts such as ‘deterritorialization.’ Much laughter was had at the expense of the advocates of the fashionable doxas of Lacarne, Derridar and Barrethes…


McLean I imagine had many a roar of laughter reading ‘A Thousand Plateaux’ and as good poets will, his readings and impressions made their ways into notebooks and pads. Lucky are those today who can read these immensely enjoyable vignettes which not only play freely with the spirits of the glorious nomad thinkers but place their concepts firmly in the society of control, 2016.


It is the destiny of thinker poets to be overlooked and ignored because they fall between categories, foul of classifications and ideologies. Are they really poets, these folk who cite Hegel and Heidegger? Can thoughts be expressed into poetic form anyway? Let’s face it, the same arguments have been raised against many an illustrious predecessor. No need to mention names. But today, I am told, we are all poets. We all have little secrets to share. We have emotions to dress in romantic script. We can take up poetry, like a gardener picks up his spade to dig his first vegetable patch. Deleuze himself hated French literature for its psycho-analytical bent, for its obsessions and perversions. The superiority of Anglo-American (and he forgot to mention Irish) literature being its lines of flight…. its becomings…. But language is a recalcitrant field. The act of writing reminiscent of Sisyphus, push a frosty boulder upward, ever upward, to the unattainable star. He probably won’t enjoy me saying this, but in this regard McLean is a traditional poet, as much as any today. He perfects his craft in solitude. Book by book, the idiom improves, singing, laughing, thinking. “One must have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star.”


McLean’s diagnosis is spot on.


we have become the creature that both eats & is eaten, a night
forever completely devoid of ideas worth having or any
conceivable meaning/ / gormless Godot is drunk again &
snoozing somewhere in the worthless heart of being
(temple destroyed)


here there echoes the cretinous giggle of the pornographer
priest with his active camera, his hymns to null & the absent…
there are no honest warriors left today

(face of the despot)


What perhaps even Deleuze in his aristocratic brilliance could not presage was the rise of the pornopticon which from priest to bureaucrat, from the Kremlin to the Pharmahouse, enable the States of the world, all together and without exception, to re-territorialize desires and ‘pervertize’ the young, tying their memories and developments to a morbid technology which handicaps sexuality and puts resistance to sleep in a nihilistic heaven where even the worst fanatics with furious machetes cannot escape their immediate return as cartoons. ‘the men who police thought are not actual policemen who/would hesitate to think, were this so much as possible in their/ debilitated condition, preferring to the lick the sweaty nipples of/ evil & devote themselves to a smarmy fascism//‘


In his most recent tome, McLean comes to terms with Deleuzian concepts in a 21st world. The parabola of the boomerang of perversion is minutely plotted by McLean using the concepts and assemblages of Deleuze and Guattari as tool boxes. This is no mean feat and we must applaud vociferously, just as often laughing at the flippant tangles which the poet inextricably ties the reader into.


let’s axiomatize indeterminism
to make the crazies go away
& keep the right white faces in mental
heaven; there are shapes to show
maybe, we do not want to know them
mostly, forever sounds so lonely
you know, like nightmares
with nowhere to go

(of axioms & other monsters)


If Outside is Desire. If the Open is constantly recaptured by ‘answers provoked’ and twisted into a ‘smarmy fascism,’ leaving poetry the only right to destroy the ideology of the Inside and resist against the grotesque State machine, folding onto imbecility a simulacrum of a poem which can be read as both flippant self-indulgence and fulgurance and illumination, because both low and high culture, pornography and art, co-exist like the evil and the good sister in Bluebeard’s cave. The simulacrum so good, you tire to distinguish one from the other.


If all of the above, the desert? If Desire is the adolescence of thought, its necessary madness, its rites of possession, its myriad becomings, then the Desert is wisdom, becoming imperceptible, the right to breathe in words. Finally amid the One which is everything. Here is the Desert.


& it is the futile Peyote Dance resurrected again for all the
madmen hanging like bats from the rafters in some
disingenuous midnight temple. they have torn the scabs from
their arms to wall up the seven devils dead & eternally
protected accordingly, they are losing all their memories to be;
they are forgetting memory & learning to be // they want to be
everything but no body wants to be free


Rarely has such lucidity pinpointed the hypocrisies of Self and glorified selves in Collectives clamouring for Freedom and needing corpses and morals, when they haven’t been mad enough yet to see the futility in their madness, when they haven’t collected enough matter to find the Desert in themselves, in the cold North, where ingenuous temples grow for the night amid dunes of Nothing.


Who speaks desert speaks Nomad. But who knows society knows that ‘eyes are for spying with not seeing’ and that collective hope is an alias for suffering and ‘they are watching the children the prisoners the madmen in the distorting mirrors of this disgusting cunting panopticon’ and we are probably not ready to be nomad and we are probably not ready for Deleuze or Guattari or any of his one thousand distorted plateaux. Society is not worthy. It is just killing and destruction because the State ensure ‘they are born crippled,’ and ‘death is better than labour.’


Who reads this book knows hope is extraneous to matter. The physics of poetry, the immanence of the dissecting pen, imply the end of all forms of transcendence and a mockery of all their avatars. Difference and repetition of the whole history of poetry. ‘Structure is for vermin.’


I looked in vain for the Desert. I saw some animals passing the dunes. I spotted Artaud. I will keep an eye out for the nomads as i keep reading, backwards, inside out, dancing and laughing. There really is no need to be sad in this hell, because ‘the outsider comes undone.’


I heard some echoes.
I saw some footsteps.
I know the desert will burn again one day.


Lee Kwo -- Savage the Warning Signs (Black Editions)

Savage the Warning Signs — Lee Kwo

ISBN 9781365224126 — 130 pp — Euro 9.87 — available here

”Desire to write to communicate is an obsessive search for absent meaning in the obscurity of lost tangles of contemporary thought/The Post human era occurs when the affective output of synthetic beings becomes essentially unpredictable/Information is processed at a velocity beyond human capacity to compete/the irrational and random appear to dominate meaning within a noisy prolixity/The Post digital begins when the unpredictable has stabilized evolving within a new paradigm of superior consciousness/Being and agency are no longer in human hands/It is at this interface that Kwo/s text Savage the Warning Signs operates as a digital nomadic series of prose/poems contaminating the assumptions of conventional discourse the bourgeois language of reason/Embodiment explodes into convulsions of desire/The nomadic text becomes a delirious entrapment/Singularity is at hand/a point in time when complexity of the integrated circuit achieves the exponential ability to comprehend and think beyond the digital/”

Too Much Human -- David McLean (Black Editions)

too much human — David McLean

ISBN 9781326717988 — 34 pages — Euro 7.31 — available here

From “Introduction & anti-humanist manifesto”:

“Humanism is very old, & it once had a point. The proper study of mankind was man, & theology was the greatest enemy. Now the earth that underlies the human world is threatened, & we need to think of her first, the earth that shelters & protects. Heidegger saw humanism as part of an essentialist metaphysics, & his later philosophy can be utilized to ground a deep ecological view of the problem we now face, where nature is being destroyed by the legions of brats that humanity insists on dropping, like mentally defective rabbits ….


The world is reaching a point where abortion should be actively encouraged, suicide & abortion are good & positive phenomena, and pestilence is a long-term friend.”


“A beautiful hand grenade of a book that would probably serve as effective population control for the hysterically reactive and weak of heart. Throw it into a crowd of SJWs and watch them die.”

 A.D. Hitchin, author of CONSENSUAL

Untitled #2 -- Michael Mc Aloran (Black Editions)

untitled #2 — Michael Mc Aloran

ISBN 9781326673314 — 36 pages — Euro 6.50

A surrealistic text in two parts dealing with the banality of else and the none, now available to purchase here 

‘…in an actualisation of the blood/ distemper light collect in bask of rotted symphony/ dense accord the traceless unbecoming lapse/ tide of one thousand pelts in the moon’s reflect of eye/ of pupil shared/ trace +1/ ache/ dissipating sound in an echoing room but one/ here or there as if to trace-erase-reclaim/ sudden shock shrill of tint of teeth a-grind bitten by obsolete in any dying hour/ the spit in the eye of it gifted spasm/ lock/ knocks once then thrice collective smear of an outpouring wailing in the dark/ the face illumined else as it dreams of else/ no dice/ in-dream/ stripped skin of an electric cable frenzy/ the hands dead the heart dead/ in an abort of restless unto-follow/ the sky is there the sky is a cataract of azure silence/ no trace for tomorrow/ tumour/ close/ too close to touch it/ the fingers smear also/ the black in the mix of blood echoes of tears spent gilt of the obscene devour/ till shredded once again/…’

Saturday, 4 June 2016

of desire & the desert -- David McLean (Black Editions Press)

A collection of poems that are inspired by a re-reading of 'Mille plateaux' by Deleuze & Guattari, available here

Monday, 25 April 2016

New chapbook from David McLean (Black Editions)

A new experimental prose poetry chapbook by David McLean, which is available via Black Editions here

‘A raw, vital and virulent assault of a book. Essential reading to shock you out of your fucking complacency…’

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

'Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.)--gnOme books--reviewed by Christopher Brownsword



(gnOme Books 2014)

130 pages

In an age where the author has become just another marketing tool whose name is of greater importance than what they might have to say (perhaps a sign that ‘we’ value not so much the content of a book as the brand itself; moreover, that too few writers actually have anything worth saying and are therefore capable of little more than self-aggrandisement), it is refreshing to encounter a publisher such as gnOme Books whose project is the production of clandestine works by anonymous writers; and in the case of the unidentified M., it is almost as if a process of dehumanisation has been required in order that one is again able to approach the question of what it might entail to be human, to stand naked rather than be dressed upby corporate profiling, and to turn away from the absurd cyber-dream of a Singularity so as to accept the irrevocable frailties and limits of the body:

‘ stun light of bled ember embark viscid endless

...marked trace of scar scar’s out-breath of reach emptier than

...dead spark of wound collapses headless viper taste attrition.’

        So begins this impressive sequence of prose poems, and what follows evokes the feral shriek of one of Francis Bacon’s figures whose pitch remains at a nerve-jarring constant throughout while here and there gritting teeth against a starkly exquisite image: ‘a lung locked suitcase full of carrion.’ For the most part, however, the tone is one of harsh alliteration (‘voice no longer rapture closed fist slash breath lack endless collapse vicious’)or the type of jagged repetition which brings to mind Gertrude Stein’s Stanzas in Meditation (‘of the eye extract it cannot detraced no it not a of the eye’s detract it cannot be detraced’ or ‘locked bone nothing severed ever nothing none of nothing less than none that is or of the naught said without’).Elsewhere, as in the second part of the book, ‘It’ sequence, in which abrasive vowels swarm around a nexus of incantatory permutations, Samuel Beckett is recalled: ‘ it will/wills/it will eat you alive/wills not/it has or does not it will and can/it will cease/resent/it returns it will forever be/yet no/never was given the benefit of lack/in the redeem still it exists yet spitsblood from a mouth full of broken teeth.’

      Eden, Eden, Eden by Pierre Guyotat, Kenji Siratori’sBlood Electric, the post-Poems output of J. H. Prynne, the early novellas of Kathy Acker, the almost untranslatable final poems of Paul Celan, and the dissident texts of the original L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement are allconceivable referents, but the sequence itself directs the reader to Georges Bataille, William Burroughs, and, indeed, Francis Bacon. It is interesting to note that in speaking of his portraits, many of which inspired nausea and loathing in their subjects when they were at last revealed, Bacon related something to the effect that he found it necessary to distort the image in order to bring it back to reality. Likewise, there are moments in Un-Sight/Un-Sound where it seems as if the hold language has over our perceptions is being, if not broken, then at least distorted enough for us to catch a glimpse of the world that lies behind our makeshift descriptions and definitions - ‘the dogs devour the tears shed as of skin sanguine in lapse of momentary lack of resolve cast out into negate of the redempt’: redemption here is denied, for without the Christian belief in the fall of mankind there is nothing for humans to be redeemed from, that is, we are no longer strangers thrown into the world but only an ephemeral contingency of it.

      Nonetheless, for all its dissonance and fragmentation the sequence cannot help but now and then assemble itself into an almost melodious refrain (‘sound simulations gripped by breathless/soon to dissipate/songs of un-being/traceless violet songs in bloom/distillate to point of never having been/all purpose shredded/white lung till breakage’), as if some kind of tenuous equilibrium is straining to be recognised amidst the chaos, even though, as the reader is reminded, where by chance it appears, this harmony is ‘soon to dissipate.’ Yet the fact that this brief intercession of musicality appears to arise by accident rather than by design somehow makes it all the more fragile and beautiful.In its condensed form, the passage mirrors the Japanese haiku poet Issa, who wrote: ‘Never forget:/we walk on hell,/gazing at flowers.’

       Appropriately enough, the sequence ends in a squall of disjointed ‘shards,’ after which we ought really to be rendered mute to appraise it. After all, to search for meaning or reason, while among the strongest of human impulses, is to neglect the possibility that life is there simply to be experienced, nothing more. So, too, is this book to be experienced, for like the human organism itself, it seems to have no core, no cohesion; rather it is composed of strata and detritus, bits and pieces that by the purposeless drift of evolution happen to work together while forever exhibiting a tendency towards disintegration: ‘...the naught cancels all,’ runs one particularly exceptional passage, ‘glimmer hope and I/else the retraced footsteps seeking outward step/words drained in dissipate/sands blown across erasing the tidal of...’

It is available here

Thursday, 27 November 2014

'Un-Sight/ Un-Sound' (gnOme books) reviewed by David McLean

Michael Mc Aloran
Un-sight / Un-sound
130 pp. gnOme books
review  by David Mclean

The latest by Michael Mc Aloran is one of his better works. It also treats abortion & the shit-smeared eyes as its subject matter, it tells of the deficiencies of structure & the empty that is not waiting, but always already here,

Francis Bacon is quoted as noting that we are always a potential corpse, a dead thing, which is the glory of meat, it might always just as well be me. This is not an invitation to some limp-wristed condemnation of the cruelty of butchers, it's a good thing. The eternity of our condition as possible corpses should be relished. People who are of a “spiritual” bent should not read Mc Aloran (& it is sheer politeness that makes me call them “people”).

Mc Aloran's project is to reveal the terrible tenacity of  words that stubbornly persist in meaning when we deliberately set about using them as weapons to torment the angelic cadavers strewn about where the happy holiday camps of the mindlessly grinning flowers & summer brigade used to poison the mind. These corpses would praise their feculent gods when they weren't busy raping children. For some reason writers like Michael Mc Aloran (or myself) are accused of being nihilists, usually by people who only have a tenuous grasp of what the word “nihilism” actually means.

I cannot say what Mc Aloran means with this book, it always strikes me as the mark of an arrant dickhead to explain what a literary writer means, but the text questions the possibility of assenting to any given meaning, of believing.

Words, we are told, are “like abandoned pissoirs”. Around us should be silence. All the words that are spoken, that are repeated on the TV with all the insane arrogance of a defective child screaming in an asylum, all these words are empty if they are not used like weapons, like whips to thrash corpses.

Daniel Dennett said that all philosophers want to find the perfect argument, one that would work as a weapon, that would set up a vibration in the mind that would kill an opponent who failed to assent to it. I don't know about Mc Aloran, but I feel that the perfect poem would be one that instantly made all the fatuous “flowers, sun & summer” motherfuckers instantly commit mass suicide.

Probably never going to happen, I don't think they read very much outside of Fakebook, but this book is on the right path. I can strongly recommend it.

The preview of the book can be found here

Sunday, 9 November 2014



Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Introduction by Christine Murray to The Bled Sun--Michael Mc Aloran (Oneiros Books)


 Seething in the dark spitting dragonfly seeds into crimson mists head snared the body limp skeleton of mud ashen blessed skyline of the fall there was nowhere else

(Ah to the shithouse…going on and never returning… better for less…) from ever unto

Michael Mc Aloran’s selected prose, The Bled Sun, is a departure from the thoroughly developed symbol use that is inherent in his poetry and poetic prose. Those familiar with Mc Aloran’s themes and poetic voice will enjoy his selected prose. New readers will find an energetic anti-poet of sure economy.

One of Mc Aloran’s prose protagonists is the HCE[1] of feral drug-addiction, whose swansong is a lingering and desperate thing in final fragments. While the seedy underbelly of the drug-raddled and nameless city of dissipation mirrors the voice of its protagonist.

The Bled Sun is almost beautiful in its sheer repellence. Affliction goes beyond our necessity to speak, it is a state from which the writer and reader both know that there is no return.

I sit and drink, the rats scratching behind the skirting boards briefly entertain me…The room is filled with cigarette smoke, and fading, vague light…I refuse to entertain the memories that have brought me to this point, sustained me throughout the rages, unto this utter desolation…I snatch up a bottle and smash it off the wall to silence the bastards…The silence, returns…I clasp tightly at what glass remains, it bites, the blood flows, the pain elevates me… (from  final fragments)

These then are Mc Aloran’s works of prose necessity. Here is both the  swansong and screaming hope of one who has seen too much casual death through final fragments, dissipation, and ever unto. The final section of the book, from nowhere, is a novella in itself

The Bled Sun is sometimes nauseating in its expression and yet the reader cannot look away, the nadir of the human condition is just a burning hit into a collapsed vein away.  If we do not speak its hellishness, how then are we to recognise the most unmapped zone of the human psyche ?


From the Notebooks of __________ )

closed flesh, a wound seared by the closure of the scream, in my death-dreaming skull a closed fist of madness: I was alive tearing at the limits of the sky…a prism through which the facets of nothingness, discoloured as bruised flesh: I long for the heartless wonder of death, for the absence I may never know…in my translucent skull I fade out of laughter unto the intoxication that is non-being…time has no essence, here, where, where the fuck ever…I am waste unto my becoming, I will be waste in this…as if to spray the sky with blood cum and spit were not enough that I might fall back upon that which I cease to erase…

 (from dissipation)

Jean Genet put images of serial killers on the walls of his prison cell, he masturbated onto his pages,  he worshipped these men with their blank and appalling gazes. Here were the pimps and demons of Paris in endless and narcissistic display. Our Lady Of The Flowers was torn up by a prison guard, Genet rewrote it. In the masturbatory filth and human desperation of his prison cell Genet wrote a great classic whose influence reverberated like a hammered nail through the work of future poets and writers, especially the Beats.

We don’t want necessarily to recognise the nadir of physical desperation, because it is worlds away from what we project about our cities, their literature. What hides in these alleys and torn up bedsits is not the business of the book club really. We avert our gaze from poverty and desperation because it illuminates what we think we have rejected. How stupid we are!

The final chapter or section of the book, from nowhere, is an entire novella in itself. Here, the writing has coalesced into a story about a man on the verge of suicide.  from nowhere is stand alone in many ways, looser in theme and less experimental than ever unto. There is a likeability about the protagonist, or maybe his resignation is compelling,

…Ah the whores, they were out tonight on the promenade, I almost choked on my laughter. An auld fucker like me, staggering, half-lost, they’d have robbed me blind and the Caribinierri, well, they’d have probably laughed until they shat themselves at me and the condition of me, drunk and dishevelled, and not a note in my wallet, smeared with lipstick from some gristle bone and flesh. No I just kept walking, that was enough to contend with. Back to my shadow upon the wall and the half-light of the candle and the headlights searching the walls and then across the ceiling. 

( from nowhere)

The reader has in The Bled Sun an extensive selected prose  of diversity and intensity by Michael Mc Aloran which holds interest and is unencumbered by the necessity to fit into traditional publication structures.

Simone Weil writing on affliction describes a hammer driving a nail through wood, its echoes circling the globe, still,

In the realm of suffering, affliction is something apart, specific, and irreducible. It is quite a different thing from simple suffering. It takes possession of the soul and marks it through and through with its own particular mark, the mark of slavery. (Simone Weil)

The thing about creating such a vibration is that it can be incredibly difficult to sustain it, and such a writer who does must answer to it and develop his theme outward can become lost in attempting its expression. These are large themes that require the lived/livid approach to their verbalisation. This book is not for the pussy reader.

Not here, the rag and bone shop of genteel horror at coming age[2], but the wound of necessity making itself known to those of us who may have watched in blind helplessness the transmogrification of the human to the feral animal during the course of heroin addiction.The masked face, the bottomless black pits that were eyes. The emptying of the human being and his replacement with the salts and metals of addictions. That.

But McAloran would laugh at my simple attempts to place his work in a literary context, it is his own. The Bled Sun is lived/livid with despair, scorn, deep anger, the voice of necessity. This book had to be written or vomited- and we are the better for it.

An Irish society that is so terrified of its own shadow that it deliberately denies human experience and puts on this mismanaged and terribly trite front that permeates the too-pretty, too genteel literature that clogs the shelves and pushes out the Genets, the Batailles, the Chars and anything that gives a whiff of being a bit too dark, a bit too cadaverous, maybe a bit too chiarascuro or baroque.

I don’t give a shit really about critics here. A lot of  current critique is pattern book, as if there were a mean. The glorious technicolor of the self-affirming seeks only to alienate a generation of young and radical writers who will find their material through the independent presses or online. Questioning the established modus operandi is the work of the writer and McAloran does so extremely.

--Christine Murray

                 H.C Earwicker / Here Comes Everybody /Humme the Cheapner, ESC,/  Huge Chain Envelope al
                Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.

                 Yeats The Circus Animals’ Desertion

The Bled Sun is available from Oneiros Books, here