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Tuesday 29 April 2014

The Zero Eye--Michael Mc Aloran--Reviewed by David McLean


The Zero Eye
Michael Mc Aloran
Oneiros Books, 2014
84 pp.
Review by David McLean

This collection by Michael Mc Aloran is condensed and highly idiosyncratic, perhaps his most experimental collection thus far. It is equipped with an introduction by Aad de Gids that brings out the direction taken, that the poetry laments the absence of something it very well knew was missing all the time. It is of the “itch of the redeem” and the knowledge that the itch never gets to be assuaged.

The book servers as a key to the others in a sense, a description of what happens “in damage seasons”, a summary statement of the pointlessness and the beauty there nevertheless is in all of the emptiness.

the silent light/ the light by which no light may be seen/
hence the distil/ the teeth of it/ the bones of it in a
slaughterhouse of all/ mocking the lung lock/ awash with
bile and unspeaking reckless nothingness/ no prayers for
the now/ silenced/ shine a light/ here a breath there a
breathe/ in damage seasons/ having breached/
absconded/ not a bloody chance/ no nothing/ no not from
the commence of/ no no other route…

Mc Aloran, says de Gids, is expressing a point about the development of the polities and sociuses in which we live, that their ultimately arriving at this dreadful impasse where everything is excused in the name of political rectitude is what we all anyway wanted, the endgame, the terminus, the final fucked up destination. I see the point of the poems as more ontological, that if we were living in a perfect Utopia life would still suck balls because of finitude, and the fact that the fuckers have remorselessly destroyed any chance of jouissance anybody ever had is just icing on the suicidal cake, as it were.

Still, the book introduces itself as “a book of misunderstandings” so the vicissitudes of interpretation are all well and good.

Mc Aloran is also a visual artist, thus the “eye” is deeply involved in the book, the function of seeing, usually taken as the exemplary sense for humans, and the comprehension of light and color, the conquest of color being something Deleuze regards as fundamental and a source of great anxiety for the visual artist.
…the eye recalls it does not recall/ stratosphere of bled/
sun light of asked of promise/ spat out/ sheen purpose of
the whole/ locked to the might of virulent/ a-breeze/
shattered frozen flesh/ dead light what of it/ the half moon
circus of redeemed purpose/ knocking the teeth from the
broken jaw what laughter now/ fingers yet/ yet fingers
hands to caress/ there is blood beneath the fingers of the
unearthed/ the earth clogs the lungs there is nothing in the
hands of breaking lightlessness/ as if to say/ what speech/
what of the voice that imparts the dead colours/ the
tourniquet heart/ spasm/ spillage of blood/ asks of till
given silences mocking the reaching purpose/ which is to
bile less than ever was before/ a syntax of shattered bones/
till ever-dreaming in the shadow’s longing/ as if to be gone
were the only crosshair in sight/ and yet/ subtle the
change in the pulse/ here or there/ dead light what of it/
spit forth/ the raped tune of these silences that cannot be
acquainted with/ less or more/ dead songs/ dissipatory/
struck shine/ some detritus of light.

Thus the book develops its reach into the emptiness from the most fundamental percepts, from the bottom up, instead of from the abstract and at an already and exclusively semantic level from which the text never departs, as I would have done.

All in all, a splendid read, well worth buying, and it's available from Oneiros Books, here

Monday 28 April 2014

Bekah Steimel


Life had lost its luster
like someone had unplugged
all the lights
and short-circuited the sun
my final candle
as I was
down to my last match
clinging to my tenth life



My thirst extends past water and whiskey
and there is no calorie
to hush this hunger
everyone leaves a dent
after their collision with this world
fuck a fender bender
I want the head-on crash
you can’t overlook or undo
the flaming crater
mistaken for no other



Poetry is passing away
dying quietly
at the hands of poets
a wild animal
eating its young without remorse
a slow strangulation
committed by flexed fingers
who choose suffocation
over embrace
refusing to relinquish
their python grip
on the throat of expression
all poems
should be written in blood
instead of our endless ocean
of ink
like love
we would write only
what was worthy of the wound

Bekah Steimel is an internationally published poet living in St. Louis. Her pastimes include flirting, drinking whiskey and making people uncomfortable. Find her in Bohemia Journal, Gutter Eloquence, The RPD Society, Sinister WomenVerity La, and more. Visit

Sunday 27 April 2014

Pablo Saborio

Because as an animal
I have fantasies
of god wrapped between
the lips of one giant vagina
the sweet dawn
dripping from my cock
naturally as
an animal I
dream of strange violence
of penetrating
with pistols and cacti 
spurting so much blood
breathless in the night
to bite
the conch of the world
all swollen with despair. 
NOWHERE else has there been a sharper
knife plunged into the heart
of things.
Only describing its pain
can flower like an open sound.
You are aching below a fountain
not understanding the symbols
of its raining lore.
Only a few more years
to dismantle the ailing tree.
Nowhere else has there been
more space to pretend a birth.
I have hunted the tears,
those machines whose flesh
is rotten without the reason.
Only a clod of questions
the wingless earth. 

Saturday 26 April 2014

Grant Tarbard

My Own Beautiful Wreckage

I am not alive.
I am a skeleton with
a bluebell growing 

out of my rib cage,
there is life in my decline
the anglerfish light

tempts the marrowbone 
in the soil surrounding me,
my soul to die in.

My icon carved in
soft soap, my own beautiful 
bister cartilage 

brunet memories 
percolate out of my skull,
the spectrum of light 

is an illusion,
black and white resolution
resolved to undo

to make God anew.
My skull is a trinket box 
a garland in bloom 

with snowdrop, crocus,
bright red osseous matter
and pearls of the dead


Grey Tones


Distance is in my 
Eye, the viewing not
Restricted to make
Believe borders drawn
Out in the design.


Wagnerian grand 
Sweeps. Grey tones, garnet
Relished in flesh, in
The blood pools of a
Sorrowful moonscape. 

Sea of the Hanged

Rag dolls hang from the
Telegraph poles. The 
Wind blows the only 
Moving parts on these
Flesh marionettes.

Protruding tongues, white
Bait for the vultures,
Terrorists for the
Groping Eye socket,
Open palmed flowers.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Lee Kwo


Fear of mutilated femininity of witness to 
anxiety of writer without a shadow/
counteract terror of oblivions indivisible
revolt against emptiness of the spectacle 
of the Situation/Who defines allocated parts 
when constructing the ethical?/Life must hurt/
The Welfare State?/Maniacs fanatics crazies/ 
What space duration in comets path in next 
dimension has been reopened/Fatalism
stabbing holes in ript dark electric sky/ 
Hysterical joy of wreckage of pain/

Hear clock tempered pulse beats 
becoming mercurial a dilemma of ascension/
Whores of City of Pain/emotion is subversive
no longer dynamic/Not analogue but digital/
post secular thought remains enigmatic/
Dammed for their barbarism/ Speedmax/
A history of moments run at Mach velocity/ 
No mourning/no melancholy not even destiny of
eternal phillia/?The full risk of transposing the
boundaries/transgressing the Law and its limits/
We are in the territory of pure android ruin/
SKz lust and hard core drigs the protocol of
data trash /Blindly coded gestures Pizza Grils
walk Fitzroy St in camisoles and stockings/
selling the only commodity they have/

Time passes/Boy Debris waits chemical 
intervention to turn into an image of himself 
stealing codes of erasure/No love in the 
House of the Law only a helpless thinking 
of discrete linguistic moments of discontent/
He is 16 and hits the streets/Zed heads
and studded leather/here are three chords/
He can recognize as indicatively savage
shaved skull a provoked suspicious split head/ 
fence picket chain and broken bottle
hash bubbles on foil trips absurd behavior
that doesn’t give a fuk about consequences/
Invisible dimensions digitally enforced
enhanced drag factor of skin head betrayal/

The whole passing from point to
counter point from androgyny to castrati/
Called memory loss break up the linear
recall carry out the circumcision/
The aesthetics of indifference/ 
Do we remember visionary events or
Emotional discharges mutilations of
the phallicXX?/Queer solicitude?/
The beauty of love in love with itself/

What arouses the body when eyes
 shut and Effluvia becomes a haunted 
woman/Pleasure is a release from rebellion/ 
The hemispheres merge one to create the
discourse of an allegorical compulsion
to fantasize sex as bearable pain/
One lash to bring on the performance/
One lash to betray identity from dealing
with shadows/Empty repetition of modern life/ 
One lash a dead end devastation that art be
ineffective/Reviving an archaic symbol/ 
One lash to inflate the lighting of the
dimensional sequences/and submissions/
One dozen lashes that eludes scandal
of noise in suburbia/Uber Alles/

Whose extreme hellucinations cannot
haunt him enough as he no longer slept/
Insomniacal/awake to absurdity of life/ 
To negate something is just another way of
affirming horror of the body form with its
dissolution/More essential than its toxic
effectual decayed substances of shit pus
and dead jelly fish/Violence pure pleasure/

Everything is loaded with metaphor with
twisted demand/To notice and to be noticed/
the stranger is under the spotlight/
The unusual is equalized by supply
and demand for revenge/Facts break up/
Now I know what revenge tastes like/
why desperate old men call to murder
send young boys to the Frontline/
A bad conscience/Strategies of 
endurance unbalanced by a soft 
enigmatic voice/They said fuk you 
They said why not rude boy hooligans
What is the language of the unconscious?
Disappearing along fibre optics?/

She pretends to exist while sleeping/
A prison of meanings of knotted 
innuendo/Wanted for breaking 
out of the unwanted/Spurious  
How is it translated this cybernetic impulse
Hot wired and transcendental? /
The evocative text of change and constant
renewal pulls you apart/Vertical ghettos/
Stand still it will dismember you/make you
anonymous/Eradicate any obligations/
Fantasy seeks to affirm itself by
ruining meaning distinctions and
limits thresholds and hierarchies/
Disappears into its uselessness utility/
driving artist to liminal pain/

Even the imaginary scar tissue you 
secrete in the blood of yr abstract tracks 
will evade your assertion of sanity/
neither gods or masters or public decency 
without finding a way out of dated crimes/
The prophet speaks of the arrival of
Guitar Over Drive/Three chords feedback/
You distress the canvas unable to tolerate
expectations/You fill the pages of yr books
with pornography/You have been in life
but you know more about death/ 
You have fuked a thousand women 
but still dont know what desire means/
Only its avatar love three pumps and roll off/

Depersonalized killing of subjectivity/
shame that is a paradox unpredictable
attacks yr repellent disgust/
You were in the presence of the present
yr writing as testimony to invisible
dimensions/indications of injustice
A slow fertile nightmare 
surfaces we are all sociopaths
in iron shadows alienations and ideology
But accuse disjecta membra of possible
Fragments not yet advancing fast enough/
Light engulfing time /The smell of fear on yr
breath/Then it was like now only laid open
something lost in translation/Time marches on
Attend to yr apocryphal legend Dogman/
She smells him down wind and on heat/
The curtain has been pulled he struggles
thru folds/Un-folds new migrations/
Genital desire swells in darkness/
Choking on functional discharges
of gas wastes/Dragged thru ruins
of finitude erupts from hard drive/
The joy of Industrial pain/Three minute
noise/On centralized refracting routines 
of thinking/Can you endure unspeakable
things knowing only drigged daydreams/?/

Everybody keeps their appointment
with death while/forgetting to live/
Even when he out think himself when he
streams consciousness/Gnostic exile/
Erase punctuation speak in tongues tear
Open neologisms/Writing remains 
anerotic political act of random simulacra/
He embalmed by genealogy of aesthetic
Simulated archaeological effects./
You are clever even to understand
punctuation./You are clever to anticipate
which words disguise brutality and violence/
To this task of fatal abstraction add
enigmatic process of disambiguation/
You are at end of clawed tunnel the
furthest ahead/Within yr hands 

you reach a black hole of anti matter 
that spews you into rarefied air of
non-sense and arctic polarity of death/
Where the mind drifts without certainty/
Fall to ground wanting to be swallowed
Compressed by the weight of gravity
enlightens us /Crushed by servitude
of the logical/Destruction beckoned/
This elemental depth of the witnesses 
which over determines fake irrational
circus of consequences refused its history?/
Of false consciousness pushed aside by
Motherboard/Father board/Crazy bored
Absolute Icon boredom as social pathology
Boredom the ultimate mode of control
always takes the form of Fascist history/