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Thursday 26 June 2014

Abattoir Whispers(Oneiros Books), A Reading by Gillian Prew



Yes, we are the human slaughterhouse, our voices barely audible if anyone were ever to listen. And what of it?

“…I die, and in this death I see nothing, I see that I am nothing…” (Untitled #1)

 This is Michael Mc Aloran…or his narrator. One could assume that they are interchangeable if not rigorously identical. As interchangeable as life and death, life being a continuum of dissolution, a collection of loosely associated, absurd fragments which the narrator does not care enough to embrace nor reject. Yet, there is care. There is care in the creative outflow of inner dialogue: a man transforming his idea of self, his troubled place in the world into a voice traversing darkly surreal landscapes – his verbal and pictorial wounds.

“…no I do not want to leave, yet I do not want to stay, either, something has shaken the fruit from the razor tree, they sparkle upon rent soil in the moonlight, I laugh because I cannot believe myself, that this is, I subtract from death’s irrelevance, with some sense, deepening the wounds, I am the skyline, I am the aborted sun, I am the disfigured sneer…”

(Untitled #1)

 Mc Aloran makes his own sense of the failure of objectivity and, ultimately, meaning. But sense is transience. The moment of understanding is also a moment of confusion where neither lasts beyond the expression of itself and all is ultimately emptiness.

 “…we spit dreams like sparks that fade into emptiness, and ever the return, ever the return to this perpetuating emptiness…” (Untitled #2)

 Existence is trauma. We are born alone, and so it goes. An inhospitable world is our cradle and our attempts to thrive are idiotic and self-defeating.

 “…I ejaculating into the void with streaks of dissipating words, my death, my death my starry death I am alone, no not else, ever else, the violence of existing, the ferocity of birth, a cold stone hearth in which the bone’s of a child rot unto idiocy, I too am that idiocy, that murder, that abortion, the time taken to unlearn, to forget…” (Untitled #3)

 In this world of Mc Aloran’s there is no definitive suffering. One accumulates scars like years; not always aware of each day, each slice into flesh. It is both an accumulative living and dying; a horror and a wry smile at the ongoing absurdity and meaninglessness of existence.

 “…I observe my scars in wonder, I cannot then see, I suffocate on the bile of my dying, something grips me, viciously and I expire, void of my ineptitude, I am this flesh, this meat, this absolution, this waste…I smile…” (Untitled #4)

“…At what point, in the striking of lightning does the flesh awaken, once death has awakened in the eyes the clamour of the silence, having no recourse beyond the filth of decay, the brutalizing winds, ejaculating spent bodies emasculated, birthed, into endless nothingness, as if a dream could suffice? I laugh yet I am ice, I see nothing else, penetrative scars, the implements of foreign dreams, and the skill by which such dreams are dissolved, in the cancer of final night, in the shifting parameters of lunacy, cutting the teeth upon the rock’s of bleak mortality, as if to speak were enough, as if to convey were enough, as if this were enough, unto that final line, dressed up for the kill, my head in a vice, skull-dust, heavenly teeth…” (Untitled #11)

In Mc Aloran we have an artist living as a poet living as an artist living as a man. In short, he cannot be separated from his work. His verbal skills translate to disturbing visuals yet one wonders, given that Mc Aloran also has considerable talent as a painter, whether it is the visuals which he finds necessary to articulate in words, as if neither medium can suffice on its own, that his thinking, his interpretation of the world is too complex, too insufferable to be expressed merely in one dimension.

 “…Meat petals and the slashed eye, a clock face smeared with blood, the shadow of a death knell, ice in the veins of the death of air, mocked by the crumbling walls of dissolution, a trinket, a casket full of rotting teeth, the death of air is a flock of diseased birds sprayed across the ashen sky, the waste and the frugality of tears, nothing changes, no, not ever more, I am a dream, a figment in all of this, the shadow pierces like none other, echoing, drunk upon the intoxication of blank stone walls, at which were stared in starvation, hallucinogenic, some kind of dreaming, yes…” (Untitled #21)

His tone, his surreal landscapes, put one in mind of Beckett and Bataille, where his inner dialogue cannot rest with itself. There is a lack of decisive punctuation where most everything is a continual struggle with conclusion to which a full stop would be an almost be an act of hubris. The sun, the eye, decay, shattered bloody skies…Mc Aloran has interminable versions of these all beautifully and disturbingly visual. Here, again, his pen would almost be substituted for a paintbrush.

 “…A chain of metallic petals, dragging along the spine of all living, beneath the teeth of the sun and throughout the breath, lingering, like a shimmering of cloud in a womb of black sky, the tips of the fingers licked clean of blood, ice shatters, something between to the to and fro-ing, the hands quivering with dislocation, chewing glass to make the smile more opulent, there is no darkness, static absurdly weeps, leeches upon the breast, the heart fades to murmurs, where joy advances like an unwanted drunken lover, a singular butterfly smashed offhandedly upon a white-washed wall…”

(untitled #29)

 Michael Mc Aloran is a fractured soul living as best he can in the brief pauses, where the in-breath meets the out; where the comma is the most fleeting of respite. The rest is almost an impossibility; one filled by poetry and art, where apparently contradictorily, the process of dissolution is one of creation. His work is dark, disturbing and compelling; a fractured version of reality. When Beckett remarked of Joyce, “His writing is not about something. It is the thing itself.” he could well have been referring to Michael Mc Aloran.

 In a world of existential paralysis, where there are few authentic voices, I would recommend attention be paid to at least one – Michael Mc Aloran.

---Gillian Prew
(Author of ‘Disconnections’, ‘In the Broken Things', ‘Throats Full of Graves’ & 'A Wound's Sound')...

It is available from Oneiros Books, here



somesh* rooms                                                   *lord moon
                 “i have drunk of the soma
                                and now half of me am Urth
                                                 the other half [mirth]”
~DÄ«rghatamaster, “There was in olden days a wise Rishi…”
              bufo ten nine
                      mooscaria countdown
                                         sync into the skin of the gods
~Once i was me; but now i’m you
well known for     verses in the Rig Veda
added to     since 1st Mandala
chief priest of King Bharata
after whom
India was first named
birth of Dirghatamas in
the MahaBharata
studied in his mother’s
womb the Vedas
     Semen tuum frusta perdi non potest.
“O father, cease from
thy attempt. There is no room here for two
     Quum auten jam cum illa coiturus
esset,”     but Mamata
possessed the most beautiful pair
of eyes.
wombling     enfolded in perpetual darkness
     born blinded by the father’s spit
yet possessed     of the Vedas     yet
famous for his paradox     mantras
enigmas     : “     ,     he who knows
the father     above by what is below
is called the poet
called by many names”
360 spokes placed in the sky.


“That Lot’s History Motors, Way Gone”

On its plains where grew fine plants
Lamentation reeds now grow.
Circa 4300 years (“where go?”)
“gone” — Sargon of Akkad     arm wrestled
Sumerian city-states from     Umma, then stormed across her
Fertile Valley Between Two Rivers     controlled
trade from the silver mines of Anatolia/
     to the lapis lazuli mines of Badakhshan
          from the cedar forests of Lebanon
               to the Gulf of Oman
fortresses were built/
     to silo imperial wheat
irrigation canals     extended     bureaucratic reach
fed     palaces and temples     imperial taxes.
Then, like a hundred-year old cookie  
the sky crumbled/
     withering storms cut through wheat fields
          coated them in black dust.
For another hun-     dread dry mouthed
sulfurous halitoxic summers/
      southwestern Europe to central Asia
          Iberia to Crete     Egypt’s Old Kingdom     towns of Palestine
               great cities of the Indus
sudden abandon     collapse remains.
300-year cottonmouth
full of erosion deposits     no trace
urbanality. Only above     3 centuries of strata
do ash, trash and
     monumental apparitions
haunt     anew
same o’ same go.
2 millennia before Yeshua
people like Abram fled the Assyrian plains
en masse.
A thin layer of volcanic ash
sprinkle the last Akkadian mud bricks
under an 8 inch-thick cap of fine sand
testifies to centuries
of global drought   
     Hongshan (“round heaven, square earth”) triangle collapsed
     Emericus? Still out
          remains tight-lipped as a jungle
               pyramid cut off and overrunneth
with old-growth jaguars and Homeland guillotines
     carrying a big “We’re Number One!” shtick
for review. No set up     just     gobble gulp go
The 3rd Dynasty of Ur
was last attempt to revive Sumer
     back in the day     before the great famine & drought
like when Tom Jones
     back in the day     came on stage    
every woman in the front row
crossed her legs.
now it’s all
FBI warnings     about video piracy
5 years in prison     ¼ million-dollar fines
follow the movie     don’t mess with our cut
wands whittled from holly wood     wave fluid Druidlike spells
cast mass market     cast mass media     cast of thousands
pulling strings     pulling feathers     American Bald Mockingbird
he he he Fidelity/har har har Vanguard/
          hey twitter tweet State Street
BlackRock da bomb     go long, NSA:     PRISM A-ok     for liftoff
making a living     let alone living a making     can no way     , like   
slickass Zombie movies     , prep anyone
for the headshot     it’s in the clause     apparently
cuz all we do is bite
infecting those we bite
devouring what little is left after the hail    I mean     aren’t we just
asking     for     it?
only Corporations are
not prophets
mitts off
Big Soma. 

from mpcAstro's newly released (9 June 2014) book of poetry,
Nidus Plexus: a metric montage (Oneiros Books)

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Zarina Zabrisky


it moves towards me, fast. red. hot. i know when it hits, it will hurt. burn. i should run away but i can't. i am in a circle with tall fence and no gate.
red calls. my blood calls me, pulls me to it. my chest goes boom boom and so do my legs. i fly towards it. it wiggles, and it is a man--it smells a man, sweat and musk of a man. women smell like milk and grass. mother smelled like milk and grass. soft.
it is now jumping to the side, the insect with red hurt behind. and i plunge, i roar--i hear noise out there where all the human insects gather. they roar, too. their roar booms in my ears. booms faster.
the man jumps, a red cricket. in the field, i saw green crickets, green like grass. green grass smells good. like mother. it feels good on my teeth. it crunches and makes me happy. it is quiet in the field, just bees buzz and the wind blows.
no grass here, no green. just the red moving sideways, towards me, away from me. the man-cricket runs to me and stabs a stick into me. pain red. i roar. humans roar back. the man-cricket jumps away.
then back, stabs again. and again. everything inside me pain red. my blood wet on me, smells salty and raw. smells pain. stab.
dust in my eyes, and tears, and pain. i want to go back to grass, feel flowers on my lips, sweet. the man-cricket does not know how flowers sweet. i do not want to die. i will not die. i will kill the man-cricket.
i run after him, i am now fast, pain makes me fast, faster than him, faster than the wind in the field, faster than swallows diving into grass before rain. i chase the man to the fence. i hit him with my horns, stab him through, the way he stabs me. only man-cricket has no thickness, horns go through. man-cricket flimsy. i stab again. men in the pit roar. they always roar.  
                                                         the man-cricket is hurt. his face white like flowers. he now has my pain. red on him, all over, he drops the red from his hands. i stab again and raise him on my horns, his red mixing with mine. he is light. i run and run, circle after circle, roar after roar and then i see a black shiny stick and hear crack!-- and white light spits hot bee and it flies to my eyes, 
               then all goes black and no more.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Gillian Prew

from 'The Black Stanzas'
(xiv) blossom/loss
Her breasts      sunk-in    orbit once
her grief a blossom/ her           green/     
her launch of fists                   loss.           
Her heart/her diamond       
all blacked-in.    
One memory less than a dragged-out dream.   
Her heavy threads/
                        her winter legs.
(xv) teeth of swans/swathes of tides
Lipped, the black water
with its teeth of swans. Salt-mouth
and its swathes of tides/black tides
lapping the land -  
the skin of the land/
darkening the detail of its tattoo.
(xvi) grey wind/sweet shadow
Ghost-sounds/a grey wind’s journey
through the trees.      
A blackbird’s
sweet shadow of a song/
its beautiful black language
                                wild in the air.    
(xvii) proud blood/black cloud
Grief, mirror-deep/
Proud blood of mother and child/
the heave-to of death.
A hole for a throat
full of ribbons and idle creatures/full
of black cloud and leaves.
      A calf with its heart cut out/
everything stained with milk.
(xviii) buried/bleeding
When not weeping
             and orange with sunlife
full-out like a flame,
black buried throat and sorrow-seed,
gulps upward the bleeding light.
the earth beneath holds on
to all her buttercups and dust.