Saturday, February 28, 2015


A proletarian pamphlet from Prolebooks

CABOODLE – Karina Vidler, Gill McEvoy, Russell Jones, Kate Garrett, Angela Croft, Rafael Miguel Montes – Edited by Brett Evans and Phil Robertson - Prolebooks, 2015

This only concerns Russell Jones

These poems that are very modern sonnets as for their form which is rather iconoclastic of Shakespeare's model present a vision that is desperate, desolate, disheartening, frightening.

The man who sees visions he cannot share because one cannot share what one sees if one is mute and this man is mute: he does not speak, and certainly not to us. Even in the Beauty Parlour the initial "we" does not really include us because it is the royal "we" of one amplifying himself or disguising himself away into a forest that hides the isolated tree, and then he shifts to "you" which is a similar way of avoiding "I" and neutralizing himself by treating himself as someone else, as an interlocutor, which he is not really.

What he sees is from the past, most of the time, and the past cannot be shared since that man is the only one who lived it, the only possible voyeur. He did not share this past with us. And he is not even sharing it with us in his words. He depicts it as if it were some picture in the back of his eye or mind and as if the desription were for himself only. It is distant, cold. It does not speak to us. It is frightening because of this distance.

A woman is there dominant and fascinating, dominant for the man and fascinating for him too, even mesmerizing if not hypnotizing, reducing him to being a passive voyeur who will not even do what all voyeurs generally do. She is like a dragon and the man is nothing but a pet she transports in the air to the seventh heaven of dragon love. She is also inspiring to that man. On the other hand the man is noting but a sea gull when it comes to being some flying animal, a seagull in a harbor in which all the exhaust pipes of all rejects and trash of this society are flushed down into the water of the harbor and the sea gull is just feeding on this trash, on these social feces in the port till it is satisfied and flies away.

The concept of a haven widens that of the port of the seagull, and this haven is a real protection but a protection because the man is the recluse in this haven. And if there is a festive party in this haven, a birthday party probably, it is performed and offered by a whole city of blind people. And the woman who is the beneficiary of this feast just has to jump into the mess and then she can move away with the prize, the prey, the present for her birthday and we are back to the man who is enslaved to the woman he is in a relation with. Is that submission love? Some might think so, just as much as an addiction to heroin is a love affair, at least we may think so.

The form that makes us such contemplative readers is disquieting and as such manipulating us in our expectations that are manhandled and given the lie, run-on line after run-on line, perfect rhyme after imperfect rhyme or even the absence of a rhyme. But the last poem is surprising in its use of a ternary patterns balancing binary couples and quaternary extensions. And everything is good to produce such groups.
to love and life
to port and sport
Alliterations, assonnances, and "love" becomes "a loft" and the “port” a “haven” and then we have parallel ternary structures
loft (is) haven of eyes
desert (of) blind city
and we see the chiasmic oxymoron of haven - city versus eyes - blind and this oxymoronic chiasmus is then retrospectively projected into the even more orxymoronic loft - desert, the loft that always contains something rich like hay or beautifult like an organ, and yet is desertic though it is in the very center of a city. Blind then tells us the loft is empty and the desert makes us understand that the city is depopulated which explains why it is blind since there is no one to look at anything. The voyeurs have been put on permanent recess.

The man can then let himself go to have a drink but that solves nothing because "man and mind meet in the memory of a chase." Can you hear the alliteration in /m/ for "me" the man would say, for "meat" the man will be when he is captured at the end of the chase, hunted down to be the subservient and docile pet of the hunter. The pet or the prey? Since the hunter is also a taxidermist.

And more oxymorons in that balancing act.

On one hand "forgotten things he finds in a trail through the hills of youth." He thus remembers things from the past. He is a puppet of this memory that remembers or does not at will. And yet what's undone, what's not done, hence what is nothing but a potential, or a recollection, a remembrance, a recall, will never be since it will be preserved by a taxidermist for eternity, eternally dead. What is that life in which only the past exists in our memory while the future is dead and preserved in an icon of death, in some dead surviving illusionary trophy of a hunt the prey of which you were.

Every one of these sonnets is thus the most fascinating mirror in which my more or less dead eyes are seeing nothing but dead past that has no future since it is a skin filled up with straw. We are the hollow men of T.S. Eliot, the Scarecrow od The Wizard of Oz, a straw man who wants to get a brain from the Wizard of Oz, oh my foot he will get nothing but a disgraceful dismissal. We are impotent in front of the world and can only know the pleasure, satisfaction or satiety a woman can provide us with if we are humble enough to submit. And why on earth does it have to be a woman? Why not a dog or a goat, because I suddenly feel like a Billy goat. "Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

That will give me some nightmares but what can we do when ISIS is sweeping in front of our door and the Ukrainian more or less would like to get rid of the Russians though of course they would never accept to work in the mines and the steel mills. The menace of a cleansing, or a genocide, of a man hunt that has though little to do with since the prey is the man and the hunter seems to be an Amazon.


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