Mudlark Poster No. 29 (2000)

Louis Armand and John Kinsella

Louis Armand is an Australian writer and artist currently living in Prague, where he lectures at Charles University. His work has appeared in various journals, including POETRY REVUE, SULFUR, MEANJIN and HEAT. His most recent publication is EROSIONS (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 1999). A collection of poetry, INEXORABLE WEATHER, and volume of experimental prose, THE GARDEN, are forthcoming in 2000 from Arc and Salt respectively (both in the UK). He is poetry editor of THE PRAGUE REVUE, and editor of the literary broadsheet PLASTIC (Semtext).

John Kinsella was born in Western Australia in 1963 and is the author of twenty books, most recently: POEMS 1980-1994 (Bloodaxe, 1998); THE HUNT (Bloodaxe, 1998), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; VISITANTS (Bloodaxe, 1999); a novel, GENRE (FACP, 1997); a volume of short fiction, GRAPPLING EROS (FACP, 1998); and an anthology of contemporary Australian poetry, LANDBRIDGE (Arc, 2000). He is the editor of the international literary journal SALT, co-editor of the British literary journal STAND, and International Editor of the American journal THE KENYON REVIEW. He has been appointed Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College (USA), Adjunct Professor of Literature at ECU (Australia), and is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge


Authors' Note

This sequence was composed during the course of an email correspondence and remains an on-going project. Each piece is the outcome of numerous promptings and erasures, sorties, advances, feints, overwritings and defacements, pastiches and parodies, rendering a "synoptical" text whose authorship is ultimately anonymous (—in this sense "John Kinsella" and "Louis Armand" function merely as ciphers).

Zoning Discourse | Rorschach Series | Triptych | Post-Op

I. Zoning Discourse: Synoptical Echo Pangenesis

casting a pater-noster line
outlooking into the water's shadow-graph(ed
what (there) it seems to presence—
per echo's languid pangenesis—oedipal?
& upping prolapse without the mother
                             "issuing directly from the cogito"
a premeditation of non-being
blood-smeared & arithmetic—there
where it smells of excrement & euclid
the clotted drainage of semes after babel
as bias in liturgy—adamic—(re)naming
everything on-screen?
or double-gazing of cathected
sea-like creatures
                             "depositing fragments
about a place they might term
landscape" ... qua
                              meta-physical & (self-)
erasure in counterfeit anatomies—
elevating myth to gestalt therapy
or lyrical solipsism (rodin-achilles?)
or engenderment
                    or simulacra
                              simulating pre-socratic
denunciation of origins—
the striated body & its nemesis
looming glacier-like from a desert
or inland sea (the overarching wave-forms of
limestone, whalebone, dis-
solving on mute petrifications of raftwood)
flowing out to alluvial chiasms—
                              paleo- or mesolithic—
& time-lines fluctuating
as erosion ushers in the platitudinous
(darwinian geo-census miming plebiscites
to millennial tremblers as res publica
                              lurches backwards into history
                              & we (re-)state
the bloody obvious):
out there where I trod & trod & trod
abstracted from (its) contours
[(') morphogenesis?
part(ing)s companied with the sculptured
or the real or the] miscreant
                              the deus ex machina
of crows high over the nullarbor
                              divining new jerusalems


Rorschach Series

dis-covering categories in the monad self
the blackbird tosses up
a vein, stranded annelid (cataract
of blinking alterity), as ground-wires
interlink consumption & re-creation via
shifting entelechies—satellites
dishing up "doxa & logos"
for the nightly automation of
homo cogitens ("the eye by which i
perceive god is not the same eye by which
he perceives me"): framing the annulus
of what "is" impossibly transposed within it—
cathode or gottesstrahlen?—or rotogravure
video speculation in the pack
shouldered through closeups
of sleepers standing & coiled like desiccated
leaves in central park ("bemiracled relics of
former human souls"?)—on the fringe
vapour exiting from the subways, intoning
heat like barrage balloons thickly flanked
in smog zones, scaffolded
& fencing-in lines of flight—the coded
messages of traffic lights & dull sound of
impact as humidity reaches outward
to a critical mass ("drowning in air")
& wings fan back the spreading picture

2. "IT—THE SEA"?
is written as if to encounter something masquerading as real, a moment
when all the lines are brought back together from the dissolution
of the outside—in order for the other always to be there?: the inquisitor
terminates the discussion, seasoned indifference already confused
in the speculations of the sentence & child acting as agent in the fort/da
repetition-revenance, denouncing a scenario point blank in the liminal
exclusion ("for it's there we inhabit & are most active")—appearing
in the condemned articulation as any subject might in a room with a table,
spreading the convergence like mutilation, & weather as changeable
as transference or inclination, lost in the endless pleonasms of mis-
taken identity—never knowing how to read the signs or sense danger,
& re-turning always to the same fabula of the sea as mother-charybdis
makes a point of dragging your indiscretions down into the family circle

herme(neu)tic arrival, terminus
on the outskirts
of an undecidable topos
as destinations
interchange & efface themselves
on the flashing
bulletin-board (a thousand trans-
atlantic flights per day)
or stranded "in the middle of
nowhere" folding & un-
folding a map whose segments
no longer frame anything
legibly, branch into trees,
planetariums as remote-control
intervenes in the allegorical
or fugitive space
like a stain outstripped &
telescoped in the tacit refusal
of narrative's unfolding
& folding like endless schist
as angles stretch further upwards—
in abscondito, the absolute
sensing the lousy forecast
(listless days in the tropics,
blotched skies, the bilious green
deckchairs of floating worlds
strobed in the cloud-chamber)—
& always falling back on the usual
contingencies of disappearance
posing as "concealment in plain view"

incipient & forever crossing (time-)zones
concordant circuit of
incessant inhumation—"objet
& regard sur cette objet" or other
equivalent forms: steradians
& spherical excess
describing an aperture of mis-
alignments (gallows injection gas chamber
the chair) punct-
uating the anatomical—la vie qui tourne
& tourne comme un film "ultra noire" ...
quoting micky spillane
because a crime WAS committed (un coup d'oeil
verging on effraction)—at intervals
phrases emerge from the gothic
machinery of pseudo-american fictions—
enormous engines dragging
"conceptual personae"
out of the primal scene into the too harsh light
of the immediate & invisible
execution chamber—battaille's thaumaturge
not enough to cure
the socratic affliction—& still prosecuted by
in the numinous countdown


III. Triptych: Diseases of the Eye

ex cathedra gegenschein—angling the tain
towards the "inner light"—non est inventus
liability of opposition's product—
despite alleging
mark after mark, the yet to be written apostate
hand on the holster that nouns paternally (manus patris):
"butter wouldn't melt in his ...";
& river pilot navigatingsluices—'cause
you know after all, telekinesis,
it's better that way, un-
tainted by the look of it, film-wrapped & by the hour
reflecting on the solidly
low temperatures: someone, not you, declares—
as if the epistle needed an objective

to the extent that a description goes back to the origins
tries to represent the hackneyed layers of the de-generate
a priori—through morbid reflexes, geothermal, pedantic,
in the virulence of its own phantasms—splitting hairs,
the gauche protest belies the take my point
of it, the internally focussed eye of a mise-en-abyme
where the temples & forehead (bold as heraldry)
have received the electric power of recti-
fication—& "when my face is flushed
with blood it becomes red & obscene" citing dis-
ruption along purely political lines, undercurrents
of dissent—pitt's tumescence, umbraged, raising the bolgias—
as the floor walked in gestural silence

periphrasis / of the outwardly revolving
not a trace / no longer qv. lixiviate
plenum of forced aspiration ...
introibo ad altare dei / converting
arcane substance via hypostatic union,
eliding metaphysics / who's been sleeping
in my bed says humor qua heliogabolus
discovering [red dancing shoes?] & formaldehyde,
[the stolen verb of a pentacostal sonnenkind ...?]

[calendar debris] cut-out & overprinted
in margins / erratum / vexed machine
altercating per carotid artery je ne suis pas
l'autodactylograph[ie] / points on a line
in serial declensions of "s is p" algorithmic /
during days when motivation is lacking ...
il faut cultiver notre jardin ...
mandates as the roaring forties
bluster about the point / political justice

vs. rousseau & the thousand & one nights
spent in the coal cellars of this city / ...
conveying practical bodies in sleep
& half-light / geistlich walt disney anima-
tions (aladin's lamp in countless samizdat
?) / made flesh as [the] carbon type[...]
("terminates" between quotation marks
the last word before the transcript breaks


III. Post-Op

adjusting the distance from "to undergo" & opposite to "expectation"
in studied entry, undergripping
all manifest effect;
telemetry, coagulating on the liminal fringe,
gummed up & kicking over like a spanner in the works,
as semblages make eyes
out of jungle, the dark
opthalmosaurus of its primitivist soul, citing lamarck
on the evolution of parts of the brain functioning in vision
or joseph conrad
suffering from calenture & leaping out of sight, out of mind
into the null azure of ocean pastoral, haemoproteins & polarised light

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