Wednesday, May 16, 2018

the brilliant essay that is the sun...


Whoever does not fight against visible evil,

               loses the protection of the invisible.   

-- Paul Celan, Microliths (tr. Joris)


read the brilliant essay that is the sun

 for nothing is darker poetry
than my true desire
which I forgot to know/reveal
or maybe left on the train
in the rain -- to dribble
sentimental onion
almond or carcoffio

pomegranite, withered swill
rainbow sparagmos
--who wound the clock?

(whose) apparel is the differential
in every tree between
gibbet and cello
(remains undecidable)
fire-brand or boat's lantern
-- a hidden ship-lord's slander
beggars to receive

yet what is left but heart's schrapnel
for it is rather the heart that's been cut out
in discourse, blown to bits

(speak from the heart they say
follow your heart -- this is what they say --
hopping onto the 3rd person --
but what can this heart say to the post-
cartesian social media/medea
other than to speak as the insane
the validity of mad truth has been lost --
which remains for the heart
(the post-social conscience)
to retrieve

in the silence of...

  there's that Prussian Garrison
& the garbage-filled moat around it
-- the theory seems to be: leave as little as possible
for the imagination of Europe
let the impressive ruin of the enemy who built it
rot further, moulder into mire
in the gloominous shadow 
of the glory football stadion

 the girls come out of their Starbucks
at Bałtyk to chain the tables for the sea-surge
I look at reflections of one
 group of corporate building's
windows reflected into set of windows behind
while the tables of black metal
get chain-ganged to sculpted tree.
Jet flies over the Sheraton
whose rooftop garden
still doesn't touch the sky

Heaven is below us somewhere

Ravaged Matzevot, Rusałka. Photo by Jeff Gburek

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lake Rusałka Water Walk

Michal Giżycki
We used fb to announce the event. 

If the link no longer works, this is what it once said.
Rusałka Water Walk: Call for Musicians/Volunteers 

"This is an event with many events: a meeting with visiting Native American composer Raven Chacon, Friday 27 April (at Kołorking Muzyczny); an exploratory sound-walk, of lake Rusałka area on Saturday 28; a performance for 2 groups of musicians to send musical messages across the lake, into the water, on Sunday 29. Details will appear in the Discussion section of the event page. This is also an open call for musicians who would like be involved in the performance and recording the event and volunteers/helpers."


Raven Chacon in Poznan

     Prior to Raven's arrival by train from Berlin (where he has been resident composer at the American Academy), we had discussed various plans for adapting a percussion piece of his to be played around Lake Rusałka but the adaptation turned out to be a new composition entirely. I would not have done it alone so, the score, is either a collaborative score or one deeply inspired by the presence of my old friend. Indeed, we discussed doing various versions of his Drum Grid piece but in the end another concept evolved. I spoke to him about my personal motivation for performing around the lake by describing various aspects of the history, involving the water itself, the building of the fake lake during Nazi occupation by combined Jewish and Polish slave labor, the laying of the foundation of the lake with matzevot, gravestones taken from cemeteries nearby, and the numerous massacres of the prisoners there.

    Although named after the water or tree nymphs of Slavic mythology -- the subject of a an opera by Antonín Dvořák  -- the romantic version itself is creepily Gothic in that the once beneficent nymphs of fertility and pure water filling the fields became glassed over -- for soon the stories emerged of drowned, attractive young women, Ophelias, the ghosts who would lure men into the waters and drag them beneath, never to return.

Bilibin's Vision of a Rusałka nymph, 1934

 This shift of the folklore towards the macabre drew my attention and caused me to dig deeper & when I dis-covered that a 23 year-old student named Sara Radwan drowned herself in the lake in 2016, I took a further plunge into the waters of the internet to find the story of the fake lake and the earth-works as they were called. It was then I realized that although there are two monuments mentioning murders of people in 1940, there is no indication that the lake itself was dug and fortified by the people massacred there, when they could no longer lift their tools, en masse, buried there, then disintered later for cremation, when Nazis' started to erase traces of their atrocities. As blogger Erik Ross point out, the massive concrete barrel one finds on the south-eastern rim of the water seems too large to be a drain for the gentle Bogdanka stream.  

  On April 27th we met with musicians & other interested people at Kołorking Muzyczny, in order to discuss the score, pictured here in the earliest version.

 Musicians who ultimately took part in the composition's realization on April 29

many thanks!


You can listen to a mix of the sounds recorded on location while the two groups moved around the lake and called to one another across and through the water.


 thanks to everyone who assisted and devoted energy and attention:
Raven Chacon, Kołorking Muzyczny, Rafał Zapała, Piotr Krawczyk, Piotr Delimata, Michał Giżycki, Krzysztof Kuśmierek, Stas Aleksandrowicz, Agnieska, Ola Hausner, Maciej, Karolina Ossowska, Kacper Antoni Hepner, Waldek & all the people who witnessed.  

Monday, May 14, 2018


 a freeactionary poem
about an imaginary city
West of where I
presently (re)ply
    for/ Anselm Berrigan

"look, up in the sky..."
 "... give up verse, my boy,
There’s nothing in it." -- E.P.

facing the wall
or what's left of it, the pissing floor
rises the glee-club of the gutter
& the ganja breakers
flare pockets of their hoodies
not in Gulhani but Gorlitzer
where wild roses over-hang the canal
the crossroad query of mental jogging
goes unabated & the circus of blood
pumps up to the surface of the clock-face
in the window beside the Ecke
where a machete hews kebab.
we take black olives & flat-bread
at Maibach Ufer, plan the half-day of sun,
rolled and smoked then sat on the lawn
by the Spree without knowing
how many films, like soap-bubbles,
had been shot there, tap of the toes,
there's no place like home
and the bottle already
floating downstream submarine
periscope up, look at the sky
which is grey like bone, motionless,
picture of nowhere
everybody knows 
May 8, 2018
Berlin 2016, jeff gburek, famous mistakes with ghosts

Monday, May 7, 2018

tradition whispers...

tradition whispers there is bird in the sky as blue as the sky
 & the whisper grew as large as a cloud...

tradition whispers there is bird in the sky as blue as the sky
  & the whisper grew as large as a cloud

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Chestnut Blossoms: Poems in the Present Dense


the first time I've noticed
chestnut blossoms, the cone of orange-yellow
 there ought to be a poem
which covers everything

flowers of mud
or flowers in the muddle
weave my melancholy existence
or failing to be romantic
would mean what?
a kind of phantom lethargy
 in this rough age and day
where every other person's
hopeless inversion is dialectical
 (to catch a thief of substance itself )
trying to insure better health care
or educate children
futures for art's security
dances like a forest on the air
thick with our signals
seeming self-canceling charities
petals of sub-atomic
particles not so much fallout
and Being Fallen
through the basal ganglia
into the shoe box of death's obscenity
rattled for the tell-tale
heart in the earth's watch
of consequent snails
so much whiter for the wind
whipping the red hair
over bare shoulders
 or barren shoulders giving
rise to obvious thoughts
 (like what?)

 this writing which is similar to reading
living forms blossom and wither
in the midst of 60 million refugees
barely 1 % of the quota
taken in, given shelter
to remain a multikulti entity
riding on the back of Europa
I sit in the deluge of dim-witted lies
and fake new free for alls
flavor of the moment, kielbasa-head, bald
(in this writing which is similar to reading
 the reader must make the poem)
another day, another dullard
pulled up in that series of mercantile
mercedes got the bends of me
cotton candy religions in the schools
criminalist trigger happy TV
where the spoils of glamor cover
over the spills of oil we in scattered unions
gather to podcast political outrage
once in a blue moon
 (how to get the reader to write the poem,
to take their authorship seriously)
Yes, your life must become art
so there is nothing to buy
 Prehistoric flashbacks
track mystery up the mountain
 Yes, your life must become art
so there is nothing to buy
and everything to live for
Look at the flowers, hear the sirens,
mangia the rough cloud carrier of
Post-delirium demons
This is seriously similar to living
 writing from ethereal unpredictable spaces
seeming voices
as they flit by, the ears surprised
hearing it all nevertheless
it is that for which they alone exist
& this is your life
whether dream zone or full corpus
this is your life
riding the arc of full air

after all, you have to wonder, why, 
since the medium seems to be the message, 
& all instruments and intention exhausted 
(serialism = the exhaustion of all combinations = I-Ching), 
the insistent thing happens, anyway, 
no matter what you say about it


 “Whereas a ‘sound’ was really within the midst of this intense engagement with everything: with all the noise that you’ve ever heard, you struggle somehow to make a difference, so to speak, within that noise. And that difference isn’t necessarily about you as an individual, it’s much more simply about trying to augment and to differentiate what’s around you. And that’s what a sound is for me.”
  -- Fred Moten

Friday, April 20, 2018

Wings Burning Still Flying. Poems & Manifestations These Busy Months

Jezioro Rusałka, Poznan, April, 2018

Looked at in a certain light 
he saw the walking bones of mankind disappear. 
Looked at in another light he saw the flesh upon the bones 
as a unique contrast or animation which created 
an abstract void or disappearing dancing bone.
Wilson Harris, BLACK MARSDEN (1972)

  to venture an inversion seemingly impolite  
black matter lives... traveling toward us...  
black metaphor matters...
faster and more ghostly than the speed of light, 
the inverse causal frequency
--while the physicists speaks of the arrow of time, 
their sin is missing the point
ἁμαρτία  -- missing the mark -- 
for I speak of the stutter and glide of time

Sound Splays Entering the Eye of the Needle

  for fire more than water repeats no path
  (or there is no path)
in fact, none of the traditional elements go askew,
 they cling, perhaps via entropy
to a mind-boggling stasis (as if I knew --
(the waves of the ocean we see
don't deliver deep-sea molecules of h20
to shore, as we'd like to think -- & I
asked Chas Whittaker: did
we ever leave Buffalo?
Repeating the unanswered question
to Raven and Karolina
on the banks of the Warta River
because we are made of so much water
Is that why we cohere?
Because we go nowhere?

that language generates difference alone
challenges surfaces that maintain...

words. yes and no. but I won't say them. sounds.
but not to play them. when they play you.
the result is aphoria of the tongue, fingers, eyes
and the mind's sphere hung on naming correctly
that which stops it's turning, goes nowhere.
let me feel the furthest star burst
and reveal inward forms anew
improbable unprovable
let the heart valve the deeps

there will be just you, reading the anecdote,
absorption atypical of greatest care,
which is love seen with disinterest
and caress, the reliable inner  ASMR

no theory of improvisation or composition
without reversal. rehearsal only in dreams.
where responsibility's terminal story
begins, the beguine, bangs PD,
cuts out of class the collaged track,
remixes the whack attack
into traces of Haitian intuition...
guess where that's at... earth trembles
even the palms seem to be swaying
mental palms leaves drip with
fine wines of autogenic jazz lines
as the rimes be saying these days
perforated leak the future into
the origins tricking down the words
 down, into your ditty-bag
into your ocular cones, into
your vast arrays, your Woodhenge of Saint Louis,
into the esaume of the Kogi , the node of gold tied 
black threaded across gold, to link the memory
of the rivers to the dark disc disappearance
that left the hold of God upon time
as a direction that stings, the remorse,
the apple in the garden defined
the gold of your most generous emotions 

 Aghast Nibiriu

spread before the human desert of drives 
splattered before oceans 
Tiamat slam-dunks and pays you in mountains,
--you have yourself here a piece broken off
a stone within which the soul stolen from--
where-from healing waters filter, thrive,
--so pay it forward in great lakes rather of love 
for the creation falls beyond stagnation 
and less one braggart swaggart like me
-- or someone I imagine  more (dis) advantaged --
in these bubbles of suburbs 
godless after Sumerian swing took off
the heads of the Pyramids
leaving you countless waves
in search of author, author, author, please, 
please, upload the applause, 
torrent file Hammurabic new laws, 
grant the false leaders wise mental leaves 
from this idiotic campaign of champagne and blood, 
author, author please upload the applause, pass the apple sauce, 
Gates, put your mouths where the money 
replaces hate from the state for the admiration of the meek 
who wait not inheritance but plant seeds 
hidden from their grief in secret gardens. don't complain. 
drain the indifference swamp. 
ask your sister about more than What's App. 
ask your brother whose brother is whose, is yours 
and save your fingers for the next poem. 
chocolate, magnesium, inulin... need I say more? 
should I carry on? what have you to say 
less bitter. less engorged on cynical pessimistic dither? 
what you've got but lost paradise, chained, 
and you to rock?

for Pēteris Cedriņš despite all that
and despite Aldington's dung heap, anyone's nationalism
for Chris Barron's vigilance, and by way of 

       ludic buddhas array in golden syllabic possibles 
raindance orders of trans-ressurection 
without fables of figurative rainbows in political border goblins'
fettered gloom of not being able to exercise jaws 
for proper tearing limbs perhaps joined to animal 
limbic memory: go instead using your near to human eyes 
for star-gazing into different points for the glory 
of your strength is to climb high in your mind to peaks 
where other earthly creatures are too weak to travel 
and marvel first before plucking feather for inscription
 and write it up instead of down for the eyes to rise 
on the spirit of the words rather than this bitter slamming 
of everything mediocre with your blunted hammers 
for no reason other than sounding correct and good 
before your court of lesser resolve and greater resentment still.
 we, if not designed, were never built 
for what those values value and if we were 
then we know how to mint new coin 
with deeper love and gentler impressions of the divine.




 __ and he? who was he staring into the hollow eye-holes 
of his father's skull        
before dawned the recognition 
the mother of hilarity  
spawned the spurned genius 
of an unearned promise? 
what devil wriggles in a heap of ashes 
and what blows of memory repel  
confidence in society, so the animal precarity 
weapons forth smiles so unhappy

__ and what did the abyss, gazing long back 
venture in reply but an inverted writing   
of an already backward scripture intoning 
the place of a distant charity smothered in the stars 
as if dead diamonds, the inedible silver of industry well-wrought,
would crown the ideas with the aura of idealism...
 clever, yet barren seedless imposter of the heavenly flower 
slaloming down the stem beckons
for without scienza supernova
 et ipsum factum convertuntur
shall not be lost and nothing done in vain
 that roots in faith the truth
and disdains not reflection...

dearest literary angels and daimons:
     what powers be given to words by books, I wonder,

beyond the simple sponsorship (censorship)
 of some collective entity? 
what compelled writing to be carved first? 
hath been there any book there
 unrelated to the book that is everywhere and nowhere,
   the book not made of hands?

 dear auditory hallucinogens, spirit catcher of Kali, orators of memory,
   coders for the data complex coin,
sellers of vintage vinyl collectors lps:

Recordings can remember the order of events
provided the events happen linearly
or recordings must remember events
that happen without any actual linearity
but which fall out in time
configures to appear
consecutive (art is needed to reveal the illusion)
which seems to be how events come together in memory anyway

 --we being struck from all sides by
multiple time arrows--
or governed by one constant vector --

The things stamped into time
Stamped into configuration T
hung on the Tau, corpse left to dry
The way the memory remembers itself on each occasion 
As a complex of enfolded miscegenations
Once impressed the
Delta Δ which never
recurs (mixes the fresh
with the salt waters)
Alone again naturally without 
Reference to external memories
manages the event
 & yet
They return there anyway
To claim the only title
worth competing for:
Which is created
by the flight


the suitcase rolling down the street I hear her rolling
 her suitcase down the street  or anyone's my suitcase 
rolling down the street somewhere anywhere 
it's me rolling down the street the carrier of nobody's 
belongings in particular going anywhere you can name 




no image of poets, no pictures of poems, no romance

no romance about poets until modernism flaunts the camera
boasts the silents black and white traums
made those untouchable surfaces almost lickable
watch them frozen in headlight fawns
conspire to break you in cold sweat
galvanize desire wired now to click
bait and switch the ash almost cash
like johnny in the pocket cheats
keats or shelley out of kubla kahn
deliberately getting it wrong

no romance about image of poets
before the emergence of the MI complex
drafted the laughter of innocents
into permanent undeclared war
and olson spoke through any one lion
feasted upon the blood-washed mirror
of self-spitting self-splitting
image of post-oedipal heretical
would be wannabees
putting on display the plays of eliot
for the age demanded it all
no romance held my mind for emily dickinson's picture
nor daguerrreo of dante or whitman the type
face alone words flickered flames in the nerves
burning the things known of in brands of meleager
and i never needed to see the expert dangler
of cigarettes or to see them around the bourgeois
parisian cafes doing nothing and getting nothing from it
but the option to dictate who's who later
from what photographer made them famous
i read the worlds of carl sanders
and langston hughes, claude mackay, kaufman
before ever I saw them just the voices
of many people heard clearly in songs
coming out of the rickety car radio
those voices nameless yet those voices
transparent souls inside the souls
pulling angels out of thin air
those voices nameless yet those voices/vectors 
transparent inside the soul
inside the unsold/pulling angels of thin air/ where did they go?
my stars! they disappeared one night/ they turned the corner/
 round the door/ dropped over events horizons/ 
the whisper reaching/ who it ever is
was me no longer/
aimless kingfisher issues no rings on rings/
but names within names stretch from midnight on/
in who's ears those ears your ears ours
silvery sarah, billie's cloud
permanent disaster



          Europeans were not exactly searching for their roots 
down there, were they?
but then again, who can say?
maybe the Hyena, maybe the Lion 
runs the blood of the European 
they safari for, self soul seeking. 
Is the art of translation to leave out the things 
people don't want to hear in favor of business as usual?
 the art of who is allowed to be an artist 
who can change the grammar 
and question without marks

who can turn the map upside down 
 with their own feet, walking the world

Photo from globe-trotter Kunda Ac, in Chile!
always amazing photos and true stories of travel


melatonin on my mind. serotonin.tuning tones in time. 
the God enzyme. the voice of rain wrinkling the skies 
and the skid of the skater the grinding wheels of the tram
the fish doesn't drink the water my child wonders 
why I ask sillier questions of the clouds adrift in dissolve 
the barriers between syllables join molecules hands in air 
as freedom falls up the spiral stairs 
and meets Hanuman opening his chest in hope

meaning is elsewhere, but I'd like to go there, bring some back here, from the beyond into lawless lands where theft called trade sharpens the blade and blunts the mind of my children
truth is like love in that you know you know you want to know and like love in that you turn away from eyes that need you and you turn truth into the hidden, the hidden away depths, the eyes in plain sight, the unspeakable and truth is the civilization likes the cactus but pulls off the quills, 
civilization puts proof into pills and gambles language of persuasion, takes kitty to the the vet to rip of the the claws and leave the doors open when we're choking to death on chemical clouds, 
truth just got branded and bandaged in a bland package stuffed into culture 
the bird, the word that art ate up, the paradise of vultures, birds themselves, unknowingly

 Did thorns come first?

 Did thorns come
before words?
roses, I mean 
petals of form
sepals and sigils
as for bleeding in the stead of

The poet does not write sitting 
nor laying down standing
and does write not even
clearly at times
they think enzymes code
leap-bridges in brainwaves
they are never used up entirely
the special sudden idea poems are not
about ideas a cage
without birds

But there the feathers are, anyway
all about, having spiraled
nobody knows the design 
merely probable

In Fibonacci
numbers seek no end in them-
Selves no proof
They just like combining the ways
simple numerical motor
skills without even
wheels or woe


"With African vodun—as we have seen—the integrity of the tribal person was one with a system which was conservative and traditional. There was no breath of subversion—no cleavage in the collective. History and art were one medium.
With Guyanese/West Indian limbo that cleavage is a fact and the rise of the imaginative arts has occurred in the face of long held intellectual and legal suspicion. Therefore the rise of the poet or artist incurs a gamble of the soul which is symbolized in the trickster (the spider or anancy configuration). It is this element of “tricksterdom” that creates an individual and personal risk absolutely foreign to the conventional sanction of an Old Tribal World: a risk which indentifies him (the artist) with the submerged authority of dispossessed peoples but requires of him, in the same token, alchemic resources to conceal, as well as elaborate, a far-reaching order of the imagination which, since it is suspect, could draw upon him a crushing burden of censorship in economic or political terms. And it is here, I believe, in this ambivalent gateway—this gamble of the soul—that there emerges the hope for a profoundly compassionate society committed to freedom within a creative scale that transforms ancient fears and deprivations."
Wilson Harris, “History, Fable and Myth in the Caribbean and Guianas” (1970)

March 24
the vision, like the dream, happens in a flash,
between memory & forgetting, falls, like the lash
of the eye turning into the mirror
the lakes make of the skies
divulging inward earths upon terra
firma, signed beneath seals
revealed the shadowy unique
ever terminal in the numerals
of design, dassein, web-weary
which I resign to you, most beyond,
of any desiring joy, to form
in silence those tones surrounding
the boundaries of every line.
i write in truth in faith
while the earth to us seems lost
and the sky crushed
by the cost of conquest
of the bum rush to limbo

the thread i have
but lost to you
we adjoin
such fevers, they give
sognatori signatori
dots of
have nots
will travel

the hittite
on sale

water is what her
water made, the earth
visible to the sky
beneath her feet, cosmo-
graph as inversion,
the well behind
the eyes alpha


 For Carlyle Reedy

  it's a balancing act
of balancing facts
within fictions
about factions
& the con-
sciousness, as such
of our actions
& where we ate

 what page was that?
& sinker
beginner is winner
who never left
a path
 part one
under one
 under one
come undone
I gather

(for the hounds,
music for the angelic)

i am a fool who imagines himself
an earthworm, a mouse, a pigeon
& piece of human packaging,
fool's bane mine to love the likes of you
sweet william, sweet jane, in the mud
as crud language generates grammar
crawling in your veins
it is likewise grammar calls in vain
to find a god beyond the pale
for a fool you know complains
all the while the owl pearls
the fool imagines himself an earth
an avalanche a tide to sweep away
imagining the fool who laughs
and loves you all the same
my penguins run like elephants
the eels entwine and dance
it is sometime no fun to be a man
and yet i am all the same
inside the wings fallen burn
or rise on tales to live with saints
while opinion runs a 3 ring circus
look at me I believe
no look at me, my belief,
no look at mine, no me
I went & shot a man who represented
what I hate and I am no one's hero
the story belongs to no one
in particular but a friend tells it true
we are all dangers on the prowl
our kings all dead our defenders foul
or non-existent and only imaginary
mother earth accepts our tears
you who science call dear
fear the mad fool atavist pigeon
better should you fear the pins
inside your own opinions
stuck in the cushion of your brain
attracts the bolts of the air
and set fire to your hair
for you are no fool, no man's fool
so be wary should you stumble
into the lion's den for then
you will have no prayer

Peformance at Tłusta Langusta, Poznan

   "Sauver les phénomènes, c'est les sauver là où ils ont lieu et là où ils ont leur lieu"
---Henry Corbin