The Proverbs of Ashendōn

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The Proverbs of Ashendōn. gnOme, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1544126326. 96pp. $6.00.

The litany of a parallel, venomous wisdom, The Proverbs of Ashendōn veer from the broken narrative of their initial occlusion, to the lucidity of theologico-literary madness as a new topography of knowledge. As an inverted deity, “Ashendōn comes bearing gifts.”

“Each page herein has a pair of proverbs, each pair apparently procreating further pairs—further proverbial couplings—unto and until the very last one, which understandably stands as a symbol not only of the whole endeavor (The Proverbs of Ashendōn) but also, and all the more so, of these ‘Proverbs’ as ashen ‘Postverbs’: Postmortem/Post«mot» ‘Proverbs’. The Proverbs of Ashendōn are in hindsight—looking back from their last page (Spolier Alert!)—spelled-outspilled-forth and spoiled to the point of putrefactionpetrification, and pulverized carbonation: a return to, and/or turn into ash. In the end, to quote Beckett’s Endon (morphic mirror of Beckett’s Murphy) or better yet—worse still—to quote the unnamed/unnameable Endon of Beckett’s Endgame, all that the reader will have seen in proceeding through The Proverbs will have been ashes, naught but ashes. In the end, in Ashendōn, nothing but ash: ashen grey, deathly white; the final symbol uniting the (w)hole is the ‘debased cornucopia’ (Ashendōn’s words) of a fitting funereal urn, ‘symbol of the age’. What appeared to be couplings—procreative pairings—were in fact only the ongoing onanism (‘onanistic…repetitive patterns as a kind of fuel’: an ongoing funereal fire) of one already expired, already post-pyre. … On the last page, Godot-like (Note herenow, that there is no need for Spoiler Alerts, since everything is already spoiled), the sole proverb states at last that ‘Ashendōn is coming’—ya viene Ashendōn—but at this point, in this pointed proverb (this singular one following page after page of pairings), it is evident that everything which could have come has already/onanistically come.  All is here/herewith Ashendone.” — Dan Mellamphy 

“There is a story of an old wise man who, on a trip to Mount Shasta, wandered into Pluto Cave, a giant lava tube that extends over a mile below ground. He walked deep into the cave, gingerly gliding his fingers against its ashen walls of andesitic lava, his left hand not knowing what his right hand was doing. In a moment of pure perplexity, he soon discovered the small, raised remnants of what felt like braille against his fingers. Upon further inspection, he noticed that they were inverted carvings (like the ones lovers might etch into a tree) from someone writing from the other side of the wall, that is, from inside the ancient rock. The wise man could not read it, so he put his nose up to it and smelled it. It whispered back: ‘205.’ ~ Is that not an odd story? I don’t understand it at all.” — Liesl Ketum, Humbert Divinity School

“The direction of human philosophical development has, for the past thousands of years, mostly been against systems and behaviors that pose an immediate threat to our self-indulgence, both physical and mental. The world from which The Proverbs of Ashendōn arises is a darkly surreal mirror of the world we recognize and live in, in which a fulfillment-seeking human species is snared spider-web like between socialization and total individuation, fastidious materialism and occult speculation, mechanical movement and conscious spirit. In it, humankind is now crossing the dark psychological terrain between every representation of these two poles, taking its writings with it. Ashendōn is the Charon of this crossing. The pages of these Proverbs reverberate with hypomnemata cum anathemata, vague undercurrents, and void-echoed self-suggestions that the current timeline of history is one in which certain eventual discoveries about the human species will reveal some ultimate, true nature or aspect of reality, or some reason or purpose for the existence of everything, an unnamed key to life itself that is given to all humans to understand; but a key that takes the form of a door, to a vast, cryptal librarium of portmanteau coinages and oscillating meanings, of luxuriously worded juxtapositions where the gothic mind and hell-spawned modern thoughts mix, of poetic musings and chaotically pointing typographic arrows. Dually displaying total presence of mind and oracular dementia, The Proverbs of Ashendōn manifests as a backwards/oblivionwards book of hypomnemata, one that implicitly recognizes-slash-solemnizes the protean realities of language, symbols, pictures, and their lost origins in early human history. At the same time, objectivity, cynicism and language all triangulate into words and symbols that are hostilely left to the reader to impart meaning to. All categories, all states of human behavior, sciences, sociolinguistics, events both historic and prehistoric, religions, beliefs, and origins, all are subjects here, as are absence and void. The Proverbs of Ashendōn leaves no stone unshattered.” – oudeís

PoA @ goodreads

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the spiral consilience

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oudeís. the spiral consilience. gnOme. 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1541059979. ISBN-10: 1541059972. 78 pp. $7.00

This chapbook starts by directly addressing humankind’s connection to the vastness of outer space, and sets forth the premise that death (as a permanent state of being) is of the same substance, or soul, as whatever exists outside of the Universe. It then veers off on a tangent into stranger territory, and talks of unnamed worlds, without life yet possessed by some unliving, sentient force, whose spheres have drifted to the most distant regions of outer space; or, more properly, into the nothingness that reigns illimitably outside of space, where it has been speculated that no laws of nature can exist. Gigantic, otherworldly graves abound in rhyming descriptions of lifeless geographies. Monuments, catacombs and buildings, all deserted and of unknown origin, are lyrically narrated into existence deep beneath the surface of the Earth, as well as on and under the surfaces of distant asteroids. Alien cenotaphs resembling something Hugh Ferriss might have sketched from a fever dream are articulated through regular, metered verse. A sinister thread connecting all these massive structures with the aforementioned sentient force, which we are told holds all life and death in its grip, runs through the poems. Hymns to the universe in all its barrenness are juxtaposed with landscapes of horror, all elegantly unscrolled in lurid poetics that are made all the more disturbing by their intentional symmetry. The final poem seems to be a negation of itself, plus all of the other poems in the volume. The book ends with several prose statements of a negative nature concerning the fate of humanity in the Universe.

“Odysseus, in Homer’s Odyssey, plays upon his name—Ou-déis/Ou-tis meaning no-one/no-thing—in order, through nomenclatural disorder (or rather: divisiondivergence), to outwit and outwitness the Cyclops, a creature of singular vision and ultimately also of unbounded blindness. Oudeís, in the spiral consilience, sings a similar siren-song and sets out on a similar voyage, albeit one over the course of which the Ulyssean body, in turn, makes a rather mèticulous U-turn and turns out to be a Mètic Mœbius itself (the Mètic Mœbius stripped Bare by her BachelorsMastersDoctors and Readers). “Time left no corpse but infinite space”: here, in the first words of the spiral consilence, the corpus—the collated collection qua bound book—corporealises out of an excised yet all-the-more exquisite corpse. This excision is, precisely, an exacting and enacted kenosis: an open negation that finds affirmation on the very next page and then onwardon and on, from siren-song to siren-songvoid vocalisation to vocalised void—to the ever-approaching parousia/ousia beyond the vale of the valley of death/revival/regression/recision-and-reclamation. The recitations herein—the{ir} excisionsrecisions, and incantatory reclamations—are those of a rabid iconovore, and each of its devoured figures or forms informs in its deformation and in its devouring the various epitaphs (or rather, chronotaphs: there where time left no corpse but infinite space) of an incomplete whole, of an ongoing hole-complex, full of cross-cutting tunnels as vast as The Great Wall of China: there where they are digging The Pit of Babel qua Garden of Forking Paths (pace Borges and Kafka). Oudeís, in the spiral consilience, engraves in each chronotaph-epitaph—each poetic page—the gist and the widening/planet-wide gyre of the grave-digger, but a grave-digger set adrift on the seas, digging into the tides of today with the oar of Odysseus: that oar of {y}ore which turns out (in yet another Ulyssean U-turn) to be a Golden Rod or Rod of Divination, singing in its Sea-Slicing qua Dowsing-of-the Deep the siren-song of Wor{l}dly Icons and Other Conjurations.” —Dan Mellamphy 

“If God is the tangential point between zero and infinity, the spiral consilience is a reverberant long playing black work of telepathic theology.” — Doktor Faustroll, author of An Ephemeral Exegesis on Crystalline Ebrasions

“My reading of the poems in this book has only confirmed once again that I can no longer respond in any meaningful or robust way to written literature. At this point in my life, I can react only to watching or listening to performances of writing, something that no doubt sounds strange and even pathological to others. Nevertheless it, this is how it is for me. Even my old favorites no longer provoke the interest and emotion they once did. I deeply regret this condition of limitation. I might describe this condition as one of literary anhedonia, likening it to the better known experience of musical anhedonia, from which I also suffer and which I realize is not comprehensible to the majority of individuals. Thus, I must apologize for my inability to offer a blurb to what may very well be a fine book.” —Thomas Ligotti

SC @ goodreads

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The Filatory: Compendium I

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The Filatory: Compendium I.  gnOme. 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1540567512. ISBN-10: 1540567516. 154 pp. $7.00

This collection marks new experimental domains for The Filatory, an unidentified circle that operates with the intent of concealment: re-creating the impulse of secret societies in an age of instant exposure to all kinds of thought. The specific offering found here is a joint effort of several international factions, textual fragments that are both offered in original English and translated into such. The Filatory: Compendium I generates ideas that displace expression, taking on a life and clearing a space of their own.

CONTENTS: Strands. Book I: Secrecy, Suspicion, The Writing of the Haunt, Architectonics, Counter-Prayer, Collection, Artificiality. Book II: Smoothness, Bones, Laceration, Threading, Layers, Emblems, Apparatus, Saturation, Residue, Slippage, Estrangement, Pockets, Gestures, Distractions, Dreams, The Call.

“A labyrinth woven out of Ariadne’s thread.” — Amy Ireland

“This Compendium is a pandemonic response to the apollonian data-networks. Swarm-written by a legion of damned souls crawling their way through Negarestanian worm-holes to gather in a global conspiracy for committing a multitude of sins, The Filatory Compendium will kindle an ambivalent worldwide revolution of darkness, despair and joy. Inspired by the ancient arts of commentary, collection and murmuring, the writings weaved by this secret society are directed to those few ‘endangering individuals’ onto whose bodies ‘the effects of secrecy are inscribed’ —so they can act as non-ingenuous transmitters of the deepest vibrational pleasures of sin. ‘The secret reveals much more than it conceals at times,’ whispers the acephalous, multi-tendriled beast. The gates of Hell have been ajar for a while, and the old sinners of wisdom—the ones who once witnessed Dante passing by— are walking among us in disguise. Weaponize si(g)ns. The thread is out there . . .” — Germán Sierra, author of Standards (Pálido Fuego, 2013) and Intente usar otras palabras (Mondadori, 2009).

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FC @ goodreads

Geophilosophical Branding

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Maure Coise. Geophilosophical Branding. ISBN-13: 978-1537276588. ISBN-10: 1537276581. gnOme. 2016. 132 pp.

Reputation currency. X file. Anti-humanist/inhumanist perspectives. The colour out of space of reasons: representation, embodiment, and emanation.

Commodities of motherly love found corporate culture. Paranoid materialism refers structure: environment, technology. Human nature ought maintain relations with nonhuman nature, by engaging human body, example, through qigong. Develop body, develop relations with family, with land, some, freedom state, accord with heaven. Alienating the explorers. No, formal, time. But danger, she says, cut off her line. Sight, the same judgment suspended her pursuit. Course, unwritten. Dangerous desire continues her illusory sovereignty. She doesn’t see—like inside blowing her foghorn signals. Not sounding warning, but summoning fog. Only reasoning private property, she says, public service.

“Poetry in the only form it has left to exist in—an exit from poetry, timestamped with your own epitaph. Geophilosophical Branding is a fucked-up, Confucian diagonal that will take you nowhere but into that abyss in which the ever-alienated explorer touches its own incomputable hole. If you’ve ever wondered how to remove your skin, what it is that zero conceives, if you aren’t an island, or what the stakes of bolting reason back onto the earth are, this is for ‘you’. If not, a warning: do not read Coise unless you have a lot of blood to give.” – Amy Ireland

GB @ goodreads

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A Natural History of Seaweed Dreams

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Rasu-Yong Tugen, Baroness de TristeombreA Natural History of Seaweed Dreams. ISBN-10: 0692712097. ISBN-13: 978-0692712092. gnOme, 2016. 118 pp. $9.99.

“Plankton-fed, sleep-drugged eyes cast down in the direction of the sacred.”

“Manta rays bloom in cosmic night.”

A collection of prose poems reduced to their elemental, mineral quintessence. A Natural History of Seaweed Dreams is a companion volume to Songs from the Black Moon.

“One does not read the Baroness’s poems, one inhales them – like air, like mist, like vapour.” Sarojini Naidu, author of The Bird of Time

“Every poem, as it nears perfection, achieves its own silence. If the poems in this book were any more precise, they would disappear entirely.”
Haruo Sato, author of Gloom in the Country

“What we dimly call the natural world is but a decaying and fecund hallucination creeping out of our very bodies. The poems in this book prove it. They are not even poems; they are taxonomies.”
Jean Lorrain, author of Memoirs of an Ether-Drinker

NHSD @ goodreads

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Annabella of Ely

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Annabella of Ely: Poems I-LXVII. Foreword by Liesl Ketum. ISBN-10: 0692709576. ISBN-13: 978-069270957338pp. gnOme, 2016. $7.00.

Long thought to have been inadvertently thrown on her funeral pyre, this recently discovered text tells the story of Annabella of Ely’s spiritual transformation. In a series of seventy-seven short, distinctive poems, Annabella describes the heights and deep abysses of her mystical journey, one marked by suffering, bliss, and most importantly, Love.

“Annabella of Ely is a miracle. She takes me aside from the multitude. She places her fingers in my ears. She spits and touches my tongue. She looks up to heaven and sighs. She says, ‘be opened.’” – Nicola Masciandaro

“These endeared utterances invoke the poetic abyss of Hadewijch, of Mechthild of Magdeburg, of Lydwina of Schiedam, of a distant and necrophiliac mysticism stumbling higher and higher, ensuring the oblivion of its author.”
~ Rasu-Yong Tugen, Baroness de Tristeombre, author of Songs From The Black Moon

“While little is known of Annabella of Ely, the poetic fragments herein—documenting her physical decline and spiritual ascent—bear the same elements of marked religiosity, mysticism, histrionic behaviour, and annihilative bliss we find in hagiographical accounts of Lydwina of Schiedam. But in the absence of a comparative oeuvre (Lydwina wasn’t partial to poetic experiment), the verses themselves—both in their bewildering brevity and in the stylistic decisiveness with which they ‘chime’ out of a state of extreme anguish—evoke those of another figure, who, in the summer of 1944, was oscillating between convalescence and vigor: Georges Bataille. In Annabella’s feverous writing, in the visceral manner she maps her self-naughting, and in the poetic invectives that quite literally spew from her lips, we are reminded of that life lived at the limit of the impossible: ‘sickness the death of the world / I am the sickness / I am the death of the world.’” – Edia Connole

AoE @ goodreads

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The Walk of Absence

WA front smallErba. The Walk of Absence. gnOme, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0692660454. ISBN-10: 0692660453. 50pp. $6.00.

The apocalypse has already occurred, and we missed it. God is not dead, as Nietzsche or Mahfouz claimed, but he has simply left, as Samuel Beckett shows us. Man now lingers out of inertia, suspended indefinitely in a kind of purgatory between an abandoned heaven and a lukewarm hell—as always, but with no intention of bringing the journey to an end. Is poetry possible in the aftermath of this anticlimactic apocalypse? How to raise the stakes when there is nothing to lose? Can we devise better and more reckless games, now that the director has abandoned the show and the theatre is burned down? Perhaps the post-apocalyptic human will prove even more resilient than his predecessor, precisely because he lacks the will to live or die. And so, many of these poems were written with those in mind whom we did not lose to war, but to indifference, those that were taken not by death, but by the tepid current of everyday life…

In this book of dark verse. Nostalgia, Loss, and Ruin decay in the sweet stink of Love . . . – E. Elias Merhige

“Precise in its effort to provide readers with nothing less than a grid reference map of nowhere, each (poetic) line pointing back to the work’s auto-poetics of absenteeism, this essential collection performs what the ground often does when kicked up by the desolate gusts of a beautiful, insouciant wind.” – Liesl Ketum, Humbert Divinity School

WoA @ goodreads

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Hemisphere Eleven

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N. Hemisphere Eleven. HWORDE, 2016. ISBN-10: 069263147X ISBN-13: 978-0692631478. 86 pp. $6.00

A discontinuous continuation of fallen, unfollowable imperatives, numbering one thousand three hundred and sixty-one.

“A nearly ecstatic exercise in inconsequentiality.” — Oliver Trundle, author of La Montgolfière

 

 

H11 @ goodreads

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Verses from the Underlands

verses front smallerSubject A. Verses from the Underlands. gnOme, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0692621578. ISBN-10: 0692621571. 52pp. $6.00.

A collection of the fantastical verses of the suspected serial killer known as Subject A, written during his incarceration in a secure psychiatric facility from 1977 to 1980. The poems, baroque reflections of an alternate eldritch reality referred to as “the Underlands,” give seductive and haunting dimension to the poet’s undisproven claim that he never murdered but only “transfigured” his victims in locations “not to be found on any map of the world.”

Everyone should be aware that there is a strain of poetry that embraces stricken visions, hopelessly so. They should know that there are bibles of verse, Maurice Rollinat’s Les Névroses for instance, that elegantly sing of sick nightmares and thereby critique the wholesome norm. They should be force-fed this knowledge, if only that they might be robbed of some parcel of their contemptible health. Verses from the Underlands excellently contributes to this mission with its revelations of a supernatural malady with neither a cure nor even an earthly diagnosis. – Thomas Ligotti

Some books should be encased in iron and buried in the deepest, blackest hole, never to be read. This is one of them. – Amy Ireland

This collection is a valuable and timely addition to the serial killer literature that has emerged from the madness and malaise of 1970s America. Excellently contextualized by a criminologist of patent accomplishment, it has, however, less in common with the poetic invectives typical of the genre, and more, it would seem, with the lyrical tradition of a simultaneously burgeoning heavy metal culture. Taken collectively, Subject A’s charnel verses constitute something like a concept album that—meticulously detailing the terrain of an illimitable and unbounded nullity—reaffirms, for a new generation, the mutually complicit, blackening enamor of heavy metal and serial killing. Verses from the Underlands is metallic mythopoeia at its finest. – Edia Connole, co-author of Floating Tomb: Black Metal Theory

Outside the grasp of clinical psychology, exceeding the grip of some penal system, and beyond the pale of civilization altogether, the Real is Subject A’s first victim. These verses traverse vast labyrinthine worlds of doom and slaughtered universes where language is left only two choices: to fall silent or turn into a scream. Lucid and deranged, they allow no hiding place or escape into some system of preservation, for nothing will remain untouched here: and all that stands shall fall “in carnage-fields of blood and flames.” – Cergat, author of Earthmare: The Lost Book of Wars

Being someone who generally hates poetry that attempts to beautify life, there is something instantly likable in a poetry that twists life into a dagger aimed at itself. These verses stitch together a Dunsanian dream world, but one made of mortuary cloth. – Ben Woodard, author of Slime Dynamics

Worth buying just for the blurbs. – Nick Land

VU @ goodreads

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The Lost Couplets of Pir Iqbal the Impaled

front cover coupletsThe Lost Couplets of Pir Iqbal the Impaled. Trans. Adrian Xavier. ISBN-13: 978-0692596081. ISBN-10: 0692596089. gnOme, 2015. 38pp. $7.00.

The one whose gaze sets moths aflame
Will not look at me.
So blackened is my hanging corpse,
So deformed the tree.

There is little record of the life of the Albanian poet known as Pir Iqbal the Impaled. The survival of his verses is due to Hilmi Abdyl Maliqi (1856-1928) of Rahovec, who considered them worthy of transcription into the small notebook discovered in 1999 by Prof. Nikoll Krasniqi of the University of Priština. There Maliqi writes of him: “Iqbal was a solitary dervish, originally from Sharra in Tirana, who in his later years dwelled among the caves near the ruined Christian hermitage and monastery at Koriša. As a young man he joined a tekke in Gjakova, but was expelled for unknown reasons. In middle age he led a largely itinerant life, travelling as far Istanbul, Cairo, and Rome, during which period he had contact with Naim Frashëri, who mentions him with regard in the preface to Gjithësia [Omneity], published in Bucharest in 1895 by the Shoqëri e të shtypuri shkronja shqip (Society for the Publication of Albanian Writing). In 1896, he suffered a mental collapse in Skopje and was later identified by Haxhi Ymer Lutfi Paçarizi as ‘mast-Allah’ [God-intoxicated]. His couplets, though heterodox, were known by mouth in the region, mostly among the Melami Sufis of Kosova and Macedonia. After the revolt in 1910, Iqbal publicly renounced Islam at Priština during the visit of Sultan Mehmed V in 1911. The following year, he converted to Christianity and was impaled for apostasy in Prizren. The people of the district, however, regarded his apostasy as false, a perverse expression of his spiritual intoxication (sakr). Thus, after his death, in honor of his mystical inspirations (waridat), he became known as Pir Iqbal the Impaled. The dervish’s soul is lost. By the grace of Allah, his lines are not.” Given the directness and crude gracefulness of Iqbal’s style, his verses present few problems for the translator. To convey something of his rhythm in English, I have split his couplets into stanzas of four-lines. We hope the reader will find them utile et dulce. (from the translator’s Preface)

I fly the seas of dreams for you,
I swim all the skies.
And nowhere do you appear, not
Even in your eyes.

“It is either by senseless fate or by profound happenstance that these poems have survived their author. Iqbal, the enigmatic, ascetic dervish has left behind lines that are instructions for bewilderment. These couplets reduce mystical writing to its brutalist minimum. Only practice remains.” ~ Rasu-Yong Tugen, Baroness de Tristeombre, author of Songs From The Black Moon

“An essential document in the sorrow of being.” ~ Nicola Masciandaro, author of Ocean Seeping Eyes

“As the tablet gives lift to its own effacement, so too do these ingots of darkness mysticism render in concise, passionate flashes the continual fluxing destruction and reconstitution at the heart of a yearning spirit’s divine ordeal.” – Levi Rumata, author of Scrims

“‘I am love-wounded past repair, / Yet still babble on. / Tis no longer I who speak, but / My severed head’s tongue.’ The Lost Couplets is a deep simultaneous plunge into the possibility of poetry beyond the page and the impossibility of knowledge without sorrow. Be prepared to abandon your desires by listening to the couplets of Pir Iqbal from the mouth of Adrian Xavier; and watch the verses perform a Sufi whirling before your weeping eyes.” ~ Eleni Ikoniadou, author of The Rhythmic Event

“Not since Annabella of Ely has a poet so succinctly and masterfully penned the spiraling path to annihilative bliss. Read Pir Iqbal and be destroyed. Being destroyed, may you live forever.” ~ Liesl Ketum, Humbert Divinity School

LCPII @ goodreads

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