Two Plugs


Mike Land & I dropped acid in Logan
Square, danced down to the Drop,
spaced out in the dank basement;
sashayed over to Jen Cho's first floor
apartment on Lombard Street, where
she held court, partying with her U of
Delaware "green" buddies; & huffed some
hash on top of the acid. Mike sat in an
armchair, rocking. Erin, Jen's chum,
sent me purple signals, but Mike had to be
wheeled out of there. Jen's was a floor to
crash on, for Erin & I later. I got my news.
Over at the Drop, Erin's geeks had our number-
I woke Mike up to hear the code: two plugs.

Notes: Cheltenham Elegies and WYB Sonnets


In examining prosodic structures in my body of work, it is noticeable that discrepancies present themselves in how prosody in general is approached. One interesting dichotomy subsists between the When You Bit...sonnets and the Cheltenham Elegies. Where melopoeia is concerned, the WYB sonnets are lavish leaning towards overripe: they cluster end-rhymes with internal rhymes, assonances, and the rest to heighten the carnival frisson of overwhelming romance, sexuality, intrigue, and transgression (the Something Solid sonnet series, from 2017 and out, focuses more on memory, recollected in semi-tranquility, and restrained music):

I ache: dull, sharp,
in a heap of paper.
All paper: picture,
bright, bold, dark.
I have nailed you
to a piece: black.
I darken touched
things: I’m used.
I write you, you,
you, as if kissed
by a fresh body,
rose-petal bliss.
I drowse: numb
as cocaine gums.

The nods to Shelley (“I pant, I tremble, I expire…”) and to Romanticism and the lyric “I” in general are right on the surface, and the whole game is the consummation of total aesthetic richness. It is a sense of wanting something, and getting it. The consolidation of end-rhymes with internal rhymes heightens this process. This is 2007 (the book was published in ’08, but much of it was written in the autumn of ’07). Four years later, and with the added encumbrance of a deepening national (and global) recession, I was ready to write the Cheltenham Elegies, and the note of lacrimae rerum was placed into them by impersonal circumstances becoming personalized. The melopoeiac dimension of the Cheltenham Elegies, next to the When You Bit sonnets, is hollowed out, emptied, reflecting a state of impoverishment; internal rhymes must suffice to color the poems, while end-rhymes are left out to preclude the rosy sense of ravishment in the earlier poems:

And out of this nexus, O sacred
scribe, came absolutely no one.
I don’t know what you expected
to find here. This warm, safe,
comforting suburb has a smother
button by which souls are unraveled.
Who would know better than you?
Even if you’re only in the back of
your mind asphyxiating. He looked
out the window— cars dashed by
on Limekiln Pike. What is it, he said,
are you dead or do you think you’re Shakespeare?

Different audiences over a long period of time will find mete to embrace different kinds of prosody. For myself, I would tend to value the hollowed out starkness of the Elegies, their implicit vow against the traditional ripeness of end-rhymes, against the twisted, torqued half-lyricism of the sonnets (if I call them half-lyrical, it is because they are welded to a narrative structure which is book-length and involves other characters, rather than the traditional lyric, which sticks to a first person perspective.)

Song for Maria Gingerich: State College: 1998



My scarlet letter let you in
     We rallied on our separate beds
         The way to blue was flushed with ice
              Your tongue possesses everything

(lighten my,
watch my,
  blow my)

                        In any case the case is closed
                  We walk the streets, a trackless train
              My verdant prayer is your own skin
         I can't believe I'm free again

Relax-

Ice yr drink-

Think-

Pursue a purpose, lost in flame
     Become the scum you dote on, crab,
          The sky, the ground, the square you are
                The realm of flesh is one lone purge...

mercy        mercy      mercy
     mercy                mercy

To Happy Valley


The State College townie kids, bound
to Happy Valley, got their kicks where
they found them, gave off an air of
ennui shot with doom (human life
having granted them no escape valve),
yet were accommodating to me. On
what it means to look around a small
town, and know that it is everything to you,
encompasses all you are, Lords over you
confining curses: to trip with these kids was
to understand these limitations, the magic
& the agony. Lisa smirked, skinny in her boots,
hair cut short but for the one fringe over
her left eye, & passed me water for the E high-

Lisa- after twenty years, the bathroom,
you remember, in The Coffee Cellar,
was all black, with a wide mirror.
Stoned, I dragged you (sweet sixteen) in there
to see if I could kiss you, wrapped in
black leather pants; you banged in
two-inch-high boots, tawny hair-fringe
there, over your eye. I got the kiss; we ambled
out hand in hand; wound up back in
again. You made me vow to you
something I can't remember. How
townie girls talked- I'd nod, get lost.
But the womb-space was complete-
we were safe, ascendant into space, hopeless-

New Argotist Online E-Book: The Posit Trilogy


The new Adam Fieled Argotist Online E-Book is The Posit Trilogy. Many thanks to Jeffrey Side.

"The Posit Trilogy initiates a cycle, and then repeats it twice: a kind of Father, Son, Holy Ghost structure around the poet's quest to achieve self-hood, through analysis of different kinds of subjectivity (visionary, practical), explorations of dreams (consciousness creating its own kinds of matrixes and mazes to wander around in), and attempted resonances with the American city of Philadelphia (birthplace of America, enchanted by history, architecture, hidden depths, and interstitial, subterranean structures). The cycles that constitute The Posit Trilogy ricochet back and forth, with an eye towards creating a poetic landscape individual, idiosyncratic, and loopy enough to stimulate any human brain receptive to its advances."

Here is the current list of Argotist Online E-Books.

Sonnet: The solemnity of a grey January sky...

The solemnity of a grey January sky
ricochets back to me, as rain spatters
the river, all the not-redeemable things
about the life we had together, sloped
sometimes into ecstasy, creeping up
horror on the other side of things- I
threw out the tapes of our conversations
I made, where you spelled out what I
already knew- you were ready to die
then, never having been the "heavy dyke"
you wanted to be, partly because you
weren't only a dyke- you were my
lover. The sky flattens out on matter
changing form, whiteness, in script, out of script.

The Ontological Contradiction (from Postulates and Empty Spaces) ('14)


Though the evidence from Kant's dialectics suggest that substance, that-which-is, causality, is accidental; and furthermore, that, if substance is accidental, indigenous meaning inhering in substance is unlikely; it also then becomes true that a question arises as to the practicality of interrogating the posited null set around inherent meaning in substance, that-which-is, from the side of complete and total immersion in substance/causality; and if meaning is seen to inhere in the possible meaningless or not; or if the beyond-us which must be antecedent to all-that-is necessitates a practical cognitive withdrawal.

If substance/causality is an accident, then it is also necessarily the result of a contingency, or strictly speaking, the contingent; the non-existence of substance subsisted as a possibility. What inheres in the contingent is the possibility of non-existence; yet accidents/contingencies are, or tend to be, contained and delimited by/within discrete successions within increments of time; the possibility, within contingencies, of non-existence, conditioned by an antithetical result (existence), seems also to necessitate discretion, discrete successions in which a change occurred (non-existence into existence). But all-that-is, substance, causality, necessarily always was and will be; time creates a formal condition of indiscretion, and endless series of successions. The Ontological Contradiction built into Kant's dialectics is this- substance/causality cannot be involved in contingency, or it would cease to be what it is (self-sufficient, permanent), which is impossible; yet, if substance/causality is an accident, it must have contingency in its economy as a hinge towards involvement, in some succession somewhere.