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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  April 2012

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS April 2012

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Subject:

Re: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker

From:

Jim Andrews <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British & Irish poets <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 8 Apr 2012 12:46:36 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (375 lines)

i see a reference to it at 
http://english.utah.edu/eclipse/projects/INDEX/LangIndex.pdf

in the "1981 Special L=A=N=G=U=AG=E issue of Open Letter"

which is cool in itself. Open Letter is a Canadian journal run forever by 
Frank Davey and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E is probably the most famous North American 
lit mag of the last 30 years.

Let me see if I can find an archive of  L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E

Aha. Here it is: 
http://english.utah.edu/eclipse/projects/LANGUAGEvol4/pictures/050.html

I look forward to reading this!

ja

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Green" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "British & Irish poets" <[log in to unmask]>; "Jim 
Andrews" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2012 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker


Jim, I wasn't at all offended - sorry if I offended you.  I just had this
zany film noir scenario come into my head. I wasn't really trying to cast
you as the bad cop.   Your reference to  Burroughs is spot-on. And your
dissection of "TV occultism" is very accurate.  Although I've sometimes been
guilty of gorging on ectoplasmic candy...

The essay was originally written  for  L.A.N.G.U.A.G.E, but I can't recall
which number.  I think it's now on line somewhere - I'll try and dredge it
up.




On 8/4/12 20:01, "Jim Andrews" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Sorry, Paul, to have slightly offended you, it seems. I didn't mean to be
> Inquisitorial. It just strikes me as an obvious question, concerning your
> fabulous work, that I haven't seen you address.
>
> I wasn't aware of 'Poetics of the Paranormal'; I don't see that online
> anywhere. I'd be interested in reading it, if I may.
>
> Some writers, such as yourself and WS Burroughs, introduce paranormal or
> magical elements in an interestingly literary way, so that the nature and
> significance of the magical element becomes an interesting puzzle in the
> piece, and it almost always has an interestingly psychological origin,
> rather than being simply inexplicable. Whereas, on the other end of the
> spectrum, the paranormal or magical elements in some work, particularly in
> TV, just seems like made for TV mysticism and offers an easy way to turn 
> the
> plot in any desired direction, a kind of sloppy plot grease. Also, since
> electronic and computer media are so pleasantly illusionary--it's so easy 
> to
> make people appear/disappear and perform other 'magical' tricks--occultish
> dimensions in electronic media provide a kind of eye candy or mind candy 
> or
> ectoplasmic candy. The whole medium is imaginary, is as imaginary as is
> humanly imaginable; magic 'works well' in it, can easily be made to seem
> 'normal', not 'paranormal'.
>
> So, yes, 'Poetics of the Paranormal' is a very interesting title.
>
> ja
> http://vispo.com
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paul Green" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2012 2:31 PM
> Subject: Re: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker
>
>
> "What is your relation with the occult, Paul?"   Agent JA slapped the
> paperback on the table and turned on the recorder.  "This book alludes to
> the Qabalah, mediaeval grimoires, Hermetic magick, John Dee, Crowleyan
> Thelema , Chaos magick, mediumship, electronic messages from the alleged
> undead, spontaneous human combustion.... Now I'm a fairly laidback kind of
> guy but there are decent people out there who are getting kinda itchy 
> about
> this. What's going on?  Are you - a believer?"
>
> "I'm an... agnostic neo-gnostic chaoist... this week, anyway..."
>
> The man from VISPO  adjusted the brim of his fedora and stared the
> stuttering poet right in the eye.
>
> "What the hell is that supposed to mean?  You're coming on like some old
> acid-head off 4th Avenue. I've heard junkies on East Hastings talk more
> sense..."
>
> "I'm actually moving to Hastings soon."
>
> "I guess that explains  a lot."
>
> "It's a sea-side town in England."
>
> "OK, OK...just give us the facts... make it snappy..."
>
> "Well, first we need a definition of terms.  'Occult' means hidden, of
> course, and there's a great deal about the space-time Polverse - sorry, I
> mean the universe - which is still hidden. And, increasingly what appears 
> to
> be be revealed by quantum mechanics and the much maligned science of
> parapsychology suggests a world-view which elides with certain aspects of
> the magickal tradition, particularly  in its modern and post-modern
> developments by Crowley, Carroll and others.  As for belief, that's just a
> tool for focussing attention..."
>
> "Oh yeah? Well, we believe you've been selling illegal Thanatrons. In 
> fact,
> we know it. There's a promotional leaflet right here in this book."
>
> "It's a prose poem, as a matter of fact.  It illustrates the point  I was
> making earlier.  The persona to whom the piece is addressed believes he 
> can
> access the dead via his DIY technology.  But the "entities" he contacts 
> are
> actually multi-dimensional clones of his selves,  whose existence are as
> transitory as his own...That's one working hypothesis any way..."
>
> "OK, I've heard enough.  Take him  back to the Bunker..."
>
> ____________________________________________________________
>
> Actually, it's a very good question, Jim, which deserves a proper answer. 
> I
> did write an essay 'Poetics of the Paranormal?' a few years ago, but that
> only scraped the surface, and now I ought to develop it in much greater
> depth.  Currently all my books are boxed up to go into storage but later
> this year I may attempt to explicate in more detail  in some kind of
> theoretical statement.  I guess my relationship with the occult veers from
> passionate romance to divorce on grounds of mental cruelty...
>
>
>
>
> On 3/4/12 01:45, "Jim Andrews" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> I listened to Thanatron, Paul.
>>
>> I remain sincerely skeptical about the occult. But I appreciate that I do
>> not have to be a card carrying occultist to appreciate your work. I can
>> interpret it variously, metaphorically.
>>
>> What is your relation with the occult, Paul? Are you a believer? What's 
>> up
>> with that?
>>
>> In my fave work of yours, the occult element is not really crucial. The
>> reader can take it or leave it or deal with it variously.
>>
>> ja
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Paul Green" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 2:16 PM
>> Subject: Re: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker
>>
>>
>> Thanks, Jim for your encouraging words.  There are  some recurrent 
>> themes,
>> I
>> think, in the book overall despite the stylistic changes.  The last and
>> quite recent piece, 'Thanatron"  is  certainly a direction to the dead
>> end,
>> in a different context. Have you heard the audio version at:
>>
>> http://www.culturecourt.com/Audio/CCaudio20.htm
>>
>> I recorded the vocal for this at the blind college in Hereford where I
>> used
>> to work and Lawrence Russell  did the soundscaping in his home studio at
>> Willis Point.
>>
>> The UBC station (CYVR as it was then) was actually well equipped for the
>> time - better than downtown CBC as it had only just been built. We used 
>> to
>> record my CBC  R&B show there until the CBC technicians objected. CYVR
>> also
>> recorded a whole  series of readings by Canadian poets from the West 
>> Coast
>> -"Writers in Action" - I don't know what became of the tapes.
>>
>> Last time I was in Vancouver (2006) I took a brief peek at  East Hastings
>> and didn't hang  about either...
>>
>> You can get the book via the Book Depository - UK based but they do free
>> shipping to Canada:
>>
>> http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Gestaltbunker-Paul-Green/9781848611931
>>
>> or via Amazon.com  or .ca  or Barnes & Noble, apparently.
>>
>>
>> On 2/4/12 20:15, "Jim Andrews" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>> For folks on the list, if you haven't heard Paul's Directions to the 
>>> Dead
>>> End, it's toward the bottom of the page at
>>> http://www.culturecourt.com/Audio/PG/PGaudio.htm . Audio poetry from 
>>> 1971
>>> that has aged very well indeed. This is also true of his audio poem The
>>> Gestalt Bunker, which is also at the above URL. Truly outstanding work,
>>> Paul. The timbres/textures of these works are distinctive. So is the
>>> production, for the time, and also Paul's performative voice. But, also,
>>> the
>>> content is brilliant. In The Gestalt Bunker, also from the early 70's,
>>> the
>>> speaker's situation in his bunker will be familiar to all experimental
>>> writers of what's left of the avant garde. It's also quite prescient as
>>> media poetry and in its concentration on the involvement of writing in
>>> communications technology. In that piece and also in Directions to the
>>> Dead
>>> End, the ecological concerns are also, well, solidly futuristic and 
>>> sound
>>> ominously relevant then as now. And, interestingly, these pieces don't
>>> actually represent literary or artistic dead ends. Instead, they are
>>> landmark works for generations of media poets who follow.
>>>
>>> I didn't know that the original recordings for those two pieces were 
>>> done
>>> at
>>> UBC student radio, Paul. CITR-FM? There's also the community station
>>> CFRO-FM. Which, by the way, I saw a couple of weeks ago. My poet friend
>>> Kedrick James announced a gig as happening at an address that turned out
>>> to
>>> be beside CFRO on East Hastings St. Unfortunately, the building at the
>>> gig's
>>> address had been totally demolished. Quite a while ago. And it's not a
>>> corner you want to hang around at, really. It's in the most squalid,
>>> drug-addled part of downtown Vancouver. Turns out that while Kedrick 
>>> gave
>>> me
>>> the address as 115a East Hastings, it was supposed to be 1115a. These
>>> were
>>> directions to a dead end, certainly.
>>>
>>> Pretty amazing that you did those recordings in real time without
>>> multi-tracking.
>>>
>>> The texts in the audio pieces I've linked to are utterly different from
>>> the
>>> texts in your new book, aren't they? Or at least that's true of
>>> 'Directions'. But your below note about the genesis of 'Directions' 
>>> gives
>>> some indication of part of the reason, perhaps, why it has aged quite
>>> well.
>>>
>>> Best wishes with The Gestaltbunker - Selected Poems 1965-2010, Paul. I
>>> will
>>> try to get myself a copy.
>>>
>>> ja
>>> http://vispo.com
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Paul Green" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 10:05 AM
>>> Subject: Re: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker
>>>
>>>
>>> Thanks, Jim.  I think the connections  and inter-textual patterns around
>>> 'Directions' have evolved over time, as I've  written new work and/or
>>> revised earlier work and finally selected and sequenced it for the book.
>>>
>>> 'Directions' began as a probe into notions of cosmology and expanded
>>> consciousness, focussed by a phrase in an  review of Kubrick's 2001,
>>> which
>>> I
>>> hadn't even seen at that stage, although I knew the Arthur Clarke story,
>>> 'The Sentinel" which was the basis for  the film script.  I was also
>>> heavily
>>> immersed in Andre Breton, particularly the Second Manifesto of 1930 
>>> where
>>> he
>>> posits a kind of aleph/omega point where all perceptions fuse, 'a 
>>> certain
>>> point of the mind ... in which the real and imagined, past and future
>>> cease
>>> to be perceived as contradictions.'  So the poem becomes a voyage -
>>> sometimes bizarre and absurdist - towards this vanishing point in the
>>> void -
>>> where the mystery remains unresolved.
>>>
>>> There's a similar voyage pattern in 'Timeship' whereas Gestaltbunker,
>>> which
>>> I think is more timely than ever - at least that's what people tell 
>>>  me -
>>> relates more explicitly to political and ecological issues, as do
>>> 'Oxidised
>>> Desert' and 'Destruction of Large Cities'.
>>>
>>> That's a rather fuzzy answer, I'm afraid.  Oddly enough, I made Facebook
>>> contact today, after many years,  with Gyorgy Porkolab, who was involved
>>> in
>>> the original 'Directions' and 'Gestaltbunker' recordings  in the UBC
>>> student
>>> radio studios. It was all done without multi-tracking in real time - and
>>> in
>>> analogue, of course. I think we were inspired to use feedback by the
>>> Who...
>>>
>>> Thanks again for your interest in my work
>>>
>>> Paul
>>>
>>> On 2/4/12 11:38, "Jim Andrews" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Dear Paul,
>>>>
>>>> Fantastic. Congratulations.
>>>>
>>>> I have listened to your audio poem Directions to the Dead End many many
>>>> times. So I'm curious what the relation of that poem/object is to the
>>>> chapter of poems in your book with that title.
>>>>
>>>> ja
>>>> http://vispo.com
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Paul Green" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 2:56 AM
>>>> Subject: Welcome to the Gestaltbunker
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Brother Paul is happy to announce his latest publication The
>>>> Gestaltbunker -
>>>> Selected Poems 1965-2010:
>>>>
>>>> http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2012/green.html
>>>>
>>>> The Gestaltbunker encapsulates the range of Paul A Green's output. His
>>>> briefings on nuclear apocalypse, global melt-down and the excesses of
>>>> media
>>>> landscaping are transmitted through surreal inscapes and an 
>>>> intensifying
>>>> torsion of language. He moves from mid-life probes into the basement of
>>>> a
>>>> psyche to domestic praise-songs and celebrations. The riddles of time
>>>> and
>>>> consciousness continue to pre-occupy him, whether encountered through
>>>> magick, music or the mysteries of the city.
>>>>
>>>> ≥Thrillingly dystopian...≤ John Goodby
>>>>
>>>> ≥From his cloister, Brother Paul emerges, jazzed & weaponized. As raw 
>>>> as
>>>> a
>>>> Delta Blues in a sharecropper's shack, yet as sinister as Flash Gordon
>>>> playing Faustus on the Mongo fault-line abyss.≤   Lawrence Russell
>>>>
>>>> "His interests have coaxed him deep into the occult, surrealism and pop
>>>> culture; his investigations meld and come into outstanding idiom...≤ J.
>>>> Michael Yates.
>>>>
>>>> Available directly from Shearsman, as above, or via Amazon in UK and
>>>> North
>>>> America.
>>>>
>>>> A video is in production and there will be launch readings in London 
>>>> and
>>>> elsewhere later in the year. Meanwhile, the Bunker is open for
>>>> inspection.
>>>>
>>>> Some of you may have had this information via other channels. If so,
>>>> apologies for flyposting your screens

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