i see a reference to it at
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:
I look forward to reading this!
----- 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
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
> 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
> make people appear/disappear and perform other 'magical' tricks--occultish
> dimensions in electronic media provide a kind of eye candy or mind candy
> 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.
> ----- 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
> 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
> "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
> 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
> 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
> access the dead via his DIY technology. But the "entities" he contacts
> 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.
> 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
>> 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.
>> ----- 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
>> think, in the book overall despite the stylistic changes. The last and
>> quite recent piece, 'Thanatron" is certainly a direction to the dead
>> in a different context. Have you heard the audio version at:
>> I recorded the vocal for this at the blind college in Hereford where I
>> 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
>> record my CBC R&B show there until the CBC technicians objected. CYVR
>> recorded a whole series of readings by Canadian poets from the West
>> -"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:
>> 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
>>> End, it's toward the bottom of the page at
>>> http://www.culturecourt.com/Audio/PG/PGaudio.htm . Audio poetry from
>>> 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,
>>> content is brilliant. In The Gestalt Bunker, also from the early 70's,
>>> 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
>>> End, the ecological concerns are also, well, solidly futuristic and
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> be beside CFRO on East Hastings St. Unfortunately, the building at the
>>> 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
>>> the address as 115a East Hastings, it was supposed to be 1115a. These
>>> directions to a dead end, certainly.
>>> Pretty amazing that you did those recordings in real time without
>>> The texts in the audio pieces I've linked to are utterly different from
>>> 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'
>>> some indication of part of the reason, perhaps, why it has aged quite
>>> Best wishes with The Gestaltbunker - Selected Poems 1965-2010, Paul. I
>>> try to get myself a copy.
>>> ----- 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,
>>> 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
>>> immersed in Andre Breton, particularly the Second Manifesto of 1930
>>> posits a kind of aleph/omega point where all perceptions fuse, 'a
>>> point of the mind ... in which the real and imagined, past and future
>>> 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,
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> the original 'Directions' and 'Gestaltbunker' recordings in the UBC
>>> radio studios. It was all done without multi-tracking in real time - and
>>> analogue, of course. I think we were inspired to use feedback by the
>>> Thanks again for your interest in my work
>>> 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.
>>>> ----- 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:
>>>> The Gestaltbunker encapsulates the range of Paul A Green's output. His
>>>> briefings on nuclear apocalypse, global melt-down and the excesses of
>>>> landscaping are transmitted through surreal inscapes and an
>>>> torsion of language. He moves from mid-life probes into the basement of
>>>> psyche to domestic praise-songs and celebrations. The riddles of time
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> A video is in production and there will be launch readings in London
>>>> elsewhere later in the year. Meanwhile, the Bunker is open for
>>>> Some of you may have had this information via other channels. If so,
>>>> apologies for flyposting your screens