⌉|⌈ – Of Worth Onto Self. 

 


             My strides and vigour in poetic refinement, albeit little, have warranted me much trust from a few deambulatory souls (including many from WordPress, I adore you all dearly), whose abound kindness and levity allowed my work to be weightless, and live freely, in whichever form it holds, and whatever path it may pursue. This trust — or perhaps, credence — has led a fair few to the haunting question of worth; “Is my poem good?, Am I a good writer?”

           Assuming a grounded perspective upon the canticles of quality, and furthermore, interest, of course a work can be good, or satisfying, or accomplished; And any, with or without knowledge in the Art, may cast conclusions, and both the question and the following answer are inexorably legitimate. But who does that serve? 

      A scale of worth is, then, given to mires of juxtaposition; A work with higher verisimilitudes to those exalted by literary canons, is one of higher worth; At least, as one is quick to assume. Poetry, akin to any medium of Art, devours itself in non-absolution, and there are little reasons — in my view — that the Artist, too, should be devoured, or grimmer yet, should devour itself. But the recipe is clear, albeit not, and it shades externally as something clear, when internally, the same couldn’t be more false. “Be sincere.”; As I’ve said, many times; But that alone is insufficient to edge anyone into a more rightful direction. Bukowski was a tenderly sincere man, and to a different extent, so was Mallarmé, or Miss Ana from across the street, whose morning smile while stacking bananas is so worthfully poetic as Heródiade. There is nothing good about a poem, and there is nothing evil either; When it is sincere, it merely is and it requests little else; It isn’t as hungry as the immensity of Art, nor must it be crushingly artful. It musn’t be anything, and it can be nothing; Because we can feel anything, and we can feel nothing, and this isn’t good nor bad, it just is, just as it needs to be. Sincerity, to me, does not resist judgement, but flows with it. Much like a poem. 

         One is then tasked with reaching that medium of gentility in which sincerity, by itself, does not overbear the relay; It is a fine sheet of ice, and it will crack and dip, and at times, sink and resurface; But after that line, there is no return, and along those cracks, no repair. This medium is a sinuous, tranquil glade, where words fall into a doze. It is a home to some, and a graveyard to others, and sometimes, both. But it is not a permanent space, as it tolls heavily. You must be the ship that dares back into the turbulent seas of a self-serving reality, and ache. 

           This, too, is a heavy thought; Almost a level of mystical, peppered with surreal; But I, who write poems, venture into that place, as I believe Bukowski might have, or Mallarmé, and certainly Miss Ana, who is likely to visit very often. We all do; Versing, restocking, breathing, existing. One who requires fleeing, insofar as it imagines such escape, is already halfway escaping into just that thought; And that, maybe, might be why imagination is so warmingly sincere, even if surreal, absurd, and aesthetically mystical. 

         To those who’ve known my aesthesis, I’ve often stated that I do not find my poems good, I never have, not once. Why do I keep writing, despite that? Why do most of us? Well, to me, I just sincerely want to. Regardless of worth (of self or others), or even that cast by others; these are all structural to improvement and growth, but not to worth. Thus, being sincere simply means believing your work is, as it must be merely what it is, irregardless of whatever it should perceivably be. This might sound like a gamble on semantics, but in truth, that’s what it is: to deconstruct this noxious seed that something as volatile as Art, can ever hope to be ideally good. That such a rigid concept of worth can co-exist with human entropy, either of self, or others. One, therefore, does not hold worth, since it is what it must be, and shall change — by will or design — to whatever it must, simply because it must. 

         To be frank, my singular hope is that you who reads me, and simultaneously, also writes (like most of you do), fear not for the worth of your sincerity, as perhaps you have before, and are likely to do again. Remember my words, when such malaise sweeps your mind, and they may soothe you. I really hope they do. 


JOHNNY

Advertisements

A Dumb Exercise in Misery

         After months of arduously refining my poetics, there are still many subtle fields of necessary detail I’m yet to cover. The major — and hardest — is that is which most revered across our Art. The production of epics, akin to those of Dante’s Divine Comedy, or Homer’s Iliad, requires a level of poetic awareness that transcends mere foreshadowing. To tell an anchoring and complex story through verse, metered or not, is a huge challenge on its own. But I, your Johníssimo, have an innate hunger for my own chaos and misery, so I will try to craft myself an impish epic. Nothing the likes of those aforementioned. If I could write like Dante, I would be the first in living History to do so.

         My respect for these authors is abound, they are much like guides — maybe even parents — to the way I inspect the elements of my reality, but it only grew once I started writing in their forms. Yikes, it is truly so hard, but also, so incredibly fun. Every bit of it is challenging, and awesome. I feel a bit like a young child when I start things like these.

Even though I’m not good at it, nor close to good, I hope to improve and ease-out my struggles with it as I create it. If nothing else, at least, I can feel a bit less lonely while I do it.

The story, as far as I’ve etched it, follows Luriam, a Soldier who ventures into Cocytus in a quest to discover the Tablet of Paximus, a Hermetic Artefact that erases ones selected memories if that soul lays itself against the surface of marble.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 15.12.41
1st Pre-Canto

So far, the production of the Cantos has been the most streamline process of all, as they are sung by characters; and I have some ease with lyrical compositions.

The Pre-Cantos, scenario settings and outer-story elements are harder to manipulate in verse, and that’s where I have most difficulty. So far, I haven’t been able to maintain a structural verse identity without sacrificing some information. Simultaneously, I don’t want pre-cantos to be overly expositive and lack emotional approaches to the story.

I’ve found some options to counter this: shifting narration from Cocytus to Narya (Luriam’s consort), and allow emotional draws into the expositive verses; or give agency to Cocytus himself, melding with how the shades behave towards Luriam.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 15.14.11
A small example of Canto I, The Wail of a Solitary Shade

Despite heavily inspired by Greek Mythos, this little project has given me the chance for some original world building, something I haven’t truly done before, but always had an ache for. Places the Hymeron (The First Gate of Cocytus), don’t exist within the actual mythos, and serve as stages for the various Cantos.

Dante himself was also fond of introducing prose into some of his versed works, which is something appealing, as it does give you a glimpse of freedom in story-telling.

These poetic narratives; they feel very autonomous, like they write themselves, and you exist only to find the words. It is odd, but again, so much fun.

I plan of posting the Pre-Cantos and Cantos once they are finished individually, this beginning is specially hard, because it lays the path for everything else, but it should pick-up in pace soon enough.

Tell me what you think!, is this just another dumb exercise in misery?


JOHNNY

⌉|⌈ – Sunken Soul, debris.

“Sad is what I am — what I will always be,
 an artist is born in form of a shipwreck,
 and henceforth, that same sunken soul
 shall live from scavenging the debris.”

          Existence is often homogenous with the ebb of an ocean — composed of movements, violent thrusts against the shore, soothing hymns that ascend from the waves, to the tip of a cello’s arc, producing the sharpest sounds whose harmony is replicable only by natural flow. As vast and nightmarish as the ocean can be, so can existence. As exurgent and garish its reflective surface can be, so can life be cloaked with that same brightness, when we collect at a table with dear friends, when we peak in a laughter so sharp, it hits the arc of that cello, producing a sound only the heart can see, an expression only movement can encapsulate, doing so calmly… and tenderly.

          One thematic I’ve been avoiding for quite a while is that of nomenclature, am I a writer? Perhaps a poet? Maybe, even, an artist stripped of specification? Do any of those names represent what I am, or rather, what I want to be? What constitutes a writer, a poet, an artist? What constitutes me? All questions whose validity is seeded on a necessity to exist beyond mere existence, beyond the ocean of movements and its tides, where I’m able to become the conductor of my being instead of allowing ebbs and flows to erode me, until I have shapes worth naming. But then, a vision occurs from that breath of epiphany: that of a fern, rooted in a shadowy empire. To understand the fern in its metaphysical elements, even if completely manufactured, is to understand where and why the fern exists and why it needs to exist — akin to any other plant — in this ocean of movements.
An artist is not a sculptor of new realms, or a scholar of unnamed emotions. The artist exists as a process, as a method, whose bounds of chaos and entropy along with seemingly endless creative freedom give it little more than a sense of burial at sea. Once we quest on discovering which movements of this spectral ocean truly ripple within, we are shackled to insufficiency, because the quest is unending, tiring and highly volatile. An artist is then painted semantically as a creative force, even when the process and method display the exact opposite, a form of extreme destruction. Humans are destructive by core, and as much as I try to stray away from speaking of human nature, I believe it is common knowledge that we have a tendency for destruction (albeit at times, it is justified) — what we cannot justify though, is our predisposition to destroy ourselves. The artist takes all that is to be human, all that is to be subjective, and augments it, throws it against the canvas and pages and notes and screens, all that is destructive is permutated to pure, then unruled and ravaged, broken apart and deconstructed. We justify this with Art, for the sake of Art, at the expense of that vast, nightmarish, exurgent and garish ocean. At the toll of our own sincerity towards destructive emotion.

         To be creative is to create space for that creation to elapse, and in the double-trouble of creating creation, we often get too caught up in the first part and what that produces — the pain, the sorrow and memory, the melancholy; instead of the latter, the act of creation itself. Are we even able of gripping that last stage, or do we suddenly become the escape artist of this scenario? Does the vision of that ocean of movement and the ability to bend its threads become overbearing and over-encompassing?
As I gather with friends around the table, and I laugh and elate, I realise further that a writer, a poet, or an artist — are not things I either am nor want to be, but rather states where I slowly dip my toes and feel the temperature of life, of existing, a small gate into a world where concepts become so maleable, their inevitable destruction also becomes inevitably inconsequential. My fear of this nomenclature was simply representative, because I’m not strong enough to constantly overlook the vast ocean of emotions, sometimes, I just want to drink and laugh and hear the peak of that cello’s arc without playing it myself, or writing the small introduction of cellos being played. We cannot always be outsiders, or we will perish in inertia. The movement of this scary ocean must also be our own.

Who knew battling with semantics could be this overly-poetic?


JOHNNY

Contra-Poetry #2: Innovator Mode

As we navigate an age of velocity and information, it is often easy to befall the entrapment of disengagement with our own simplicity as human beings. The Artist is a figure attributed to emotion, and as such, it holds dominion over such a vast and spectral realm, that the sensation if of infinitude. But although emotions might be infinite in variables, we’re not. We are inherently capped beings with limits and thresholds, those which we can expand and increase with effort and work, but never fully evade them all-together.

I’ve talked much about format and content and how they must be weighed simultaneously, but one of the greatest reflection of that is the act of overdraw, where we feel the need and obligation to feel so original, so nouvelle, that we start sacrificing the very foundations of what makes poetry, well, poetry.
I also talk much about what poetry is to me (emphasis on to me), but for understanding my view, one must understand where it comes from:

“Prose: words in their best order; poetry: the best words in the best order.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The simplest, most sincere description of poetry I think I’ve ever come across. Why? Well, if we extend the topic, we can get a grasp of how divisive the opinion over poetry is. Some say it is lyrical, others say it is formless, and most say it is simply the act of versing. The boundaries of such are virtually non-existent. According to present Academia, an entire book about nuclear chemistry can constitute a poem, might it be claimed as such by the author, especially when illogically, in my view, poetic prose was placed on the category of poetry and not prose. We might as well name is a prosaic poem.
I reject this notion when applied to poetry that I’m interested in purchasing, again, it is necessary to draw the separation between poetry as a therapy and artistic release, and poetry as a commerce and constituent Art.

Because if poetry doesn’t need to be anything, well, then it doesn’t need to exist, just another term whose vagueness makes it dispensable. That is exactly why it is vanishing, because of that shift to the unreal, because people have so little to expect nowadays when they buy a poetry book, it simply isn’t a genre they can truly identify with. There is nothing to materially identify with, there are no shapes to feel, akin to standing in an dark room and be expected to find the needle.
We order to reclaim the singular and unique form poetry once had — that of being the best words in their best order — we must be wary of what those words and that order mean, and in this case, substance and form.
Modernism made us aware that substance is very mutable and specific, so one must outcast the idea that certain words must be used in order to achieve certain results. Emotion isn’t math, and nor is poetry. That much, I absolutely agree with — as Bukowski showed us, we mustn’t be geniuses to express ourselves with brilliancy, because sincerity and conveyance are often times more important than the subject actually being conveyed.

Modernism deconstructed a toxic fuel to poetry, but it left a lot to desire when it came to form. Authors like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, for example, are notable exceptions of the movement in great part because of their stunning formation of thoughts, and even if seen as a strike at lyricism at the time, they both maintained a brilliant rhythm and sound formation. But these, as good as they might be, do not fully represent the Modernistic movement, and at the time, many authors stomped form into a grain of insult. (So much so, Frost would be incessantly attacked for being too traditional compared to his Modernistic contemporaries, something still happening today within poetry circles).

We want new things, we want better things, but we often disregard what has come before, may it not fit our creative will. But how can one create something truly new without knowledge of what has already been done? Of what worked and did not?

And form isn’t just lyricism or rhyme, it isn’t syllabic division or stanzaic structures, nor is it sestinas, haikus and sonnets. Form is less than all of that, because it is simply how you transmit what you want to transmit, what vehicle moves you towards your words rather than furthering the distance. And that might be simply verse autonomy, or the usage of extreme punctuation. Unlike content, form is not infinite, but its limitations shouldn’t be something that scares us, but rather, dares us to find ways to create freely.

In reality, I have the absolute notion that none of my poems are truly new, they have references and influences, and I’m aware of all of them, because that awareness allows me to reshape my thoughts into something only I could construct. Words are to poetry as oil is to a canvas, they’ve all been seen before, broken apart merged together, but your dance with these old fragments of communication and beauty, that beautiful waltz of colour, that is something indisputably yours. A poem which I can call truly mine is still floating at distant seas, but I write as I swim, and one day, I’m gonna get there.

All I ask, after all of this, is that you come with me.


JOHNNY

P.S: Have you ever heard of Bossa Nova? If so, check out Baden Powell‘s “Poesia On Guitar“, an album that attempts to translate poetry into melodic tracks without singing, and it brilliantly manages to do just that.

Contra-Poetry #1: Spectator Mode

I’ve always been fearful about debating the constituents of Modern Poetry. Many things have elapsed between the outer edges of lyricism and the poetic revolution of Modernism and Post-Modernism of the twentieth century, and many more have been extensively debated and explored. The state of poetry requires no true explanation, however, because the same is palpable: declining, withering and un-captivating.
Why? That’s a complicated question, even grasping the width of what is being asked seems to be an exhausting task, but many can be tackled individually without being smothered by higher scopes. To me, the production of modern poetry fails on many fronts, and between abstractionism and minimalism (both highly unstable chains of literary generation) one can only agree on a singular vision if only one poem is analysed, anything else would be overly ambitious.
Conveniently, over-ambition is my middle name.

Spectator Mode

One of the most common communication mistakes I see in Modern Poetry is the distance crafted between poetic narration and poetic subject. This is, of course, reinforced by the usage of pronouns such as “she” and “he”, and you might be more familiar with the paradigm if I exemplify:

“She was formed of shimmer and golden-dust,
she glanced the sky with rose-form and blood,
she wept, sighting those made of iron and rust.”

Merely an example with no true conveyance that I made in a second and a half, but the idea is there. The She, the He, are experiences akin to those Arts of Hollow Men, they are conjured to inspire an empathic relation between the reader and the poem, but they do precisely the opposite. The She and the He, the They, are but objects of a poetic landscape, and as objects, they cannot mutate as fluidly as a poetic subject can. The vision; the transmission — must occur in the gap between the vision of the poet and their ultimate subject. Generating a false distance between the two is a lie many keen readers wont be willing to bite into.
The inability to create a tangible sensation of humanity within ones own composition mustn’t be corrected by stripping that humanity all-together.
Of course, this does not apply to lengthy narrative poems where the pronoun in question actually relates to a character that was previously constructed — although even then, the product can be considerably insufficient, ex. Margaret Atwood’s “Penelopiad”, whose construction was so detached that I genuinely believed Penelope was nothing more than a prop outlining the spaces where the poetic narrative took place.
It is an easy trap to fall into, one that is created by our own sense of insufficiency. But I tell you this, might I know little more: anything truly essential, anything with enough weight to be transmitted, is something that only the heart is able to encapsulate. The “She” and the “He”, and even that distorted Penelope, are but constructs of fear.
To unlock that transmutation of essentiality to poetry — or any other Art — must be a speech your heart imparts towards another.

I’ve personally never constructed poems like these simply because I do not know how to transmit what I want to transmit without being myself. The “I” of my poetry is the only “I” I’m able to create, even if false or imaginative, it is still something I can materially shape. Allowing yourself the freedom of communicating as a being rather than a master, to the point where you belong to a story rather than create it, to the point where reality is the dome you inhabit even when you attempt to escape it, is a truth that unlocks the devices necessary to produce actual genuine work. Work that not only resonates, but can be overpowered by someone else. The Shes and Hes will always be Shes and Hes, to any of us. But the I, that can be any of us, and I need to allow it that luxury, otherwise I’m strangling my poem even before it leaves the pen.

Of course, analysing these aspects can come off pretentious or detached, because not everyone constructs poems with the intention of general availability or understanding. To many, it’s merely a therapeutic activity and serves its purpose as such. I don’t often feel the need to criticise any poem on WordPress because there is no need to do so objectively, it is simply human expression and every single one I’ve read, whether my type or otherwise, whether nicely constructed or otherwise, has beauty of its own and by its own merit.
What I propose analysing here is poetry as a commerce, that which is sold and traded, and by consequence, must present a level of quality that justifies the interest. It is also of interest to mention the anglo-centric nature of this post, since I’ve never read any poem in Italian, Portuguese, French or Spanish that utilised this method of extreme spectating. I’m not sure why it is so exclusive to English, but I suppose its but a product of a fragile poetic culture, and because English was the seat of power to Modernism and other movements that allowed the rejection of classical composing methods.

If by any chance you use this technique to write, I have no intentions of demoralising you from using it. I also have no doubts that incredible compositions can be made using it, because poetry is much more than the usage of pronouns, but if you felt like something was “off”, I might have provided some clarity. And if, for any reason, you oppose my view, feel free to comment as to why and I will provide opposition/concordance, as we all grow with dialogue.


JOHNNY

PS: I wrote this while listening to Portuguese Artist “Filho da Mãe” and his album “Mergulho“, his amazing collection of guitar instrumental work is both relaxing and incredibly inspiring for achieving mind-clarity in writing. It transcends language, so I believe everyone would benefit from giving him a shot.

Emotional Instrumentality

When I find myself careworn by poetics, I tend to gravitate towards lighter, less condensed approaches to writing. Prose is, by natural production, my least refined process, but that does not mean I cannot figuratively invent useful forms to shape it up. After all, that’s what Caliath is all about—exploration of the elsewhere.

One common struggle I undergo when etching narratives is the old and ever so demising struggle of reaction vs. response, one I’ve been quite puzzled with. Art is the inevitable necessity to communicate by way of emotion, which arrives with reaction, but a well-structured fictional reality must be accompanied by an emboss of response, as to foster a process that bleeds into the reader, allowing them to write the story as much as we do, without giving them full creative control of a world we’ve created. That would be evidently chaotic and a bedding for confusion.

As I spent my entire Sunday in hospital aiding my grandfather, I got the opportunity to create a semi-device that allows me to explore the hard-and-soft-lines of a characters approach to necessary introspection. I’ve since baptised it “emotional instrumentality”, subdivided into Tacit Form (before the character interacts with the literary scapes) and Reactive Form (after the character has been immersed in the narrative). To develop a character, one often falls into the entrapment of distancing itself from the creation. As a presumably different being, it would be odd if we built our characters strikingly similar to how we behave normally as real human beings. A character, however, mustn’t be an independent sprout of creativity, but an instrument of emotion, and to allow that character to bend and wield that emotional into depth, is to develop it further than we could initially conceive.

The application of the device is rather simple. You must force that bending by designing around it, effectively hindering the character with obstacles and then, speculate ways to bleed emotion into the escapes. I used the ancient device of interviewing, the likes of which seen in NGE, In God We Trust and Carnage. The following example is merely a quickly figured demonstration. Cascan is a character from Two Brass Towers normally known for his sandpaper personality and general haggardness towards humanity and its concepts.

## Emotional Instrumentality (IV – Cascan)

A. What is your name?

B. Cascan Montverde.

A. In which way do you primarily relate to this world?

B. Painter—used to be a painter.

A. How does society appear in the eyes of an onlooker?

B. Collapsing. A deserted waiting room with fluorescent lights. Never stopping the rattle and, still, always silent, voiding itself with greed.

A. Is that a painting?

B. Paintings are manufactured. A panel with a thousand stacked corpses reaped by the plague couldn’t equal in pain to a single second in that hospital waiting room.

A. Why don’t you paint anymore?

B. Little use. You see, an individual whose life is smothered, then turns to self-destruction. Once control evades, you search for it in every drunken night and whore-house. The craving and hunger to feel any glimpse of power in this entropic reality, it culminates in recklessness.
The artist trades that self-harm for creation, but human nature is an evil game-master. The more a work seeps into your flesh, the more intensely you build it solemnly for its destruction.

A. Are those words of the wise or the broken?

B. Will tell you as soon as you tell me the difference.

A. Cascan, what do you miss the most?

B. Whatever was worth missing, I have since been painted.

A. Is it difficult for you to talk about yourself?

B. There are millions of Men and a small handful of themes. Talking of oneself rarely dodges the horseshoe of building a delusional character or succumbing to fruitless sincerity. Awareness of that simply means every topic has been mangled, shredded and abused far before it attains a shape, including those composing the self.

A. So, is it difficult?

B. No. Just useless.

A. What other topic would you prefer?

B. I’m fond of silence.

A. Wouldn’t silence be just as fruitless?

B. In Briançon, my parents spoke of a woman who climbed the Chaberton in search of a beckoning voice she heard in her dreams. While ascending, she only had silence around her, while her mind was paved with shouts—shouts of pain and doubt, so loud that she doubted her ability to walk or even eat. She doubted her turmoiled and broken nature was worthy of such basic pleasures. She didn’t doubt her own existence, no, she was certain of it, and that was the terror. As hopelessly hopeful as our kind tends to be, she reached the peak, and the wind blew so strongly she could no longer hear the shouts, her mind was finally silent under the weight of a perspective she hadn’t seen before: that of weakness. Once one realises their inherent frailties, everything can be deconstructed, even those slithering shouts and doubts.

A. Is that the silence you yearn for? That of the mind?

B. No, I want silence of the space, the kind she experienced while climbing.

A. Isn’t that silence destructive, according to the tale?

B. Yes, but that’s just a tale. I cannot convene with a silent mind, no one can. We are unsettled by nature, curious and stampeding, inept for quietude. We need our reality as much as it needs us, and that relationship is no less than intoxicating. A silent space only fastens my descent into madness, which I beckon with open shouts.

A. Isn’t that a symptom of poetic exaggeration?

B. Everything is, why act like the form in which we construct our ideas matters more than it should? Had we any respect for the weavings of the soul, wouldn’t everything be as poetic as it is emotional?

A. It the individual just a collection of beliefs rather than emotions?

B. No, that’s the collective’s perspective on the individual. To a singular person in isolation, nothing elevates emotion. In fact, that’s how Art thrives, because human emotion becomes an instrument of translation without possible compare. That’s the universal language of subjectivity.

A. Is freedom a total level of control or a total lack thereof?

B. Neither. Freedom is a construct conveniently parked between the ability to will and the inability to have. It takes as much as it gives, therefore, it’s inconsequential.

A. Isn’t your ability to say that… a product of your freedom?

B. No, my ability to say these things is but a product of my unbound capacity to be wrong.

A. Then, why say it?

B. Perhaps because being wrong is, ultimately, to be free. Free of further explanation—that is.

A. Do you believe in fate?

B. Never have. It’s better to be insufficient in a present that is, than grand in a future that will not.

 


This rather simple example does not require further complexity. This scenario is striped of visual, sound and material formalities. A blank character in a blank space. But this device was not meant to analyse the way Cascan speaks or even how he presumes choice and responsiveness, but instead, a way to create the groundwork for character sculpting by narrowing his constituent tenets. I consider three of these when applying this device: position of self, perspective dogma, and self-driven emotions. Essentially, we are asking Cascan to pinpoint his perceived origins of self by conducting his emotions.
This sounds dual—in the way that I speak as if I’m not both the writer and Cascan—but it is not, nor does it need to be. These characters are fragments of myself brought onto creation, which means they are bound to reason like I do, since reason is rarely mutable. But reactions are increments of choice that we can meld and shape. A character attains tangibility by reacting to an environment, as such, emotion is a fine instrument to understand which steps to take.

This is, of course, one of my many divergent thoughts, and chances are you wont feel the need to try it. But it works for me, and for the sake of sharing, I thought it might be of value to someone. Perhaps even in concept expansion. Everything starts with a small idea.


Johnny

TRUE-ULTRA

Today, I e-published my first title and a wave of terror washed over me.
I do not feel quite ready for it. I’m an admirer of so many, and I don’t feel worthy of having people purchase my book just yet. It’s just not something I feel okay with, due to my inexperience and general inadequacy.

Still, I feel like I’ve created something special in this humble manuscript. Something worth reading, but not necessarily commercialising.

As such, I will un-publish the book and open it to reading in this post, in PDF format, free-for-all. I will, however, also provide a donate button bellow, may you decide I’m worthy of such honour and trust (you decide the amount). What I receive will be used for the purposes previously mentioned – maintaining the website and eventually, a groovy poetry-chilling podcast.

Thank you,
and sorry.


True Ultra – The Book


Donate with PayPal

a breach in the system. (english poetry)

I know the last poem and this one are a bit weird and off-tracks for me. Do not be alarmed, I’m tinkering with new sound constructions for “ofuscus“, the sister structure to “excelse“, but since I’m just starting, it’s mostly an exploration of how variant I can make them sound without sacrificing much of both. These are mostly free-hand practices that allow me to gage and compare.

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 22.45.45

Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 22.45.48

Author’s notes: 

Line 12 is a reference to the book of the same name, “Heights of Despair”, by Emil Cioran. Highly advise you to seek it if you enjoy some grim phylosophy.

Line 1 is a reference to a song, all my compositions have at least one of these, sometimes more. In this case, it is “Odd Look” by french musician Kavinsky.

Line 17 might look a bit weird, Child is the symbol, while intrumental pain is the syntax. This is done purposefully, but the Child himself won’t appear just here, that’s why I symbolized it by means of capitalization. Its sort of a character but also a projection.


JOHNNY

POETRY LAB #2


FIRST, A QUEST

A little back, I wrote this highly experimental (and primal) composition called MIRROR, in which two subconscious voices would be displayed continuously until they would collapse together and generate this sense of unifying thoughts.
That poem spawned from my fiddling with the concept of multiple voices in poetry. All my compositions are made to be both read and spoken, therefor, all kinds of sound generation are within the bounds of my poetry.

I spent some time wondering about the possibility of poems meant to be read by separate voices, which can be applied to a variety of unique poetic concepts, as well as compounding lyricism with that expression and generate a form of artistic elation of poetry upon dialogue, both internal and external.

MIRROR is not a good example, since its very primitive and faulty in the groundworks of what this exercise proposes. For the ease of division in structural compositions, I will name the first voice “Archeon” and the second voice “Bareon”, A and B for short (I’m not a smart guy). Any number of voices can be used, but in my experiments, more than two can become volatile and overbearing.


SECOND, A THOUGHT

Proceeding to subdivide the purpose of these mechanisms, I’ve found three definitive usages that result in poetic progression:

1. Repetition (no overlay)

a. shining locked within a chest of hope, dimming and reckless,
b. buoying docked at a sea of souls, dim and then… lightless.

2. Interrogation (continuity)

a. eyes shut, where is the flame once consuming and bright?
b. not longer here, just ash, in the shade of innocent white.

3. Exposition (overlay)

a. the scent of olive tree…
b. … that olive tree, rooted in gloom…
a. … is it remembrance, is it pain, is it glee?…
b. … is it doom, is it melancholic empathy?…

(Not actual compositions, just simple demonstrations I etched up in a couple of minutes.)

You might be thinking: well, most of these could be composed with a singular voice. Yes, but their poetic momentum rests on the understanding that two separate voices are communicating an unifying symbol, so that symbol is passed through a lens of duality and then translated back into singularity.
In the case of repetition, giving a sensation of weight applied to certain parts of the conclusion. On the example, words like “locked/docked” and “reckless/lightless” double their weight, by means of stressing their permanence, and allowing their scope to encompass more than just the poetic subject, as in, a descent into a lightless reality tangible by all, inspiring the severity of ones perspective.
In the case of interrogation – the most useful of all – we can halve the stressing of the question and place it upon the answer. That bright flame once respiring consumingly? It is no more, now it has fully devoured, it is ash in its innocent form, fertile and renewing, but still a painful memory. Interrogation allows for the continuity of the poetic narrative, by means of easing the transmission of what is truly meant to be retained and what isn’t supposed to be front-line in the skeleton of the given composition.
Exposition is rather simple, and I would take mostly as a structural aid more than a duality in transmission. It is meant for internal dialogue, and it was the mechanism utilised on MIRROR. It allows for thoughts to unify in two different fronts, giving a sensation of duality when there doesn’t necessarily exist one, often times its just a case of division. Since verses seem to flow into their counterpart voices, it would be a bit too eerie to read it using two separate whole voices, but two separate tones can be utilised rather well. (more on that another day, I’m also producing another Lab with the usage of classical music tempos in poetry, i.e Alegro, Moderato, so on).


THIRD, A COMPOSITION

I’ve been putting off the publishing of this Lab for a while, attempting to etch decent poems that could ally to this minimal theory, but my time has been very scarce and I haven’t been able to compose anything wholesome enough for presentation. I will, therefor, leave you with MIRROR, so you have a general idea of what exposition looks like, and then create the other two during the week, and hopefully publish them as separate posts connecting to this one.
I’m sorry for the apparent laziness, but I promise that I will deliver!

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 01.25.59

Not an actual good poem, but hey, its old.


JOHNNY