Brace yourself for this one folks… there are some turbulent seas ahead as we sail this leaking ship to the Desert(ed) Island of Robert Lort.
Photo by Sharka Bosakova: taken opposite the ‘Poet’s Cafe’ in Montville
“I am the first to wear your shackles like a bracelet” (Cohen)
– Apologies to William Burroughs and Kathy Acker, you didn’t write enough poetry.
Rimbaud – Une Saison D’Enfer / A Season In Hell
L’enfant terrible of French poetry, a revolutionary and visionary genius who, in disillusioned disgust, defiantly threw poetry to the wind, aged only 21 to become an enterprising, global-roaming capitalist. A real rock’n’roll nigger of the earth, he flung words like a tormented starving savage, systematically disordering all the senses, in a pent-up, bohemian, absinthe-soaked rebellion. Poetry is but a farce. Il est une autre!
Read the poem here: http://www.mag4.net/Rimbaud/poesies/Season.html
Patti Smith – Babelfield
Patti Smith normally talks about her discovery of Rimbaud at a Philadelphia bus depot bookshop, aged 16. Patti Smith was perhaps the only cherished find that a family member ever dropped into my lap, from a pile of 40 or so dusty ’70s LPs there stood “Easter” with it’s uplifted hairy armpit, I was instantly captivated. This feverish, slipshod, wide-eyed, barefoot girl carved out the very path between poetry and rock’n’roll. A live version of “Babelfield” was released on the rare 12” “Set Free,” the printed version here is but slightly different.
“wherein war is expressed
thru the violent hieroglyphs
of sound and motion
a scream is a shoulder
the profile of life
raised are our instruments – sonic necks
lubricants of aggression and flesh
notes pierce the body round
wounds are cherished blessed and bound
by boys posed before the spinal region
of the parthenon…”
Daevid Allen – <theordinaryaustralian@y2k>
I first saw Daevid Allen, in all his nakedness, performing with members of Japan’s heavy psychedelic band Acid Mothers Temple. As head of legendary trip-out band Gong, Daevid Allen is like a Dr Seuss on bad acid, delivering bent and dirty nursery rhymes from on top a giant towering mushroom. Unabashed, dirty, in yr face, perverse and political (without pining for attention votes), Daevid Allen is a word toting terrorist, a delinquent yahoo with a high IQ, high on contamination, bursting with provocative ephemera.“The Ordinary Australian” comes from his “Poet For Sale” where he lampoons that ordinary suburban Ozzie, “Those ordinary decent small time insensitive stupid dim witted arrogant aggressive lying bad tempered shit centred over paid over fed lazy spoilt brat…” What greater prestige is there, than getting kicked out of the Woodford Folk Festival for saying ‘FUCK’ in a poem?
Steven Jesse Bernstein – Face
From the CD “Prison” which this Russian DJ on 4ZZZ repeatedly played. This must have stood out like a sore thumb on the ultra-grunge Sub-Pop label. On the insert is a photo of Steven and William Burroughs, as thou comparing unsightly ties. The expression “Look there’s Stevie,” as one pointed to the CD, became an in-joke amongst my housemates. A harrowing tale about a disaffected youth, ridiculed for his ugliness, he became a detached loner who never ventured out, eventually needing to be hospitalized, he became a drug addict, alcoholic and criminal… of cause, not one word of it is true! After listening to this long poem one always felt a little lucky to have a head that pointed forward, it could be much worse after all – polio, glasses, braces, pills… a film documentary about his life “I Am Secretly An Important Man” is currently in the making.
Read it here: http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~zealots/sjb/face.html
Antonin Artaud – Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu / To Have Done With The Judgment Of God
The great uncrowned Antonin Artaud was a silent film actor, artist, film writer, theatre director and theorist. A crazed genius of French poetry, he was expelled from the Surrealist movement for being, quite simply, really mad! – he spend years confined in asylums, was almost starved to death by the Nazis and suffered countless electroshock treatments, so violent they fractured the vertebrae in his spine. The original Body Without Organs, he lived in a perpetual state of fulmination, condemnation and mania, finally diagnosed with rectal cancer, he died from an overdose of chloral hydrate still clutching his shoe. His notorious radio broadcast, “Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu” was banned even by the French, before it’s scheduled broadcast in 1948, the recording was eventually stolen from Radio France during the riots of May ’68. The play is a blasphemous and scatological tirade against America, complete with glossolalia, cacophonous percussion and Artaud’s cater!
wauling, unending scream that turns the insides out.
Read the poem here: http://ndirty.cute.fi/~karttu/tekstit/artaud.htm
Steve Kilbey – Untitled
“Good, now and forever, music reaches and awakens…” from the cassette insert for the Church’s “Starfish” (’88). I printed out these words and glued them to the cover of my uni folder along with the paisley cover image of “HeyDay” as some sort of statement defying the rest, standing apart, and encapsulating something I didn’t want to lose (I wasn’t in the arts faculty like all of you). Childhood memories at dusk, a microscopic sense attractor, disappearing into muffled tongues…
Read the poem here: http://www.quartzcity.net/seance-archives/2001-01/2001-01-0263.txt
Leonard Cohen – This Is The Only Poem
From “The Energy Of Slaves” ’72, in his so-called anti-poem mode, which spawned a sort of poetics of punk (even though he forgets the name). We know Leonard like an ugly uncle, melancholic, full of self-pity, spiritual yearnings, betrayals, anguishes, sexual conquests and maybe even more sexual failures, honesty, lost trust, misgivings and life’s futility. Turning against popular notions of the time, he dismissed the fads to carve out his own course. There is much here to learn, but you don’t want to know too quick, some will turn away in disgust and denial, to only years later confess it’s virtues.
This is the only poem
I can read
I am the only one
can write it
Others seem to think
the past can guide them
My own music
is not merely naked
It is open-legged
It is like a cunt
and like a cunt
must needs be houseproud
I didn’t kill myself
when things went wrong
I didn’t turn
to drugs or teaching
I tried to sleep
but when I couldn’t sleep
I learned to write
I learned to write
what might be read
on nights like this
by one like me
Genesis P-Orridge – A Debris Of Murder
I first heard this on my friend’s Download CD “The Eyes Of Stanley Pain” where it was called “H Sien Influence”, years later I was astonished to find a different version called “A Debris Of Murder” on the Throbbing Gristle bootleg “Assume Power Focus“ (although the vocal recording is identical) this version is the same as on “The Fractured Garden,” but the version on Thee Majesty’s “Wordship” is different again. Did I mention I’m a collector? Gen has such an endearing warm scented voice, that reminds us that life is mere folly and all throw away. Like no other, he approaches childlike onto that horrendous threshold of existentialism, felt when one stares too long at the things of ‘time’ and ‘body’… E’ve seen his boobs too.
Read the poem here: http://www.genesisp-orridge.com/index.php?section=article&id=36
Tristian Tzara – XIII
The bemused Tristian Tzara sits wearing a monocle, beret and carrying a walking stick – it was the 1920s after all. Tristian Tzara was the key linchpin of Dada, the radical and extravagant art movement preceding the so much more lame movement of Surrealism. Dada invented the cut-up, collage, sound poems and madness itself. Delightful and charming, Tristian Tzara lacks arms, strings and a few buttons, but considers himself very likeable.
DADA is a virgin microbe
DADA is against the high cost of living
limited company for the exploitation of ideas
DADA has 391 different attitudes and colours according to the sex of the president
It changes – affirms – says the opposite at the same time – no importance – shouts – goes fishing.
Dada is the chameleon of rapid and self-interested change.
Dada is against the future. Dada is dead. Dada is absurd. Long live Dada. Dada is not a literary school, howl
Blixa Bargeld – Der Mund ist die Wunde des Alphabetes
To most, Blixa Bargeld is known as long time guitarist with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but he is also lead singer of the German industrial band Einsturzende Neubauten. There is perhaps no better introduction to their music than Nick Cave’s own discovery, glimpsing them on Dutch TV circa 1982, “For sixty seconds, this man stood as if paralysed, hexed by his own madness. Then he opened his mouth and let out a scream that sounded like somebody was pulling a thistle out of his soul.” The original text is from “Stimme Frisst Feuer,” but the agonised words appear in the song “Blutvergiftung” (Blood Poisoning, 1984). Squealing and caterwauling like a parched and wounded beast, “the words were sung backwards onto a backwards recording tape so they’d be comprehensible when played forward.”
“Der Mund ist die Wunde des Alphabetes. Meine Schiere kehren zuruck lecken die Wunde…”
“The mouth is the wound of the alphabet. My screams turn back to lick the wound…”
Robert Lort is a UNregular Brisbane based poet and an original member of the SpeedPoets collective. He has worked across theoretical, fictional and poetic realms inspired by everything from Surrealism to Deleuze & Guattari to avant-garde music and film. Robert Lort maintains the Azimute website http://www.azimute.org and is a regular art critic for various journals.
Wie oft stellst du dir Frage ueber deinen Geisteszustand?
Soft white bones, can they still think? She unties the ribbons and runs her
plump fingers along the blunt teeth.
According to my calculations… cutlery draws came crashing to the ground
following the 2nd primordial mirror stage
Thereafter, the cluttered ratio of conduits fogged the playing cards of the
pinafored circus lads.
galactic shadows severed the inter-organic mirrors
parching the breath of fairground elephants and
toothless children began playing with scissors
Alice stood there shaking her head,
“who’s counting the dead?”
windup accordion optricians puckered their queasiness
rusty fingers scratched the itchy fur
yesterday’s rainbow fell crumpled around my legs
gentrified delicacies left vanquished, ambushed in misery
walrus feathers neatly brushed into manicured madness
all the slip-static of imvaginated emissions
teem in heat wrinkles of insect grease euphoria
the dead groans of the universe, spat-out on your plate
you crawl back into your skin and set your cloths alight
primal and flickering, depraved once more
sinking between elephant toes, awash with awe
the residual labyrinth creaks in my eyes
discreetly wretching the golden entrails
vanishing obscurity to deprivation tanks
swelling thresholds of vomit puddles stretched over a quivering sky
Have you not been told? LOVE spelt backwards is EVOL!