mIEKAL aND, my sometime collaborator, and I wrote this text together in the late 1990s.
I was cross-stitching a bouquet of forsythia for my mother; the pattern is from one of the beautiful yearly x-stitch calendars published by the Danish Handcraft Guild, an organization whose designers and products are obliquely responsible for my decades of obsession with x-stitch.
It was also autumn, and there was a patch of raspberries in the back alley where I lived, that had been a source of furtive but joyous snacking and had recently suffered from a frost, so the berries were shriveled and inedible but still gorgeous.
I was also entranced with Nathaniel Mackey's poetry.
So here's the piece, which was later published by Manuel Brito's Zasterle Press as part of our collection pleasureTEXTpossession (Canary Islands, Zasterle: 2005). The parts we each wrote are indicated by initials; MD is me, and MA is mIEKAL:
MD: Translations of the horned moon in limnary scripts and liminal screens:
The limnature twined around the golden branch, the laurel sighing her blood-buds into bloom enscrypted in cribbed and crabbled writ-wrinkles. no end to dys-scryption in the tangled metallix of fluid writing, a mass of charged glowing wire.
Penned and panting, a limnature of richesse, embarrassment of enceinture, overflooded by deliverance. The horned moon whispers solace to the pent laurel --limning light on fluid light, silver on hematite metamorph being light and dark at once, in the forests of the night, which sounds like day. Inspiraled day twisting around a sustenance bough, redundancy of images discovering their sentences --plunging upward toward any source of light, all makes a brave flaming by any means necessary.
MA: Scrawlcreatures Inside Unwiredinary
Keem Kum, solid swath of everality, determined in fits of passion & the inverse, thoughts are amplijected worldforth. Your nation scrawled in lyric clips, node to node distorted by humming & non-participation. Looth upward, I claim negligencia for the morning after, laying in the there, hotsome & saying more-than-one-thing-at-once-always. Looth Keem, above the glider, you can hear words in that, under my breath. It's minute sanctity gathered turnstiles of dysruption. I am ever the Decryptor of hissance, & anything else flowery with a lingering sense. By bading a troubled typolect, the distance between words is diminished, she covers me like that. Parataxis Khazana is now more resolute, ample openings have impinged.
MD: The Dance of Internal Trembling/The Dance of Embattled Rapture
don't deny it, you were mercury in my dream, the dream of my mother
standing on my shoulder, mercury the handle-horned moon, yes that was you shadowed in gilt. laurel lapses forthwith, her writing cramped inside a
bark itself overwritten, rough flood of abrasure kisses, thematically
scarred, lips parched and pent, penned on proper nouns like Apollo,
Artemis, the Florid Belt of Jewels, Journey of the Homeless Words toward
their Vortex Source. Her tongue trips over the obvious, the lover long
gone etc, and she plummets toward the upbursting fire work. Infibular
writing stabs a threaded surface wound, peneedle the weapon of
MA: Pullheart on Tugstrings
Some sensetual devices of grammar from a story opposite the enscryption.
Translations bothered to become wireless transgressions, how secretively one can narrow the field of tiny obstacles, hurdled & hurling an Almost But Not Quite. Lickety consolation is no more abrupt or ponderous metaphorically than the very markings themSelves... Who says elegance must descend from upper limit speech, it has done a sungnatra of good beneath the surface of the very zamisdat. Stretch to the point, aghast & homeful, I dare repeat myself in the shimmering I easily mistake for an evolved passage. Now that the books have been burned & Hypatia set free of memory,we can move on if dictation will allow. Or if half a mind is sufficient to carry on in the empty room listeners have reserved for just such an occasion.
MD: Writing Repentant
On today the penitent takes only bitter herbroth and limits word-pour,
Limnature the only beneficiary. “At One” meant no clutter of business and no
superfluid stasis–just the heart of the Mater. An isolated heart yearns
in ritual trembling, forced to eat its own excrescences during the today
difficult stretch. A trove of deliquaries captured in text; the near-blind
boy learned on a primitive press to make the fabled cloth from the dreams
and confessions of a hundred thousand bodhisattvas, wherein were patterned traces of untranslatable joy. As the day was chosen by lunar methods, so she felt in tune with the scripted abjection.
MA: Empressured Writhe Speech
Words are not enough & yet again we go on basking in poetential. Swearslip
from & agileagainst otherstream vernacular. By N By passes you in the night waving, every possible connection between us etchscrypted. The task, it seems to me, she said, going away & still talking into, some articulate curious plumes bibliogising our existence, in fact writing such as future we can call our own, selfsame Olala. Given in blockform metatdict, my sensations are semminated & aphaboliged in contrast with your own. pleasureTEXTpossession lies in wait, a gallery of quilts fabricked slowly over timewhile Threads are commonly twisted as everySOoften my email trades places with you. The very nature of, & to ascrybe to that.
MA&MD: Lassitextual Curtains
The allegory of 2 pens writing unremembered. A stark factory overshadows a sphere, a glass, an unchained dog, some gingko trees. I asked her if she wanted to watch & if that would be enough. Further envelopes revealed other remarks. If this was the day for it, ambiguity talked us into a corner. Pale deceit in light of what had already been said. Referencing, somewhere, strove to slacken the margins of identity. Wild surplus went the way of the rail. If you wish to follow the tracks of her occasional singing repair to the background. Only once did I fail to execute the password with symbolic complexity. The diary ended before allegory could be transcrybed. Short of words, breath has an elaborate orthography. A point: detail. Been clear blue style, long line style, stand in the rain style. A test of patients succumbed to a circle by the time they were cured. Topical, some allowance, simple imagery unreflected nor mutable. Empatterned logos, sure enough, equal length of passage. Protolingus incubating in the Urchive. Injecting a foresooth in place of a downswell.
MD: Rebel Seed, Revel Breath
Forsythia saw the sprig of friendship offered. Petaled down on the long
switch reaches across abyss and touch(thumb)touch spring trickles
underneath, archaeolalia babbling up. is it contrived is it act-as-if
brave and stiff, is it yielding and yellow-green, is it sap in the warm
limbs wanting to wake up and be made new. is it azure or is it blue.
Celestite glints in the yellow depth, hulled vortex of promisex, pliant
braid of complaint, rebel seed of red insurgence to be created.
MA: Caustic Zeal
A sleeve of caution, here, while I have you on the line. There is something wrong with the garden. Its invertebrate, altruistic, squall, parted & gone wild. Numb is different than accounting for windows & mirrors. Even yours. Scratchscrawl cat's paw & the gag she took off, power up, proven. Bitter tastes can be scraped away again attention alertitility. Wandering deficit, always not quite the Enough. Seeker madonna, a dozen tribes scattered over the drift. Lengthwise the stalk was predicting surplus, no one remembered what that might be.
MD: Lamp and Fountain; the Spectral Husband
Two trajectories for lightsound intellection; he pulls the bracelets this way, then that, no give. A general devastation follows the one-word sentence. Serenity seeps in through eyes and skin, but threaded steel cuts the exposed wrists notwithstanding. Lipstick smeared across the screen,
who can light up from inside, who can possibly bring joy now. The click the echo makes a gray sleaze for pronouncing.
A linear embellishment fills in the linen, lumen pouring through stamen.
I send these yellow lines to the spectral husband, they are fountains of light spraying out of barren limnature. Stretching the vessel in a holding pattern, what does it hold in this its heart nested in petals?
Titles Bereft of Text:
A Book of Days, a Daybed, a Friendship Sampler
Token Atonement, Orphaned Morphemes
A Linen Edict, Orphan Epistomology
What to do when honed-in-ironfire exceptional word use and strange neural disposition go courting?
I can't stop here, words jumping out of their skins, to give language to, consumed, down into the whale's hatchet, into ribbed arcana, vast arc of arachnid sinisteria, splendorfear, possessed née desiring-machine brought to life by that young murderer. Those letters I cling to ladder lattice, the lace of writing i make, stiff linen edict –touch my ruff. Imprint raised from the bias, cut on the grid, riddled profusion, muddled fabrication mix. Filmic grid, shattered raddle, cambric diaphane. Heddlemood, sheer jangle shimmer, a ghost in the loom room, a ghost in the studio. A Friendship Sampler, a scandalous voyage –comrade shambles. How to weld a vision of words and linen, ruby lumen, nomen nature, natural name, raspberry numen. Lip stitched to blood linen–ruby spray of raspberries wavers into palpable color. What comes of inched counting? Colorblossom, wanting, profound marooned roses.
Unstoppable overspill of abundant fruits and berries, stitched chain of natural hues, fabricant, barbarous, unhooked and lost nobility of the "real thing" rhapsode --
("an incendiary kiss..."--n. mackey)
Stitchery primping, pulled-thread lost tooth, wobble-pain, to play with, a
set of sets, set phrases interworked, a rough cut cloth unraveling a
roughcut ruby in a fruitberry cluster, lust after those alley-wild
raspberries frozen into cramped nuggets.
Forced fever stitching, bitten lip and knit fingers, crimped line,
firelies, shped sun–a forsythia gift. A rift of yellow switches, a raft
carried rapt away, a moses-cradle basket-boat adrift, a grief ode. Grid
lain over a chaos of rapture, a yarning pierced by needle, burst burnish of
lustered stone. Rapture athwart its own clumsy beauty–
a raft-basket of sprigs --the light shines through their crude weave–
painstaking precedent tracery–
a lattice of jeweled light– "hell...with many windows open onto heaven..."
every crossroads a window–every vortext a seed, an atom vacated–a
spilt of tongues...
Meshing days in gauze, squeeze whey thru cloth–token atonement, orphan
episteme... stamble... grutt...mu...
a strait line to the fate...cusped curtailed abrupt.
MD: Threadmonster Writecross
The crack in the white wall is its written wound. History leaks out in
toxic magic toxic, a word-dice game. Throat-thread pulls tongue-clipped
song, what does a torture trace on the hourly passage? We stretch the
writing beyond its comfort limit, it cries for us to stop, the crying
sounds like writing, the rain on the skylight types its own story and then
melts. when tongue touched cell wall in a soul kiss, the lad in my tale
felt release, responding to his lover encrypted in a casement of fancy
dreams. To tan the flayed surface, to stretch the tale, to distort the
frame, to mangle to need to wet. A display of stab- skill, a patterned
branding, a spired quilting of translated flesh. No mesh is fine enough,
no weave too rough, a spiral delusion can't sustain itself on digraphic