Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Review of Michael McAloran’s 'In Damage Seasons', by A.D. Hitchin

Review of Michael McAloran's 'In Damage Seasons'


In many respects, it is somewhat absurd to attempt to review Michael McAloran’s In Damage Seasons in any conventional sense for this is an asemic text that demands to be experienced. Simultaneously, it is also a text that acknowledges within itself that all such experiences and interpretations will necessarily be subjective; as subjective as the richly brutal shards of imagery that appear and disappear amorphously throughout its fragments.

The triptych structure – Onset, In Damage Seasons and nothing’s bones – presents a raw, uncompromising, post-industrial landscape that explodes from the page in a kaleidoscopic multi-sensory assault:

knots of charred grass subtle as a death knell a burst abortion of bloodless words the entrails scattered the night the night’s long pale electric shadow…

a razor whip of toothen trees sucks upon the deadened veins of exit exist tooth to tooth with naught begging of the lie…

The environment of In Damage Seasons could be described as dystopian providing we acknowledge it is precisely the same dystopian environment in which we currently find ourselves. Arguably the greatest poetry acknowledges and conveys something about the human condition, and In Damage Seasons captures the contemporary Western zeitgeist with raw, unrepentant majesty. McAloran’s is an anguished, howling, detached verse, disembowelled by absence and alienation; spattered with shit, piss, cum and viscera:

there is no sun better yet we have swallowed the dead cum of absence the swelling meat in the mouth clasped down upon till castrative screams echoing violently the bloody dead meat of it spat out into foreign excrement…

night cleaves yet harms no banquet distances settled from nothing graced by the teeth a-graze till spark of blood and nectar hollowed out a miasma of shit in climates of the invisible known a bitter ashen…

McAloran unflinchingly confronts us with what we are and what we’ve become. It could be said that In Damage Seasons presents the seer becoming the seen in the most horrifying, nightmarish way possible. If so, it is a nightmare we are all familiar with and most of us will find more than a little of ourselves uncomfortably reflected in the jagged teeth of McAloran’s splintered imagery. In it we may recognise our personal swell of absence and our very own damage seasons.

                                                                                                          A.D. Hitchin


In Damage Seasons is available from Oneiros Books: http://www.paraphiliamagazine.com/indamageseasons.html

3 Sketches--



viii-

…so stirs the/ hollowed out in vascular unspoken/ a-grace with bleed of the there or else/ of the none/ the broken bones of absences/ traces/ shadows forming in the abscess/ discoloured light/ given to follow/ as if in that or of the which/ spewing forth in cannon reach of absent prosperous aligned/ so roams the eye in coliseum of given dirt/ blood/ subtle as a sliced eyeball/ hence/ no pace the a-lack of turning soil in the dreaming of what still-dredge of given/ taken from out of nothing left to claim/ yet ever  onwards/ fettered speeches/ given less than taken from/ hilt/ claim of the whispered obsolete/ till damage season of the withheld/ says it says no no nothing/ collapsed into the splendour of kaleidoscope and venture none/ mocked by the offal of remnants/ settled to fall asunder/ spoken yes unspoken/ silences to obliterate all/ in roomscape of diseased light/ head vast what head/ non-being in the cylindrical of/ all struck spun left to sheer/ pulse shale/ a mimicry of sound/ so stirs the/ as if/ close the wound of it/ closed the coffin lid/ dreaming less or more of it it says/ all the while the amber sudden shock breath the spinning pageant/ shaft/ vault/ and yet the becoming of/ till mockery of meat rescends/ drift/ drift yes of the a-lack alone/ in a given pageant/ it says/ biting still…


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ix-

…catacomb eye of the seeing of/ the seeing none/ take up thy cross and walk/ as if to speak of it/ the dusts climb the foreign dead walls/ the glint in the eye of the slaughterhouse inherent climbs the spinal tree/ to strike from out of fission some longing some obsolete/ voice yes or no/ the grit in the shadow of the dreamscape prevails/ all as if/ spoken yes/ no nothing yes or no what of the soiled hands that crave the silenced murmuring/ dead stone/ perhaps/ aching to follow on from out of the here or there/ bone bite and the obsolete/ the lack/ kissed by the blood dust of some menagerie/ the teeth in a bind a lock of/ spurious skylines/ what trace left to follow/ blinded by nocturne/ take up thy…/ [exhales]/ tightens the thumbscrews of desire for that which is merely else/ a deathed tide/ the solace of terror/ sung aloft/ yes/ dead stone/ vibrating silence/ one-two-three/ a meat hook stylus/ atrophic clock/ rooting oneself from out of this unto utter dark/ not a trace of being but for the embers/ the accost of/ spit shine of the boot kicking at the cleft arse/ rockabye/ dense as shit the days advance/ traceless yet traceless/ bound by blind/ spitting out the rancid blood of tears/ shadowing/ mock stun of the given else…


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x-

…refuse the itch/ it says/ more shit than shovel/ enough blade to bite the frostbitten hand/ as if to close the wound with acrid sands/ here or there another cleft/ disappearing the voice ever emanating out from/ as if to follow were to be/ claim of the discharge of night’s occlusion/ a sneer of rotting teeth in the veins the pulse the ever having known knowing nothing/ yet/ or of/ in/ silenced yet never knowing of the pupil of the unseen asking/ the drag of exile/ speech-driven/ dead speech what laughter/ bone-blessed/ the marrow’s itch/ as if to claim upon/ where none is the square root of fuck all worth/ so it may be said/ it rails/ the throat slashed/ not a trace/ driven yet it follows/ a cacophony of lights/ foreign as if to drift/ see-saw/ hop-scotch/ wasted breath/ banquet of the redeem/  excreta of/ refuse the itch/ here or there/ bitten by frenzy/ the collapsed lung of disavowal/ speech without tread/ bone laughter/ the vibrating willow’s shed of tears what tears/ it cannot/ arc of failed covenant/ alack/ from the depths of the well/ the echoes collecting the shells/ the succumb/ the rat’s pelt and the ache of winds in an absent glut/ collecting the gathering of it/ the bones of it/ some semblance/ night/ and the ever forgetting of it…