Seething in the dark spitting dragonfly seeds into crimson mists head snared the body limp skeleton of mud ashen blessed skyline of the fall there was nowhere else
(Ah to the shithouse…going on and never returning… better for less…) from ever unto
Michael Mc Aloran’s selected prose, The Bled Sun, is a departure from the thoroughly developed symbol use that is inherent in his poetry and poetic prose. Those familiar with Mc Aloran’s themes and poetic voice will enjoy his selected prose. New readers will find an energetic anti-poet of sure economy.
One of Mc Aloran’s prose protagonists is the HCE of feral alcohol addiction, whose swansong is a lingering and desperate thing in final fragments. While the seedy underbelly of the drug-raddled and nameless city of dissipation mirrors the voice of its protagonist.
The Bled Sun is almost beautiful in its sheer repellence. Affliction goes beyond our necessity to speak, it is a state from which the writer and reader both know that there is no return.
…I sit and drink, the rats scratching behind the skirting boards briefly entertain me…The room is filled with cigarette smoke, and fading, vague light…I refuse to entertain the memories that have brought me to this point, sustained me throughout the rages, unto this utter desolation…I snatch up a bottle and smash it off the wall to silence the bastards…The silence, returns…I clasp tightly at what glass remains, it bites, the blood flows, the pain elevates me… (from final fragments)
These then are Mc Aloran’s works of prose necessity. Here is both the swansong and screaming hope of one who has seen too much casual death through final fragments, dissipation, and ever unto. The final section of the book, from nowhere, is a novella in itself
The Bled Sun is sometimes nauseating in its expression and yet the reader cannot look away, the nadir of the human condition is just a burning hit into a collapsed vein away. If we do not speak its hellishness, how then are we to recognise the most unmapped zone of the human psyche ?
From the Notebooks of __________ )
…closed flesh, a wound seared by the closure of the scream, in my death-dreaming skull a closed fist of madness: I was alive tearing at the limits of the sky…a prism through which the facets of nothingness, discoloured as bruised flesh: I long for the heartless wonder of death, for the absence I may never know…in my translucent skull I fade out of laughter unto the intoxication that is non-being…time has no essence, here, where, where the fuck ever…I am waste unto my becoming, I will be waste in this…as if to spray the sky with blood cum and spit were not enough that I might fall back upon that which I cease to erase…(from dissipation)
Jean Genet put images of serial killers on the walls of his prison cell, he masturbated onto his pages, he worshipped these men with their blank and appalling gazes. Here were the pimps and demons of Paris in endless and narcissistic display. Our Lady Of The Flowers was torn up by a prison guard, Genet rewrote it. In the masturbatory filth and human desperation of his prison cell Genet wrote a great classic whose influence reverberated like a hammered nail through the work of future poets and writers, especially the Beats.
We don’t want necessarily to recognise the nadir of physical desperation, because it is worlds away from what we project about our cities, their literature. What hides in these alleys and torn up bedsits is not the business of the book club really. We avert our gaze from poverty and desperation because it illuminates what we think we have rejected. How stupid we are!
The final chapter or section of the book, from nowhere, is an entire novella in itself. Here, the writing has coalesced into a story about a man on the verge of suicide. from nowhere is stand alone in many ways, looser in theme and less experimental than ever unto. There is a likeability about the protagonist, or maybe his resignation is compelling,
…Ah the whores, they were out tonight on the promenade, I almost choked on my laughter. An auld fucker like me, staggering, half-lost, they’d have robbed me blind and the Caribinierri, well, they’d have probably laughed until they shat themselves at me and the condition of me, drunk and dishevelled, and not a note in my wallet, smeared with lipstick from some gristle bone and flesh. No I just kept walking, that was enough to contend with. Back to my shadow upon the wall and the half-light of the candle and the headlights searching the walls and then across the ceiling. ( from nowhere)
The reader has in The Bled Sun an extensive selected prose of diversity and intensity by Michael Mc Aloran which holds interest and is unencumbered by the necessity to fit into traditional publication structures.
Simone Weil writing on affliction describes a hammer driving a nail through wood, its echoes circling the globe, still,
In the realm of suffering, affliction is something apart, specific, and irreducible. It is quite a different thing from simple suffering. It takes possession of the soul and marks it through and through with its own particular mark, the mark of slavery. (Simone Weil)
The thing about creating such a vibration is that it can be incredibly difficult to sustain it, and such a writer who does must answer to it and develop his theme outward can become lost in attempting its expression. These are large themes that require the lived/livid approach to their verbalisation. This book is not for the pussy reader.
Not here, the rag and bone shop of genteel horror at coming age, but the wound of necessity making itself known to those of us who may have watched in blind helplessness the transmogrification of the human to the feral animal during the course of heroin addiction.The masked face, the bottomless black pits that were eyes. The emptying of the human being and his replacement with the salts and metals of addictions. That.
But McAloran would laugh at my simple attempts to place his work in a literary context, it is his own. The Bled Sun is lived/livid with despair, scorn, deep anger, the voice of necessity. This book had to be written or vomited- and we are the better for it.
An Irish society that is so terrified of its own shadow that it deliberately denies human experience and puts on this mismanaged and terribly trite front that permeates the too-pretty, too genteel literature that clogs the shelves and pushes out the Genets, the Batailles and anything that gives a whiff of being a bit too dark, a bit too cadaverous, maybe a bit too chiarascuro or baroque.
I don’t give a shit really about critics here. A lot of current critique is pattern book, as if there were a mean. The glorious technicolor of the self-affirming seeks only to alienate a generation of young and radical writers who will find their material through the independent presses or online. Questioning the established modus operandi is the work of the writer and McAloran does so extremely.