Thursday, 21 July 2011

Review by Dom Gabrielli of 'Unto Naught', (Erbacce-Press)

Musings on Naught, Michael Mc Aloran's new chapbook from Erbacce Press

Mc Aloran's stance, awkward as it might seem, is ever clearer: the stubborn pursuit of his own difference. In this sense the poet is a geographer of the self, writing an intimate cartography of sensations. Such is the polysemic and molecular complexity of the land of Naught, the landscapes of this minutely individual world are becoming ever more fascinating to those of us who have seen Mc Aloran grow in stature and confidence. Of course the superficial diagnosis is gloomy and one can imagine the smirks as prudes and show-offs run for cover at the inglorious images of ungainly becoming which populate this world of poetic spirits. But in the fearful agony and pain, black too folds, its grey tinges weeping freely in the liberating drunkenness of release. Nursery rhyme ritornellos remind the fellow traveller of the coordinates of profound fear when personality can no longer help, where identity has been long gone and sensations are free to roam, to run, to sail. Yes there is another newly regained time, one which is a very well kept secret. Not a time to reminisce or pine, not a time to lament. Such Times are irrelevant. For the new nothing is a time of the surface, a time of moments immediately undone as they happen. Of minuscule events whose beautiful (in)significance is only apparent to those who have relinquished all forms of ideological bombardments in a world without ideals, hopes or purposes.

Surgeon scalpel to hand, the poet explores his own wounds and kicks dust into the voyeur-reader's judgemental countenance. The book? The narrator? The poem? Nothing so grand, barely fragments, barely sentences, barely words in this decidedly post-Beckettian cosmos. Hence this tongue in cheek, this lick in wound, humour, sarcasm and buffoonery. Irony died with the subject. Some internal rhyme, some petales du mal, sprinkled with black pollen, in a sunless desert. Mc Aloran guides us through Naught with malicious brilliance.  There is no entitlement to hope, no body, barely these living wounds inscribed with the pen scalpel in the writer's land of affects, and some abject vomit and piss. The bile of centuries of literary invective has been learnt. Many past writers have been buggered and bastard infant-poems birthed. Critics and philosophers surrealistically ingurgitated. Poem dogs have been noosed to the eunuch totem of anxiety's future.

So the poet gets up today relatively free. He writes on the tympanum of futile tomorrow. He carries on despite the apparent apathy and indifference which surrounds his valiant efforts. He doesn't give a fuck that everyone seems to prefer poet laureates and Oxbridge graduate's effete musings about 'the truth,' 'first loves' or 'daisies and buttercups'. The poet is an animal and like a tick's essence is to suck blood, a poet's essence if ever he had one is to bleed the arteries of nothing. The counter-productive and counter-cultural vocation of the outlaw is to write the law of the future, a brave man once said. Even if there's no future? Why carry on then? Because there's little else to do, once you've travelled this place of Nothing, but to sprinkle this negativity with the dust of stars.

I find these mutterings beautiful and fascinating, I encourage you to read them, to live with them. To chart this country and live with the patois of a beautiful vagabond.

Strangely and amid great guffaws of laughter, the agonistic struggle of the ephebe continues. Beckett, Bataille, Popa, Rimbaud, Cioran can be heard in the interstices. The gauntlet constantly changes colour as any decent painter would will it. There is no fear of going mad. Literature has long been on the pyre, in the abattoir, in the pit. Artaud has burnt the interpretational masks over this chaos-cosmos.

Now spells are cast and sail freely through highly digitalised space. Messages are sent in real time. Tribes of like-minded poet warriors gather and disintegrate instantaneously. Spies and madwomen follow from acute vantage. Luckily Naught cannot be photographed. There will be no films or clips. The only trace is the one you read, inscribed in your blood. The poem without author. The bones without body. Precursors have failed miserably at such attempts because wounds must remain wounds in this world of anti-words. Why try to heal in a rotten and sick world? How absurd is that? Speaking as the last, after the last, in the impossible lasting, words are shattered, fractured, bludgeoned, infected, painted with venom and silent sickness and lovingly posted into the world become asylum. Silently they shall live in this laboratory for saccharine dependent patients with unlimited diseases.

Mc Aloran is a leader without followers. The best we can do is buy all his books and collect this marvellous and futureless opus.

This infectious book can be found here:

From "The Zero Eye", (Oneiros Books 2014)

  i …in zero eye/ from out of which/ trace without trace/ ice black/ non-ask/ non-else in absence of/ shadow/ overture of nothi...