Monday, 17 February 2014

In favour Of the Nothing Of-- A reading by Dom Gabrielli

In favour Of the Nothing Of

Of The Nothing Of  
I am lucky enough to have followed Michael Mc Aloran's increasingly impressive deliria in both paint and word for some time now. I feel lucky to have sampled one of the sweeter oblivions to be found, here below, in this rather unsavoury neck of the depleted forest that is 21st century poetic production.

This remarkable book, Of the Nothing Of, should startle its readers with its vicious humour and astonishing imagery. Mc Aloran is a master of the subtle, of the minute, of the tender, and then very able to destroy all such niceties with brutal verbal butchery. Yet his images are never obvious nor cliché (unless deliberately to prove a point). This language lives in the muck of the denied, in the graveyard of the repressed. The Beckettian non-narrative is just a start, in fact the meat here is so insubordinate as to remind the reader of another Irish genius, Francis Bacon. Here indeed, Mc Aloran's words cannot be more horrific than life itself. Here we are. In the eternal, modern dilemma to tell it as it is, to rip into and burn illusions and falsities, niceties and conventions. None least of which than existence, ontology itself, stripped, dilapidated and executed with wit. This is a book about difference in itself, the multiplied subject, the zonar and polar consciousnesses which roam, which know too much but can reconcile little. Nothing lurks in the absence of the capability to genuflect to any God or any avatars of such. Of the nothing of. Stutter but do not fall. Fight but do not maul.

The first section of the book is a tour de force. Brutal, dark, pronoun-less narrative, without characters, without subjectivity, without plot. Relentless descriptions of the myriad facets of Nothing and the way the glorious body lives its daily murders: severed organs, razor hands, cum oozing and piss frenzy, open graves, scuttling dead teeth. All will have their moments, parading as mock subjects, their minute ascents, into the slanting ray of glory, raucous night grants the dead in their nothing. Intricate frames where part-sentences, 'apres l'apocalypse' images, partial rhymes and songs, bit-conversations, mingle in a polyphonic surge of voices-images. One of the great claims here is to have invented a style which can absorb all others, whilst surrendering, necessarily, only, to the nothing of, from which it is impossible to rise or escape, without insistent gaseous effort.

"all the while the whispering voices, the murmuring shadows, in a cloud-burst of deathly smoke, haven to fall drenched to the bone with nectar bloodlessness, all having said, and with what absence of sound, click-clack and the spine warping, spit it out the scum of nothingness, genuflect, genuflect unto the memory of the dead god, in the laughter-spill of the orificial night"

Here, language itself speaks the revenge of the innocent, of all the forgotten. Echoes. Where is the author? Where is the hand of the surgeon-poet who is both corpse and medic at his own post-mortem?

Luckily a narrator of sorts will wake in the subsequent sections to 'genuflect to nothing in a vacancy of shit,' to 'inhale the final bones of purpose,' to 'fade as of birth birthed into this death-dreaming.' These, and many more, marvellous lyrical interventions, testify to quite how much insidious humour there is hidden in the bed of Mc Aloran's work:

"I place the blade upon the tongue of my night…

…I am the refuse, of the earth’s quarry…"

To such sentences, there is little to do but admire, keep reading and wait for the next:

"…drag of the old bones, the dead airs, the silent never to become, all ashen and ever bled, till circus, cast aside, the heavenly of, the scarring of…

…i breathe the sudden of…spill of dreaming in a kaleidoscope of shattered colours, igniting the sky…"

And the next:

"the hours pass through me, they claim nothing but the meat of it, the flesh… the endless night is my altar, none else but to expire of breath denounced or spent/ absurd as the wind’s claim, forever, of the else or none…

…the words they fade away, death’s tomes, rustle in the breeze, scattering tumbleweed throughout abandoned graveyards…"

Now it is your turn.
Dom Gabrielli, 15 jan 2013

The book itself is available to purchase here

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