Meredith Quartermain

Working Note

What are the myths of daughtership and the father-daughter relationship? What is one daughter’s experience in the context of these? Can the daughter’s words ever be understood by the father, or are the language of the father and language of the daughter too radically separated by distinct social experience? Why must a daughter who has answered the first question No go back and face the crypt? These are the starting points of my explorations in I Came Bearing Bears. Then, further, I wonder, how is the father-daughter relationship paralleled by colonization between nations and patriarchal hierarchies of knowledge and power? Is there a sense of aboriginal being outside these hierarchies or must this remain a dream? The text explores an amoebic psychological landscape that stretches between Dublin and various points across Canada and between younger and older versions of the narrator, who invents something she calls Willow Language as a sort of companion in this venture.

The passage included in How2 is the opening of the novel. At a later point in the following passage (which appeared this year in on word in England), I found I had stated metaphorically some of the nature of my exploration, my poetic praxis and my sense of how language is deployed and received:

The newsstand bloke takes my punts and returns Irish coins, each one carrying miniature Tara harps with horses, stags, bulls, fish, and herons. I pocket the harps and animals, then set out toward the river researching my fatherworld, Father Freud, Father Marx and Father Darwin, fathers of consciousness, fathers of unconsciousness. Like a Jacques Cartier Coureur de Bois, I deploy snowshoes, ropes, canoes, theodolites and transits from my station of assigned coordinates to measure distances in a succession of lines known as traverses, to take bearings that I cosign in the trigonometry of angulated plots. To account for the basic shapes of earth in the convergence of true north meridians, I must also know property law. But although simple relief of the terrain's configuration seems impossible, perhaps I can untie the contour lines of readable pictures, showing true elevations of dams, bridges, tunnels, canals, transmission lines and sewers, moving further and further from shore where the soundings are muddier and finally the ocean in infinite.

At the same time, in other writings, I was becoming intensely aware of the way words buzz with a sensibility outside their denotative dictionary meanings—a kind of tactile harmonics that I could compose in landscapes of rhythm, motion and texture.  The words buzz like bees, and these buzzings invoke the shamans of our being.  So powerful are they that our schooling devotes 12 to 20 years teaching us to suppress them in our reading strategies. 














From I Came Bearing Bears, a Novel (manuscript)

You asked me about my father, so I will tell you.  He died of cancer, probably not very quickly.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  About six years before, someone wrote a note to me that he’d been diagnosed.  I didn’t write back. 

Seventeen years before his death was the last time I spoke to him.  He’d sent one of his cryptic notes, which said “I take full responsibility for what happened.”  What had happened, I wonder.  I filed the note away as evidence of murder.  Then, he telephoned me.  The last thing I said to him on the phone was, No, there’s no point.  We speak different languages.

Silence was the only answer.  The language of the father was not the language of the daughter.  Maybe because language is ultimately a private event.  Incommensurable spaces gape between us. 

But then who am I and who are you but people I invent?  Where is the territory of I and the territory of you?  The territory of father and the territory of daughter? The territory of Irish and the territory of Canadian?  You have a literary address: Leopold Bloom, Ireland.  I address you as Mr. Bloom.  Like you I spent a day in Dublin only mine was October 31 whereas yours was June 16, and then of course you went on living there with your wife Molly and your daughter Milly and your son Rudy.

My father, too, is an invention, a literary address, and I am another one.  You could say I went in search of these addresses in the General Post Office in Dublin and then in the General Post Office of memory—it too having war memorials for its declarations of independence.

To Ireland.  To the land of Ire.  Of murder and love and mourning.  To the land of Ire on a flying bus called RyanAir which gave me the last seat on a bank holiday weekend, the plane packed with rowdy college students laughing and joking in the back rows so the stewardess with her stockinged legs and her blond hair coming a little unpinned had to stop the safety announcement like a peremptory nanny and wait for sh sh sh to go round, then start up again about exits and air masks and diagrams in seat pockets and then stop,  sh sh sh, and start over.  My return from the land of Ire—impossible—the man from Stena Steamship I spoke to by telephone insisting I had to get to Dublin and book it in person.  Yes normally people just arrive and walk on to the ferries but for Canadians we have different rules.  I don’t believe this speech you have offered me about master cards, I insist on seeing your real body.  The telephone itself a sinister network of harmonic ferries.

When I arrived, I didn’t really know much about you.  I’d heard of course.  You are rather famous, you and your ancient namesake.  You pointed out a Martello tower, but it wasn’t till much later that I realized the significance of this to you and even now this significance is truly impossible for me to capture—this sense of a landmark in literature and imagination, this home of a struggling lion of letters, a father of literature, who set out to write an epic ironically depicting all that made life an epically unepic paralysis.  Instead, at the time, what I saw was something that looked like a small round cement fortress clinging to a cliff above the sea and when you said these towers were built to fight Napoleonic invasions I immediately pictured our bunkers in Stanley Park in Vancouver, built to ward off Japanese invasions in the second world war.  Dublin was under construction, the site of an odyssey in the father language, an odd thing – an odd fish-line hurled in a higgledy piggledy loop—of invasions, bunkers and fortresses.

My guidebook was quite clear about where to find you in the brass plaques in the streets.  One of them mentioned you had experienced a “puffball of smoke” coming from a barge on the river.   Another said you smelled “mockturtle vapour and steam of newbaked jampuffs rolypoly” from Harrison’s Restaurant, which was still there on the east side of Westmoreland Street.  Every year by following these plaques people retrace their hero’s footsteps. 

I begin to trace my footsteps. 

You dropped me off at Clontarf DART Station which wasn’t on my tourist map.  The DART was not darting.  The gates were closed, the ticket office closed, people were leaping the turnstiles anyway.  Polite Canadian that I am, I hesitated until someone unlatched the sidegate.  Headlines pursued me.  Canadian arrested for fraudulent ride on Dublin transit system, polite Canadian always in transit.  Please purchase your ticket at destination, a sign said.  But signs must be interpreted.  Very well, I would not be arrested on my only day in Dublin.  I got off two stops later at Tara Station.

The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.

Little did I know then how far I would have to search for Tara and my harp.

A couple of blokes stood at the exit gate lurking in their guard cage—there is no Canadian word for bloke as we don’t have them in Canada, or at least not in Vancouver, or at least not enough of them to qualify for a word.  Maybe we need more football or soccer matches, or maybe we need to import the word bloke so that heavy-set, sheepish-looking males relentlessly external to the internet in a world of electronic signs, will have a place to live, a website as it were.  The plight of the bloke is mine, polite Canadian without a ticket.  Or is it? Maybe I’ve got too much of a website—a daughter site I long to escape from,  a father site I want to claim with murderous ambition.

The guard blokes are talking among themselves and hardly notice my non-existent ticket.  When they do, they laugh.  Over there, they gesture past the guard station to the ticket booth.  Polite Canadian purchases ticket and brings it back to blokes.  This time they seem really puzzled.  Like why did I come back?  The one who seems more on duty rather than his friend who seems to be there mainly for blokish company takes the ticket, looks at both sides.  Why don’t you keep it, he says, Use it on the way back.

I crossed a bridge and walked along Eden Quay, on the lookout for snakes of course and naked men and women with figleaves.  I began to search for a cafe that the guidebook said was an essential Dublin experience—a Bewley’s oriental cafe.  Was it run by Chinese, I wondered in a silly way.  Amazing that any of these signposts convey anything.  Could a Canadian be oriental in Dublin?  I walked past the statue at the foot of O’Connell Street and up O’Connell Street through the columns of the Post Office.  But of course I couldn’t find a Bewley’s.  Some say only the unexpected arrives.

Daniel O’Connell towering over the broad boulevard of O’Connell Street across from Burgerking formed the bold design of combining the Irish Catholic millions, under the superintendence of the native priesthood, into a vast league against the existing order of things – the bold design of claiming back the Irish Republic.  Yes!  This is it.  I hurl out my fish-line to the vast league against the existing order of things.

Walk bricks and stones in the arches, spires, cornices and architraves of Dublin in the land of Ire.  Walk up Henry Street, turn to narrow side streets till I find a cafe for breakfast.  A small  plain storefront full of ordinary people drinking coffee and smoking, unlike the grand cafe I’d passed up along the way with its revolving doors, quaint bentwood chairs and marble tables, huge windows from which to see and be seen by passersby on the busy street, and also a huge line-up at the self-service counter.  Which do you think would be more authentic, Mr. Bloom, for the “Dublin effect”? 

And who are ordinary people?  In my back-street cafe they wear mainly straight-cut black or dark clothes.  Pale and slender with spines like curving willow branches, two young girls serve the customers.  The willow girls, I hail them silently, hunch over their notepads.  Their jeans and aprons are black.  Their T-shirts white fading to gray.  A large sign says toilets are for customers only.  Whereas, in the grand cafe of my memory people are wearing beige or brown wool with dashes of orange, purple or green as they mill about display cases of savories.

My father wanted to be something more than ordinary, something as significant as a Leopold Bloom—someone with a Bloom effect.  I address this from the boonies of Vancouver on the west coast of British Columbia.  I address this from beyond the pale—in the low-income housing projects down by the Vancouver dockyards—their washed-out brick, their yellow doors, their turquoise pipe railings. 

A figure approaches me, coat open to a spreading bulge of abdomen, button across it pulling on flaps of white-faded-to-gray shirt, exposing a V of hairless chest skin—man or woman, hard to say, yellowy gray wave of hair sprawled from a side parting across the head and down below the ears, in tired tendrils, the way you see in some aging rancher or bartender.  The figure approaches, face sallow, eyes sagging, walk drifting.  The figure approaches Hope abandoned—the boundary of Hope and Hopeless, sense and senseless. 

Some people give up, I guess.  Then, some invent themselves as one who’s just between jobs.  Jobs give workers ground to stand on—give workers themselves.  Just as the roulette wheel gives the gambler the gambler.  Just as heroin gives the user a charming wit.  Just as words give the writer the writer and the reader the reader.  Just as the father gives the daughter the daughter.  And the daughter gives the father the father.  The murderee, the murderer.  Which shall I be? 

Can one ever cease to invent one’s self?  Apart from death?



From Gospel According to Bees (Keefer Street, 2000)

Gospel According to Bees

Sometimes they put two boiler slaves in charge of the sugar-boiling to spell each other.   Spell a word; cast a spell.   Hot spell, cold spell, dizzy spell, gospel.  Spells spell a word cast a spell spelling spells.  Fainting spells  Knitting spells  Howling spells  Laughing spells Writing spells  Read a word under spell of  its spell.  Unread it.  Disspell it.  Unspell a word and recast it.  Unspell words from dictionaries.  Recast our words.  Your words.  My words.  Give the horses a spell.  Rest a spell.  Spellful.  We cannot tell the way things are; only spill into spells.

Spell binding like book binding.

Spell spell spiel
Spell spell speer
Spell speer spool
Spell spool sparrow

Spell spiel spinney
Spell spinney tale
Spell spiel spider
Spell spoor spiral

Spell spider sprue
Spell spool boil
Spell spry spume
Spell sugar spiro

Spell sperm sphery
Spell sphery splay
Spell sparrow spear
Spell spawn splore

Spell spoon royal
Spell royal rule
Spell rule boil
Spell real blue!

Spelling bees at a spinnery.  Pleating pleats an incomplete from plies of compliscence to fold together barks or plaited willows with narrow inlets.  Take a spell running the sphygmus, a spellwork of plaitwork’s imbricate lapping.  Spell me at night watch.  Spell me at hauling the nets.  Spell me at haunting howling the nets, knitted unknitted nets.  Spell me at castanets at casting nets at casts outcast overcast, a sugar spell, a moon spell, spelling a story, an apartment block, a seaside, a cuckoo clock.

Sugar caster spell caster spell the seer spell the sparkle play and gambol cast the seen spun in the Gothic spill spun in the spurrit spill byspel and gospel spell the seen spell the peas and beans spell the bees spelling bees in the spinneys and thickets and the thickest thickety thickets thick with crickets cast worm casts shadow casts about comes about coming unspellable unforecasted a stone’s cast a glance cast a votive cast a shade of thought tinged in a play played in a plaited incomplete well filled with never, well played in earth’s dice in metal melted molten molted casting off as stitches bow-lines the cast of the father’s twisted inflorescence warped in jaggery sugar toddy sugar cane ships full of bees cunning casts in clay casters of cense.

In the centre of the casting pit, fix a crane holding a ladle charged with molten metal.  Give us a cast to the next stage as we cast unto others incrustations of viscous crystals coiled in feathery plumes of small spikelets, sometimes boiled in open double-bottomed pans, sometimes heated by boiling oil and stirred steadily to make sands concrescent in small granules of real called basket sugar.  Centre the taphole of the ladle over each mould ringed around the pit.  A scent of unspellable spindles the height of the culm immanent culminant, sometimes yellow, sometimes red, sometimes purple internoded in sepals in steeples in swells.  Tap molten metal into each embellishment.  Dip deep-bowled under mother-liquor cooked only to string point in vessels cast of rondels to purge strikes of sugar hurled castle to rooks castle.  Clay this sugar, this moisture percolate through vast mass, washing away as molasses.

Spell our prayer, spell our casting, spell our temple, spell our masking.


Forensic Pleasure: Jubilate

Forensic pleasure pegs a foothold at court.
As pleas pleased her, so the plaintiff’s plea was her azure leash her lease or       leisure.
Her forum of foramina argues a curios of city.
Pleasure, as forensic question, is aphorismic, with aphrodites.
For the general good is evident and not for anyone to prescribe.
For pleasure’s presents all hell is joy
For pleasure’s eloquence makes forensic effort
For pleasure’s state is magnanimous Rome
For pleasure’s mined forensic as judicial
For pleasure’s investigate with dress of capital
For pleasure’s subject to speculation
For pleasure’s as tall as an age mirrors
For pleasure’s music a king clothes
For pleasure’s remedy a truth aches
For pleasure’s unlaced with new omens
For pleasure’s general good for pleasure
For pleasure’s in store in winter’s court
For pleasure’s a peach, a lake, a lark
For pleasure’s salt is good for cattle
For pleasure’s skins are fond of rugs
For pleasure’s birch is shaft’s baby
For pleasure’s asking nothing ill
For pleasure’s taken for a ride and left for a wile
For pleasure’s taken for a thief and left for dead
For pleasure’s for asking as wool is for lambs
For pleasure’s outlawed for a song or dragoon
For pleasure’s claim the world is theirs
For pleasure’s fire eyes will sparkle
For pleasure’s cries ring out in anguish
For pleasure’s mule is river for rocks
For pleasure’s camp is straitened means
For pleasure’s liable for the whole sum
For pleasure’s ride for all that’s in you
For pleasure’s appointed as birds in winterFor pleasure’s escape as freedom runs       for wisdom
For pleasure’s wizard as sketches run to honey
For pleasure’s owl for all their feathers
For pleasure’s reach to peach us godspel
For pleasure’s nothing nothing for it
For pleasure’s garden what for for all
For pleasure’s vidence proof is guidance
For pleasure’s a test of upright doublets
For pleasure’s success impervious probe us
For pleasure’s spirit undergone and testful
For pleasure’s raiment for heaviness
For pleasure’s ten voices for one bird tune
For pleasure’s sense for Robin’s passions
For pleasure’s blow for blow for beauty
For pleasure’s for worlds and wicked for gods
For pleasure’s set out for three for a dozen
For pleasure’s taste for art and scribbling
For pleasure’s bent for jewels and justice
For pleasure’s bound for ashes and money
For pleasure’s drink and write for morning
For pleasure’s made for foreign rain
For pleasure’s itch embrace its fissures fishers fish in foreign leisure
For line for line, point for point, pleasure’s dome swamps all pastures
And therefore sail
And therefore come
And therefore cities are there for her
And therefore she will punish money
And therefore play hard her sure desire
Hear ye therefore and therefore be sailed
Hear ye obscure and therefore be sacred
Hear ye beauteous and therefore be forest
Hear ye gentle and therefore be won


Three Reels

First Reel

read reel off read
read reel off freed
read real awefully
read reel a fairy

read real afright
read reel if freed
read real as might
read reel for seed

read real afar
read real a fee
read real a farl
read reel off reef

read real conceal
read reel a weed
read real genteel
read reel a free


Another Reel

We jump whether we jump heather
we jump weigh there we jump heather
we jump weather we jump heather
we jump where the we jump heather
we jump whether we jump.

We jump
whether we jump
heather we jump
weigh there we jump
heather we jump
weather we jump
heather we jump
where the we jump heather
we jump whether we jump.


A Third Reel

Stretch has never been breach
has ever been etch
has never been each
as never can catch
has ever been peach
as never can fetch
has ever been teach.

Stretch has ever been speech
as ever can retch
has never been leach
as ever can fetch
has never been each
as never can etch
has ever been bleach.

Stretch has never been teach
has ever been letch
as ever can reach
has never been catch
as ever can speech
has ever been fetch
as ever can each.


Night Blooming Cereus: An Essay on Description

Cranes on the docks PREE PREE PREE to containers containing containments of packages.  Dream time comes.  Hot night sounds.  Laughter on steps.  Ka-chunk-chunk-chunk, motorcycle.  Pistons the notion I can describe this. I too could bloom at night, send night fingers into sky, pluck stars casting I in ImagInatIon, a play in three axes (as in taxes) or axes (as in taxis).

Finger blooms spindly and droops to undersky we take as black lake.  Reflection.  Finger inflections ten wriggly toes, an effect of connection.

Do not look back at parataxis: space as function of time.  Feel it.  Our capsule’s luminous puff of frog-throat riding through sea-worm dimensions, mad to cross borders.  Worms wriggle everywhere.  No, you can’t camp here.  You are outlaw.

Elaborate a ruse for the border guards.  This intelligence as reading interstices.  You can’t camp here.  One of us will disappear in the labyrinth, pretend he is lost, reappear on the other side of a border, masquerade as guards inflect our di-mentia, its labiate labour permeate axis.

The Father is the Father of the border guards.  Do not look back to the axes. We are captured by the guards in our capsule. Do not look back except to axe.

He is the Father.  Farther and farther.  Pretend to be nice  meaning meat for the guards to eat.  Night blooming meat strung up by its feet.   Swung up by its feet.  Bludgeoned down down, our faces as wrecking balls blooded on borders we have sinned and sinned and sinned.  Forgetting to say thank you in transitive transparency.

A Cereus effect.  Curious evil light of street lamp thru Venetian blind.  Someone writes this.  Something haunts something contingent upon something rewritten as lurkers in night effects night effects night.  You disappears when I address it. 

The You effect.  The border guard will not allow sugar cane.  It is out of season.  You may not take sugar cane back. 

You again.  But there is no point asking who you are.  Youing and Iing in this leaking at night past border guards.  They are Youing and Iing.  Which of us are guards have leaked in like ink from a black lake (in parentheses) night blooming sky.  Night blooming eyes (in transitives).

You—an effect of—no I cannot you—an effect of not I
in effect not you.  We keep moving our capsules’ envelope time like antelopes. 

Coyote lopes on night roping roof.   Slopes to the underlake.  Scream of long-legged cranes wheel maws along ships.  Pulleys cable, hooks grapple a feast of containments.  Rust blue green blurts in the dock light beside black black sea.  You say this with longing for sea song.  You or I.  Or they. Can say. Train grunts shunt.  Then screech along rails, long alongs along rails.  You-Iing to night, an effect of night.

Father of this song. Angry underbelly of self-consciousness boils up out of blunt black sounds. Out of season.  You cannot take it back.  You are law, an effect of law, a law of effects.  Blow job in a car at the curb, idling its engine. 

Cigarette glow in the shadows.  You see this whether you want to.   Sugar cane out of season.  Growl-oof.

Dog reads night scents—a kind of gnosis.  Growl-oof  in his dogged dogness, the noun stops thought like pitch on a pipe, night holes we play black.  Sentences expect more and more cigarettes.  Pull the blossom out my desiccated branches.  Pull back Hylocereus undatus.  Green scaled wood wax out of tubular whiteness.  Pull back.  Is it you?  Waving?  I repeat my growl-oof into night longing for a lyric wax among three-winged stems. Naming it.

Naming it gnosis.  Night knows animal things wax and scaly wave upon wave upon wave upon wave upon wave.  Beast after midnight.  Hesitate, stop.  Take wood wax in tubular whiteness: the I blossoms longing for a long song of eye-trains long along rails along docks pulled out of night.  Thunk-tunk a-tunk.  Thunk-tunk a-tunk.  Thunk-tunk a-tunk a rail song spinning You I spun.  Have spun as spiders spit.   Coyote You, coyote I.  Try to sink black into ink -- which of us are guards which write the guards.  Which the ships and sheep-thick fragrance that cloys our lips, our existence contingent on matrix and gnosis, contingent networks undoings, invention convention and guards of deployment.  You you.  I I.  I you.  You I.  He hes.  She shes.  We we.  They they.  It its.  Occupy blossoms undoing this this, Undatus.  With short stout spines of description, from the written, unwrite.




Agog                Now


            — Angora Anguish


Dragon eguagnal,

I send you magnolia daggers ragna of the gods rangorous agnomen hidden in Colorado hidden in idio long-fingered long lingered and indigo for ideas eagle our dialogue our diagonal logos to lag word idle alloys of Idaho ignescent and pagan ignescent and wagon way gone agon ally igneous angered or ideo-ed and langorous-idded a figure struggle from a ground glanced arrayed logy with lignin sidled from anguish and angora, logy with lingua, anguine eguagnal, logy with signaled ragoon.


Encounters with Narrative: the State of How It Is

So far
Narrative as we have known it tells a story or state.
Therefore narrative is telling.
Narrative enthralls with identity: you get i.d. from telling it
Like tea leaves.
You get id i.d. and ideas: your passport papers.
The state and ideas are narratives by history.
History has no id i.d.
History is a narrative you cannot identify with.
Biology is a narrative by homo sapiens mainly about non homo sapiens they
       cannot identify.
Newspapers are narratives by money.
Newspapers account and recount identities to make them natural.
Whereas some narratives explain why, others horrify by explaining there is no
Narratives belong to expla-Nations.
Foreigners do not.
Once you have passport papers, you cannot travel to other states because
        narrative makes invisible the state of how it is—
The state of the art
The state of emergency
The state of siege
The state of disrepair
The state of the secret, the room, the weather.
To state how we cannot state the real estate is the theory of international law—
A world divided into solid, liquid, gas
Larval, pupal, adult
States independent of other states
Sovereign within their boundaries
Equal between themselves.
The state of things makes them pleasant. 
At ease.  At pleasure.  A field of inflated soldiers.  Act at ease. 
Habit makes them pleasant—
A manner of standing or dress
Roads or health
Affairs or anger
In the confinement of felons 
Or small electric charges from sweaters
Sovereignty of mudcats, corn crackers, pelicans, turpentines and nutmegs,
The narratives of squatters, beans, webfoots. 
Can we secede from sage hens and suckers
With bailiffs and rectors
To reserve the soul from national disposition: bananas, coffee, arenas, gladiators?
Narratives belong to expla-Nations.
Foreigners do not.
The stateless are at war with coherence, a narrative by history according to point
        of view.
The narrative state masters its slaves, its artifacts of production.
The narrative state is coherence: a statement stating statutes of statistics.
Point of view tells history without i.d.
Real estate is sovereign according to history without i.d.
Real estate is always at the station in the state we are in.
The narrative station, presupposed by text, tells history without i.d.:
A dark and bloody ground
A set of bailiffs or a set of beliefs
Animal, vegetable, mineral.
Point of view without id i.d. tells the republic of textual and the republic of actual
The republic of virtual and the republic of sinful
The republic of possible and the republic of fictional
The republic of real and the republic of narrative—
States independent of other states
Sovereign within their boundaries
Equal between themselves.
Imperial between themselves.
Speech acts of each other.
Colonies of each other.

In the siege of stateless emergency, the stateless inhere
Irreparably untold inhering with there and here—
Adhering with unfastened
Unreeled relentlessly unrealing.
The stateless untell the natural states standing sovereign in coinage.
Standing stateless between name and quality, the unbound untold realm an
Unname the relentless.


Entropic Forms

To entrope, or wrap in a turn.

Sir Architect stands over his building divebombed in a mountain gorge. Madame Opera Star paces the carpet, cross that I missed her performance. My goat runs rampantly through their yards tangling the tether in and out of a series of posts that get my goat: postmodern, post human, post post-office, post peatmoss, post posting posts.

Madam Opera Star: Earnestly adhere to the post.

Sir Architect: Post the posting in the postman.

Me:  Who will that be?

Elephant, elephone, telephant, telephone.
Phone: the smallest distinguishable speech unit. 
Phone what you think.
With coloratura.

To entrope, wrap in a turn.  Macaronicism: sentences interrupted and jumbled upted like a plate of macaroni.  Thus: spaghetticism; seaweedism; mobiusism.

Phoebe’s Song, the Phoebus: the Sun personified in brilliant text, counter-intelligence radiant in its twists and turns, its ellipsis and equivoque.

Or earnest anthood
lacks the importance of enjambments.  Contingent with touching upon possible troops in fortuitous assemblage, the junctive entails cutting to impose necessary junctescence.

I dream of Chinese food in a junk.  Bamboo shoots bamboozle, bean sprouts bok choy. Bees.  Ginger garlic and rice chow mein.  Truck chirp, the garbage men chowmein down the lane of trash cans.  Trash mein.  Lane mein.  Tins.  Jars. Crumpled paper. Pizza crusts.  Steak rinds.  Bones.  Leftover lettuce.  Soggy diapers.  Grease.  Morality.  Rules.  Judgments.  Throw them out.  Is a word a judgment?  If I say that’s a dog, is that a judgment?  Say I describe the edges of not-dog, the blur where fur meets air, ear is sound, here is there.

Invent a dog when you name it ogd or odg.  Where, when, how are they?  Myth of odg: odgetheism.

Logos of odg: odgology.

Could we be odgatic? Meta-odgic or odgical?  When is irresistible odgidity? 

Small aphid-like insects infest my fingers, farming in figurines.
Dear God, Can humans have aphids?
Is a novel like a belly-button with wings, or is it more like a ship?
Is morality a mushroom?

To entrope or fold.  The irresistible tendency of a universe to turn
thinking.  Unlock it.  Knitted and knotted.  Ravelled.  My dear, you look simply ravelled, fractalled, invaginant.  Circumspectral, circumstantial circumnavigant aliving. Simply contingent hilarity.  Simply dangerous with sublime. 

Othering, you law others.  Shove the furniture around.  That you have invented.  The giant solipsistic you, a monster of entropy, who made all evil in the universe, who lug it around in a lumpy sack on your back, who foul the moon with rocks and rubble breaking your concrete mood.

Such heavy lenses.  Heavy jagged lenses.  Can we see it, entrope the installation instantly, or do we get it in stallations like rows of cubicles.  Stallations of stalagmites, tiny horses infecting my figures, my figuring.

Other, how speak without imagined other—entropement?

Othering a harvest of wild strawberry, like Dickinson’s mail from Tunis.  Morning post in small redness without nouns.  Difficult the way they nestle among sharply defined tooths of air.  How do we find ourselves, among tooths of air we call leaves?  Find eyes in leaves?

My toe-nails aren’t painted like yours.  You have blue ones.  I have yellow ones.  Who are you?  What is your sight line?  Who are the selves we occupy in vision machines behind screens’ smashing reflections.  Behind glass shatters.  Shutters shunted shatter shudders.  Shutters shuttle like crabs scuttle.  Shutters shut shutters.


Wind in.  Wind out the trophic food of thought.  Wind in, wind out washing machine.  Pool ball caught in a U swing entropy back and forth in a bowl of space.

In allophanes, phone what you think through tin cans and string, ear pieces and receivers, cranking long-short-short-long, rotary dials with thumbpieces stop you going round, round, round, numbers buzzing ten types of numbness on the line, digital with fingers, radio rays what is phoned arrayed radio-phonically, what is phoning what is phoned what will phone allotropic what has phoned us now.

The Universe.  A single version writing verso—inverse reverse conversation.  All language is backward, eguagnal.

Fall back into black.  To excavate for cricket site in burrows where earth crumbles big themselves as antarctic icebergs.  Cricket parliament and night songs.  Bugeyes gleam big as leg teeth twang.  Prrupp.  Prrupp.  Prrupp.  A feeler twitch, antennae pick up radio from another gnathic universe, translate what ferries carry across channels of sense.  Solar sighs hiss in cricket ears.  Tsk Tsk Tsk.  See this, see this, see this.

Sea as Ur-soup.  Solute through the solvent.

Cognition has no cogs no gears.  Gnus and gnosis gnar on the same page.

Tea—very brown, then light.  Entropy.  Runs itself out.

Coherency is a kind of money.  Unpleasant coherence is vulgar.

Oh curse of the lyric demon
Sorcerer of Romance
Pirates of Penzance
Do the spider dance
With ants prance and gecko trance.

Billions of hairs to thick their lizard feet with molecules surfaces of things.  Billions of enunciations, asking, commanding, praying, declaiming, predicating, judging, exhorting, complaining, lamenting, predicting, spelling, telling, invoking, cursing, conjuring, entroping.  Reading so much more than an earnest lyricism of the noble savage:  the belief that we all rise from the same gut feeling.

Gecko boots lizard a universe toward ertness (read art-ness).

Inertia, Latin for idleness.  Poetry IS what you make it.

Phone what you think in saxophones and homophones, in phonolites and phonoscopes.  Phone what you think in allophones and alloys of allo-phane.  Phone what you think in phon and antiphon, in allotrope of allonym, our aloe song.

My pistons are pissed.
Bamboop be bust.
Bamboo my pages buds bidiculous.

Power punches grab the gear shift, grab the gab,
jam the throttle in.  Drive.  Let’s go boys.  Eat house.  Kick ass.  Punch entropy.

Power pulses under periods, sentences the sentiments the salamander sentimentals, takes the bull by the horns, the wool by the thorns, snap out of it dingbat, this is cool dude poppy power popping out all over the place under water under thunder under the go go go go go go goggle guys, shot from the slip flip clit fuck the biff riff the ruck whatever I do do doodly do do whatever get better I do do doodly do whatever I voodoo.

Build UP    CON                      STRUTT          SHUN
Okay okay okay okay
Make it baked. Take it. Fake it. Shake it baked. Fake it. Make it. Hate it slaked.

Red    ACT  SHUN.    A
SHUN             I   evil evil evil I
get up hit it bop it pull it
get up jerk it joke it
get up drive it chop it choke it
get up pop it get up fry it get up croak it

Tote                 ALL          IZE it
TANT              TALL       IZE it

ACT                              SHUN

Drive                BACK

logo  logo  logo  logo  logo logs
meta  meta  meta  meta  meta logs
post  post  post  post  post logs my pistol’s pissed pistol piss
pistol’s pissed pistol pips
pistol stipple
pistol wisp

JACK                     U
LAY                                        SHUN

You’ll                     you   LAY   SHUN

JACK           U
LAY                    SHUN

LALA           A       SHUN

Entropy runs itself out entroping its
folding its circumnavigant, circumnutant
turn in a trope, tropically enjungled
with parakeets heat parakeets feet
beak screech with red Greek
blue gold parakeet kite hot
tiger heat smell stripe tiger
spell claw sweet
idle heat hot you can cut it

cut in-FERal                 tropoSPHERE      ALL
it circum-spect              TRALL
it navigant sphere the mind gaps, gapes
to entrope, wrap, phone what you think

entropo sphere entropo


BIO: Meredith Quartermain is a Vancouver writer whose work foregrounds the (f)act of dwelling in words.  Her publications include Terms of Sale (Meow 1996), Abstract Relations (Keefer Street 1998), Veers (Backwoods Broadsides 1998), Gospel According to Bees (Keefer Street 2000), and Spatial Relations (Diaeresis 2001).  Her writing has appeared in West Coast Line, Five Fingers Review, Chain, Raddle Moon, Mirage Period[ical] #4, Potepoetzine, Alterran Poetry Assemblage, East Village Poetry Web, and in on word (U.K.). 


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