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This is not Poetry. #poetry Joseph A. W. Quintela


The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 31] www.theredceilingspress.co.uk www.redceilings.blogspot.com/


This is not Poetry. #poetry Joseph A. W. Quintela Contents: Preamble: No more shall they in bondage toil, let my people The nanofactory sings in D minor. The Coloring Box: Blue Notes on Blue (Excerpts) Triptych: Disaster American Blackout What letters remain for us? What shall we do with them? How will it be done? Notes on What letters remain for us? What shall we do with them? How will it be done? This is not Poetry. #poetry Notes on the PĂ m Notes on the Manuscript Appendix i Appendix ii Acknowledgments Gratitude About the Author [#poetry] It took me a while to understand the words, and whether they were making sense or not was (un-)-important, as the sense I found was mine. -Percival Everett (paraphrase, extracted from Watershed) [#poetry]


Preamble: No more shall they in bondage toil, let my people go. They, my people, who are the jag line etched across my face, who are a craggy range dividing darkness and light, a cross of shy foal to stamping mare whose hooves have breached the wind, who are less-traveled roads, love songs without music, dance without lines, who cross lines, who are lines crossed, who stop at 42nd & Broadway, and merely stand there, watching the light cycle: red, green, orange, red, green, orange, red,green,orange, redgreenorange, regreerange, regerange, rearrange the minutes within hours, who worship a stray wren gliding through a stream of stone faces, who facing into face lend hand. You, my people, have such cramps in your hands from writing lines that match the squint in your eyes from reading (brows), reading (palms), reading lines that dervish on street corners until collapse, knowing nothing seek out others who know they know nothing, and so very lonely on some days and so very happy on exactly those same days, your days in lines, crossed lines, rearranged lines: inesl: nesli: eslin: sline: lines, your libretto of life, when cued with two lines take one and return with three, or just stand, mouth agape, hands gaping, a gap in the line, as if you are the multitude, as if you are chosen. [#poetry] The nanofactory sings in D minor. A raindrop trembling. A windowpane trembling. A brake pad trembling. A midwife trembling.


A logo trembling. A molecule trembling. A canopy trembling. An ontologist trembling. {a pear is the tone when a shape is} bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, bird song, an iPod trembling, bird song, bird song. Hewn, turn this wit wet road. a chord strewn

In two: {a pear is the tone when a shape is}

page. (with thanks to NR) [#poetry]


The Coloring Box: Blue blue wall:these walls were blue:blue as the sea abandons blue and all that was blue before blue and after blue and until this blue met with the harsh light that was a kind of blue but not the blue known before nor the blue that was desired :a blue desire:that was in the beginning:a blue that was both her blue and my blue:different as one blue might seem to another but all the same one blue shouted until we were both blue in the face:definitions:I had to have them:blue:as the Dendrobates azureus:a frog named for blued skin :the blue of death like the blue of blood swept through the bereft vein:blue as Bloom’s blue as Papilio Ulysses as the blue of words flung into the blue of morning with reckless abandon:blues :the blue note that filled the blue-walled loft because I was young and blue with all the vigor but none of the sorrow:blues:I can’t define one without the others:blue as I was:blue as we are [#poetry] Notes on Blue (Excerpts) there is a scrape over the vein leading home the bereft vein the ocean is bluest when shallow and bereft of life On Blue Note, we listened to Dave Brubeck that year. We listened to Blue Note and catalogued laments like laundry waiting for the blue Tide to wash in, wash out the stain of privileged youth, we knew nothing about sorrow but were blue anyway, I eat my dinner from a blue bowl, red hued broth, no blue but the blue of porcelain dyed blue, I remember thinking as a child, why can’t food be blue? begged blue skittles before they existed, blueberries are blue, but they are the


only blue food I can think of, except in Minnesota where steak can be ordered Black and Blue, I do not eat steak. Winter of 2009, New York, a mind-ill man wanders out of a hospital during a blizzard, dies of exposure, fingers curled, blue. Blue is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 440–490. Blue : Sad (English) Blue : Drunk (German) Blue : Male (Who?) Talk ‘til you’re blue in the face. Blue walls, the walls were blue, blue as the sea abandoned blue and all that was blue before blue and after blue and until that blue met with the harsh light that was a kind of blue but not the blue known before nor the blue that was desired. A blue desire: that was your beginning. This is your end: Blue light flashing on blue eyes shuddering through blue memories of warm blueberry pies tossed across blue painted walls. Wanting to know you, I studied your spectrum, learned to recognize wavelengths measuring between 440 and 490 nm at even a glance, learned the chemicals that correspond to your absorption spectrum (Cu2+) collected azurite (Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2), cobalt (CoAl2O4), rare butterflies (Papilio Ulysses), and rarer frogs (Dendrobates azureus), spent a clear day staring straight up, a year at sea, got sad in English, drunk in German, all to no avail.


When I found you at last, Wait, which of the Bloom chapters of Ulysses was blue again? A search for mentions of blue on Twitter yielded a page of results that added approximately 100 tweets every 10 minutes. Of these, at least 3 were variations on the ‘Roses are red, violets are blue’ joke. In one random 10 minute interval mentions included: “crystal blue sea”, “blue v-neck top”, “phone blinkin’ blue”, “violets are blue, if Justin Bieber wins another award you know what to do”, “quack, quack, quack, BLUE!”, “needs someone to give the blue L.E.D light to”, “Singapore look very blue now”, “blue skies”, “LL BLUE J”, “blue tilt oh yes”, “Blue Jeans”, “on the outside your red on the inside your blue”, “my skirt got blue in it”, “Jajajaja Blue Monday”, “Im Glad I Never Experienced Blue Balls #WorstThingForANigga”, “Endless Ocean: Blue World”, “Blue Mountain State”, “chelsea blue”, “you just came out of the blue”, “Two blue screens of death”. [#poetry]


à it’s okay, just take a breath, à


Triptych: Disaster (first panel excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster under creative commons license) I. A disaster is a natural or manmade hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of hazards and vulnerability. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability are not considered a disaster, as is the case in uninhabited regions. Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in


developing countries than in industrialized countries. II. A disaster is a natural or man made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. In contemporary academia disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of hazards and vulnerability. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability are not considered a disaster, as is the case in uninhabited regions Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries


III. or what? We gotta ask & not just hazard a guess. Tell it straight. Truth, we’ll admit, is passé, is a bird of soiled wing, is as sick‘n’tired as damage litigation or giving even spare change to that toothsome man beneath Grand Central, I can define his teeth, his teeth are yellow waves with fingernails carving such deep gouges in the faded yellow wall, the faded yellow wall, the faded yellow wall, we ask, or what? In truth, we don’t know what disaster is, those yellow teeth are of no consequence to you or I, with iPhones to manage our harried lives. These oft-lit eyes don’t see the hazards as our fingers strike out a flood of status updates, don’t slow, don’t stop, we’re safe as long as we stick to habit, go home, log on & count the dead, it’s true, our greatest pleasure is to count, count more & count again, count every minute of disaster, read the timeline, refresh the page & count the change in dead, it’s the loss of life that staves us, is greater than us (here: a yellow tooth), don’t stop, go count the dead, don’t stop, go count the dead, [#poetry]


à à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à àà à à à [#poetry] American Blackout I. America (Excerpted from America by Allen Ginsberg) America I've given you all and now I'm nothing. America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956. I can't stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb I don't feel good don't bother me. I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I'm sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.


Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I'm trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I'm doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there's going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right. I won't say the Lord's Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I'm addressing you. Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I'm obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. Asia is rising against me. I haven't got a chinaman's chance. I'd better consider my national resources. My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and twentyfivethousand mental institutions. I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.


My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic. America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood? I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they're all different sexes America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe America free Tom Mooney America save the Spanish Loyalists America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die America I am the Scottsboro boys. America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy. America you don're really want to go to war. America it's them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians. The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages. Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations. That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help. America this is quite serious. America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set. America is this correct? I'd better get right down to the job. It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel. II. MURDER OF CIV IN --- VILLAGE (ZONE ); --- CIV K... (Excerpted from WikiLeaks, Iraq War Logs) AT 0945C, IN --- VILLAGE ZONE --- IVO , --- MP REPORTS IP HAVE FOUND --- X LN DEAD BODY ) --- MP CO, ----


280945COCT06 ) 3 --- IP STATION ) --- MALE, UNKNOWN NAME, APPROX ---- YEARS OLD. ---) APPROX E--- WITH BLACK HAIR, WEARING TRADITIONAL --- CLOTHING. ---) UNKNOWN ---) THE VICTIM WAS SHOT ONCE IN THE --- AND ONCE IN THE CHEST . ---) THE BODY WAS FOUND IN . ---) HANDS WERE TIED BEHIND HIS BACK ---) NONE SUMMARY: --- X MURDER --- X LN KIA --- X DMG CLOSED III. DEAD BODIES FOUND IN --- PAK (ZONE SP): --- CIV... (Excerpted from WikiLeaks, Iraq War Logs) AT 1550D, /---- CAV FOUND --- CIV BODIES IN THE --- PAK PONTOON BRIDGE. --MALE BODIES, --- TEENAGE FEMALE BODIES WITH SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION, AND --- CHILD WERE FOUND. THE BODIES HAD THEIR HANDS BOUND, BLINDFOLDED, AND SHOT EXECUTION STYLE. --- KILLED, --- CF INJ/DAMAGE. IV. (CRIMINAL EVENT) MURDER(Small Arms) RPT BY (Excerpted from WikiLeaks, Iraq War Logs) UNIT: - --EVENT TYPE: MURDER WHO:A/:--STREET: SECT OF VICTIM: UNK SECT OF NEIGHBORHOOD VICTIM FOUND IN: VICTIM SHOWS SIGNS OF TORTURE: UNK TIMELINE: : --- REPORTS THAT A LN TIP WAS INVESTIGATED ABOUT AN --- VIC --- OF AN IP CAPTAIN AND HIS ---. UPON INVESTIGATION OF THE HOUSE A/---- FOUND BLOOD AND BRAIN MATTER ON THE ---. NO BODIES WERE FOUND AT THE HOUSE. A/---IS CONDUCTING SSE OF THE HOUSE AT THIS TIME : --- REPORTS SPEAKING WITH ---- ABOUT --- x BODIES FOUND AT APPROX ---. AND


TAKEN BY --- BEFORE THEY ARRIVED ON SITE, ONE OF THE BODIES MATCHED THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MISSING IP CAPTAIN. BODIES ARE BELIEVED TO BE THE MURDERED INDIVIDUALS. SUMMARY: --- X MURDER --- X DEAD LN (FEMALE) --- X DEAD IP (MALE) CLOSED V. Remarks by the President (Excerpted from speech given 1 March, 2003 by George W. Bush) Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment — yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage — your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other — made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free. Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision, and speed, and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces. [#poetry] We’re not going to win. The best we can do is try to gum up the system. -Vanessa Place (approximation, extracted from panel comment) [#poetry] What letters remain for us? What shall we do with them? How will it be done?


A pad (baa), a faq: a? A! Gee, deer (gee, self). Rivin’ in gilt, I...I took only joos(!). Row: sox, ___, cot; but drum, u cun-N--- R--------- likes this. N--- R--------- gee self is funny. 11 hours ago like A----- L--- T. 10 hours ago like M---- D-- great! don’t move! 9 hours ago like N-- R--------- i mean it feels like finnegan’s wake in one poem.

lil

9 hours ago like Write a comment... [#poetry] Notes on What letters remain for us? What shall we do with them? How will it be done?


Board from Scrabble game played between Joseph A. W. Quintela and Rebecca Temerario at Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival (15 April, 2011). Photo snapped midgame. “il” is not a word. Oh well. Calculations: Letters in # of English letters alphabet on an English board A 9 B 2 C 3 D 4 E 12 F 2 G 3 H 2 I 9 J 1 K 1 L 4 M 2 N 6 O 8 P 2 Q 1 R 6 S 4 T 6 U 4 V 2 W 2 X 1 Y 1 Z 1

Letters used in our game

Letters remaining available 1 0 0 1 5 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 2 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 1

8 2 3 3 7 2 3 1 6 1 1 3 1 4 8 1 1 4 3 4 4 1 1 1 1 0

Total letters remaining: 74 7 letter “hands” remaining: 10 with remainder 4


Semi-random distribution of letters into “hands”: Hand 1: aaaabpd Hand 2: aaaacqf Hand 3: eeeedrg Hand 4: eeefslg Hand 5: iiigtnl Hand 6: iiihvrn Hand 7: ooojwsr Hand 8: oookxts Hand 9: oolyctn Hand 10: uumbdrt Hand 11: uunc Words returned by placing each “hand” in anagram generator (http://wordsmith.org/anagram/): Hand 1: a baa pad Hand 2: [none] Hand 3: gee deer Hand 4: gee self Hand 5: in gilt I Hand 6: [none] Hand 7: only cot Hand 8: took sox Hand 9: [none] Hand 10: but drum Hand 11: [none] The resulting poem: A pad (baa), a faq: a? A! Gee, deer (gee, self). Rivin’ in gilt, I...I took only joos(!). Row: sox, ___, cot; but drum, u cun-Poem posted to facebook with a request for comments at 10:04pm on Monday, 18 April, 2011. Four responses yielded in 12 hours and appended to poem. [#poetry]


There’s the poem! -Patrick Rosal (repetition, excerpted from conversations) [#poetry] This is not Poetry. #poetry 1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply Nickel_Pickel Nicholas Hassett "Love Letter from the Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire" as performed by Sarah Kay. YouTube. It. Now. #Poetry 2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply UsmanHMalik Usman Haider RT @Sahrazad528: RT @sfrizwan Be like the shining / sun, light up the world with smile / everywhere you go #haiku #poetry #micropoetry 7 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply LastRhyme Daniyal Arain #Poetry makes me express what I feel inside. 14 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply darktimespoet dark poet find a spot / imagine me there / giving me a show / tease me well / make me beg #poetry 38 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply LilAlReevesz Alfield M.O.G.Reeves DONE!!!!!!! #HOLYSPIRIT #POETRY 41 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply cinodolla5 Frank Luke How can a nigga have room to crack if his skin is Matte Black? #Poetry 45 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply Lafazh Aldra Iznul Ghiffari It may be just the spell of evening, I long to hold you tight. Heaven is near why think of tomorrow, I'm almost in love tonight. #poetry 46 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply Sahrazad528 ❤ Cherie ❤ RT @sfrizwan Be like the shining / sun, light up the world with smile / everywhere you go #haiku #poetry #micropoetry 49 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply sfrizwan Rizwan write your thoughts, musings / in seventeen syllables / haiku need not rhyme #haiku #poetry #micropoetry 50 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply WafaFt wafa Practicing #Libyan poetry, Ya Rab, let me do this well....ps, Libyan #poetry is beautiful but very difficult, sigh #Feb17 51 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply IsaacSweeney IsaacSweeney Some of the best #poetry you're probably not reading. http://www. à à àà à [#poetry] Notes on the Pàm 1. 2.

The pàm is not a poem; better: the pàm is an object that moves. Really, the pàm isn’t an object at all; better: the pàm is a motion that is never completed.


3. 4.

5. 6.

Because of this, you don’t begin or end the pàm; better: you enter into a pàm midstream and move within it for a time. Of course, this means that what is presented on the page is not the pàm; better: what is on the page is a remnant left behind by the motion of you moving into the motion of the pàm for a while before slipping back into the world. Yes, the pàm is faster than you, you cannot catch it, but if you let it, it may catch you, though you should also know, if it catches you, it may, indeed, drown you; better: it’s okay, just take a breath, let it drown you. The pàm is; better: stop...we’re moving farther away from the pàm. [#poetry]

Notes on the Manuscript Include contents on title page (but without page numbers). Epigraphs (each on a separate page): It took me a while to understand the words, and whether they were making sense or not was (-un)-important, as the sense I found was mine. -Percival Everett (paraphrase, extracted from Watershed) We’re not going to win. The best we can do is try to gum up the system. -Vanessa Place (approximation, extracted from panel comment) There’s the poem! -Patrick Rosal (repetition, excerpted from conversations) Go ahead, put some random arrows in there. Include process notes to some/all poems. [#poetry] placed between each poem, right justified, don’t start each page with a new poem, just tag. “it’s okay, take a breath,” à this on its own page with blank space before and after. Appendix i: Instructions for Reading


*a scan of all pages of the original manuscript layered into a single visual representation of the work* Appendix ii: Further Instructions for Reading *the end should somehow imply a return to the beginning* Include this page! [#poetry] New York 2011


Appendix i: Instructions for Reading


Appendix ii: Further Instructions for Reading

carefully, not quite slowly,


Acknowledgments: “American Blackout” was first published in Corium Magazine Gratitude: Lizza Dauenhauer-Pendley Mark Cobley Suzanne Gardinier Helen Wells O’Brien Alberto Quintela Eddy Rathke Pat Rosal Nathaniel Rosentalis Astrid Schrader Catherine Sheahan Rebecca Temerario Parker Tettleton About the Author: Joseph A. W. Quintela is just not that sort of Poet. Nor does he write that sort of Poetry. Except, of course, for when he does. (http://www.josephquintela.com)


The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 31] www.theredceilingspress.co.uk www.redceilings. blogspot.com/

This is not Poetry. #poetry  

by Joseph A. W. Quintela

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