Juxta/Electronic 24 Juxta/Electronic 24
Editors: Jim leftwich and Ken Harris
Contributors: C. C. Sykes, Tim Gaze, Sheila Murphy, Michael Crye
Michael Crye

"Salvation is less faith and more truth."

the four elements
language | earth | void | motion

The world is composed of four components. 

The Earth is the first element; it defines where we came from, where we are,
but not who we are.  The Earth in which we inhabit  is divided into many
circles and borders.  The encompassing ones being Heaven, Hell, and
Purgatory.  No matter the subdivisions you dwell within, it's only a matter
of view and culture.   The relevance and division is short lived. The atomic
decay of these composites accelerated by mass media and twenty-four hour
communication.  Our blood has mingled on too many planes to limit ourselves
to these diatribes.  Their definitions falling prey to the most destructive
of elements ... the Void.

The Void is as it always has been an unmoving center of gravity, akin to dead
stars - imploded to the point of lightless stagnantation.  A black hole
collapsed upon itself, where time and space are only suggested as a

This creates the solar system of our deceptive world.  The place we dwell and
the inky pull of negative forces.  In to these worlds we are lent our only
Salvation.  Language and the Motion it can create like a flock of bird that
dimishes the locusts.  Yet, just as it cleanses it can play
trickster.  Our sea gulls can be blackened by soot into crows that pick our
own bones.  For the world lies in the gravity of lies and truth of the same
pressure, and you can be expanded or compressed by any force that reacts upon

We must find our real poets.
To call the name Poet is call yourself a noun
nouns are unreal 

We must exist as we act, act to exist.

A body at rest has no motion - A body at motion has no rest.

We live in dangerous times when it is enough to say something to be that
thing you want to be.  Too much of today is an organized system of
two-dimensional acceptance.  They say we all are equal ("at least he tries
hard").  We have bullshited ourselves into believing we are created equal. A
flat, horizontal world without vertical peaks.  We are only equal in the
fact that each of us conceals a Void. 

We are born to professions.  But in our haste to fill newly emptied time; we
try clothing that our bodies will not fit.  We can have them hemmed and sewn,
but there will always be a tug or tightness or awkwardness that we mistake
for motion.  In truth these hobbies only catch us pulling the hems from our
cracks and loose wool tighter around our own throats.

We play music when we can't see the sounds.  We paint pictures even though we
only understate the image.  It like a desert believes itself an ocean.

There are those who slide in on the coattails of this age and play poet.
Dress themselves up and plucked out the words, not realizing these words are
a joke and they fools.  They imagine themselves on horse, spearheading
forward into great lands, which are in fact the bogs of the Void.  Their
words don't even have the strength to float on the thickest of mud.  These
poets drown with their own words weighing them down.

They are saying nothing ... The English tongue has many words, the Spanish
tongue has many words, and so on ... but they are not Language. Language
appears as tongues, but it is a transformation of them, when the mouth moves
the throat yields a sound.  The sounds move the air, excites the structure of

The Void trembles.

The Profession is outlined by their war with something they love.

Some wake with no memory of yesterday only, the taste of tomorrows withdrawn
(the junkie's lament)

I will not waste my time with the illiterate poet.  It is not a matter of
words, but of Language.  You do not rehearse the Language, nor do you control
it.  You learn its habit of illumination.  It can be provoked, as would an
action, for it is always present, but like instinct not always heard. 

The Void is the same.  It resides in all.  Even the poet.  It is as it is in
all.  We give it many names as defined by those who are possessed (you and
myself).  We name the Void after our excuses.  The Void actually has no
identity.  It is only given these characteristics, so that we can pretend not
to notice it.

The true poet lives in earshot of these forces, and sometimes appears mad.
Unable to sleep with the noise of this friction and stillness that come and
go in equal parts.  But, always drawn to it.  One ear to the struggle, the
other ear already deaf from listening too much.

Poetry is the common tongue as it appears in dreams.  We do not hear it, but
feel it.  Language is the finding of the Verb.  There is no Noun in Language.
 Language is the source of motion, which enters and emerges from the Void all
at once.  Beginning with the listener, the word, and finally the silence.  It
rouses the dead spirits, even to only make them fussy. Great poetry is great
in the fact, the originator, the speaking poet can heal or shrink the void,
force it to yield its solid inanimate structure to waver and conceive motion.
 Often the Void moves to defend itself,
which awakens the listener to their personal Void.  Once the listener
realizes that their Void must defend itself, we begin to doubt our earlier
names and properties for it.  Once the knowledge and doubt are combined,
motion at last is cast like fortune bones on the decks of sunken depths.
A sounding returns deep from within the listener and echoes into the poet's
own Void.  The poet and listener become two reflective surfaces sharing the
same course of Language, to and fro.  

Language manifests itself differently every time.  This is necessary because
every poet and listener's personal Void learns to harden itself to some
voices and conversations.  Void has also learned to make repetition mimic

Worst than False Poets are poets who've become jukeboxes of old favorites.
And the Void turns their Language into a false echo.   Even the Listener has
come into the habit of reacting false.  The poet and listener lie to one
another, creating a dawn of street lamps.

A real poet can find the Void in an unlistening audience, tricks them into
using their own Language, which reflects from them, into the poet and returns
with his own.      

The real poet has not learned to speak; they have learned cause and effect.
 In which, for every action there must be a reaction.

Few poets are real.  Most are soothsayers of fake mechanics and mimickers of
overheard Language.  In their hands the Language becomes polluted, like water
ferments into sludge.  This thick Language sticks to the listener's Void and
adds density to its already reaching gravity. The Void will grow hard and
polished, curved into a perfect oval, where the mass is compressed and
compressed, with more applied atop it.  The same way an oyster will coat a
grain of small sand till it becomes a pearl stuck in their throat.  

The sad irony is that real poets see the Void as beauty.  They are drawn not
only by the Void's gravity, but the hope of restarting their own Voids into
motion.  In the same truth, as long as there are Voids there will be poets,
and the promise of Language and Motion.  This is the only true Salvation.

This is the cause and effect of poetry

August 1997

Sheila Murphy 16s * Stay up past my bed time, hollow out The confiscature near a neighbor's doilied windows Hammer mahogany in slats against the clarity Presumed to have outlived its credibility Sunflowers curdle outside the confines Of daylight, fuel is missed And eyesight as a partial prayer That science says translates breath And attention into a contagious spine. Refer to ritornello on the melon vine. In case of sweet smell Pick the nearest fruit admiring Its designer palette patch the news Of the olfactory around the snapshots Taught to be lifelike At attention and subservient at all times. ***** Tangents wheeze over the page break Leveracity to boot thumbs up Gorgeous plantations echo croons And Chevys and palavering white dolls Prevaricate to beat the onyx Yawl of band width Semitones collapse a former vigor Preternatch and so on Whimmering the latch the pique You emblem quivvy laterals And sit through drone-pronged Afternoon alleviating chance Selenium in unplanned labor That astonishes third-hand Receivers wide and mostly Throttling the broadside of a first down. ***** Museums pace me (volume plausibly Ignites, begs creamed insistence Or a fortified severe case of the trauma Toxic, basted, seasoned She would blue the laundry For the children, wardrobe With these shoes to latch The seams of gloves Show you some paintings Famous book a photograph Stale fashion or correct A pin she wore a lot Short break bathed simply Close enough to heart Responsibility to feast Beyond the feature of toxemia
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