Fragments, by Jennifer S. Chesler

Fragments is the third written, but first published, of Jennifer S. Chesler’s four novels to date. Fragments has the form of an anthology, but functions as a sort of aleatory novel, in that Chesler randomly ordered the texts when she first wrote them, & I, who ultimately edited the book, reordered it & added new pieces from her archives. The interconnection of the pieces is both thematic & linguistic, & unifies the novel regardless of the exigencies of ordering. This reordering was particularly necessary, by the way, since the book had been massacred by a worthless agent & was not in its first form. I write this since I am, according to the author, the only person who knows the back story to every piece.

The book is brilliant & deserves recognition for its innovative nature. Among many topics covered in the book are dog sex in the Phoenix area, the stupidity of the average American, the patriarchal nature of society, the worthlessness of almost all sexual relationships, & the author’s mental illness & poverty (caused by an upbringing in a hostile family environment &, later, a life among worthless scumbags as a consequence of a low self-esteem & “political correctness” in the sense of thinking that all humans have equal value, which they obviously don’t).

The book portrays the effects of defective child-rearing & a dysfunctional attitude to sexuality. A character in the book, for example, portraying male sexuality, assumes the form of a non-human mythological creature who is without language or intelligence, & exists solely as an inhuman form of generalized homosexual desire. He is totally without value, & this reflects upon the early experiences of the author with predatory & abusive males with a low mental status, the death of one of whom is described in the book.

There is an emphasis on nausea & anxiety & a description of how societal values together with familial pressure actually validated anorexia, giving vomiting a higher value than might be usual in more well-regulated households.

The effects of prostitution are portrayed, along with the fact that most marriages in the wealthier strata in the USA are basically a form of whoring. Some pieces are basically included to offend, & speak of prostitution as though it were acceptable on any level, although feminist consciousness is retained in the underlying tone of sarcasm, describing degrading & disgusting practices in a way that seems to normalize them. The people are egoistic & the fault with prostitution is the fault with much sex nowadays, according to Lyotard – everything & everybody treats what should be an incommensurable & invaluable intensity as though it were a unit of exchange.

The author uses direct quotes, & in every case the speaker is barely human: they are stupid, selfish, & without any redeeming features. The reported speech is full of colloquialisms & non sequiturs.

Among subjects ridiculed are the American obsession with veterans, dog masturbation (apparently used as a dog training method), the general stupidity of any pretense to knowledge in a country where dysgenic fertility is rampant & idiocy reigns everywhere supreme. Chesler was told as a child to conceal the fact that she was more intelligent than others, perhaps in case she would not be able to get a man. The men she encountered were so worthless & bad in bed that she became a lesbian, but the women were such scumbags that they were worse. One character, The Narcissist in the book, had a micro-penis to which he never alluded, such is American arrogance.

The whole familial & societal analysis bears traces of Deleuze & Guattari; prostitution represented a failed line of flight from the static familial constellation, this first line of flight was actually a flight to degradation that transformed into a retreat into perversion that was actually a retreat into intellectualist & literary perversity that became a successful line of flight – leaving the city, the family, the social to assume a nomad existence in a fictional world. Several pieces reflect this, the author writes on a meta-level, & gives advice to the reader in various fashions, each of which reflects the construction of an alleged identity.

A writer whom Chesler once interviewed is included, although the interviews were never published since they were so abusive & dismissive of the writer, who had written a childish book about BDSM featuring “advice” about “safewords” for people who don’t know what they’re doing. The short pieces in fragments are classic dismissals that mock the interviewed writer’s defective grasp of English. Chesler never met a real dominant, since there are almost none of us around, & the work in Fragments related to BDSM is funny in that the feeble nature of the egos of the participants is exposed.

One of the best pieces, written high on meth, describes dental work on, & sexy dentures for, stillborn babies in a dialog piece that resembles Plath on mothers in form. Elsewhere rhymed prose is used, some pieces have the form of doggerel poems, & the pieces have been ordered to reflect the structural peculiarities of the texts, & thus of the book.

The book can be ordered here at Lulu.

It is also on sale on Amazon at this link.

A preview can also be found on Google Books.

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all null having

all null having
by
Michael Mc Aloran
Void Front Press
all null having is of language, words, extending meaningless where they are absurdity & beyond to where meaning is flesh & sexless. i do not know what the intent is since Mc Aloran would agree that intent is irrelevant especially to where it matters, the self.
every human without exception lives homeless a foreign land it does not matter, he observes, not verbatim but in passing obvious.
perhaps seeds to bleed unto having bled escapade eye of
blood fragment all traced from nucleus given to shadowing/ it yet it
is bitter yet a whipped canine’s tears satiate breathing no more than
phlegm spat in the face of desire’s shadowing occluded simulacrum/
terse between one shadow/ not a trace nor given unto/
nothing is relevant beyond one’s localization & the landscape is not the earth upon which we live but culture the jawbone of a prophet some smoke over a battlefield lake an apparent skull. we do not have but the null the dead they are better than we was.
waxen all/ psychotic tread
given to birth from ever-flowing none/ speeches trinkets things for
some other absence/ cold weight of null and void seeping in where
fallen tread redeems no light broken upon emptied soil/ fingers to
dredge in fleshed obscurity/ walls as if there/ walls warp in (the)/
in-suffocate of no clear distance calling from what black till nowhere
left to be/ blood beneath butcher’s fingernails seclusion not a trace/
here Mc Aloran is not being obscure, & if the reader thinks he is then i do not know how much they should fuck off but it’s quite a lot. the words are used in a poetic sense, they do not tell stories but give a very detailed description of that what is not, the reality there is, the literal object A once we have forgotten the bad baby & looking for object a who is never there.
“Ave Ave” – which he explicitly actually says – gives one a world to turn into Mc Aloran explicitly & quite correctly rejects. (Once again we have not mentioned Beckett.) I obviously recommend that you buy this book.

Here it is:
https://voidfrontpress.org/portfolio/all-null-having-by-m/

longshadowfall

Michael Mc Aloran
longshadowfall
Editions du Cygne 2017
book review by David McLean

Mc Aloran’s new book is not about participating in any sort of Irish tradition, although the fact that he is Irish has obviously created an expectation that he be expected to care about Beckett & the other notable Irish writers, if there are any, especially since he does not create conventional prose in his texts. It is not evident in what way Mc Aloran follows in any Irish tradition given that he has developed an individual voice. Mc Aloran takes this subsumption of his work under the patriotic assumption of Irishness & some regional identity qua writer with some grace, since it must be very frustrating.
What the books are basically about is the circumstance that existence is extremely temporary & not driven by some fundamental meaning whereby things fit into their various places & are essentially & unproblematically what they are. We are loathsome ugly clumps of meat – the failing echo of which Mc Aloran writes is moronic repetition, it is the pathetic quest for meaning: there are no razors that do not have blood on them, nothing that does not rust, no flesh forever except the repetitive return of more worthless flesh. The echo might be an originary echo, the sounds that come out first are already echoes. The road, everywhere, is marked by shit, it is full of shit. A perfect place for the shit that is humanity to drag itself back to nothing.

I think that Mc Aloran would agree with my assessment of humanity that I developed from Homer Simpson “People do things because they are stupid &die because they deserve to” – there is carrion everywhere: people die so often that it is (almost) not even funny anymore.

The best aspect of Mc Aloran is the gloom. There is no trace of the inability that the later (& better) Becket regrets as he notices that words do not work, they just lie on the page & suck. This is because what Mc Aloran is portraying is the fact that meaning is not there, life sucks because it is meat that fails to mean.

When we die we will have failed to speak, we will have failed to mean, we will have failed to matter. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with modern society or any sort of political criticism, that’s just the way it is. We are left with “speech lack of claim/ words dead foreign ice encasing fathom untimely said

It helps to be mad, it helps to be drunk. Buy this book. It’s available from the usual culprits & the publishers here.

Joanna C. Valente
The Gods are Dead (2015)
(Deadly Chaps Press)
review by David McLean

This book by Joanna C. Valente is like a naturalization of Tarot & occult symbolism reflected in the bizarre unlikelihood of real lives since the symbolic figures of the major arcana are used to symbolize something of contemporary relevance. It’s beautifully illustrated by Ted Chevalier & the book itself is very well made.

Valente is good at titles: “The Moon is Always Horny”, “The Hermit Used to be the Guitarist in Your Favorite Band”, “Judgment Promises Life After the Internet”, “The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life”, & so on;

I am dead as a forgotten
man, no mind / I am a broken vessel.
(The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life)

says the lamb, before he “spreads, purrs into a shit/ angel”. These are poems of sacrifice & the futility of sacrifice, the necessity of ritual, & whatever heaven a religion imagines might exist will not fit us.

He measures his life by expiration
Dates / Milk in the fridge has two
weeks til death / bananas grow
black as the inside of a coffin
(Death Rides a Pale Horse)

I have mentioned titles, & the next excerpt is from a classic:

… He wakes alone
the next morning, his back

rough from ropes. Lilies
spread across the bed – petals
of who he will become
(At Night, Temperance Works as a Dominatrix

Landscapes are supposed to be desolate, & the imagery of these poems invites the reader to conceptualize themselves more creatively. The most pivotal poem seems to be this one:

the air streams
stillness as if someone
died while making
love

He has never made
love.
Instead he cuts up
books
to orgasm. …
……

Someone could stop;
instead chose to be
somebody.
(The Hierophant Builds the Bridge Between Deity and Humanity)

Again this book by Valente is an excellent read, & heartily to be recommended. You don’t need to know or care about the Tarot, the poems create their own symbolism & the archetypes are more universal. The book is on sale here: http://www.deadlychaps.com/joanna-valente/

“at vacuum’s edge” – Michael McAloran

Michael Mc Aloran
at vacuum’s edge
Black Editions Press
review/blurb by David McLean

this chapbook concerns what we have as if to say. when faced by the other than. it is no alienation exactly but the necessary incongruity of the being human with the actual instantiation of all that within the brute meat we sort of want to torture even if the other may conceivably be rather like us

it is also of collisions – a collidescope, as he puts it, mirroring where the worlds minds drag around to imprison them bump into the other cunt.

again/ upon/ sodden crimson red recollect of
bounty’s trace of unforgiven/ dries the eyes what
depth till following lack abort what sung as if to
drift matter of forgotten as before once said
eradicated/ engulfed once more/ yet mocking the
reek/ (tread from this life disease what will stake
claims upon the ocean’s filtering lights)/ and the
bitten song/ a neck snapped in a gild of apathy/
nothing of the tears that demarcate the surface/
bore holes into the surface quadrant/ nothing
known…

the problem of epistemology is not that nothing is known but that maybe what is mostly worthy of knowing is just the nothing/ that which one should designate almost imperceptibly by the via negativa.

whatever is in some sense given is not the significant. we cannot signify what matters which is not that nothing does. this chapbook is as far from nihilism as it is possible to be & whoever says it s just that is as ignorant as those who attribute the same alleged perversity to me.

it is on sale here: https://blackeditionspress.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/at-vacuums-edge-michael-mc-aloran/