HEXAGON PRESS

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COMMENTARY ON BACON’S FOUR IDOLS

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The first group of idols confirms our suspicions about our own inadequacies. They serve as the basis from which the other idols arise because they allude to the extent that man’s perceptions may lead him. This primal shortcoming was expressed by the English Romantics upon discovering that this visionary struggle has endured since the imagination’s plight from cognitive perfection. It is not a memory, but traces of that unbridled unity that point to the gaping vulnerability that these idols prey upon. For such a loss can, at best, be reconstructed in representation for interpretation and from there, the projected risks grow exponentially.

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The second group of idols begins where this undercurrent leaves off. The idols of the cave set their misconceptions on the privation of being, which is both a burden and a privileged serenity to those who are confronted by experience. The condition is the same, but the variables fall across a very wide spectrum that trails off into a fine point. Bluish casts lingering in more distant planes are painted in to make the scene appear more real and these vacuous truths are truly misperceptions that convince us of our naturalism. How much is activated by the will or by circumstance is nullified by its very process, which is assimilating individualism into cavernous walls, glistening with innumerable degrees of depth and texture formed by its own history.

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The third group of idols introduces deliberate intent into their sphere of influence. In honor of the idols of the marketplace, the operas are produced and performed, reenacted, re-scripted and re-adapted with a new urgency. Faint prattle seeping from other rooms transpire seamlessly with the flow of hours. The contentious cycle is perpetually renewed with digressions and breaking interruptions but the slightest allusion to the exhibition’s architecture is forbidden since truth and opinion have coalesced into one. Czars in departmental decorations are shot against unseemly interiors and the latest caption conceals their bloodless wounds.

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Those attributed to the fourth group of idols embody their roles within the mythology of culture and opinion, whose presence was personalized by the idols of the marketplace. The idols of the theatre represent those who cross into mortality’s affairs and speak in unison to the collective ear. Their artistry blows thoughts with swift measure down the currents of the times and these idols appear now, more than ever, as gods with their magnificent dress and cantor following them into the afterlife. Their words float to the pinnacle of the fleeting moment. Both the universal and the particular are subject to their crafted admissions, for they are often easily, and perhaps intentionally, confused.

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DE SPECTACULIS: ON POETIC PERMUTATIONS AND APOLEGETICS

Poetry is the Flavor of Unity

Multnomah County Library event (Portland, Oregon)

“There is no public spectacle without violence to the spirit.”

“What they long to see, what they dread to see,—neither has anything to do with them; their love is without reason, their hatred without justice.”

-Tertullian

COMMENTARY:

Poetry is the Flavor of Unity.” Think on this phrase for a moment—mull over the complete lack of sense of this arbitrary aggregation of buzz words, and answer me this: is this what is meant to pass for poetic theory these days, and is poetry itself meant to consist of nothing more than any and every odd combination of unrelated word-beads strung upon whatever ratty length of syntactic twine just happens to be lying around?

I will make it easy on you. Here is the formula for the nullity of all poetry in the Simulation, which is the same as that of its universal affirmation: Poetry is, in all instances and in whatever form it may take, 1) uplifting, 2) empowering, and 3) profound, simply by virtue of being “poetry,” and if it is produced by the officially sanctioned officers of reality-hegemony (read Poet Laureates, et al.), it is great poetry.

ALGEBRAIC ANALYSIS:

A listing of terms and their possible combinations.

Poetry.

Flavor.

Unity.

Poetry is the flavor of unity.

Poetry is the unity of flavor.

Flavor is the poetry of unity.

Flavor is the unity of poetry.

Unity is the poetry of flavor.

Unity is the flavor of poetry.

Assuming repetition is not allowed, then take the example of xyz, with x equaling poetry, y equaling flavor, and z equaling unity. Now, for x we have 3 possibilities. For y we cannot use the number already used for x so (3–1) = 2 possibilities. For z we cannot use the number already used for x and y so we are left with (3–2) = 1 possibility. So the total 3-digit number possibilities without repetition is 3x2x1 = 6.

Represented numerically, the possibilities are: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, and 321.

We can also make our calculation through permutation:

nPr = n! / (n-r)!

Now, we have to form a 3 digit number, so r=3. We have 3 numbers available, so n=3. So,

3P3 = 3!/ (3–3)! = 3x2x1 / 0! = 6 /1 = 6.

Or if you have an instance of required outcome = available resource, as in our case, in which both the required number = 3 and the available digits = 3, we can use directly

3! = 3x2x1 = 6

CODA:

Poetry is, indeed, a dying language, because it is increasingly and perpetually being systematically and subtly character-assassinated by the black magick algorithms of the Ghost in the Culture Machine.

Poetry is, indeed, never a dead language, because, luckily for us who still care, it is a disembodied spirit, and therefor incapable of physical death as we understand the concept.

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CRYSTALLINE DESCENDING

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The snowfall that builds to mere inches and the snowfall that dissipates immediately both obscure the scenery, but each in their own way.

A floodlight at the far corner of a funeral home’s expansive front lawn, (which in this age of matchstick utopia is a considerable homage to the departed), captured the opacity of white as it rode helplessly on the back of the wind.

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It was as if the mantle of a microscope had been projected tens of feet above where the sidewalk met with the parlor’s perimeter wall. From the view of a nearby window, these illuminated clots of snow left no visible trace once they crossed into the darkness.

They appeared like the delicate flakes that build to mere inches and fall just short of crashing into the windowpane. The spotlight was roughly six feet in diameter and as it captured their movement, it revealed and magnified the air of transparency surrounding the event. The weight of water provided that their bodies be viewed within this circular realm, and inside this stance of light and dark was the only snow that appeared to fall that night.

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The latter days of winter are filled with varying degrees of obscurity. Small ponds that endure days beyond the last traces of snow disavow what lies beneath them.

Rumors and uncertainties are traded among the various common goods of communal commuters, whose breath keeps transparent in the patterned blow of the under-seat vents. Their rage succeeds impatience and comes to pass before manifesting consciously. The endorphin waves break within a fraction of a second while the clock overhead displays the hours and minutes.

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The degrees of silence are misleading and the snowfall secures no future for itself. The sky is filled with patterns that suggest other climates while the earliest flowers, entranced by the increased hours of daylight, prepare themselves for bloom.

But none of this was seen inside the floodlight’s gleam nor just beyond the arc’s completion. The opacity of night behind the crystalline descent was subdued by the incandescent glow, drawing itself further back within the spotlight and allowing the dimensionality of snow to fall forward towards the light source.

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The evening passed around the floodlight’s fixed perspective and the wind moved silently into the expanse of black surrounding the light. The warble between seasons is filled with uncertainties and the waxing daylight breeds suspicion and doubt as the daze of torpor still lingers among the sun’s impending victory.

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“THE SATURNINE” CHAPBOOK NOW AVAILABLE

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Hexagon Press is pleased to announce the publication of The Saturnine by Brittany Ham. Inspired by the mystical writings of St. Hildegard von Bingen, Teresa de Avila and the prophet Ezekiel, Ham’s book of prose poetry chronicles a visionary experience that unfolds across the Saturnine moons and recounts the construction and consecration of a celestial temple between the Earth and the Moon in celebration of the Moon’s purity.

Copies are available through the hexagon press website. For more details, please visit our publications page.

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A PALIMPSEST OF WHITE NOISE

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“Look at any word long enough and you will see it open up into a series of faults, into a terrain of particles each containing its own void. This discomforting language of fragmentation offers no gestalt solution; the certainties of didactic discourse are hurled into the erosion of the poetic principle. Poetry being forever lost must submit to its own vacuity; it is somehow a product of exhaustion rather than creation. Poetry is always a dying language but never a dead language.”

-Robert Smithson

Poetry is not a dying language, in the colloquial sense. If it ceased to exist, its past erased, it would be like a disembodied spirit awaiting recapture by a successive host. The process of creation that is seeded in poetry is a perpetual state of dying. It is a cycle of decay that one enters into just by transcribing a thought and giving the ghost its shell, but surely this is a necessary sacrifice—what matters is one’s awareness of this sacrifice.

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Layers of paper congeal into a crude mâché that hardens between bouts of winter rain and through the long stretches of summer’s light. These fragments of signage suggest an absence that only grows larger as innumerable black recesses emerge from out of the magnification—the enlarged thing begins to break down as its details populate and expand upon the craters and fissures until they take over the entire view, revealing the depth of absolute black and the ground from which any one thing may arise. The words themselves are activated by the imposition of thought and their tangibility is necessary for the exchange—it is in this revealing act that we see erosion move in and out, while always drawing near to pure black.

There is never an end or solution, and this process of erasure becomes the driving force of language. Matter broken down to its ultimate end becomes mere particles, which is the closest it can come to knowing destruction. Language is not so different—poetic verse is like the basin of a foregone lake and the varying levels of magnification disclose different ridges and recesses that open into new terrains filled with microscopic faults of their own. Erosion is by no means limited to physicality. It requires only a starting point and from there it will lead itself along its own path across the course of time. It reveals itself as an attempt to bridge the insurmountable gap between the thing itself and its representation, and when it is fully employed its faults become all the more apparent. There is never any resolution, only the increased tension of what is contained.

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Any constructed thing is subject to its own process of decay. Language is an invisible construction whose reflection can be projected back onto itself, meaning that it can be re-conceived at will because it is always dying but never dead. There is no act of completion nor any closed circle because it always falls short of what it strives to contain and the accumulating pressure causes new fissures to erupt. Poetry hinges on that last breath that leads into yet another, and the wandering cycle passes between living forms and the tumult of expectation in a suspended state of neither here nor there, leaving its broken traces all around.

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SOLSTICE EVE

The idea of transparency, as it exists and functions in contemporary society, is like a cloak of invisibility if we consider transparency to mean an ethically-driven act of presenting one’s reflected image to, and in accordance with, the public consciousness and its circumstantial value system. The attribute of transparency defines itself against that of obscurity and the two are forever linked because for any one thing to be considered transparent, there has to also exist that which is not transparent and both must work unto each other to signify their meaning. One cloaking theory argues that energy can be programmed to predict and nullify an entity’s physical presence by selecting and incorporating its immediate surroundings into the cloak itself. In the heat of early June, the sun does not set until the later hours and its rays linger on the downtown skyline as if refusing to let go for fear of never meeting again. The glass exteriors of downtown are ablaze within an infrared spectrum:

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The socio-cultural environment is analyzed, selected and assimilated into the camouflage so it can be presented back to the populous and accepted as healthy and clear, which it unfailingly does since the guise of transparency is crafted from the collective desires of the beholder and synchronized with the ever-accelerating speed of culture. It is a closed circle that continues to grow smaller until the individual and the humanized corporate entity become symbiotic. For even in progress, the field may shrink smaller and smaller until everything that remains is completely interchangeable. The tops of the buildings strive to emulate the harshness of the evening sun, moving closer until it dwindles into the last shades of blue merging with soft yellow and then the blue turns to violet and quietly the sky becomes dark and their silhouettes slip into the darkness below the radio towers flashing red.

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FAREWELL TO THE CORPORATE GODDESSES

DSC05632Though Babylon seems far now, at times, we must remember that it is everywhere. Still, here the air is thicker with oxygen and lighter on the syntaxes of abomination propped up by flimsy & counterfeit silicon birthrights, available to all for the price of nothing more than a bowl of GMO pottage. Now when I look skyward, I no longer see the faces of the Goddesses, those shadowy masks all puffed up with the pride of the entrepreneur, yet still cognizant enough of their own baseness to never show their true forms outright.

DSC05542.JPGTheirs is a landscape of esoteric brushstrokes lambasted onto the blank surface of the glorious, honest mundane. The effect is quite garish to those who have worked at strengthening the intuition by the simple and oft-repeated exercise of looking around at the world, rather than simply turning left or right at every one of the prescribed road signs one sees along life’s neatly planned & immaculately maintained picture-postcard highway system.

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We are still here, for those of you who have asked, though we are no longer there. We are somewhere new. Everything I write from this new place applies to Brittany as well as to myself. As individuals, the two of us often find ourselves at odds over this or that trifle or crumb of manifesting thought-spark, but as editors, yes as editors we speak with one voice. Sometimes as we traversed the spires below the Goddesses’ rigid robes, we thought we saw careful traps laid there to snare us. Fortunately, our enemies in their vanity can’t resist advertising openly, making them easy to avoid.

DSC05771.JPGThere were also quiet places, places of simple contentment, and sometimes we found one nestled away in an unlikely spot, and there would be an old woman playing piano in the half-light like a melancholy, soft weeping for all that we have lost, nay, impulsively given away whenever our minds became unnavigable with obstructions and we desired a surcease of our painful conceptions. On the wall beyond a lily-embellished balustrade, perceptible only as the candlelight chanced to dance its way through the open spaces, I spied a coat of arms and, pointing it out to my companion, we were reminded that there would be a bill to pay at the close of evening.

And we were reminded of the Goddesses, they who oversee & they who collect on all debts with no outwardly visible actions on their part, just their stern & mysterious presence, and we knew that sooner or later we would be forced to leave, not just our dining table, but their entire domain, as they were growing more powerful by the day and we, too sensitive to exist within their widening sphere of influence indefinitely.

I can’t keep writing about the same thing forever.

James Bradley
May 1, 2018, Portland, Oregon

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