Johannes-verschlingt-das-Buch-by-Matthias-Gerung-circa-1530-1532Editors’ Introduction: The following is the first in a two-part series of posts by guest contributor Scath Beorh on the topic of “Mythopoetics,” in which Beorh defines the basic categories involved. We’ll publish the second part, in which the role of the poet is considered in light of his or her true role as mythopoet, in about two weeks. Many thanks to Scath for his insights.

Mythopoetics is worked in three descending levels:

  • Theriake
  • Myth & Legend
  • Speculative Fiction

The highest level of Mythopoetics can be called Theriake, when myth and dynamism meet and combine in the storyteller. Since this ‘keeper of lore’ carries an undiluted theriake, or antidote, for the poison which fills and kills mankind, he becomes an inextinguishable light and healer for all who come into contact with him. His life is often transformed through martyrdom, though sometimes he leaves us through a natural death. On the rare occasion, he departs in toto into Eternity. Paradigms of such ‘living myths’ from the Hebrew tradition are Moses, Solomon, David, Enoch, Elijah, Elisha, Stephen, Peter, Paul, John the Beloved, John of Patmos, and, of course, Jesus of Nazareth and those who wrote of Him. Later we have, among many others, Patrick, Francis of Assisi, Gemma Galgani, and Thérèse of Lisieux. This level is perfect Logos/Rhema predication. The storytellers both live and speak theriake, those looking to the coming of the Christ less so than those experiencing the Christ firsthand. The theriake itself sets forth several things at once:

  1. The Who and What of the Source of Life
  2. Eternal promises made to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness
  3. Atonement, peace, and abiding for those who endure to the end

The next storytelling level is Myth & Legend, which most usually does not put the life of the storyteller in any danger.  Nevertheless, the stories told are considered lofty, and do have an enormous amount of theriake. Logos/Rhema predication in a secondary form is found at this level. Philosophy and Theology find their homes here. From the Greek tradition we have Aesop, who was an Ethiopian slave. From China we have Lao Tzu. Northern Europe gives us J. R. R. Tolkien, George Mackay Brown, Lord Dunsany, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and others. Norse and Irish myths fall into this category, as well as the myths and legends of many other world cultures. The storytellers often live the theriake while they speak it, but this is not always the case.

The next level is called Speculative Fiction and has been divided into three styles: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Fantasy and Horror have been with us for millennia, and much of these two verge on being mythological. Sci-Fi is a recent addition ca. the 19th century. Allegorical Fantasy falls into the Spec-Fic category. Ray Bradbury is a master of Spec-Fic. The three styles, or genres, work with the feelings and emotions of wonder, terror, and horror… and generally ask one or more of the questions How, Why, What, Who, When, and Where. Ghost Stories additionally give us our forgotten histories as well as frightening glimpses into spiritual realms unclean or beneath divine judgment. At times the storytellers carry antidote, and when they do, sometimes they live the theriake while they speak it, but this is a rarity. Most fantastic writ is not mythopoetic.

Part two can be found here.

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Scáth Beorh writes stories permeated with themes of violence, brutality, anguish, punishment, magical realism, and blurred lines between this and the afterlife. Sometimes veiled and at times more overt sarcasm about Christian values and moral inconsistencies underline an ingenious design behind the entertaining tales. The quality of the writing and storytelling indicate an extremely well-informed and competent storyteller. Beorh is the author of the novel The Vampires Of Dreach Fola (JWK, 2016), the story collections Children & Other Wicked Things (JWK, 2013) and Classic Ghost Stories (Editor, Crucifixion Books, 2017), the poetic study Dark Sayings Of Old (JWK, 2013), and the novels The Witch Of Ballinascarty (Ghostley Books, 2017) and Pinprick (Ghostley Books, 2017). Forthcoming works include The Annotated Nephilim Field Guide, Ghostly: A Novel Of Postmodern Ireland, Uncle Treacle’s Bestiary, Hollywood & Vine, The Horror Of Rue Royale, and Stained Glass: Mythopoeic Storeys.

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Each of the six one-line poems presented in Vol. IV of Contra Equus Niveus serve as individual facets comprising a larger whole, just as individual cubes construct a hypercube and thus transcend physical representation. Our focus was on the cube and its evolution, beginning with the cross, as a basis for presenting the work of six poets. In a way, Vol. IV argues that, like poetry itself, the cube’s very form conveys a longing for greater dimensionality—beyond the shadows and colors cast by the sun of this realm. These six rays (it is our hope) converge into a brighter illumination, a gesture toward the geometries of even greater mysteries…

The whole, entitled Hypercube, is a brief sensorial digression, evenly weighted on six equal planes from which the imagery emerges and coexists, becoming greater than the sum of its parts. It is as if each side were rising out of the hazy drift that inhabits the first square. From there the poem discovers accidental dualities and contemplates the ocean until, at its closing plane, the face of time reveals to us its forever-disquietude. The poem’s sequence dissolves as the cube is erected and chance overtakes the order of each line’s appearance, as a seeming nod of recognition to the unsolvable nature of the greater mysteries…

Hexagon Press would like to thank each of the participating writers for their contributions, without whom, our concept would never have been granted its form.


The Editors,
Hexagon Press


James Bradley & Brittany Ham live in San Francisco where they co-edit and publish Hexagon Press.

Marcella Durand’s chapbook, Rays of the Shadow, a collection of interlinked poems based on the alexandrine, is forthcoming this February from Tent Editions. Another chapbook, The Garden of M., translated by Olivier Brossard into French, will be published in a bilingual edition this December by Joca Seria Editions. She is currently a mentor in the Poetry Project’s Emerge-Surface-Be program and is translating Michele Metail’s book-length poem, Les horizons du sol (Earth’s Horizons).

Les Gottesman’s poems have appeared in several publications in print and online. He is the editor if Omerta Publications in San Francisco.

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen, veteran, hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado, USA. He is the editor of Bear Creek Haiku (26+ years/135+ issues) with poetry published worldwide.

Stuart Jay Silverman is an east coast expatriate retired from college/university teaching, He spends his home life in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Chicago, Illinois. He has one book, The Complete Lost Poems: A Selection, and over 500 published poems in his quiver, which quivers too much and too often.

Bruce Thompson has a Ph.D. in philosophy and teaches philosophy at Palomar College on a more or less regular basis. He supported himself through college as a professional puppeteer and his shows included several tales of Robin Hood, St. George and the Dragon, and stories taken from fairy tale collections. He is a relatively well-known fixture at northern San Diego county open mic poetry readings and while he no longer performs with puppets professionally, he recently maintained a booth at the San Diego Makers’ Fair, where he gave instructions on the art of making puppets.

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Free copies of CONTRA EQUUS NIVEUS Vol. IV will soon be available at Adobe Books + Arts Cooperative, City Lights Bookstore, Dog Eared Books, Alley Cat Books, Modern Times Bookstore Collective, and Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore in San Francisco. If you are outside of the Bay Area and would like a copy, write to us with your mailing address and we’ll send one free of charge, stock permitting.

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Hexagon Press will have a booth at the 8th annual “Poets & Writers: Live” fair held at the San Francisco Art Institute this weekend. Headlining the event will be numerous well-known speakers, none of whom shall be named here. The small press fair, of which the aforementioned Hexagon Press will be a part, takes place at:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA, 94133 United States

A full program of the event can be found here.

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C O N T R A  E Q U U N I V E U S


The square is to the cube what the cube is to the hypercube, the form of which reaches beyond itself and steps into the fourth plane where we, beings incarnate in the third, cannot follow. Here lies the MYSTERY of the possibility of the transcendence of one’s own nature. In this spirit of mystery, Volume IV of Contra Equus Niveus will present six poetic works, each occupying one plane within the net of a six-sided polyhedron, a (three-dimensional) cube as yet un-enfolded taking the shape of a (two-dimensional) cross of six squares, the cube’s ancestral potentiality. We ask writers to submit single poetic lines only, aligned to this gesture, in the hope that your thought can become a brief illumination for one of these six sides.

The HYPERCUBE is a geometric phantasmagoria existing in this world only in theory. It is a mathematical expression of ulterior planes jutting outward and outside of our grasp. In the spiritual sense, it proceeds into the unknown and seeks to illustrate the great mysteries though patterned intersections and convergences. Geometry is a means of expressing the divine both in nature and beyond. Our focus is on the cube-rising of THE CROSS, and its ascendance into a realm beyond expression. The works selected for C.E.N. #4 will exist as six poems autonomous unto themselves, and also as a seventh, which constitutes the whole, titled “Hypercube.”

Submission Guidelines:

Poems of no more than one line in length, or an excerpt of no longer than one line from a larger work. To repeat: the basic unit of submission is one line of poetry, however various a line of poetry may be. Titles are not necessary. If submitting multiple lines, please number them for ease of reference.

Please include a short biographical statement with each submission.

Email all submissions as attachments (.doc or .pdf only) to hexagonpoetics@gmail.com.

Broadsheet Number Four will be printed in an addition of 200 individually numbered, cardstock sheets with instructions for forming the cube from the cross.


James Bradley & Brittany Ham,
Co-Editors, Hexagon Press

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Mouchette, furry angel, island of goodness in a sea of sin, passed away yesterday afternoon as a result of complications stemming from an enlarged heart.

Hexagon Press mourns the loss of a great and noble poet, one who effortlessly achieved that which we poets all strive for: a direct experiencing of the Divine through the transcendence of language, before this transient, sometimes bitter dream of life reaches its end.

Lord keep her. She will be missed.


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1 Despite the commotion outside I slept, and behold I dreamt a dream, and did see a man wearing a puppet on each hand, like unto a child’s hand puppets crafted for mirth and sport. But no mirth did I see as far as concerneth the man of whom I did dream. His face was as a masque of stern countenance, and his eyes were as two tiny pearls which did shine out from the holes of the masque-like face, which did hover in the darkness of the dream, for it was a dream set in darkness. Whether the man had no emotion at all, or a seething which spilleth over, I can say not.

2 The puppet on the left hand was a likeness of the goddess Isis, and that on the right hand a likeness of the Roman Catholic Pope, and this neither the current Pope, nor any one particular Pope who hath been, but THE POPE, in essence that very Petrus Romanus who is both all Popes and the culmination of popery. And the left hand of Isis did do battle with the right hand of the Pope, and that battle continued and I knew not which would prevail.


“The puppet on the left hand was a likeness of the goddess Isis…”

3 And lo! suddenly I did see that the puppets on each of the man’s hands did change, and became something other than that which they formerly were. And on the left hand I now saw a Chinese dragon, of ruby, and emerald, and gold, and on the right hand I saw a white-headed eagle clutching a rainbow serpent in its beak. And behold, the bejeweled dragon and the white-headed eagle did do battle, and that battle waxed fierce and I knew not which would prevail.

4 And I saw the puppets on each of the man’s hands did change yet again in the darkness of the dream, and became again something new. And on the left hand I saw a figure like one carved from ebony, even deepest coal, with no features, just the most bare attributes of mankind. And on the right hand I saw a figure like one carved from ivory, white as snow, and also with no features. And behold, the ebony did do battle with the ivory, and again, the victor was uncertain to me.

Pope Francis

“…in essence that very Petrus Romanus who is both all Popes and the culmination of popery.”

5 And I saw the puppets did change yet again! And the darkness swirled around the man like JUPITER’S FACE, which doth storm and rage though there be none on earth that heareth. On the left hand of the man I saw a woman of exaggerated bodily parts, for her womanly parts were swelled, her breasts and hips to bursting like overripe melons. And on the right hand of the man I saw a man with a massive manhood like an unsheathed sword. And using their swelled parts for weapons, the woman and the man did do battle, and whom of the twain should prevail I knew not.

6 And there were many more such battles, and each puppet of the right hand did have its counterpart upon the left hand, and each puppet of the left hand did have its counterpart upon the right hand. And I saw all such battles happening all of a concert, all at once, like a whirlwind of chaos and madness, for the man hath many hands, more than can be numbered. Everywhere battle raged.

Britain Protest March

“…for he hath many servants who do long to carry out his WILL.”

7 And the man called forth a great bonfire from the darkness, for he hath many servants who do long to carry out his WILL. And the bonfire spat forth sulfur and ash into the darkness, even into the very air, and my eyes they did burn from the heat. Behold! the man began to fling each puppet into the bonfire one after the other, and each puppet did burn, and no puppet that formerly did battle was spared the burning. And who should have prevailed in each battle remaineth a mystery, for not even a single outcome of battle was made known before the puppets did burn. And the man with relish did inhale the smoke from the burning, as if it did intoxicate him to smell that aroma, which did issue forth from the burning of the puppets of his many hands.

8 Then, lo! a massive rock did come crashing through my window, and I was awakened…


“…the man began to fling each puppet into the bonfire one after the other…”

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And if Caliban were to be caressed and delighted by his most inward desires, where would it lead him? Would the long, white fingers pulling back the canopy while he sleeps begin to drift from his dreams and cross into waking life? A billboard screen opens a portal to a tropical beach idealized in its detachment from nature. And the tumbling, humid breeze and the soft undulations of the tide are tuned exactly to the inner rage of the focus group by calibrating the advertisement according to their brainwave patterns. From there analysts formulate a carefully orchestrated series of triggered sensations that is then projected onto the sleeping Caliban.


Sin Pursued by Death, Johann Henry Fuseli

The beach scene plays out in almost imperceptible slow motion, and it gives the swing of a sunbathing woman’s arm across her mate’s shoulder a more fluid, dream-like motion. The effect contributes to the seamless convergence of stimuli. Every aspect of the visual landscape exists in the 30 second lapse of unreal time and underlying it is a highly delicate web of symbols and signifiers, which induces the desired psychological and emotional responses from the sleeping Caliban. The height of the LED screen takes up four floors of corporate office space and is programmed to circulate through thirty segments contracted several years in advance.  In the particular cycle at hand, the beach scene is punctuated by a continuous display of a revolving white geometric logo that spins against a solid blue backdrop. The mind improvises the sound of the waves lapping onto the shore and not only consents, but actively participates in the surge.


Labrynth #1, Hiroyasu Matsui

The sleeping Caliban exists in a dialectic relationship of seduction and suppression and the market of the masses alternates between the two perspectives in such a way that each becomes more powerful with every turn. Caliban serves the nature of the market of illusion, which moves in all directions but constantly forward and this progression is as steady as his perpetual sleep, where his rage pours freely onto the endless space of dreams. And it is this consistent torment of seduction and suppression that feeds his rage, which has become the single most qualifying aspect of his identity, it is the emotional currency that surfaces in the form of sensations each time the imagination releases the cry of a gull as it flies over a white cabana and glides out of frame.


Mountain Landscape with Rainbow, Casper David Friedrich

The sand surrounding the couple’s wood lounge chairs was like white skin leading up to the darkened traces of a previous wave. The scene slowly rolls back to a small circular table placed at equal distance between the two chairs and exactly at the midpoint between the length of the chairs. At the exact center of the table the fetish takes in the fullness of sun, a glass torso containing a liquid that glistens against the open sky like a citrine stone. Having reached the climax, Caliban’s rage is either wholly unleashed and ravenous or carefully guided by society’s reason. Both approaches circulate exactly 10 segments apart and over the course of the contractual year the same scene appears but with slight variations, few of which are non-subliminal. The segment appealing to Caliban’s desires depicts the female lead with bright red nail polish in February and a French manicure in July. The rolling drops of condensation range from one to three but the hierarchy of meaning remains intact and the reverie of paradise calls out to the sleeping Caliban.

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