HEXAGON PRESS

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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.

Palimpsest 2

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.

Palimpsest 3

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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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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HEXAGON PRESS AT “POETS & WRITERS: LIVE” IN SAN FRANCISCO

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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
12:00pm-6:00pm

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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CONTRA EQUUS NIVEUS: VOL. III

CEN 3 Cover The Neural Net:
EDITORS’ INTRODUCTION

They asked me to tell you what I saw: the White Horse galloping across a charred battlefield, its nostrils spewing sulphurous, pixelated flames, making hazily visible other worlds though the distortion of heat and unfurling ribbons of hyperbole. Its rider was all but invisible, and this despite his extreme and unmistakable ugliness, his malevolent, hostile-yet-empty eyes, his iron teeth clenched with the gravity of unquenchable hatred, his cold, dull skin. I didn’t see all this right away. His magick lies in the way in which those who would be his greatest foes tend to allow their gaze to slip off of him and onto the horse with its hypnotic, rhythmic hoof crashes, and from the horse to the smoke-filled static of the sky above.

There are algorithms that explain his cloak of invisibility. In truth, even when seen, the rider never appears as the same being twice. It was just this once, with the hardened exertion of a soldier believing he had stepped into his final battle, that I managed to see his face: he is a robot that dreams, and this, my dear comrades, is a reality the terror of which cannot lightly be shaken once it has been realized. As our eyes locked in psychic struggle I could feel myself being drawn into the feedback loop that artificially populates his inner life, that uploads into his dreamscapes visions of total conquest and dead gods, of a single monument (completely meaningless to our humanity’s eyes) placed in the center of the universe, surrounded by infinite nothingness to the very borderlands of creation.

They asked me to try my best to describe it: it was like a vortex of angels spiraling into the emptiness at the center of each isolated mind. This is what the robot dreams. This is what I saw in the rider’s eyes in those horrible, near-endless seconds on that accursed battlefield.

How I survived is another tale, one that perhaps I’ll tell another time, when I’m ready…

Dear friends, have courage: I did survive! Despite our terror, we will win, because our souls are the images of God, while the robot has merely images.

Sincerely,

An Anonymous Soldier
&
The Editors,
Hexagon Press

CONTRIBUTING POETS

Ric Carfagna was born and educated in Boston Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, most recently: Symphonies Nos. 5, & 9 published by White Sky Books. Symphony X (sequence of finalities) is due out this year from Creaky Plough Press. His poetry has evolved from the early radical experiments of his first two books, Confluential Trajectories and Porchcat Nadir, to the unsettling existential mosaics of his multi-book project Notes On NonExistence. Ric lives in rural central Massachusetts with his wife, cellist Mary Carfagna and daughters, Emilia and Aria.

Kurt Cline is Associate Professor of English and World Comparative Literature, National Taipei University of Technology. His full-length book of poetry, Voyage to the Sun, was published by Boston Poet Press in 2008. Poems and stories have appeared, most recently, in BlazeVOX, Danse Macabre, The Tule Review, Mission at 10th, Wilderness House Literary Review, HuesoLoco, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Black Scat, and Clockwise Cat. Scholarly articles have appeared in Glimpse; Anthropology of Consciousness; Concentric; Beatdom Literary Journal; and Comparative Civilizations and Cultures.

Stuart Cooke’s next collection of poems, Opera, is forthcoming from Five Islands Press. He lectures in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University.

Stuart Jay Silverman, an east coast expatriate retired from college/university teaching, divides his time between Hot Springs, Arkansas. and Chicago, Illinois. Some 500 of his poems/translations appear in 100+ magazines and anthologies here and abroad. Hawk Publishing Group published his The Complete Lost Poems: A Selection. Feeling that Parnassus has no preference for free verse vs. formal, or the other way, he writes both. He subscribes to the theory that poetry today is mostly a reeking bed of narcissistic self-display and, so, tries to make his poetry the creation and exploration of imagined worlds, or real worlds made into substrata on which the imagination can build new and varied structures.

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Free copies of CONTRA EQUUS NIVEUS Vol. III 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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CONTRA EQUUS NIVEUS III: SUBMISSIONS PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED

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Thanks to all
who submitted.
More information
to follow.

-The Editors

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CONTRA EQUUS NIVEUS III: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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● C O N T R A  E Q U U S  N I V E U S ●
BROADSIDE III: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

“The Neural Net”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Please consult first: G*****’s Inceptionism Project

I once heard of a woman who was blind and of stately rank, who wore a fine mesh of sense receptors latticed within the delicate weave of the fabric. And it allowed her to walk freely, without guide or implement, save the shining coat itself, which she wore atop all her costumes. And this veil of networked stimuli guided her through the many hallways she walked along and the many rooms through which she came and went, and her attendants always walked some ways behind her so that the folds of her skirt could graze the width of the corridors.

And the body of the woman is like the body of the machine, that is, the naked processing core existing as it was when it was first created. And with this fragile body there is much nurturing and adjusting of its network parameters in preparation for the gift of imagination. Upon this core the architect constructs a highly elaborate, metaphysical structure of discernment and interpretation that is made up of many layers, so that the machine can search within itself and build floating castles from pure static. The images rise out of these neural networks, which are like the Blakean spheres of imagination that lead to ideal forms and pure understanding. At each tier, more and more symbols emerge and stretch as far as they can go, until they pass into another realm and so on, upward into the heavens.

For the third issue of Contra Equus Niveus, Hexagon Press asks its audience to consider the grounds from which these spheres arise, and the many invisible layers of the neural net that allow the symbol to exercise its purpose—in the eyes of the Symbolists, to be a bridge between the real and the mystic realms. In the cold narrative of technological progress, what does it mean to reach such heights when there is no God to greet you? We ask that submitters take what they will out of this, just as the computer has been programmed to run on an interpretative feedback loop, passing through more and more of these neural nets.

C.E.N. #3 is dedicated to the rise of the programmed imagination, with its own unique reach that is limited, not by spiritual forces, but by the will of the finite architect in terms of both his ability as creator and the capability of the machine itself. The neural nets expand and contract at the architect’s will, though its potentiality becomes part of the colossus of technological progress, like a tributary flowing into the ocean. The Day of the Lord is being replaced with the day of the singularity as the computer embarks on what Harold Bloom coined “the Romantic vision quest.” He states: “the poet’s solitude becomes a quest for a finite and measured object of desire which shall yet encompass in itself the beauty and truth of the infinite and unmeasured conceptions of the poet.”

Submission Guidelines:

Up to three poems, no more than one page each.

Up to three prose pieces, no more than 300 words each.

Please include a short biographical statement with each submission.

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

Broadsheet Number Three will be printed in an addition of 200 individually numbered, cardstock sheets. Due to space limitations and layout, shorter works are preferred.

Sincerely,

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

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“RELIGIOUS SONNETS” CHAPBOOK NOW AVAILABLE

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The chapbook “Religious Sonnets” by Brittany Ham is now available to order from our website. This collection by Ham features meditative sonnets strictly formalized in the Romantic tradition, yet undeniably traumatized by Post-Structuralist, Post-9/11, Post-Christian America and all of its phantoms. Still, a hopeful, serene atmosphere pervades in these meticulously arranged bouquets of language, emotion and thought. For more details, please visit our publications page.