Jim Leftwich

Give Him A Shoe: Traction Dissolves in a Visual Poem by Texas Fontanella

Texas Fontanella: untitled

Torn scraps of paper from several sources. One a faded turquoise schizogenesis leotard, scraped and wrinkled to the white, with only one shred of text, near the upper left rhizome illegible clinamen, the single word "evol" — previously worked in the underground as a pamphlet. Traction dissolves the terms of hermeneutic emplacement. Ineligible scarp-torn sources. The folded lakes an osmosis of eggs. Like Burroughs spelled “legs” in Egyptian. Top-center:

but [splotch] I saw
'dents which

Torn to resemble folded. Or folded and torn to resemble torn and juxtaposed. An imbricate poem, half-upside-down (read bottom-to-top):

opened his gates
students and the r

...ends lamb winters crow such palm as lake restricted. Schismatic coerced this dissection of that map. Narrative pin lights reveal coral stairs osmose circumspect interiors. We get our sauce from flying saucers. The central exhibit in this array of fractured texts and blank images is as follows:

everywhere, hair
shoulders, hair ir
about the sons. I
give him a shoe
stick his head in th
hair. I'd scrub out
him. I told hir
houses, white or black or grey or
whether they mark a relation
When the strings be

...that the twilit and the definite are inseparable, inescapable, holes ruining their turtles and counting. Night-freight flatly the classic perception of the poem. An arrow points from "houses" to "deserted" (upside-down). To the center left we are offered a folded or imbricate multitext:

deserted. At
y or

Top-right, slightly indented, is a scarred scrap of black, as if rasped. Far upper right is a mostly-white horn or harlequin's cap, with a drooping scrap of turquoise at the top. Below it, far-right, is another patch of black, scarred white at the top, with what might be the number "61" or, possibly, the letters "ig" upside-down. Below the black is another scrap, white with black numbers and em dashes. Three pairs of zeros separated by em dashes, followed by two pairs of 2's separated by em dashes, followed by another pair of zeros also separated by em dashes.

...disappears into its own periphery, like electricity. Chipped edges. Our paths bounce vaguely away, dribbling themselves double. These are not em dashes. They are interoffice memo monthly profit and loss sheet nightly inventory dashes. No one in their right mind has ever used them.

So, harlequin splotch, rasped thin cardboard packaging, ellipsis in fact beauty, missing rundown missionary hyphen expresses the excess of ghastly punctuation, mapping the argument also differentiates, psychoanalytic endpoint / simultaneous construct, particularly as its simplification/fiction, the works move as slowly as a goat, diverse, openly subjective multiplicities dominantly absorbed and popularized at the end of the long sixties (officially 1955 to 1973, actually from the Six Gallery reading on October 7, 1955 to the last helicopter out of Saigon on April 29, 1975 — a twenty-year decade).

...the neo-Romanticist record, liquid scribblelight, destabilized marks and extrapolated smears, under a crosshatched bird-shadow. The carved dawn of the Tao, in two dimensions, the danger and fleece of crossing. When the strings marked the house I told him to scrub his head with a shoe, hair and shoulders everywhere about the sun. Should we allow the visual poem to be silent? Shall it sit like a lump on the eye, staring out at us into its own broken mirror, a folded scab on the sunlit air? I say no. Poke it with a stick. Tickle it with a feather. Wrestle with it gently, playfully consensual, on your unmade bed. It will sing to you in fluent scat. It will preach the impure glossolalia of the pores. It will speak in riddles rambling around us only to return with the rhythms of risk and reverence. A raddle of starting-points, loose-ends into everywhere... it is telling us, you can start anywhere, and go everywhere... the best place to begin is wherever you are.

(Image courtesy of Texas Fontanella. First published at h&, an occasional journal of visual / concrete poetry and assorted other oddities.)

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