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“Carlos Lara’s The Green Record erupts from prior time into the future. The spell of the language is cast by density, not unlike a blizzard of kelp magically seeded by an oneiric diver.”
— Will Alexander
Redefining and invigorating Surrealism for our current milieu, Carlos Lara’s book length poem explores the way in which language is always a kind of misprision, paradoxically ineffable and overdetermined, impenetrable yet luminous:
“I drag myself with amnesia through Dutch pastures
Compelling hunger and suffocation to swordfight with crystals
I am as alive as a mountain doused with goodness
a malady of owls in a Roman pantheon spraying angelic urine
an animal may find itself at the wrong end of the godspear or Oscar Wilde
translated into Farsi like an axiomatic snake the opposite sides of the mirror burn in the head”
Now available for purchase at SPD!
Apostrophe Books is pleased to announce the book chosen from our 2015 reading period: The Green Record, by Carlos Lara, sections of which have previously appeared in NOÖ Weekly, Lana Turner, and Entropy. Lara describes the book as a project of “metavocal English,” “allowing common words to mutate, hybridize, disintegrate… to fill up each page entirely with audiographic data via intentional mishearing.” Recalling Lautreamont’s famous “chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and umbrella,” this book-length poem enlivens the Surreal tradition for our self-absorbed, apprehensive moment. Lara reads our everyday reality as a relentless sequence of misprision which at times, in our most adaptive naïveté, we accept as self-affirmation: “a plain begging for more tomorrows and tomorrow’s skin for the sake of more skin.” Or, in other moments, the concealment, erosion or even disappearance of what is known or can be known is irrevocable and complete: “I didn’t think about the office or god for a month / which was actually a cradle or maybe a Manchurian mirror / it was all whalebone electronic / the stars’ manifesto.”
Author Bio: Carlos Lara is the co-author, with Will Alexander, of The Audiographic As Data (Oyster Moon, 2016). His poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals, including Lana Turner, Lana Turner, and Lana Turner. As an original member of the Fam School, he cut his teeth on desire, sleeplessness, and excess. Stephen Yenser convinced him not to drop out of UCLA. CD Wright convinced him not to drop out of Brown. He owes everything to his friends. After all the waves, after all the facts on facts, he is silently disappearing, for now, in Brooklyn. Sites: carlosrichardlara.com & anonymousenergy.com.
“. . . . poetry, no matter how badly it aspires to philosophy (or a systematic secular theology), can never completely unclutter itself. Language, if it is really language, has to be crowded with things. And by “things” I don’t mean phenomena. I mean thing-ly things possessed of mass, and texture, and corners that we can’t help but bump into even as we perceive that bumping into those corners might injure us. However, in the case of The Habiliments, I might actually invoke the objective project of Romanticism more so than that of Modernism, inasmuch as they are different projects. . . ” CONTINUE READING
If you live in the Dallas area, please join us for Joe Milazzo’s reading and launch party at The Wild Detectives Coffee Shop on Tuesday, June 28th. Joe will read from The Habiliments and participate in a conversation moderated by Paul Koniecki.
Details hear: https://www.facebook.com/events/1200068016670252/.
An odd paradox underlies all of the poems in THE HABILIMENTS: the ‘habiliments’ or ‘clothing’ of the title refers simultaneously to dressing and stripping bare. The accouterments, costumes, objects, and trappings in which we construct identity are woven into a tapestry of memory, dream, forgetting, and, ultimately, grief. Milazzo uses allusion, antimeria, neologisms, conversions, and logical disruptions
as well as a deep attention to the elusive uncertainties of language to explore how words simultaneously succeed and fail to express emotion, describe reality, or make sense of our relationship with others. Quotidian reality wears a new syntactical and semantic garb as each poem seems to unravel language and a circadian rotation of “dreams”: ambiguously of sleep, of aspiration, of nonsense, of the fantastic, or of the banal. If Milazzo’s poems are a kind of ‘dream song,’ they are constructed in radically different ways than John Berryman’s (though there are formal echoes of that poet’s phantasmagoric layers). In these dream songs, Berryman’s angst and sorrow collide with John Ashbery’s metaphysics of erosion, Rosmarie Waldrop’s semantic drifting, and John Yau’s surreal atmospherics.