Dissolving the Ismic Phantoms of Particularity by Askold Skalsky

Dissolving the Ismic Phantoms of Particularity

… and looped into a point, into to all the psycho-plastic
modernisms, the panglossular monstrosities in their splendid
pre-pre-posit cosmo-loony-logical caboodled kit of relativity
between its cardboard walls, looking where to stand, seeking
some situs heavy with the drip of old columns fluting in spring
rains and classically soporific like old recluses in a warm room,
lapped in contextual pale-blue shirts over lank arms, shoulders
squared under years of not finding themselves amid the marshes
of rough indigo scarred by mosquito swamps, while the jeeps
come out with barrelfuls of amber dust dimpling the tomato fields
and simmering in slow evening must, the best muster passed
among the understructures of your parents’ grief, dragging their
coffers across the hills, their nihilations manifest in dying
photographs locked forever by an absent key. The dark chanteuse
with the pristinely yellow hair begins to sing—Is that all there is?
A hurdy-gurdy sax wails in the dark, the pressure to keep dancing
climbs the mountains of sweet booze and the slick skin trades
of suburbia cumulating like timepiece sand. Even the caryatides
have shaken off their pediments and run into the tavern of the naked
damned. The dream is past at the beginning of the century—Down
with all apodictic rigors of mortality! Down with the lying visions
of the waking state! The sediments of comprehension churn and
slip away like the fine muck of a subterranean slide, while all else
slogs amid the gloomy mausolea of new texts, kaleidoscopes in heat,
turning on tables bookended with treasure-hoards where words
and wordlings are the only hope, fine-tuning the mask that keeps
the eye from turning mad, not a face yet worn out or outscorned
for its redundancy, dwelling inside the circle but preaching through
an outside chink, planting a mindless pennant in the quaggy mass,
announcing every whiff of nothingness, the whatnots behind it—
or beyond …

About the Poet
Askold Skalsky, born in Ukraine, currently resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. His poems have appeared in over 300 magazines and online journals in the USA as well as in literary publications in Canada, England, Ireland, mainland Europe, Turkey, Australia, and Bangladesh. A first collection, The Ponies of Chuang Tzu, was published in 2011 by Horizon Tracts in New York City. He is currently at work on a cycle of poems based on some of the works of Gertrude Stein.

  • Jere Armen

    I wish the excerpts were available in this format. I don’t see them anywhere. The poem itself is reminiscent of Stein, though.